Public Accounts Committee tables reports 19 October

House of Representatives

The Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit has tabled its report on the review of the operations of the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO), under sections 64S and 64T of the Parliamentary Service Act 1999.

The purpose of the Committee’s inquiry was to report on: possible areas of reform to support the effective PBO operations; PBO implementation of recommendations of past reviews; and stakeholder relationships and engagement.

The Committee concluded that the PBO is fulfilling its legislative mandate and is held in high regard by stakeholders. The PBO continues to inform the Parliament by providing independent and non-partisan analysis of the budget cycle, fiscal policy and the financial implications of proposals.

To support the continuing effective operation of the PBO, the Committee has recommended legislative amendment to provide for an automatic referral process for independent review of the PBO, after a general election.

Ms Lucy Wicks MP, Chair of the Committee, said, “This reform will provide for ongoing independent review of the PBO to meet the changing needs of the Parliament and enable the Committee to monitor PBO implementation of review recommendations over the life of the Parliament. It will also serve to further reinforce the independence of the PBO.”

The Committee has also tabled its Annual Report for 2019-20. The report includes information on completed inquiries and reports tabled, and also highlights of the Committee’s activities for this period.

/Public Release.