Establishment, role and legislation

Establishment

The Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) commenced operations on 23 July 2012, and is one of four parliamentary departments supporting the Australian Parliament.

The establishment of the PBO followed consideration by the Joint Select Committee on the Parliamentary Budget Office and subsequent passage of the Parliamentary Service Amendment (Parliamentary Budget Officer) Bill 2011.

The Parliamentary Budget Officer is Mr Phil Bowen PSM FCPA.

Role

The role of the PBO is to inform the Parliament by providing independent and non-partisan analysis of the budget cycle, fiscal policy and the financial implications of proposals.

Legislation

As set out in the Parliamentary Service Act 1999, the Parliamentary Budget Officer has the following functions:

  • Outside the caretaker period for a general election, to prepare policy costings on request by Senators and Members, with the requests and the PBO's responses to be kept confidential if so directed by the requestor.
  • During the caretaker period for a general election, to prepare costings of publicly announced polices on request by authorised members of parliamentary parties or independent parliamentarians, with the requests and the PBO's responses to be made public.
  • To prepare responses (other than policy costings) to requests relating to the budget from Senators and Members, with the requests and the PBO's responses to be kept confidential if so directed by the requestor.
  • To prepare submissions to inquiries of parliamentary committees, on request by such committees, with the requests and the PBO's responses to be made public.
  • After a general election, to report on the budget impacts of the election commitments of designated parliamentary parties.
  • To conduct, on his or her own initiative, research and analysis of the budget and fiscal policy settings, with the results of this work to be made public.

Contact details

PO Box 6010
Parliament House
CANBERRA ACT 2600

Phone: (02) 6277 9500

Email: pbo@pbo.gov.au