Public Budgets and Financial Management

Subject PPMN90033 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2015.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 2-hour seminar per week for 12 weeks
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours


Entry into the Master of Public Policy and Management.

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Political Science at Undergraduate level

Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Dr. Scott Brenton

Subject Overview:

Public sector budget frameworks are premised on efficiency, effectiveness and the ethical use and management of taxpayer’s money, and accountability under legislation, the audit process, the estimates committee process, and more broadly to parliament, the public, the media and private contractors. This subject considers how public managers and ministers work within these frameworks to balance at times competing objectives and political undercurrents. Students will be introduced to the budget cycle, fraud control plans, audit committees and the Auditor-General, tendering and procurement, risk management, appropriations and more recent innovations such as the Charter of Budget Honesty and the Parliamentary Budget Office. Students will acquire practical skills in how to manage public expenditure and to design tax and social welfare systems, while also appreciating how budgets are political and the interplay between governments and capital markets.

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of this subject, students should have:

  • developed a clear understanding of how government is financed;
  • an awareness of the macroeconomic framework underpinning public policy;
  • developed a greater understanding of the different accountability and political processes; and
  • acquired a range of practical and analytical skills applicable to designing and working with budgets.

An essay of 2,000 words (40%) due mid-semester, and an essay of 3,000 words (60%) due during the examination period.

Hurdle Requirement: Students are required to attend a minimum of 75% of classes in order to qualify to have their written work assessed. Regular participation in class is required.

Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per working day. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

Required readings will be made available electronically via the subject LMS site at the beginning of semester.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • be able to apply research skills and critical methods.
  • be able to develop persuasive arguments.
  • able to communicate oral and written arguments and ideas effectively.
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: 100 Point Master of Public Policy and Management
150 Point Master of Public Policy and Management
200 Point Master of Public Policy and Management
Public Policy and Management
Public Policy and Management
Public Policy and Management
Public Policy and Management

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