Annual performance statements for Commonwealth entities (RMG 134)

Audience

This guide is for the officials of Commonwealth entities who are responsible for assisting their accountable authority to prepare annual performance statements. The guide also supports officials who manage the activities of entities.

Key points

This guide:

  • provides guidance on the obligations of accountable authorities under section 39 of the Public Governance Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act) to prepare annual performance statements for their entities
  • outlines the minimum requirements, prescribed by the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Rule 2014 (PGPA Rule) in section 16F, for entities producing annual performance statements.

This guide applies to annual performance statements that begin on or after 1 July 2015.

Resources

This guide is available on the Department of Finance website at www.finance.gov.au together with related guidance on the enhanced Commonwealth performance framework:

  • Resource Management Guide No. 130 Developing good performance information
  • Resource Management Guide No. 131 Corporate plans for Commonwealth entities
  • Resource Management Guide No. 132 Corporate plans for Commonwealth companies
  • Resource Management Guide No. 133 Annual performance statements for Commonwealth entities
  • Resource Management Guide No. 135 Annual reports for non-corporate Commonwealth entities
  • Resource Management Guide No. 136 Annual reports for corporate Commonwealth entities
  • Resource Management Guide No. 137 Annual reports for Commonwealth companies
  • 2015-16 Annual performance statements lesson learned paper

Part 1 – Introduction

  1. An objective of the PGPA Act is to establish a performance framework across Commonwealth entities that provides meaningful information to parliament and the public.

  2. Section 39 of the PGPA Act requires Commonwealth entities to prepare annual performance statements and include those statements in their annual reports. This requirement took effect on 1 July 2015.

  3. Commonwealth entities will report, through the annual performance statements, to what extent they have fulfilled their purpose(s) as articulated at the beginning of a reporting year in their corporate plans. This includes reporting on non-financial performance criteria in both their corporate plans and in any Portfolio Budget Statement, Portfolio Additional Estimates Statement or other portfolio estimates statement.

  4. The requirements for annual performance statements are designed to provide a consistent approach to performance reporting. The statements consolidate relevant performance. The aims are to improve the readability of this information and to provide a clear line of sight between planned performance for the reporting period as outlined in the corporate plan, Portfolio Budget Statements and Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements of an entity over the reporting period.

  5. Under previous arrangements, entities’ reporting of performance, through the publication of annual reports, varied significantly in quality and structure. This has limited the ability to clearly ascertain the scope, nature and success of an entity’s performance and to what extent the entity has achieved its purposes.

  6. It is fundamental to the objectives of the PGPA Act that the presentation of entities’ performance to the public and the parliament is meaningful and improves public accountability. The annual performance statements replace the previous annual report non-financial performance reporting requirements (for non-corporate Commonwealth entities) creating a clear, concise and consistent approach to performance reporting across all Commonwealth entities.

  7. It is understood that the development of improved performance information and reporting frameworks will evolve over the initial reporting cycles under the new arrangements. To help entities assess their progress Finance has published a performance maturity model (provided at Appendix A).

Portfolio Budget Statements

  1. The majority of Commonwealth non-corporate and corporate entities receive some level of appropriation funding. As a result, key strategic information relevant to entities appears in their responsible Minister’s Portfolio Budget Statements that accompany the annual Appropriation Acts.

  2. Portfolio Budget Statements are publications presented to parliament by the responsible portfolio minister. They describe, at a strategic level, what is intended to be achieved with money appropriated by parliament. The Portfolio Budget Statements explain the estimates for the purposes of the Budget Appropriation Bills and informs Senators and Members of Parliament of changes in the proposed allocation of resources to entities within the portfolio.1

  3. The Portfolio Budget Statements are formal ministerial documents. Together with the Budget Papers, Portfolio Budget Statements they represent a package of documents tabled in Parliament on Budget night, which explain the Government’s budget decisions.

  4. A Finance Secretary direction under section 36(3) of PGPA Act sets out the requirements for performance information to be included in Portfolio Budget Statements. This includes a strategically focused set of high-level performance information for existing programs and detailed information for new or materially changed programs. This performance information must be reported against in annual performance statements at the end of that year, along with the performance information from corporate plans.

