Governance, structure and people

 The CEFC operates under the Clean Energy Finance Corporation Act 2012 (CEFC Act). Its objective is “…to facilitate increased flows of finance into the clean energy sector”.

This is achieved through direct and indirect investment in renewable energy, energy efficiency and low emissions technologies and projects and by encouraging and facilitating private sector investment in these projects.

The CEFC Board has established a mission for the organisation: “To accelerate Australia’s transformation towards a more competitive economy in a carbon constrained world, by acting as a catalyst to increase investment in emissions reduction.”

The CEFC is an investment institution with a legislated investment function that is governed by the CEFC Act, as well as an Investment Mandate from responsible Ministers that, among other things, sets out the direction to be taken by the CEFC in relation to risk and return. The CEFC also operates within Board-approved investment policies.

The CEFC seeks not to displace private sector banks, nor disrupt areas where the financial markets are functioning well. The CEFC also differs from private sector financial institutions in that it has a public policy purpose, requiring the CEFC to consider external benefits associated with its financing activities. These external benefits include emissions reductions, helping to move technologies down the cost curve, achieving productivity gains through energy efficiency, technological diversity in the energy mix, encouraging innovation, building industry capability and leveraging private sector funds into the sector.

In certain circumstances, the CEFC can provide concessional finance where the Board considers that public policy benefits are promoted through the concessionality being provided. The CEFC has developed specialist financing capabilities in the clean energy and energy productivity sectors. It shares knowledge and expertise with project sponsors, lenders and the broader industry, helping build capacity within the private sector and developing financing structures to encourage further private sector investment in emissions reduction.

In pursuing its objective, the CEFC Act requires the CEFC to ensure that, at any time on or after 1 July 2018, at least half the funds invested for the purposes of its investment function are invested in renewable energy technologies.


The CEFC is an Australian Government entity and reports to the Australian Parliament through its responsible Ministers. The CEFC is constituted as a Commonwealth statutory authority by the CEFC Act.

The governance structure of the CEFC is determined by:

  • The CEFC Act
  • The Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act)
  • The policies, procedures and systems established by the CEFC Board and the CEFC Executive.

The CEFC Act provides for a governing Board made up of Australian Government appointees. These in turn appoint the Chief Executive Officer (a statutory officer) and Executive staff, who are employed under such terms and conditions as the Board sees fit.

Ultimate authority resides with the Board, unless delegated to the CEO or, in turn, delegated from the CEO to the CEFC’s Executive and staff. The Board has established two committees to assist it in governance of the CEFC:

  1. Audit and Risk Committee
  2. Remuneration and Human Resources Committee.

The CEO has responsibility for the day-to-day management of the CEFC, along with a
six-member Executive, operating with the support of three key executive committees:

  1. Executive Investment Committee
  2. Asset Management Committee
  3. Executive Risk Committee.

During the reporting period, the CEFC had no subsidiaries. The CEFC undertook an organisational restructure in 2015-16. This has further strengthened the organisation’s operational effectiveness in managing its investment commitments and the deployment of CEFC funds. The revised structure is described in Figure 20.

Figure 20: CEFC organisational structure (as at 30 June 2016)  

Reflecting organisational changes completed in 2015-16.

Responsible Ministers

Under the CEFC Act, the CEFC has two responsible Ministers (see Figure 21). At the beginning of 2015-16 the CEFC was within the Treasury portfolio. On 21 September 2015, amendments were made to the Administrative Arrangements Order to transfer administration of the CEFC Act from the Treasury portfolio to the Environment portfolio. These changes were affirmed by the Acts Interpretation (Substituted References – Section 19BA) Amendment Order 2015 (No.1) of 26 November 2015.
Please also note that after the reporting period, and following the 2016 federal election, further ministerial changes occurred, which are also documented in the table below.

Figure 21:  CEFC Responsible Ministers

Operative dates

Responsible Ministers

1 July 2015 to
21 September 2015

The Hon. Joe Hockey MP, Treasurer

Senator the Hon. Mathias Cormann, Minister for Finance

21 September 2015 to 19 July 2016

The Hon. Greg Hunt MP, Minister for the Environment

Senator the Hon. Mathias Cormann, Minister for Finance

From 19 July 2016

The Hon. Josh Frydenberg MP, Minister for the Environment and Energy*

Senator the Hon. Mathias Cormann, Minister for Finance

*Following Ministerial changes after the 2016 election 


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 them which is to be the nominated Minister.

Figure 22: CEFC Nominated Ministers

Operative dates

Nominated Ministers

1 July 2015 to
21 September 2015

The Hon. Joe Hockey MP, Treasurer

26 November 2015 to 30 June 2016

The Hon. Greg Hunt MP, Minister for the Environment

From 19 July 2016

The Hon. Josh Frydenberg MP, Minister for the Environment and Energy*

*Following Ministerial changes after the 2016 election 


The CEFC Act is structured in such a way as to maximise the CEFC’s operational independence, particularly with respect to investment decision-making. Ministerial powers to direct under the CEFC Act are limited, primarily to the Investment Mandate (see further information on page 103).

Under the CEFC Act, the CEFC can be directed by Ministers to pay surplus funds to the CEFC Special Account, since the CEFC was not conceived as having a large cash management function. The CEFC had two Ministerial Directions in effect during 2015-16, in addition to the Investment Mandate.

Figure 23: Ministerial Directions

Operative dates

Responsible Ministers

1 July 2015 to
5 May 2016

Ministerial Direction to repay surplus monies to the CEFC Special Account, signed 18 February 2015 by the Hon. Joe Hockey MP, Treasurer, and Senator the Hon. Mathias Cormann, Minister for Finance.

5 May 2016 to
30 June 2016

Ministerial Direction to repay surplus monies to the CEFC Special Account, signed 5 May 2016 by the Hon. Greg Hunt MP, Minister for the Environment, and Senator the Hon. Mathias Cormann, Minister for Finance.

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 2015-16. The CEFC has received notice of the intended future application of the Australian Government Protective Security Policy Framework to the CEFC by means of a GPO.

Statement of Compliance with Ministerial Directions and Government Policy Orders

The CEFC had no instances of non-compliance with Ministerial Directions (including the Investment Mandate) or GPOs in the 2015-16 year.

CEFC People

While the CEFC has a large amount of capital available to invest, the CEFC is a small organisation in terms of people numbers.

The CEFC has eight statutory officers, including a Board of between five and seven members, consisting of one part-time Chair and six part-time Board members, together with a full-time Chief Executive Officer.

At 30 June 2016, there were 69 employees filling 66 full-time equivalent (FTE) positions. These figures include the CEO but not the Chair or Board members, although all of these are technically statutory officers.

The CEO was supported by an Executive leadership group of six FTEs and staff of 59 FTEs. The CEFC does not use Australian Public Service classifications and has instead adopted the structure outlined in Figure 24.

Figure 24: CEFC human resourcing structure at 30 June 2016




Statutory Officers


1 (part-time)

Board members

6 (part-time)

Chief Executive Officer

1 (FTE)


Executive level

6 (FTE)

Executive Director/Head of Function

6 (FTE)


12.7 (FTE)

Associate Director

15 (FTE)

Senior Analyst

3 (FTE)


7.7 (FTE)


7.8 (FTE)


6.3 (FTE)



66 FTE, excluding Chair and Board members