Making a payment of an amount owed to a person at time of death
The Finance Minister has the power to authorise payment of an amount owed to a person by the Commonwealth at the time of their death.
The Finance Minister has delegated this power to accountable authorities of non-corporate Commonwealth entities. See Finance Ministers Delegations (link to https://www.finance.gov.au/resource-management/pgpa-legislation/finance…’s-delegations)
Accountable authorities can delegate this power to officials.
RMG 402 - Payment of an amount owed to a person at time of death provides additional guidance.
What does the power allow?
The Finance Minister or delegate can:
- decide who receives an amount payable by the Commonwealth (e.g. a deceased person’s spouse or family member)
- make the payment before probate or letters of administration are produced.
The Finance Minister or delegate must consider the people who are entitled to the payment under the law.
Things to remember:
This power is for situations where there is no other way to make the payment to an appropriate person. For example, the death of an employee with accrued salary and entitlements potentially payable to a spouse.
Statutory payment schemes, such as superannuation Acts, may already include arrangements for payments owed to a deceased person.
An existing appropriation is required to make payments.
Relevant sections of the PGPA Act and Rule
PGPA Rule - Section 25 Payment of amount owed to person at time of death