  5. Note that the annual performance statements report on the performance of the entity in fulfilling its purpose(s) during the reporting period, by acquitting the performance information published in both the entity’s corporate plan and the relevant Portfolio Budget Statements for the reporting period.

  6. To demonstrate the achievement of its purpose(s) entities will need to clearly map (or attribute) the performance information from the Portfolio Budget Statements to the entities’ purpose(s). This mapping will serve to establish a clear read between the entity’s corporate plan, relevant Portfolio Budget Statements, annual performance statements and the annual report, and ensure it is clear how (and how well) the entity is fulfilling its purposes.

Commonwealth companies

  1. Under the PGPA Act, Commonwealth companies are not required to produce annual performance statements. This guidance therefore does not apply to Commonwealth companies.

  2. However, under section 27A of the PGPA Rule, companies are still required to report, in their annual reports, on the actual performance results achieved against the performance information outlined in their corporate plans.

Part 2 – The role of annual performance statements in the enhanced Commonwealth performance framework

  1. The enhanced Commonwealth performance framework builds on three main concepts: entity, purpose and activity. At its most basic, the framework is focused on each entity covered by the PGPA Act. Each entity is required to identify its purposes, which include its objectives, functions or role. Lastly, the framework focuses on the activities of the entity, which are its core areas of effort and the actions that it undertakes to pursue and fulfil its purposes. More information on how an entity can identify and define its purposes and significant activities are in RMG 132 – Corporate plans for Commonwealth entities.
  2. Key to the annual performance statements is the presentation of good performance information that tells a cohesive performance story demonstrating the extent to which a Commonwealth entity is meeting its purposes through the activities it undertakes. Guidance on the development of good performance information is available in
    RMG-131 – developing good performance information (summarised at Appendix B).
  3. The corporate plan, Portfolio Budget Statements, and the annual performance statements are the core elements of the enhanced Commonwealth performance framework. The corporate plan is developed at the beginning of the reporting cycle and sets out an entity’s strategies for achieving its purposes and how success will be measured.
  4. The Portfolio Budget Statements sets out the funding for the entity and how the impact of that expenditure will be measured. Annual performance statements, which are included as part of the entity’s annual report, are produced at the end of the reporting cycle and provide an assessment of the extent to which an entity has succeeded in achieving its purposes. Figure 1 shows the main components of the framework and the annual cycle.

 Figure 1: The enhanced Commonwealth performance framework

  1. Many of the minimum content requirements for entities’ annual performance statements are linked to content requirements for their corporate plans (see PGPA Rule section 16E and RMG – 132 Corporate plans for Commonwealth entities). This alignment recognises the close relationship between the two elements of the framework. The annual performance statements (which are to be included in each entity’s annual report) complete the annual reporting cycle.
  2. Commonwealth entities will report, through the annual performance statements, on the results actually achieved against the measures set out in their corporate plan and Portfolio Budget Statements, and on the basis of any review and evaluations they have committed to undertaking to demonstrate their performance in achieving their purposes. The statements will present the performance of the significant activities for which the entity is responsible at the end of each reporting period, by reporting against the targets, goals and measures that the entity established at the beginning of a reporting year.
  3. The level of reporting detail will typically be commensurate with the size, nature and complexity of the activity in question. The aim is to have good quality, comprehensive and accurate information that provides a clear and complete picture of how an entity has performed.

Part 3 – Suggested format for annual performance statements

  1. One purpose of annual performance statements is to support consistent performance reporting by all entities. If needed, an entity may expand on, or add additional information, beyond the suggested structure if needed.
  2. Further information on the suggested format of the annual performance statement is provided at Appendix C.

Part 4 – Minimum requirements of the annual performance statements

  1. Subsection 39(1) of the PGPA Act requires the accountable authority of a Commonwealth entity to include annual performance statements in its annual report (unless otherwise prescribed in the entity’s enabling legislation). Annual performance must comply with requirements for publication and content prescribed by the PGPA Rule.
  2. Section 16F of the PGPA Rule sets out the matters that entities must include in their statements. There are three core minimum requirements for annual performance statements:
  • Statements (of preparation)
  • Results
  • Analysis.
  1. Annual performance statements are intended to be the key location for all public data on the actual performance of an entity in a reporting period. They will directly reflect the actual results achieved against the performance information as set out in their corporate plans and Portfolio Budget Statements (see Figure 2).

