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Several times a year senators investigate how the government is spending taxpayers money in Senate estimates hearings, also known as estimates committees. The first is in May, soon after the Treasurer presents the government’s annual Budget. These Senate estimates hearings focus on scrutinising the Budget paper. Additional estimates are held in November and then the following February. These additional estimates allow senators to ask further questions about government spending and actions of government departments and authorities.
During estimates hearings, if a department is unable to answer a question, they can take the question on notice and respond to it later. The committee will decide on the due date for questions on notice. All estimates hearings are recorded in Hansard and can be found on the APH website.
For more information, go to the Senate estimates fact sheet on the PEO website.