- Finance Secretary Direction – Requirements for performance information included in Portfolio Budget Statements and a new RMG
- Commonwealth Evaluation Policy
- Updates to RMG-132 and RMG-133
- 2020-21 Digital Annual Reporting Feedback – have your say!
- Comcover Education Program – 2022
- Commonwealth Risk Management Policy Update
- Tip of the month
Amended Finance Secretary Direction and a new RMG
On 8 December 2021 the Finance Secretary signed an amended Finance Secretary Direction – Requirements for performance information included in Portfolio Budget Statements. This Direction is made under subsection 36(3) of the PGPA Act and can be found on the Finance website. The Direction takes effect from 8 December 2021 with its practical application taking effect from the 2022-23 Budget.
The amendments to the Direction were made to align it with amendments made to the PGPA Rule in February 2020 in respect to corporate plan requirements. The amended Direction:
- aligns Direction terminology with terminology used in the PGPA Rule;
- aligns with the requirement to report ‘targets where practicable’ as set out in the PGPA Rule; and
- improves linkages with the corporate plan through reporting the key activities (as opposed to purposes) expressed in the current corporate plan that each program relates to.
A new RMG has been released on the Finance website to assist entities to meet the requirements of the Direction: RMG-129: Reporting performance information in portfolio budget statements.
The RMG should be read in conjunction with, Portfolio Budget Statement Guidance which is released on an annual basis. In particular RMG-129 provides information on the new requirement to report key activities in current corporate plans that programs relate to and clarifies the existing requirement to report linked programs.
If you have questions about the amended Direction or template or would like a copy of the rationale document contact us at email@example.com.
Commonwealth Evaluation Policy
A new Commonwealth Evaluation Policy took effect on 1 December 2021. The policy is supported by a toolkit (RMG-130).
Two short overview videos (approx. 3 minutes each) about the objectives of the policy and how to navigate the toolkit (RMG-130) are available on the Finance website:
- Evaluation Policy Video – this covers how and why the policy was developed, and what it aims to achieve
- Evaluation Toolkit Video – this provides an overview of the toolkit and the resources available to help you evaluate government programs
- The Commonwealth Evaluation Policy
- The Commonwealth Evaluation Toolkit (RMG-130)
Finance will be offering general information sessions about the new evaluation policy and toolkit from February in partnership with the APS Academy.
- All session information including dates, times and locations are available on the APSC’s Learning Management System.
- You can register for any session by going to Login (apsacademy.gov.au) and creating a profile (if you have not already done so).
- Event details can be found through the Catalogue menu, or by typing “evaluation” into the search field.
Finance is also offering tailored information sessions on request. If you would like more information, please get in touch by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Updates to RMG-132 and RMG-133
Performance Framework RMG-132 and RMG-133 have been enhanced and are available on the Finance website.
- RMG-132 Corporate plans for Commonwealth entities: this RMG has been enhanced using a digital first approach which provides ease of access to information you require when preparing and publishing corporate plans. It also includes a new section for entities that are regulators or have regulatory functions to explain how the corporate plan can be used to discuss the application of regulatory principles and to incorporate related Statements of Expectations and Statements of Intent.
- RMG-133 Corporate plans for Commonwealth companies: this RMG has been enhanced using a digital first approach which provides ease of access to information you require when preparing and publishing corporate plans.
Any feedback on these or any other RMGs can be sent to email@example.com.
2020-21 Digital Annual Reporting Feedback – have your say!
A reminder that the Digital Annual Reporting feedback request for the 2020-21 reporting cycle is closing on Friday 28 January 2022.
The Digital Annual Reporting team issued the initial request to annual report coordinators on Wednesday 8 December 2021. This an opportunity for those that work on the annual report to provide constructive feedback in order to improve the process for the 2021-22 reporting period.
You can access the feedback form via this link. Providing feedback will only take around 10 minutes of your time.
Any questions please contact us at DigitalAnnualReportProject@finance.gov.au or call our hotline on 02 6215 1653.
Comcover Education Program - 2022
The 2022 Comcover Education Program is now open for enrolments.
Comcover’s risk education program has been developed to target four levels of desired capability for Australian Public Service officials:
- Foundation – Encourages all Commonwealth officials, regardless of level or role to understand the basic risk management concepts of how risk is managed in the Commonwealth;
- Generalist – Supports Commonwealth officials, regardless of level, whose role requires them to engage with and apply their entity's risk management framework to successfully deliver outcomes;
- Specialist – Assists job role specialists who are required to design, implement and embed an entity's risk management framework. Specialists facilitate generalists and executives to fulfil their risk management responsibilities; and
- Senior Executive Service – Help inform SES to recognise key and emerging risk management issues and demonstrate risk leadership by fostering a positive risk culture in their entity and across the Commonwealth.
Due to the success of our virtual workshops Comcover will continue running virtual workshops to allow everyone to participate across the country as well as our face-to-face workshops run in Canberra. Whilst we are continuing to work from home the face-to-face program may be adjusted to accommodate this requirement. We will keep participants informed of any changes in relation to delivery method or venue.
Our workshops for the first six months of 2022 are:
2022 Education Program
Practical Risk Management
Embedding Risk Management
A Strategic Perspective to Managing Risk
16 & 17 February
22 March (virtual)
7 & 8 June
9 March (virtual)
27 & 28 March
31 May (virtual)
15 June (virtual)
To enrol in the workshops and access more Comcover education opportunities please visit the Comcover Learning Centre at https://learningcentre.comcover.gov.au or call 1800-651-540 and select Option 2.
Commonwealth Risk Management Policy Update
Finance undertook a review of the Commonwealth Risk Management Policy in the latter half of 2021. An inter-agency SES-level Steering Committee oversaw the review and identified the following recommendations.
- Recommend a Commonwealth Risk Management Framework be developed to support the management of risk across the Commonwealth that would better assist entities to meet their obligations under Section 16 of the Public Governance Performance and Accountability Act by drawing together risk management requirements, guidance and initiatives.
- Recommend that a sub-committee of the Chief Operating Officers (COO) Committee comprising of Chief Risk Officers be established to consider significant shared, cumulative and emerging risk across the Commonwealth.
- Recommend that the Department of Finance, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Australian Public Service Commission form a working group to develop a roadmap to improve risk culture across the Australian Public Service.
- Recommend that entity risk committees seek the views of independent advisors to inform the management of risk as needed.
- Recommend that the Commonwealth Risk Management Policy:
- Be simplified in language and its requirements consolidated, including a requirement to regularly review the effectiveness of controls.
- Better define responsibility for managing risk to specifically include requirements for key risk responsibilities.
- Include an element on identifying and managing emerging risks.
Finance is now working towards implementing the review’s recommendations in consultation with Commonwealth entities.
If you would like to be a part of this consultation process please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tip of the Month
Have you visited the PGPA legislation, associated instruments and policies page on the Finance website? There are a number of instruments and policies of the Australian Government that are currently in effect under, or support, the PGPA Act (for example Finance Minister Determinations) and this page has them in located in one place for your convenience – hit the link above and take a look!
If you have any questions these can be directed to email@example.com.