The Charging Framework

The Charging Framework consists of three elements:

  • the charging policy statement
  • charging considerations
  • charging principles.

The Resource Management Guide for the Australian Government Charging Framework [word document 654 KB] can be accessed here.

The Australian Government Charging Framework

The Australian Government Charging Framework

The Australian Government Charging Framework Diagram [word document 78 KB].

Charging Policy Statement

Charging decisions are made by the Australian Government. Based on the type of activity, policy outcomes sought and relevant public interest considerations, the Government may decide to charge for an activity, taking into account the Government's charging policy statement, below.

"Where specific demand for a government activity is created by identifiable individuals or groups, they should be charged for it unless the government has decided to fund that activity. Where it is appropriate for the Australian Government to participate in an activity, it should fully utilise and maintain public resources, through appropriate charging. The application of charging should not, however, adversely impact disadvantaged Australians."

Charging should only occur where it is cost effective and efficient.

Charging considerations

There are a number of considerations in determining whether it may be appropriate to charge for a government activity. These include:

  • broad policy considerations, such as the effect of charging on the policy problem and proposed solution
  • specific considerations, such as whether charging is the most efficient and effective source of funding for an activity and, if so, use of an appropriate pricing model depending on the type of activity.

The Charging Roadmap [word document 64 KB] provides a summary of the charging decision making process.

Different pricing models [word document 78 KB] can be used, depending on the purpose and type of charging activity.

Charging principles

The principles guide all processes involved in charging for a government activity, from planning and design to review and evaluation. There are six charging principles:

  • transparency
  • efficiency
  • performance
  • equity
  • simplicity
  • policy consistency.

Charging approvals

For each charging activity, government entities should consider:

  • whether policy approval is required from the Australian Government, noting that it is necessary for all regulatory charging and may be required for other material or sensitive charging activities 
  • what statutory authority is required
  • whether there is a need to align expenses and revenue, which is a requirement for regulatory charging activities
  • maintaining appropriate up-to-date records, including the level of publicly available documentation and reporting.

Categories of charging activities

To assist entities in finding the most appropriate pricing model for a charging activity, the Charging Framework splits charging activities into three categories:

Examples of charging activities [word document 78 KB] provides assistance in determining the nature of a charging activity.

The above information should be read in conjunction with the guidance on the Australian Government Charging Framework [word document 654 KB].

Last updated: 03 January 2019