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Annual Report 2013-14

Volume 1, Part 2 : Performance

Program 1.13: Chief Finance Officer

The Chief Finance Officer, Mr Phillip Prior, is responsible for giving strategic financial advice and information to the portfolio ministers, the Secretary, the CDF and Defence senior leaders. The Chief Finance Officer provides a whole-of-Defence focus for planning, management, monitoring and reporting on key deliverables to the Government, including Defence outputs.

The Group is responsible for Defence financial governance and assurance and manages the Defence budget and financial policies, principles and practices in accordance with the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997. The Group drives Defence financial management and improvement programs by providing a shared financial services capability.

In 2013–14, Defence financial statements, Portfolio Budget Statements and Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements were prepared and submitted within reporting deadlines. All whole-of-government reporting requirements were achieved. The Chief Executive Instructions were maintained and updated to reflect changes to financial regulation and policy.

Highlights of the Group’s achievements during the year included:

  • coordination of the annual budget-cycle process and production of the 2014–15 Portfolio Budget Statements and 2013–14 Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements
  • business improvement and increased efficiencies through further development of the shared financial services capability across Defence
  • evaluation and improvement of processes and systems
  • continued improvement of Defence financial statements.

Table 3.33: Program 1.13 deliverables



Defence financial statements


Defence Portfolio Budget Statements


Defence Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements


Defence Chief Executive Instructions


Monthly/annual input to whole-of-government reporting


Table 3.34: Program 1.13 key performance indicators

Key performance indicator


Provide timely and high-quality financial advice to the Minister, the Secretary and CDF


Produce Defence’s budget, financial statements and the annual Defence Management and Finance Plan within agreed statutory timeframes


Maintain unqualified financial statements


Cutting red tape

The Defence Deregulation Unit was established within the Chief Finance Officer Group and has responsibility for implementing the Government’s deregulation agenda. The Defence Deregulation Action Network was also created, and includes members from all Groups and Services.

A Defence Portfolio Deregulation Forward Work Program, which includes a range of deregulation opportunities that Defence intends to pursue over the short to medium term, was provided to the Prime Minister in April 2014.

A stocktake of regulation across Defence was completed during the year. The purpose of the stocktake was to identify which regulations and administrative processes impose the highest regulatory burden on business, the not-for-profit sector and individuals, in order to reform and reduce red tape. The stocktake identified 48 regulations or regulatory frameworks. Defence also identified an initial $5 million in deregulation savings through the completion of the stocktake.

Defence provided significant input into the Government’s 2014 Autumn Repeal Day, including the repeal of over 1,000 pieces of redundant legislation.