Section A: Reporting required under the Public Sector Act 2009, the Public Sector Regulations 2010 and the Public Finance and Audit Act 1987

Agency purpose or role

To provide independent and consistent costings of policies developed by registered political parties and other candidates for the March 2018 South Australian election.

Objectives

The high level objective is:

  • To provide accurate and independent costings of policies submitted by political candidates in a timely manner and in a form which is useful to the candidates for informing the public in advance of the March 2018 South Australian election.

The associated objectives are:

  • To deal with requests in such a way that the identity of parties and candidates using the services of the Parliamentary Budget Advisory Service (PBAS) and all associated communications and documentation remain confidential.

To respond to requests promptly and courteously.

Key strategies and their relationship to SA Government objectives

Key strategy

SA Government objective

Establish the PBAS for requests for costings and advice to be made prior to the March 2018 State election.

To honour the Premier’s March 2014 agreement with Mr Geoff Brock MP, Member for Frome, to establish a process for costing election policies.

Provide timely, accurate and confidential costing and advice services to candidates in the March 2018 State election.

To honour the Premier’s March 2014 agreement with Mr Geoff Brock MP, Member for Frome, to establish a process for costing election policies.

Agency programs and initiatives and their effectiveness and efficiency

Program name

Indicators of performance / effectiveness / efficiency

Outcome for South Australia

Costing services

The accuracy and consistency of costings as measured by the number of corrections required to formal responses.

Of the 58 formal responses given, one required correction due to an incorrect figure being included.

 

The intelligibility of costings to users as measured by a satisfaction survey.

Users were generally satisfied that costings were intelligible. Users responded via survey with an average of 8 out of 10 on the question of whether PBAS responses to their request were easy to understand.

 

The time taken to provide costings as measured against the 5 day benchmark.

The 5 day target was met for precisely half of the 58 responses. Of the other 29, a longer response period was agreed in five cases and in all those cases the adjusted target was achieved. Only 8 requests were not responded to within 8 days and only 4 were not responded to within 10 days.

 

The ease and equitability of access to PBAS services as measured by a satisfaction survey.

Users responded with an average 8.5 out of 10 when asked about how easy it was to use the request form. Users gave PBAS an average 8.25 out of 10 for clear communication of the role of PBAS.

 

The strength of the working relationship with candidates and agencies as measured by a satisfaction survey

Candidates all strongly agreed that PBAS staff were courteous in their dealings, with an average score of 9.75 out of 10. Agencies gave PBAS an average of 8.7 out of 10 for its staff being courteous and working collaboratively with agency staff.

 

The degree of confidentiality achieved in dealing with requests as measured by the number of breaches detected and the severity of the consequences.

No breaches occurred.

 

The degree of independence achieved as measured by the number of inappropriate interventions entertained.

There was no interference in the duties of the Parliamentary Budget Officer.

 

The strength of the leadership exercised by the PBO and the level of commitment of staff as measured by a satisfaction survey.

A survey of staff indicated very high levels of job satisfaction and of staff satisfaction with PBAS leadership.

 

Success in achieving objectives within budget and with minimum disruption to DTF.

PBAS operated well within its budget. There was minimal disruption to DTF, because staff not needed for PBAS work were not called upon or returned to DTF as soon as practicable.

 

Success in producing a timely and comprehensive review document.

The Parliamentary Budget Officer’s review of the operations of PBAS was submitted to the Treasurer on 18 May 2018.

Legislation administered by the agency

Nil

Organisation of the agency

The PBAS was established under the Public Sector Act 2009 as an attached office to the Department of Treasury and Finance.

The Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) was the Chief Executive of PBAS.

Three costing and advice teams reported to the Deputy Parliamentary Budget Officer.

An administration team of two was headed by an Office Manager.

The PBO was responsible to the Premier and the Treasurer for contributing to the attainment of the whole-of-Government objectives that relate to the functions or operations of the PBAS and for the attainment of the performance objectives set under his employment contract.

The PBO was responsible to the Under Treasurer for the effective management of PBAS and for the general conduct of its employees.

The PBO reported to the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment as delegate of the Premier.

Other agencies related to this agency (within the Minister’s area/s of responsibility)

Department of Treasury and Finance.

Employment opportunity programs

Program name

Result of the program

Nil

Not applicable

Agency performance management and development systems

Performance management and development system

Assessment of effectiveness and efficiency

Online Performance Discussion Process, facilitated through OurDevelopment.

PBAS staff participated in the Department of Treasury and Finance’s bi-annual Performance Discussions, which are documented through the online OurDevelopment system, and supported with appropriate training.

