Investment by Commonwealth Entities

This page is about investing by Commonwealth entities. It covers what an investment is and the requirements for investing.

It is relevant to officials of non-corporate and corporate Commonwealth entities.

RMG-301 Investment by Commonwealth Entities provides additional guidance and is available under Tools and templates.

What is an investment?

An investment is an arrangement that involves the purchase of an asset by a Commonwealth entity for the purpose of earning income or a profitable return.

Investment by non-corporate Commonwealth entities

The Australian Office of Financial Management is responsible for cash and debt management at the whole-of-government level.

Other non-corporate Commonwealth entities generally do not invest money.

The Finance Minister and the Treasurer may invest in certain authorised investments on behalf of the Commonwealth.

The PGPA Act does not limit investment provisions in an entity’s enabling legislation.

Delegating the power to invest

The Finance Minister has delegated the power to invest to accountable authorities where there is a clear business need.  

Accountable authorities can delegate this power to officials.

A delegate must invest relevant money in accordance with the PGPA Act and the directions in the Finance Minister’s delegation.

The Finance Minister’s delegation explains which accountable authorities have been delegated investment powers.

Investment by corporate Commonwealth entities

The accountable authority of a corporate Commonwealth entity can only invest money that is not immediately required for the purposes of the entity.

The money can only be invested:

  • on deposit with a bank, evidenced by a certificate of deposit
  • in securities of, or securities guaranteed by, the Commonwealth, a state or a territory
  • in other ways approved by the Finance Minister in writing
  • in other forms specified by the PGPA Rule
  • for a government business enterprise – in any other way that is consistent with good commercial practice.

Corporate Commonwealth entities may have specific investment powers in their enabling legislation. The PGPA Act does not limit investment provisions set out in an entity’s enabling legislation.

Entities should consult with the Department of Finance before seeking formal authorisation from the Finance Minister to broaden investment powers. 

Did you find this content useful?