Accountability to the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment
As part of the Australian Government's Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio, Export Finance Australia is the responsibility of the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment (The Minister). The Minister has a number of powers in relation to Export Finance Australia, as set out in the Export Finance Australia Corporation Act 1991 (EFIC Act).
The Minister may give written directions to Export Finance Australia relating to how we perform our functions or exercise our powers, if satisfied these directions are in the public’s best interest. The Minister may also approve or direct entry into transactions on the National Interest Account. We are not required to obtain such approval or direction for transactions on the Commercial Account. Details of these ministerial directions are published in our Annual Reports, which are tabled in the Federal Parliament.
We provide the Minister with a Statement of Intent in response to the Minister’s Statement of Expectations. These statements express and formalise the Minister’s expectations of Export Finance Australia and the Board’s intention to meet these expectations.
As a corporate Commonwealth entity under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act), we are also required to notify the Minister of certain significant events such as the acquisition or disposal of interests in companies or other ventures. Our Board must also keep the Minister informed about our operations and provide any information required by the Minister or the Minister for Finance.
The Minister, or the Minister’s representative, responds to questions about Export Finance Australia from members of the Federal Parliament and to parliamentary orders relating to Export Finance Australia.
Appointment of members of the Board
The Minister appoints members of the Board who are all non-executive directors and the Minister is consulted prior to the Board’s appointment of the Managing Director (who is also a full-time Export Finance Australia employee).
The Minister is represented on the Board by the Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, or their alternative.
Full details on how the Board operates can be found here.
Accountability to the Australian Parliament
Powers and functions
Export Finance Australia’s functions and general powers are set out in sections 7 and 11 of the Export Finance Australia Act respectively.
Each year, we prepare an Annual Report which is tabled in Parliament.
The Minister, or the Minister’s representative, responds to questions about Export Finance Australia from members of Federal Parliament and to parliamentary orders relating to Export Finance Australia.
Through the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO), the Auditor General is Export Finance Australia’s external auditor and is responsible for auditing Export Finance Australia's accounts. The ANAO has contracted KMPG to carry out the external audit work on its behalf.
ANAO also conducts audits that may cover Export Finance Australia, and those reports are tabled in the Federal Parliament.
Export Finance Australia has contracted Deloitte to carry out its internal audit function.
Contingent liability and loan ceilings
Regulations of the Parliament, made under the Export Finance Australia Act, set limits on the total value of risk we may assume on the Commercial Account in various product categories.