- Amendments to the Finance Secretary Direction of the provision of performance information in Portfolio Budget Statements
- Annual Reports
- PGPA Entity Survey – delayed until 2022
- New Machinery of Government changes page on the Finance website
- Updates to RMG-110 Accounting for leases
- NEW RMG: RMG-501
- Comcover Education Program – Upcoming Workshops
- Super Stapling commenced on 1st November
- Expression of Interest: Office of the Special Investigator
- Tip of the Month
Amendments to the Finance Secretary Direction of the provision of performance information in Portfolio Budget Statements
Finance would like to thank entities who contributed feedback on the proposed amendments to the Finance Secretary Direction. The feedback was constructive and well considered and has informed the amendments to the Direction. It has also led to the decision to release standalone Resource Management Guidance (RMG) on the provision of performance information in Section 2 of the PBS to complement the PBS Guidance which is released annually. We intend to time the release of this RMG with the release of the amended Direction, which will take place as soon as possible to allow adjustments to be made in time for the commencement 2022-23 Budget process.
Annual Reporting is well underway and as at the time of releasing this newsletter:
- 165 entities have tabled their annual report in the Parliament;
- 118 entities have published their annual report to the Transparency Portal;
- 60+ entities are yet to publish to the Transparency Portal;
- 58 entities have sought assistance from the Digital Annual Report Team to review their reports prior to publishing.
Annual reports should be published to the Transparency Portal as soon as practicable after tabling in Parliament. We strongly encourage entities to seek a review of their digital reports by the Finance Digital Annual Reporting Team prior to publishing. This review will help ensure that all accessibility requirements are met, and that the data in the templates is entered correctly.
Examples of the issues that the team has picked up in the reviews undertaken include:
- Inconsistent use of alternative text to describe images pasted into the report, placing the content at risk of breaching accessibility guidelines;
- Omission of cross-referencing in the data templates to the relevant section of the annual report;
- Inclusion of contents pages and indexes, which are not necessary in the digital version of an annual report.
The Digital Annual Reporting Team welcomes the opportunity to undertake a review of annual reports, including those already published. Please email us or call on 02 6215 1653, or seek assistance via the team’s GovTEAMS channel.
PGPA Entity Survey – delayed until 2022
Finance undertakes an annual survey to seek feedback on the effectiveness of the PGPA Act and the support that is provided by us since 2015. Generally the timing for this survey is in the last months of the calendar year.
We wish to advise that as the survey has been in place for six years and has been focussed generally on the success of implementation across Commonwealth entities and companies, that it is time to reflect, refine and broaden the information collected with a focus on applicability and success rather than implementation – while retaining a time series of information on the impact of the PGPA Act. As a result of this, it is proposed that the 2021 survey will be delayed until early 2022. Watch this space for further information early next year!
If you have any feedback on previous survey questions, the approach or would like to suggest questions of relevance, please email us at PGPA@finance.gov.au.
New Machinery of Government changes page on the Finance website
Following a review of the Machinery of Government (MoG) changes guidance, Finance has established a new page on its website which outlines Finance’s role in the MoG change process and the assistance it provides to entities, as well as links to guidance on governance, appropriations and reporting issues for entities.
The page will also contain a toolkit of practical resources to assist entities in implementing MoG changes. The new page can be accessed here.
Updates to RMG-110 Accounting for leases
RMG-110 Accounting for Leases has been updated on the Finance website. Updates include revised guidance on the following topics:
- identifying a lease
- lease terms
- subsequent measurement of Right of Use (ROU) assets
- market reviews during lease term
- Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreements
- additional illustrative examples on:
- leases with fixed annual increases with periodic market reviews
- lease incentives received as fitout reimbursements after lease commencement.
NEW RMG: RMG-501
A new RMG has been published on the Finance website: RMG-501 Lands Acquisition Framework.
This RMG has been developed to support entities in meeting obligations under the Lands Acquisitions Act 1989 (LAA) and to encourage informed decision-making for property acquisitions and disposals under the LAA.
The development of this RMG is in response to several recommendations made in the Report of the Review of the Lands Acquisition Act.
If you have any questions relating to this RMG, please email PropertyFramework@finance.gov.au.
