As the accountable authority of the Commonwealth Grants Commission (CGC), I present the CGC’s 2019–20 annual performance statements, as required under paragraph 39(1)(a) of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act).
In my opinion, these annual performance statements are based on properly maintained records, accurately reflect the performance of the entity for the reporting period, and comply with subsection 39(2) of the PGPA Act.
(signed) Michael Willcock
29 September 2020
The CGC measures its performance using the performance criteria outlined in the CGC’s Corporate Plan 2019–20 and Portfolio Budget Statements 2019–20.
The extent to which parties, and particularly state governments, are given opportunities to place their views before the commission
Over the first half of the year, the CGC continued the ongoing consultation process for the 2020 review of its methodology to be used to calculate the relativities for distributing GST revenue among the states from 2020-21 (2020 Review). This included the release of the following documents:
- the draft report for the 2020 Review, describing the data sources and methods the Commission proposed to adopt in its final report (August 2019)
- new issues for the 2020 Review not previously considered (October 2019)
- significant changes to data and methods since the draft report (November 2019).
Submissions were received from the states in relation to each of these documents.
Following the consultation process, and after implementing its decisions on data sources and methods, the Commission presented its final report, GST Revenue Sharing Relativities 2020 Review, to the Commonwealth Treasurer and the states on 28 February 2020, with public release of the report on 16 March 2020.
After the release of the 2020 Review final report, the CGC sought feedback from states on the way it had conducted the review process. In June, the CGC published on its web site a summary of the feedback and its response.
The technical quality of the analytical work underlying and supporting the commission’s reports, backed up by robust quality assurance processes
External auditors attested to the technical quality and accuracy of the work underlying the GST relativities.
The timeliness of reports
In line with the terms of reference for the 2020 Review, CGC provided the Treasurer with the draft report on data sources and methods in late June 2019. The draft report was made available to states as part of the consultation process in August. In November 2019, CGC also provided Commonwealth and state treasuries with a description of substantive changes to the revised methodology following the draft report, as required by the terms of reference.
The CGC met the requirements of its outcome and the terms of reference for the 2020 Review, and delivered the final report of the 2020 Review on 28 February 2020.
Appropriate responses to each requirement in terms of reference
The GST revenue sharing relativities for 2020–21 complied with the instructions in the terms of reference received from the Treasurer on 28 November 2016 as well as supplementary terms of reference dated 6 October 2019 and 25 February 2020.
The degree of acceptance of the results presented to the Commonwealth and state governments in response to terms of reference
The Federal Financial Relations (GST Revenue Sharing Relativities for 2020‑21) Determination 2020, made by the Treasurer on 1 April 2020, used the relativities recommended by the CGC.
While some states would have preferred a different treatment of a number of issues, most states expressed a high degree of acceptance of the well-established processes by which the CGC discharges its responsibilities.
Analysis of performance against the CGC’s purpose
The activities of the CGC are contingent upon the receipt of terms of reference from the Treasurer.
The main activity during the year was responding to terms of reference requirements for the finalisation of the 2020 Review, which was a comprehensive review of all data and methods underpinning the calculation of the GST revenue sharing relativities. The review was completed successfully with the presentation to the Treasurer of the Report on GST Revenue Sharing Relativities 2020 Review. The Commonwealth and states received the report on 28 February 2020, as required by the terms of reference. The report was released publicly on 16 March 2020.