Disclaimer: This is guidance material only and does not replace reading the legislation

Reporting

1. Which Government Sector Finance Act 2018 (GSF Act) financial reporting provisions commence from 1 July 2021?

GSF Act financial reporting and consolidated government sector reporting provisions commence from 1 July 2021. The relevant divisions and sections of the GSF Act are:

  • Division 7.1: Interpretation,
  • Sections 7.4 - 7.7: Accounts and records of GSF agencies, Annual GSF financial statements, and
  • Division 7.4: Consolidated government sector reporting.

 

2. What are the impacts of these provisions commencing?

From 1 July 2021, agencies are required to prepare their financial statements in accordance with GSF Act requirements (starting for the financial year 2020-21). Public Finance and Audit Act 1983 (PF&A Act) financial reporting provisions have been repealed on 1 July 2021 and will no longer apply.

In addition, from 1 July 2021, GSF Act reporting requirements will apply to all Consolidated government sector reports, which include:

  • monthly statements,
  • half-yearly reviews (HYR), and
  • consolidated state financial statements.

3. Are financial reporting requirements under the GSF Act the same as those which previously applied under the PF&A Act?

Annual financial statements requirements under the GSF Act remain fundamentally the same as under the PF&A Act. The PF&A Act required agencies to prepare their financial statements in accordance with the Australian Accounting Standards (AAS). The GSF Act also requires that ‘reporting GSF agencies’ as defined in GSF Act section 7.3, prepare their financial statements in accordance with the AAS.

 

4. Can you provide example wording for the certification statement?

Section 7.6 of the GSF Act requires that an agency's financial statements must include a certification statement by that agency's accountable authority. See example wording.

 

5. When are agencies required to submit financial information to Treasury?

All accountable authorities for agencies must carry out the procedures in relation to each financial year and submit the financial information to Treasury as mentioned below. The information must agree with the financial statements submitted for audit.

  • agencies listed in Appendix A to Treasurer’s Direction (TD) 21-02 Mandatory Annual Returns to Treasury:
    • as stipulated in Treasury Policy Paper (TPP) 21-04: Agency Direction for the 2020-21 Mandatory Annual Returns to Treasury,
       
  • agencies listed in Appendix A to Treasury Circular (TC) 21-04, whose information is required to prepare the notes to the Total State Sector Accounts:
    • as stipulated in TC 21-04: 2020-21 Mandatory Annual Returns to Treasury.

In addition, Treasury requires that agencies provide specified financial information by other earlier dates - see TPP21-01 Agency Direction for the 2020-21 Mandatory Early Close.

 

6. When are agencies required to submit their annual financial statements for audit?

The deadline for agencies to submit their financial statements to the Auditor-General is:

  • GSF agencies listed in Appendix A to Treasurer’s Direction (TD) 21-02 Mandatory Annual Returns to Treasury:
    • within four weeks following the end of the reporting period (see TD 21-02 Mandatory Annual Returns to Treasury),
       
  • all other GSF agencies that are not listed in Appendix A to TD21-02 Mandatory Annual Returns to Treasury:
    • within six weeks following the end of the annual reporting period (see TD 21-03 Submission of Annual GSF Financial Statements to the Auditor-General).

 

7. Can agencies submit the financial statements to the Auditor-General without the signed certification statement?

Agencies can submit their financial statements to the Auditor-General without the signed certification statement. However, agencies must submit a full version including the signed certification statement in accordance with the GSF Act section 7.6(4). Agencies are to agree on the date that the accountable authority will submit the full version of the statement during the audit.

Under the previous PF&A Act requirements, the signed certification statement was a separate statement and was not part of the financial statements subject to audit. Under the GSF Act, the certification statement by the accountable authority forms part of the financial statements subject to audit and as a result will be referred to in the Independent Auditor's Report.

