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This section provides an overview of the department at 30 June 2016 and introduces the executive team that oversees the work of the department’s business areas.

Our aspiration and purposes

The Department of Finance advises the Australian Government on the most efficient mechanisms for delivering its policy priorities, while ensuring the sustainability of public expenditure programs and best practice financial management. Finance’s aspiration statement is set out in the department’s Corporate Plan 2015–16:

Leading the public sector in delivering excellence and value in the business of government.

In support of this aspiration, Finance has four purposes:

  • budget and financial advice, management and reporting—support the government to deliver its fiscal targets and policy objectives
  • governance—foster leading public sector practice
  • transformation—innovate and improve public sector operations and reform the management and operations of public assets
  • services—manage efficient, cost-effective services to, and for, the government.

Our role and functions

Finance supports the delivery of the Australian Government budget, the ongoing management of the government’s non-defence domestic property portfolio, and key asset sales. Finance is also responsible for the resource management framework for Commonwealth entities and companies. In addition, Finance provides advice and support to parliamentarians, their employees and former parliamentarians, maintains shareholder oversight of government business enterprises, provides general insurance services to government agencies, promotes improved risk management and advises on the government’s investment funds. 

Finance also provides strategic advice, guidance and services relating to property management, ICT management, and the Commonwealth’s insurance and superannuation arrangements.

Our outcomes and programs

Finance’s three outcomes, outlined in the Portfolio Budget Statements 2015–16, provide a strategic statement about our core role and functions. Figure 1 shows our outcome and program structure at 30 June 2016.

Figure 1: Outcomes and programs at 30 June 2016





Support sustainable Australian Government finances through providing high quality policy advice and operational support to the government and Commonwealth entities to maintain effective and efficient use of public resources



Budget and financial management



Support an efficient and high-performing public sector through providing leadership to Commonwealth entities in ongoing improvements to public sector governance, including through systems, frameworks, policy, advice and service delivery



Public sector governance


Transforming government


Property and construction


Insurance and risk management


Procurement services


Public sector superannuation


Australian Government investment funds



Support for Parliamentarians and others as required by the Australian Government through the delivery of, and advice on, entitlements and targeted assistance



   Ministerial and parliamentary services


Our executive and business groups

The department’s executive is made up of the Secretary and four Deputy Secretaries who each have responsibility for one of the department’s four business areas. The department’s organisational structure at 30 June 2016 is shown below.

Jane Halton AO, PSM

Secretary | Jane Halton AO, PSM

Jane Halton was appointed Secretary of the Department of Finance in July 2014. She is responsible for all functions and services delivered by the department. She was previously Secretary of the Department of Health (2002–2014).

Jane is co-chair of the OECD Asian Senior Budget Officials, a member of the executive board of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington and on the advisory board of the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics (an Australian Research Council Special Research Centre). She is also a Public Policy Fellow at the Australian National University’s Crawford School of Public Policy and has held numerous international appointments with the World Health Organization, the World Health Assembly and the OECD.

Jane holds the position of Adjunct Professor at the University of Sydney and Adjunct Professor at the University of Canberra. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Psychology from the Australian National University and a Doctorate of Letters (honoris causa) from the University of New South Wales.

Jane was awarded a Public Service Medal in 2002, a Centenary Medal in 2003 and an Order of Australia in 2015.

Rosemary Huxtable

Deputy Secretary | Rosemary Huxtable PSM

Rosemary Huxtable was appointed Deputy Secretary of Budget and Financial Reporting in June 2013. In this role, she is responsible for providing advice and managing processes associated with the expenditure and nontaxation revenue areas of the budget, including advising the Expenditure Review Committee of Cabinet and preparing annual budget papers and regular economic updates. Prior to joining Finance, Rosemary spent 10 years in senior executive roles in the Department of Health, including three years as a Deputy Secretary, with responsibilities in the areas of ageing and aged care, mental health, e-health, Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. She has worked extensively in social policy across the public and private sectors.

In 2005 Rosemary received a Public Service Medal for her work on Medicare.

Budget and Financial Reporting

Budget and Financial Reporting provides policy and financial advice on government expenditure and non-taxation revenue matters to the Minister for Finance, senior ministers and the Expenditure Review Committee of Cabinet.

The federal budget embodies the policy priorities and fiscal targets for which the government seeks parliamentary authorisation. Budget and Financial Reporting supports the government in its preparation, delivery and ongoing management of the budget and assists agencies to meet their financial management and reporting obligations. Budget and Financial Reporting aims to ensure that the analysis, policy advice and costing information provided to government support informed decision making and that economic updates are delivered within required timeframes and meet legislative requirements.

David Fredericks

Deputy Secretary | David Fredericks

David Fredericks was appointed Deputy Secretary of Business Enabling Services in November 2015. Prior to moving to Finance, David was Deputy Secretary and Chief Operating Officer of the Attorney-General’s Department, responsible for corporate strategy, operations and ICT for the department, as well as administration of royal commissions and the Defence Abuse Response Taskforce. Before that, he was the department’s Deputy Secretary, Civil Justice and Legal Services.

Business Enabling Services

Business Enabling Services works with the Secretary, the Executive Board and other business groups within the department to enhance, promote and sustain Finance’s role as a trusted and professional adviser to the government. Business Enabling Services provides corporate services and information, technology and workplace support, and is implementing Finance’s internal transformation program, including the establishment of a People and Projects Office to build project management capability across Finance. The area also provides a range of services and support to current parliamentarians and their staff and to former senators and members.

John Edge

Deputy Secretary | John Edge

John Edge was appointed Deputy Secretary of Commercial and Government Services in November 2015. John has extensive experience in leading major asset sales, including the Medibank Private initial public offering, and other commercial projects for government in the Department of Finance and the former Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism. Other roles for which John has been responsible include budgetpreparation and advice in the social welfare sector, parliamentary entitlements adviced management of corporate services.

Commercial and Government Services

Commercial and Government Services provides advice on the Australian Government’s business enterprises and commercial entities, manages the non-defence domestic property portfolio, and undertakes scoping studies and strategic reviews to assess the optimal ownership and management options for a number of government businesses and assets. It is also responsible for the delivery of whole-of-government ICT services, develops and maintains the Australian Government’s procurement policy framework (including initiating and managing a range of whole-of-government contracts), and manages the Australian Government’s special claims, insurance and risk management operations.

Dr Stein Helgeby

Deputy Secretary | Dr Stein Helgeby

Stein Helgeby was appointed Deputy Secretary of Governance and APS Transformation in October 2015. Stein joined the department in February 2010 as the Deputy Secretary of the former Financial Management Group. Prior to that, Stein enjoyed a lengthy period in the Victorian Department of Treasury and Finance, where he was responsible for budget and financial management, long-term policy research, taxation, business tax reform and intergovernmental relations.

Governance and APS Transformation

Governance and APS Transformation develops policy and advises on the resource management and governance frameworks for public sector agencies, accounting policy issues, the government’s investment funds, and superannuation arrangements for members of parliament and Commonwealth employees. The area also advises on and coordinates government information and advertising campaigns.

In addition, the area consolidates budget updates, contributes to the preparation of the budget statements and prepares the Commonwealth’s monthly and annual consolidated financial statements. It also provides policy and program leadership on initiatives aimed at transforming and modernising the public sector, including shared and common services for back-office functions and grants administration.

Last updated: 21 October 2016