Reading the Parliamentary Service Annual Report (available here), probably requires a strong background in both accountancy and politics, as the figures and descriptions are incredibly hard to decipher. This is probably quite deliberate, as the politicians that control the Parliamentary Service aren’t particular keen on this information being well understood. Various budgets are bundled together in ways that make it difficult to see how the money is spent, and little explanation is provided. Thus the information below should be taken with a bucket of salt, as I may not have correctly understood the accounting methods. If anyone is able to clarify the expenditure, I’d be very grateful!
It appears that the Parliamentary Service has two main accounting budgets made up of Departmental expenditure (costing about $65,357,000 during the 2008-09 financial year) and Non-Departmental expenditure (costing about $60,637,000 during the 2008-09 financial year).
It is notable that most of the expenditure categories increased significantly from the previous financial year. For example, secretarial support increased 16%, to $17,187,000, and information services went up 21% to $13,177,000. Some of this expenditure increase might be explained by the fact that it was election year during this period.
In total, the Parliamentary Service employed 709 staff members – most of which were employed on behalf of the political parties. Of course, some of these staff were in part-time positions, so in terms of the ‘full-time equivalent’ positions, the Parliamentary Service hired 601 staff.
Details of the latest parliamentary expenditure are in the table I’ve put together below: