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Clean Energy Finance Corporation Act 2012 (CEFC Act)

The CEFC Act establishes the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, sets out the organisation’s purpose and functions and establishes arrangements for the Board, CEO and staff.

The objective of the CEFC under the CEFC Act is “to facilitate increased flows of finance into the clean energy sector”. The main function of the CEFC is to invest, directly and indirectly, in clean energy technologies (the investment function). The CEFC Act also specifies a number of other functions, including:

  • liaising with relevant individuals, businesses, agencies and State and Territory governments to facilitate the CEFC investment function
  • performance of any other functions conferred by the CEFC Act or any other Commonwealth law
  • anything incidental or conducive to the performance of the investment function or the other functions.

Clean energy technologies are broadly defined in the CEFC Act to be energy efficiency, renewable energy and low emission technologies. The Act expressly excludes CEFC investment in carbon capture and storage, nuclear technology and nuclear power.

During 2019–20 there were no amendments to CEFC enabling legislation. On 30 October 2019 the Australian Government announced its intention to amend the CEFC enabling legislation to provide for the creation of a $1 billion Grid Reliability Fund (GRF).1 After the reporting period the Clean Energy Finance Corporation Amendment (Grid Reliability Fund) Bill 2020 was introduced to the Australian Parliament to give effect to the GRF. At the time of writing the Bill was awaiting parliamentary consideration.

Responsible Ministers

Under the CEFC Act, the CEFC has two responsible Ministers. At the beginning of the 2019–20 reporting period and to the time of writing, they were:

  • The Hon Angus Taylor MP, Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction
  • Senator the Hon Mathias Cormann, Minister for Finance

During the period 2019–20 up to 31 January 2020, the CEFC was located within the Department of Environment and Energy. On 1 February 2020, in line with machinery of government changes, the CEFC moved to the Industry, Science, Energy and Resources portfolio.

Nominated Minister

The nominated Minister is one of the responsible Ministers and exercises additional powers and functions under the CEFC Act. The CEFC Act provides that the responsible Ministers must determine between themselves who is to be the nominated Minister. For the period 2019–20 the nominated Minister was the Hon Angus Taylor MP, Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction.

Ministerial powers of direction


The CEFC Act is structured in such a way as to maximise operational independence, particularly with respect to investment decision making. Ministerial powers to direct under the CEFC Act are limited primarily to Investment Mandate Directions. The CEFC can be directed by Ministers to pay surplus funds to the CEFC Special Account, as the CEFC was not conceived as having a treasury function. Such a direction remained in effect throughout the reporting period.

Ministerial directions 2019–20
Operative dates Nominated Ministers
Throughout the period from 1 June 2019 Ministerial Direction to repay surplus monies to the CEFC Special Account, signed 5 May 2016 by the Hon Greg Hunt MP, then Minister for the Environment, and Senator the Hon Mathias Cormann, Minister for Finance.

Investment Mandate Directions

The responsible Ministers may issue one or more directions to the CEFC Board under sub-section 64(1) of the CEFC Act; these are known as the Investment Mandate. This is the means by which the Government of the day provides instruction as to policies to be pursued by the CEFC in performing its investment function, provided that this:

  • does not have a purpose of directing the CEFC to make or not make a particular investment
  • is not inconsistent with the CEFC Act (including the object of the CEFC Act).
Investment Mandate Directions in effect 2019–20
Name Date issued Date registered Date of effect
Clean Energy Finance Corporation Investment Mandate Direction 2020 1 May 2020 5 May 2020 2 May 2020
Clean Energy Finance Corporation Investment Mandate Direction 2019 11 Nov 2019 16 Dec 2019 17 Dec 2019
Clean Energy Finance Corporation Investment Mandate Direction 2018 14 Dec 2018 14 Dec 2018 17 Dec 2018

Government policy orders

The PGPA Act allows the Australian Government to issue directions to the CEFC by means of a Government Policy Order (GPO). No GPOs applied to the CEFC during 2019–20.

Statement of compliance

The CEFC had no instances of non-compliance with Ministerial Directions (including the Investment Mandate) or GPOs in the 2019–20 year.