 

8. Can agencies apply for an extension to submit their financial statements?

Treasury expects that each accountable authority will do everything within its power to meet the above deadlines for their agencies. In very rare and unusual circumstances, an accountable authority may not be able to meet those deadlines. In those circumstances, agencies can apply for an extension pursuant to clause 7 of TD 21-02 Mandatory Annual Returns to Treasury or clause 2 in TD21-03 Submission of Annual GSF Financial Statements to the Auditor-General. Both of these TDs require that the accountable authority consults with the Auditor-General prior to seeking an extension.

 

9. When can agencies expect to receive the audit report of their financial statements?

Agencies can discuss the timing of receiving the audit report with the Audit Office.

 

10. When must a Minister table an agency’s financial statements in Parliament?

Some agencies are required to prepare an annual report under:

  • the Annual Reports (Departments) Act 1985 (ARDA), or
  • the Annual Reports (Statutory Bodies) Act 1984 (ARSBA).

An agency’s annual report prepared in accordance with either of those Acts must include financial statements (see FAQ #21 below).

The accountable authority for an agency that is not required to prepare an ARDA or ARSBA annual report, must submit that agency’s financial statements to its responsible Minister. GSF Act section 7.6(5)(b) requires that the responsible Minister must table that report in Parliament as soon as practicable, but no later than 5 months after the Auditor-General provides her audit report on those financial statements.

 

11. When can an agency make its financial statements publicly available?

An agency’s financial reports must be made publicly available after it is tabled in Parliament.

 

12. Can the Treasurer access an agency’s accounts and records?

Yes. The Treasurer can access an agency’s accounts and records.

Section 7.5(1) states that all GSF agencies must keep accounts and records that properly record and explain agency’s transactions, cash flows, financial position and performance. Pursuant to section 7.5(2), the Treasurer and the responsible Minister have full and free access to agency records and accounts.

13. Which agencies are exempt from GSF Act financial reporting requirements?

Exemptions of a ‘kind’

The following kinds of agencies are exempt from the GSF Act reporting, as specified in the GSF Regulation 2018 (or GSF Amendment (Reporting GSF Agency Exclusions) Regulation 2021):

1) Small agencies

An agency meeting all of the following requirements is exempt:

  1. the assets, liabilities, income, expenses, commitments and contingent liabilities of the agency are each less than $5,000,000,
  2. the total cash or cash equivalents held by the agency is less than $2,500,000,
  3. at least 95% of the agency’s income is derived from money paid out of the Consolidated Fund or money provided by other GSF agencies, and
  4. the agency does not administer legislation for a Minister by or under which members of the public are regulated.

2) Special purpose staff agencies

An agency that comprises solely of persons who are employed to enable another particular agency to exercise its functions is exempt.

3) Certain Crown land managers

An agency meeting all of the following requirements is exempt:

  1. the agency is a Crown land manager,
  2. requirements referred to in “Small agencies’’ above (1a., b. and d.)
  3. the income of the agency, derived from sources other than money paid out of the Consolidated Fund or money provided by other GSF agencies, is less than $100,000.

4) Entities established with the sole purpose of holding certain retained State interests

An agency meeting all of the following requirements is exempt:

  1. the sole purpose of the agency (the first agency) is to hold and manage retained State interests arising from a particular relevant transaction, and all of its activities relate to that purpose,
  2. the first agency’s financial position and financial performance are consolidated within the financial statements of another GSF agency (the second agency),
  3. the first agency and the second agency each has the same accountable authority,
  4. if there is another GSF agency that is also a controlled entity of the second agency, the first agency and the controlled entity have the same sole purpose.

Treasury developed these exemptions in consultation with agencies and the Audit Office, preparing for GSF Act financial reporting commencement in July 2020. Following the impact of COVID-19, it was considered appropriate to defer the July 2020 commencement until 1 July 2021, and maintain financial reporting obligations under the PF&A Act for the year 2019-20. In addition, the Public Finance and Audit Regulation 2015 was amended, and the same “four” kinds of exemptions were added to apply for PF&A financial reporting requirements in 2019-20.

