Section 64MA of the Parliamentary Service Act 1999 requires the Parliamentary Budget Officer to release a report within 30 days of the end of the caretaker period for a general election outlining the financial impact of all the election commitments that have a material impact on the budget for all designated Parliamentary parties – that is, parties with 5 or more members.
The Parliamentary Budget Office Review 2016–17 – Report of the Independent Review Panel recommended that the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) ‘should provide parliamentary political parties with fewer than five Members or Senators the option to have the financial impact of their election commitments included in the PBO’s post-election report of election commitments’ (recommendation 13).
The Independent Review Panel’s recommendation was motivated by the observation that minor parties and independent members now have a prominent role on some budget-related issues.
We have interpreted the Independent Review Panel’s recommendation as covering all independent parliamentarians and parliamentary political parties with fewer than five Members or Senators. We agreed to this recommendation and committed to explore options to give effect to it.
This consultation paper provides information on the process for preparing the post-election report, including the requirements placed on the PBO and designated Parliamentary parties by the Parliamentary Service Act 1999, and the factors we will need to consider in allowing non-designated Parliamentary parties to opt in to the report. It seeks feedback from parliamentarians and their staff, as well as interested stakeholders, on these matters.
We will consider feedback from this consultation process and will publish an information paper in mid-2018 that provides details on how we will allow minor parties to opt in to the next post-election report.