The Parliamentary Budget Officer Act (2017) created the position of a Victorian Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) and established the PBO office. The Parliamentary Budget Office helps to level the playing field between the government, the opposition parties and independents. It provides policy costing and advisory services to all Members of Parliament. During an election, it provides access to an independent and confidential election costings service.
Under the Act, the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee must review the operational and resourcing arrangements of the Parliamentary Budget Office and assess how well its functions are being performed. The committee accepted written submissions and held public hearings to hear from Members of Parliament, government departments and other stakeholders.
The final report was tabled in Parliament on 17 August 2021.
On 15 February 2021, the Public Accounts and Estimate Committee agreed that:
Pursuant to section 54(1) of the Parliamentary Budget Officer Act 2017, the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee:
a. review the operational and resourcing arrangements for the Parliamentary Budget Officer, including reviewing the draft budget for the Officer
b. review reports of PBO operations and annual reports
c. review and assess how well the Parliamentary Budget Officer's functions are being performed
d. report to both Houses of Parliament on any matter connected with the operational and resourcing arrangements for the Parliamentary Budget Officer that requires the attention of Parliament.