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Terms of Reference

Indigenous Expenditure Report

The Indigenous Expenditure Report aims to contribute to better policy making and improved outcomes for Indigenous Australians by:

  1. reporting on expenditure on services which support Indigenous Australians, including in a manner consistent with the COAG Working Group on Indigenous Reform statement of objectives, outcomes and measures and the COAG Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage report framework.
  2. promoting the collection and reporting of robust Indigenous expenditure data through:
    1. determining and applying consistent methodology to the collection and reporting of data
    2. identifying necessary improvements to the collection and availability of relevant data
    3. developing and implementing strategies to address data deficiencies.

The Indigenous Expenditure Report will:

  1. include expenditure by both Commonwealth and State/Territory governments (and local government if possible), and over time will:
    1. allow reporting on Indigenous and non-Indigenous social status and economic status
    2. include expenditure on Indigenous-specific and key mainstream programs
    3. be reconcilable with published government financial statistics.
  2. focus on on-the-ground services in areas such as: education; justice; health; housing; community services; employment; and other significant expenditure.
  3. report on a regular basis, including:
    1. completion of an initial 'stocktake' report for the first COAG meeting in 2009, setting out the reporting framework, principles, methodology, and survey of available data and strategies for data development
    2. staged reporting against the framework (having regard to considerations such as data availability, implementation requirements and costs of reporting)
    3. report on both Indigenous and non-Indigenous expenditure.
  4. provide governments with a better understanding of the level and patterns of expenditure on services which support Indigenous Australians, and provide policy makers with an additional tool to target policies to Close the Gap in Indigenous Disadvantage.

The Indigenous Expenditure Report steering committee will:

  1. provide regular updates to Heads of Treasuries on progress in developing the expenditure framework and to the Working Group on Indigenous Reform on progress on data issues
  2. recommend to Heads of Treasuries appropriate institutional arrangements for annual reporting on Indigenous expenditure once the framework for reporting has been developed.