The functions of the NCA as set out in Section 6 of the PALM Act are to:
1. prepare and administer a National Capital Plan (the Plan)
2. keep the Plan under constant review and to propose amendments to it when necessary
3. on behalf of the Commonwealth, to commission works to be carried out in Designated Areas in accordance with the Plan where neither a Department of State of the Commonwealth nor any Commonwealth authority has the responsibility to commission those works
4. recommend to the Minister the carrying out of works that it considers desirable to maintain or enhance the character of the National Capital
5. foster an awareness of Canberra as the National Capital
6. with the approval of the Minister, to perform planning services for any person or body, whether within Australia or overseas
7. with the approval of the Minister, and excluding the management and regulation of the taking of water, manage National Land designated in writing by the Minister as land required for the special purposes of Canberra as the National Capital.