PBO Guidance: 02/2012
CLARIFICATION OF THE ROLE OF THE PARLIAMENTARY BUDGET OFFICE IN
UNDERTAKING COSTINGS AND PROVIDING ANALYSES OF THE BUDGET
DURING THE CARETAKER PERIOD
The following guidance is to clarify the role of the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) in undertaking costings and providing analyses of the budget during the caretaker period.
- Where a costing request has been made before the caretaker period commences and there is insufficient time or information for the PBO to complete the costing before the caretaker period commences, the PBO may complete the costing after the caretaker period commences provided it does so before the next general election. In this circumstance the PBO would utilise the parameters contained in the Pre-election Fiscal and Economic Outlook (PEFO), which is prepared within the first ten days of the caretaker period, to finalise the costing. In the event that the PBO is unable to complete a costing before the next general election, the costing request is taken to have been withdrawn immediately before the start of the caretaker period for the election.
- It is not permissible for a request for a confidential costing outside of the caretaker period to contain a standing request for the costing to be updated to take account of the PEFO. To do so would be in conflict with the requirement that only an authorised member of a Parliamentary party or an independent member of Parliament may request a policy costing during the caretaker period and such a request and the costing itself must be publicly released.
- During the caretaker period, the PBO is able to prepare a confidential response to a request from a Senator or a Member for information about updated economic forecasts and parameters or fiscal estimates, provided that the request does not comprise a request for a policy costing and preparing the response does not require a costing to be performed.
Phil Bowen PSM FCPA
Parliamentary Budget Officer
||23 October 2012
||Mathew Fox (02) 6277 9520