Annual Report Process
No. For the 2022–23 reporting period the requirement in section 46 of the PGPA Act is to provide your entity’s annual report to the responsible Minister by 15 October 2023. A process to seek an extension for the provision of an annual report to the responsible Minister is set out under section 34C of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901.
In line with the Tabling Guidelines it is expected that annual reports will be tabled prior to the Estimates hearing in October. This ensures annual reports are available for scrutiny by the relevant Senate standing committee.
Yes. Under the PGPA Rule the use of the Digital Annual Reporting Tool (the DART) is mandatory for publishing the annual report to the Transparency Portal, as soon as practicable after the annual report has been tabled in the Parliament.
- For non-corporate Commonwealth entities, section 17ABA Annual report to be published using digital reporting tool applies.
- For corporate Commonwealth entities, section 17BCA Annual report to be published using digital reporting tool applies.
- For Commonwealth companies, section 28CA Annual report to be published using digital reporting tool applies.
Yes. Hard copy documents are required for tabling purposes, as detailed by the Tabling Guidelines. If you have questions on the tabling process, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Tabled documents are also required to be consistent with the Printing standards.
Yes. The following areas have revised requirements for the 2022-23 reporting cycle:
- Other Highly Paid Staff (OHPS) reporting (NCEs and CCEs only): The first banding for OHPS (not remuneration for senior executives) has been indexed to start at $240,000. This change is reflected in the associated data template.
- APS Net Zero 2030 Annual Reporting Requirements: As part of the reporting requirements under section 516A of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, and in line with the Government’s APS Net Zero 2030 policy, all non-corporate Commonwealth entities and corporate Commonwealth entities are required to publicly report on the emissions from their operations. A table for reporting emissions and more details are included in other legislative requirements section.
- Gender reporting: For all HR related reporting requirements, all entities and companies are asked to report gender categories as Man/Male, Woman/Female, Non-binary, Prefers not to answer and Uses a different term.
The DART is a collaborative online authoring and content management tool, used by all entities to produce content in a Hypertext Mark-up Language (HTML) format to publish to the Transparency Portal.
The DART is not (and does not replace):
- a Financial Management Information System;
- a Human Resource Management System;
- an information or records management tool;
- a graphic design or typesetting tool; nor
- an infographic creation tool.
The successful delivery of an annual report comprises three components:
- a print version tabled in Parliament
- an HTML format (digital) version to publish the Transparency Portal and
- the data templates published to the Transparency Portal at the same time as the digital version.
While the tabled version is the first deliverable of the three components to be made available, the end-to-end annual report process each entity or company uses to design and produce its annual report can be either print to digital or digital to print focused.
Please see this image for the end-to-end Annual Report Process.
It is a legislative requirement to publish your annual report to the Transparency Portal. A Commonwealth entity/company may choose to publish its annual report to its entity/company website, as per the Tabling Guidelines. Entities are encouraged to link from their entity website to their publication on the Transparency Portal.
When developing your annual report, a Digital First approach can help your entity to draw on the full functionality of the DART. A Digital First approach involves the use of the tool for all drafting, work flowing, and approvals for the complete annual report. The DART is able to export the completed report to a PDF format for printing and tabling purposes, as well as to the Transparency Portal in a HTML format.
The Digital First approach can also be used to help your entity meet many of the mandatory PGPA requirements. There are a range of financial and non-financial data templates within the DART that contain all of the mandatory requirements as outlined in the relevant RMG. Using a Digital First approach also ensures that your publication is compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, which is a mandatory requirement for all Australian Government entities publishing content to government websites. The PDF version of the report can be exported from the DART and be printed on A4 or B5 sized paper, in line with the printing requirements for tabling. This approach is intended to provide entities with an ability to reduce the process effort involved to generate the report and to enable other efficiencies, depending on your in-house arrangements, in relation to printing, graphic design and typesetting.
No. Entities are not required to use the DART to publish their corporate plan. The requirement under the PGPA Rule is to publish the corporate plan to the entity’s website and this has not changed for the 2023–24 corporate plan. A version of each entity’s corporate plan is contained on the Transparency Portal publications page.
Publication of your annual report to the Transparency Portal is the responsibility of each entity/company. The annual report is to be published using the DART after it has been tabled in the Parliament in line with the PGPA Rule.
Yes. Australian government entities are required to meet the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG 2.0) Level AA. This is also required under the Australian Government Digital Service Standard.
