Chapter 3 Implementation of national funding agreements
This chapter examines the implementation of national funding agreements.
A number of challenges to the implementation process that have detracted from
the original intent of the IGA FFR are considered including: flexibility; an
increased administrative burden; inadequate consideration of levels of risk;
and micromanagement by the Commonwealth. The chapter then looks at how these
challenges have manifested in the development of implementation plans for
The Committee is aware that the implementation process is under review
by the Heads of Treasuries (HoTs) and the Council of Australian Governments
Reform Council (CRC) and acknowledges that these bodies have made a number of
recommendations to address the issues identified in this chapter.
COAG Reform Council reports
The Committee notes that the CRC in the two annual reports it has so far
delivered has identified issues with implementation planning and has made a
number of recommendations in this regard. In its 2010 report the CRC specifically
addressed issues around transparency and the reporting framework.
It also asked that these issues be taken up in the terms of reference for the Heads
of Treasuries Review (HoTs Review).
In the 2011 report the CRC notes that a number of working groups have
been set up to implement the recommendations from the HoTs Review and that
these groups will address some of the concerns regarding implementation. The
CRC again recommends further work on implementation issues, particularly with
regard to National Partnerships (NPs).
Heads of Treasuries Review
During the inquiry the Committee was made aware that the Council of
Australian Governments (COAG) had commissioned the HoTs to review National
Agreements (NA), National Partnerships (NP) and related Implementation Plans
(IP) in December 2009. The Heads of Treasuries handed down the report in
December 2010 and COAG considered it in February 2011.
The HoTs were asked to determine whether the agreements:
n have clear
objectives, outcomes and outputs;
n clearly specify roles
and responsibilities, particularly in National Agreements;
n constitute the
appropriate form for implementing a policy proposal;
n have the appropriate
quantity and quality of performance indicators and benchmarks, including
whether they meet the requirement that performance reporting contributes to
public transparency; and
n are consistent with
the Intergovernmental Agreement, in particular the extent to which they are
aligned with the design principles set out in Schedule D – Payment
Arrangements and Schedule E – National Policy and Reform Objectives of
the Intergovernmental Agreement.
Witnesses told the Committee that the HoTs Review had identified
many of the problems surrounding the implementation of national funding
agreements and that the HoTs Review had made 43 recommendations to address
these problems. Witnesses made it clear
that the full implementation of these recommendations would rectify the issues
that were identified to the Committee.
The HoTs Review has not been made public and the Committee was unable to
confirm the extent to which it addressed the concerns raised in the evidence to
the inquiry. Therefore, the Committee requests that the findings and
recommendations of the Review be made public and urges COAG to ensure that its
recommendations are fully implemented as quickly as possible.
Difficulties with implementation of national funding agreements
Notwithstanding the solid foundation provided by the IGA FFR and work of
the CRC and the HoTs Review, the Committee heard that the implementation of
national funding agreements had faced a number of challenges. These included:
n an increased
n inadequate risk
n micromanagement by
A significant underlying principle of the IGA FFR is the intention to
provide the states and territories with the flexibility to deliver services by
removing the prescriptive nature of previous arrangements.
In its written submission the NSW Government detailed the advantages of
providing this flexibility:
regional difference. Australia is a geographically large and diverse country. A
one-size-fits-all approach to service delivery would fail to meet local needs
implementation expertise. As the primary service providers, the States bring a
wealth of knowledge and experience to reform planning and rollout.
n Minimising risk. The
innovation and experimentation required to make quantum leaps forward carries
inherent risk. This risk is minimised if individual States ‘trial’ reforms
before they are implemented by others.
innovation. Competition and comparison among States supports continuous
n Avoids lengthy
‘contract’ negotiations. Prescriptive agreements tend to be lengthy documents
which take longer to negotiate.
Contrary to the intention of the IGA FFR, the Committee heard that the
implementation process has impeded the ability of states and territories to
maintain their flexibility. Witnesses repeatedly spoke of the return to a prescriptive
approach by the Commonwealth, particularly through the proliferation of the NP
payments. The Business Council of
Australia (BCA) warned that the ‘continuing proliferation of new national
partnership agreements’ is ‘effectively reintroducing a specific purpose
payment approach’. The Centre of Public Law
…the proliferation of the more prescriptive National
Partnership Payments has increased Commonwealth influence at the expense of
State flexibility, contrary to the spirit of the National Agreements.
