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Cabinet paper

Cabinet Paper CAB-19-SUB-0373: Independent Fiscal Institution: Detailed Decisions

Issue date: 
Friday, 11 February 2022
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Document Date: 
Friday, 26 Jul 2019
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Ministerial Portfolio: 

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Only the Proposal and Executive Summary sections of this Cabinet paper are extracted below in HTML. If you require a full HTML version please contact [email protected] and cite CAB-19-SUB-0373 as a reference.

Cabinet Paper CAB-19-SUB-0373: Independent Fiscal Institution: Detailed Decisions


  1. This paper seeks agreement to the detailed designs of an independent fiscal institution (IFI) to be established as a new Officer of Parliament.
  2. Cabinet will receive a separate paper later this year on the details of the establishment of a temporary unit in the Treasury to provide the policy costing function ahead of the 2020 general election

Executive Summary

  1. In May 2019, Cabinet agreed to establish an IFI to produce independent fiscal and economic analysis and provide a policy costing service for political parties. Cabinet also agreed to pursue the establishment of the IFI as a new Officer of Parliament.
  2. The Cabinet decisions in this paper will inform a proposal to be submitted to the Officers of Parliament Committee (OPC). The OPC considers any proposal to create a new Officer of Parliament and leads the process to appoint a new Officer once the office is established.
  3. Establishing an Officer of Parliament will create a single, statutorily independent person responsible for the delivery of the agreed IFI functions. We propose the new Officer will be called the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) – Kaitiaki Kaupapa Rawa. The PBO will be the head of the Parliamentary Budget Office.
  4. We propose that the PBO will be required to report on the government’s compliance with its fiscal strategy following the release of each of the Treasury’s Economic and Fiscal Updates. The reports will be made available to the public and be presented to the House of Representatives (the House) for consideration.
  5. The PBO’s policy costing service will be available to parties represented in Parliament and those that received more than 3 per cent of the party vote in the preceding general election. It will be clearly established that the costing service is intended for a political party’s own platform, not the policies of other parties. In order to promote transparency, parties will be required to notify the PBO once a policy that the PBO has costed has been announced, at which point the PBO will publicly release information on the costing. The costing service will be available throughout the parliamentary term.

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Last updated: 
Friday, 11 February 2022