Government sector finance reform

The Government Sector Finance Act 2018 (GSF Act) implementation is under way.

This page provides information about the GSF Act and associated reform to assist agencies with their role in the successful implementation. Agencies should note that the fact sheets and other support material are a guide only and do not replace a familiarity with the legislation.

If you can’t find the information that you require or if you have any questions, please contact [email protected]

Latest implementation material

Legislation

Current status of Treasurer’s directions

  • Treasurer’s directions issued as the ‘Gold Book’ and associated Treasury Circulars amending the Gold Book, have been repealed.
  • Treasurer’s directions issued separately under the PFAA (i.e. published as Treasury Circulars & Treasury Policy papers) remain in force, and should be followed as government policy, unless the provision to which they relate have been repealed at an earlier stage or they are inconsistent with the GSF Act.
  • TDs 92.2, 88.2 and 89.1 (section 469 of the Gold Book) also continue to operate. These were part of the Gold Book but were not repealed because of a lack of other clear government policy in the area. They remain in force and should be followed as government policy. These can be found in the Policy & Guidelines section of the Document library on the NSW Treasury website.

To access fact sheets and resources regarding the GSF Act, click on the resource pages on the left-hand menu or below.

Resources - An overview: learn this first

Resources - By Role

Resources - By Subject

Frequently Asked Questions

Monies held in an account within the SDA are one exception to the general rule that all public monies form one Consolidated Fund (s. 39 of the Constitution Act 1902).
These accounts exist for the purpose(s) specified in the legislation which establishes the account. If that purpose has been fulfilled, or the SDA account is otherwise no longer needed, then the SDA account should be dissolved.
To dissolve an SDA account requires an amendment to the legislation which establishes it. Any monies remaining in the SDA account would be paid into the Consolidated Fund, unless the amending legislation provides otherwise.
If you wish to dissolve an SDA account, or you require further information, please contact your Policy and Budget analyst and your legal advisors
 

An account with in the SDA is akin to a ledger account. It is not essential to have a separate bank account for an account with in the SDA. However, the responsible manager for the account must maintain accounting records that are sufficient to prepare financial reports concerning the account. (s.7.8 of the GSF Act.)

The Accountable Authority, via policies and procedures, and government officers must ensure that expenditure of money is in a way that is authorised.
For the expenditure to be authorised it must be done:
•    in accordance with a delegation or subdelegation from a person with power regarding the expenditure of money, or
•    under the authority of the GSF Act or any other law.

In relation to expenditure of money where authorisation is by delegation or subdelegation, the delegation (including thresholds) are set by the delegator. You should refer to your agency’s delegations manual and policies and procedures for who may authorise expenditure and how expenditure should be authorised. Where no action has been taken in relation to agency delegations since the commencement of the GSF Act, transitional provisions provide that delegations continue in force. (Refer to clause 12 Schedule 1 Government Sector Finance Regulation 2018.)

Where your practices comply with sections 12, 12A and 13 of the Public Finance and Audit Act 1983 (PFA 1983) those practices would generally be consistent with the requirements of the GSF Act. 

The GSF Act provides an opportunity for your agency to update your financial management practices and policies, including:
1.    updating your delegations, and 
2.    streamlining your expenditure processes. 

Additional information: Expenditure of money from the Consolidated Fund and delegations

Under the GSF Act, for expenditure of money from the Consolidated Fund[1], a Minister delegating[2] an appropriation expenditure function may impose terms and conditions on the delegation and also on any subdelegation. For an officer delegated or subdelegated an appropriation expenditure function they must be appropriately authorised with a valid delegation and they must exercise that function in accordance with the terms and conditions set by the Minister (if any).

For further information refer to the Expenditure and Delegating roles and responsibilities fact sheets. Section 5.2 and 5.5 GSF Act
 

No. Thresholds are set by the delegator in the instrument of delegation.

Generally, the response to this question will depend on the terms of the contract and the circumstances of each case.

The below should be followed:
Section 5.5(1) of the GSF Act requires the Accountable Authority of an agency to ensure that expenditure of money for a GSF agency is in a way that is authorised.
Section 5.5(2) provides that a government officer must ensure that the officer’s expenditure of money for the State or a GSF agency is done in a way that is authorised. 
An accountable authority is also a government officer and would, therefore, be subject to this obligation in section 5.5(2).
Expenditure of money is authorised if it is done “in accordance with a delegation or subdelegation from a person with power regarding the expenditure of money” or “under the authority of [the GSF Act] or any other law”. 
“Expenditure of money” includes (s. 1.4, GSF Act):
(a)    the commitment of money for expenditure, and 
(b)    the incurring of expenditure and the making of payments, and 
(c)    the making of payments. 
For a multi-year contract, the officer would be “committing” for expenditure on entry into the contract the total amount payable over the term of the contract. However, this may not necessarily be the answer in every case where a multi-year contract is concerned, and would depend on the terms of the contract. 

Accordingly, the officer must have a financial delegation for the total amount payable over the term of the contract, authority to enter into the contract, and the appropriation limit must not have otherwise been reached by expenditure in the relevant financial year. 

Please consider obtaining legal advice within your agency or joint formal advice with Treasury from the Crown Solicitor’s Office.
 

This is a new requirement under section 3.6(1)(a) of the GSF Act. Agencies will likely maintain an accounting manual, as this was required by section 11(3) of the Public Finance and Audit Act 1983 (PFAA) Act), now repealed.

 

The Accountable Authority is required to determine whether their agency’s existing financial management policies and procedures in its accounting manual are sufficient for the GSF Act. The GSF Act requirements also include establishing, maintaining and keeping under review:

  • the agency’s risk management, internal control and assurance processes; and
  • arrangements for protecting the integrity of financial and performance information.

These requirements are also similar to the internal control and audit requirements under the PFAA Act.

Treasury has previously issued the following mandatory policies and guidance:

  • TPP15-03 Internal Audit and Risk Management Policy
  • TPP16-02 Shared arrangements for Audit and Risk Committees
  • TPP17-08 Requirements for issuing, managing and reporting instruments of assurance
  • TPP12-03 Risk management toolkit (3 Volumes)
  • TPP17-06 Certifying the effectiveness of internal controls over financial information.

If an agency adheres with the above policies, the Accountable Authority will comply with their obligations regarding financial management policies and procedures under the GSF Act.

 

The Accountable authority will also need to comply with any Treasurer’s directions and regulations issued in relation to section 3.6(1) of the GSF Act. Treasurer’s directions will be circulated as they are issued and will be published on the NSW Legislation Website and the NSW Treasury Website.

Examples of financial management policy and procedures

Below is a list of financial management policies which an agency may be expected to satisfy section 3.6 of the GSF Act. 

Topic

Sub-topic

Risk Management

Risk Management Framework

Managing Risk

Preventing Fraud

Insurance Policy

Investment Risk/Business Cases

Business Continuity

Internal Audit

Internal Audit Charter

Accounting Policies

Financial Reporting

Audit and Risk Committee

Audit and Risk Committee Charter

Topic

Sub-topic

Integrity of Financial of Information

Internal Controls

Chief Financial Officer Functions

Fraud and Corruption

Expenditure

Acquisition of Assets, Goods and Services

Procurement

Purchasing Cards

Gifting

Last updated: 23/04/2019