In contrast to the concerns of states and territories over their own
flexibility, other witnesses warned that curtailing Commonwealth control over
funding could cause difficulties. The Australian Parents Council Inc. submitted
The national partnerships regime significantly diminishes the
Commonwealth’s capacity to be a driver of reform and innovation in the
development and delivery of programs aimed at addressing national policy
The Independent Schools Council of Australia (ISCA) was critical of NP
models that ‘did not make specific provision for non-government sectors’.
In the experience of ISCA members direct funding provided by the Commonwealth
to non-government school authorities was more effective and efficient.
The ISCA contrasted the Smarter Schools National Partnerships model and the
Building the Education Revolution (BER) initiative. The ISCA claimed that the
Smarter Schools NP had experienced ongoing problems and delays because it was
channelled through state and territory governments whereas the BER had been
Funding under the BER National Partnership was provided
directly by the Commonwealth to non-government education authorities. This
enabled the BER to be implemented in the non-government sectors quickly and
efficiently. As a goal of the BER was economic stimulus, fast implementation
was critical to achieving its goal. The Commonwealth, in implementing the BER,
recognised that providing funding directly to the non-government sectors was
the only way to guarantee fast and efficient implementation.
TAFE Directors Australia acknowledged the need for flexibility but
argued that there is also a need for consistency across jurisdictions.
They explained to the Committee that many TAFE institutions and their clients
deal across jurisdictions and accommodating differing demands is seriously
jeopardising the achievement of national outcomes:
The issue of the inconsistency between jurisdictions creates
a great headache both for the enterprises and the organisations, because we
deliver across every state and territory. For the enterprise to negotiate the
arrangements with each of those jurisdictions is a nightmare and for us, as the
training provider, to seek funding from each of those states and territories to
provide the training on behalf of the company or organisation in that
jurisdiction it has got to the point where the companies are saying, ‘We don’t
want to do this anymore. We will either just withdraw or we will fund it
TAFE Directors Australia also reminded the Committee that consideration
must be given to providing the flexibility to accommodate varying conditions across
regional and remote areas, not only state and territory areas.
Professor Brown from Griffith University was another strong advocate for
expanding the IGA FFR to cover regional needs as well as local government,
telling the Committee that Commonwealth and state and territory relations were
only a ‘fraction’ of the overall federal financial relations system.
Apart from the compromise of flexibility, the primary concern over the
proliferation of NP payments is the increased administrative burden placed on
states and territories. This concern is also tied to reporting requirements for
the other forms of national funding agreements. Early in the inquiry the Commonwealth
Auditor-General warned that the Commonwealth would have to be careful not to
add to the ‘administrative load’ incurred by recipients of national funding
agreements. The BCA also cautioned
that the proliferation of NP agreements had imposed ‘additional processes and
governance layers’ that have placed a ‘considerable administrative burden on
The states and territories confirmed the increased administrative burden
and were critical of the diversion of funds and resources to cover ‘unnecessary
administrative effort’. The Queensland
Government told the Committee that ‘optimal outcomes will be achieved under
Commonwealth-State funding agreements’ when ‘States are not required to divert
scarce resources to high levels of reporting and administrative effort’.
Likewise the NSW Government spoke of the ‘unnecessary administrative burden’
Excessive administration and reporting risks diverting
resources from service and reform delivery.
As with the states and territories, non-government stakeholders were
severely critical of the increased bureaucracy and administrative burden
associated with national funding agreements and concerned at the diversion of
funds and resources from core activities. The Australian Parents Council Inc.
urged the Committee to investigate ‘how much of the money allocated by governments
to schooling actually reaches classrooms’ and ‘how much is diverted into other
areas such as bureaucracies’.
The ISCA expressed similar concerns, citing the example of over
$16 million allocated to evaluate a NP program. Over half of the funds had been
drawn from Commonwealth funds. The Association of
Independent Schools of NSW maintained that these funds were ‘excessive and
disproportionate to the amount of funding available overall’.
