Finance Strategic Plan 2011-2014

The Department of Finance (Finance) is well positioned to make a significant contribution to the government's service delivery and policy agendas.

The Finance Strategic Plan 2011-2014 sets down the direction in which Finance is heading and where it needs to position itself to provide the best possible contribution to government and to the APS.

The plan sets out the way in which Finance will work, drawing on the principles embodied in the APS values and Finance behaviours.

It also sets out the four key aspirations for the next three years, around culture, collaboration, excellence and influence, and the enabling strategies that Finance will use to achieve those aspirations.

Finally, it details the governance structure and planning framework through which Finance will monitor and measure its progress.

Print Version

Secretary's Message - Year Three

With this final update to the Finance Strategic Plan 2011-2014, I want us to reflect on how far we’ve come and the great work that has been done so far. The key priorities have been updated for this final phase and I encourage you to familiarise yourself with these. With a key focus on maintaining Finance’s financial position, we need to stay in a good position to remain sustainable and help us deliver improvements to APS efficiency. I also want to continue to position Finance as a leader in driving better government that delivers strong policy advice and provides excellent service.

In the coming months, I would like to see CBMSR operational by the 2014-15 MYEFO and the design of an appropriate Workforce Planning Strategy. I also want us to focus on implementing the Government’s policy for eGovernment and the Digital Economy, and to collaborate with the Department of Communications and NBN Co to deliver the Government’s policy for a national broadband network.

Finance has an ambitious agenda and will assist the Government to deliver the 2014-15 Budget and 2014-15 MYEFO, implement relevant recommendations of the National Commission of Audit that are agreed by the government, oversee the successful implementation of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 from 1 July, as well as implement the Government’s decision to sell Medibank.

We will also negotiate a new Enterprise Agreement and update the Strategic Plan for next three years. I look forward to us working together on these priorities and continuing to uphold Finance’s reputation as a valued peer among central government agencies and a great place to work, where great work is done.

David Tune
March 2014

What we do

We provide whole-of-government advice, assurance and services to enable good public policy and administration.

We promote transparency, good governance, and effective and efficient management of resources.

We are committed to excellence in policy analysis and service delivery.

How this plan brings it together

This plan articulates our common direction, purpose and current priorities as a department.

The plan sets out the way in which we will conduct ourselves drawing on the principles embodied in the APS values and Finance behaviours.

It sets out our aspirations for the life of the plan and the enabling strategies that we are using to achieve them.

Finally, it details the governance structure and planning framework by which we are monitoring and measuring our progress.

Our priorities

Internal priorities

  • Maintain Finance’s financial position and ensure that it is sustainable
  • Have CBMSR operational by 2014-15 MYEFO
  • Design an appropriate Workforce Planning Strategy
  • Negotiate a new Enterprise Agreement
  • Update the Strategic Plan and enabling strategies for next three years

External priorities

  • Assist the Government to deliver the 2014-15 Budget and 2014-15 MYEFO
  • Implement relevant recommendations of from the National Commission of Audit that are agreed by the Government
  • Successfully implement Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 from 1 July 2014
  • Conduct a Sale of Medibank that meets the Government’s sale objectives
  • Deliver improvements to APS efficiency
  • Implement the Government’s policy for eGovernment and the Digital Economy
  • Collaborate with the Department of Communications and NBN Co to deliver the Government’s policy for a national broadband network
  • Drive and implement approaches to Whole-of-Australian-Government property issues—leased and owned
  • Develop and implement a Whole-of-Australian-Government Evaluation Strategy
  • Implement the deregulation agenda in Finance, including leading improvements to government procurement

APS Values*

We embrace the APS values.

Committed to service

The APS is professional, objective, innovative and efficient, and works collaboratively to achieve the best results for the Australian community and the Government.


The APS demonstrates leadership, is trustworthy and acts with integrity in all that it does.


The APS respects all people, including their rights and their heritage.


The APS is open and accountable to the Australian community under the law and within the framework of ministerial responsibility.


The APS is apolitical and provides the Government with advice that is frank, honest, timely and based on the best available evidence.

* The date of effect of the APS Values is 1 July 2013.

Finance behaviours

We are committed to supporting our staff, investing in capability building, and identifying and modelling behaviours which demonstrate:

  • Collaboration, mutual respect and productive working relationships.
  • Courteous, respectful and effective communication.
  • Innovation, creativity, and appropriate levels of risk-taking.
  • A commitment to excellence, professional development and a strategic approach to achieving results.
  • Personal drive and integrity.

Our champions

Through our senior champions we support and promote initiatives in the following important areas:

  • Advancing women
  • Diversity
  • Innovation
  • Work/life balance
  • Young leaders

The champions for 2014 will be confirmed soon.

