Annual report content requirements

This page provides details and guidance on the content requirements for an entity's annual report.

The accountable authority of a Commonwealth entity must include the following content in the annual report as specified by the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Rule 2014 (PGPA Rule).

The drop down menus below provide detail and guidance on the following annual report requirements:

  • Enabling legislation

  • Significant non-compliance issues with finance law

  • Responsible Minister

  • Ministerial directions and government policy orders

  • Annual performance statements

  • Information about the accountable authority

  • Organisational structure and location

  • Statement on governance

  • Related entity transactions

  • Significant activities and changes affecting the entity

  • Judicial decisions and reviews by outside bodies

  • Obtaining information from subsidiaries

  • Indemnities and insurance premiums

  • Audit committee

  • Executive remuneration

  • List of annual report requirements

  • Disclosure requirements for government business enterprises

The accountable authority of a corporate Commonwealth entity must include the following content in the annual report:

  • details of the legislation establishing the body
  • a summary of the objects and functions of the entity as set out in the legislation
  • the purposes of the entity as included in the entity’s corporate plan for the reporting period.

The actions of a corporate Commonwealth entity are guided by its enabling legislation. The annual report must include the information detailed above and is designed to give readers a high-level understanding of the entity.

The associated data template can be found under the Tools and templates in Appendix B
(Section 17BE (h) – (i) Significant non-compliance with the Finance Law).

The annual report must include the following:

  • a statement of any significant issues reported to the responsible Minister that relates to non-compliance with the finance law 
  • if a statement is included, then an outline of the action that has been taken to remedy the non-compliance must also be included.
The finance law incorporates the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act), any rules and instruments created under the PGPA Act, and Appropriation Acts.

This requirement is linked to section 19 of the PGPA Act, which requires accountable authorities of Commonwealth entities to notify their responsible Minister when significant issues have been identified.

RMG-214 Notification of significant non-compliance with the finance law provides additional guidance and is available under Tools and templates

The annual report must specify the current responsible Minister’s name and the name of any other responsible Ministers during the financial year being reported on. The title of the responsible Minister(s) must also be included.   

Annual reports must include details of any directions issued by the responsible Minister, or other Minister(s), under the enabling legislation of the corporate Commonwealth entity or any other legislation or legislative instruments.

The Australian Government may make a government policy order that specifies a policy that is to apply to one or more corporate Commonwealth entities. A corporate Commonwealth entity that is subject to a government policy order is required to include this information in its annual report.

The annual report must include the following:

XXX

The annual report for a corporate Commonwealth entity must include the annual performance statements for the entity for the period.

The annual performance statements address the non-financial performance of an entity and must provide information about the entity's performance in achieving its purposes.

The annual performance statements are intended to complete the cycle of performance reporting that commenced at the start of the reporting period with the Portfolio Budget Statements (PBS) and corporate plan. An entity's annual performance statements should report the actual results achieved against the performance measures and targets set for the entity in its corporate plan and PBS.

RR

RMG-134 Annual performance statements for Commonwealth entities provides additional guidance on the purpose and content requirements of the annual performance statements and is available under Tools and templates.
The associated data template can be found under the Tools and templates in Appendix B
(Section 17BE (j),(i)-(v) – Accountable Authority).

The annual report for a corporate Commonwealth entity for a reporting period must include the following:

  • information on the accountable authority, or each member of the accountable authority, during the period including:
    • the name of the accountable authority or each member
    • the qualifications of the accountable authority or each member
    • the experience of the accountable authority or each member
    • for each member—the number of meetings of the accountable authority attended by the member during the period
    • for each member—whether the member is an executive member or non executive member.
  • For the purposes of annual reporting, an executive member is an employee of the corporate Commonwealth entity, responsible for executive functions in the management and administration of the entity. Non-executive members are independent of corporate management and not employee of the corporate Commonwealth entity.
The associated data template can be found under the Tools and templates in Appendix B
(Section 17BE (ka) – Management of Human Resources).

The annual report must include the following:

  • an outline of the organisational structure of the entity (including any subsidiaries of the entity).
  • statistics on the number of employees of the entity (with reference to ongoing (meaning permanent) employees and non-ongoing (fixed term contract) employees), at the end of the reporting period and the previous reporting period, in relation to each of the following:
  • an outline of the location (whether or not in Australia) of major activities or facilities of the entity.

All human resource statistics are to be calculated and reported on in an actual head count basis (number of employees) as at the end of each reporting period. Full-time equivalent statistics (for example, 1.5 FTE) are not to be reported.

If an entity believes the level of disaggregation of employee data could result in significant risk of unintentional identification and consequential harm to a specific employee, then the entity has the discretion to report that employee’s data at a higher level without further disaggregation. It is important when considering this, that the level of aggregation of information doesn’t make the reporting “meaningless” or be seen to complicate other details.

As an example, the entity could count the employee in the Total figures, but not include them in the breakdown of the data, with a clarifying footnote as to why the Total figures differ from the sum of the breakdown of the data.

Information on the main corporate governance practices that the entity had in place during the reporting period must be included. The content of this statement is at the discretion of the accountable authority. It is suggested that the review should include:

  • board committees of the entity and their main responsibilities
  • education and performance review processes for members of the accountable authority
  • ethics and risk management policies.