Comcover Education Program – Upcoming Workshops
In response to the ongoing Covid-19 Pandemic, Comcover has adapted its face-to-face risk workshops to also be accessible virtually online. For 2021, we have decided to keep this approach and take on a blended learning environment of both face-to-face and virtual workshops.
Currently, we have three workshops across four different pathways available for free to all APS employees. If any of these workshops sound beneficial to you or anybody within your entity, please register on the Comcover Learning Centre, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1800 651 540 – option 2.
Please also find below a calendar of all upcoming Comcover workshops. We look forward to seeing you attend.
Date & Time
Practical Risk Management: More Than Just Ticking The Boxes
Tuesday 16 and Wednesday 17 November
9.00am – 5.00pm
Face-to-face (location TBD)
SES Leadership in Risk Program: Leading a Strategic Approach to Managing Risk
Wednesday 8 and Thursday 9 December
10.30am – 12.00pm
GovTEAMS (virtual workshop)
Super Stapling commenced on 1st November
New superannuation obligations came into effect for employers from 1st November. CSC has prepared a list of things you might want to consider when preparing for this change. It can be accessed via this link.
To help employers understand the important role they play in the provision of superannuation to their staff ASIC has released Information sheet (INFO 89) “Communicating with employees about choice of superannuation fund: What you can and cannot do”. It can be found via this link.
If your agency needs help in understanding and fulfilling your superannuation obligations the CSC Employer Service Desk is your first point of contact. Just call us on 1300 338 240 or email email@example.com.
Expression of Interest: Office of the Special Investigator
APS Level 6 (or high performing APS Level 5), Office of the Special Investigator (OSI)
About the OSI
The OSI was stood up in January 2021 as an independent agency in the Home Affairs portfolio to work with the Australian Federal Police to investigate the alleged criminal matters raised in the Inspector-General of the Australian Defence Force’s Afghanistan Inquiry report and, where appropriate, to refer briefs of evidence to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.
Headed by Director-General Chris Moraitis PSM and Special Investigator Mark Weinberg AO QC, the OSI works across offices in Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne. The OSI’s investigation teams are supported by a small team of high-performing professionals in fields including legal, policy, governance, communications and corporate support.
The Governance Team is responsible for managing and delivering on key governance functions, such as Annual Reporting, Corporate Planning, Audit and Risk, Business Continuity and Fraud Control, as well as supporting the OSI’s Executive Board and Audit and Risk Management Committee.
Our ideal candidate
We are looking for someone who is organised, able to prioritise and manage tasks, has well developed written communication skills, sound judgement and discretion, the ability to work both independently and as part of a team, and enjoys delivering high quality products and outcomes.
In the Governance Officer role, the successful candidate will prepare meeting papers, develop content for OSI governance or policy documents and manage incoming correspondence to the OSI through its electronic mailboxes.
The role/s offers the successful applicant/s an opportunity to broaden their experience and to work closely with a range of professional staff and partner agencies.
Applicants must hold or be willing to obtain (and maintain) a Negative Vetting 1 level security clearance.
Conditions and Salary
The majority of roles at the OSI are filled via secondment or temporary transfer from other government agencies for 6 or 12 months (with the possibility of further extension). Salary is dependent on level (individual flexibility arrangements may apply).
How to express your interest
Please submit your expression of interest to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5pm Monday 15 November 2021 and include: a brief CV, details of two referees and a short pitch (~300 words) outlining why you want to work for the OSI and how your skills, knowledge and qualifications make you suitable for the role.
For information or questions about this role please contact Amber Vardos on 0429 164 600 or email your questions to email@example.com.
Tip of the Month
Did you know that Finance hosts an Entity Start-up guide?
The guide is a web-based portal to support those tasked with setting up a new Commonwealth entity. It is designed to address operational start-up matters in one place, which may be relevant to non-corporate and corporate Commonwealth entities. It provides relevant information to assist officials as they commence the start-up process and relies on the links to a responsible entity’s own website so the detailed information stays as up-to-date as possible.
A main feature of the guide is the key contacts page, noting that the ability to contact the relevant person as directly as possible is critical to supporting new entities navigate the volume and, at times, the complexity of requirements.
Please email us at PGPA@finance.gov.au if you have any questions or feedback.