Independent Review into the operation of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 and Rule


It is over 3 years since the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act) took effect. With it, a new resource management framework was introduced for the Commonwealth, replacing the former Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (FMA Act) and Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 (CAC Act). The scheme that is built around the PGPA Act is the third financial framework in the history of the Commonwealth.

In accordance with section 112 of the PGPA Act, a review is required to be conducted of the Act and the accompanying Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Rule 2014 (PGPA Rule).

The review gathered perspectives from the Parliament, Commonwealth entities and companies, and other stakeholders – including from industry, the third sector, other levels of government and academe – on the operation of the PGPA Act and Rule. It assessed whether benefits have been realised, in line with the objects of the PGPA Act, and made recommendations about what could be done in the future, including recommendations on refining the PGPA Act and Rule themselves.

At its core, the PGPA Act signified a shift from a dual system of public sector management and accountability, where compliance and process was much the focus, to a single, principles-based framework within which all Commonwealth entities have the flexibility to develop their own systems and processes to support their operations.

The public management reforms contained in the PGPA Act were expected to take several years to implement, mature and fully integrate into the practices and processes of Commonwealth entities. After 3 years, it is apparent that the practice in relation to individual aspects of the Act has matured differentially. There are variations between entities and in relation to different areas of practice. The enhanced Commonwealth performance framework is one example of a practice area that is still maturing.

Independent Reviewers

Ms Elizabeth Alexander AM

Elizabeth Alexander is Chairman of Medibank Private Limited, she is Chairman of the Nomination Committee and a member of the Audit Committee and the Risk Management Committee.

As a former partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers (1977–2002), Elizabeth specialised in the area of risk management and corporate governance. Elizabeth was previously Chairman of CSL Limited and a director of Boral Limited and Amcor Limited. She is a former Chair of the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority’s Risk and Audit Committee. Elizabeth is also a former National President of CPA Australia and the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and a former member of the Takeovers Panel. She is a former Chancellor of the University of Melbourne and Chair of its Finance Committee.

Elizabeth is currently Chairman of DEXUS Wholesale Property Limited and a director of DEXUS Funds Management Limited as part of the DEXUS Property Group (since January 2005), and a director of the IOOF Foundation and the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority.

David I Thodey

Mr David I Thodey AO

David Thodey is a global business leader focused on technology and telecommunications with more than 30 years of experience creating brand and shareholder value.

He is currently Chairman of Australia’s national scientific research agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Chairman of JobsNSW focused on job creation in NSW, and on the Advisory Boards of SquargePeg Capital and UHG. He also had a successful career as CEO of Telstra, Australia’s leading telecommunications and information services company.

Mr Thodey holds a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and English from Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand. He attended the Kellogg School of Management postgraduate General Management Program at Northwestern University in Chicago, USA.

Draft Report

Following the consideration of submissions received and interviews and discussions with a number of entities and stakeholders, a draft report, containing 46 recommendations, has been developed for comment. The Independent Reviewers sought comments in the form of written submissions on the draft report found under Publications and Reports

Final Report

The independent review into the operation of the PGPA Act and Rule has been completed. A review report has been finalised, containing 52 recommendations. The report was tabled in the Parliament on Wednesday 19 September 2018 for consideration by government. A copy of the report is available under Publications and Reports. 

A Ministerial Statement in response to the independent review into the PGPA Act and Rule, ahead of the Government Response, can be found under Tools and templates.

Did you find this content useful?