Cuts to ABC and ANAO show need for independent funding

Funding for accountability institutions is threatened by political budget cycles and should be made independent, according to research and budget analysis by the Centre for Public Integrity.

The 2022-2023 budget includes:

  • Insufficient funding of $67 million over 4 years for a Commonwealth Integrity Commission;
  • A $255,517,962 or 17.67% cut in real terms to the funding for the ABC, compared to 2012 levels;
  • A $11,317,618 or 9.12% cut in real terms to the funding ANAO, compared to 2012 levels;
  • Year on year cuts to the Ombudsman, Law Reform Commission and the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

“Despite promising to restore funding to the ABC and the ANAO, this budget gives a 9.12% cut for the ANAO, and a 17.67% cut for the ABC, in real terms compared to the agencies’ funding 10 years ago,” said Dr Catherine Williams, Research Director at the Centre for Public Integrity.

“The Government committed to establishing a Commonwealth Integrity Commission 3 years ago. The lack of sufficient funding shows that the Government is not serious about delivering on its promise,”

“Other accountability institutions have experienced a direct cut to their total resourcing compared to 2021-22 levels: these include the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, the Ombudsman, and the Australian Law Reform Commission.”

“Accountability institutions safeguard the rule of law and make democracy work. They need to be independently funded, through an Independent Funding Tribunal, to make sure they can continue to fulfil their mandates no matter who’s in power,” said Dr Williams.

Budget update 2022-23

Total entity resourcing by yearANAOABC CIC
2022-23112,817,0001,190,407,000$67 million (over four years)
CPI adjusted funding 2012-2021$124,134,618$1,445,924,962
Cut in real terms$11,317,618$255,517,962 
% cut9.12%17.67%100%

2021-22 estimated actual232,140,0004,008,00059,256,000
2022-23 estimate226,676,0003,631,00056,869,000
Cut in real terms5,464,000377,0002,387,000
% cut2.359.414.03

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