Skip links and keyboard navigation

    3.10 Accountability and budget process

    The overarching documents relating to accountability in a Minister’s office are the Financial Accountability Act 2009, Financial and Performance Management Standard 2009 and this handbook.

    Ministers and their staff operate in an environment of rigorous accountability and their actions and expenditure are likely to come under close public scrutiny.

    Ministers’ offices for accountability purposes, fall under the responsibility of the Director-General, Department of the Premier and Cabinet, who is the accountable officer under the Financial Accountability Act 2009.

    However, the Minister still remains responsible for the proper management and control of all financial transactions of the office.

    The Right to Information Act 2009 applies to the operations of ministerial offices.

    The budget for ministerial offices is included in the appropriations of the Department of the Premier and Cabinet. This means that similar external reporting requirements apply to ministerial offices as to other functional areas of the department. These include:

    1. scrutiny by Parliamentary Estimates Committees;
    2. audit by the Queensland Audit Office; and
    3. published information in budget documentation tabled in the House and annual financial statements.

    Ministerial Services maintain necessary accounting systems that ensure compliance with the requirements of this handbook and assist in correctly categorising and charging expenditure. These systems may be separate from and independent of other departmental accounting systems.

    Internal controls are a key component of accountability systems. The primary internal controls that apply to ministerial offices are:

    • Monthly budget and expenditure reporting. Ministerial Services provides each office with detailed transaction reports of all monthly expenditure incurred and a report comparing monthly and yearly expenditure to budget forecasts. Offices must examine and certify the reports, and then return the certification to Ministerial Services.
    • Adequate documentation. Expenditure can’t be processed without the following adequate supporting documentation:
      • original source documents, eg. original receipts, vouchers;
      • appropriate authorisation; and
      • an official order or other legal document, for all contracts/commitments.
    • Ministerial Services checking. Ministerial Services assists the Director-General in meeting the obligations of the accountable officer through examining documentation and seeking, where necessary, additional information or explanation on expenditure claims. This includes reconciliations of such items as petty cash, overseas cash advances, and credit facilities (eg. credit cards, travel accounts).
    • Stocktakes of assets and gifts on display. The register of gifts valued at over the reporting threshold is tabled annually.
    • Independent authorisation of expenditure. Staff are not able to authorise their own expenditure.
    • Public reporting of expenditure. Six monthly reports on office expenditure are tabled in Parliament. The report for the end of the financial year is audited by the Queensland Audit Office.

    ^ to top

    Last updated:
    27 October, 2017
    Last reviewed:
    17 October, 2017