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General duties of accountable authorities

Under section 12 of the PGPA Act, the accountable authority of a Commonwealth entity is generally the person or group of persons responsible for, and control over, the entity’s operations.

The PGPA Act sets out the requirements for the governance, reporting and accountability of Commonwealth entities and Commonwealth companies, and for their use and management of public resources. It vests many of the powers and responsibilities for the financial management of a Commonwealth entity in the hands of the accountable authority, and sets out a series of duties that the accountable authority must meet.

These duties include establishing and maintaining systems relating to risk and control, encouraging cooperation with others and minimising administrative requirements that are imposed on other parties, and keeping relevant ministers informed. The duties are contained in sections 15 to 19 of the PGPA Act.

The following guide gives the general context for the duties of accountable authorities and sets out what an accountable authority should consider when fulfilling those duties. The guidance is not meant to be exhaustive or limiting. Experience, innovation and lessons learned from the experience of others will lead accountable authorities to meet their duties.

An individual who is the accountable authority, or is a member of an accountable authority, is also subject the general duties of officials that appear in sections 25 to 29 of the PGPA Act. For guidance of the general duties of officials, please refer to the RMG-203 General duties of officials.


See current Guide to the PGPA Act for Secretaries, Chief Executives or governing boards (accountable authorities) - RMG 200 webpage.

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