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Charter of Budget Honesty - Policy Costing Guidelines

Guidelines issued jointly by the Secretaries to the Treasury and the Department of Finance and Deregulation

Table of Contents

Introduction

The Charter of Budget Honesty Act 1998 (the Charter) outlines arrangements under which the Secretaries to the Treasury and the Department of Finance and Deregulation (the Secretaries) may be requested to cost election commitments during the Caretaker Period prior to a general election. The Charter also allows for the Secretaries to jointly issue written guidelines recommending approaches or methods to be used in the preparation of such costings.

Following the establishment of the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) and its ability to prepare policy costings, the Secretaries consider it timely to issue these updated guidelines. They reflect the PBO’s mandate and functions, as well as details of the amendments that were made to the Charter when establishing the PBO (Part 2), including allowing minority parties with at least five members to request election costings from Treasury and Finance. Parts 3 to 5 provide information relating to the processes and conventions used in preparing policy costings. These guidelines should assist in promoting consistency, transparency and comparability of the costings performed by the Departments and the PBO.

This document has six parts:

Appendices A and B provide further details on estimate updates and costing conventions. The methodology used to cost policies is under constant review to ensure it remains appropriate. The guidelines will be updated where the methodology significantly changes.

Dr Martin Parkinson PSM
Secretary to the Treasury

Mr David Tune PSM
Secretary of the Department of Finance and Deregulation

Next section: Part 1: Statutory provisions - summary


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© Commonwealth of Australia 2012
ISBN 978 0 642 74829 4

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Last Modified: 29 June, 2012