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SENATOR THE HON.

MATHIAS CORMANN
Minister for Finance
Monday, 11 May 2015
SMALLER GOVERNMENT TRANSFORMING THE PUBLIC SECTOR
The Government continues to progress its Smaller Government Reform agenda, transforming
the public service by improving efficiency, effectiveness and by eliminating waste and
duplication.
These efforts are delivering greater value to taxpayers through better services delivered faster
and at a lower cost.
In the 2015-16 Budget the Government will make progress on these important priorities
across a range of areas.
Smaller Government
The Government is now delivering the fourth phase of its Smaller Government Reform agenda
to ensure the public sector is as streamlined, effective and transparent as possible.
In the 2015-16 Budget the Government is announcing a further reduction in the number of
Government bodies by 35 through:

The abolition of 32 government bodies and replacing an additional body;


The merger of a further three bodies (for a net reduction of two) bodies; and
The replacement of one Commonwealth body with a state body.

Under our Smaller Government Reform agenda the number of Government bodies has been
reduced by 286 so far.
Overall our Smaller Government Reform agenda has achieved $1.4 billion in savings so far, to
repair the Budget and fund other policy priorities.
The Government has achieved its objective to reduce public service staffing levels below
2006-07 levels.
Over the period from 1 September 2013 to 28 February 2015 over 17,300 public servants left
the public service, mostly by natural attrition or voluntary redundancies.
More details on the savings from the fourth phase of the Smaller Government Reform agenda
are available at Attachment A.
A fifth phase of our Smaller Government Reform agenda will be included in MYEFO 2015-16.
Sharpening the scope and focus of Government

The Government has begun a program of Functional and Efficiency Reviews of portfolio
departments and major agencies to better align these functions and activities with the
Governments strategic objectives and policy priorities.
Following these reviews of the Department of Health and the Department of Education and
Training, the Government will save:

$106 million through efficiencies in Department of Health contractor, corporate, staff


and property costs, with $10 million of that reinvested in the analytic capacity of the
department; and
$131 million, primarily from additional efficiencies across the Department of
Education and Training.

The Government will continue to consider recommendations from these reviews, which will
lead to additional opportunities to improve efficiency and effectiveness and to save money
for taxpayers.
In addition, the Government will save $54.2 million over five years from 2014-15 through
efficiencies in the administration of the Attorney-Generals portfolio.
In the Department of Immigration and Border Protection $168.1 million will be saved over
four years from 2015-16 through targeted departmental efficiencies and a program of visa
simplification.
Over the next few weeks the Government will be initiating further functional reviews of the
following Government departments and major agencies:

The Department of Agriculture;


The Department of the Environment;
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade;
The Department of the Treasury;
The Attorney-Generals Department;
The Australian Taxation Office;
The Department of Social Services; and
The Australian Bureau of Statistics

Property divestment
Subject to the outcomes of market testing, the Government will proceed with the divestment
of four properties within the parliamentary triangle:
o
o
o
o

East Block;
West Block;
ANZAC Park East; and
ANZAC Park West (including the restaurant building).

Divestment will not impact on heritage protections and planning controls for properties in the
parliamentary triangle.
The Government has decided to retain ownership of the John Gorton Building and the
Treasury Building at this time.

The Government intends to sell the property previously used by the Australian Emergency
Management Institute at Mount Macedon and will divest additional regional properties that
are surplus to requirements.
Scoping studies
The Government has carefully considered scoping studies that assess the optimal
arrangements for delivery and ownership options of a number of Government businesses and
assets.
We have taken the following decisions:

Australian Rail Track Corporation


The Government will undertake a scoping study in 2015-16 on options for the future
management, operations and ownership of the Australian Rail Track Corporation Ltd.
Recommendations from this study will be considered as part of the 2016-17 Budget
process.

Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) registry services


The Government will undertake a competitive tender process to test the market on the
capacity of a private operator to upgrade and operate the ASIC registry.
The Government will maintain ownership of the base data.

Defence Housing Australia


The Government will not proceed with a sale of Defence Housing Australia at this
time. However, the Government will review Defence Housing Australias accounting,
information technology and business reporting systems to improve the transparency of
the cost of providing services.
There will be no change to the entitlements of Australian Defence Force members.

Australian Hearing
The Government will consult further with hearing impaired Australians, their families
and other key stakeholders before making a decision on ownership options for
Australian Hearing. Also see the Ministers media release of 8 May 2015.

Intra Government Communications Network


The scoping study on the future ownership of Intra Government Communications
Network is underway. The Government will consider the recommendations of the
scoping study later in 2015.

