The Government welcomes the establishment of a committee to advise on the most appropriate structure for the proposed Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO).
The establishment of both the Joint Select Committee on the Parliamentary Budget Office and the PBO are part of the Agreement for a Better Parliament, negotiated between the Government, the Coalition and the Independents, as well as the Government's post-election agreement with the Australian Greens.
The Committee will consider and report on the most appropriate structure, resourcing and protocols for a PBO in Australia, as well as examining the operation and effectiveness of other similar institutions around the world.
It is proposed that the PBO will assist the Parliament in its consideration of matters related to the Budget by undertaking fiscal analysis and other relevant research, and by providing policy costings advice. The PBO will also promote greater public awareness of key budget and fiscal policy issues.
The establishment of a PBO will significantly enhance parliamentarians' access to budget-related research and information, and improve their ability to scrutinise the Budget. This is an important element of broader parliamentary reforms, and will enhance the credibility and transparency of Australia's already strong fiscal and budgetary frameworks.
The Government looks forward to working co-operatively with the Committee in its consideration of an appropriate and effective PBO model for Australia.
The Committee will present its final report by 31 March 2011.
23 November 2010