Further, the evaluations have added considerably to the administrative burden
for independent schools. The evaluation:
…has resulted in significant intrusions in schools (i.e. too
much evaluation in relation to the work being carried out), requiring a
significant amount of administration and support to be provided by the sector
peak body, and an inordinate amount of time spent on committee work to manage
Summarising the problems with the new funding arrangements for the National
Education Agreement (NEA), the ISCA identified the bureaucratic and
administrative demands as a major issue:
…the issues relate to increased bureaucracy, resulting from
the overlay of Commonwealth and state and territory bureaucracies, both in the
initial implementation and ongoing administration of the partnerships; the consequential
unrecognised and unfunded administrative demands on state and territory
associations of independent schools, which are voluntary organisations not
funded by government; [and] the significant delays and extremely slow pace of
administration before any funding was actually delivered to schools or for
The Committee raised concerns that the move to greater flexibility for
the states and territories could jeopardise effective risk management
associated with delivery under the various agreements. The Committee asked the
Queensland Government what consideration had been given to the changed
responsibilities for risk management under the new arrangements. The Queensland
Government assured the Committee that risk management mechanisms were in place
to mitigate the risk associated with each agreement:
We certainly look at that, both from a fiscal perspective and
from a reporting perspective. So, yes, that certainly would be part of our
thinking in terms of how we would approach the implementation of a particular
agreement and progress towards a particular reform.
The Committee received conflicting evidence regarding the ultimate
responsibility for risk management under the new arrangements. The Commonwealth
Auditor-General considered that the Commonwealth was ultimately responsible:
…if one of the partners fails to deliver, the risk will
almost certainly be carried by the Australian Government in some manner.
In contrast, the Tasmanian Government submitted that ‘the states bear
the risk of any under-achievement’.
Regardless of who is finally held responsible, witnesses maintained that
the key to handling risk was to ensure that the roles and responsibilities of
the various parties were clearly identified and understood.
The NSW Government advised:
Without clear roles and responsibilities, both levels of
government will be concerned about accountability and seek to manage risks
accordingly (including via requirements for detailed reporting requirements
Another concern linked to flexibility and the clear delineation of roles
and responsibilities is the threat of the return of Commonwealth
micromanagement of national funding agreements. Witnesses reminded the
Committee that micromanagement by the Commonwealth was a characteristic of
previous federal financial arrangements, particularly specific purpose
payments, but that the intent of the new framework was to move away from this
prescription and constraint.
The states and territories contend that the original intention of the IGA FFR
has not been fully achieved, as the Tasmanian Government informed the
In some cases, the agreements remain highly prescriptive and
continue the practice of Commonwealth micro-management of state service
Professor Brown reiterated what many witnesses told the Committee:
There is a big difference between simply saying that the
Commonwealth needs to make sure that these resources are spent accountably and
for the purposes for which they are dedicated et cetera and when that crosses
over into the Commonwealth actually reasserting control over the way in which
those resources are spent in a way which interferes with the objective of
flexibility or responsiveness.
The Auditor-General linked micromanagement to the lack of clarity around
roles and responsibilities and identified this difficulty as one of the
implementation challenges facing the Commonwealth government, speaking of:
…instances where Commonwealth officials have assumed key
jurisdiction-based management and implementation positions. Such arrangements
have the potential to blur, rather than clarify, the responsibilities.
Witnesses provided specific examples of micromanagement by the
Commonwealth. Several witnesses identified the National Partnership Agreement
for the Funding of Fort Street High School Noise Insulation as an example of an
inappropriate and prescriptive funding agreement.
The Committee was told that, not only was this agreement not concerned with an
issue of ‘national importance’, it ‘goes so far as telling you about how you
need insulation seals around your doors and window’.
It was made clear to the Committee that Commonwealth micromanagement
extended beyond prescriptive reporting requirements to the development of the
implementation plans. Asked to explain a suggestion that the Commonwealth had
micromanaged the Smarter Schools program, Dr Newcombe from the ISCA told the
I recall attending a number of meetings where we felt that,
in the [State] department as well as in the non-government sector, there were
very experienced educators who had been involved in this game for a long time
working on the implementation plans, and we had what we considered fairly young
and inexperienced people from the Commonwealth meeting with us and not pulling
it to pieces but certainly being quite critical of some of the implementation
plans. That made me think, ‘This is probably inappropriate micromanagement,
particularly from people who perhaps don’t have the experience to do it.’
Development of implementation plans
Evidence to the Committee suggests that many of the difficulties
associated with the implementation of national funding agreements can be traced
to problems with the development of Implementation Plans (IPs) for the
agreements. IPs are usually bilateral agreements between the Commonwealth and
one state or territory which are negotiated between the state or territory portfolio
Minister and the Commonwealth portfolio Minister.