Figure 2: Corporate plans to annual performance statements – flow and core elements

Example 1
Mapping performance information across an entity’s corporate plan, Portfolio Budget Statements and annual performance statements

The Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) 2015-16 annual performance statements included a graphic to explain the relationship between its three key performance documents – the corporate plan, Portfolio Budget Statements and annual performance statements. The graphic enhances the annual performance statements’ clear read and illustrates the alignment between purposes in the corporate plan and outcomes and programs in Portfolio Budget Statements.

The following excerpt is taken from p. 20 of the Austrade 2015-16 annual report.

  1. Annual performance statements must be easy to locate within an entity’s annual report. Better practice is to identify annual performance statements as a separate chapter or section with the heading ‘Annual Performance Statements’. A reference to this chapter or section in a table contents is also preferable.

Example 2
Readily identified annual performance statements in an entity’s annual report

The Department of Environment and Energy 2015-16 annual report clearly identifies the entity’s annual performance statements at p.18 in the table of contents (see excerpt below)

Statements (of preparation)

  1. Section 16F of the Rule requires annual performance statements to include a statement to be endorsed by the accountable authority. The statement must specify that the annual performance statements have been prepared for paragraph 39(1)(a) of the PGPA Act and any other legislation applicable to the preparation of annual performance statements of the entity. The statement must specify the reporting period which the performance statements cover and provide an assurance by the accountable authority that the annual performance statements accurately reflects the entity’s performance in the reporting period.
  2. Entities are required to provide a statement that they have complied with subsection 39(2) of the PGPA Act. Subsection 39(2) requires the annual performance statements provide information about the entity’s performance in achieving its purposes, and also that it complies with any requirements of the PGPA Rule. Please see Example 3 for an introductory statement for a Department of State, Parliamentary Department, or listed entity.
  3. This statement is to perform a similar purpose to the statements by accountable authorities for their annual financial statements which is to provide assurance regarding quality of the preparation and information included in the annual performance statements.

 

Example 3
Introductory statement for a Department of State, Parliamentary Department or listed entity.

The excerpt following is taken from p. 27 of the Department of Defence 2015-16 annual report.

Example 4
Introductory statement for a body corporate

The following excerpt is taken from p.126 of the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) 2015-16 annual report.

Results

  1. Subsections 16F(1) and 16F(2) of the PGPA Rule have the combined effect of requiring the accountable authority of a Commonwealth entity to report results in the entity’s annual performance statements. These results must demonstrate the entity’s performance in achieving the entity’s purposes in the relevant reporting period, and in accordance with the methods of measuring and assessing set out in the entity’s corporate plan, Portfolio Budget Statements and Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements (or other portfolio estimates statement) for that reporting period.
  2. The core requirement of the annual performance statements is for entities to report on the achievement of their purpose(s) during the reporting period. This can be achieved through reporting on the actual performance results they achieved in the reporting period against the performance information published at the beginning of the reporting period in their corporate plans and Portfolio Budget Statements.
  3. The information must be presented in a way that is easily linked to the information presented in the entity’s corporate plan and Portfolio Budget Statements for the relevant period, to allow for a clear read across the three documents. In practice this will require entities to clearly map (or attribute) the performance criteria from the Portfolio Budget Statements to the entity’s purpose(s), showing how each performance criterion demonstrates, or goes to demonstrate, the entity’s fulfilment of its purpose(s). This mapping will serve to establish a clear read between the entity’s corporate plan, relevant Portfolio Budget Statements, annual performance statements and the annual report, and ensure it is clear how (and how well) the entity is fulfilling its purpose(s).

All performance criteria published in corporate plans and Portfolio Budget Statements must be attributed to a purpose(s) and reported against in the annual performance statement.

Example 5
Presentation of performance results in achieving an entity’s purpose

The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) 2015-16 annual performance statements linked analysis of results to the achievement of its purpose. This approach was used consistently throughout the annual performance statements when presenting results. Supplementary information about the data sources used was also consistently provided.

