The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. The information contained in this publication intended only as a guide to social security payments. The information is accurate as at the date listed at the bottom of the page, but may be subject to change. To discuss individual circumstances please contact Services Australia.

7.2 Commonwealth institutions


For the purposes of the Scheme, an institution under the responsibility of the Commonwealth is a participating institution. The Minister does not need to declare Commonwealth institutions as participating institutions.

An institution is a Commonwealth institution if it is:

  • or was part of the Commonwealth
  • or was a Commonwealth entity
  • or was a wholly-owned Commonwealth company
  • or was an incorporated body established by or under a law of the Commonwealth
  • or was an unincorporated body established by or under a law of the Commonwealth
  • an institution that is prescribed by the NRS Rules as being a Commonwealth institution.

Commonwealth institutions not covered under Scheme

The Scheme does not consider an institution a Commonwealth institution where:

  • it is a body politic that is a Territory
  • it is or was part of a body politic that is a Territory
  • it is or was a body corporate (other than a wholly-owned Commonwealth company) that
    • is or was registered under the Corporations Act 2001
    • is or was taken to be registered under the Corporations Act 2001 (transitional provisions), or
    • was not under Commonwealth control for a period.
  • the NRS Rules prescribe that the institution is not a Commonwealth institution.

This rule making power is intended to exclude a Commonwealth institution where it is more appropriate for another participating institution to pay redress for a person rather than the Commonwealth.

In addition, an institution not under the control of the Commonwealth in relation to a specified period would not be considered a Commonwealth institution.

Act reference: NRSAct Part 5-1 Participating institutions, section 109 What is a Commonwealth institution?

NRS Rules Part 3 Responsibility of institutions

Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 section 10 Commonwealth entities, section 90 Wholly‑owned Commonwealth companies

Corporations Act 2001 Chapter 10 Transitional provisions

Policy reference: Redress Guide 7.1 Participating institutions

Last reviewed: