In order to function efficiently, the Senate needs administrative and procedural support. This is provided by key Senate officials, including the Clerk of the Senate and Clerk of the Parliaments and the Usher of the Black Rod.
These officials are supported in their work by the Senate Administration, the Senate’s corporate body. Made up of some 450 employees, the Senate Administration provides the services that allow senators to accomplish their work: support in procedure, human resources, communications, building maintenance, asset management, financial administration, security, computer resources and internal audit, to name a few.
Senators are also supported by staff in their respective offices. Senators’ staff members work directly with their senator to communicate with the public; research and prepare materials like briefing notes, QP questions and speeches; and provide advice on current affairs and strategic questions. They may also manage the senator’s office. Senators usually employ between one and three staff members.
The Clerk of the Senate and Clerk of the Parliaments is a critical official in the workings of the Senate and its senior administrator.
The Usher of the Black Rod is the personal attendant and messenger to the Queen in Parliament and a senior protocol official.