Mr Stephen Bartos was appointed as Parliamentary Budget Officer on 6 September 2018. He was previously appointed the Parliamentary Budget Officer for the period 22 September 2014 to 26 June 2015.
Before commencing this role Mr Bartos was most recently CEO of the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth. Prior to that he was the Head of Canberra Office of ACIL Allen, an economic consulting and advisory firm, and previously Professor of Governance at the University of Canberra.
Mr Bartos has extensive experience working in the federal public service, including as Deputy Secretary of the Department of Finance and Administration. In that role he was responsible for the department’s work on the budget, accounting policies, government businesses, estimates updates and related matters. Amongst other things he costed policies for the 1998 and 2001 Federal elections, following passage of the Commonwealth Charter of Budget Honesty Act 1998.
Under the Parliamentary Budget Officer Act 2010, the Presiding Officers of the Parliament are required to appoint a Parliamentary Budget Officer for each State general election. The Parliamentary Budget Officer is accountable to the Parliament, and not to the Executive Government.
New South Wales was the first Australian jurisdiction to establish a Parliamentary Budget Officer, with the first officer in place for the NSW general election in 2011. Since then, the Parliament has passed (i) the Parliamentary Budget Officer Amendment Act 2013, which made changes to the length of tenure of the Officer and the functions of the role, and (ii) the Parliamentary Budget Officer Amendment Bill 2018, which includes a requirement for the NSW Treasury to prepare a pre-election budget update.
As per the Act, the appointment of the position is to take effect as soon as practicable after 1 September immediately before the general election is due to be held. The role now has a legislated duration of around nine months.
The Parliamentary Budget Officer provides costings of election policies in response to requests by parliamentary leaders together with budget impact statements for all costed policies. The Parliamentary Budget Officer is an apolitical role requiring adherence to the strictest levels of impartiality, confidentiality and sensitivity. The Act also provides for the Legislative Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee to monitor and review the operations of the Parliamentary Budget Office.
For more information on the Parliamentary Budget Officer, please see the
Parliamentary Budget Officer Act 2010.
The Parliamentary Budget Officer is supported by a small team of professionals to form the Parliamentary Budget Office. Staff are sourced from a range of NSW Government Departments, as well as Parliamentary staff.
There are employment opportunities from time to time in the PBO for staff with a strong background in estimating the costs of policies, understanding of the NSW budget forward estimates, analytical skills preferably in public sector economics or accounting, and knowledge of NSW government. Available positions will be advertised on the IWorkForNSW website, as well as on the PBO’s Media Releases page.
From time to time the PBO may need the assistance of consultants at short notice to perform tasks such as assisting the PBO in: preparing costings for policies announced or proposed for implementation following the 2019 State election, applying specialised knowledge of the relevant policy area if required; advice on the appropriate public sector accounting treatment of costs of proposed policies in complex matters; modelling cost impacts of proposed policies; and related matters.
Any firm or individual consultant interested in providing such services is invited to contact us with details of the services they can offer, their rates and availability.