The following excerpt is taken from p. 45 of the 2015-16 ANAO annual report.

 

Example 6
Mapping results to achievement of an entity’s purpose

The Department of Parliamentary Services (DPS) 2015-16 annual performance statements clearly identified its purpose in the annual performance statements. It also a diagrammatic overview of how its performance criteria related to demonstrating its effectiveness in achieving its purpose. A consistent focus on the purpose continued in the results and analysis sections that followed.

The following excerpt is taken from p. 18 of the DPS 2015-16 annual report

 

  1. When reporting actual performance, an entity may consider providing the following information for each activity identified in its corporate plan – noting that it is for each entity to structure and present results that best demonstrate performance in its specific circumstances.

Activity title or description

  1. Entities can identify the significant activities or key activity areas that were identified for measurement and assessment in their corporate plan at the beginning of the reporting period. Each significant activity can be identified by the title or description used for the activity in the entity’s corporate plan to ensure consistency between its planned performance information and performance results.

 

Example 7
Reporting of results against high level strategic activities

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) 2015-16 annual performance statement maps results to three high level activity areas expressed as ‘portfolio deliverable/corporate plans’. These high-level activities provide a framework that help demonstrate how performance measures (or criteria) combine to demonstrate achievement of CASA’s purpose.

The following excerpt is taken from p. 27 from the CASA 2015-16 annual report.

 

Performance measurement methodology

For each significant activity or key activities identified, entities can briefly describe the performance measurement methodology that has been applied to assess the activity’s performance. Entity’s will need to explain if the performance measurement methodology used differs from the performance measurement methodology set out in the planned performance information section of the entity’s corporate plan at the beginning of the reporting period.

Example 8
Explanation of performance methodology associated with specific performance information

The Department of Parliamentary Services 2015-16 annual performance statements explained the methodology used to assess results. This included explaining changes in the methodology used between reporting periods.

The following excerpt is taken from p. 20 of the Department of Parliamentary Services 2015-16 annual report.

Targets, goals and measures

  1. For each significant activity or key activities areas identified, entities can provide any targets, goals and measures that were to be pursued or measured against in the reporting period. Entity’s will need to explain if the targets, goals and measures differ from the targets, goals and measures set out in the corporate plan and Portfolio Budget Statements at the beginning of the reporting period.

Example 9
Use of targets to demonstrate performance against benchmarks

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) 2015-16 annual performance statements reported performance information against targets that provide standards against which to assess the contribution of specific activities to achieving the AFMA’s purposes.

The following excerpt is taken from p. 26 of AFMA’s 2015-16 annual report.

 

Example 10
Explanation of changes to targets

The Department of Human Services (DHS) 2015-16 annual performance statements provide clear explanations of any changes to targets, specifying where the changes were documented and why the changes were made.

The following excerpt is taken from p. 22 of the DHS 2015-16 annual report

 

Results achieved

For each significant activity or key activities identified, entities can report the actual performance results achieved in the period. These results are expected to be derived using the prescribed performance measurement methodology and specifically address any targets, goals and measures.

Example 11
Acquitting performance results against discrete criteria identified in an entity’s corporate plan
and Portfolio Budget Statements

The Department of Defence (Defence) 2015-16 annual performance statements provides clear coordinates to the source (document and page numbers) to the source of performance information being reported on. This helps navigate the volume of information produced by an entity of the size and complexity of Defence.

The following example is an expert from Defence’s annual performance statements included taken from p. 33 of its 2015-16 annual report.

 

Analysis

  1. Section 16F of the PGPA Rule requires an entity’s annual performance statements to include an analysis of the factors that contributed to its performance in achieving its purposes. Such analysis is intended to provide context to the entity’s performance over the reporting period. This requirement may be addressed through an entity-wide overview of performance or, where relevant, an entity may discuss specific issues on a case-by-case basis. For example, the analysis section may address how a change to either its purposes, activities, organisational capability or operating environment had a significant impact on its performance during the reporting period.
  2. The analysis can include a relevant context to the performance results reported, and provide an analysis of the factors that have contributed to, or restricted, the delivery of its purposes within the reporting period.
  3. For example, this guide recognises that there may have been events or external factors that affected an entity’s ability to deliver on the intended results set out in its corporate plan or Portfolio Budget Statements. The entity may wish to discuss how such events or factors contributed to, or restricted, its performance in the reporting period.

