Ministerial portfolios


Report of the Inquiry into the Appointment of the Former Prime Minister to Administer Multiple Departments

In August 2022, Virginia Bell AC was appointed to conduct an inquiry into the appointment of former Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, to administer departments other than the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and related matters. This report outlines the findings from the inquiry.

Becoming a minister: getting to grips with departmental budgets

After any change of prime minister or general election, a new administration is likely to bring both new policy priorities and new ministers. But making change in policy is not only about policy design and delivery, it is also about paying for those changes and...

Select Committee on COVID-19: third interim report - public interest immunity claims

This interim report informs the Senate about claims of public interest immunity received by the Senate Select Committee on COVID-19 in the course of its examination of the Australian government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The report discusses three claims received by the committee by...
Policy report

Biodiversity, natural capital and the economy: a policy guide for finance, economic and environment ministers

This report provides the latest findings and policy guidance for G7 and other countries in four key areas: measuring and mainstreaming biodiversity; aligning budgetary and fiscal policy with biodiversity; embedding biodiversity in the financial sector; and improving biodiversity outcomes linked to international trade.

Reform of the centre of government

This short paper offers a diagnosis of the problem facing the government ‘machine’, a review of the changes recently made to it, and the Institute for Government’s recommendations on further reforms that most benefit the government, the civil service and the UK public.

Government reshuffles: the case for keeping ministers in post longer

Boris Johnson is said to be ready to reshuffle his ministerial team in February – this report warns that he should then keep his ministers in place. Excessive ‘churn’ means they never get properly on top of their brief. This has undermined the effectiveness of...

Delivering government priorities: corporate plan 2019–2023

This document sets out how the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet intends to deliver on their responsibilities, and addresses their operating environment, their people and capability, their risk management and oversight and their key activities and performance measures.

Creating and dismantling government departments

Much like what occurs in Australia, this paper argues that while creating a new department can be useful to focus on a high priority issue or to bring together related policy areas, most changes in the United Kingdom are rushed through either to send a...

2019 Briefing e-Book: key issues from the 58th Parliament

This resource was compiled by the Parliamentary Library's Research and Inquiries unit. It provides an overview of issues that were prominent during the 58th Victorian Parliament, as shown through developments in legislative action, parliamentary debate, media coverage and public research.

Administrative Arrangements Order: summary of changes 29 May 2019

Administrative Arrangements Order (AAOs) formally allocate executive responsibility among ministers. They set out which matters and legislation are administered by which department or portfolio. This updated document sets out the Australian government's portfolio and department changes following the Morrison Government's re-election.

Being a trusted and respected partner: the APS's relationship with ministers and their offices

One of the key functions of the APS is how it interacts with ministers, and the nature and quality of that relationship affects the quality of public administration. This paper explores those interactions, how they have changed over time, and explores a new vision of...

Towards good environmental governance? Assessing the evolution of Victoria's environment portfolio

This research investigates Victoria’s overarching approach to environmental governance. It provides an account of Victoria’s environment portfolio, how it has evolved to meet changing priorities, and what might be done in the future. The approach to research is informed by policy analysis, portfolio studies, and...

Australia’s new ‘Home Office’ is a worry for immigration policy

Drawing inspiration from the British "Home Office" model is worrisome for the immigration portfolio, writes Adele Garnier.

A quick guide to the history of proposals for an Australian department of homeland security

This quick guide summarises the history of the concept of an Australian department of homeland security since 2001.

That’s it - I’m leaving: ministerial departures 1901–2017

This new edition of 'That’s it - I’m Leaving' brings the coverage of ministerial departures up to early-2017, encompassing the last 25 years of departures since the last edition was published in 1992.
Audio interview

Energy and environment portfolios merged

For decades, the energy and environment portfolios have been run by different federal ministers, and they've often been at loggerheads over key elements of national policy. In a surprise move, the Prime Minister's reshuffle yesterday sees the two ministries combined, eliciting mixed reactions, and the...

The prime minister's man

Is Brendan Nelson “the subject of serious seduction” in his new job at Defence? Geoffrey Barker thinks not.

Ministerial discretion in migration matters: Contemporary policy issues in historical context

This brief analyses the current conundrum surrounding the exercise of ministerial discretion in migration matters in historical context.

Accountability of ministerial staff

The accountability of ministerial staff has re-emerged as an issue during the hearings of the Senate Committee inquiring into "a certain maritime incident". The growth of ministerial staff numbers and the perception that they operate independently of direct ministerial supervision suggests that new accountability mechanisms...