Publications produced by the Scrutiny Unit

Review of Departmental Annual Reports

Every government Department has been publishing an annual report in May or July. Scrutinising these reports has been one of the core tasks of departmental select committees, who are assisted in that task by the Scrutiny Unit.

In 2005, for the first time, the Scrutiny Unit drew on its analysis of 21 such reports to identify good and bad practice in the way Departments organise and present the information. The review also identifies areas where more financial data would be helpful, examines the adequacy of Departments' reporting against targets, including efficiency targets, and makes suggestions for improving the reports.

Review of Mid Year Reports

Mid year reports are documents produced by government departments mid way through the financial year to give updates on spending and performance of the department. The reports will be published annually, beginning in January 2014. Links to each department’s mid year report will be posted on this page.

Mid Year Reports



Economics in practice:

Public sector pay  (Opens in a new window) (PDF PDF 78 KB)
House prices (Opens in a new window) (PDF PDF 46 KB)
Health care (Opens in a new window) (PDF PDF 28 KB)
Economic rationales for regulating markets (Opens in a new window) (PDF PDF 233 KB)

Wider Scrutiny Unit outputs:

Evaluation of the Public Reading Pilot (PDF PDF 129 KB)

Review of Estimates memorandum, September 2011 (PDF PDF 50 KB)

The "Alignment" (Clear Line of Sight) project, July 2010

Latest newsletter for Members (PDF PDF 111 KB), July 2010.

Adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards  (PDF PDF 83 KB)(IFRS) within Government, July 2009 (PDF PDF 83 KB)

Submission to Legislative Assembly for the Australian Capital Territory (PDF PDF 123 KB)

Private Finance Initiative (PFI): its rationale and accounting treatment, June 2008 (PDF PDF 326 KB)

Public Sector Pensions, May 2007 (PDF PDF 171 KB)

Scrutiny Unit: a guide to its work, November 2008 (PDF PDF 88 KB)

Guide for Departments on preparing Estimates memoranda, October 2006  (PDF PDF 264 KB)

Note on post-legislative scrutiny, January 2006  (PDF PDF 99 KB)

Improving public sector performance, 2006 (PDF PDF 32 KB) 

Scrutiny of Regulatory Impact Assessments, 2006 (PDF PDF 65 KB) 

Presentation on Review of Departmental Annual Reports, 2005 (PDF PDF 82 KB) 

Understanding Government finance 

This note provides a summary of changes in Government financial management in recent years, including changes in the way departments report their finances and performance to Parliament.  It includes an organisational chart showing the organisations involved in financial scrutiny and a timeline which shows the timing of the presentation of key documents to Parliament (note last updated May 2012).

This note provides the latest guide to the role of Parliament in scrutinising public expenditure planned and incurred by the Government (note updated June 2010).