Chapter 1 Background
Referral of the Bill
The Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Bill 2013
(hereafter referred to as the Bill) was introduced into the House of
Representatives on 16 May 2013.
On the same day, the House of Representatives Selection Committee
referred the Bill to the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit (JCPAA)
for inquiry and report.
In referring the Bill, the Selection Committee provided the following
… to ensure that combining the two Acts into a single Act
does not impose additional and unnecessary reporting requirements on bodies
subject to the Act and does not reduce transparency or remove important oversight
where it is appropriate.
On 16 May 2013 the Senate referred the Public Governance, Performance
and Accountability Bill 2013 to the Senate Finance and Public Administration
Committee for report by 3 June 2013. However the Finance and Public Administration
Committee determined that as the Bill had also been referred for inquiry and
report to the JCPAA it would not proceed with a separate inquiry.
Scope of this inquiry
The purpose of this report is to identify and discuss matters
surrounding the provisions of the Public Governance, Performance and
Accountability Bill 2013.
With the Bill being introduced and referred to the JCPAA in the last
sitting period prior to the scheduled prorogation of Parliament, the Committee
decided to form a sectional committee for the purposes of examining the report
at a high level in short period of time. This decision was taken to provide
Parliament as a whole with as much time as possible to debate the Bill before
the end of June.
The Committee’s examination of the Bill has sought to balance the need
for speed with the importance of providing sound advice to the Parliament. On
this basis, the sectional committee did not examine the Bill clause by clause
but instead focused on the broader issues raised in the prelude of the
Explanatory Memorandum, and those mentioned in the referral.
A number of submissions to the inquiry raised clause specific or other matters
outside the scope of this inquiry. Many of these issues have been addressed by
the Department of Finance and Deregulation through supplementary submissions to
the Committee. Full copies of Finance’s submissions can be found on the
Conduct of the inquiry
Details of the inquiry were placed on the Committee’s website. A media
release announcing the inquiry and seeking submissions was issued on
17 May 2013. The Department of Finance and Deregulation assisted in the
distribution of advice on the Committee’s inquiry by including a reference in
information that went out with a Finance Circular released on
17 May 2013.
A further media release was distributed on 23 May 2013 advising
interested parties of the public hearing. Social media was also utilised to
publicise the inquiry, including a request for submissions and notification of
To inform the Committee of key issues related to the proposed
modernisation of the financial framework, submissions made to the Department of
Finance and Deregulation’s Commonwealth Financial Accountability Review (CFAR)
process were reviewed. From this a number of stakeholders were contacted to
invite further comment either through submission or attendance at the public
Seventeen submissions, three supplementary submissions and an exhibit
were received. They are listed at Appendix A and B. A number of stakeholders
also referred the Committee to their submissions made to the Finance Department
as part of the CFAR.
The public hearing was held in Canberra on Friday 24 May 2013. A list of
witnesses who appeared is at Appendix C.
Copies of all relevant documents, including submissions and a copy of
the transcript, are available on the Committee’s website at www.aph.gov.au/jcpaa.