Department of Finance (Australia)

The Department of Finance is a department of the Government of Australia that is charged with the responsibility of assisting the government across a wide range of policy areas to ensure its outcomes are met, particularly with regard to expenditure, financial management, and the operations of government.

Department of Finance

The John Gorton Building, former head office of the Department of Finance, in Parkes, ACT.
Department overview
Formed18 September 2013 (2013-09-18)[1]
Preceding Department
JurisdictionCommonwealth of Australia
HeadquartersOne Canberra Avenue, Forrest, Australian Capital Territory
Minister responsible
Department executives
Child agencies

The administrative head of the department is the Secretary of the Department of Finance, presently Rosemary Huxtable, who reports to the Federal Minister for Finance, presently Senator Mathias Cormann.

Unlike in many countries, Australia's Department of Finance does not deal with general economic policy, which is the responsibility of the Department of the Treasury. The Treasurer has a wider range of powers and responsibilities than the Minister for Finance, who has a comparatively narrower portfolio.

The head office of the department is located at One Canberra Avenue, in the Canberra suburb of Forrest. Formerly, it was located in the John Gorton Building, named after Australia's prime minister between 1968 and 1971.


The Department of Finance was formed by way of an Administrative Arrangements Order issued on 18 September 2013[2] and replaced the functions previously performed by the former Department of Finance and Deregulation.[3][4][5] In an earlier reconstruction, the department was called the Department of Finance and Administration.

Preceding departments

Operational activities

In the 18 September 2013 Administrative Arrangements Order, the functions of the department were broadly classified into the following matters:[2]

  • Budget policy advice and process, and review of governmental programs
  • Government financial accountability, governance and financial management frameworks, including grants and procurement policy and services
  • Shareholder advice on Government Business Enterprises (GBEs) and commercial entities treated as GBEs
  • General policy guidelines for Commonwealth statutory authorities
  • Superannuation arrangements for Australian Government civilian employees and members of parliament and retirement benefits for Federal Judges and Governors-General
  • Asset sales
  • Commonwealth property policy framework, legislation and policy for the management of property leased or owned by the Commonwealth, including acquisition, disposal and management of property interests
  • Management of non-Defence Commonwealth property in Australia, including construction, major refurbishment, sustainability, acquisition, ownership and disposal of real property
  • Electoral matters (through the Australian Electoral Commission)
  • Administration of the Australian Government’s self-managed general insurance fund (Comcover)
  • Government on-line delivery and information technology and communications management
  • Policy advice on the Future Fund and Nation-building Funds and authorisation of payments from the Nation-building Funds to Agencies
  • Co-ordination of Government Advertising
  • Official Establishments, ownership and property management of the Prime Minister's official residences

See also


  1. CA 9435: Department of Finance [II], National Archives of Australia, retrieved 19 December 2013
  2. "Administrative Arrangements Order" (PDF). Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Commonwealth of Australia. 18 September 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 October 2013. Retrieved 27 October 2013.
  3. Packham, Ben (18 September 2013). "Tony Abbott puts broom through bureaucracy". The Australian. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
  4. Tony Abbott (18 September 2013). "The Coalition will restore strong, stable and accountable government". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (Press release). Canberra, Australia: Commonwealth of Australia. Archived from the original on 20 September 2013. Retrieved 20 September 2013.
  5. Wilson, Lauren (19 September 2013). "Coalition carves up the public service". The Australian. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
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