The Senate referred the inquiry into the performance of the Department of Parliamentary Services (DPS) to the committee in June 2011. The committee received both public and confidential submissions which raised significant issues particularly in relation to the employment culture of DPS, the issue of bullying and harassment within DPS, management of heritage values and, of course, the sale of the billiard tables from the Staff Recreation Room.
"What the Australian people told us, and they told us this in no uncertain terms on that day and on the days that have followed, is this: that we will be held more accountable than ever before, and more than any government in modern memory. We will be held to higher standards of transparency and reform, and it's in that spirit that I approach the task of forming a government......To quote Rob Oakeshott, sunshine is the best disinfectant, and we've agreed to far-reaching reforms that make me as Prime Minister and our government and how it functions more accountable to the Australian people. So, let's draw back the curtains and let the sun shine in; let our parliament be more open than it ever was before."