Additional entitlements for Members of Parliament 2015
For the year ended 30 June 2015, NSW Members of Parliament generally complied with the requirements of the Parliamentary Remuneration Tribunal’s Determination when spending their additional entitlements, according to a report released today by the New South Wales Auditor-General, Margaret Crawford.
Instances of non-compliance related to a small number of Members who did not complete some returns or reconciliations on time or did not submit annual declarations.
Additional entitlements cover such expenses as travel, accommodation, printing, stationery and temporary staff. They are separate from the Members’ basic salary, and other salaries and allowances paid to ministers and certain other office holders.
More disclosure of Members' expenditure claims is recommended to improve transparency
The Auditor-General has recommended the Parliamentary Remuneration Tribunal consider requiring the Department of Parliamentary Services to publish full details of Members' expenditure claims on its website.
Details of Members' expenditure claims are not published or accessible by the general public. Members' allowances and expenditure are published once a year in the annual reports of the Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council. Amounts are only disclosed in aggregate for each Member by entitlement type.
In recent years, several countries have increased transparency of members’ expenses. Regularly publishing full details of all Members' expenditure claims in an accessible and searchable format would improve transparency.
Members claimed 9.2 per cent more expenditure in 2014-15 compared to 2013–14
Members’ claimed $22.2 million of additional entitlements in 2014–15, 9.2 per cent higher than the previous year. The increase was mainly due to additional spending by Members prior to the March 2015 State election. Members are allowed to accumulate certain allowances over the four-year parliamentary term. Unspent allowances are forfeited if not used before the end of the term.
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