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A Guide to Appropriations - November 2013

Responsibility for, and Administration of, Appropriations

Each appropriation made to the Crown (s7C(2) PFA 1989):

  • is the responsibility of a Minister (the appropriation Minister), and
  • must be administered by one department (the appropriation administrator) on behalf of the appropriation Minister.

If an appropriation to the Crown is an appropriation for departmental expenses or a multi-category appropriation, any other department may incur expenses against the appropriation (s7C(2)(c) PFA 1989):

  • at the direction of the appropriation Minister (eg, to provide specified services), or
  • with the agreement of the appropriation administrator (eg, shared services, secondments).

The Speaker is responsible for appropriations to the Crown that are administered by the Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives or the Parliamentary Service (s7C(3) PFA 1989).

Each appropriation made to an Office of Parliament (s7C(4) PFA1989):

  • is the responsibility of the Speaker, and
  • must be administered by that Office of Parliament (the appropriation administrator).

The main responsibilities of the chief executive of a department that is an appropriation administrator are:

  • To ensure expenses or capital expenditure incurred against each appropriation administered by the department remain within the amount, scope and period of that appropriation (s8, s9, s10 PFA 1989).
  • To be responsible to the appropriation Minister for what is achieved with departmental expenses and departmental capital expenditure under appropriations administered by the department (s34(2)(a) PFA 1989) (unless an appropriation is used by another department or by a departmental agency at the direction of the appropriation Minister, in which case the other department or the departmental agency is responsible to the appropriation Minister for what is achieved (s34(3) PFA 1989)).
  • To advise the appropriation Minister on the efficiency and effectiveness of expenditure under appropriations administered by the department (s34(2)(b) and s35(b) PFA 1989).
  • To be responsible to the department's responsible Minister for the financial management, financial performance and financial sustainability of the department (s34(1) PFA 1989). This includes financial management of, and reporting on, departmental appropriations administered by the department (s36(1) and s45A PFA 1989).
  • The financial management of, and financial reporting on, appropriations for non-departmental expenses and non-departmental capital expenditure administered by the department (s35(a) and s45A PFA 1989).
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