Commonwealth Procurement Rules are not applicable to the CEFC. Procurement occurs via the most efficient, effective, economical and ethical means possible, which can involve direct engagement of service providers based on quotes, select tenders, engagement of external advisors, and in some instances joining Australian Government procurement arrangements. Under section 74 of the CEFC Act, the CEFC must specify in the Annual Report the details for each procurement contract on foot within the financial year valued at above $80,000.

CEFC procurement contracts in place: 2019–20
Contract date Contract value
Expensed 2019–20
Contracting party Purpose of contract
June 2013 590,665 73,783 Marsh Pty Ltd D&O Insurance for period 14 June 2013 to 14 June 2021
June 2015 555,591 260,790 Technology One Ltd Five-year license fee, three-year minimum maintenance and support, initial implementation costs, ongoing development costs and fees for software and cloud services
March 2016 4,331,218 769,628 Dexus Property Group Lease of premises at Level 17, 1 Bligh Street, Sydney from 1 March 2016 to 28 February 2021
May 2017 4,046,431 762,095 Riverside Development Pty Ltd Lease of premises at Level 25, 71 Eagle Street, Brisbane from 18 May 2017 to 30 September 2022
July 2017 568,836 90,230 Knight Frank Australia Pty Ltd Lease of premises at Level 13, 222 Exhibition Street, Melbourne from 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2022
January 2018 218,763 74,018 Inc Three-year license fee renewal, maintenance and support for Loan Management System
July 2019 188,747 188,747 Australian Government Comcover General, professional indemnity, D&O, property including business interruption and travel insurance for the period 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020
July 2019 263,334 263,334 Bloomberg Australia Pty Ltd Bloomberg terminal and NEF All Insight Package Level III
July 2019 84,528 84,528 Charterhouse Recruitment Pty Ltd Temporary staff under contract
July 2019 130,057 130,057 Corrs Chambers Westgarth Legal fees incurred for various investment projects for the period 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020
July 2019 489,105 489,105 Datacom Systems Pty Ltd IT support, applications and hardware for the period 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020, including provision of an onsite resource for part of the year
July 2019 527,381 527,381 Glass and Co Pty Ltd Provision of information technology outsourced consulting services, in accordance with individual statements of work
July 2019 260,633 260,633 Herbert Smith Freehills Legal fees incurred for various investment projects, Australian Financial Services Licence and employment matters for the period 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020
July 2019 143,825 143,825 Intalock Technologies Pty Ltd Information technology security monitoring services
July 2018 358,554 358,554 King & Wood Mallesons Legal fees incurred for various investment projects, Anti-Money Laundering/Counter Terrorism Financing program review and GST Grouping advice for the period 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020
July 2019 98,267 98,267 Macquarie Telecom Pty Ltd Provision of telecommunications, data and hosting for the period 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020
July 2019 156,317 156,317 MinterEllison Legal fees incurred for various investment projects, preparation of Australian Financial Service Licence policies and Director and Responsible Manager training for the period 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020
July 2019 481,281 481,281 National Australia Bank Bond custody fees for the period 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020
July 2019 275,000 275,000 Pricewaterhouse-
Internal Audit engagement for the period 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020
July 2019 619,339 619,339 QBT Pty Ltd Work travel and incidental costs for period 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020 under the whole of government travel procurement program
July 2019 160,304 160,304 Entity Business Pty Ltd t/a Tandem Partners Temporary staff under contract
July 2019 167,599 167,599 Wiliam Pty Ltd Maintenance, programming and technical services associated with the CEFC website; digital production and deployment of the 2018–19 CEFC Annual Report
August 2018 256,105 256,105 Designate Group Pty Ltd Design, development and production of the 2018–19 CEFC Annual Report; development of marketing-related materials; contribution to development of CEFC values and capability framework
September 2019 106,346 106,346 Arup Australia Pty Ltd Various technical reviews and market reports
October 2019 124,980 124,980 KPMG Review of ICT capability and provision of investment valuation services
October 2019 102,876 102,876 Oppeus International Pty Ltd Permanent placement fees and expenses for recruitment of senior executive
June 2020 293,700 293,700 Australian National Audit Office Audit of financial statements for year ended 30 June 2020
Total 15,599,782 7,318,822    

1. Prime Minister, Minister for Finance, Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Media Release:  $1 billion boost for power reliability, 30 October 2019.

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