Governance structures

Finance develops policy and provides whole-of-government advice on appropriate governance arrangements for the range of Commonwealth bodies.

The following publications and guides assist Commonwealth bodies with governance issues.

Flipchart and List of Commonwealth entities and companies

All Commonwealth entities and companies are summarised by portfolio in the Flipchart:

More detail on the Commonwealth entities and companies is set out in the List, including the position title for each accountable authority for the purpose of the PGPA Act:

Beneath the Commonwealth entities and companies there are a number of secondary governance structures. The Australian Government Organisations Register (AGOR) provides detailed information on the function, composition and origins of all Commonwealth entities and companies and these other governance structures.

Table of Changes to the Flipchart - 2019-20
Date*ChangeEntity NamePortfolioChange Details
02/09/19 Amend Old Parliament House Prime Minister and Cabinet Entity moved from Communications and the Arts to Prime Minister and Cabinet
02/09/19 Amend Australian Hearing Services Services Australia Amended registered business name to Hearing Australia
09/08/19 Amend Infrastructure and Project Financing Agency Treasury Entity moved from Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development to Treasury
01/07/19 Add National Faster Rail Agency Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development A new non-corporate Commonwealth entity established on 1 July 2019
01/07/19 Add National Indigenous Australians Agency Prime Minister and Cabinet A new non-corporate Commonwealth entity established on 1 July 2019
01/07/19 Amend Australian Securities and Investments Commission Treasury Added the ^ prefix - from 1 July 2019, ASIC no longer engages staff under the Public Service Act 1999

*This is the date that the change was made in the flipchart, not necessarily the date that the change occurred to the entity or company. The Flipchart of Commonwealth entities and companies and the List of Commonwealth entities and companies under the PGPA Act are not legal documents. 

