• Offered by Policy and Governance Program
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Classification Specialist
  • Course subject Policy and Governance
  • Areas of interest Policy Studies
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr David Rosalky
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Winter Session 2015
    See Future Offerings

The course on Managing Government Finances aims to give students a basis for considering the environment in which public sector managers operate as it bears on their management of public financial resources.

The course steers between:

  • the methodologies of financial decision-making and analysis,
  • description or analysis of the Australian government system, and
  • developments in public sector financial management theory and practice.

Regarding the second aspect, an understanding of the institutional and broad behavioural aspects of the Australian system of politics and government is assumed, at least at a basic level, and is an advised precondition.

While the course places its major focus on middle to senior public sector managers in the Australian government system, its emphasis on principles and concepts of government, government processes and public management broadens its appeal, including to students and public officials from outside Australia.  The course forms a mandatory component, for those students who enrol through the ANU, of ANZSOG’s Executive Master of Public Administration (EMPA) degree.

The course investigates the roles carried out by managers in government agencies in managing public financial resources, and the political and administrative setting in which government finances are managed.

Lectures are multi-disciplinary.  They cover:

  • the Australian institutional and statutory governance structure,
  • the Australian Government model of budget formulation and control,
  • federal financial relations,
  • financial management and performance at agency level,
  • management and accounting frameworks at the operational level,
  • governance implications of service delivery modes,
  • risk management,
  • accountability and audit.

The course includes class discussions based on case studies and examples.  Lectures and discussions are presented by ANU academics in the field of public management and by former or present senior public officials.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

On completion of the course, students will be able: 

  1. To have a clear understanding of the framework of the Australian governmental system and its impacts on the roles and responsibilities of managers of public resources;
  2. To extrapolate their understanding of the Australian public financial management environment to other governmental systems;
  3. To explain the methods and roles of, and interactions between, the broad systems applicable in the Australian governmental system relating to budgeting, financial management, accounting and audit;
  4. To understand the drivers, successes and failures of public financial management reform;
  5. To understand the two-way interaction between governance structures and operational practice;
  6. To evaluate the effectiveness of forms of performance management in contemporary government systems; and
  7. To question and critique the effectiveness of the financial managerial setting operating within Australian governments or governments in their own countries.

Other Information

Delivery Mode:

On Campus. 

The course will include class discussions, in plenary or workgroups, based on case studies and examples.  It will be delivered in lecture form. 


Timetable information is available here.

Indicative Assessment

Assessment for the course consists of two written assignments, a short one to be written after the first three-day session and a long one due two weeks after the completion of the course.    The short assignment will be 2000 words in length and worth 40% of the course assessment.  The long assignment will be 3000 words in length and worth 60% of the course assessment. 

The short assignment will be based only on material presented and discussed during the first three days.  In the long assignment, all course material will be relevant to the coverage expected of assignments.

Both assignments will involve a choice of topics that will be provided to students on the first day of each segment of the course. 

In both assignments, students will be expected to present critical arguments relating to the theoretical and institutional setting influencing the management of government finances.

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


Class contact is for 30 hours over six days.  Classes are held in two three-day sessions about three weeks apart.  Students are expected to read the material supplied in the brick and, desirably, additional material provided for the course on the Wattle website.  Essential reading and essay writing are the only obligations on outside-class time.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $3762
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $4566
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Winter Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
1382 20 Jul 2015 07 Aug 2015 07 Aug 2015 26 Sep 2015 In Person N/A

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions