Governance Arrangements for Australian Government Bodies

The Government announced on 13 May 2014 that a new governance policy will be released later in 2014. The Governance Arrangements for Australian Government Bodies dated August 2005 will continue to be the applicable governance policy guidance until the new governance policy is issued.

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.

The Governance policy document was developed following the Review of the Corporate Governance of Statutory Authorities and Office Holders.

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The List is complemented by the Governance Arrangements for Australian Government Bodies policy document which outlines principles for helping determine the most appropriate structures and governance arrangements for Australian Government bodies.

A Flipchart of Commonwealth entities and companies is available: Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 - Commonwealth entities and companies Flipchart

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Contact for information on this page: LRB@finance.gov.au