Premier & Cabinet

Premier's Memorandum

M1999-19 Applicability of Memoranda and Circulars to State Owned Corporations (SOCs)


The previous position that Premier's Memoranda and Premier's Department Circulars should apply to SOCs has been revised.

Detailed Outline

This Memorandum supersedes Premier's Department Circular No. 1995-12 regarding the application of Premier's Memoranda and Premier's Department Circulars to State Owned Corporations (SOCs).
Discussion between Premier's Department, Treasury and The Cabinet Office has resulted in a revision of the previous position that Premier's Memoranda and Premier's Department Circulars should apply to SOCs. The current position is as follows:
  • Existing Memoranda and Circulars do not apply to SOCs but may be adopted where a SOC considers it appropriate to do so. The Treasurer has, however, requested that SOCs comply with the following Memoranda & Circulars:
    • Premier's Memorandum 95-43 'Handling of Claims to Native Title';
    • Premier's Memorandum 97-20 'Government Waste Reduction and Purchasing Policy', to the extent that it is consistent with sound commercial practice;
    • Premier's Memorandum 98-14 'Year 2000 Millennium Strategy';
    • Premier's Department Circular 98-76 'Year 2000 Project – Quarterly Reporting';
    • Premier's Memorandum 99-3 'Government Boards and Committees' subject to possible amendment.
    • Premier's Department Circular 99-3 'Year 2000 Project – Monthly Reporting;
    • and Premier's Department Circular 99-12 'Year 2000 Project – Final Assessment of Remediation.
  • Future Memoranda and Circulars will not be issued to SOCs as a matter of course.
  • Memoranda and Circulars may be issued from time to time that contain policy, procedures or guidelines commended for adoption by SOCs however, SOCs will not be required to follow the directions in these Memoranda or Circulars.
  • On occasions, where it is considered a significant Government policy should apply to all public sector agencies (including SOCs), a Premier's Memorandum will be addressed to all Ministers requesting that they issue the appropriate directions to ensure agencies within their administration adopt and apply the particular policy, procedures or guidelines. In such circumstances, and depending on the activities affected in a particular case, one of the following methods may be invoked to either bind the SOC or render it more accountable for implementing the policy:
    • The Treasurer together with the other voting shareholding Minister may, in accordance with Section 21 (7) of the SOC Act, direct the board of a SOC to include any specified matter(s) in the SOC's Statement of Corporate Intent (SCI). This method can be used to make SOCs have regard to the policy and to be accountable for failing to achieve any related 'performance targets';
    • The Portfolio Minister (defined in section 20I of the Act), with the Treasurer's approval may, in accordance with sections 11 and 20N of the SOC Act, direct a SOC to perform activities which the board of the SOC does not consider to be in the SOC's commercial interest. The SOC will be required to comply with any such direction, and will be entitled to be reimbursed the cost of performing or not performing the activities covered by the direction in accordance with the SOC Act;
    • The Portfolio Minister, with the Treasurer's approval may, in accordance with section 20 O of the SOC Act, notify the board of a Statutory SOC of a public sector policy that is to apply to the SOC. The Portfolio Minister is to be satisfied that it is necessary to give such a notification in the public interest. Before giving the notification the portfolio Minister will consult with the board and request its advice as to whether carrying out the policy would not be in the best interests of the SOC or its subsidiaries. Once advice is given, the SOC will be required to carry out any policy in relation to the SOC and, as far as practicable, its subsidiaries, and may be reimbursed for doing so in accordance with the SOC Act.
For information, the following organisations are designated State Owned Corporations:
Advance Energy, Australian Inland Energy, Coleambally Irrigation Corporation, Delta Electricity, Energy Australia, Freight Rail Corporation, Great Southern Energy, Hunter Water Corporation, Integral Energy Australia, Macquarie Generation, New South Wales Lotteries Corporation, Newcastle Port Corporation, NorthPower, Port Kembla Port Corporation, Rail Access Corporation, Rail Services Australia, Superannuation Administration Corporation, Sydney Ports Corporation, Sydney Water Corporation and Transgrid.
Bob Carr



Not Mandatory

AR Details

Date Issued
Jan 1, 1999
Review Date
Dec 31, 2014
Replaced By


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Publishing Entity
Department of Premier and Cabinet
Issuing Entity