Government Business Enterprises (GBEs)
A GBE is a Commonwealth entity or Commonwealth company that is prescribed by the rules (s8 of the PGPA Act). Section 5 of the PGPA Rule prescribes six GBEs: two corporate Commonwealth entities; and four Commonwealth companies.
This page provides further information on:
- the Government’s relationship with its GBEs
- Governance arrangements for GBEs
- Finance’s Government business advice.
Guidance for Directors on the GBE governance framework is available at www.finance.gov.au/gbe-directors-guide
The Australian Government's relationship to its GBEs is similar to the relationship between a holding company and its subsidiaries, features of which include:
- a strong interest in the performance and financial returns of the GBE
- reporting and accountability arrangements that facilitate active oversight by the shareholder
- action by the shareholder in relation to the strategic direction of its GBEs where it prefers a different direction from the one proposed
- management autonomy balanced with regular reporting of performance to shareholders and
- boards that are accountable to shareholders for GBE performance, and shareholders that are accountable to Parliament and the public.
To enable greater public accountability, wholly owned GBEs are required to prepare a statement of corporate intent (SCI) in consultation with shareholder ministers. An SCI focuses on the purpose and corporate outlook of a GBE, and expresses the expectations of its management in relation to future financial and non-financial performance.
- RMG-126 Commonwealth GBE governance and oversight guidelines [ 825 KB]
- RMG-126 Commonwealth GBE governance and oversight guidelines [ 667 KB]
Finance's Government Business Oversight branch provides advice to the Australian Government relating to its GBEs and other commercial entities.
The primary tasks in relation to GBEs are to:
- provide sound strategic and analytical advice to the Minister for Finance, in particular by engaging with the GBEs, analysing their operations and their environment, and consulting with stakeholders
- action the Minister's decisions including communicating objectives and
- ensure that there is a robust and sound governance framework in place by initiating change and contributing to policy development.
The branch also provides advice on other public non-financial corporations that are not prescribed as GBEs.
Last updated: 11 November 2016