Office of the Clerk

About

Find out who we are and what we do in the Office of the Clerk. These articles provide an overview of the role of the Clerk of the House of Representatives, the role of the Office of the Clerk, and the responsibilities of the specialist divisions within the Office of the Clerk.

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About

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Who we are

The Office of the Clerk operates under the Clerk of the House of Representatives Act 1988. It is a non-public service department and is separate from other agencies in the parliamentary complex including the Parliamentary Service.

What we do

The Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives exists to establish and maintain the definitive record of Parliament’s decisions; to assist the House to develop and maintain its rules of procedure, and to advocate for the effectiveness of Parliament as a democratic institution.

Our legal status

The Office of the Clerk operates under the Clerk of the House of Representatives Act 1988. It is a non-public service department and is separate from other agencies in the parliamentary complex including the Parliamentary Service.

The broader context

The Office of the Clerk’s role within the broader context of New Zealand’s constitutional arrangements.

Planning and accountability

The Office of the Clerk operates under a dedicated Act of Parliament (Clerk of the House of Representatives Act 1988) and is part of the legislative rather than the executive branch of government. It is subject to public finance legislation and to the financial oversight of the Treasury and of the Auditor-General. It is required to consult the State Services Commissioner in a number of personnel areas.

Role of the Clerk

The Clerk of the House of Representatives is the principal permanent officer of the House. The Clerk is the main contact for the Speaker and other members when they need procedural or legal advice about important or sensitive issues. The Clerk also leads policy initiatives when the Office contributes to parliamentary or constitutional matters.

Role of the Office of the Clerk

The Office of the Clerk exists to achieve the following: ‘The outcome of the Office of the Clerk is a functioning legislature in which members of Parliament are able to discharge their constitutional duties in respect of the consideration of legislation and other parliamentary business.’

Deputy Clerk

The Deputy Clerk is the House’s second principal permanent officer and deputy chief executive, and in this role scrutinises questions for oral answer.

House Services group

The House Services group provides support for sittings of the House and committees of the whole House.

Select Committee Services group

The Select Committee Services group provides administrative support for select committees.

Parliamentary Relations and Policy group

The Parliamentary Relations and Policy Group includes the Policy, Legal Services and Parliamentary Relations and Education teams.

Organisational Performance and Public Information group

The Organisational Performance and Public Information group provides general corporate and information services to the Office. It is also responsible for public information and operations in the Chamber.

Working with other agencies

The Office of the Clerk is one of several organisations that operate within the parliamentary complex. The complementary nature of the work undertaken by the agencies described in this section enables the Office of the Clerk to focus on its core business of providing expertise regarding parliamentary procedures and the institution of Parliament.

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