Department of the Treasury (Australia)
Main offices in Canberra.
|Employees||1,056 (at April 2013)|
|Parent agency||Commonwealth of Australia|
|Website||Department of the Treasury Website|
The Department of the Treasury is an Australian Government department, formed at Federation. Its role is to develop economic policy and prepare the Australian federal budget. The department is headed by the Treasurer of Australia, Joe Hockey MP. The current Assistant Treasurer is Josh Frydenberg. The Minister for Small Business, Bruce Billson MP, is within the Treasury portfolio.
The department is divided into four groups, Fiscal, Macroeconomic, Revenue and Markets with support coming from the Corporate Services Division. These groups were established to meet four policy outcomes:
- Effective government spending and taxation arrangements
- The Treasury provides advice on budget policy issues, trends in Commonwealth revenue and major fiscal and financial aggregates, major expenditure programmes, taxation policy, retirement income, Commonwealth-State financial policy and actuarial services.
- Sound macroeconomic environment
- The Treasury monitors and assesses economic conditions and prospects, both in Australia and overseas, and provides advice on the formulation and implementation of effective macroeconomic policy.
- Well functioning markets
- The Treasury provides advice on policy processes and reforms that promote a secure financial system and sound corporate practices, remove impediments to competition in product and services markets and safeguard the public interest in matters such as consumer protection and foreign investment.
- Effective Taxation and retirement income arrangements
- The Treasury provides advice and assists in the formulation and implementation of government taxation and retirement income policies and legislation as well as providing information on material changes to taxation revenue forecasts and projections.
The department works with the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and the Reserve Bank of Australia via the Council of Financial Regulators Working Group to ensure that market operators have appropriate oversight and to facilitate crisis management if required.
Secretaries to the Treasury
The Secretary to the Treasury is the public service head of the department. Below is the list of Secretaries.
|George Allen||1 January 1901 - 13 March 1916 (appointed retrospectively on 9 July 1901)|
|James Collins||14 March 1916 - 26 June 1926|
|James Heathershaw||3 August 1926 - 28 April 1932|
|Sir Henry (Harry) Sheehan||29 April 1932 - 28 February 1938|
|Stuart McFarlane||24 March 1938 - 29 January 1948|
|George Watt||23 November 1948 - 31 March 1951|
|Sir Roland Wilson||1 April 1951 - 27 October 1966|
|Sir Richard Randall||28 October 1966 - 31 October 1971|
|Sir Frederick Wheeler||1 November 1971 - 5 January 1979|
|John Stone||8 January 1979 - 14 September 1984|
|Bernie Fraser||19 September 1984 - 18 September 1989|
|Chris Higgins||19 September 1989 - 6 December 1990|
|Tony Cole||14 February 1991 - 23 March 1993|
|Ted Evans||24 May 1993 - 26 April 2001|
|Ken Henry||27 April 2001 - 4 March 2011|
|Martin Parkinson||7 March 2011 - 12 December 2014|
|John Fraser||15 January 2015 +|
In 2008, Treasurer Wayne Swan called Secretary to the Treasury Ken Henry an "independent economic regulator," similar to the Governor of the Reserve Bank. When asked after the 2009 Budget about Treasury’s independence, Henry replied:
Strictly of course we're not. The Treasury Department is a department of state. It is part of the executive government. It works to the government of the day, whatever the political persuasion of the government of the day. And so in that sense of course the Treasury is not independent from government and it can never behave as if it is independent from government. But there's another sense in which it does have a degree of independence and that is that the Treasury conducts its analysis without government interference. It's up to the government of the day to decide whether to accept that analysis or whether to reject that analysis.—ABC Radio, Tuesday, 19 May 2009
The department is legally required to provide a Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Outlook containing updated reports on the economic and fiscal outlook shortly after the issuing of a writ for a general federal election.
- Australian Public Service Commission (2 December 2013), State of the Service Report: State of the Service Series 2012-13 (PDF), Australian Public Service Commission, p. 253, archived from the original (PDF) on 6 December 2013
- Our Department. The Treasury. Retrieved on 24 June 2012.
- "Finance and Markets". The Treasury. Retrieved 24 June 2012.
- Jennifer Hewett (21 October 2008). RBA warns on bank guarantee as Reserve and Treasury at loggerheads. The Australian. News Limited. Retrieved on 24 June 2012.
- Stephen Long (19 May 2009). Treasury boss says Budget was beyond the 'reading age' of its critics. PM. Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
- "Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Outlook". Commonwealth of Australia. 30 January 2013. Retrieved 22 May 2013.