Finance Red Tape Reductions - Internal Financial Governance

Chief Financial Officer Branch, Department of Finance

(4 July 2016) In the spirit of sharing our internal red tape reduction activities, Finance has recently implemented the following:

Finance Accountable Authority Instructions (AAIs)

The AAIs have been streamlined, reducing 11 chapters to six to reflect the new format being adopted in the Whole of Australian Government model material.  Further changes included consolidating subtopics for:

  • reward and recognition, gifts, benefits and sponsorships (both receiving and giving);
  • banking and borrowing;
  • amounts owing to the Commonwealth; and
  • managing property.

Supporting operational guidance has been incorporated into the consolidated suite of the AAIs, while procedural information has been incorporated into the relevant forms and templates (this has significantly reduced the 'page number amount' of financial governance documentation).

Internal Financial Delegations

All delegations under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act) and rules, and the Financial Framework (Supplementary Powers) Act 1997 have been incorporated into a single instrument.

PGPA Act subsection 23(3) delegate thresholds have been increased to better relect current business needs.

  • Senior Executive Service officials are able to approve most commitments, subject to available, uncommitted funds;
  • Executive Level (EL) 2 officials have been given delegations to approve general commitments (noting that, in the past, given the policy/ budget focus of Finance, many EL officials did not hold delegations);
  • The lowest delegate thresholds have been increased to $10,000, which further supports implementation of the Australian Government's policy on credit cards being a preferred method of payment for amounts below this.

Internal controls for multi-year commitments only apply to proposed commitments over $200,000.

Delegations under PGPA Act subsection 23(1) and section 60 have been aligned to remove unnecessary administrative complexity when entering into arrangements involving a contingent liability.

All officials are able to administer arrangements relating to their role/ responsibilities under PGPA Act subsection 23(1), including making payments.