|Description of this GroupDescription of this Group|
In January 1991 the first Minister for Finance was appointed and the Ministry of Finance (VA 3016) was established. Similar to the Commonwealth model the government created a finance ministry separate to the Treasurer's portfolio to monitor and control government expenditure and to evaluate the effectiveness of government programs. As well as these traditional Treasury functions the Finance portfolio also included the government accommodation, property and asset management functions as well as the various commercial services from the abolished portfolio of Property and Services (VRG 69).
Focus of portfolio
Traditionally the Treasurer had been responsible for collecting revenue, allocating it amongst government activities and monitoring the effectiveness of this allocation process. January 1991 thus saw a significant shift way from this model with the deliberate creation of the Finance portfolio to closely monitor and where appropriate, review the government's budgetary performance. With the new Finance portfolio the government signalled its intention to concentrate on the effectiveness and efficiency of government expenditure against its policy objectives. Thus as part of the new portfolio the Effectiveness Review and the Strategic Analysis Units were established to help the budget management and control process. This separation between revenue collection and budget allocation was only shortlived as the Kennett Government transferred the budget oversight functions back to the Treasurer's portfolio in October 1992.
Significant machinery of government changes have impacted on this group in January 1991, January 1992 and October 1992. As a result several functions move back and forth three times eg: from Property and Services to Finance to Treasurer back to Finance.
The following functions were transferred from the Treasurer's portfolio:
* government expenditure - monitoring and control of (back to the Treasurer in October 1992);
* Comptroller-General's division - management of the government's bank account (the Accounting Audit and Policy Unit was not transferred until January 1992);
* information technology policy (back to Treasurer in January 1992);
The following functions were transferred from the Property and Services (VRG 69) portfolio in January 1991:
Accommodation and Asset Management functions:
* lands, crown (government) - control and management of land assigned for government purposes or for sale or lease purposes;
* buildings, government (management) - the management, maintenance and cleaning of accommodation occupied by government;
Survey and Mapping:
* survey and mapping functions including survey coordination, cadastral(land ownership) and topographic mapping, maintenance of the Central Plan Register which records the status of all unalienated Crown land and VicImage - aerial photography, photographic, microfilm and reproduction services to government and the public.
Commercial Services to the Government and Public:
* supply of furniture, stores and equipment - including the State Supply Service and the State Tender Board (transferred to Treasurer in January 1992 and back to Finance in October 1992);
This function encompasses the development and provision of a comprehensive and co-ordinated electronic information network for quick access to data relating to any block of land in Victoria drawing on a variety of government agencies' records and information systems.
Landata was established to co-ordinate the land information records and systems of various government agencies and to develop a computerised land information system for Victoria to provide ready access to information on each block of land in the State. In October 1982 a project team began developing a five year corporate plan for Landata, in conjunction with key user agencies. Landata became a division of the Ministry for Planning and Environment in January 1984.
In March 1985, following machinery of government changes, Landata was transferred to the Department of Property and Services and grouped administratively with other major land information and land administration agencies within the Department, such as the Titles Office, the Division of Survey and Mapping and the Valuer-General's Office. Prior to this the Government Computing Service of the Department of Property and Services had provided the Landata Division with advice on technical specifications for computing equipment for the Landata system. In January 1991 this function was transferred to the Finance portfolio (VRG 100).
* land valuations and the Office of the Valuer-General (VA 2322);
* Government Employee Housing Authority (VA 1356) (transferred to Treasurer in January 1992 and back to Finance in October 1992);
* government courier service (VA 1858) (transferred to the Treasurer VRG 23 in January 1992 and back to Finance in October 1992);
* Government Information Service - provision of government information to the public and the coordination of government information services. (Between 1991 and 1992 this function was the responsibility of the Minister for Ethnic, Municipal and Community Affairs, although as there is no single group for that portfolio the function has been shown in the data as transferring from Property and Services direct to Finance in 1991).
* government computing service (VA 1857) (transferred to the Treasurer (VRG 23) in January 1992 and back to Finance in October 1992);
* government printing (transferred to Treasurer in January 1992 and back to Finance in October 1992);
* government advertising (transferred to Treasurer in January 1992);
* government catering (transferred to Treasurer in January 1992);
* Office of Geographic Data Coordination (transferred to Treasurer in January 1992 and back to Finance in October 1992);
* mobile communications network (transferred to Treasurer in 1992 and back to Finance in October 1992);
* government vehicle pool - car hire (transferred to Treasurer in January 1992 and back to Finance in October 1992);
* VICFLEET - management of the government's vehicle fleet (transferred to Treasurer (VRG 23) in January 1992 and back to Finance in October 1992);
* Vistel Ltd - government's telecommunications public company (transferred to Treasurer in January 1992 and back to Finance in October 1992).
* Place Names Committee - reports to the Minister regarding place names - changes and spelling;
The following functions were also transferred into the Finance portfolio in October 1992:
* Superannuation policy and funds monitoring for the Metropolitan Fire Brigades, Hospitals, Emergency Services, Parliamentary, State Employees, Transport and Local Government Superannuation schemes;
From 1978/79 until 1985 the Minister of Property and Services was also responsible for the function of monitoring government land sales. This function was inherited by the Treasurer in 1985 and was the responsibility of the Land Monitoring Division of the Department of Management and Budget until it was transferred to the Planning portfolio (VRG 65) in early 1990. In 1991 the function was transferred back to the Treasurer (VRG 23) and remained in this portfolio until it was transferred to the Minister for Finance (VRG 100) after the October 1992 election.
All purchases and sales of properties by Government of $100,000 or more require Land Monitoring approval to ensure that all Government requirements under the Land Acquisition and Compensation Act 1986 in relation to property transactions are met. The function was established to provide Government with an independent safeguard against further land dealings of the type criticised at the Gowans Board of Enquiry and later at the Frost Royal Commission. This function is completely separate from the budgeting and planning functions in relation to government real estate. The function encompasses:
monitoring all purchases and sales of properties by Government of $100,000 including assessing submissions from agencies and monitoring of auctions.
the development of policies for the management of government real estate
assisting in identifying properties that are surplus to current needs. Administering the Government's decision in relation to the disposal of surplus railway land
* monitoring of non-bank financial institutions.
Location of Records
The Public Record Office holds very few records relating to the Finance portfolio. Due to the nature of its inception researchers should consult records of the Treasurer (VRG 23) and Property and Services (VRG 69) to investigate functions prior to their incorporation within the Finance portfolio.
Minister for Finance 1991-ct
Minister for Ethnic, Municipal and Community Affairs 1991-1992