As noted in Chapter 2, while the underlying principles and intent of the
IGA FFR have been acknowledged as providing an excellent foundation for federal
financial relations, in practice the implementation has not fulfilled the promised
potential of the framework. To ensure that potential is realised, the
Auditor-General stressed that there must be a shift to an outcomes focus, the
development of suitable accountability mechanisms and clear delineation of
roles and responsibilities. These factors will need
to be clearly developed and articulated in IPs to avoid confusion.
The Committee heard that, in reality, this has not been the case. The
Tasmanian Government told the Committee that IPs are ‘often in conflict with
IGA principles because of the use of input or financial controls, prescription
around how programs are delivered and onerous reporting requirements’.
The NSW Government identified another implementation difficulty,
claiming that in some instances the Commonwealth ‘unilaterally’ changes
conditions after agreements have been signed. The NSW Government indicated
that uncertainties arise with how to proceed with implementation when, for
…milestones have been changed during the life of the
agreement, funding has been withheld for reasons outside the agreement; or
funding has been significantly delayed.
The Committee received a range of suggestions for improving the
development of implementation plans and addressing the underlying problems,
n a more inclusive
approach to developing implementation plans; and
n ensuring clear and consistent
definitions across agreements and implementation plans.
An inclusive approach
The states and territories advocated for NPs and IPs to be developed in
tandem, with the Commonwealth and states and territories working together, so
that IPs can better reflect the expectations and requirements of the NPs.
Speaking of operational changes that could improve implementation, the
Queensland Government called for the process:
…to require that implementation plans are developed in
parallel with national partnership agreements as far as possible so that the
Commonwealth and the states have a better understanding of the detail
underpinning the agreements when the NPs are actually signed.
The Committee was concerned that such a process may impose tighter
Commonwealth control around implementation and impede the states and
territories flexibility. On the contrary, the Queensland Government told the
Committee that the current process impeded flexibility:
In other words, the NP has been signed by first ministers and
then the implementation plan follows and, when the implementation plan gets to
see the light of day, there are things in there that arguably do not sit well
with the spirit and intent of the broader intergovernmental agreement and
indeed the particular national partnership that COAG has already signed off at
an earlier point in time.
The Queensland Auditor-General, Mr Poole, supported the need for NPs and
IPs to be developed together. Citing the BER agreement and the reconstruction
agreements developed in response to natural disasters in Queensland, Mr Poole
identified possible inconsistencies that could develop when NPs and IPs are
It seemed that there was an agreement between the
Commonwealth and the state at a fairly high level and then the detail was done
somewhere else. …If the two are done together, the chances are that the people
who are doing the broad agreement will be in the tent when the detail is being
developed and will have some capacity to monitor and ensure that we do not get
into a level of detail that was not intended.
Highlighting the need for parallel development of NPs and IPs, the
Queensland Auditor-General explained how differences can develop between the
original intergovernmental agreement and the final implementation requirements.
Again using the BER program as an example, he suggested that:
…once it got into the Department of Education, Employment and
Workplace Relations, they were not quite in tune with the spirit of the
original agreement. From my discussion with state officials, the comment that
came back was: ‘We signed up for this, but once it got off to the department we
found that we were signing up for something entirely different’.
Similarly, the NSW Government told the Committee that currently NPs and
IPs are ‘developed and largely finalised within the Commonwealth prior to
consultation with the States’ and that a ‘more inclusive process would allow
for agreements to better reflect State contexts and priorities’.
Non-government stakeholders were also extremely concerned by the lack of
consultation. The ISCA told the Committee that the non‑government sector
educates ‘more than 30 per cent of Australian schools students’ and is expected
to meet the goals and targets of the NEA. However, the non‑government
school sectors were ‘effectively locked out of the decision‑making’
process for the development of the NEA:
The non-government sectors are not represented on the Ministerial
Council for Education, Early Childhood Development and Youth Affairs (MCEECDYA)
nor has access to MCEECDYA papers. Likewise the relevant senior education
officials’ committee, Australian Education, Early Childhood Development and
Youth Affairs Senior Official Committee (AEEYSOC) does not have non-government
school representation, nor do the non-government sectors have access to papers.
According to the ISCA, the lack of consultation has flow on effects for
implementation. With regard to the Smarter Schools National Partnership, the
The majority of [Associations of Independent Schools]
reported that they had little or no opportunity to influence the strategies
developed under the Partnerships as these had been predetermined prior to
consultation with the sector, often resulting in initiatives that did not
recognise the needs or context of independent schools.