Work health, safety and return to work programs of the agency and their effectiveness

Program name and brief description

Effectiveness

Injury Management

Reduction in workers compensation costs and work injured employees

PBAS staff came under the occupational health, safety and rehabilitation programs of the Department of Treasury and Finance. See the annual report of the Department of Treasury and Finance for details.

Wellbeing & Engagement

PBAS staff came under the occupational health, safety and rehabilitation programs of the Department of Treasury and Finance. See the annual report of the Department of Treasury and Finance for details.

Data is available at: https://data.sa.gov.au/data/dataset/department-of-treasury-and-finance-annual-report-statistics

Fraud detected in the agency

Category/nature of fraud

Number of instances

No fraud was detected in the agency in 2017-18

0

Data is available at: https://data.sa.gov.au/data/dataset/department-of-treasury-and-finance-annual-report-statistics

Strategies implemented to control and prevent fraud

The agency came under the fraud and corruption framework of the Department of Treasury and Finance. See the annual report of the Department of Treasury and Finance for details.

Whistle-blowers’ disclosure

Number of occasions on which public interest information has been disclosed to a responsible officer of the agency under the Whistle-blowers’ Protection Act 1993

0

Data is available at: https://data.sa.gov.au/data/dataset/department-of-treasury-and-finance-annual-report-statistics

Executive employment in the agency

For further information, the Office for the Public Sector has a data dashboard on the breakdown of executive gender, salary and tenure by agency

Executive classification

Number of executives

SAES2

1

SAES1 – 4 December 2017 to 30 March 2018 only.

1

Consultants

The following is a summary of the external consultants that were engaged by the agency, the nature of work undertaken and the total cost of the work undertaken.

Consultants

Purpose

Value

Nil

NA

Nil

Total all consultancies

Nil

See also https://www.tenders.sa.gov.au/tenders/index.do for a list of all external consultancies, including nature of work and value.

See also the Consolidated Financial Report of the Department of Treasury and Finance http://treasury.sa.gov.au/ for total value of consultancy contracts across the SA Public Sector.

Contractors

The following is a summary of external contractors that have been engaged by the agency, the nature of work undertaken and the total cost of the work undertaken.

Contractor

Purpose

Value

Experience Matters

Provision of records management and document sentencing training to PBAS staff.

$375

Total all contractors

$375

The details of all South Australian Government-awarded contracts for goods, services, and works are displayed on the SA Tenders and Contracts website here.

The website also provides details of across government contracts here.

Financial performance of the agency

The following is a brief summary of the overall financial performance of the agency. Full audited financial statements for 2017-18 are attached to this report.

The budget for PBAS for 2017‑18 was $1.75 million. The nominal PBAS establishment comprised thirteen staff members, not all of them fulltime.

The office was established on approximately one-third of the sixth floor of 45 Grenfell Street in space previously vacated by the Attorney-General’s Department. PBAS assumed responsibility for the rental cost but was able to make use almost entirely of existing office fit-out and some existing IT equipment. Expense was incurred in acquiring other IT equipment and some office equipment and in establishing IT systems. Certain specialist support services such as management accounting, human resources and IT were provided free of charge by DTF but Shared Services SA was paid for routine financial processing and the preparation of the annual financial statements.

These arrangements, together with the staged transfer of analysts and their prompt return to DTF once the costing period was over, kept costs to a minimum. In the event, the demands on PBAS were comfortably met with a staff of seven (6.2 FTE), resulting in a significant saving.

Total expenditure incurred was $657 000 of which $462 000 was for salaries and wages, $106 000 for accommodation and related costs, $25 000 for IT and $64 000 for support and administration costs.

Other financial information

Nil to report.

Other information requested by the Minister(s) or other significant issues affecting the agency or reporting pertaining to independent functions

Not applicable.

Section B: Reporting required under any other act or regulation

Reporting required under the Carers’ Recognition Act 2005

The Carers’ Recognition Act is deemed applicable for the following: Department for Communities and Social Inclusion, Department for Education and Child Development, Department for Health and Ageing, Department of State Development, Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure, South Australia Police and TAFE SA.

Not applicable.

Section C: Reporting of public complaints as requested by the Ombudsman

Summary of complaints by subject

Public complaints received by the Parliamentary Budget Advisory Service

Category of complaints by subject

Number of instances

Nil

0

Complaint outcomes

Nature of complaint or suggestion

Services improved or changes as a result of complaints or consumer suggestions

Not applicable

Not applicable

Appendix: Audited financial statements 2017-18