When creating content within the DART, your entity will be producing a digital annual report that complies with WCAG 2.0 to make content accessible to a wider range of people with disabilities, including blindness and low vision.
To produce a WCAG 2.0 compliant annual report, any inserted item such as images, infographics or similar must have alternative text to describe the information or function of the image. When entering alternate text, it is important to ensure that sufficient information is provided to not only inform what the image is, what the contents are but also what context the item is aiming to tell to reader. Alternative text appears to the user when images are disabled or fail to load, or when screen reader or text-to-speech software is used.
- images of letters or documents
- photographs of handwritten documents
- images of signatures
- graphs and charts, including flow charts and organisational charts
- diagrams and illustrations where the page text relies on the user being able to understand the image
While the core content and information of the digital version needs to be identical to the hardcopy of the annual report, there are some elements that may not be applicable. This includes, but is not limited to, the contents page, index page and page numbers.
Minor/non-structural edits that better align the report with a digital focus are possible, for example this could be where a reference to a page number is changed to allow for a cross-reference to be inserted. Hyperlinks to governing legislation, important Acts, and other relevant online information should be inserted at least once, at their first mention.
There is no need to add an index into the DART, as the Search feature in the Transparency Portal performs the same function.
If your entity has chosen to remove the index and table of contents from the digital annual report, we suggest you enter “N/A” in the List of Requirements for the “Part of Report” references for these elements.
If your entity still wishes to include an index and/or table of contents in the digital annual report, we suggest you include cross-references to the relevant parts of the report, rather than page numbers.
No. The reporting requirements for 2022-23 for the disclosure of audit committee information will remain the same as those reporting requirements for 2021-22.
Note: Membership changes came into effect from July 2021. These changes do not need to be reported on in the Annual Report. For further guidance please see the audit committee webpage and RMG-202 Audit committees. Further information regarding disclosure reporting requirements for Audit Committees can be found here.
Yes, entities are encouraged to report all the information required by the PGPA Rule together in one section in the annual report. This includes how much audit committee members are remunerated for being on the audit committee. While entities can include the remuneration figures elsewhere in the annual report (for example, under remuneration for key management personnel), entities should ensure the figure is also reported with the audit committee information. This makes it easier for the information to be found and to confirm that all requirements have been met.
Reporting the number of meetings attended by audit committee members should be done consistent with the requirements in the annual report (such as, number of meetings attended/total number of meetings conducted during the reporting period). Where audit committee members attended a reduced number of meetings because they served for part of the reporting cycle, this should be explained in a footnote to the table, with corresponding markers linking the note to the specific information in the table.
When reporting the number of meetings attended by audit committee members, this should only be in reference to the meetings attended in their capacity as an audit committee member (that is, not the governing board or other committee meetings the audit committee member may also be attending in the reporting period).
Yes. The figure provided for the remuneration of audit committee members should be GST inclusive.
Entities should provide biographical information relevant to the audit committee member’s position/area of expertise that they have accumulated and bring to their role as an audit committee member. Although a specific level of detail is not prescribed, it is expected that samples of the qualifications, knowledge, skills or experience would be included to demonstrate how each audit committee member contributes to the 4 legislative functions of the audit committee (and any additional functions prescribed by the accountable authority in the audit committee charter). The intention of this requirement is to allow each entity to present that their audit committee, as a whole, has the appropriate qualifications, knowledge, skills or experience to deliver the audit committee functions.
For the purposes of audit committee remuneration disclosure in s17AG(2A), only the remuneration that members receive for being on the audit committee should be reported. The total remuneration of each of those members is defined by section 4 of the PGPA Rule to mean the sum of the following (calculated on an accrual basis):
- base salary
- other benefits and allowances
- superannuation contributions (made by the employer)
- long service leave
- other long term benefits
- termination benefits.
Total remuneration for this purpose excludes any amounts received for other roles performed. For example, where members are also remunerated for being on the board, only the amount received for being on the audit committee should be reported in this section. Entities should not report the total amount received by the member for all duties performed. Where members are not remunerated, a $0 figure should be reported.
Elsewhere in the annual report where the total remuneration of Key Management Personnel (KMP) is disclosed, this figure includes remuneration for other roles and being on the audit committee.
Entities are encouraged to use cross-referencing to explain the components of total remuneration, including where individuals are also remunerated for audit committee membership.
Entities can also explain that the audit committee component is separately disclosed in the audit committee remuneration section.