Clear and consistent definitions
The Committee heard that a lack of clarity and consistency of language
across agreements and IPs was hampering implementation. Two areas were
particularly singled out as needing attention:
n value for money; and
Value for money
The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) reiterated concerns it has
brought to the Committee’s attention in previous inquiries regarding the
definition of value for money. The ANAO identified the need for a common
understanding of what represents value for money as an ongoing challenge for
the IGA FFR reforms. The ANAO reminded the
Committee that there has been insufficient consideration given to articulating
value for money.
The ANAO advised that the development of IPs presented an opportunity for
Commonwealth departments in the ‘early stages’ of negotiation to ‘clearly put
forward what represents value for money’ with agreement from all parties and an
understanding by all parties as to how it will be measured.
Asked by the Committee if the ANAO would be willing to contribute to
developing a common definition of value for money, the Commonwealth Auditor‑General
cautioned that his office could not be involved in any form of decision making
regarding the development of IPs. However, he advised
that, along with the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C)
and the Department of Finance and Deregulation (Finance), the ANAO could, and
did, make a contribution to make to ensuring value for money is clearly defined
across national funding agreements. The Commonwealth
Auditor-General suggested that the ANAO already makes a substantial
contribution through its better practice guides, its audit report
recommendations and involvement in a range of forums.
The other area where consistent definitions were needed was in regard to
assurance requirements. Auditors-General explained that they were being asked
to review or monitor activities under various agreements but that the
expectations across agencies could differ, even when the same language was
used. For example, the NSW Auditor-General told the Committee that he had been
asked to ‘certify’ an agreement but it was unclear what was required:
Does it mean I have to certify that money was spent on
widgets? Or does it mean I have to certify that accounting standards were met?
Or do I have to certify that the widgets were effective?
The Queensland Auditor-General suggested that the confusion arose
because agencies were not clear about what assurance they were expecting. He
used the BER agreement to demonstrate the problem:
As an example of the difficulties that have been experienced,
it took state auditors-general many months to gain clarity from the
Commonwealth Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations as to
the form and content of the audit certificate required for expenditure under
the Building the Education Revolution program. All the state audit offices
acted together to gain a consistent audit approach and audit opinion–that is,
the form of the opinion-but the Commonwealth department appeared to have
difficulty in determining what was required for their purposes.
The NSW Auditor-General suggested that the solution lay in developing consistent
definitions to be used across agencies both at Commonwealth and state and
Instead of the Commonwealth department X saying there would
be a certification and the department of Y saying there should be an acquittal,
it would be very helpful, I think, in the interests of transparency for all of
those donors to have a common understanding as to what they want the reviewer
or the auditor to do.
The Committee asked if Auditors-General would be prepared to contribute
to establishing consistent definitions for use across NAs and IPs. The NSW
Auditor-General echoed the comments of the Commonwealth Auditor-General,
warning the Committee that his office could not set the outcomes for these
agreements. The Committee suggested
that perhaps outside expertise could be engaged to provide relevant advice. The
NSW Auditor-General conceded this would be appropriate.
As with the Commonwealth Auditor-General, the NSW Auditor-General suggested
that the PM&C and Finance could provide assistance in this regard.
The Committee notes the HoTs Review and accepts that it may have
identified many of the issues discussed in this chapter. The Committee is
disappointed that this important review has not been tabled in the Parliament
or made public which would have substantially contributed to transparency and
accountability. It would also have offered assurance that many of the issues of
concern raised by witnesses to this inquiry are being addressed. The Committee
acknowledges that there may be limitations on releasing the whole HoTs Review,
however, the Committee recommends that a summary of the findings and
recommendations from the Review be made public along with the Government’s
response and implementation strategy. Further, the Committee urges the
Commonwealth Government to ensure that the Review’s recommendations are fully
implemented as quickly as possible.
While the Committee acknowledges that Commonwealth micromanagement is
against the principle and intent of the IGA FFR, it maintains that the
Commonwealth needs to ensure the accountability of Commonwealth funds. Ways to
accommodate the tension between Commonwealth control and states’/territories’
flexibility must be found both within the implementation process and the
reporting framework, as discussed in the following chapter.
The Committee notes with concern the increased bureaucracy and administrative
burden developing under the IGA FFR, both with regard to an increasing
workload, particularly for small delivery agencies, and the possible waste of
resources. The Committee is aware that this issue has also been identified by
the CRC and that it has recommended that COAG address these concerns.
