Labor announces Commonwealth executive pay transparency overhaul

05 September 2017

Federal Labor has today adopted a new policy to formally amend rules to force Commonwealth entities, including Australia Post, to publish detailed executive remuneration.


We call on the Turnbull Government to act on this important transparency issue and if it doesn’t, a Shorten Labor Government will.


Labor commits to ensuring Government Business Enterprises and significant Commonwealth entities, such as the Future Fund, include detailed executive remuneration in their annual reports.


Other Commonwealth entities would be required to publish salary bands and the number of executives in each band.


This is consistent with the views of the Auditor-General, who found earlier this year that:


“there would be benefit in government considering making the aggregate level of transparency for key management personal remuneration in the public sector consistent with that required for listed entities.”


[ANAO’s audit of 2016 Commonwealth Financial Statements, p.52]


The impact of our policy means the transparency surrounding public executives’ remuneration will be consistent with many of their counterparts in the private sector.


The Coalition made amendments that created the loophole, which subsequently allowed Australia Post to avoid disclosing the former CEO’s salary of $5.6 million in its annual report.


The Turnbull Government has since informally asked some Commonwealth entities to revert back to the previous reporting regime, but these half-hearted, piecemeal requests don’t go far enough.


Taxpayers foot the bill for these well-paid executives and have a right to know how much they receive.


Only requirements enshrined in legislation and associated regulations will be enough to improve transparency when it comes to executive remuneration for Commonwealth entities.