Future Arrangements for the Royal Australian Mint


The Royal Australian Mint will be retained in Government ownership in its current
form, because it is operating as an effective business and it is well-regarded by its
international peers.
[ENDS]

Media Contacts:
Karen Wu - 0428 350 139

ATTACHMENT A
2015-16 Budget Smaller Government reforms
To eliminate waste and duplication, improve the efficiency and enhance the delivery and
focus of public services, the Government has announced in the 2015-16 Budget:
Agriculture
The following bodies will be abolished with any ongoing functions to be performed by the
Department of Agriculture:

the Aquaculture Committee;


the Community Consultative Committee;
the Industry Liaison Committee;
the National Decision Making and Investment Working Group; and
the Statutory Fishing Rights Allocation Review Panel.

The SCAHLS Point-of-Care Tests Working Group and the Sub-committee on National Forest
Health have ceased, with residual functions of the latter transferring to other plant health subcommittees.
The Freshwater Invertebrate Pests Subcommittee will merge with the Invasive Plants and
Animals Committee.
Attorney Generals
The Government will save $54.2 million over five years from 2014-15 through efficiencies in
the administration of the Attorney-Generals portfolio.
The Administrative Review Council will be abolished with any ongoing functions to be
performed by the Attorney-Generals Department.
In addition, $0.4 million will be saved over four years from 2015-16 through the National
Gallery of Australia extending its outsourced security and guarding functions.
Communications
The ABC Splash Strategic Advisory Group will be abolished, following its work to assist the
ABC in the development phase of ABC Splash.
Defence
The Defence Materiel Organisation will be consolidated into the Department of Defence.
Education and Training
$7.6 million will be saved over four years from 2015-16, through functional and efficiency
reforms to the Department of Education, with further savings from terminating or redesigned
programmes bringing total savings to $131.0 million.
The Office for Learning and Teaching Strategic Advisory Committee has been abolished and
will be replaced with a program to be administered by the university sector.

The work of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Higher Education Advisory Council
will conclude later in 2015, saving $1.3 million over four years from 2015-16. The
Government will continue its focus on Indigenous higher education through the Prime
Ministers Indigenous Advisory Council, other consultation and forums.
Seven vocational education and training governance bodies will be replaced by the Australian
Industry and Skills Council saving $1.6 million net over five years from 2014-15. This
includes the Data and Performance Measurement Principal Committee; the Workforce
Development, Supply and Demand Principal Committee; and five bodies identified in the
2014-15 MYEFO for abolition.
The following bodies have ceased operations:

ANU Section 68 Pty Ltd following the decision of its directors to liquidate;
the National Partnerships Implementation Working Group following conclusion of
the Smarter Schools National Partnership Agreements;
the Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group following completion of its
report; and
the Online Assessment Committee (with its functions to be performed by the Online
Assessment Working Group.

Environment
The Water Act Review Expert Panel will be abolished following completion of its review.
The Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) Expert Reference Group has ceased following
completion of consultations on the establishment of the ERF.
The River Murray Water Committee has ceased, with residual functions to be performed by
the River Murray Operations Committee.
Finance
The Hume Garden Estate joint venture has been abolished, following wind-up of the Albury
Wodonga Development Corporation.
Health
$106 million will be saved over four years from 2015-16 by consolidating the corporate and
legal services of the Therapeutic Goods Administration into the Department of Health;
removing duplication between the activities of the Department and several agencies;
rationalising the structure of the Department to better align to Government priorities;
rationalising business support functions, property costs and contractor expenses. $10 million
of the saving will be reinvested into the analytic capacity of the department.
The National Lead Clinicians Group will be abolished with residual functions to be
conducted by the Department of Health, saving $17.1 million over five years from 2014-15.
Immigration and Border Protection

In the Department of Immigration and Border Protection $168.1 million will be saved over
four years from 2015-16 through targeted departmental efficiencies and a program of visa
simplification.
The Office of the Migrations Agents Registration Authority will be consolidated into the
Department of Immigration and Border Protection, saving $1 million over four years from
2014-15. The OMARA Advisory Board will be replaced with a non-remunerated independent
reference group, saving a further $0.2 million.
Final savings from the consolidation of the Australian Customs and Border Protection
Service into the Department of Immigration and Border Protection are fully quantified in the
2015 Budget, including an addition $200.1 million and taking total savings to $270.1 million
over five years from 2014-15.
Industry and Science
The CSIRO Environment Strategic Advisory Committee will be abolished with its functions
to be reallocated to a flagship advisory committee. IIF investments Pty Ltd will also be
abolished.
The CSIRO Marine National Facility Steering Committee will become a subcommittee under
the CSIRO Board.
In addition, the Bureau of Resource and Energy Economics has been consolidated into the
Department of Industry and Science.
The Consumer Advocacy Panel has been abolished and its function transferred from the
Commonwealth to the South Australian Government.
Prime Minister and Cabinet
Six trusts have been dissolved due to the transfer of assets to the Indigenous Real Estate
Investment Trust:

the National Indigenous Participation Trust;


the Indigenous Investment Trust;
the Scarborough House Office Trust;
the Scarborough House Investment Trust;
the National Indigenous Property Trust; and
the Indigenous Property Trust.