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Collaboration underpins new education package for parliamentarians

A new education package for parliamentarians, IPEA-ED, was recently released by the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority (IPEA) and has already been recognised for its innovation. IPEA believes this approach is a world-first, achieved through broad, deep and regular collaboration with all stakeholders.

Haven’t heard of IPEA? That’s understandable, they’re still quite new! Established in April 2017, IPEA administers and provides advice on travel expenses for parliamentarians and their staff. They also monitor, report on and fulfil an assurance function for all parliamentarians’ work expenses.

When coming up with the idea of IPEA-ED, they turned their minds to how to better support parliamentarians and their staff to make informed travel-related decisions. Travel expenses must accord with the parliamentary expenses framework – the Parliamentary Business Resources Act 2017 and Regulations. That can be a lot of information to navigate through if a parliamentarian wants to know about a specific aspect of their travel.

IPEA introduced IPEA-ED in May 2019, in time for the new parliament. The first tranche of education materials includes an app-like mobile website, short training modules and a quick reference booklet. This provides multiple modes of the same information for different learning preferences and ensures information is accessible anywhere, anytime.

Winning a 2019 Public Sector Innovation Award in July 2019 was an unexpected bonus, especially given the strong field of finalists. The judges expressed that they, “liked how IPEA has distilled a complex set of rules into a simple-to-digest and accessible format”.

Not resting on their laurels, IPEA continues to consider how to best support their stakeholders and contribute to building public trust in government.

For more information on how IPEA developed this project, please email enquiries [at] ipea.gov.au.