Senator the Hon. Mathias Cormann
Minister for Finance
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Senator for Western Australia
Date: Thursday, 2 April 2020
The Australian National Audit Office each year reviews the annual report prepared by the Department of Finance on the use of the Advances to the Finance Minister during any given year.
That report is tabled in Parliament.
This already happens as a matter of course, it is appropriately already business as usual and will of course apply in relation to the use of the $40 billion Advance legislated by the Parliament.
Given the size of the Advance to the Finance Minister approved by the Parliament last week, I also committed to issue regular updates on each use on every Friday where one or more determinations have been made in that week to allocate funding from an Advance.
Beyond that the Government agreed that I would seek the concurrence of the Shadow Finance Minister, on behalf of the Opposition, for any given proposed expenditure above $1bn.
The Government welcomes scrutiny of the overall COVID-19 Economic Response Package, given its size and significance.
In relation to the Advance to the Finance Minister, there are longstanding well established transparency and reporting requirements in place, which we have further enhanced in the current context.
We will continue to work constructively with the Opposition and all Members of Parliament as we work to protect people’s health and support Australians through this crisis.