The Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997  (FMA Act) provides the framework for the proper management of public money and public property by the Executive arm of the Commonwealth. Public money and public property is defined in the Act as money and property in the custody or control of the Commonwealth.
The principal matters covered by the FMA Act are
- the responsibilities and powers of the Minister for Finance and Deregulation
- the collection and custody of public money and the control and management of public property
- the accounting framework, Parliamentary appropriations and certain payments matters
- borrowing and investment powers of the Finance Minister and the Treasurer
- special responsibilities of Chief Executives of Agencies for the control and management of public money and public property
- audit of the financial statements of the Commonwealth as a whole and of individual Commonwealth Agencies by the Auditor-General
- delegation of powers or functions of the Finance Minister, the Treasurer and Chief Executives.