The issue of the administrative burden will be addressed more fully in Chapter
Regarding risk management and allocation, the Committee recognises that
despite formal allocation of risks to the states/territories in some national
agreements, in reality the public often holds the Commonwealth accountable for
the effective expenditure of taxpayers’ money. To minimise misplaced blame for
poor performance, where risks are agreed to be borne by the states/territories
the Commonwealth should seek to ensure this arrangement is well understood
(including by the public) and strictly maintained within administrations. The
states/territories for their part should take full and public responsibility
for the risks that they have agreed to manage.
Through the course of the Inquiry a reoccurring theme emerged that
implementation often fell short of the principles set within the IGA FFR,
and that this disconnect should be a major point for concern. Although
guidelines were either available or were being developed to assist line
agencies implement agreements following the principles under the IGA FFR,
these did not seem to be having a comprehensive impact amongst line agencies.
Several examples of this are given below. The disconnect between principles and
practical implementation is also discussed in Chapter 4 on performance
The Committee agrees that there would be benefits of NPs and IPs being
developed in tandem to ensure that IPs better reflect the expectations and
requirements of the NPs and better reflect state/territory contexts and
priorities. The Committee notes that in Federal Finance Circular 2010/1, The Treasury
(Treasury) has suggested that the Commonwealth and states/territories should
collaborate on the drafting of implementation plans and that plans ‘may be
drafted concurrently with National Partnerships’.
The Committee encourages departments to ensure that this advice is followed.
The Committee notes the difficulties experienced by major stakeholders
due to the lack of consultation during the development of NPs and IPs. The
Committee again notes that in Federal Finance Circular 2010/1 Treasury has
suggested that prospective stakeholders, including those responsible for
service delivery, should be consulted in the development process.
The Committee encourages both the Commonwealth and states/territories to
develop mechanisms that ensure consultation with relevant stakeholders wherever
The Committee notes that a Federal Finances Circular covering the
preparation of Implementation Plans is set for future release by Treasury.
While the Committee encourages the development and dissemination of these
guidelines in order to help address the problems with the implementation of the
IGA FFR, it considers that more steps need to be taken to ensure such
guidelines are followed.
The Committee believes that additional measures warrant consideration to
further encourage or enforce the application of the IGA FFR principles.
For example, it may be necessary to institute some form of quality control advice
from central agencies on implementation plans under development by line
agencies so the minister responsible is fully informed and accountable for deviations
from the IGA FFR principles. Therefore, the Committee recommends that
PM&C, Finance and Treasury investigate mechanisms to better ensure that
guidelines such as the Federal Finances Circulars, the Conceptual Framework
for Performance Reporting and the Drafters’ Toolkit are
appropriately considered and applied.
The Committee is aware of ongoing concerns over the definition of value
for money across government programs, not just with regard to national funding
agreements. The Commonwealth Auditor-General has continually brought this issue
to the attention of successive governments. A single generic definition of
value for money is not possible, but clarifying what value for money means for
each agreement is essential. The Committee believes that it is critical that
value for money be clearly defined during the early negotiation stages of national
funding agreements and IPs. This process needs to include all parties arriving
at a common understanding of what value for money means—and ensuring this can
be clearly articulated and documented. The process needs to also include
agreement on how value for money will be measured. If this is not achieved at
the outset problems will continue to plague implementation and meaningful
The Committee recognises the need for clear definitions for assurance requirements
to enable consistent auditing arrangements across jurisdictions. The Committee recommends
that PM&C, Finance and Treasury, in consultation with appropriate experts,
develop a set of agreed definitions for assurance requirements to be used in
NAs, NPs and IPs.
The Committee is aware that the following recommendations may overlap
recommendations already suggested by the HoTs Review, however as those
recommendations have not been made public the Committee is of the view that
given the evidence presented these issues must be addressed through this
The Committee recommends that the Commonwealth Government
makes the recommendations and a summary of the findings of the Heads of
Treasuries Review public, along with the associated Government response and implementation
The Committee recommends that the Department of the Prime
Minister and Cabinet and central agencies investigate whether additional
measures are needed to encourage and enforce the application of the
Intergovernmental Agreement on Federal Financial Relations’ principles and
associated guidelines, and that the findings of the investigation be publicly
released and provided to the Committee.
The Committee recommends that the Department of the Prime
Minister and Cabinet and central agencies, in consultation with appropriate
experts, develop a set of agreed definitions for assurance requirements to be
used in National Agreements, National Partnerships and Implementation Plans.