News

Government move to check MPs’ perks

A CRACKDOWN is looming on the use of entitlements by federal parliamentarians amid concerns current arrangements provide no clear boundaries of the purpose for which they can be accessed.

The Auditor General Ian McPhee announced the Australian National Audit Office would audit the delivery of improvements to the system it recommended in 2009 and which were agreed to by the Federal Department of Finance and Deregulations.

The audit office has found that shortcomings in the entitlement framework have not assisted Finance in its role, but has also noted that the department had adopted a relatively gentle approach to their administration.

The ANAO would also examine the administration of travel entitlements provided to parliamentarians by Finance, the Department of the House of Representatives and the Department of the Senate.

It is anticipated the audit would examine the role played by the Remuneration Tribunal in setting various travel entitlements, the frameworks under which the various entitlements are provided and administered, analyse the use of the various entitlements and assess the effectiveness of the administrative arrangements that are in place.

The move comes three and a half years after the Federal Government agreed to a "root and branch" review of the entitlement framework and agreed to provide significant additional funds for the Department of Finance to improve its administration.

Member for Fisher Peter Slipper, who has a long history of criticism for his extravagent use of entitlements, faces court next month on three charges of fraud in relation to his use of Cabcharge vouchers. The charges allege Mr Slipper knowingly set out to misrepresent the use of his entitlements on three separate occasions in 2010.

In addition to their salaries, Australia's 150 federal parliamentarians and 76 senators were paid $162 million in entitlements in 2008-09 averaging $716,814 each and a further $169 million for staff costs.

The ANAO has found that travel claims made up a significant proportion of the cost of all entitlements provided to parliamentarians.

"At this stage, given our existing workload and staff availability, we expect the audit will be commenced as part of the ANAO's 2013-2014 audit program,'' Mr McPhee said.

The ANAO has previously found that a key shortcoming was the lack of a consistent approach to specifying the purpose for which entitlements may be used.

Where purposes were specified, it found the meaning of key terms such as Parliamentary business and electorate business has not been fully defined.

And the audit office is concerned that shortcomings in the framework establishing Parliamentarians' entitlements have been compounded by a system that involves limited accountability for entitlements use.

In particular, Parliamentarians are not required to respond to invitations that they certify their use of entitlements and there is a relatively low level of public reporting of entitlements expenditure.
 

Topics:  expenses politicians politics



New food precinct pitch for Yamanto

NEIGHBOURHOOD CENTRE: An artist's impression of a new centre at Yamanto submitted to the council this month along with development plans.

A new business centre has been proposed for Yamanto.

iPhone and iPad owners need to do this right now

It could stop a hacker controlling your iPhone or iPad

Stuntman's death: Police focus on use of blanks

Superfit Johann Ofner demonstrates his extreme routines.

The stuntman was hit in the chest after the gun was fired at close range

Local Partners

Gatton family claims game show success

A GATTON family walked away with more than $11,000 after an exciting three-night run on game show Family Feud.


Toowoomba comedian becomes big hit on The Project

BIG NAME: Toowoomba comedian Damien Power will perform his new show Utopia at the Brisbane Comedy Festival in March.

The Toowoomba comedian is preparing for his most hilarious show yet

10 things to do this Australia Day

Thirsty Merc will perform live at the Racehorse Hotel on Australia Day.

Competitions for the best mullet, cane toad races, zorbing and more.

Chopper's Republic of Ipswich

HELLO: Chopper will perform his new show Anzakistan at the Racehorse Hotel next month.

Popular character returns

Toowoomba comedian becomes big hit on The Project

BIG NAME: Toowoomba comedian Damien Power will perform his new show Utopia at the Brisbane Comedy Festival in March.

The Toowoomba comedian is preparing for his most hilarious show yet

'Allo 'Allo! star Gorden Kaye has died

Gorden Kaye, pictured in Brisbane in 2007, found fame as a cafe owner Rene Artois in the iconic British television series ‘Allo ‘Allo!

ACTOR Gorden Kaye, from BBC comedy ‘Allo ‘Allo!, has died.

Lion roars to straight to No 1 at Aussie box office

Nicole Kidman, David Wenham and Sunny Pawar in a scene from the movie Lion.

THE Australian-made movie a hit, while Rogue One nears record mark.

Ozzy Osbourne fell asleep during his driving test

Not a good idea to give Ozzy a Ferrari

Kristen Stewart to host SNL

Kristen Stewart will host a pre-Super Bowl episode of SNL next month

Louis Tomlinson celebrated his son's first birthday

Louis Tomlinson and Briana Jungwirth celebrate son's first birthday

New food precinct pitch for Yamanto

NEIGHBOURHOOD CENTRE: An artist's impression of a new centre at Yamanto submitted to the council this month along with development plans.

A new business centre has been proposed for Yamanto.

Accusers become accused in tenants from hell story

SPEAKING OUT: Scott Marsen says he doesn't want people to feel sorry for the couple who trashed his home.

Couple whose house was trashed accused of doing the same

$6 million upgrade for busy intersection

AVID Property Group invested $6 million in connecting its residential estate to Ipswich and Springfield.

Project includes dedicated bus bay, traffic lights and added lanes

Design tenders called for blue chip Rosewood Library

NEXT STAGE: Design tenders have been called for the new Rosewood Library.

Massive $6.5 million investment bearing fruit

Why investors are flocking to Moranbah

Moranbah homes are selling like hotcakes, creating a supply problem

Investors are scrambling to get into the market

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!