House debates

Thursday, 18 June 2020

Statement by the Speaker

4:18 pm

Photo of Tony SmithTony Smith (Speaker) Share this | Hansard source

I have a short statement before we go back to government business. It's on the electronic access control system and a code of practice for the building. As members would be well aware, the electronic access control system, otherwise known as EACS, is the computer based security card system that replaced the old locking infrastructure—on your office doors and right throughout Parliament House—some time ago here in the House. The system is designed to control access to Parliament House. Specifically, it allows authorised passholders entry into secure areas by using a security pass authenticated by access control readers. EACS has been designed to facilitate remote lockdown capabilities in the event of a major incident or emergency and has been progressively installed throughout the House of Representatives, as you all well know, over the last couple of years. In contrast and for various reasons, the system is not fully installed or operational in the Senate wing. However, after extended negotiations, I can now advise the House that agreement has been reached on a code of practice. The EACS code of practice provides the framework for the management of EACS data, over which there may be claims of privilege. It applies to all parliamentary department employees, contractors, Australian Federal Police and building occupants who manage, operate or use the EACS, including the viewing, storing, accessing, releasing or disposing of data.

I wish to thank all members of the House Standing Committee on Appropriations and Administration for sensible consideration of the development of the code. Particularly I want to thank the Chief Government Whip, the member for Forde; and the Chief Opposition Whip, the member for Fowler. Should honourable members have any questions or concerns about the operation of EACS they can contact the Serjeant's office or my office at any time. I thank the House.

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