Nation-building Funds Expenditure Processes

Withdrawals from the Nation-building Funds (NBF) follow these processes:

  1. Project Assessment Process;
  2. Project Approval Process; and
  3. Payment Process.

1. Project Assessment Process

Funding applications are assessed by an independent Advisory Board against NBF evaluation criteria.  The Advisory Boards are:

  • Infrastructure Australia for the Building Australia Fund (BAF); and
  • the Education Investment Fund (EIF) Advisory Board.

The Advisory Boards then inform the relevant portfolio Ministers of projects that meet the evaluation criteria.

Proposals relating to eligible National Broadband Network matters are not required to be assessed by Infrastructure Australia.

The following links detail the evaluation criteria that each project is assessed against:

BAF Evaluation Criteria [External Site]

EIF Evaluation Criteria:

2. Project Approval Process

The portfolio Minister prioritises the list of eligible projects after they have been assessed by the relevant Advisory Board and presents the list to the Government for its consideration.  The majority of these projects are considered during the annual Budget process.

Following Government approval, the relevant portfolio Minister writes to the Finance Minister recommending payment arrangements for the approved projects and confirming the projects meet the relevant NBF legislative and policy requirements.  The Finance Minister authorises the project payments from the relevant Funds prior to funding agreements being finalised and payments being released.

3. Payment Process

Payments for approved projects commence once funding agreements have been entered into between the relevant portfolio Minister (or their department acting on the Commonwealth's behalf) and the recipient.  The Department of Finance (Finance) authorises an NBF payment following the portfolio Department's confirmation that a payment is required for the achievement of a milestone.

The Future Fund Board of Guardians then facilitates a financial transfer from the relevant NBF to Finance.  Once the transfer has been completed, Finance channels the payment through the relevant portfolio Department to the recipient. (Payments to the States and Territories are channelled through the COAG Reform Fund within the Treasury portfolio.)

A diagram of the payment process follows.

Flow of Payments Between Special Accounts

 Flow of Payments between Special Accounts

The Government's policy intention is for NBF payments to be channelled through the relevant Fund's Portfolio Special Accounts in line with the relevant Portfolio Minister's responsibilities for managing the delivery of infrastructure projects.

Grant payments will be disbursed to States and Territories, via the relevant Fund's Portfolio Special Account, through the COAG Reform Fund.

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Contact information on this page: Funds and Actuarial Branch

Last updated: 11 February 2016