The department provides procedural, administrative, research and other support services to the 36 members of the Legislative Council (the house) to assist them in performing legislative and other parliamentary responsibilities. Its service outcomes are to support the chamber operations and committees of the Legislative Council.
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 the executive government.
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 five administrative units: the Office of the President, the Office of the Clerk, the procedure office, the administration office and the committee office.
The Office of the President provides executive and administrative support services to the President of the Legislative Council. 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 President, the management executive committee and senior managers of the Parliament;
- providing personal assistance to the President 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 President’s appointment diary.
The office provides high-quality executive leadership and strategic management to the Department of the Legislative Council.
The Clerk of the Legislative Council is the principal adviser on parliamentary law, practice and procedure for the house. As chief executive officer, the Clerk is responsible to the President for the proper management and functioning of the department, including finance, staff and administration.
The Clerk of the Legislative Council is also the Clerk of the Parliaments and is responsible for preparing and certifying bills that have been passed by Parliament for royal assent.
Table officers or clerks at the table share the performance of the Clerk’s functions when in the chamber. There are six table officers in the Legislative Council: the Clerk, the Deputy Clerk, two Clerk Assistants, the Usher of the Black Rod and the advisory officer (procedure).
The Clerk, together with the clerks at the table, are known as parliamentary officers.
The procedure office provides advice, training and support to members in relation to parliamentary procedure, practice and privilege. These services include —
- providing advice relating to the sittings of the Legislative Council;
- providing advice at the table in the chamber when the Legislative Council is sitting;
- preparing notice papers (agendas), Minutes of Proceedings, motions, supplementary notice papers (amendments to bills), business programs and weekly bulletins; and
- reviewing petitions.
The office is administered by the Clerk Assistant (House).
The administration office provides administrative services to support members. These services include —
- providing administrative services in the chamber when the Legislative Council is sitting;
- supplying bills, acts, subsidiary legislation (regulations, rules, et cetera), tabled papers and reports;
- publishing and maintaining the records of the Legislative Council; and
- providing information and documents relating to the business of the Legislative Council.
The office is administered by the Usher of the Black Rod who is also responsible for security and maintenance of the Legislative Council, delivers messages from the Legislative Council to the Legislative Assembly about parliamentary business and who undertakes ceremonial duties on behalf of the President at the opening of Parliament.
The Committee Office
The committee office provides advisory, research and administrative services to all Legislative Council committees. The office is administered by the Clerk Assistant (Committees) who has overall responsibility for committee services provided by the department.