Chapter 1

Additional Budget Estimates 2018–19


1.1        On 14 February 2019, the Senate referred the following to the Senate Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee (the committee) for examination and report:

Portfolio coverage

1.2        The committee has responsibility for examining the expenditure and outcomes of the following departments and agencies:

1.3        Pursuant to an order of the Senate, the committee also holds a separate hearing on cross-portfolio Indigenous matters.[4]

1.4        Departments and agencies under the committee's oversight are listed in Appendix 1 of this report.

Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2018–19

1.5        The Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements (PAES) facilitate an understanding of the proposed appropriations in Appropriation Bills (No. 3 and No. 4). The focus of the PAES is on explaining the changes in resourcing since the Budget and to provide information on new measures and their impact on the financial and non-financial planned performance of agencies.[5] The PAES 2018–19 for the PM&C Portfolio and the Finance Portfolio were tabled in the Senate on 8 February 2019.[6]

1.6        The PAES 2018–19 for the PM&C Portfolio noted the entities receiving an additional appropriation in Appropriation Bills (No. 3 and 4) included the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, the Office of National Intelligence, the Office of the Official Secretary to the Governor-General, and the Workplace Gender Equality Agency.[7]

1.7        Amendments to the Administrative Arrangements Order (AAO)[8] of 10 May 2018 resulted in the following changes to the PM&C Portfolio:

1.8        The PAES 2018–19 for the Finance Portfolio note the additional estimates and variations sought by the Department of Finance, the Australian Electoral Commission and the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority.[10] The PAES also listed the ministerial changes to the Portfolio following the Prime Minister's announcement of changes to the Ministry on 28 August 2018:


1.9        The committee held public hearings on 18, 19 and 22 February 2019. The Parliamentary departments and the PM&C Portfolio (excluding Indigenous matters) were examined on 18 February, the Finance Portfolio was examined on 19 February, and the cross-portfolio Indigenous matters hearing was held on 22 February 2019.

1.10      Senator the Hon Scott Ryan, President of the Senate, and the following Ministers appeared with officers of relevant departments and agencies:

1.11      The committee expresses its appreciation for the assistance of the President, Ministers and the officers who appeared.

1.12      Over the course of the hearings, the committee took evidence from the following departments, agencies and statutory officers:

Parliamentary departments

Prime Minister and Cabinet Portfolio

Finance Portfolio

Cross-portfolio Indigenous Matters

1.13      Documents tabled during the hearings of Additional Budget Estimates 2018–19 are listed in Appendix 2 of this report.

Questions on notice and Hansard transcripts

1.14      In accordance with the variation to the Senate order relating to unanswered questions on notice, the committee set 29 March 2019 as the date for the return of answers to questions on notice arising from the Additional Estimates 2018–19 hearings.[12] Proof Hansard transcripts of proceedings of hearings, are published on the committee's website at:

Answers to questions on notice—Supplementary Budget Estimates 2018–19

1.15      The committee's examination of the Supplementary Estimates 2018–19 took place on 22 October 2018 for the Parliamentary Departments, 22 and 23 October 2018 for the PM&C Portfolio, 23 October 2018 for the Finance Portfolio and 26 October 2018 for the cross-portfolio Indigenous matters. The committee set 7 December 2018 as the date for the return of answers to questions on notice.

Timeliness of answers to questions on notice

1.16      The committee had a total of 462 questions taken on notice[13] with a total of 259 answers being received by the due date.

1.17      The Finance Portfolio provided all of its answers to questions on notice from its hearings on 23 October 2018 by the due date of 7 December 2018.

1.18      The Parliamentary departments provided 79 out of 80 responses to questions on notice from its hearing on 22 October 2018 by the due date of 7 December 2018. The remaining question on notice was responded to on 7 February 2019 by the Department of Parliamentary Services.

1.19      The PM&C Portfolio (including cross-portfolio) provided 93 of its 285 answers to questions on notice from its hearings on 22 and 23 October 2018 by the due date of 7 December 2018. The remaining 192 questions on notice were provided in late December 2018 and in January 2019.

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