CPA Australia/ANU Allan Barton Memorial Research Lecture

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The Changing Role of Chief Finanacial Officers in the Australian Public Sector

The 2023 Allan Barton Memorial Research Lecture was held on Tuesday 26 September 2023. The lecture was delivered by Janine Bristow, Chief Finance Officer, Australian Taxation Office. Commentary was provided by Tom Moloney, Senior Partner, KPMG.

The Lecture topic was the Changing Role of Chief Financial Officers in the Australian Public Sector. The Lecture covered the more significant issues facing Chief Financial Officers today in performing their roles in the Australian Public Sector, but with a clear focus on anticipated changes in the years ahead – including in relation to the likely accounting developments, issues such as sustainability and other matters relating to non-financial performance reporting, and any other public sector specific developments arising from government and/or parliamentary priorities.

A copy of the speakers’ presentation papers is available below:

Janine Bristow’s Lecture

Tom Moloney's Commentary and slides


Enhancing Government Performance and Accountability

The 2022 Annual Allan Barton Memorial Research Lecture was held on Monday 17 October 2022. The lecture was delivered by Andrew Podger AO, Honorary Professor of Public Policy at the Australian National University, and former Secretary of Australian Government Departments and Public Service Commissioner. Commentary was provided by Richard Mulgan, Emeritus Professor at the Australian National University. He is an author of several books on public sector accountability.

The Lecture topic is Enhancing Government Performance and Accountability. A new Government and a new set of Parliamentarians that have expressed concern about integrity and a desire for more transparency and accountability provides the opportunity for enhancing the processes of accountability and ensuring improved performance. At the same time, the Government and the nation face major challenges including significant pressures to increase government expenditures while having limited revenues and an economy requiring urgent winding back of the deficit. The agenda for enhancing performance and accountability must include changes in the way the Parliament operates as well as promoting integrity across the executive and the legislature and rebuilding the capability and leadership of the APS. The new environment may well be amenable to implementing such an agenda, but success will take time and sustained effort. The lecture was well attended and received by the audience.

A copy of Andrew Podger’s presentation can be found here, and Richard Mulgan's Commentary can be found here.



Public Sector Accounting - International and national influences and developments 

The 2021 Annual CPA Australia and ANU Allan Barton Memorial Research Lecture was held on Wednesday 27 October 2021. It was delivered by Mike Blake, former Auditor-General of Tasmania, with commentary by Nathan Williamson, Deputy Secretary, Governance and Resource Management, Australian Government Department of Finance.'

The lecture focused on public sector financial reporting and prospective reporting, how Australia has contributed to the international developments in public sector financial reporting, and how public sector balance sheets are relevant in managing fiscal risks. The lecture was well attended and received by the audience. 

A copy of Mike's presentation can be found here, and Nathan's Commentary can be found here.