The Turnbull Government has moved swiftly to establish the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority (IPEA).
The introduction of IPEA continues the Coalition’s progress towards the most significant reforms to parliamentarians’ work expenses in 25 years.
Special Minister of State, Senator the Hon Scott Ryan, announced that the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority Bill will be introduced in the House of Representatives this week.
IPEA will have the core functions of auditing and reporting of parliamentarians’ work expenses. It will also have a specific focus on the administration and compliance of travel and related claims from parliamentarians, including ministers, and their staff. This will ensure that taxpayer’ funds are spent appropriately and in compliance with the rules. IPEA will operate as an independent statutory body.
“The Government is firmly committed to ensuring parliamentarians spend taxpayer money efficiently, effectively and ethically,” Senator Ryan said.
“Australians will welcome the speed with which this new authority is being established, it has taken less than a month from the Prime Minister’s initial announcement to the introduction of legislation.”
The Government will also introduce the Parliamentary Entitlements Legislation Amendment Bill to abolish the life gold pass for eligible former parliamentarians, apart from former prime ministers and their spouses.
This legislation now ensures that the date of abolition is immediate, rather than the previous phased proposal.
“We have the opportunity to show Australians that the current generation of parliamentarians will subject themselves to higher standards than ever before.”