At the end of each reporting period, Commonwealth entities must prepare an annual report for presentation to the Parliament by the entity’s responsible Minister.
The annual report must include, among other matters, the annual performance statements for the entity which must comply with any requirements of the PGPA Rule (including section 16F).
The annual performance statements address the non-financial performance of an entity and must provide information about the entity’s performance in achieving its purposes.
The annual performance statements are intended to complete the cycle of performance reporting that commenced at the start of the annual reporting period with the Portfolio Budget Statement (PBS), including Portfolio Additional Estimates Statement or other portfolio estimates statement for the reporting period, and corporate plan.
An entity’s annual performance statements should report the actual results achieved against the performance measures and planned results, including targets where set, for the entity in its corporate plan and PBS.
The measurement and assessment of performance relates only to that particular reporting period, even though the corporate plan sets out how the entity’s performance will be measured and assessed over the minimum of four reporting periods covered by the plan.
While entities have discretion in determining the content of these statements, entities are encouraged to present their annual performance statements in a concise way and to use cross-references to other information included in the annual report where an entity wishes to expand on aspects of its performance.
Entities with enabling legislation
A number of entities are subject to legislative requirements for the preparation of their annual reports under their enabling legislation or legislation they administer. The PGPA Act does not alter the operational independence of entities as set out in their legislation. This guidance discusses the matters to be included in the annual performance statements prepared under section 39 of the PGPA Act. The guidance recognises that relevant entities will also include any matters prescribed by their enabling legislation and legislation they administer.
Legislation administered by entities should also be considered in the context of preparation of their annual reports.
Structure of annual performance statements
Entities have the flexibility to structure their annual performance statement in a way that provides the best approach to communicating the entity’s performance.
Entities are encouraged to expand or add information beyond this structure to suit individual circumstances in order to clearly convey the entity’s performance against each performance measure.
Generally speaking, an entity’s annual performance statements should be clear, concise, and balanced, including through clear design and the use of headings. The presentation of an entity’s performance should be done in a consistent manner and in such a way so the reader is able to obtain a clear understanding of:
Alignment with the corporate plan and Portfolio Budget Statements
Annual performance statements should include information that demonstrates the connection between the corporate plan, PBS and annual performance statements to enable a ‘clear read’ across the three documents.
To achieve this, entities may wish to include a diagram demonstrating how the performance information fits together across the documents, or page number references to the corresponding information in corporate plans and the PBS.
It is good practice for entities to set out the discussion of the achievement of performance in their annual performance statements in the same order as the corporate plan, reinforcing the connection between the documents. Each performance measure should also be expressed in a consistent way to aid the clear read between its planned performance information and performance results.
Where an entity changes performance measures in either its PBS and/or its corporate plan, entities should include an explanation of the changes in their annual performance statements.
Location within the annual report
Annual performance statements should be easy to locate within an entity’s annual report. It is good practice 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 the table of contents is also preferable. Also, the list of requirements contained within the annual report must indicate the location of the annual performance statements within the annual report.