Enhanced Commonwealth Performance Framework

A key part of the PMRA is to enhance and better integrate a Commonwealth performance framework, with a particular focus on strengthening non-financial performance information.

Current status of performance framework and next steps

Following an extensive public consultation process undertaken by the Department of Finance, the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit (JCPAA) announced its support for implementation of the Commonwealth Performance Framework which took effect from 1 July 2015.  JCPAA’s support is on the basis that planned performance information be retained in Portfolio Budget Statements (PB Statements). See details below under Performance reporting from 2016-17 onwards.

The Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Legislation Amendment (Corporate Plans and Annual Performance Statements) Rule 2015 (Amendment Rule) was registered on the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments and is now law.

Commonwealth entities and companies were required to publish corporate plans on their websites by 31 August 2015, unless otherwise directed by their enabling legislation.

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Transitional performance reporting for 2015-16

The enhanced Performance Framework became operational from 1 July 2015 with  2015-16 being a transitional year:

  • there was no change to the performance information requirements for the 2015-16 Portfolio Budget Statements (PBS)
  • the existing key performance indicator based framework will still apply
  • corporate plans for 2015-16 will be the starting point for entities to implement more flexible approaches to performance measurement.

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Performance reporting from 2016-17 onwards

The JCPAA has requested that planned performance information be retained in PB Statements, rather than in the new corporate plans as originally proposed.  To meet this request a Finance Secretary Direction has been issued  under section 36 (3) of the PGPA Act, setting out mandatory performance information reporting requirements for entities that must publish annual PB Statements:

  • performance information in corporate plans will be more detailed and will relate to key entity activities
  • performance information in PB Statements will be a strategic subset of the performance information contained in corporate plans that relates to the budget estimates
  • even though PB Statements focus on outcomes and programmes, and corporate plans focus on the purposes of the entity (which may in part be reflected through programme structures), it is expected that the same impact and strategic level performance measures will be reported in an entity’s PB Statements and corporate plans
  • at the end of each reporting period, entities will be required to report against these measures in their annual performance statement.

These new arrangements will apply from 2016-17 onwards. The JCPAA has endorsed this approach. Further consultation is currently being undertaken to finalise this process. This includes the release of a consultation paper Presentation of Performance Information in Portfolio Budget Statements from 2016-17 [PDF 553KB].

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JCPAA inquiry into the Commonwealth Performance Framework

While supporting the Commonwealth performance framework becoming operational from 1 July 2015, the JCPAA is of the view that there is a need for further parliamentary scrutiny of this important area over a longer period.

On 26 March 2015, the JCPAA announced a public inquiry to ensure an effective, integrated performance management system that continues to improve accountability to the parliament and the public.  The JCPAA has invited submissions to this inquiry. Information on the performance inquiry, including terms of reference, can be found at

The Committee has inquired into various aspects of the Development of the Commonwealth Performance Framework since March 2015  and tabled its Report 453 on 18 December 2015.

Further information is available on the committees website at

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Consultation on development of the enhanced performance framework

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 PGPA Annual Report Rules

New PGPA Annual Report Rule amendments have now been approved by the JCPAA and will take legal effect for the 2015-16 reporting period and future years.  The new amendments integrate annual reporting requirements into the existing PGPA Rule 2014.

The new requirements cover non-corporate Commonwealth entities, corporate Commonwealth entities and Commonwealth companies.  These new arrangements replace all previous annual report arrangements.

The rules are:

  1. Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Amendment (Non- Corporate Commonwealth Entity Annual Reporting) Rule 2016 [PDF 887KB];
  2. Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Amendment (Corporate Commonwealth Entity Annual Reporting) Rule 2016 [PDF 635KB]; and
  3. Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Amendment (Commonwealth Company Annual Reporting) Rule 2016 [PDF 635KB].

At the direction of the JCPAA, the pre-existing mandatory requirements have been largely carried over into the new rule amendments and remain unchanged, with the exception of three new requirements:

  • The introduction of annual performance statements into annual reports for Commonwealth entities (not companies);
  • The introduction of new compliance reporting arrangements for Commonwealth entities (not companies); and
  • The standardisation of presentation standards across all entity types.

Final guidance has been released for non-corporate and corporate Commonwealth entities to support the 2015-16 annual report process:

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Lessons learned from the 2015-16 corporate planning process

Finance has developed a lessons learned paper based on feedback from entities in developing 2015-16 corporate plans, as well as an analysis of a subset of plans by Finance. Please consider these lessons when developing your next plan.

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Performance maturity model

A performance maturity model tool has been developed to assist entities to improve their performance frameworks and performance information in the short, medium and long term. The model clearly identifies on a page what a mature performance framework, and the preceding stages, looks like. It is a self assessment tool for entities and is available here.

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Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions relating to the enhanced Commonwealth performance framework are addressed on the Finance website.

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Contact us

Please contact Finance via if you are interested in:

  • discussing issues relating to any aspect of the performance framework
  • participating in a pilot study on any aspect of the enhanced Commonwealth performance framework, or
  • joining the Performance Community of Practice

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