Legislative and government information
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 2020–21 there were no amendments to the 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 On 27 August 2020, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation Amendment (Grid Reliability Fund) Bill 2020 was introduced into the Australian Parliament to give effect to the GRF. At the time of writing, the Bill was still before the Parliament.
1 Prime Minister, Minister for Finance, Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Media Release: $1 billion boost for power reliability, 30 October 2019.
Responsible and nominated Ministers
Under the CEFC Act, the CEFC has two responsible Ministers, who agree which is the nominated Minister with additional powers and functions under the CEFC Act. The Hon. Angus Taylor MP, Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction was the nominated Minister throughout the reporting period.
|Responsible Ministers||Nominated Minister|
|1 July 2020 –
30 October 2020
|The Hon. Angus Taylor MP, Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Senator the Hon. Mathias Cormann, Minister for Finance||The Hon. Angus Taylor MP, Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction|
|30 October 2020 –
30 June 2021
|The Hon. Angus Taylor MP, Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Senator the Hon. Simon Birmingham, Minister for Finance||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.
Investment Mandate Directions
Ministerial powers to direct the CEFC Board are primarily limited to Investment Mandate Directions, issued by responsible Ministers under sub-section 64(1) of the CEFC Act. Mandate Directions provide instruction as to the policies to be pursued by the CEFC in performing its investment function, provided this does not have a purpose of directing the CEFC to make or not make a particular investment and is not inconsistent with the CEFC Act (including the object of the CEFC Act). The Clean Energy Finance Corporation Investment Mandate Direction 2020, which came into effect from 2 May 2020, remained in place throughout the 2020–21 reporting period.
CEFC Special Account directions
Ministers may also direct the CEFC to pay surplus funds to the CEFC Special Account. The Hon. Greg Hunt MP, then Minister for the Environment, and Senator the Hon. Mathias Cormann, then Minister for Finance, issued a Ministerial Direction to repay surplus monies to the CEFC Special Account on 5 May 2016. This remained in place throughout the 2020–21 reporting period. Additional information about movements into and out of the Special Account can be found in Section 3.
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 2020–21.
Statement of compliance
The CEFC had no instances of non-compliance with Ministerial Directions (including the Investment Mandate) or GPOs in the 2020–21 year.
Judicial decisions and parliamentary committees
The CEFC is not aware of any judicial decisions or decisions of administrative tribunals in 2020–21 that have had, or may have, a significant effect on the operations of the CEFC. There were also no particular reports about the CEFC made by the Commonwealth Ombudsman or the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner. The Commonwealth Ombudsman Annual Report for 2019–20 disclosed the CEFC as an agency which had not received any public interest disclosures.
The CEFC was mentioned in the following reports of parliamentary committees:
- Standard reporting of CEFC appearances at Senate Estimates proceedings of the Environment and Communications Legislation Committee, including Budget Estimates (December 2020) and Additional Estimates (May 2021)
- The Senate referred the provisions of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation Amendment (Grid Reliability Fund) Bill 2020 to the Environment and Communications Legislation Committee for inquiry on 3 September 2020. A majority Committee report in November 2020 recommended the Bill be passed.
Passing references to the CEFC were also made in the following Parliamentary reports:
- December 2020: House of Representatives Standing Committee on Industry, Innovation, Science and Resources’ report From Rubbish to Resources: Building a Circular Economy
- April 2021: Senate Report of the Select Committee on the effectiveness of the Australian Government’s Northern Australia agenda
- February 2021: Senate Environment and Communications Legislation Committee Annual reports (No. 1 of 2021)
- June 2021: House of Representatives Standing Committee on the Environment and Energy Advisory Report on the Climate Change (National Framework for Adaptation and Mitigation) Bill 2020 and Climate Change (National Framework for Adaptation and Mitigation) (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2020.
