It is over three years since the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act) took effect. With it, a new resource management framework was introduced for the Commonwealth, replacing the former Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (FMA Act) and Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 (CAC Act). The scheme that is built around the PGPA Act is the third financial framework in the history of the Commonwealth.
It is proposed that the review gathers perspectives from the Parliament, Commonwealth entities and companies, and other stakeholders – including from industry, the third sector, other levels of government and academe – on the operation of the PGPA Act and Rule. It should assess whether benefits have been realised, in line with the objects of the PGPA Act, and may make recommendations about what could be done in the future, including recommendations on refining the PGPA Act and Rule themselves.
At its core, the PGPA Act signified a shift from a dual system of public sector management and accountability, where compliance and process was much the focus, to a single, principles-based framework within which all Commonwealth entities have the flexibility to develop their own systems and processes to support their operations.
The public management reforms contained in the PGPA Act were expected to take several years to implement, mature and fully integrate into the practices and processes of Commonwealth entities. After three years, it is apparent that the practice in relation to individual aspects of the Act has matured differentially. There are variations between entities and in relation to different areas of practice. The enhanced Commonwealth performance framework is one example of a practice area that is still maturing.
The review will be undertaken by two independent reviewers.
Elizabeth Alexander is Chairman of Medibank Private Limited, she is Chairman of the Nomination Committee and a member of the Audit Committee and the Risk Management Committee.
As a former partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers (1977–2002), Elizabeth specialised in the area of risk management and corporate governance. Elizabeth was previously Chairman of CSL Limited and a director of Boral Limited and Amcor Limited. She is a former Chair of the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority’s Risk and Audit Committee. Elizabeth is also a former National President of CPA Australia and the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and a former member of the Takeovers Panel. She is a former Chancellor of the University of Melbourne and Chair of its Finance Committee.
Elizabeth is currently Chairman of DEXUS Wholesale Property Limited and a director of DEXUS Funds Management Limited as part of the DEXUS Property Group (since January 2005), and a director of the IOOF Foundation and the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority.
David Thodey is a global business leader focused on technology and telecommunications with more than 30 years of experience creating brand and shareholder value.
He is currently Chairman of Australia’s national scientific research agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Chairman of JobsNSW focused on job creation in NSW, and on the Advisory Boards of SquargePeg Capital and UHG. He also had a successful career as CEO of Telstra, Australia’s leading telecommunications and information services company.
Mr Thodey holds a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and English from Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand. He attended the Kellogg School of Management postgraduate General Management Program at Northwestern University in Chicago, USA.
The Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act), subsection 112(2), requires that an independent review (review) of the operation of the PGPA Act and Rule be conducted as soon as practicable after 1 July 2017. The Explanatory Memorandum to the Act explains that this will be a post-implementation review of how the PGPA Act and Rule have worked and whether improvements could be made.
The requirement for the review was included in the PGPA Act on the recommendation of the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit (JCPAA).
The development of the PGPA Act and Rule was guided by the following principles:
The PGPA Act has the following objects (section 5):
a) to establish a coherent system of governance and accountability across Commonwealth entities;
b) to establish a performance framework across Commonwealth entities;
c) to require the Commonwealth and Commonwealth entities:
(i) to meet high standards of governance, performance and accountability;
(ii) to provide meaningful information to the parliament and the public;
(iii) to use and manage public resources properly;
(iv) to work, cooperatively with others to achieve common objectives, where practicable; and
d) to require Commonwealth companies to meet high standards of governance, performance and accountability.
The Review will consider the broad scope of operations and functions under the PGPA Act and Rule, including, for example: policy and strategic initiatives, and procedural requirements.
In addition to the general consideration of the implementation and operation to the PGPA Act and Rule the review will give consideration to issues such as:
The list above is intended to be illustrative and should not be considered exhaustive.
The Review will not examine the:
The CGRGs and the CPRs are subject to current and ongoing review by the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) and the JCPAA and other parliamentary committees. Each change to these instruments has implications not only for the public sector, but also for external stakeholders in the private and not-for-profit sectors.
Independent reviewers appointed by the Finance Minister, in consultation with the JCPAA, will lead the review, and will report to the Finance Minister.
The independent reviewers will consult with other parties and stakeholders, including the JCPAA, the ANAO and the Department of Finance, to gather sufficient evidence to meet the review objectives and to make sound recommendations. This may include interviews with Commonwealth entities and Commonwealth companies and key staff (such as Accountable Authorities, Chief Operating Officers and Chief Financial Officers). The independent reviewers will also seek written submissions.