Table of Changes to the Flipchart - 2018-19

Date*ChangeEntity NamePortfolioChange Details
30/05/19 Amend Department of Agriculture and Water Resources Agriculture Department of Agriculture and Water Resources renamed Department of Agriculture
30/05/19 Amend Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency Attorney-General's Entity moved from Jobs and Small Business to Attorney-General's
30/05/19 Amend Australian Building and Construction Commission Attorney-General's Entity moved from Jobs and Small Business to Attorney-General's
30/05/19 Amend Fair Work Commission Attorney-General's Entity moved from Jobs and Small Business to Attorney-General's
30/05/19 Amend Fair Work Ombudsman and Registered Organisations Commission Entity Attorney-General's Entity moved from Jobs and Small Business to Attorney-General's
30/05/19 Amend Safe Work Australia Attorney-General's Entity moved from Jobs and Small Business to Attorney-General's
30/05/19 Amend Seafarers Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Authority (Seacare Authority) Attorney-General's Entity moved from Jobs and Small Business to Attorney-General's
30/05/19 Amend Coal Mining Industry (Long Service Leave Funding) Corporation Attorney-General's Entity moved from Jobs and Small Business to Attorney-General's
30/05/19 Amend Comcare Attorney-General's Entity moved from Jobs and Small Business to Attorney-General's
30/05/19 Amend Department of Education and Training Education Department of Education and Training renamed Department of Education
30/05/19 Amend Department of Jobs and Small Business Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business Department of Jobs and Small Business renamed Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business
30/05/19 Amend Australian Skills Quality Authority (National Vocational Education and Training Regulator) Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business Entity moved from Education and Training to Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business
30/05/19 Amend Export Finance and Insurance Corporation Foreign Affairs and Trade The new trading name 'Export Finance Australia' added by the amendment to the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation Act 1991. The Government Finance Statistics (GFS) classification amended to reflect EFIC's activities in the General Government Sector (GGS).
30/05/19 Amend Department of Human Services Social Services Department of Human Services renamed Services Australia (part of Social Services)
30/05/19 Amend Digital Transformation Agency Social Services Entity moved from Prime Minister and Cabinet to Services Australia (part of Social Services)
30/05/19 Amend Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities renamed Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development
30/05/19 Amend National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation Treasury Governance Structure or Characteristics changed from 'Small' to 'Material'
28/03/19 Add North Queensland Water Infrastructure Authority Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities A new non-corporate Commonwealth entity established on 28 March 2019
28/03/19 Add North Queensland Livestock Industry Recovery Agency Prime Minister and Cabinet A new non-corporate Commonwealth entity established on 2 March 2019
28/03/19 Amend Australian Electoral Commission Finance Governance Structure or Characteristics changed from 'Material' to 'Small'
28/03/19 Amend Australian Sports Commission Health Governance Structure or Characteristics changed from 'Material' to 'Small'
28/03/19 Amend Federal Court of Australia Attorney-General's Governance Structure or Characteristics changed from 'Material' to 'Small'
28/03/19 Amend Grains Research and Development Corporation Agriculture and Water Resources Governance Structure or Characteristics changed from 'Material' to 'Small'
28/03/19 Amend Regional Investment Corporation Agriculture and Water Resources Governance Structure or Characteristics changed from 'Material' to 'Small'
28/03/19 Amend Special Broadcasting Service Corporation Communications and the Arts Governance Structure or Characteristics changed from 'Material' to 'Small'
28/03/19 Amend Australian Signals Directorate Defence Governance Structure or Characteristics changed from 'Small' to 'Material'
01/02/19 Amend Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) Treasury # icon restored. ASIC ceases being a Public Service Act agency on 1 July 2019, so can still engage under the Public Service Act 1999 until then
01/02/19 Amend Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation (ILSC) Prime Minister and Cabinet The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Act 2005 was amended to rename the 'Indigenous Land Corporation' as the 'Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation', consistent with amendments giving ILSC additional functions regarding water-related rights commencing 1 February 2019
08/01/19 Amend Office of National Assessments Prime Minister and Cabinet The Office of National Intelligence Act 2018 continues the Office of National Assessments in existence under the name 'Office of National Intelligence' from 20 December 2018
08/01/19 Remove Australian Aged Care Quality Agency Health The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Act 2018 repealed the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency Act 2013 which established the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency. The date of effect was 1 January 2019.
08/01/19 Add Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Health The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Act 2018 establishes the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission to replace the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency and other aged care functions from 1 January 2019
08/01/19 Amend Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) Treasury Added the ^ prefix to ASIC which no longer engages staff under the Public Service Act 1999
08/01/19 Amend Anindilyakwa Land Council Prime Minister and Cabinet Changed Government Finance Statistics (GFS) classification to GGS to reflect its status as a non-market public sector unit
08/01/19 Amend Central Land Council Prime Minister and Cabinet Changed Government Finance Statistics (GFS) classification to GGS to reflect its status as a non-market public sector unit
08/01/19 Amend Northern Land Council Prime Minister and Cabinet Changed Government Finance Statistics (GFS) classification to GGS to reflect its status as a non-market public sector unit
08/01/19 Amend Tiwi Land Council Prime Minister and Cabinet Changed Government Finance Statistics (GFS) classification to GGS to reflect its status as a non-market public sector unit
08/01/19 Amend Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community Council Prime Minister and Cabinet Changed Government Finance Statistics (GFS) classification to GGS to reflect its status as a non-market public sector unit
08/01/19 Amend Australian National University Education and Training Changed Government Finance Statistics (GFS) classification to GGS to reflect its status as a non-market public sector unit
28/08/18 Amend Department of Human Services Social Services Department of Human Services, formerly in its own portfolio, is now part of the Social Services Portfolio
28/08/18 Amend Department of Jobs and Small Business Jobs and Small Business Department of Jobs and Small Business, formerly in the Jobs and Innovation Portfolio, is now in the new Jobs and Small Business Portfolio
28/08/18 Amend Department of Industry, Innovation and Science Industry, Innovation and Science Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, formerly in the Jobs and Innovation Portfolio, is now in the new Industry, Innovation and Science Portfolio
28/08/18 Amend Anindilyakwa Land Council Prime Minister and Cabinet Changed Government Finance Statistics (GFS) classification to ‘Unclassified’
28/08/18 Amend Central Land Council Prime Minister and Cabinet Changed Government Finance Statistics (GFS) classification to ‘Unclassified’
28/08/18 Amend Northern Land Council Prime Minister and Cabinet Changed Government Finance Statistics (GFS) classification to ‘Unclassified’
28/08/18 Amend Tiwi Land Council Prime Minister and Cabinet Changed Government Finance Statistics (GFS) classification to ‘Unclassified’
28/08/18 Amend Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community Council Prime Minister and Cabinet Changed Government Finance Statistics (GFS) classification to ‘Unclassified’
02/07/18 Add NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission Social Services A new non-corporate Commonwealth entity established 1 July 2018
02/07/18 Add Snowy Hydro Limited Environment and Energy A new Commonwealth company from 29 June 2018
02/07/18 Add National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) Treasury NHFIC was established by the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation Act 2018 which commenced on 30 June 2018
02/07/18 Add Australian Signals Directorate Defence A new non-corporate Commonwealth entity established 1 July 2018

* This is the date that the change was made in the flipchart, not necessarily the date that the change occurred to the entity or company. The Flipchart of Commonwealth entities and companies and the List of Commonwealth entities and companies under the PGPA Act are not legal documents. 

Note: Machinery of Government changes occurred on 29 May 2019 which changed the name for a number of portfolios:
- Agriculture and Water Resources has been renamed Agriculture;
- Education and Training has been renamed Education;
- Jobs and Small Business has been renamed Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business; and and
- Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities has been renamed Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development.