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.
|Contracting party||Purpose of contract|
|June 2013||590,665||70,953||Marsh Pty Ltd||D&O Insurance for period 14 June 2013 to 14 June 2021|
|March 2016||4,331,218||507,444||Dexus Property Group||Lease of premises at Level 17, 1 Bligh Street, Sydney from 1 March 2016 to 28 February 2021|
|March 2021||5,890,131||402,104||Dexus Property Group||Lease of premises at Level 17, 1 Bligh Street, Sydney from 1 March 2021 to 28 February 2026|
|May 2017||4,046,431||752,773||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||89,942||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||73,491||Reval.com Inc||Three-year licence fee renewal, maintenance and support for Loan Management System|
|March 2020||181,479||181,479||Commtract Communication Services||Media advisory services|
|July 2020||120,485||120,485||Arnold Bloch Leibler||Legal advice and legal fees incurred for an investment project for the period 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021|
|July 2020||204,886||204,886||Australian Government Comcover||General, professional indemnity, D&O, property including business interruption and travel insurance for the period 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021|
|July 2020||105,537||105,537||Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre||Industry contribution for the period|
|July 2020||250,429||250,429||Bloomberg Australia Pty Ltd||Bloomberg terminal and NEF All Insight Package Level III|
|July 2020||468,770||468,770||Datacom Systems Pty Ltd||IT support, applications and hardware for the period 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021, including provision of an onsite resource for part of the year|
|July 2020||146,295||146,295||Designate Group Pty Ltd||Design, development and production of the 2019–20 CEFC Annual Report, development of marketing-related materials, and contribution to development of CEFC values and capability framework|
|July 2020||565,492||565,492||Glass and Co Pty Ltd||Provision of information technology outsourced consulting services, in accordance with individual statements of work|
|July 2020||208,944||208,944||Herbert Smith Freehills||Legal fees incurred for various investment projects, and Australian Financial Services Licence advice for the period 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021|
|July 2020||121,000||104,500||Houston Kemp Pty Ltd||Advice on regulatory reforms affecting the landscape for the clean energy sector|
|July 2020||193,321||193,321||Intalock Technologies Pty Ltd||Information technology security threat monitoring and response services|
|July 2020||155,237||155,237||Johnson Winter & Slattery||Legal fees incurred for various investment projects for the period 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021|
|July 2020||236,950||236,950||KPMG||Four individual contracts covering Environmental, Social and Governance; IT leadership; Modern Slavery and investment valuation services|
|July 2020||120,244||120,244||Macquarie Telecom Pty Ltd||Telecommunications, data and hosting for the period 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021|
|July 2020||275,000||275,000||Pricewaterhouse Coopers||Internal Audit engagement for the period 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021|
|July 2020||124,104||124,104||QBT Pty Ltd||Work travel and incidental costs for period 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021 under the whole of government travel procurement program|
|July 2020||217,375||217,375||Technology One Ltd||Annual maintenance and support, ongoing development costs and fees for software and cloud services|
|July 2020||145,324||145,324||Wiliam Pty Ltd||Maintenance, programming and technical services associated with the CEFC website, and digital production and deployment of the 2019–20 CEFC Annual Report|
|August 2020||146,251||146,251||Advisian Pty Ltd||Australian Hydrogen Market Study Report|
|October 2020||105,600||105,600||Paul Dowling||Investment research advisory services|
|December 2020||123,200||123,200||Vine Partners Pty Ltd||Permanent recruitment for executive role|
|January 2021||1,964,822||117,525||MPA Construction Group Pty Ltd||Design, construction and fit-out of Sydney premises|
|February 2021||172,128||13,855||One Diversified (Aust) Pty Ltd trading as Diversified||Supply and installation of audiovisual equipment for Sydney premises|
|June 2021||312,400||312,400||Australian National Audit Office||Audit of financial statements for year ended 30 June 2021|
|June 2021||143,712||4,045||CBRE (C) Pty Ltd||Lease of premises at Level 14, 191 St Georges Terrace, Perth from 1 June 2021 to 31 May 2024|