How to make a request
The Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) is here to assist all parliamentarians by providing independent and non-partisan analysis of the budget cycle, fiscal policy and the financial implications of proposals.
This page aims to help parliamentarians and their staff to submit requests for policy costings and budget analysis. The templates below include information that is required to specify and process a request. Use this guide to help step you through the process:
- How to guide – requesting a costing (210 KB)
Budget information request template
Guidance on submitting a request
Please feel free to discuss your request with the PBO on a confidential basis before formally submitting it, particularly if you have questions on how to specify the request.
- Please call us on 02 6277 9500 to discuss your request.
- Email formal written requests to the PBO mailbox at firstname.lastname@example.org. Each request:
- must include a signed letter from the parliamentarian, or email from the parliamentarian’s aph.gov.au email account, that is addressed to the Parliamentary Budget Officer
- should include a completed PBO request template.
You will receive an acknowledgement and a tracking number by email once your request is registered. The tracking number makes each request easier to identify in future correspondence.
Publicly released costings and budget analyses
A list of publicly released costings and budget analyses is available at our 2019 Post-election report and Publicly released costings or budget analyses outside the caretaker period
How to read PBO costings
This quick Guide to reading PBO costings is for anyone wanting an overview of how to read a PBO costing.
Behavioural assumptions and PBO costings
A list of behavioural assumptions used in published costings is available at Behavioural assumptions and PBO costings. This includes an information paper detailing the approach taken by the PBO in determining behavioural assumptions used when undertaking policy costings, and a search function for behavioural assumptions that have been made in costings published since 2019.
PBO rounding rules
The PBO rounds its estimates of the financial implications of policy proposals to simplify the presentation of the information being provided and acknowledge that the figures presented are estimates and not exact numbers.
The PBO rounds by applying a set of rules that are simple to implement and apply consistently across all costings.
- Each row of a costing minute’s financial implications is rounded by applying a 3 significant figure rule to determine its level of rounding.
- The largest number in each row (not including the totals) is rounded to three significant figures to determine the level of rounding for the entire row. That is, all figures in a row are rounded to the nearest $0.01 million, $0.1 million, $1 million, $10 million, $100 million or $1,000 million depending on the magnitude of the largest number in the row. As a result, not every number in the row may be rounded to three significant figures.
- Example: A proposal estimated to raise $1,456.789 million (largest estimate) in 2029 30 would be presented as ‘$1,460.0 million’ in the table because the “5” is the third significant figure (i.e. when working through the number from left to right), which would be rounded up to “6” in this example. All other estimates in this row would also be rounded to the nearest $10 million.
- Table row totals are calculated by summing the rounded numbers in each row.
- Table column totals are calculated by summing the rounded numbers that appear above them.
- Once rounded, all estimates are presented in millions of dollars to the nearest one decimal place (or in rare cases where the estimates are relatively small a row may be presented to the nearest two decimal places).
- Our default rounding convention may be modified on occasion where it fails to clearly present a costing’s financial implications (for instance, where an estimate is particularly uncertain in which case we may present less than three significant digits, or where a proposal specifies an exact amount to be spent, in which case the figures presented would not be rounded at all).