Labor To Establish Parliamentary Budget Officer

28 February 2016

The Andrews Labor Government is delivering on its commitment to establish an independent, credible and permanent Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO).

Three years after the Coalition blocked Labor’s attempt to establish a truly independent PBO, this Government is getting on with creating a permanent body to assist Members of Parliament with costing policy proposals and the provision of financial advice.

The Parliamentary Budget Officer Bill (2016) fixes the deficiencies in the former Coalition Government’s failed 2013 bill.

The Labor Government’s PBO will be a standing body, accessible to all parties and individual members throughout the full term of the Parliament.

It will be staffed by fully independent professionals like economists and researchers, removing the potential for conflicts of interest.

It will maintain the highest standards of confidentiality and integrity, only releasing policy costings with the permission of the party or member that requested them, but able to publicly correct misrepresentations of its work.

The PBO’s main role will be to prepare election policy costings at the request of parliamentary leaders, and general costings and advice at the request of MPs.

However, it will also be available to provide technical assistance to members on matters of fiscal and financial policy.

The PBO will compile and release a report on the aggregate costs of the election commitments of each party within two months after an election.

Quotes attributable to Treasurer Tim Pallas

“Properly constituted, a Parliamentary Budget Officer will provide an invaluable service to Victorians – raising the quality of public debate.”

“The newly created PBO will give the Victorian community what they have wanted for many years – credible, independent and timely information to help inform their voting decisions.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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