Contestability Framework Elements

The Contestability Framework includes the following elements which may be applied by entities to review the efficiency and effectiveness of their functions.

1. Portfolio Stocktakes

Portfolio Stocktakes assess functions across a portfolio at a high level and identify the functions with the greatest potential to be delivered more efficiently or through alternative means. Portfolio Stocktakes typically:

  • identify and list all of the functions undertaken by entities within the portfolio;
  • consider how to improve the efficiency of achieving the function, including whether there are any other organisations (within or outside of government) that could provide each function (in whole or in part);
  • consider whether there are any reasons why other organisations could not deliver functions more efficiently, or if there were any other impediments (such as cultural or security considerations); and
  • Proposed functions that may benefit from a Contestability Review.

2. Functional and Efficiency Reviews

Functional and Efficiency Reviews consider the alignment of entity functions to government priorities, and identify operational improvements and efficiencies.

They typically consider:

  • the role of the entity and whether its functions align with the government's forward priorities and policy commitments;
  • barriers affecting the entity from achieving its intended outcomes and, where relevant, proposed solutions to address these concerns;
  • the feasibility and efficiency of alternative approaches to address the government's forward priorities including identifying the benefits, costs, risks and any other relevant considerations (including legal, regulatory and cultural considerations); and
  • the proposed transition path to implement preferred alternatives, including how performance could be managed, staffing, capability considerations and potential governance arrangements.

3. Contestability Reviews

Contestability Reviews provide detailed consideration of how identified functions could be delivered through alternative means. They aim to identify and recommend the most efficient approach to providing a function, and include an implementation plan for any proposed alternative arrangements.

They typically consider:

  • the objective of the function, how it is provided and the associated costs;
  • alternative delivery options (including provision by other organisations and options to improve efficiency with the current provider); and
  • the costs, benefits, risks and any other considerations for each alternative delivery arrangement.

For more information: please contact the Department of Finance by emailing

Last updated: 06 June 2019