Example 12
Analysis that references the influence of external factors on performance

The 2015-16 annual performance statements published by the Department of Finance (Finance) includes an analysis section following the presentation of detailed results. The analysis included a high-level discussion that helps provides an understanding of how Finance’s operational context influenced its performance in achieving its purposes.

The following excerpt is taken from p. 43 of the Finance 2015-16 annual report.

Part 5 – Regulator Performance Framework

  1. The Commonwealth Government’s Regulator Performance Framework (RPF) establishes a uniform set of performance measures for assessing regulator performance. The framework is administered by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and requires all Commonwealth regulators to be assessed and report against six key performance indicators: reducing regulatory burden, communications, risk‐based and proportionate approaches, efficient and coordinated monitoring, transparency, and continuous improvement.
  2. Entities may use the reporting requirements of the enhanced Commonwealth performance framework (the corporate plan, Portfolio Budget Statements and annual performance statements) to address the reporting requirements of the RPF. If a regulatory function forms a significant activity of an entity, the entity can consider including the key performance indicators and evidence that addresses the requirements of the RPF in its corporate plans, Portfolio Budget Statements and annual performance statements. However, note that addressing the requirements of the RPF will not fulfil the minimum requirements for corporate plans under the PGPA Rule.
  3. The key performance indicators in the RPF address the administrative efficiency and effectiveness of a regulatory function, which constitute one aspect of the purposes of an entity. To fully address the minimum requirements of the PGPA Rule (i.e. presenting results and analysis that demonstrate whether the entity has achieved its purposes), an entity will need to provide a more comprehensive report on its performance in order to tell a meaningful story through the annual performance statements.
  4. For further information and guidance on entities’ responsibilities under the RPF, see https://docs.jobs.gov.au/documents/regulator-performance-framework.

 

Example 13
Drawing relevant links to the Regulator Performance Framework

The 2015-16 annual performance statements published by the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) includes reporting on specific measures that draw on its reporting under the Regulator Performance Framework (where relevant).

The following excerpt is taken from p. 26 of the NOPSEMA 2015-16 annual report.

Note:

CP – refers to NOPSEMA’s 2015-16 corporate plan

PBS – refers to the 2015-16 Industry and Science Portfolio Budget Statements

RPF – refers to NOPSEMA reporting under the Regulator Performance Framework

Part 6 – Tabling and publication requirements

  1. Section 46 of the PGPA Act requires the accountable authority of each Commonwealth entity, after the end of each reporting period, to provide a copy of an annual report to the entity’s responsible minister[1]. The annual performance statements are to replace the non-financial performance section in the annual report.
  2. Under section 46 of the PGPA Act, the annual report must be given to the responsible minister by the 15th day of the fourth month after the end of the reporting period for the entity, for subsequent tabling by the minister in parliament.[2]
  3. As a matter of good practice, entities are also expected to publish their annual report on their websites.

Part 7 – Sensitive information

  1. Under subsection 16E(4) of the PGPA Rule, if the accountable authority considers that the corporate plan contains commercially confidential, sensitive information or, sensitive information on national security matters that if published could prejudice the national security interest of the Commonwealth, a supplementary corporate plan may be prepared for publication on the entity’s website that excludes such matters.
  2. If an entity has produced a supplementary corporate plan to exclude matters under subsection 16E(4) of the PGPA Rule, it will need to produce an annual performance statement that is a direct acquittal of the performance measurement and reporting intentions identified in its published corporate plan.
  3. This process for dealing with sensitive information also applies to government business enterprises that, under subsection 16E(4), have prepared and published a statement of corporate intent in place of a full corporate plan. That is, the annual performance statement will need to be acquitted against the published version of the corporate plan.