Table of Changes to the Flipchart - 2017-18

Date*ChangeEntity NamePortfolioChange Details
11/05/18 Amend Workplace Gender Equality Agency Prime Minister and Cabinet Entity moved from Jobs and Small Business to Prime Minister and Cabinet
11/05/18 Amend Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Home Affairs Entity moved from Attorney-General's to Home Affairs
11/05/18 Amend Office of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Attorney-General's Entity moved from Prime Minister and Cabinet to Attorney-General's
11/05/18 Amend Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman Attorney-General's Entity moved from Prime Minister and Cabinet to Attorney-General's
11/05/18 Amend Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Prime Minister and Cabinet Entity moved from Education and Training to Prime Minister and Cabinet
26/03/18 Add Regional Investment Corporation Agriculture and Water Resources A new corporate Commonwealth entity established by proclamation on 8 March 2018
21/02/18 Remove Corporations and Markets Advisory Committee Treasury CAMAC abolished by the Statute Update (Smaller Government) Act 2018, on 20 Feburary 2018
21/02/18 Amend National Portrait Gallery of Australia (NPGA) Communication and the Arts To recognise the Commonwealth Procurement Rules apply to the NPGA from 1 January 2018
21/02/18 Amend Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) Health To recognise the Commonwealth Procurement Rules apply to the ADHA from 1 January 2018
21/02/18 Amend Australian Grape and Wine Authority Agriculture and Water The Australian Grape and Wine Authority renamed "Wine Australia" on 7 November 2017
21/12/17 Amend Department of Immigration and Border Protection Home Affairs 'Department of Immigration and Border Protection' has been renamed the 'Department of Home Affairs'
21/12/17 Amend Australian Crime Commission Home Affairs Entity moved from Attorney-General's to Home Affairs
21/12/17 Amend Australian Federal Police Home Affairs Entity moved from Attorney-General's to Home Affairs
21/12/17 Amend Australian Institute of Criminology Home Affairs Entity moved from Attorney-General's to Home Affairs
21/12/17 Amend Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) Home Affairs Entity moved from Attorney-General's to Home Affairs
21/12/17 Amend Department of Employment Jobs and Innovation 'Department of Employment' has been renamed the 'Department of Jobs and Small Business' (part of the Jobs and Innovation Portfolio)
21/12/17 Amend Department of Industry, Innovation and Science Jobs and Innovation The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science has been amalgamated into the Jobs and Innovation Portfolio
21/12/17 Amend Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities 'Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development' has been renamed the 'Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities'
21/12/17 Amend Infrastructure and Project Financing Agency (IPFA) Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities Entity moved from Prime Minister and Cabinet Portfolio to Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities Portfolio
21/12/17 Amend Department of Human Services Human Services The Department of Human Services is no longer a part of the Social Services Portfolio
3/10/17 Amend Australian Renewable Energy Agency Environment and Energy Remove status as material entity
3/10/17 Amend Australian Trade and Investment Commission Foreign Affairs and Trade Remove status as material entity
3/10/17 Amend Clean Energy Regulator Environment and Energy Remove status as material entity
3/10/17 Amend National Museum of Australia Communications and the Arts Remove status as material entity
11/09/17 Add WSA Co Ltd Infrastructure and Regional Development A new Commonwealth company established on 7 August 2017, prescribed as a government business enterprise on 29 August 2017.
11/09/17 Amend Australian Transportation Safety Bureau Infrastructure and Regional Development Became an inter-jurisdictional entity
1/07/17 Add Infrastructure and Project Financing Agency (IPFA) Prime Minister and Cabinet An new executive agency, non-corporate Commonwealth entity established on 1 July 2017.
1/07/17 Amend Australian Naval Infrastructure Pty Ltd (ANI) Finance ANI prescribed as a government business enterprise.
1/07/17 Amend Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority (IPEA) Finance IPEA became a statutory agency from 1 July 2017.

* This is the date that the change was made in the flipchart, not necessarily the date that the change occurred to the entity or company. The Flipchart of Commonwealth entities and companies and List of GGS, PNFC and PFC bodies under the PGPA Act are not legal documents.

Note: Machinery of Government changes had occurred on 20 December 2017, which has changed the name for a number of portfolios:
- Immigration and Border Protection has been renamed 'Home Affairs';
- Infrastructure and Regional Development has been renamed 'Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities';
- The Employment and Industry, Innovation and Science Portfolios have been amalgamated to create the 'Jobs and Innovation' Portfolio; and
- Human Services has become its own Portfolio, separating from Social Services

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Machinery of Government changes

The terms ‘machinery of government changes’ (MoG changes) and ‘administrative re-arrangements’ are interchangeable and are used to describe a variety of organisational or functional changes affecting the Commonwealth.

Some common examples of MoG changes are:

  • changes to the Administrative Arrangements Order (AAO) following a Prime Ministerial decision to abolish or create a Commonwealth entity or to move functions/ responsibilities between Commonwealth entities
  • movement of functions into, or out of, the Australian Public Service.

More information of MoG changes can be found here.

The Australian Public Service Commission, in conjunction with Finance has developed Implementing machinery of government changes external link(the Guide) as a source of practical guidance to help entities implement MoG changes. The guide provides:

  • an overview of the MoG process
  • protocols for resolving the transfer of resources
  • principles and approaches for planning and implementing MoG changes, including a timeframe for key events
  • guidance on financial management and people management
  • advice on managing physical relocations, information, records, data and taxation
  • information on setting up a new entity.

Additional information on the followings topics in the Guide and checklists can be found here.

  • Delegations of Powers
  • Special Accounts
  • Special Appropriations
  • Information Technology

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Contact for information on this page: pmra@finance.gov.au

Last updated: 02 September 2019