New public sector initiatives, contracts, purchase of goods and services or land, grants, payments and government office accommodation projects may need Cabinet approval in accordance with Treasurer's Instruction 8 and 17.
Proposals that have a financial implication that meets the thresholds discussed below must be submitted to Cabinet for approval. These items may require consideration by a Cabinet committee, particularly the Budget Cabinet Committee, prior to Cabinet. In addition, other items with financial implications must also be considered by Cabinet (such as intergovernmental agreements) and payments from the Economic and Business Growth Fund.
All Cabinet submissions seeking additional expenditure authority must fully consider opportunities to fund new priority programs by reducing expenditure on existing, lower priorities. They must also provide options (either one or a number of alternative choices) to fully fund the new expenditure within existing resources.
If a minister brings forward a submission seeking additional funding, the submission must explicitly identify any lower priority expenditure in the minister's portfolio. The submission must outline those lower priority programs and the consequences of reducing or terminating their funding to fully offset the cost of the new expenditure.
If a revenue option (for example, user charging) is put forward to support the introduction of a new program, this cannot be put forward without first identifying possible expenditure offsets. The revenue option should relate to revenue collected by an agency in the minister's portfolio.
Sale of Crown Land
The sale of Crown land may only be approved by the Minister for Environment and Water pursuant to the Crown Land Management Act 2009 and in line with Premier and Cabinet Circular 114. Cabinet approval is required for agencies who want an increase in their expenditure authority or an exemption (whole or part) to PC114 in relation to a Crown land transaction.
Public sector initiatives
Cabinet approval must be sought for new public sector initiatives at the completion of the concept evaluation phase for initiatives with a total value of $15 million or more, or before calling for tenders for initiatives where the estimated cost is $6 million or is one percent or more of the authorities total operating and investing expenditure, in line with Treasurer’s Instruction 17.
All contracts or purchases with a value of $15 million or more can only be executed once approved by Cabinet in line with Treasurer’s Instruction 8.
Government office accommodation
All government office accommodation proposals with a value of $15 million or more must be approved by Cabinet. Accommodation proposals below this value can be approved by the Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Local Government or another appropriate delegate.
The Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (in conjunction with the relevant agency and minister) will prepare a Cabinet submission to be submitted in the name of the Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Local Government.
In line with the requirements of Premier and Cabinet Circular 18, the Government Office Accommodation Committee (GOAC) also needs to review all proposals with a cost of $1.5 million or more (including proposals over $15 million that require Cabinet approval). This aims to ensure a coordinated and strategic approach to accommodation management, including opportunities for cost savings.
GOAC’s endorsement must be sought before accommodation proposals come to Cabinet.
Cabinet must consider all public works (for example construction works) where the value of construction is $15 million or more. Once public works of this value are approved by Cabinet, before they can commence, they must also be considered by the Parliamentary Public Works Committee (PWC). Cabinet must note ministers’ submissions to the PWC before they are provided.
The PWC reviews all construction works with a value of more than $4 million, but submissions to the PWC for projects between $4 million and $15 million do not need to be noted by Cabinet – they can be directly provided to PWC by the minister.
As of January 2019, the definition of a ‘public work’ for the purposes of referral to the PWC also extends to any capital works that are subject to Public Private Partnership arrangements.
In August 2018, Cabinet approved a framework for industry assistance which established:
- a clear set of priorities for industry development
- Industry Financial Assistance Principles to guide when direct financial assistance for businesses is appropriate
- a streamlined set of industry assistance funds, and
- strengthened governance arrangements for decision making.
Submissions seeking approval for financial assistance should address the Industry Financial Assistance Principles and consider risk mitigation strategies where proposals depart from them.
Proposals for expenditure from the Economic and Business Growth Fund must be approved by Cabinet, after approval by the Economic and Infrastructure Cabinet Committee.
Further information on the Industry Assistance Framework is available from the Department for Trade, Tourism and Investment website.