A team within the Department of Finance will support the independent reviewer’s conduct of the review.
The independent reviewers will provide a progress report to the Finance Minister. A written report of the review will be provided to the Finance Minister in early 2018. The Finance Minister will cause copies of the final report to be tabled in Parliament within 15 sitting days.
 The CPRs, including the new rules that came into effect on 1 March 2017, are subject to an inquiry by theJoint Select Committee on Government Procurement. The Inquiry is to report by 31 May 2017. Since their introduction in mid-2009, the CGRGs have been reviewed and updated three times.
The Commonwealth Grants Guidelines were issued in June 2009. They were reviewed and updated in December 2012 and again August 2013. They were then replaced with the Commonwealth Grants Rules and Guidelines in June 2014, following a further review and update. The CGRGs are currently being updated following recent policy decisions and stakeholder consultations, including reflecting responses to recommendations in JCPAA reports 449, 452 and 454. This process is expected to be finalised in mid-2017.
The Independent Reviewers are seeking public input to the review of the PGPA Act and Rule in the form of written submissions. In responding, you may wish to consider the above points or you can set out your issues as you see them.
All information (including name and address details) contained in submissions will be made available on the Department of Finance website unless you indicate that you would like all or part of your submission to remain in confidence. Respondents who would like part of their submission to remain in confidence should provide this information marked as such in a separate attachment. Legal requirements, such as those imposed by the Freedom of Information Act 1982, may affect the confidentiality of your submission.
Written submissions can be sent by e-mail to: PGPAActReview@finance.gov.au, or posted to:
PGPA Act Review
Attention: Review Secretary
Department of Finance
One Canberra Avenue
FORREST ACT 2603
Submissions should not be lengthy and are due by 10 November 2017. Submissions to the Review are now closed.
Only submissions where the author has given permission to be published are listed below.
|Aboriginal Hostels Limited|
|Australasian Evaluation Society||PDF | Word|
|Australian Broadcasting Corporation|
|Australian Bureau of Statistics|
|Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity|
|Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care|
|Australian Communications and Media Authority||PDF | Word|
|Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission|
|Australian Financial Security Authority|
|Australian Fisheries Management Authority||PDF | Word|
|Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies|
|Australian Institute of Marine Science|
|Australian Maritime Safety Authority|
|Australian National Audit Office|
|Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation||PDF | Word|
|Australian Public Service Commission||PDF | Word|
|Australian Reinsurance Pool Corporation|
|Australian Renewable Energy Agency|
|Australian Sports Commission||PDF | Word|
|Australian Taxation Office|
|Australian War Memorial||PDF | Word|
|Clean Energy Finance Corporation|
|Clean Energy Regulator|
|Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation|
|Cotton Research and Development Corporation|
|CPA Australia||PDF | Word|
|Department of Agriculture and Water Resources|
|Department of Defence|
|Department of Education and Training|
|Department of Employment|
|Department of Finance||PDF | Word|
|Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade|
|Department of Health|
|Department of Human Services|
|Department of Immigration and Border Protection|
|Department of Industry, Innovation and Science||PDF | Word|
|Department of the Environment and Energy|
|Department of the House of Representatives|
|Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet||PDF | Word|
|Department of Veterans’ Affairs|
|Emeritus Professor John Halligan||PDF | Word|
|Fisheries Research and Development Corporation|
|Grains Research and Development Corporation|
|Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority|
|Indigenous Business Australia|
|Indigenous Land Corporation|
|Mr Dominic Wild||PDF | Word|
|Mr Graham Smith||PDF | Word|
|Murray-Darling Basin Authority|
|National Health and Medical Research Council|
|National Transport Commission|
|Northern Land Council|
|Professor John Wanna and Honorary Professor Andrew Podger|
Includes: “Chapter Six: Making ‘Accountability for Results’ Really Work?” by Professor Podger
|PDF | Word
PDF | Word
|Reserve Bank of Australia|
|Royal Australian Navy Central Canteens Board|
|Special Broadcasting Service Corporation|
|Sydney Harbour Federation Trust|
|Tax Practitioners Board|
|Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency|
|The Institute of Internal Auditors||PDF | Word|
PGPA Act Review
Department of Finance
One Canberra Avenue
Forrest ACT 2609
© Commonwealth of Australia 2017