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What if every public sector officer could master financial management?

Client: Department of Treasury (Western Australia)

Building financial management capability in the WA public sector

The Financial Management Act 2006 and associated Treasurer’s Instructions (the Act) provide the legal basis on which the Western Australia Government manages its finances. The Act specifies how public sector agencies should budget, manage and report on the public monies that they control and administer. In 2018, the Special Inquiry into Government Programs and Projects final report found that many public sector officers were unfamiliar with the requirements of the Act, and were reliant on the technical expertise of others (generally the Chief Financial Officer). The Special Inquiry recommended that a training program be developed, to enhance understanding of the provisions of the Financial Management Act 2006 and its associated regulations by non-financial officers.

“This training has been developed specifically for the ‘non-financial’ officer in the general government sector. It seeks to increase the sector’s awareness of the financial management framework, and in so doing, improve practice and behaviour.”

– Department of Treasury, Western Australia Government

In response to this, the WA Treasury enlisted the expertise of Sapere to design and develop a financial management awareness training program. Our approach involved four stages:

  • Delving into the Depths: we undertook a desktop review of all relevant legislation and policies and a mapping of the proposed training content
  • Gathering of Minds: we conducted several workshops with senior Treasury officers to present our proposed training program design and content and obtain feedback
  • Crafting the Blueprint: following the Department’s endorsement of the proposed content, we developed the training materials, including animations and case studies to enable the training to be engaging and interactive
  • Pilgrimage of Knowledge: through pilot sessions with senior Treasury officers, the training modules were refined and polished.
Financial management

The fruits of this labour comprised of three training modules:

  1. Budgeting
  2. Management
  3. Accountability

The training program has been implemented by the Department in an e-learning format. The program is supporting the building of financial management awareness and capability in the WA public sector, in particular, for public sector officers with a non-finance background.

More information about this work can be found on the WA government website here:

Financial Management Awareness Training

Our team included

  • Dr Vijaya Ramamurthy

Authors who contributed to this article

Dr Vijaya Ramamurthy