Accordingly, any agency that:

  • was exempt from PF&A Act financial reporting in 2019-20 because it met all requirements for a particular ‘kind’ exemption; and
  • still meets each of those requirements in 2020-21

will be exempt from GSF Act financial reporting requirements in 2020-21.

Agencies must self-assess every year to determine whether they remain exempt against the criteria in the GSF Regulation 2018. Where an agency is uncertain, contact Treasury.

The Public Finance and Audit Regulation 2015 was repealed on 1 July 2021 and exemptions in clauses 9 and 12 A will no longer apply.

 

14. Are agencies required to confirm exemptions with Treasury?

Treasury has contacted Cluster Chief Financial Officers to develop an indicative list of agencies likely to be exempt from GSF Act financial reporting requirements for 2020-21. Cluster Chief Financial Officers should notify Treasury if they subsequently assess an agency within their Cluster to be exempt from GSF Reporting.

 

15. If my agency is not exempt, is there any value in seeking exemption from the Treasurer or Treasury?

No. The GSF Act does not empower the Treasurer or Treasury to exempt a particular agency from GSF Act financial reporting requirements. Under the GSF Act, an agency is exempt only if it meets all requirements for one of the four ‘kind’ of exemptions above.

 

16. Can an exempt agency voluntarily prepare its financial statements?

Yes. GSF agencies can still prepare financial statements even if they are not required to do so under section 7.6 of the GSF Act.

If agencies are likely to fall in and out of exemptions of a ‘kind’ specified in the GSF Regulation 2018 (see #Q13), it may be beneficial to prepare financial statements each year as the Audit Office still needs to perform audit procedures and obtain assurance on the opening balances when these amounts have not been audited in the prior year. It may therefore be more efficient to prepare financial statements each year.

 

17. Can the Auditor-General inspect and examine the accounts and records of an exempt entity?

Yes. The Auditor-General can still inspect and examine the accounts and records of any agency even if that agency is exempt from reporting. This is pursuant to section 35(2)(a) of the Government Sector Audit Act 1983 (previously PF&A Act).

 

18. Who pays the Auditor-General’s audit costs?

Where the Auditor-General audits an agency’s financial statements, that agency must reimburse the Auditor-General for the cost of that audit. The Audit Office provides information on the cost of each audit in its annual engagement letters prior to audit commencement. For further information about the Auditor-General’s costs, please visit the Audit Office website.

19. Which agencies are included in the Consolidated State Financial Statements?

Agencies included in the consolidated state financial statements are listed in Appendix A to the TD21-02 Mandatory Annual Returns to Treasury and TC21-04 2020-21 Mandatory Annual Returns to Treasury.

20. Which legislation will govern the preparation of agency annual reports?

ARDA and ARSBA set out annual reporting requirements for entities that meet the definition of ‘Department’ and ‘statutory body’ under those Acts. Agencies that were required to prepare 2019-20 annual reports under either of those Acts will be required to prepare annual reports under those Acts again for 2020-21. From 1 July 2021, those entities (previously listed in Schedules 2 and 3 of the PF&A Act) are listed in Schedule 2, Part 1 and Part 2 of the GSF Regulation 2018 (or GSF Amendment (Transitional) Regulation 2021).

 

21. By what date must a Minister table an agency’s annual report in Parliament?

ARDA and ARSBA require that:

  • Departments and statutory bodies respectively submit their annual reports to their appropriate Minister within four months from the end of the financial year, and
  • Ministers table those reports in Parliament within one month of receipt.

 

22. When will annual reporting provisions of the GSF Act commence?

It is anticipated that annual reporting provisions of the GSF Act (Division 7.3 of the GSF Act) will commence on 1 July 2023 subject to approval by Governor. Treasury will provide further details on the GSF website ahead of that date. Until GSF annual reporting provisions commence, agencies that have previously prepared annual reports under ARDA or ARSBA will continue to prepare annual reports under those Acts.

