New South Wales Generations Fund case study
What is the public sector like in your country?
Jill Monaghan, executive director of financial risk management, New South Wales Treasury:
It is really an amazing place. It's very, hardworking people, extremely dynamic, things are always changing, very fast paced, and people are really willing to give it their all. So it's been a very good experience coming from private sector, to see how people really are working very hard. But it actually is for the public good. And so I've enjoyed it quite a bit.
What is the public finance initiative?
So I'm happy to give an example of one of the achievements, which is a very new achievement, it's the establishment of the New South Wales Generations Fund. So this is a very new initiative. And it's a world leading fund, because it is both a debt retirement fund as well as a community's dividend fund. So what that means is that any of the funds that get put into this, any money that gets put into this actually offsets our debt from a ratings perspective. So the ratings agencies will, when they assess us and they look at how much debt we have any money that sits in there, they actually will take that off our total debt. On the other hand, it also will start to fund community programs, and the returns that we earn on that will help substantiate what those returns would be. So it is dual purpose fund. And it is world leading. And I think it's one of the things that I see that it's financially optimal, but also really helps the communities as well. So it's a great initiative that will help the generation today but also future generations as well.
What would you like to say to other financial professionals implementing PFM reform around the world?
So I think it takes time, I think, explaining the ‘why’ is very important. And also helping people understand that when you look at things from a portfolio, you often find many more efficiencies. And again, it's a much more holistic way to run it. And can you realize throughout the portfolio, you have many more opportunities. So we talked a lot about risks and how we mitigate them. But on the other hand, I'd say there are a lot of opportunities, this has uncovered, which is clear with something like Generations Fund, which covers both financially optimal outcome. It's a sovereign wealth fund. It's going to be a very high growth fund, but it also goes into debt retirement, and helps the community. So it's things like that, which you can pull together. But it is a journey. And we've been on the journey now for a number of years. And I think that there's still quite a long way to go, but it's certainly exciting.