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Priorities for 2018–19

Finance’s key priorities and deliverables for 2018–19 were:

  1. advising on expenditure and managing sustainable public sector resourcing assisting the Government to achieve its fiscal and policy objectives. The Department provided policy and financial advice, management and reporting as mandated by the Charter of Budget Honesty Act 1998 and the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013. The Department continued to modernise the Commonwealth’s Budget process by building automation into Budget management through the Shared Budget Workflow System (SBWS) and building on collaboration across Australian Public Service (APS) entities.
  2. delivering cost-effective services to, and for, Government by supporting parliamentarians and their staff through frameworks that administer remuneration, work expenses and other public resources. During an election year, the Department supported departing, returning and new parliamentarians and their staff through transitioning out of, and into, a new Parliament. In 2018–19, the Service Delivery Office (SDO) continued to challenge and change the way shared services can be delivered and Finance successfully transitioned a number of internal corporate services to a shared services arrangement with the SDO, enabling the Department to streamline and automate many corporate processes.
  3. managing public sector frameworks and governance mechanisms across the whole of government ensuring the sector is operating efficiently and has the organisational capability to respond to changing priorities. The Department provided fit-for-purpose services to empower Finance’s stakeholders to deliver the desired outcomes for government. The Department coordinated whole-of-government advertising campaigns and provided a range of secure telecommunications and ICT infrastructure such as the ICON fibre optic network for government entities and GovLINK, which enabled secure communication between government entities.
  4. driving public sector transformation and delivering productive and better quality services to citizens and businesses. Finance supported business improvements across the APS and investment in technology and digital capability that enabled public servants to focus on the Government’s strategic priorities and collaborate in the delivery of services. In 2018–19 Finance supported several initiatives that are transforming the way the APS operates, including the Centre of Procurement Excellence (CoPE), the Productivity and Automation Centre of Excellence (PACE), and the transparency.gov.au repository of publicly available corporate information for all Commonwealth entities. This year, in partnership with APS entities, the Department hosted a public sector expo that showcased projects that are modernising the public sector and increasing efficiencies and productivity.

In addition to supporting these themes reflecting Finance's purpose, the Department had a focus on delivering key government projects and business improvements. For example:

  • enabling strategic reporting and sound governance arrangements that ensured Government Business Enterprises (GBEs) operated efficiently and maintained financial and operational sustainability
  • providing back-office administration functions to entities through participation in and delivery of the Shared Services Program
  • leading the Snowy 2.0 Taskforce in partnership with the Department of the Environment and Energy and development and delivery of the GBE Professional Education Program
  • delivering government savings through the National Property Efficiency Program and the National Divestment Program, which support the whole-of-government coordinated procurement arrangements for property services
  • providing operational support before, during and after the 2019 federal election including in the areas of Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984 (MOP(S) Act) employees and parliamentarians, establishment of the Electoral Integrity Assurance Taskforce and implementation of machinery-of-government changes.

Through the internal transformation agenda, Finance has fostered four focus areas in delivering its priorities: people, stewardship, making business better and integrated business planning.

The activities and achievements discussed below highlight the Department’s work in striving to be a high-performing, modern, efficient and continuously improving public sector organisation in 2018–19.