Enhanced Commonwealth Performance Framework

The enhanced Commonwealth performance framework meets the obligation under paragraph 5(b) of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act) to establish a performance framework across Commonwealth entities.

The public and the parliament – like the shareholders of a company and financial supporters of charitable institutions – have a right to know what results are being achieved with the money they have provided. A balanced and complete performance framework should provide both financial and non-financial information that allows judgements to be made on the public benefit generated by public expenditure.

The enhanced Commonwealth performance framework aims to improve the line of sight between what was intended and what was delivered. Corporate plans (and Portfolio Budget Statements) and annual reports (including annual performance statements) are the bookends of the performance framework.

Following an extensive public consultation process undertaken by the Department of Finance, the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit (JCPAA) announced its support for implementation of the Commonwealth performance framework, which took effect from 1 July 2015.

With the introduction of annual reporting requirements for all Commonwealth entities and companies in thePublic Governance, Performance and Accountability Rule 2014 (PGPA Rule), the final legislative elements of the PGPA Act are now in place. As a result, the Commonwealth now has a complete and coherent new framework to give effect to its governance, performance and accountability requirements.

An overview of the complete enhanced Commonwealth performance framework is provided in Resource Management Guide (RMG) 130 Overview of the enhanced Commonwealth performance framework.

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Guidance on the enhanced Commonwealth performance framework

A key element of the enhanced Commonwealth performance framework is the requirement for Commonwealth entities and companies to prepare corporate plans at the beginning of the reporting cycle. At the end of the reporting cycle, entities are required to produce annual performance statements. Corporate plans and annual performance statements, together with the Portfolio Budget Statements and annual reports, are the key publications of the enhanced Commonwealth performance framework. The Rule, guidance documents and Finance Secretary’s Direction that govern the application of the key elements of the performance framework include:

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Performance framework tools and resources

Performance Updates: Performance updates are released to keep officials informed of the latest news, events and consultations relating to the measurement and assessment of performance by Commonwealth entities under the enhanced Commonwealth performance framework.

Lessons learned from the 2015-16 and 2016-17 corporate planning process: Finance has developed a 2015-16 lessons learned paper and a 2016-17 lessons learned paper based on feedback from entities in developing 2015-16 and 2016-17 corporate plans, as well as an analysis of a subset of plans by Finance. Please consider these lessons when developing your next plan.

Lessons learned from the publication 2015-16 Annual Performance Statements: Finance has developed a 2015-16 Annual Performance Statements lesson learned paper based on an analysis of a broad sample of annual performance statements It identifies key lessons and examples of better practice to assist Commonwealth entities improve future annual performance statements and the performance information they report in them.

Performance Maturity Model: A performance maturity model tool has been developed to assist entities to improve their performance frameworks and performance information in the short, medium and long term. The model clearly identifies on a page what a mature performance framework, and the preceding stages, looks like. It is a self-assessment tool for entities and is available here.

Frequently asked questions: Frequently asked questions relating to the enhanced Commonwealth performance framework are addressed on the Finance website

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News & events

  • Corporate Planning in the Australian Public Sector: The ANAO’s report on its performance audit, Corporate Planning in the Australian Public Sector, was published on 31 August 2016. The objective of the audit was to assess progress in implementing the corporate plan requirements under the PGPA Act. The recent up date of the performance framework Resource Management Guides has already addressed many of the recommendations.

Academic Symposium: Finance hosted an academic symposium “Improving Performance Information – Developing and Entity Performance Story", on 3 June at the National Gallery, facilitated by Ms Virginia Haussegger AM.

This event was recorded live and a webcast of the event is available for viewing. Please click here to watch a webcast.

Academic panel members were:

  • Professor Kerry Jacobs, Professor of Accounting, University of NSW
  • Professor Patricia Rogers, Professor of Public Sector Evaluation, RMIT University, Director, BetterEvaluation
  • Professor Suresh Cuganesan, Organisational Control and Performance, University of Sydney
  • Professor Brian Head, Social Science, University of Queensland

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Other Information

Other information relating to the development and implementation of the enhanced Commonwealth performance framework.

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Contact us

Please contact Finance via pmra@finance.gov.au if you are interested in:

  • discussing issues relating to any aspect of the performance framework
  • participating in a pilot study on any aspect of the enhanced Commonwealth performance framework
  • joining the Performance Community of Practice

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