The department

Our purposes are to support the Prime Minister as the head of the Australian Government and the Cabinet, provide advice on major domestic policy and national security matters, and to improve the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Roles and functions

The Department advises and supports the Prime Minister, the Cabinet, portfolio ministers, assistant ministers and the government and ensures government decisions are implemented. PM&C coordinates cross-portfolio efforts to advance Australia's interests, prosperity and success. The Department develops the capabilities of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to improve their living standards and wellbeing.

The responsibilities of the Department at 30 June 2017 are set out in the Administrative Arrangements Order made on 1 September 2016 and as amended on 27 October 2016 and 13 April 2017. The Department's responsibilities were expanded to include:

  • whole-of-government information and communications technology
  • information and communications technology procurement policy and services
  • infrastructure and project financing.


Four operational groups carry out the Department's role, delivering strategic priorities through a range of policy and program activities.

Domestic Policy Group

The Domestic Policy Group develops economic, environmental, social and urban policies. It coordinates whole-of-government regulatory reform and supports government priorities for gender equality and the empowerment of women. The group coordinates COAG arrangements and provides advice and support for the Budget process. Whole-of-government service delivery policy (administered by the Digital Transformation Office), public data policy and national policy on cities and the G20 Sherpa in developing and prosecuting Australia's contributions to the G20 is coordinated by this group.

National Security and International Policy Group

The National Security and International Policy Group provides advice on Australia's foreign policy, trade and aid interests. This includes the Prime Minister's engagement with foreign counterparts and business leaders, international commemorative events, treaty matters, defence and intelligence, non-proliferation, counter-terrorism, law enforcement, information sharing, intelligence policy, cyber policy, border security and crisis management. This group also coordinates the foreign affairs, trade and national security aspects of the Budget.

Governance Group

The Governance Group provides advice on legal policy, parliamentary and government matters and honours, symbols and territories policy. In addition, it provides support services to the Prime Minister, the Cabinet, Cabinet committees and the Department's portfolio ministers and assistant ministers. The group delivers the Department's enabling and support functions and oversees the implementation and ongoing delivery of government programs, policies and initiatives.

Indigenous Affairs Group

The Indigenous Affairs Group is responsible for most Commonwealth Indigenous-specific policy and programs. The group works with the Australian Government and state and territory governments, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and organisations and peak bodies to achieve government priorities of getting adults into jobs, getting children into school and making communities safer. The group includes the Regional Network that partners with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities and other stakeholders to develop and implement tailored local solutions. The Regional Network has more than 550 staff in over 80 locations across the country. These staff routinely visit more than 380 communities.

Senior executive

As at 30 June 2017, the Department's Senior Executive was:


Dr Martin Parkinson AC PSM

Associate Secretary, Indigenous Affairs

Mr Andrew Tongue PSM

Deputy Secretary, Governance

Ms Elizabeth Kelly PSM

Deputy Secretary, National Security

Mr Allan McKinnon

Deputy Secretary, Economic and G20 Sherpa

Dr David Gruen

Deputy Secretary, Social Policy

Ms Lin Hatfield Dodds

Deputy Secretary, Innovation and Transformation

Dr Steven Kennedy PSM

Commonwealth Counter-Terrorism Coordinator

Mr Tony Sheehan

Special Adviser to the Prime Minister on Cyber Security

Mr Alastair MacGibbon

Deputy Secretary, Indigenous Affairs

Professor Ian Anderson AO

Further information on the organisational structure including divisional and branch structure and responsibilities is available on the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet website.

The portfolio

As at 30 June 2017, the portfolio comprised the following entities:

Department of State

  • Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

Other non-corporate Commonwealth entities

  • Australian National Audit Office
  • Australian Public Service Commission
  • Digital Transformation Agency
  • Office of National Assessments
  • Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman
  • Office of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security
  • Office of the Official Secretary to the Governor-General

Corporate Commonwealth entities

  • Anindilyakwa Land Council
  • Central Land Council
  • Indigenous Business Australia
  • Indigenous Land Corporation
  • Northern Land Council
  • Tiwi Land Council
  • Torres Strait Regional Authority
  • Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community Council

Commonwealth companies

  • Aboriginal Hostels Limited
  • National Australia Day Council Limited
  • Outback Stores Pty Ltd

Statutory bodies

  • Defence Force Remuneration Tribunal
  • Remuneration Tribunal

Office holders

  • Independent National Security Legislation Monitor
  • Registrar of Indigenous Corporations
  • The Aboriginal Land Commissioner
  • Executive Director of Township Leasing

Photograph of the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Cyber Security, the ASIC Commissioner and the ASX Chairman launching the ASX 100 Cyber Health Check Report
The Hon Dan Tehan MP, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Cyber Security launching the ASX 100 Cyber Health Check Report at the Australian Stock Exchange, April 2017, with Ms Cathie Armour, ASIC Commissioner and Mr Rick Holliday, ASX Chairman.

Our Ministers

As at 30 June 2017, the Department's ministers and assistant ministers were:

  • The Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, Prime Minister
  • Senator the Hon Nigel Scullion, Minister for Indigenous Affairs
  • Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, Minister for Women, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service
  • The Hon Michael Keenan MP, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Counter-Terrorism
  • Senator the Hon Scott Ryan, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Cabinet
  • The Hon Dan Tehan MP, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Cyber Security
  • Senator the Hon James McGrath, Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister, Assistant Minister for Regulatory Reform
  • The Hon Angus Taylor MP, Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation.

Budget outcomes and program structure

In achieving the Department's purposes for 2016–17, the Department worked to deliver two outcomes of the Australian Government Budget 2016–17 through eight programs. Figure 1.1 shows the links between the purposes stated in the PM&C Corporate Plan 2016–20 and the outcomes and program framework in its Portfolio Budget Statements (PBS) and Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements (PAES) for 2016–17. The Department's Annual Performance Statement that outlines the delivery of this framework is at Part 3 of this report.

Photograph of PM&C's Deputy Secretary, Australia's Ambassador to the UN and the Minister for Women at CSW61
Lin Hatfield Dodds, PM&C Deputy Secretary, Gillian Bird, Australia’s Ambassador to the UN, and Senator The Hon Michaelia Cash, Minister for Women at CSW61, March 2017.

Figure 1.1: Corporate Plan 2016–20 strategic priorities mapped to 2016–17 Portfolio Budget Statements objectives


1. Supporting the Prime Minister as the head of the Australian Government and the Cabinet

2. Providing advice on major domestic policy and national security matters.

Outcome 1

Provide high quality policy advice and support to the Prime Minister, the Cabinet, portfolio ministers and assistant ministers including through the coordination of government activities, policy development and program delivery.

Program 1.1

The Prime Minister and Cabinet



3. Improving the lives of Indigenous Australians

Outcome 2

Improve results for Indigenous Australians including in relation to school attendance, employment and community safety, through delivering services and programs and through measures that recognise the special place that Indigenous people hold in this nation.

Program 2.1

Indigenous Advancement – Jobs, Land and Economy

Program 2.2

Indigenous Advancement – Children and Schooling

Program 2.3

Indigenous Advancement – Safety and Wellbeing

Program 2.4

Indigenous Advancement – Culture and Capability

Program 2.5

Remote Australia Strategies

Program 2.6

Program Support