No. The PGPA Rule does not differentiate between internal and external members, and all audit committee members information needs to be reported.
Yes. The name your accountable authority chose for its audit committee does not change its statutory functions, membership requirements nor the entity’s reporting obligations in relation to its audit committee. This means the changes to the PGPA Rule including s17(4), s17AG(2A) and s17BE(taa) will apply.
You may need to review this information with your corporate/legal area, and review your audit and risk committee charter to verify it has the statutory functions required by the PGPA Act and Rule, and if so, treat it as the audit committee for the membership requirements in s17(4) and the reporting purposes of PGPA Rule s17AG and s17BE(taa).
Audit committee disclosures need to cover the full reporting period, consistent with other disclosures in the annual report. The gaining entity has an obligation to report the audit committee disclosure requirements for the full reporting period, and is responsible for obtaining information from the merged or abolished entity related to their audit committee conduct. Where necessary, notes should be used to explain details in relation to a Machinery of Government change.
Consultancy and Non-Consultancy Contract Expenditure Reporting
The PGPA Rule (s17AG (7) and (7A) and s17AGA) requires that non-corporate Commonwealth entities include in their annual report the following information related to their expenditure on consultancy and non-consultancy contracts:
- the number of and expenditure on, new and ongoing reportable consultancy and non consultancy contracts; and
- additional information about organisations receiving amounts under reportable consultancy contracts or reportable non consultancy contracts.
- the organisations reported are the top 5 recipients of expenditure and those who received 5% or more of an entity’s total expenditure on each category of contract.
The DART contains a data template for consultancy and non-consultancy contract expenditure reporting to meet the reporting requirements. Please see the guidance on the Finance webpage and below for further information. If you have any further questions, please send them through to PGPA@finance.gov.au.
Please note that this information needs to be in both the tabled version of the annual report, as well as in the DART Data Templates chapter. The information must be exactly the same.
Yes, you need to report the payment as part of an ongoing contract for the 2022–23 annual report. For the purposes of the reporting requirements, “ongoing” is defined as contracts that have activity during the reporting period. Activity includes payments being made by one or more of the parties to the contract in fulfilment of their obligations. Where a contract has an end date on AusTender in the previous reporting period, but payments are still being made in the current reporting period, the contract is still ongoing and should be reported as such.
Data Templates - General
Yes. Completing the data templates within the DART is mandatory.
The data templates have been designed to capture the mandatory requirements of the PGPA Rule. The data templates are also available in the relevant Resource Management Guides (RMGs 135, 136, 137). We encourage entities to be familiar with the templates in the corresponding RMG prior to drafting your annual report.
A key piece of functionality of the Transparency Portal is the ability to compare data within annual reports: across years, across entities and more powerfully across both. This functionality can be found in the ‘Get Data Sets’ and ‘Financial ratios’ functions. The information contained within the data templates is used to populate these functions of the Transparency Portal. This occurs once the data templates are completed, and the digital annual report is published to the Portal.
The data templates enable Transparency Portal consumers to quickly and easily compare data. This is where the data templates add value, however, value is driven by the quality of the data contained in the data sets available - the quality of the data that is inserted into the data templates is extremely important. Annual Report Coordinators are encouraged to utilise the available guidance to deliver high quality and consistent information within the find data sets on the Transparency Portal.
The content of the body of the hard copy annual report needs to be the same as the digital version published onto transparency.gov.au. Completing the data templates chapter is only to enable the information to be populated within the 'Get Data Sets’ function.
The non-financial data templates can be used in the body of your annual report content, to minimise any duplication of effort or the likelihood of errors. The data templates are different for each entity type (corporate, non-corporate and companies) and have been designed to capture the required information for annual reporting.
For the financial data templates, please see the answers below in the Financial Statements section.
No. There are no specific templates for the presentation of the annual performance statements in the DART.
Entities are required to complete the financial data templates with information/figures consistent with their audited annual financial statements. If the required figure in the data template corresponds to a negative number in the financial statements, please insert the negative number in the data templates.
Please note, if a negative number is displayed in brackets in the financial statements, you are required to remove the brackets and present the negative number in the data template using the minus symbol instead, that is, change (1,234) to -1,234.
Human Resources Statistics Data Tables
All Commonwealth entities and companies are required to report human resources information for the current and previous year reporting periods in relation to each of the following:
- Full-time employees, as identified by your entity’s employment arrangements. As a guide, the Fair Work Ombudsman’s website provides general employment definitions.
