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    9.3 Council on Federal Financial Relations

    The Council on Federal Financial Relations (CFFR) is a sub-committee of, and reports to, National Cabinet. CFFR is comprised by the Federal and state and territory Treasurers and is responsible for pursuing economic reforms and managing all Federal-State funding agreements including National Agreements and Federation Funding Agreements. CFFR is constituted as a Federal Cabinet Office Policy Committee and operates under Cabinet rules defined by the Federal Cabinet Handbook.

    9.3.1 Queensland’s membership

    The Treasurer represents Queensland on CFFR.

    Where CFFR will consider issues that impact on another Minister’s portfolio, the Treasurer is responsible for ensuring affected Ministers are consulted.

    9.3.2 Decision-making authority

    Cabinet approval is required for Queensland agreement to any binding CFFR decisions involving:

    • a new or materially changed policy position for Queensland Government
    • amendments to Queensland legislation
    • entry into Commonwealth-state funding agreements
    • funding commitments
    • commitment to measures with significant resourcing impacts for Queensland public service.

    Chapter 9.7 sets out ministerial responsibilities for leading Cabinet processes for Commonwealth-State funding agreements.

    Cabinet processes (if required) for other CFFR decisions (for example, in setting agreed policies not necessarily tied to a Commonwealth-State funding agreements) will be led by the Treasurer. For these matters:

    • Where CFFR timeframes require urgent decisions and timing prevents these being progressed through the Queensland Cabinet, the Treasurer may seek agreement from the Premier (preferably in writing).
    • Where possible, the Treasurer will also seek Cabinet endorsement prior to taking a position on any matter which is intended for escalation to First Ministers for decision. Where it is not possible to seek Cabinet endorsement, the Treasurer should seek the Premier’s endorsement, preferably in writing.
    • Where possible, the Treasurer will seek agreement from portfolio Ministers on relevant substantive reforms and/or binding decisions that may affect their portfolio.

    Where CFFR is progressing substantive policy reform, early consultation with Department of the Premier and Cabinet (DPC) should occur to determine whether a negotiating framework is required and the appropriate approval processes for any negotiating framework.

    9.3.3 CFFR information security

    All proceedings and documentation of CFFR are strictly confidential.

    CFFR is constituted as a Federal Cabinet body and operates under Federal Cabinet rules. The Federal Cabinet Handbook 14th Edition specifies handling requirements for CFFR documents. All information and materials prepared for CFFR are to be handled in accordance with these requirements.

    All documents and associated records prepared for CFFR are to be marked “NATIONAL CABINET” and carry a sensitivity classification of “OFFICIAL: SENSITIVE” or a security classification of “PROTECTED” or higher.

    Agency officials are accountable for the security and handling of CFFR information held within their portfolio.

    Agencies must ensure access to sensitive and security classified information is only provided to others on a ‘need-to-know’ principle.

    Agency officials are accountable for the security and handling of CFFR information held within their portfolio.

    Access to CFFR-related documents is managed by Queensland Treasury (QT).

    9.3.4 CFFR coordination

    QT is responsible for coordination of the Treasurer’s participation in CFFR.

    QT should ensure DPC is kept informed of the timing, agenda, potential substantive issues for discussion, and decisions, for each CFFR meeting as soon as the information is available.

    9.3.5 CFFR decisions and implementation

    The Treasurer should ensure the Premier is kept regularly updated in writing on the progress of CFFR’s work including any decisions made by CFFR. The Premier will advise the Treasurer whether an update should be provided to Cabinet.

    Where decisions of CFFR impact another agency or require implementation by another agency, the Treasurer will write to relevant Ministers, with a copy to the Premier, to outline clear expectations for implementing decisions and outcomes.

    QT is responsible for ensuring CFFR decisions are implemented appropriately and monitoring implementation progress. Where possible, QT will engage with relevant agencies to inform the Treasurer’s advice to the portfolio Minister on expectations for implementing CFFR decisions and outcomes.

    Ministers and relevant agencies are responsible for tracking the implementation of decisions impacting their relevant portfolio.

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    Last updated:
    25 May, 2021
    Last reviewed:
    25 May, 2021