Duties to govern your entity

You are responsible for leading, governing and setting the strategic direction for your entity.

Governing your entity includes:

Promoting the proper use of public resources; Promoting the achievement of the purposes of your entity; Promoting the financial sustainability of your entity; Taking into account the effect of your decisions on public resources; and Establishing appropriate systems of risk management and internal control.

An accountable authority of a non-corporate Commonwealth entity must govern their entity in a way that is not inconsistent with relevant policies of the Australian Government. Finance has developed guidance to support accountable authorities, in consultation with the Australian Government Solicitor, available under Tools and templates.

An accountable authority of a corporate Commonwealth entity must comply with government policies if specified in a government policy order made by the Finance Minister.

Proper use of public resources

To promote the proper use and management of public resources you can establish:

  • decision-making processes for the proper use of public resources including robust decision-making and control processes for the expenditure of relevant money
  • appropriate oversight and reporting arrangements for activities and to address the inappropriate use of resources by officials, including processes to ensure that all officials, disclose material personal interests.

These processes can provide an appropriate level of assurance in accordance with the duty to establish and maintain systems in relation to risk and control.

Ethical, economical, effective and efficient.

Promote the purposes of your entity

To promote the purposes of your entity you must:

  • set out in your entity’s corporate plan the purposes of the entity and the activities the entity will engage in to achieve those purposes
  • establish appropriate oversight and reporting arrangements for programs and activities in your entity.

Sustainability of your entity

To promote the financial sustainability of your entity you can establish processes or strategies to:

  • conduct medium to long-term planning and budgeting
  • accommodate resourcing and revenue fluctuations, including from appropriations made by the Parliament
  • manage the risks, obligations and opportunities that are associated with your entity.

You are required to keep your minister and the Finance Minister informed of any significant decisions, including in relation to expenditure or investment.

Establishing an audit committee

To support good governance, you must ensure that your entity has an audit committee.

An audit committee can provide independent advice and assurance on the appropriateness of your entity’s accountability and control framework, including verifying and safeguarding the integrity of financial and performance reporting.

The audit committee should have input to the internal audit function’s work program and have access to internal audit reports to inform its advice to you. The relationship between the audit committee and the managers of the internal audit function is central to enabling the audit committee to meet their responsibilities.

For more information, see RMG-202 Audit committees.


Did you find this content useful?