The annual report for a corporate Commonwealth entity for a reporting period must include the following:

The decision making process undertaken by the accountable authority for making a decision if:

  • the decision is to approve the entity paying for a good or service from another Commonwealth entity or a company, or providing a grant to another Commonwealth entity or a company
  • the entity, and the other Commonwealth entity or the company, are related entities
  • the value of the transaction, or if there is more than 1 transaction, the aggregate value of those transactions, is more than $10 000 (inclusive of GST).

If the annual report includes the information above, then the following must be included:

  • if there is only 1 transaction—the value of the transaction 
  • if there is more than 1 transaction—the number of transactions and the aggregate of value of the transactions.
     
A related entity means a Commonwealth entity or a company (a body) is a related entity of a Commonwealth entity or a company (also a body) if:
  • an individual is the accountable authority of both bodies
  • an individual is a member of the accountable authority, or a director of the board, of both bodies
  • an individual is a member of the accountable authority of one body and a director of the board of the other body
  • an individual is the accountable authority of one body and a member of the accountable authority, or director of the board, of the other body.

The annual report must include the decision making process undertaken by the accountable authority when it enters into a procurement or grant transaction where a member of the accountable authority holds a similar position in the organisation that provides the good or service or receives the grant. The organisation providing the good or service or receiving the grant may take the form of a Commonwealth entity, Commonwealth company or a private company.

The annual report must detail any significant activities and changes that affected the operations or structure of the entity during the financial year. This may include:

  • significant events, such as forming or participating in the formation of a company, significant partnership or trust
  • operational and financial results of the entity
  • key changes to the entity’s state of affairs or principal activities
  • amendments to the entity’s enabling legislation and to any other legislation directly relevant to its operation.

The annual report must include information on the most significant developments in external scrutiny of the entity that has occurred within the reporting period and the entity's response to that scrutiny.

This must include particulars of judicial decisions or decisions of administrative tribunals that have had, or may have, a significant effect on the operations of the entity.

The annual report must also include particulars on any report on the operations of the entity given during the period by any of the following:

  • the Auditor-General, other than a report under section 43 of the Act (which deals with the Auditor-General’s audit of the annual financial statements for Commonwealth entities), or
  • a Committee of either or both Houses of the Parliament, or
  • the Commonwealth Ombudsman, or
  • the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, or
  • any capability reviews of the entity that were released during the period.

The annual report must provide an explanation of information not obtained from a subsidiary.

If the accountable authority was unable to obtain information from a subsidiary of the entity that is required to be included in the annual report, an explanation of the information that was not obtained and the effect of not having the information on the annual report must be included.

The annual report must provide details of any indemnity that applied during the period to the accountable authority, any member of the accountable authority or officer of the entity against a liability (including premiums paid, or agreed to be paid, for insurance against the authority, member or officer’s liability for legal costs).

Officer means a senior manager of the corporate Commonwealth entity.
The associated data template can be found under the Tools and templates in Appendix B
(Section 17BE (taa) - Audit committee).

The annual report must include the following:

  • a direct electronic address of the charter determining the functions of the audit committee for the entity
  • the name of each member of the audit committee during the period
  • the qualifications, knowledge, skills or experience of those member
  • information about each of those members’ attendance at meetings of the audit committee during the period
  • the remuneration of each of those members.

RMG-202 Audit Committees provides additional guidance on the repointing requirements and is available under Tools and templates

The associated data template can be found under the Tools and templates in Appendix B
(Section 17BE (ka) – Management of Human Resources).

Corporate Commonwealth entities are required to include information about executive remuneration in annual reports (Subdivision C of the PGPA Rule). This includes:

  • the requirements for reporting remuneration details for:
    • key management personnel (KMP)
    • senior executives
    • other highly paid staff (OHPS).
  • the requirements for reporting the policies and practices of the entity regarding the remuneration of the above.
Location of the executive remuneration in the annual report

Whilst it is the responsibility of each entity to determine where executive remuneration information and data is provided in the annual report, it is better practice if this is readily identified and provided in one place.

Avoid double reporting

Remuneration details for an individual should only be reported once. For example, if a Senior Executive is considered to be a KMP, their remuneration details should only be reported in the KMP remuneration table. It should not be included in the Senior Executive aggregate reporting table.

RMG-138 Commonwealth entities' Executive Remuneration Reporting Guide for Annual Reports provides additional guidance and is available under Tools and templates

Entities must include a list of requirements in a consistent format, which is detailed in schedule 2A of the PGPA Rule, available in Appendix A under Tools and templates and at the Federal Register of Legislation

The list of requirements must be included as an appendix to the annual report. If an item specified in the checklist is not applicable to an entity, it should be reported as “not applicable” rather than omitted from the list. Entities must also provide details of the location of the information in the annual report that addresses each of the mandatory requirements specified by the PGPA Rule.

When authoring in the Tool, entities are required to present the list of requirements in the body of the annual report, and in the data templates chapter.

The annual report for a reporting period for a government business enterprise that is a corporate Commonwealth entity must include the following information:

  • An assessment of:
    • significant changes in the entity’s overall financial structure and financial condition during the period.
    • any events or risks that could cause financial information that is reported not to be indicative of future operations or financial condition.
  • Dividends paid or recommended in relation to the period.
  • Details of any community service obligations the government business enterprise has, including:
    • an outline of actions the government business enterprise has taken to fulfil those obligations
    • an assessment of the cost of fulfilling those obligations.

Information may be excluded if the accountable authority of the government business enterprise believes, on reasonable grounds, that the information is commercially sensitive and would be likely to result in unreasonable commercial prejudice to the government business enterprise. The annual report must state whether such information has been excluded.


Did you find this content useful?