Go to top of page

Glossary of terms



Accountable Authority Instructions

Instructions that the accountable authority of an entity is authorised to give to officials in the entity on any matter necessary or convenient for the carrying out or giving effect to the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013.

APS employee

A person engaged under section 22, or a person who is engaged as an APS employee under section 72, of the Public Service Act 1999

corporate governance

The process by which entities are directed and controlled. It is generally understood to encompass authority, accountability, stewardship, leadership, direction and control.

financial results

the results shown in the financial statements of an entity


an arrangement for the provision of financial assistance by the Commonwealth or on behalf of the Commonwealth, and covered by the Commonwealth Grants Rules and Guidelines


takes into account the planned outcome and the relative significance of the resources consumed in contributing to the achievement of that outcome

non-ongoing APS employee

a person engaged as an APS employee under subsection 22(2)(b) or 22(2)(c) of the Public Service Act 1999

ongoing APS employee

a person engaged as an ongoing APS employee under subsection 22(2) (a) of the Public Service Act 1999


functions, services and processes performed in pursuing the objectives or discharging the functions of an entity


The results, impacts or consequences of a purpose or activity, as defined in the annual Appropriation Acts and the portfolio budget statements, by a Commonwealth entity and company.


Commonwealth programs deliver benefits, services or transfer payments to individuals, organisations or the community as a whole, and/or policy advice to inform government decisions. A program is comprised of activities or groups of activities, as defined in the annual Appropriation Acts and portfolio budget statements, by Commonwealth entity and company. Related term: outcomes.

Responsible Minister

The minister who is responsible for matters described under the Administrative Arrangements Order (AAO). Each Commonwealth entity and company has a responsible minister, which one depends on the matters that the entity or company deals with, or otherwise prescribed by the rules.