Part 2: Expense Measures (Continued)
Finance and Deregulation
Australian Electoral Commission — additional funding
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The Government will provide $10.0 million in 2011‑12 to maintain the operating capacity of the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC). A financial review of the AEC will be undertaken prior to the 2012‑13 Budget.
Capped Entitlement in Exceptional Circumstances for Members and Senators — supplementation
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The Government will establish a supplementary entitlement of $20,000 per Senator or Member for each financial year. The entitlement would be used in situations where additional entitlement expenditure is warranted as a result of a natural or other disaster.
The additional entitlement would only apply when the capped entitlements of a Senator or Member are not sufficient to address the unforeseen event. In the first instance, the Special Minister of State (SMOS) will have the discretion to allow additional entitlements to be offset from drawing down on capped entitlements for the following financial year up to a maximum of $20,000. The SMOS will only consider additional supplementation where the SMOS deems that a draw down arrangement will not sufficiently address the unforseen event.
The financial impact of this measure is based on twelve applications for the supplementary entitlement in 2010‑11, which is expected to be offset by a reduction in the Senators' and Members' capped entitlements in 2011‑12.
Government and non‑Government Parliamentarians staff — additional positions
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The Government will provide $7.2 million over five years to increase the number of Government and non‑Government personal employees by a total of 10 positions.
The additional staff will allow Members and Senators to better manage their workload and provide them with greater capacity for consultation.
Improving Access to Australian Government Services
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The Government will provide $2.3 million in 2011‑12 to investigate and test ways to improve individuals' ease of use and access to Australian Government services. This funding will be used for a scoping study, technical pilot and business case. Improvements to be explored include allowing individuals to communicate updated details to multiple agencies simultaneously, pre‑fill forms using information previously submitted to a government agency, and the ability for the individual to view all their government communications in one place.
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