Additional Budget Estimates 2019–20
On 13 February 2020, the Senate referred the following to the Senate
Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee (the committee) for
examination and report:
- particulars of proposed additional expenditure in respect of the
year ending on 30 June 2020 [Appropriation Bill (No. 3) 2019–20];
- particulars of certain proposed additional expenditure in respect
of the year ending on 30 June 2020 [Appropriation Bill (No. 4) 2019–20]; and
- Final Budget Outcome 2018–19.
The committee has responsibility for examining the expenditure and
outcomes of the following:
- Parliamentary Departments;
- Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) Portfolio;
- Finance Portfolio;  and
- Cross Portfolio Indigenous Matters.
Departments and agencies under the committee's oversight are listed in
Appendix 1 of this report.
Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2019–20
The Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements (PAES) facilitate an
understanding of the proposed appropriations in Appropriation Bills (No. 3 and
No. 4). The PAES explain changes in resourcing since the Budget and
provide information on new measures and their impact on the financial and
non-financial planned performance of agencies. The PAES 2019–20 for the PM&C Portfolio and the Finance Portfolio were
tabled in the Senate on 13 February 2020.
Prime Minister and Cabinet
The PAES 2019–20 for the PM&C Portfolio note the entities receiving
additional appropriation in Appropriation Bills (No. 3 and No. 4), which
include the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet; Australian Public
Service Commission; National Drought and North Queensland Flood Response and
Recovery Agency; National Indigenous Australians Agency; Office of National
Intelligence; and the Office of the Official Secretary to the Governor-General.
The following changes have been made to the PM&C Portfolio since the
- responsibility for the Digital Transformation Agency was
transferred from the PM&C Portfolio to Services Australia in accordance
with amendments to the Administrative Arrangements Order (AAO) made on
29 May 2019;
- responsibility for Old Parliament House was transferred to the
PM&C Portfolio from the Communications and the Arts Portfolio following a
decision from the Prime Minister;
- drought functions were delegated to the National Drought and
North Queensland Flood Response and Recovery Agency; and
- the National Bushfire Recovery Agency was established within the
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
Further amendments to the AAO on 5 December 2019 did not result
in any changes for the portfolios for which the committee has oversight.
The PAES 2019–20 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. The PAES also listed the
responsibilities of the Minister for Finance and the Assistant Minister for
Finance, Charities and Electoral Matters.
The committee held public hearings on 2, 3 and 6 March 2020. The
Parliamentary Departments and the PM&C Portfolio (excluding Indigenous
matters) were examined on 2 March 2020, the Finance Portfolio was examined on 3
March 2020 and the Cross Portfolio Indigenous Matters was examined on 6 March 2020.
The committee took evidence from the President of the Senate, Senator
the Hon Scott Ryan, and the following Ministers accompanied by officers of
relevant departments and agencies:
- Senator the Hon Mathias Cormann, Minister for Finance and Minister
representing the Prime Minister;
- Senator the Hon Zed Seselja, Assistant Minister Finance, Charities
and Electoral Matters;
- Senator the Hon Marise Payne, Minister for Women; and
- Senator the Hon Anne Ruston, Minister representing the Minister for
Indigenous Affairs, Minister for Families and Social Services.
The committee expresses its appreciation for the assistance of the
President, Ministers and the officers who appeared.
Over the course of the hearings, the committee took evidence from the
following departments, agencies and statutory officers:
Department of the Senate;
- Parliamentary Budget Office; and
- Department of Parliamentary Services.
Prime Minister and
- Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (Outcome 1);
- National Bushfire Recovery Agency;
- Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (Office for Women);
- Workplace Gender Equality Agency;
- National Drought and North Queensland Flood Response and Recovery
- Australian National Audit Office;
- Australian Public Service Commission; and
- Office of National Intelligence.
- ASC Pty Ltd;
- Australian Naval Infrastructure Pty Ltd;
- Future Fund Management Agency;
- Department of Finance;
- Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority; and
- Australian Electoral Commission.
- Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation;
- Australian Institute of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander
- Indigenous Business Australia;
- National Indigenous Australians Agency; and
- Department of Health (in relation to Indigenous health issues).
Documents tabled during the hearings of Additional Budget Estimates
2019–20 are listed in Appendix 2 of this report.
Questions on notice and Hansard transcripts
The committee set 17 April 2020 as the date for the return of answers to
questions on notice arising from the Additional Estimates 2019–20 hearings.
Proof Hansard transcripts of proceedings of hearings are published on
the committee's website.
Answers to questions on notice—Supplementary Budget Estimates 2019–20
The committee's examination of the Supplementary Estimates 2019–20 took
place on 21 October 2019 for the Parliamentary Departments and the PM&C
Portfolio, 22 October 2019 for the Finance Portfolio and 25 October 2019 for
Cross Portfolio Indigenous Matters. The committee set 6 December 2019 as the
date for the return of answers to questions on notice.
The committee held two spillover hearings. The committee heard from the
PM&C Portfolio, the Finance Portfolio and the Parliamentary Departments on
14 November 2019 and the PM&C Portfolio again on 26 November 2019.
The committee set 19 December 2019 as the date for the return of answers to
questions on notice.
answers to questions on notice
The committee placed a total of 1599 questions on notice during
Supplementary Budget Estimates 2019–20. Of the 1505 questions taken on notice at the committee's hearings on 21,
22 and 25 October 2019, 845 answers were received by the due date of
6 December 2019. Of the 94 questions taken on notice at the committee's
spillover hearings on 14 and 26 November 2019, 67 answers were
received by the due date of 19 December 2019.
The Parliamentary Departments took a total of 219 questions on notice
during hearings for Supplementary Budget Estimates 2019–20. 144 answers to 148
questions taken on notice at the committee's hearing on
21 October 2019 were provided by the due date of
6 December 2019. The departments provided a further 60 answers to 71 questions
taken on notice at the committee's spillover hearing on 14 November 2019
by the due date of 19 December 2019. The remaining 15 answers were
provided by 28 January 2020.
The Finance Portfolio took 247 number of questions on notice at the
committee's hearing on 22 October 2019. 128 answers to questions on
notice were provided by 6 December 2019, with the remaining 32
answers provided by 20 December 2020. All 87 answers due by 13 January 2020
were provided on time. Finance did not take any questions on notice at the
committee's spillover hearing on 14 November 2019.
The PM&C Portfolio (including Cross Portfolio on Indigenous Matters)
took a total of 1129 questions on notice during hearings for Supplementary
Budget Estimates 2019–20. The PM&C Portfolio provided 569 of its 1106 answers
to questions on notice at hearings on 21 and 25 October 2019
by the due date of 6 December 2019. This figure includes four questions
taken on notice by the Department of Health. 23 questions were taken on notice
at the committee's spillover hearings on 14 and 26 November 2019,
with 7 answers being provided by the due date of 19 December 2019. 533
answers to questions on notice were provided between late December 2019 and early
March 2020. As at the time of tabling for this report, there are 20
answers to questions on notice outstanding.
The committee highlights its preference for outstanding responses to be
provided before the next estimates round.
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