23. When will other reporting provisions of the GSF Act commence?

The remaining GSF Act reporting provisions below are scheduled to commence on 1 July 2023, subject to approval by the Governor:

  • SDA accounts (section 7.8 of the GSF Act), and
  • special purpose reporting (section 7.9 of the GSF Act)

These provisions are new requirements with no previous equivalents under the PF&A Act or any other legislation. Treasury will consult with the sector on the form and content of these reports prior to commencement.

The GSF Act commencement timetable is available on the GSF website.

 

24. What has happened to the PF&A Act?

Following commencement of the majority of the GSF Act, PF&A Act was renamed as the Government Sector Audit Act 1983 on 1 July 2021 as an Act that is primarily concerned with the powers and functions of the Auditor-General and establishing the Audit Office, and the Public Accounts Committee. The PF&A Act financial reporting provisions have been repealed on 1 July 2021 and will no longer apply.

Special Deposits Account (SDA)

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 within the SDA is akin to a ledger account. It is not essential to have a separate bank account for an account within 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).

There is one Special Deposits Account (SDA) and it is defined at section 4 of the PF&A Act. The SDA will continue under the GSF Act when section 4.15 is commenced.  The SDA is comprised of separate accounts of money. Statutory SDA Accounts may be established under legislation other than the GSF Act or the PF&A Act. Working Accounts could

be established under section 13A of the PF&A Act (or section 4.17 of the GSF Act when commenced).
Functionally, the two accounts of money within the SDA are very similar. In both instances there are criteria for what can be paid into and out of the account, investment powers relating to the money in the account, who administers the account, etc.

However, a statutory SDA account and a working account  are established quite differently. A statutory SDA account is established by a specific statute.  By contrast, it is the Treasurer (under section 13A of the PF&A Act) who has the power to establish a working account.  Sections 4.15 and 4.17 are intended to commence on 1 July 2019.
 

Delegations

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):

  1. the commitment of money for expenditure, and 
  2. the incurring of expenditure and the making of payments, and 
  3. 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.
 

By broadening the scope and providing clarity to delegations and subdelegations, the GSF Act provides a framework enabling the Treasurer, Ministers, Accountable authorities and government officers to devolve decisions concerning financial management where they believe it is optimal to do so.

For example, a new capacity to authorise subdelegation for many functions empowers a Minister to choose what they wish the Accountable Authority to manage rather than having to authorise delegations for the entire agency. An appropriation expenditure function relates to expenditure of money from the Consolidated Fund under the authority of an appropriation (provided by an Annual Appropriation Act, the GSF Act or any other Act). A Minister delegating (under Division 9.2 GSF Act) an appropriation expenditure function may impose terms and conditions on the delegation and also on any subdelegation (section 5.2 of the GSF Act). 

Where no action has been taken in relation to agency delegations since the commencement of the GSF Act, transitional provisions provide that certain delegations continue in force (refer to clause 12 in Schedule 1 to the Government Sector Finance Act 2018).

For further information on delegating and subdelegating functions under the GSF Act refer to the Delegating roles and responsibilities fact sheet.
 

An excluded function is a function which may not be delegated or subdelegated by a Minister, GSF agency that is a person, or an Accountable Authority.

Sections 9.8 (Delegations by Treasurer of certain functions) and 9.9 (Delegations by Ministers) of the GSF Act generally provide that a function may be excluded from subdelegation by the Treasurer’s, or other Minister’s, delegation instrument (or their delegate’s instrument). Therefore, whether a function is an ‘excluded function’ or not, refers to a function a Minister (or their delegate) excludes from being delegable. For the Treasurer, a function excluded from being subdelegated  also includes a function concerning the giving of Treasurer’s directions unless authorised by the Treasurer in the Treasurer’s instrument of delegation.

For all Ministers, a function under Division 9.1 (Information sharing) of the Act cannot be subdelegated.

