Standing Directions of the Minister for Finance 2016

Overview

The Standing Directions of the Minister for Finance 2016 (2016 Directions) set the standard for financial management by Victorian Government agencies from 1 July 2016 onwards.


The Directions 2016 require better financial management by agencies. New requirements include stronger accountability for agency boards, Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and Chief Financial Officers (CFOs), controls against fraud and corruption, better planning, and public attestation in agencies’ reports. Existing requirements have been streamlined, clarified and tailored to a range of different agencies.  The 2016 Directions will drive a significant modernisation of the State’s financial management regime and operations.

The 2016 Directions commenced on 1 July 2016.

Directions, Instructions and Guidance

The 2016 Directions are issued by the Minister for Finance and are mandatory. The Directions set out key financial management controls.

Instructions are issued by DTF and are mandatory. The Instructions provide more detailed mandatory requirements, in specific areas of risk and are linked to specific Directions through corresponding numbering.

Guidance is issued by DTF and is non-mandatory. The Guidance provides supporting information in relation to the interpretation and implementation of the Directions and Instructions. The Guidance is linked to specific Directions through corresponding numbering.

Transitional arrangements from Directions 2003 to Directions 2016

The following table summarises the applicable Directions and requirements for internal and public attestation, for the 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18 compliance years:

  2015-16 compliance year
2016-17 compliance year
2017-18 compliance year
Directions 2003

All Directions applicable

 n/a  n/a
Directions 2016
n/a

All Directions applicable, subject to transitional arrangements under 2016 Direction 1.4.

All Directions applicable, subject to transitional arrangements under 2016 Direction 1.4.

Compliance reporting/
Internal attestation

2005 Financial Management Compliance Framework

Compliance reporting as required under 2016 Instruction 5.1, including trial attestation.

Compliance reporting as required under 2016 Instruction 5.1.

Public attestation in Annual Report

2003 Direction 4.5.5 Risk management framework and processes

2016 Direction 3.7.1 Risk management framework and processes*

Attestation in relation to all applicable Directions and Instructions under 2016 Direction 5.1.4.

*For the 2016-17 transitional year, a separate risk management and insurance attestation is required to continue in the Annual Report under 2016 Direction 3.7.1 and clause 3.2 of the Victorian Government Risk Management Framework (VGRMF). A template attestation is included at pages 64 and 65 of the 2016-17 Model Report for Victorian Government Departments.

Publication of Standing Directions 2016 fact sheet

The fact sheet provides a summary of the 2016 Directions, changes from the 2003 Directions and information on implementation, transitional arrangements and exemptions.

Summary of consultation on revised Standing Directions

DTF consulted with agencies on the 2016 Directions from September 2015 until January 2016. The Summary of consultation on revised Standing Directions provides more information about the consultation process and the changes made to the Directions as a result of agencies’ feedback.

Comparison of 2003 and 2016 Standing Directions

This comparison table illustrates where the 2003 Directions have been incorporated in the 2016 Directions, and gives a summary of what has changed.

Compliance Attestation Checklist 2016-17

The Compliance Attestation Checklist 2016-17 is designed to be used by Agencies to assist with monitoring, reporting on and attesting to compliance with the Directions. The document includes a checklist of the mandatory requirements in the Directions and the supporting Instructions.

CFO whole of government responsibilities

A new Standing Direction 2.4.6 has been inserted into the Directions aimed at strengthening accountability for departmental and agency Chief Finance Offices (CFOs). A fact sheet (DOCX 50kb) provides a summary of these new requirements, which commence on 1 February 2017. 

How to determine if an agency is subject to the Standing Directions

The guide Is your agency subject to the Standing Directions of the Minister for Finance? assists agencies in conducting an assessment of whether they are an agency subject to the Directions.

A list of agencies considered to be subject to the Standing Directions is also provided. This list is not definitive or exhaustive due to the large number of entities, the degree of variability and change in entities’ status, and the complexity of applying the legal definitions. Agencies should not assume they are not subject to the Standing Directions because they are not on the list.

2016 Standing Directions Implementation Assurance Program: Summary of findings

DTF conducted an implementation assurance program reviewing agency readiness to comply with the 2016 Directions ahead of the 2018 public attestation. 

The 2016 Standing Directions Implementation Assurance Program: Summary of findings provides a summary of the findings from the review. 

Queries

Any questions related to the 2016 Directions please email standing.directions@dtf.vic.gov.au.

For queries relating to your portfolio, contact your portfolio coordinator (accessible only to agencies internal to the Victorian public sector). 

Presentation slides

These presentation slides provide a summary of the key aspects and changes relating to the 2016 Standing Directions for potential use in Portfolio Department or Agency information sessions.

Standing Directions 2016 - presentation slides (PDF 256kb)

Standing Directions 2016 - presentation slides (PPTX 432kb)

Related policies

The following policies are referred to in the 2016 Directions: