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Estimates: Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee: Prime Minister and Cabinet Portfolio: Digital Transformation Agency

Estimates & Committees
Lee Rhiannon 24 May 2017

Tuesday 23 May

Senator RHIANNON: For three decades this parliament has been discussing the introduction of a code of conduct for senators and MPs in the House of Representatives. Could you tell us where those discussions are up to after three decades please?

Senator Brandis: To whom is your question directed?

Senator RHIANNON: Maybe to the secretary. To whoever has the most information about it.

Senator Brandis: I do not think it has got anything to do with the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. I think the conduct of members of parliament as members of parliament is not a matter for the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. It is a matter for the respective chambers.

Senator RHIANNON: I was actually directed, after seeking advice, to come here and put the questions. If you want to direct me somewhere else, Attorney-General, I would be happy to take your advice.

Senator Brandis: We are all subject, of course, to the wisdom of the chair, but I would have thought a question of codes of conduct for members of parliament as members of parliament would be a matter for the respective parliamentary chambers.

Senator RHIANNON: But there have been times in those three decades when the Prime Minister's office has given it attention, and possibly you could even say 'driven' it. I am just trying to find out where it is up to.

Senator Brandis: I am not aware of them. I do not think these are questions for the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Senator RHIANNON: Could we ask the Secretary or the Deputy Secretary: has there been any updates or any request for briefs or anything at all?

Ms Kelly: No, it is not a matter for which the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has any responsibility.

 Senator RHIANNON: Is that no responsibility at all, or is it just that there is no action being taken at the moment?

Ms Kelly: No responsibility in the sense that it relates to the legislature, and our concerns extend to the executive.

Senator Brandis: The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet is a department of the executive government, but you are inquiring about the legislative arm of government.

 Senator RHIANNON: Okay, I will go back and ask again where to go.

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