What to include in annual performance statements

There are three core minimum requirements for annual performance statements. Section 16F of the PGPA Rule outlines the core requirements that entities must include in their statements, these are:

Statements (of preparation); results; analysis

Statements of preparation

Annual performance statements must include the following statements: 

  • that the annual performance statements are 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 reporting period for which the performance statements are prepared; and
  • that the annual performance statements, in the opinion of the accountable authority:
    • accurately present the entity’s performance in the reporting period; and
    • comply with subsection 39(2) of the PGPA Act (section 16F of the PGPA Rule).

Results achieved

The annual performance statements must include the results of the measurement and assessment of the entity’s performance in the reporting period (section 16F of the PGPA Rule).

In practice, this will require entities to report against the performance information published at the beginning of the reporting period in their corporate plans and PBS. 

These performance results are expected to be derived using the data sources or methodology determined at the time each performance measure was developed. It is good practice for this information to be included as part of the performance information outlined in the corporate plan. Entities may wish to use cross-references to its corporate plan to assist a reader to understand how performance is measured.  

It is for each entity to structure and present results in a manner that best demonstrates performance in its specific circumstances. Good practice annual performance statements present the results in a way that is clear, concise and easily linked to the information presented in the entity’s corporate plan and PBS for the relevant period. 

When reporting actual performance, an entity should consider providing the following information for each performance measure:

  • the planned performance result including targets where reasonably practicable to set targets for that performance measure,
  • prior year(s) results to show trends over time.

Entities often use, to good effect, a standard legend or graphic to illustrate the extent of achievement of individual performance measures. Where this approach is followed, it should be used in a consistent way throughout the annual performance statement. The inconsistent presentation of performance can result in a lack of clarity about the extent of achievement of individual performance measures, which in turn can make it difficult for a reader to understand the extent of achievement of an entity’s purposes. 

Entities also include case studies and photographs to assist in demonstrating achievements during the reporting period. In deciding how best to report on the entity’s measurement and assessment of its performance, entities should ensure that contextual material is not used as a substitute for a clear and concise presentation of the entity’s performance.

A discussion about the use of case studies to measure and assess performance is included in RMG-131 Developing good performance information

If performance information, such as performance measures, targets, data sources and methodologies, differs from those set out in the corporate plan at the beginning of the reporting period, entities should explain these changes in their annual performance statements.

Analysis of performance

An entity’s annual performance statements must include an analysis of the factors that contributed to its performance in achieving its purposes (section 16F of the PGPA Rule). Entities should provide an informative analysis beyond simply listing specific achievements. 

It is good practice for the analysis of the factors that contributed to performance to be included for individual performance measures as well as at an entity-wide level.

The intent of the PGPA Rule requirement is for the annual performance statements to include factors that have contributed in both a positive and negative way to an entity’s performance.

There may be events or external factors flagged in an entity’s corporate plan that were expected to affect an entity’s ability to deliver on the intended results. The entity should discuss in its annual performance statements how such events or factors contributed to, or restricted, its performance in the reporting period. These factors may include the extent that an entity’s cooperation with other organisations or bodies has impacted the entity’s performance.

This cooperation may be in relation to any linked programs reported in the entity’s PBS, the organisations and bodies discussed in the entity’s corporate plan that are expected to make a significant contribution towards the entity’s purposes, or more broadly.

Sensitive information

If the accountable authority considers that the corporate plan contains confidential or commercially 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 (subsection 16E(4) of the PGPA Rule).

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.

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 covered by the PGPA Act may seek exemption from the annual performance statements requirements. 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 (see paragraph 105D(3)(a) of the PGPA Act). The responsible minister must write to the Minister for Finance seeking such a modification.

Any questions about this process should be emailed to PGPA@finance.gov.au, or contact your Agency Advice Unit in the Department of Finance.

Did you find this content useful?