The Parliamentary Service was established with the start of the Parliamentary Service Act 1999 (the Act) on 5 December 1999.
As of 30 June 2022, the President of the Senate, Senator the Hon Sue Lines, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Hon Tony Smith MP, were the Presiding Officers of the Parliament. The current Speaker of the House of Representatives is the Hon Milton Dick MP, who was elected on 26 July 2022.
In addition to their procedural roles in the Chambers, the Presiding Officers are responsible for the provision of services to the Parliament.
They have individual responsibility, respectively, for the Department of the Senate and the Department of the House of Representatives, and joint responsibility for the Parliamentary Budget Office and the Department of Parliamentary Services.
The role of the Presiding Officers relating to parliamentary departments is similar to the role of ministers relating to departments of state.
Presiding Officers for 2021–22:
- Mr Peter Woolcott AO as Parliamentary Service Commissioner (the Commissioner) and holding the office of the Australian Public Service Commissioner concurrently.
- Ms Linda Waugh as Parliamentary Service Merit Protection Commissioner and holding the office of the Australian Public Service Merit Protection Commissioner concurrently.
- Ms Meg Brighton as Head of the Parliamentary Workplace Support Service and holding the office of the Parliamentary Workplace Support Service concurrently.
There are no specific appropriations for the offices of the Parliamentary Service Commissioner, Parliamentary Service Merit Protection Commissioner, or the Parliamentary Workplace Support Service.