Australian Government, the Australian Office of Financial Management

Working at AOFM

AOFM is a specialised agency responsible for the management of Australian Government debt. It also manages the Government's daily cash balances and undertakes investments in financial assets. These activities fund Government programs and aim to advance economic growth and stability and support the effective operation of financial markets.

The AOFM's debt management activities include the issuance of Commonwealth Government Securities (CGS) such as Treasury Bonds and Treasury Indexed Bonds. AOFM operates a securities lending facility that allows financial market participants to borrow Treasury Bonds from the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA). Exchange-traded Australian Government Bonds are quoted and traded on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) which provides access to this financial product for retail investors. The AOFM's cash management activities include the issuance of Treasury Notes for short-term funding, with surplus funds being invested. The AOFM purchased residential mortgage-backed securities under a Government program to maintain competition in lending for housing in Australia and continues to manage this portfolio to maturity.

Like other financial institutions, the AOFM manages its portfolio of debt and financial assets to maintain a balance between risk and return. In the AOFM's case, the debt exceeds the financial assets, so the net return represents a cost to the Budget. Balancing risk and return includes managing the composition of the portfolio between different financial instruments and different maturities. The volume and tenor of assets held as term deposits and bank paper are largely determined by the Government's daily and weekly cash flows, but the volume and maturity structure of the debt on issue are managed through issuance decisions, including the selection of bond lines and the size of tenders.

The AOFM is committed to transparency in its operations and places importance on using market feedback and engagement with investors to support a resilient and well-functioning sovereign bond market for Australia.

AOFM is high performing

Professional and technical standards are very high in AOFM. Employees are supported in their career development and in building their professional skills through work experience, in-house training and assistance with external studies.

The majority of AOFM people hold degree qualifications (almost half hold double degrees or higher degrees) and around a third have professional qualifications in their field. Every individual staff member is important to our work and contributes directly to the achievement of our objectives.

AOFM has been award for excellence in its activities by various financial publications including Risk Magazine, Finance Asia, and Kanga News. AOFM assists overseas sovereign debt management agencies in Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Indonesia, Thailand, China and elsewhere in our region. The AOFM also participates in OECD debt management forums.

AOFM is small

AOFM has around forty staff with a mixture of specialised financial market, public policy and administrative skills. The relatively small size of AOFM means that our people are better aware of the overall strategies and operations of the AOFM and how the various parts work together. They can seek to experience different aspects of financial markets and transactions and observe how public policy objectives interact with financial markets and how they operate. AOFM people are called on to use a wider range of financial, policy and administrative skills than they might in more specialised positions in a larger institution. As a result they can learn and gain experience over a broad field relatively quickly. Learning is well integrated into job requirements.

The AOFM places high importance on maintaining harmonious relations between staff, including through good communications, coordination and treating other staff members with respect. Relations with other staff and personal communications behaviour are important elements in performance appraisals and in the assessment of staff for advancement.

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