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How does the Tribunal decide which remuneration model should apply to part-time offices?

Information about the Tribunal's four part-time remuneration models may be found on the Tribunal's website (under the 'background area' of the Part-time Office page on the Tribunal’s website). This includes information about some of the Tribunal's considerations in applying the models.

The remuneration models are:

  • annual fee
  • daily fee
  • base (annual) fee and daily meeting fee
  • annual meeting fee and additional daily fee

Where a Minister or employing body believes that a different model from that determined by the Tribunal would better suit their part-time offices, a submission should be made to the Tribunal.

What adjustment is made to overseas TA when an office holder's meal is paid for by another entity?

It would be appropriate to reduce the reasonable daily overseas meal allowance amounts determined by the Australian Taxation Office by 50 per cent where dinner has been provided or paid for by an entity other than the office holder, or 25 per cent in the case of either breakfast or lunch. Alternatively, it would also be permissible for office holders to comply with any relevant administrative guidelines put in place for employees in their agency where these are not inconsistent with the Official Travel determination.

When will the Tribunal set a Deputy Chair rate?

Where the entity includes a Deputy Chair, the Tribunal may set a specific rate for the Deputy Chair where the responsibilities of an office warrant remuneration in excess of that provided to a Member. This could involve particular statutory functions set out in the legislation or significant ongoing responsibilities, for example as Chair of sub-committee/s or with carriage of strategic or risk management aspects of the body. The Tribunal will not usually set a specific Deputy rate where the Deputy role is limited to chairing meetings and taking on some chair responsibilities in the absence of the Chair or assisting the Chair on an ad hoc basis.

In its October 2013 report ‘Review of Remuneration - Part-time Offices’ the Tribunal noted that where a separate Deputy Chair rate is justified it would generally be set at 75 per cent of the Chair for annual fee recipients and at the mid-point between the Chair and Members for daily fee recipients.

The Tribunal does not 'automatically' set Deputy Chair fees; a submission is required specifically addressing the role in order for the Tribunal to consider a separate rate. If it is considered that a different Chair/Deputy Chair/Member ratio is warranted than that recommended by the Tribunal, then this should be addressed in the submission.

What is 'official' travel time for the purposes of calculating daily fees for part-time office holders?

The Part-time Office determination includes a definition of official travel time. It is generally associated with travel where an office holder is entitled to claim travelling allowance (e.g. interstate travel). It does not include normal commuting time (i.e. the time spent travelling between an office holder's home and principal place of work).

What is included in an office holder's total remuneration and how is his/her cash salary calculated?

Total remuneration (TR) is defined in the relevant determination applying to the particular office holder (i.e. Full-time Offices, Principal Executive Offices, Specified Statutory Offices, Departmental Secretaries and Judicial and Related Offices).

An office holder's cash salary is the component of TR that remains when all other payments and benefits, including the Employer Superannuation Contribution, are honoured. Cash salary should not be confused with the superannuation salary determined by the Tribunal for members of defined benefit schemes.

Cash salary equals TR, less the Employer Superannuation Contribution, less all payments and benefits included in the office holder's remuneration package (other than those specifically excluded in accordance with the relevant determination).

The process is outlined in the diagram below (note that slightly different superannuation arrangements apply to PEOs - see "How is cash salary calculated for a PEO"):



The Employer's Superannuation Contribution*


Other payments and benefits e.g. allowances, motor vehicle, parking, fringe benefits tax and any salary sacrifice payments e.g.  additional superannuation contributions.


Cash salary


* The Employer's Superannuation Contribution is defined in the Tribunal's determination.

Essentially it is:

  • for members of PSSap - 15.4% of ordinary time earnings (OTE);
  • for members of other accumulation schemes - the compulsory employer superannuation contribution that must be made to the fund; and
  • for members of a Commonwealth defined benefit schemes (e.g. CSS/PSS) - a notional value calculated as 15.4% of the Superannuation Salary.
Does the Tribunal determine leave for all offices within its jurisdiction?

The Tribunal may determine recreation leave for full-time holders of public office (but not part-time) where the enabling legislation (i.e. the Act establishing the office) states that the Tribunal will determine the matter.

It cannot determine other types of leave, such as personal and miscellaneous leave, for public office holders other than Secretaries of Departments.

The Tribunal has more general powers for Principal Executive Offices (PEOs) and for Judicial and Related offices - it can determine other types of leave as outlined in Part 5 of the PEO determination and in Part 2 of the Judicial and Related Offices determination.

What is a PEO Notification?

A PEO Notification is a form to assist employing bodies to fulfil their obligations to notify the Tribunal within 4 weeks of a change to a Principal Executive Officer's (PEO's) remuneration (including payment of performance pay) or other terms and conditions.

The form also provides the Tribunal with feedback on how a PEO's employing body applies the discretionary elements of the remuneration package. The form can be found on  the PEO 'Background' page on the Tribunal's website.

How soon after an office holder receives a pay rise should superannuation be adjusted?

Defined benefit schemes (e.g. PSS/CSS)

* For total remuneration (TR) and calculation of cash salary purposes:

The office holder’s new superannuation salary should be used to calculate the notional Employer Superannuation Contributions from the date of effect of the increase determined by the Tribunal.

*       For contribution purposes:

Changes to any amount of superannuation that the office holder personally contributes to the PSS or CSS are made in accordance with the rules of the scheme, for instance, an office holder’s salary for contributions purposes is updated on the person’s birthday, falling on or after the date of effect.

Accumulation schemes

For PSSAP members the value of the Employer Superannuation Contribution should be updated from the date of effect of the Tribunal's increase; actual employer contributions will also be updated at that time.  The minimum “guarantee” payments for members of other accumulation funds should be updated when TR is adjusted, or each 1 July if the maximum contribution base applies.  Actual contributions can be modified at any time to reflect salary packaging preferences of the office holder, but the minimum contribution required by the Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act 1992 must be paid, and, for Principal Executive Offices (PEOs), reported to the Tribunal on PEO notifications.

What is the TA rate for a Commonwealth employee who also holds a part-time public office?

While full-time Commonwealth employees may not be paid annual or per diem fees for fulfilling their duties as a part-time office holder, they can receive the travelling allowance rate determined by the Tribunal.

Travelling allowance rates are contained in the Official Travel determination.

What if an office holder's TA is not sufficient to cover accommodation costs?

Where an office holder cannot obtain accommodation of a reasonable standard at the locality without incurring additional costs, an additional payment may be made to him/her based on the excess cost of the accommodation over the travel allowance rate, subject to the conditions outlined in the Official Travel determination.