Intelligence, security or listed law enforcement entities

  1. Intelligence, security or listed law enforcement entities covered by the PGPA Act may seek exemption from the annual performance statements requirements. Under section 105D(3)(a) of the PGPA Act the Minister for Finance is able to, by written instrument, modify requirements of the PGPA Act for intelligence, security or listed law enforcement agencies in relation to preparing and publishing annual performance statements under section 39 of the PGPA Act. The responsible minister needs write to the Minister for Finance seeking such a modification.

Part 8 – Entities with enabling legislation

  1. The PGPA Act does not alter the operational independence of entities as set out in their enabling legislation. A number of entities are subject to legislative requirements for the preparation of their annual reports under their enabling legislation. This guidance provides the minimum requirements for matters to be included in the annual performance statements prepared under section 39 of the PGPA Act and recognises that relevant entities will also include those matters prescribed by their enabling legislation.

Part 9 – Audit of annual performance statements

  1. Annual performance statements can be scrutinised through the following means:
  • Under section 40 of the PGPA Act, the responsible minister or the Minister for Finance may request the Auditor-General to audit an entity’s annual performance statements.
  • The Australian National Audit Office can audit annual performance statements at its own discretion, in accordance with division 2 part 4 of the Auditor‑General Act 1997.
  • Section 82 of the PGPA Act provides authority for the sharing of information with other jurisdictions and section 83 allows for state and territory auditors-general to conduct audits of entities where there has been a state or territory contribution.
  • Under paragraph 17(2)(b) of the PGPA Rule, the functions of the audit committee of a Commonwealth entity must include reviewing the appropriateness of the accountable authority’s performance reporting.

Part 10 – The role of audit committees

  1. The role of an audit committee is to provide independent advice and assurance to the entity’s accountable authority.  It is a requirement of subsection 17(2) of the PGPA Rule that the functions of an audit committee must include reviewing the appropriateness of the accountable authority’s financial reporting, performance reporting, system of risk oversight and management, and system of internal control, for the entity.  The PGPA Rule requires that the accountable authority must, by written charter, determine the functions of the audit committee (subsection 17(1) of the PGPA Rule). This charter must include the requirements of subsection 17(2) of the PGPA Rule, including the requirement in subsection 17(2)(b) that functions of the audit committee must include reviewing the appropriateness of the accountable authority’s performance reporting. This is summarised by Appendix B.
  2. “Appropriateness” has its ordinary meaning of ‘suitable or fit for purpose’. This would involve an audit committee reviewing the systems and framework that underpin the performance reporting of an entity to give a level of assurance to the accountable authority that is comparable to the level of assurance that the audit committee gives in relation to financial reporting, risk and internal controls.
  3. Where there are formal standards in relation to a matter listed in subsection 17(2) of the PGPA Rule, an audit committee “appropriateness” would be reached with reference to the requirements of these standards of rules. Where no mandated standards are provided, please refer to guidance material issued by the Department of Finance supporting the performance framework, and the periodic reports on compliance made by the Australian National Audit Office.
  4. In the Quick Reference Guide - RMG 131 – Developing Good Performance Information (at Attachment A) issued by Finance in September 2016, good performance information (the bedrock of the performance reporting framework), is characterised as being relevant, reliable and complete.
  • Relevant performance information should clearly state who benefits and how they benefit from an entity’s activities.
  • Reliable performance information should use information sources and methodologies that are fit-for-purpose and verifiable.
  • Complete performance information, when read as a whole, should articulate whether the purposes of an entity are being achieved.
  1. This Quick Reference Guide can be used to assist in determining the appropriateness of performance reporting.  The Australian National Audit Office Implementation of the Annual Performance Statements Requirements 2015–16) may also provide a useful reference point for audit committees reviewing the appropriateness of an entity’s performance reporting.
  2. Those responsible for compiling annual performance statements should include audit committee clearance in their timeframes, and provide the audit committee with any required supporting documentation.
  3. Further information on the role of audit committees and the enhanced commonwealth performance framework can be found in the paper entitled Function of audit committees: Reviewing the appropriateness of performance reporting, including the 2016-17 annual performance statements.

