Full description Background
The Port Phillip District was established as part of the Colony of New South Wales in 1836 and Captain William Lonsdale became its Police Magistrate with responsibilities for the District's general superintendence In December 1838, Sub-Collector of Customs Webb also became responsible for the collection of other revenue, including that from land sales, and was appointed Sub-Collector of Internal Revenue and Sub-Treasurer (Historical Records of Victoria, Volume 4, p.69). The Sub-Treasurer continued to have responsibility for revenue collection and control over expenditure under the Superintendent from 1839 to 1851. Following separation from New South Wales in 1851 a Colonial Treasurer was appointed, assuming financial superintendence from the New South Wales Colonial Treasurer and local functions from the Superintendent
During the years 1851 to 1855 chief executive authority rested with the Governor advised by the Executive Council. The main departments of government were those of the Colonial Secretary and the principal colonial officials or principal officers of government, including the Treasurer, Auditor-General, Surveyor-General, Collector of Customs (later the Commissioner of Trade and Customs), and Postmaster-General. The Colonial Secretary was the chief official and all other colonial officials communicated with the Lieutenant-Governor (later Governor) via his office.
The Treasurer has traditionally been responsible for the administration of the State's finances, including economic policy, financial planning, resource management, investment and loan-raising, budget preparation, revenue-raising and collection, and the control and monitoring of government expenditure. Following the appointment of the first Minister for Finance in January 1991 the Treasurer lost control of the control and monitoring of government expenditure and the Comptroller-General. Similar to the Commonwealth model the government created a finance ministry separate from the Treasurer's portfolio to monitor and control government expenditure and to evaluate the effectiveness of government programs.
As part of the new portfolio the Effectiveness Review and the Strategic Analysis Units were established to help the budget management and control process.
This separation of revenue collection from budget allocation was only short lived. Following the election of a new Government in October 1992, responsibility for the budget oversight functions was returned to the Treasurer's portfolio in October 1992.
Significant machinery of government changes impacted on the administration of this function in January 1991, January 1992 and October 1992. Responsibility for aspects of the finance function moved back and forth three times from Property and Services to Finance ,thence to Treasury and then back to Finance.
The following functions were transferred from the Treasurer's portfolio:
government expenditure - monitoring and control of (back to the Treasurer in October 1992);
Comptroller-General's division - management of the government's bank account .The (the Accounting Audit and Policy Unit was not transferred until January 1992).
Following the 1996 election the administration of the portfolios of Treasury and Finance was again amalgamated . into the Department of Treasury and Finance.