Over the remaining period of the plan, we will continue to achieve to the following


- a great place to work where great work is done

Our positive culture is nurtured and strengthened through:

  • Being professional, forward looking and supportive of creative ideas and better ways of doing business.
  • Fostering informed and appropriate risk-taking.
  • Establishing clear roles, responsibilities and accountabilities.
  • Implementing appropriate levels of delegation to support our decision-making.
  • Promoting Finance as an exemplary place to work.
  • Modelling and rewarding the Finance behaviours.

We will know we are succeeding when:

  • Our valued behaviours are consistently evident in our approach to our work and each other.
  • Finance has a reputation across the APS as a model employer and a highly desirable place to work.
  • Staff benefit from rich and challenging development opportunities and experiences.


- engaging with others to deliver better outcomes

To inform and implement good policy and service delivery through:

  • Fostering productive relationships and working collaboratively with key stakeholders.
  • Strengthening our understanding of our stakeholders' needs and expectations.
  • Supporting line agencies in achieving the best possible outcomes for government.
  • Simplifying governance frameworks and rules to reduce the administrative burden on agencies.

We will know we are succeeding when:

  • Relationships with our key clients, partners and stakeholders are mature and productive.
  • Agencies seek early engagement with Finance on policy, governance and delivery.
  • Our reputation is one of a cohesive and collegiate organisation providing high quality advice, assistance and services.


- being the best that we can be

Excellence in policy and service delivery through:

  • Providing a whole-of-government policy view on financial management and the implementation of major projects.
  • Expanding our public governance and policy understanding and expertise.
  • Ensuring our advice gives consideration to short, medium and longer term priorities.
  • Empowering our staff to show initiative and adapt to change by thinking flexibly and creatively.
  • Building our capabilities to ensure our staff have the necessary skills and knowledge.

We will know we are succeeding when we:

  • Model leadership and innovation when implementing our own policies and practices.
  • Guide the development of better governance and frameworks across government.
  • Have a reputation for consistently delivering high quality services.
  • See positive long-term benefits resulting from our policy advice.


- respected for the difference we make

Be respected for our contribution through:

  • Giving reliable, evidence-based advice and information to help agencies and government achieve good outcomes.
  • Providing improved frameworks for the development and implementation of good, value for money policy.
  • Strengthening relationships with State and Territory government agencies, academia, and the private and community sectors.

We will know we are succeeding when:

  • Our key stakeholders value our early contribution on major policy decisions.
  • We are sought out to facilitate better government processes.
  • We are respected as a trusted partner and valued contributor across government and the APS.
  • We increase our positive influence on public policy issues and service delivery outcomes.
  • We feel empowered to exercise greater initiative and creativity and take appropriate risks.

Governance, risk and planning

In order to fulfil our four aspirations and deliver on our priorities through our day-to-day work, we need to be able to guide, monitor and measure our progress in a practical way. We are achieving this through our planning framework, governance arrangements and risk management to ensure a strong alignment with our strategic plan.

Finance Planning Framework

The strategic plan is the principal component of the Finance planning framework and links to our annual business plans, our enabling strategies, and the risk and governance frameworks which guide our progress.

To achieve our objectives, we are investing in these key supporting and enabling strategies and frameworks.

Finance Planning Framework Diagram as follows: External Inputs: Portfolio Budget Statements, Government Policy and Priorities link to Finance Strategic Plan 2011-2014. Finance Strategic Plan 2011-2014 links to Governance – Reporting – Audit, Group Annual Business Plans, Risk Management Framework. Group Annual Business Plans, Governance – Reporting – Audit, Risk Management Framework all link to Enabling Strategies. Within Enabling Strategies is IT Strategy, People Plan, Knowledge and information Management Strategy, Communication Framework and Financial Management Strategy.

Finance Governance Arrangements

Our governance structure reflects our direction, our leadership style and our culture. It also recognises the need for a high level of transparency and accountability across the department.

The governance committee structure enables us to provide advice, governance and assurance as well as make recommendations across key areas of our business. The governance structure may change from time to time to reflect changing business needs.

Finance Governance Structure

Governance structure: Audit Committee, IT Governance Sub-committee, and People and Culture Sub-committee report to an Executive Board and OH&S Committee reports to People and Culture Sub-committee

Approach to Risk Management

Implementing an approach to risk that supports better business outcomes and ensures openness and transparency in risk assessment, management and reporting, while fostering an appropriate balance of risk and opportunity.

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Contact for information on this page: Communications and Public Affairs

Last updated: 31 March 2014