For the purposes of section 9.10 (Delegations by GSF agencies that are persons), the section specifically refers to an “excluded function”.
In that section, an excluded function is:

  • (a)  any function of a kind prescribed by the regulations as an excluded function, or
  • (b)  for a GSF agency that is not a separate GSF agency—any other kind of function that the responsible Minister for the agency has directed in writing cannot be delegated. 

Also, a function may not be subdelegable under the section, where it is excluded from subdelegation under a delegation instrument, or, where the responsible Minister for the agency has directed in writing that it cannot be subdelegated.

Section 9.11 (Delegations by accountable authorities) specifically refers to an “excluded function”.
In that section, an excluded function is:

For a GSF agency 

  • (a)  any function of a kind prescribed by the regulations as an excluded function, or
  • (b)  for a GSF agency that is not a separate GSF agency—any other kind of function that the responsible Minister for the agency has directed in writing cannot be delegated. 

For a university or its controlled entities  

  • (a)  any function of a kind prescribed by the regulations is an excluded function.

Also, a function may not be subdelegable under the section, where it is excluded from subdelegation under a delegation instrument, or, where the responsible Minister for the agency has directed in writing that it cannot be subdelegated .
 

The 2020-21 Budget has been deferred to later in 2020. Until a 2020 Annual Appropriation Act is passed, the Treasurer’s temporary supply power under s.4.10, and clause 6 of Schedule 2, of the Government Sector Finance Act 2018 (GSF Act) will be used to provide funding to agencies.

Expenditure authorisation will be provided to Cluster Ministers to authorise the making of payments from the Consolidated Fund for the services of the Principal Departments and Special Offices in 2020-21.

Delegation of Expenditure Authorisation to Agency Officers

For expenditure authorisation given to Ministers under s.4.10 of the GSF Act to be delegated from Cluster Ministers to agency officers, financial delegation instruments executed by relevant Ministers must cover expenditure power authorised under s.4.10 of the GSF Act

In order to ensure that cluster agencies can incur expenditure from 1 July 2020, agencies must ensure that prior to 30 June 2020 they review the wording of existing delegation instruments and either

  1. confirm that their existing financial delegations’ instruments will sufficiently cover the expenditure authority given to the relevant Ministers under s.4.10 of the GSF Act; or 
  2. if existing instruments do not cover expenditure authority under s4.10, or there is ambiguity, agencies have arranged for their Cluster Ministers to execute a separate delegation instrument covering the expenditure authority given to the relevant Ministers under s.4.10 of the GSF Act – a template delegation instrument has been prepared that can be used subject to any agency specific requirements which should be confirmed with the respective legal teams.
     

Authorisation

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 , a Minister delegating 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.

Authorisation of expenditure of monies under GSF Act - overview

Sections 5.5(1) & 5.5(2) of the GSF Act require that expenditure by accountable authorities and government officers must be authorised.  

Expenditure of monies under the GSF Act (s1.4) includes:
a)    The commitment of money for expenditure 
b)    The incurring of expenditure 
c)    The making of payments. 

Expenditure of monies is authorised under the GSF Act (s5.5(3)) if it is done:
a)    in accordance with a delegation or subdelegation from a person with the power regarding the expenditure of money, or
b)    under the authority of the GSF Act or any other law.

Authorisation for when agencies enter into a shared service arrangement, whereby shared service provider makes a payment to a third party on behalf of the agency – how does s5.5. apply to shared service providers?

It is common for agencies and Departments to enter into shared service arrangements with providers that require the provider to make payments to a third party (e.g. agency employees) on behalf of agency or Department.

These types of arrangements generally incorporate two points of expenditure of monies (see figure below), both of which are required to be authorised pursuant to the GSF Act. 

That is, the Accountable Authority for the GSF Agency (or a government officer of a GSF Agency) who enters into the shared service arrangement (see figure point 1), is responsible for ensuring any expenditure of monies under that arrangement (see figure point 2) is authorised. 

