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Parliamentary Budget Office

Parliamentary Budget Office

‚ÄčAbout the 2023 Parliamentary Budget Office

Video 1 - The Parliamentary Budget Office - Who are we and what do we do?

Video The Parliamentary Budget Office - Key PBO published documents.

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.

Work for us 

Recruitment has closed for the 2023 Parliamentary Budget Office

Historical material

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