The department provides procedural, administrative, research and other support services to the 59 members of the Legislative Assembly (the house) to assist them in performing their legislative and other parliamentary responsibilities.
Its service outcomes are: to maintain and improve levels of service to the house, its committees and members; to develop knowledge and skills to ensure a high standard of timely and accurate advice, research and administrative support; and to promote public access to parliamentary processes.
The department is established under the Parliamentary and Electorate (Employment) Act 1992 and is not a government department or agency of the Crown under the Public Sector Management Act 1994. This means that the department necessarily retains its independence from executive.
The department provides a number of key services, including:
- advice and research on parliamentary procedure;
- administrative and procedural support to committees appointed by the house;
- preparation of documents for use in the house;
- publication of records of the house and its committees; and
- provision of information on the activities of the house, the Parliament and committees.
The department comprises four administrative units: the Office of the Speaker, the Office of the Clerk, the Legislative Assembly Office and the Committee Office.
The Office of the Speaker provides executive and administrative support services to the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly. These services include —
- managing day-to-day operational and administrative issues associated with the effective functioning of the office;
- facilitating the exchange of information between the Speaker, the management executive committee and senior managers of the Parliament;
- providing personal assistance to the Speaker including liaising with members of Parliament, senior government officials, business leaders, dignitaries, media and the public; and
- coordinating official events, visiting delegations and dignitaries and managing the Speaker’s appointment diary.
The office provides high quality executive leadership and strategic management to the Department of the Legislative Assembly.
The Clerk of the Legislative Assembly is the principal adviser on parliamentary law, practice and procedure for the house. As chief executive officer, the Clerk is responsible to the Speaker for the proper management and functioning of the department, including finance, staff and administration.
Table officers or clerks at the table share the performance of the Clerk’s functions when in the chamber. There are five table officers in the Legislative Assembly: the Clerk, the Deputy Clerk, two Clerk Assistants and the Sergeant-at-Arms.
The table officers also draft motions and minor amendments to bills.
The Sergeant-at-Arms reports directly to the Clerk and is responsible for security and maintenance of the Legislative Assembly, delivers messages from the Legislative Assembly to the Legislative Council about parliamentary business and undertakes ceremonial duties on behalf of the Speaker at the opening of Parliament.
The Clerk, together with the clerks at the table, are known as parliamentary officers.
The Legislative Assembly performs a range of services to support the operations of the house and assist members in the performance of their parliamentary duties. These services include —
- supply of bills, explanatory memorandums, acts, tabled papers, reports and regulations;
- supply of notice papers, Votes and Proceedings, and other documents;
- copies of ministers’ second reading speeches;
- provision of information on the activities of the house; and
- provision of information on parliamentary committees and their membership.
The office is administered by the Clerk Assistant (Procedure).
The committee office provides advisory, research and administrative services to all Legislative Assembly committees. The office is administered by the Clerk Assistant (Committees), who has the overall responsibility for committee services provided by the department.