For example, the authorisation for any expenditure under the arrangement may be included in a delegation or subdelegation instrument from a Minister or Secretary (holding an appropriation under an Annual Appropriation Act) to the relevant government officer. 

authorisation

The above information is provided as general guidance only. If you have any further queries, please contact the Legislation Reform team in NSW Treasury  with specific details about the nature of shared service arrangements in your Department. You may also wish to consult the legal counsel in your Department for advice on how to ensure compliance with s5.5 of the GSF Act, for the specific nature of shared service arrangements in your Department.

Financial management policies and procedures

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.

Table
 

Existing Treasury Circulars and Treasury Policy Papers remain intact (references to previous legislation need to be updated, however you may refer to mapping documents of the previous legislation to the GSF Act here).

Where a Circular or Policy Paper was issued as a Treasurer’s direction under the PFAA, these may still be followed as government policy until advised otherwise.

Treasurer’s directions will now be issued under the GSF Act.

Moving forward, this does not limit Treasury’s ability to issue Circulars and Policy Papers as previously.

GSF agency and government officers

The separately named entities, such as the NSW Police Force and TCorp, and the NSW Health entities were included in the definition of a GSF agency to reflect sector nuances.

These entities do not fall neatly within the other categories in the definition of a GSF agency in section 2.4 of the Government Sector Finance Act 2018 (GSF Act).
 

If required, a GSF agency may prescribe volunteers, consultants and contractors as government officers in the GSF Regulation (under section 2.9(1)(e) of the GSF Act).

Contact your Treasury Customer Relationship Lead for more information regarding prescribing entities as government officers.
 

If an agency wishes to have entities or persons prescribe as a GSF agency or government officer (respectively) in the GSF Regulation, they should follow these steps:

  1. Refer to the Key Concepts in Part 2 of the GSF Act
  2. Refer to the Prescribing GSF agencies for the purposes of the GSF Act fact sheet
  3. If you think the guidelines apply to your circumstance, or you have further questions, you can email [email protected]

Civil recovery

There are similar provisions in section 60 and 61 of the PF&A Act. You may refer to the mapping documents for maps from the GSF Act to previous legislation and from the previous legislation to the GSF Act here.

The GSF Act provides a clear delineation between criminal offences under criminal law, and civil offences. Under the GSF Act, serious breaches of the GSF Act will be dealt with through civil recovery arrangements instead of being treated as criminal offences.

The GSF Act does not contain any criminal offence provisions, but breaches will instead rely on existing provisions in the Crimes Act and other applicable legislation. For example, theft of government resources, or fraud resulting in a loss of government resources, will be dealt with under existing and well-established offences in statute and at common law. Breaches may also be dealt with by way of employment sanctions, including those available under the Government Sector Employment Act 2013 or through employment contracts.
 

Performance information

Treasury will routinely publish performance information requested from GSF agencies where that information relates to State Outcomes. This information will be published in the annual budget. Treasury will not otherwise routinely publish performance information requested from GSF agencies.

Debt recovery and write-off of debts

TD450 in the Gold Book has been repealed and is no longer enforced.

There is a full list of all current (in force) Treasurer Directions, available here. This list is regularly updated.

 

Currently, aside from s 9.18 in the Government Sector Finance Act 2018 (GSF Act) (which deals specifically with recovery and write-off of debts in circumstances due to misconduct or unauthorised gifting), there are no specific requirements on debt write-off under the GSF Act or any Treasurer’s Direction issued on that subject.

Under section 3.6 of the GSF Act, Accountable Authorities are to develop, establish and maintain financial management policies and procedures for effective risk management, protecting the integrity of financial and performance information, and for compliance with the requirements of the GSF Act.

If a GSF Agency decides it is appropriate to have a policy or procedure for its agency on authorisation for debt recovery or write-off, it can develop and maintain its own policy, provided it is not inconsistent with the requirements of the GSF Act.

 

Last updated: 16/09/2021