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The Department of Finance (Finance) released a governance policy document in August 2005 entitled Governance Arrangements for Australian Government Bodies (Governance policy document). This document outlines principles for helping determine the most appropriate structure and governance arrangements for Australian Government bodies.
There is a policy preference to curb unnecessary proliferation of Government bodies. Consequently, a function, activity or power should, if possible, be conferred on an existing department, or another existing Australian Government body, rather than on a new body.
If there are persuasive policy reasons to form a new body, then its purpose - and its financial, legal and staffing status - will need careful consideration. Departments should liaise on these issues with central agencies, and other relevant stakeholders, as early as practicable. The aim is to ensure that the governance arrangements promote the effective implementation of policy. Poor governance structures can threaten good policy outcomes.
The Governance policy document is complemented by the List of Australian Government Bodies and Governance Relationships which provides a broad overview of the administrative, legal and financial structures of the Australian Government.
A Flipchart of Commonwealth entities and companies is available: Commonwealth entities and companies Flipchart