This year, foremost in our priorities is our responsibility to support the government to deliver its fiscal and policy objectives consistent with the Charter of Budget Honesty Act 1998. This includes the delivery of the 2018–19 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook, the 2019–20 Budget, the government’s financial statements and the Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Outlook following the calling of a federal election. We are also modernising the
administrative processes that support the federal Budget, through the new Budget Workflow System. Another key focus for the year ahead will be to continue to champion public sector modernisation—working in collaboration with our partners to deliver better services to citizens and businesses, which is enabled by a high-performing and productive public sector.
We continue to enhance our important stewardship role, including through the Secretaries Committee on APS Reform—a critical enabler of the public sector’s reform roadmap described in Budget Paper No. 4. We are contributing to the roadmap with our work on a number of projects that aim to build the public sector’s capability, including through the Productivity and Automation Centre of Excellence, based in the Service Delivery Office, piloting methods to measure productivity and enabling more efficient cross-government collaboration through GovTEAMS.
The Public Service Modernisation Fund remains a priority, providing oversight, and in some areas, delivering the Government’s investment in projects that will transform the business of government. Through the Fund, we have established the new Government Business Analytical Unit within Finance, and we are developing the Secure Information Sharing Capability platform that enables sharing and analysis of whole-of-government data—at the protected level—to inform and support ongoing improvements to government operations.
We will continue to develop the Parliamentary Expenses Management System to deliver better support for the administration, audit and reporting of work expenses for parliamentarians and staff employed under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984.
In addition, Finance is leading a pilot program to digitise the development and publication of the annual reports of Commonwealth entities and companies. This year’s annual report was developed using the tool. We will also continue to provide our corporate offerings to government agencies, for example through the coordinated procurement arrangements.
Supporting our government business enterprises in their ongoing development of key projects, such as Western Sydney Airport, the National Broadband Network, the Moorebank Intermodal Terminal, naval shipbuilding infrastructure and Inland Rail, will remain a high priority.
In all of these activities, we seek to exercise leadership, and to be innovative in the use of emerging digital technologies and collaborative across the public sector.
We will continue our role as a leader in developing the APS reform agenda and will continue to drive transformation across the public sector through transforming our internal activities to support better services for citizens and businesses and ensuring those services are delivered in the most efficient ways possible. In 2018–19, Finance’s transformation will focus on four areas:
- People: We want to have an inclusive, curious and empowered culture, aligned to priorities and capable of seizing opportunities presented by change
- Stewardship: We want positive and influential relationships with our stakeholders to support better outcomes for the Australian people
- Making business better: We want to continually challenge what we do, how we do it and improve the way we work
- Integrated business planning: We want to make timely and informed decisions using better data and integrated planning, budgeting and reporting.
Within Finance, we will both promote and experience public sector reform. As well as driving the Shared Services Program, Finance is transitioning to its own shared services arrangements through the Service Delivery Office.