 

Appendix A – Performance maturity model

Dimension

Sub-dimension

Maturity level

    Beginning Developing Mature

STRATEGY

Purpose

Strategic purposes are ambiguous and not linked to expected measurable results (i.e. unclear purposes impedes overall assessment of an entity’s performance)

There is some reference to strategic purposes and links to expected measurable results

Entities’ long term strategic purposes are expressed clearly and link directly to expected measurable results

Capability

Resource management planning is not clearly linked to an entity’s ability to achieve its purposes

There are some links between resource management planning and an entity’s ability to achieve its purposes

Resource management planning is clearly linked to an entity’s ability to achieve its purposes

Environment

Impacts of factors in the operating environment, on an entity’s ability to achieve its purposes are unclear

Impacts of factors in the operating environment on an entity’s ability to achieve its purposes are identified but not clearly linked to impacts on achieving purposes

Impacts of factors in the operating environment on an entity’s ability to achieve its purposes are clear

CULTURE

Leadership

Producing strategic performance information is generally viewed as a compliance exercise. There is limited engagement by senior leadership in its development and use

The benefits of developing and using strategic performance information, are highlighted by senior leadership

Senior leaders value, and are engaged in, driving the development and use of high quality strategic performance information

Capacity

The skills of, and relationships between, corporate and program areas to establish and maintain robust entity performance frameworks and meaningful performance measures, are limited, despite pockets of expertise

The skills of, and relationships between, corporate and program areas to establish and maintain robust entity performance frameworks and meaningful performance measures, are beginning to be widespread

The skills of, and relationships between, corporate and program areas to establish and maintain robust entity performance frameworks and meaningful performance measures, are widespread. The entity is recognised for its performance frameworks and performance measures

Risk

Entities provide limited insight into how risk management underpins their approach to achieving their purposes. There is generally a risk averse culture

Entities provide a broad insight into how risk management underpins their approach to achieving their purposes.

There is a culture where the occasional failure is accepted, expected and valued

Entities clearly outline how risk management underpins their approach to achieving their purposes. All performance information is highly valued

PERFORMANCE
INFORMATION

Meaningful performance information

Measures are output focused. Understanding of meaningful performance measures is low. Annual, quantitative KPIs are the main tool used

Developing meaningful performance measures is an integral component of policy and program development and a wider mix of appropriate measures are beginning to be used

There is an appropriate mix of short and longer-term quantitative and qualitative performance measures, which support an assessment of an entity achieving its purposes and an evidence based performance story

Tiered structure

No formal system and planning process that links the different levels of performance information within an entity

A system and planning process is being developed that links different levels of performance information within an entity

There is a system and planning process that links the different levels of performance information clear within an entity

Use

Performance information is not used widely to drive better performance and assess achievement of purposes

Performance information is used sporadically to drive better performance and assess achievement of purposes.

 

Performance information is used widely to drive better performance and assess achievement of purposes

* The performance maturity model is a self-assessment tool for entities – it will not be used by the Department of Finance to assess entities’ performance maturity.

Also available: http://finance.gov.au/resource-management/pmra/performance.

 

Appendix B – Quick Reference Guide

RMG 131 DEVELOPING GOOD PERFORMANCE INFORMATION

(Also available at: www.finance.gov.au/resource-management/pmra/performance)

CHARACTERISTICS OF GOOD PERFORMANCE INFORMATION

DEVELOPING GOOD PERFORMANCE INFORMATION

RELEVANT

 

Performance information should clearly state who benefits and how they benefit from the entity’s activities.

RMG 131 – Developing Good Performance Information outlines the issues to consider when developing good performance information.

A concise and measurable statement of the purposes of an entity underpins a robust performance reporting framework. Good performance information should enable stakeholders to assess how an entity’s activities support the achievement of its purposes, and if there has been a proper use of public resources in undertaking these activities.

The questions below, drawn from RMG 131 (page references noted), will help entities develop good performance information.

