The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
Picture of Wayne Swan

Wayne Swan

Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer

3 December 2007 - 27 June 2013

28 September 2012

Protocols to assist Parliamentary Budget Officer released

Joint media release with
Senator the Hon Penny Wong
Minister for Finance and Deregulation and

The Hon Nicola Roxon MP
Attorney-General
Minister for Emergency Management

The Government has today released protocols to ensure the Parliamentary Budget Officer has appropriate and ready access to information and documents to enable them to provide accurate policy costings.

The Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) was established to provide members of Parliament with independent and non-partisan analysis of the budget cycle, fiscal policy and the financial implications of policy proposals.

In order to perform its statutory functions, the Officer will require access to information and documents owned, held, managed or administered by Australian Government agencies and bodies.

These amended protocols represent a commitment by the Government to ensure that Commonwealth agencies and bodies provide Mr Phil Bowen, who commenced as Parliamentary Budget Officer on 23 July, with relevant data and information to assist him in this role.

This will ensure that Opposition, Greens and Independent Members and Senators will have unprecedented access to reliable, accurate, comparable costings of their submitted policies through the PBO.

The protocols also make clear that Government policy requires Agencies to keep information related to PBO costing requests confidential.

To ensure this, the Attorney-General will introduce legislation to amend the FOI Act so that information is not able to be released contrary to the intention of the PBO legislation and contrary to the Government policy as expressed in the protocols.

The Protocols are available on the the Department of Finance and Deregulation website  and the Treasury website