6. Guide to this Act

Overview

This Act is mainly about the governance, performance and accountability of Commonwealth entities.

It is also about:

  • the use and management of public resources by the Commonwealth and Commonwealth entities; and
  • the accountability of Commonwealth companies.

Many of the terms in this Act are defined. The Dictionary in section 8 contains a list of every term that is defined in this Act.

 

Chapter 2 - Commonwealth entities and the Commonwealth

Part 2-1 - Core provisions for Chapter 2

Part 2-1 has the core provisions for Chapter 2 (which is mainly about Commonwealth entities but does have some provisions relating to the Commonwealth specifically). It:

  • defines what a Commonwealth entity is (see section 10); and
  • defines what the 2 types of Commonwealth entities - corporate Commonwealth entities and non-corporate Commonwealth entities - are (see section 11); and
  • defines who the accountable authority of the entity is (see section 12); and
  • defines who the officials of the entity are (see section 13).

Part 2-2 - Accountable authorities and officials

Part 2-2 is about the accountable authorities and officials of Commonwealth entities. It mainly deals with the general duties that are imposed on accountable authorities and officials.

Part 2-3 - Planning, performance and accountability

Part 2-3 is about planning by, and performance and accountability of, Commonwealth entities. It requires the accountable authority of a Commonwealth entity:

  • to prepare a corporate plan, and budget estimates, for the entity; and
  • to measure and assess the performance of the entity, and prepare annual performance statements for the entity; and
  • to prepare annual financial statements for the entity; and
  • to prepare an annual report for the entity.

It also requires the Finance Minister to publish monthly financial reports and table annual consolidated statements in the Parliament.

Part 2-4 - Use and management of public resources

Part 2-4 is about the use and management of public resources by the Commonwealth and Commonwealth entities. It deals with:

  • banking, borrowing, investments, indemnities, guarantees and warranties by the Commonwealth and corporate Commonwealth entities, and insurance obtained by corporate Commonwealth entities; and
  • waivers, set-offs and act of grace payments by the Commonwealth.

It also has special provisions that apply to Ministers or officials of non-corporate Commonwealth entities (for example in relation to making gifts and liability for loss).

Part 2-5 - Appropriations

Part 2-5 has some specific provisions relating to appropriations of the CRF. In particular, it deals with special accounts.

Part 2-6 - Cooperating with other jurisdictions

Part 2-6 is about the Commonwealth and Commonwealth entities cooperating with the States and Territories. It allows the rules to prescribe situations where the accountable authority of a Commonwealth entity is required to share information with the States and Territories. It also prohibits the Commonwealth from preventing State or Territory Auditors-General from conducting audits in certain situations.

Part 2-7 - Companies, subsidiaries and new corporate Commonwealth entities

Part 2-7 has provisions relating to the Commonwealth’s involvement in companies, the responsibility of corporate Commonwealth entities for their subsidiaries, and the creation of new corporate Commonwealth entities.

 

Chapter 3 - Commonwealth companies

Part 3-1 - General

Part 3-1 has the core provisions for Chapter 3 (which is about Commonwealth companies). It:

  • defines what a Commonwealth company is (see subsection 89(1)); and
  • defines what a wholly-owned Commonwealth company is (see section 90).

It also has some requirements that apply to the directors of wholly-owned Commonwealth companies.

Part 3-2 - Planning and accountability

Part 3-2 is about planning by, and the accountability of, Commonwealth companies. It requires the directors of a Commonwealth company:

  • to prepare a corporate plan and, in the case of a wholly-owned Commonwealth company, budget estimates for the company; and
  • to prepare an annual report for the company.

 

Chapter 4 - Rules, delegations and independent review

Part 4-1 - The rules

Part 4-1 is about the rules. It provides the general power to make the rules and provides additional matters in relation to which rules can be made.

Part 4-2 - Delegations

Part 4-2 is about delegations. It sets out when the Finance Minister, the Treasurer, the Finance Secretary and the accountable authority of a non-corporate Commonwealth entity may delegate a power, function or duty under this Act or the rules.

Part 4-3 - Independent review

Part 4-3 requires the Finance Minister, in consultation with the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit, to conduct an independent review of the operation of this Act and the rules.

Last updated: 13 January 2016