Additional reporting requirements under the PGPA Rule 2014
- Ministerial directions and policy orders
- Compliance with finance law
- Significant activities and changes
- Related entity transactions
- Insurance and indemnities
Ministerial directions and policy orders
The Public Governance, Performance and Accountability (Establishing the Agency) Rule 2016 provides that the Minister for Health may give directions to the Agency about the performance of its functions or the exercise of its powers. In addition, the Minister for Finance, under the PGPA Act, may notify the Board of any general Australian Government policies that apply to the Agency.
No ministerial directions or notifications were given during the 2016-17 reporting period.
Compliance with finance law
The PGPA Rule requires that the Agency report on any significant non-compliance during 2016-17 with finance law (encompassing the PGPA Act, any delegated legislation under that Act, or an Appropriation Act).
The Agency has not identified any significant non-compliance issues during the reporting period.
Significant activities and changes
The PGPA Rule also requires the Agency to provide details of significant activities and changes that affected the operations or structure of the entity during the reporting year. The Rule requires the Agency to notify the Minister for Health of events such as proposals to form a company, partnership or trust, to acquire or dispose of a significant shareholding in a company or commence or cease business activities or to make other significant changes. No significant events in that context arose during 2016-17.
However, it is noted that a material change to the Agency’s portfolio of work is underway following the Federal Government announcement in the May 2017 Budget of the My Health Record – continuation and expansion Budget Measure which will see the national expansion of the My Health Record to every Australian unless they choose not to have one. Australia is now the first country in the world to commit to the provision of a digital health record to every citizen. As the System Operator for the My Health Record, the Agency is responsible for implementing this historic work and will be partnering with key stakeholders to ensure its successful implementation.
Related entity transactions
The Agency is related to the Department of Health under the PGPA Rule because the Secretary of the Department of Health, Martin Bowles PSM, was the both the Accountable Authority for one body (the Department of Health), and a member of the Accountable Authority of another (a member of the Agency Board) during the reporting year.
The PGPA rule requires the Agency to disclose any related-entity transactions between those two bodies where a minimum financial threshold is met (the aggregate value of transactions exceeds $10,000) during the reporting period and to describe the process supporting the procurement decision. The Agency is also to provide the number and aggregate value of those transactions. The purpose of the provision is to ensure transparency around any perceived or potential conflicts of interest.
The reporting obligation arises as the Agency has shared service arrangements with its portfolio entity, the Department of Health, to minimise the resource cost associated with various corporate service functions, such as payroll and financial processing and recording services. The Agency also sub-leases its premises in Canberra from the Department of Health.
All related entity procurements were operational in nature and authorised by Agency management in accordance with the Commonwealth Procurement Rules and relevant Board delegations. The arrangements are independent of, and separated from, Board decision-making processes. The relationship is managed under a Memorandum of Understanding and appropriate contractual arrangements.
There were 9 transactions in 2016-17 and their value in aggregate was $1.671 million (GST inclusive).
Insurance and indemnities
The PGPA Rule requires the Agency to provide details of any indemnity that applied to the Agency Board, any member of the Board or officer of the Agency against a liability (including premiums paid, or agreed to be paid, for insurance against the Agency Board, member or officer’s liability for legal costs. In 2016-17 the Agency maintained directors’ and officers’ liability insurance as part of its overall insurance arrangements with the Commonwealth’s self-managed insurance fund, Comcover. The premium paid for directors’ and officers’ coverage for 2016-17 was $24,474.73 (GST inclusive).