Digital Annual Reporting Tool and Transparency Portal launched
Following on from the success of the Digital Annual Reporting Pilot, the Minister for Finance and the Public Service launched www.transparency.gov.au, on 13 March 2019, as part of the Modernizing the Public Sector’ Exhibition. The speech and the associated media release are available from the Minister’s website.
The Minister has indicated that he would introduce the necessary changes to the annual reporting rules issued under the PGPA Act, for all Commonwealth entities and companies to publish their Annual Report through the Transparency Portal for the 2018-19 reporting period.
In anticipation of the launch, the Department of Finance (Finance) has been conducting information sessions with entities and companies throughout January and February.
Once the legislative instruments are introduced into the Parliament, Finance will be contacting entities and companies to provide further information, including access to the tool and training.
For further information on the Digital Annual Reporting Tool please contact: DigitalAnnualReportProject@finance.gov.au.
Redeveloped PGPA eLearning modules
Finance has redeveloped the PGPA eLearning modules to help users better understand the PGPA Act and Rule.
To support the introduction of the PGPA Act in 2013, eLearning modules, along with guidance material and other products were developed. As the Commonwealth resource management framework has matured overtime, the eLearning modules have been redeveloped to better reflect the maturing framework. The modules have a new look and are designed for ease of use, including a greater level of user engagement.
By continually focusing on user collaboration and personalised engagement via focus groups and other communication mechanisms, Finance continues to work on improving user support by developing products and services focusing on their needs. In addition to the eLearning modules, work is underway to redevelop the Resource Management pages on the Finance website, including guidance material, to further support users.
The redeveloped eLearning modules can be accessed via the PGPA eLearning page on the Finance website and on Learnhub.
Changes to the Model AAIs for corporate Commonwealth entities (CCEs) and noncorporate Commonwealth entities (NCEs) (RMG 206)
Changes in response to JCPAA Report 465: Commonwealth Procurement
In response to JCPAA Report 465 (Recommendation 1), Finance has strengthened the procurement guidance for non-prescribed CCEs in the model AAIs for CCEs. Entities affected by the amendments have been advised separately.
Changes to the Commonwealth Procurement Rules – January 2019
Separately, a number of changes have been made as part of the 2019 update to the Commonwealth Procurement Rules (CPRs), including the removal of prequalified tender as a procurement method (there are now only two methods, open tender and limited tender). To reflect this, Finance has revised the procurement guidance in the model AAIs for both NCEs and prescribed CCEs.
For further information on the 2019 update to the CPRs, including a summary table detailing the updates to the CPRs, please refer to the Finance website.
Launch of Whole-of-Government grants templates
Finance launched the Commonwealth Grant Guidelines and Grant Agreement template suites at the Whole-of-Government Grants Community of Practice Forum on 4 December 2018.
The development of the templates is a great example of how, when entities work together collaboratively, we can improve how we deliver on the Government’s objectives.
The new template suites are an innovative approach to meeting the Government’s commitment to simplify, standardise and improve the transparency of grants administration. The templates also seek to reduce red tape in grants processes.
The templates are for use by all non-corporate Commonwealth entities that undertake grants administration. They complement the Government’s ongoing work to streamline grants administration – through the two hubs for Community Grants and Business Grants – established under the Streamlining Government Grants Administration Program.
The grant guidelines templates make it easier and more efficient for potential grant applicants to navigate and understand key requirements for submitting an application.
The grant agreement templates streamline and consolidate grant agreements between the Commonwealth and grantees through the use of standard terms and conditions. Through the use of these templates, non-government organisations are expected to experience lower administrative and legal costs, and better timeframes when entering into grant agreements.
Click to view the templates.
Financial Statements Better Practice Guide (BPG)
Finance has replaced the withdrawn Australian National Audit Office Public Sector Financial Statements Better Practice Guide. The BPG focuses on financial statements preparation, as distinct from accounting treatments or disclosures.
The preparation of financial statements is a complex annual project that requires a significant investment of time and resources throughout the year. The BPG aims to support entities to efficiently prepare high-quality financial statements and to continuously improve financial statements practices and processes.
This BPG has been developed for use by all Commonwealth entities and companies. The primary audience of the BPG is financial reporting staff. However, some information is likely to also be of interest to Chief Financial Officers and/or audit committees.
The BPG can be found on the Finance web site.