Borrowing by the Commonwealth

This page is about borrowing by Commonwealth entities. It is relevant to officials of non-corporate and corporate Commonwealth entities. 

Borrowing, including credit cards or credit vouchers, must be expressly authorised by legislation.

RMG-416 Facilitating Supplier Payment through Payment Card and RMG-417 Supplier Pay On-Time or Pay Interest Policy provide additional guidance and are available under Tools and templates.

Non-corporate Commonwealth entities

  • The Finance Minister can enter into borrowing agreements on behalf of the Commonwealth.
     
  • Agreements must require the repayment of amounts within 90 days.
     
  • The Finance Minister has delegated this power to accountable authorities in relation to agreements for the issue and use of credit cards or credit vouchers.

Corporate Commonwealth entities

  • Corporate Commonwealth entities can only enter into borrowing agreements (including obtaining credit cards or credit vouchers) if:
    • an Act expressly authorises it, such as their enabling legislation
    • the Finance Minister authorises the borrowing in writing, or
    • the PGPA Rule authorises the borrowing.  
       
  • The PGPA Rule authorises borrowing for credit cards or credit vouchers, provided the agreement require repayment within 90 days.
     
  • Each credit card and credit voucher is not a separate borrowing agreement. An accountable authority, delegate/or authorised official will enter into a single overarching borrowing agreement for each form of credit card or credit voucher.
     

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