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Parliamentary Budget Office

Parliamentary Budget Office

The Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) provides costings of election policies in the lead-up to NSW general elections. The next NSW election is scheduled to occur on 25 March 2023.

The Parliamentary Budget Officer

Professor Stephen Bartos has been appointed Parliamentary Budget Officer from 1 September 2022.  He previously served as Parliamentary Budget Officer in 2018-19 and 2014-15. Mr Tony Harris was Acting Parliamentary Budget Officer for the period 3 February 2011 - 10 May 2011, the first occasion on which a Parliamentary Budget Office provided costings advice prior to a NSW election. 

Professor Bartos was previously at the University of Canberra where he taught and wrote on public sector finances, governance and public policy.  He was formerly Deputy Secretary and head of Budget Group in the Commonwealth Finance department.

Role of the Parliamentary Budget Officer

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 the Parliamentary Budget Officer Amendment Act 2013, which made changes to the length of tenure of the Officer and the functions of the role. 

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 is supported by a small team of professionals, including Parliamentary staff and, where necessary, consultants. 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 or view the 2022 - 2023 Parliamentary Budget Office Operational Plan.


Media ReleasePBO Operational Plan tabled and starts operating

Media Presentation: PBO January 2023 Media Presentation

Media Presentation Video: PBO January 2023 Media Presentation 

Work for us

We are currently recruiting! 

Call for expressions of interest

The PBO is seeking expressions of interest from consulting firms or individuals with capacity and willingness to undertake short term assignments to assist the PBO with its costing work.  This could include: 

  • Prepare complex economic and financial models
  • Provide research and analysis of public sector policy matters insofar as they affect NSW finances
  • Help draft costings and information requests
  • Other assistance as required to support the PBO in undertaking the statutory functions as described in the PBO Act 2010

The Parliamentary Budget Office is looking for consultants with: proven public financial management expertise; a good understanding of NSW public policy; an ability to assess the costs of policies rapidly and reliably, and; excellent teamworking skills.  We may or may not have suitable work available, our workload is entirely dependent on what policies are referred to us by parliamentary leaders.

The opportunities available are short term contracts to support the work of the office between January to March 2023.  If you have an interest, please contact us for further information.  

Historical material

For Parliamentary Budget Office costings and other materials from previous elections please see the Historical Material page.

Contact Us

If you have any feedback or queries about the Parliamentary Budget Office, please contact us using the options below.
Phone:(02) 9230 2400

Parliamentary Budget Office

Parliament House, Macquarie Street

Sydney NSW 2000