- Part-time employees as identified by your entity’s employment arrangements.
- Gender, consistent with advice from the Attorney-General's Department to describe gender in line with the Standard for Sex, Gender, Variations of Sex Characteristics and Sexual Orientation Variables (2020).
- Prefers not to answer
- Uses a different term
- Location, based on the State or Territory of employment.
All human resources statistics are to be calculated and reported on an actual head count basis as at the end of each reporting period. In addition, non-corporate Commonwealth entities that engage employees under the Public Service Act 1999 (PS Act) are required to report additional human resource information.
The RMGs and the DART contain the data templates for the reporting of human resources information relevant to your entity.
No. The requirement under paragraph 17AG(4)(b) of the PGPA Rule requires the annual report to include statistics on the number of APS employees. This applies to departments and executive agencies, and to prescribed agencies staffed under the PS Act.
The term employee has its ordinary common law meaning. As a guide the Fair Work Ombudsman’s website provides a definition for an employee as a “person that’s hired to provide a service to a company either on a full-time, part-time or casual basis in exchange for payment. Other known terms: staff and worker”. This can be found on the Fair Work Ombudsman's website in their dictionary.
The term APS employees applies to departments and executive agencies, and to prescribed agencies staffed under the PS Act. For further information see RMG-135.
The term employee has its ordinary common law meaning and is explained above. The term ongoing employee means any permanent staff member of the organisation and non-ongoing employees represents those employees on fixed term contracts.
Employees who are on secondment, maternity, or long service leave are still employees of the entity and are to be accounted for in the data templates. Employees on leave without pay, or other inoperative employees should be reported in the same manner as any other employee on any other type of leave.
No. The DART is not a Financial Management Information System. Entities should undertake their normal process to prepare the financial statements in line with the existing reporting requirements for financial statements.
Once completed, the financial statements can be transferred into the Tool (copying and pasting from Microsoft Word or Excel). The Tool facilitates the digital HTML publication of the annual report (including the financial statements) onto the Transparency Portal.
No. The DART does not contain templates that prescribe the presentation of the financial statements. Financial statements need to be presented in your digital annual report in the exact same manner as your audited financial statements.
The financial data templates in the tool require a subset of financial statement information to be entered, as published in the financial statements. These templates ask specific questions and require answers that may be slightly different to how an entity or company presents in their financial statements in the body of the report. The entity CFO area may need to adjust their figures from their audited financial statement in order to correctly answer the financial data templates. These templates do not replace the existing reporting requirements for financial statements available in the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability (Financial Reporting) Rule 2015 (FRR) and RMG-125 Commonwealth Entities Financial Statement Guide. These resources are available from Financial reporting for Commonwealth entities.
When inserting the Independent Auditor’s Report within the DART, each page of the Report must be inserted as an image or the original high resolution PDF letter from the ANAO can be embedded. If an image is inserted, to maintain WCAG compliance, you must also ensure the content of the Report is fully copied into the alternative text field and ensure each image within the Report (such as, logos and signatures) is adequately explained in the alternative text.
The Regulatory Charging Note Summary data template draws from information that is provided in the Regulatory Charging Financial Statement Note. The note is completed in accordance with section 34A of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability (Financial Reporting) Rule 2015 with guidance provided in RMG-125 Commonwealth entities financial statements guide. Entities are to report in the DART data template the aggregated totals of departmental and administered expenses and revenue that relate to regulatory charging (cost recovery) activities. For further information about what is a regulatory charging activity please see RMG-302 Australian Government Charging Framework.
Instructions for requesting a correction to annual report content that has been published to the Transparency Portal are found in the form: Correction to annual report content on the Transparency Portal - Procedure, available on the Digital Annual Reports GovTEAMS page.
To join the Digital Annual Reports GovTEAMS community, please contact the Digital Annual Reports team at email@example.com.
For queries regarding corrections to the tabled copy of an annual report, entities must refer to the process outlined in the Tabling Guidelines.
GovTEAMS is not essential for report development. However the Digital Annual Reporting team use GovTEAMS to not only communicate out messaging but also to store important information for users, such as this Frequently Asked Questions document.
Additionally, the DART team has fostered a Community of Practice channel where entities can ask “how to” or process related questions and seek responses from their peers. The channel also enables entities to share knowledge, such as the case studies that highlight instances of better practice.