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Annual Report 2016-2017 Department of the Legislative Assembly



Annual Report 2016-2017 Department of the Legislative Assembly

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Tabled paper 405


Tabled Papers for 13th Assembly 2016 - 2020; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT






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DLA Annual Report 2016-17 Page 5 P a g e 5 Chamber support, business services support to Members and their offices and financial support were all up to a very healthy 98% satisfaction level this year. Last year we concentrated our efforts on improving the categories of Travel and Human Resources which were achieved, but there is now a concern that while these efforts yielded results, there have been declines in the other areas. I reported these results to the Department of the Legislative Assembly Board of Management in early 2017 to examine how the Department will make an effort for further improvement. Some of these margins may not be able to be improved upon, however shared services for ICT remains an ongoing challenge which requires more effort. As occurs each year, the experiences of individual Members can have a significant impact on a category and its results. Some newly elected Members will have expectations their returning colleagues dont share. Last year I reported that Parliament House was #20 of things to do in Darwin on the popular travel app Trip Advisor, this year it is ranked at #18. Our team has risen to the challenge that we could improve our ranking and the excellent work of our education and outreach colleagues and those who maintain a beautiful building has much to do with that result. The free tours are highly rated and worth the visit. The Department continues to rely on shared services from Government and my thanks go to the leadership of the Departments on which we rely for property management and leasing, information and communications technology support and contractor management and procurement support. It is sometimes not well understood that this small Department is an integral part of a larger organism of Government which works collaboratively to procure and deliver on behalf of the Members and the people of the Northern Territory. During the reporting period the Assemblys chamber broadcast cameras were replaced due to the failure of some of them during the 2016 calendar year and the lack of availability of parts to service and repair them. By the time they were replaced we were limping along with reduced visibility and coverage. Cameras, websites, audio visual systems and the like require constant maintenance and updates. This requires government expenditure. Systems are often unable to be repaired or updated over a period of time as manufacturers improve the software and hardware and obsolete systems have to be replaced. The logical comparison which many people will understand is that their smart phone purchased when they first hit the market in about 2008 is unable to be repaired or updated as each year new operating systems and improvements mean the old operating system is now redundant. The same applies to systems purchased by Government to keep Territorians informed about how their democratic institution is operating. During the reporting period I had the privilege to attend the annual Society of Clerks at the Table in Commonwealth Parliaments (SOCATT) meeting held in conjunction with the 62nd Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference where I delivered a paper to colleagues about the operation of Northern Territory Standing Orders. This was my first SOCATT attendance since the 2012 meeting. Next year I will be pleased to report on my approved attendance at the 2017 SOCATT Conference where I intend to present a paper on media scrutiny of parliamentary administration. As an engaged member of SOCATT and working to support the Speaker and the Northern Territory Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, I was invited to attend and deliver two papers to the Post-Election Seminar for the National Assembly of Zambia after their 2016 election and to work with my colleague the Clerk of the National Assembly of Zambia to draft the new standing orders for the rules governing all meetings of the Associations Executive Committee. My experience as Secretary of the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly Standing Orders Committee has been invaluable in my work with CPA colleague jurisdictions as I continue to work