Does the performance information:

  1. Draw on qualitative and quantitative information to demonstrate the extent to which the purpose is being achieved through the activities being undertaken?
    (Pages 2-10,15-18,23,24,29,41)
  2. Demonstrate who is benefiting, and how they benefit from the activities being undertaken, including how the activities contribute to achieving a purpose?
    (Pages 15,16,19,20,25,26)
  3. Enable an assessment of public resources being used effectively, efficiently, economically and ethically in striving to achieve the purpose? (Pages 4,11,20,27,28,41)
  4. Report against appropriate baseline information and short, medium and long term qualitative and quantitative measures? (Pages 14,21,29,31,42)
  5. Use appropriate qualitative and quantitative methodologies that are accurate and verifiable to support a rich performance story? (Pages 24,31,32)
  6. Use all relevant data sources? (Pages 22,23,32)
  7. Get published at an appropriate time and frequency to inform decision making and report short, medium and long term results of an activity? (Pages 4,11,31,41)
  8. Reflect the joined-up nature of an activity? (Pages 24,25)
  9. Enable comparisons across relevant entities and jurisdictions? (Pages 14,28,36)
  10. Drive continuous performance improvement throughout the implementation of an activity? (Page 11)

RELIABLE

 

Performance information should use information sources and methodologies that are fit-for-purpose and verifiable

COMPLETE

 

Performance information should help stakeholders judge whether the purposes of an entity are being achieved.

Appendix C – Suggested Format for Annual Performance Statements

The annual performance statement is the key non-financial reporting mechanism for all public data on the actual performance of a corporate Commonwealth entity in a reporting period.

It reports on the non-financial performance of the entity in fulfilling its purpose(s) during the reporting period. This can be achieved by an entity acquitting the performance criteria as published in both their corporate plan and the relevant Portfolio Budget Statements for the reporting period. To demonstrate the fulfilment of their purpose(s), entities can map (or attribute) each performance criterion to their purpose(s).

The diagram below provides the suggested presentation structure for the annual performance statements. The use of this format is encouraged to enable presentation in a consistent form by entities.

It is suggested that annual performance statements produced by entities contain:

  1. an introduction statement (as required by section 16F(2), item 1 of the PGPA Rule)
  2. a clear statement detailing the entity’s purpose(s), including reference to outcome numbers from the relevant Portfolio Budget Statements
  3. results that demonstrate the entity’s performance against its purpose(s) as measured by relevant performance criteria. The results should include the following elements:
    1. the name and description of the performance criterion being reported on, as published in the entity’s corporate plan and/or relevant Portfolio Budget Statements. All performance criteria published in the entity’s corporate plan and/or relevant Portfolio Budget Statements for the reporting period are expected to be attributed to a purpose or purposes
    2. source – details of where the performance criterion, attributed to the purpose, was originally published or sourced from. This is limited to the corporate plan prepared for the reporting period or the relevant Portfolio Budget Statements for the reporting period. If a performance criterion is sourced from both the corporate plan and Portfolio Budget Statements, it is appropriate to state both  as the source
    3. results against the performance criterion – the actual results achieved by the entity in the reporting period against the performance criterion that are attributed to the purpose. This could also include contextual analysis of the result.
  4. an analysis of the factors that contributed to the entity’s performance in achieving its purposes (e.g. changes to purposes, changes to organisational capability and variations in the entity’s operating environment).

Entities with more than a single purpose can consider repeating this structure (excluding the introduction statement) for each and every purpose. Additionally, all performance criteria published in the entity’s corporate plan and/or relevant Portfolio Budget Statements for the reporting period are expected be attributed to a purpose or purposes.

Footnotes

[1]  A Portfolio Budget Statement is produced for every appropriation bill where a Commonwealth entity within a portfolio is appropriated an amount by the parliament.   

[1]  Sections 63(2) and 70(2) of the Public Service Act 1999 (PS Act) and other enabling legislation also require certain entities to produce annual reports.

[2]  The timeframe for the tabling of an entity’s annual report may vary according to the legislation the entity is subject to.

[2]  Sections 63(2) and 70(2) of the Public Service Act 1999 (PS Act) and other enabling legislation also require certain entities to produce annual reports.

[3]  The timeframe for the tabling of an entity’s annual report may vary according to the legislation the entity is subject to.
For example, entities subject to the Public Service Act 1999 are currently required to present their annual report on or before 31 October in the year in which the report is given. Other entities may have annual report tabling requirements in their enabling legislation. 


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