Streamlining financial delegation instruments at the Attorney-General’s Department

Accountability Projects (Department of Finance)

(28 October 2016)  At the recent Red Tape Outreach Session in September 2016, we were fortunate enough to hear from Trevor Kennedy, Assistant Secretary, Financial Management Branch at the Attorney-General’s Department (AGD) about recent efforts to reduce red tape and administrative burden.

In the below video, Trevor talks about AGD’s recent review of their financial delegation instruments – what prompted the review, what the review found, and how AGD responded.

A few things became apparent to us not long ago. Over time, and with the introduction of the PGPA Act [Public Governance, Performance and Accountable Authority Act 2014], we had accumulated 17 separate financial delegation instruments,  Trevor said.

With such a large number of delegation instruments, staff found it very difficult to, first of all, locate and then apply the relevant instrument to the activity they were engaged on and for which they needed a delegation

The results of the review are impressive.  Of the 17 financial delegation instruments, three separate grant arrangement instruments and 14 separate spending and PGPA Act delegation instruments were crunched into two documents and there were substantial increases in delegation limits.

How did we achieve that reduced volume? By two things in particular: one, we removed the instructions and conditions … that now only appears in our [Accountable Authority Instructions].  And we presented the various delegations and other spending approvals all together in one single simple tabular format, that is easy to read, with the classification down one side.

Great work Trevor and team! Check out Trevor’s full presentation:

How are financial delegations dealt with at your agency? Could your entity benefit from a similar review? Let us know in the comments below.

Themes: Financial delegations, Attorney-General's Department, Public Governance, Performance and Accountable Authority Act 2014 (PGPA Act), Accountable Authority Instructions, difficulty due to unclear guidance, instruments complicated, solution to empower staff, consolidate delegation instruments, make delegation limits consistent, reduce document length



















It was interesting to hear what other agencies are doing in this space.

It would be great if we could see the final result - i.e. what the delegations looks like now, understanding of course that some of the information contained in the delegations may need to be redacted. It would still be useful to see the overall structure etc.




Hi Vicki,

Great to hear this is of interest. We're happy to help you make contact with AGD if you're keen to see the delegations - drop us a line at


Hi Steve,

I have sent through a request to I look forward to receiving a reply.