Reporting to go fully digital with new portal

All Commonwealth bodies will have to publish their annual reports on a public website from the end of this year following the launch of the new Transparency Portal.

The portal will eventually contain the budgets and audited expenditure of all Commonwealth bodies and will enable users to generate tables and graphs for comparison, finance and public service minister Mathias Cormann and assistant treasury and finance minister Zed Seselja said in a statement.

“(The portal has the ability) to read between intended budgets, performance targets and results; supporting the comparison of forecasts and actual outcomes for each year,” the senators said.

They said the portal, containing a piloted selection of annual reports, corporate plans and budget statements, marks the beginning of the full digitisation of all commonwealth financial reporting.

The portal will be expanded next year.

Modernising the APS

The website was launched on Wednesday at the Modernising the Public Service Exhibition in Canberra, which showcases what the government is doing with its $500 investment into enhancing public sector productivity and services under the Modernisation Fund.

The fund was established in 2017 after Finance undertook a study looking at the management of digital records, which found the APS was failing to take advantage of modern digital record keeping techniques.

It has since moved to improve digital record keeping and in a November 2018 White Paper said Finance would was investigating a co-design approach to procuring technology that supported modern records management.

“Finance seeks an arrangement that supports innovative use of technology, encourages research and development by suppliers, and fosters both cooperation and competition in the marketplace,” the paper states.

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