The Government Advertising Act 2011 (the Act) Section 8 states that the relevant head of a government agency (that is, the Secretaries or Chief Executives) must give a compliance certificate for advertising, before it commences. Agencies may use the Compliance Certificate Template or prepare their own.
It certifies, in the opinion of the head of the Government agency, that the Government advertising campaign:
a) complies with the Act, Regulation and Guidelines
b) contains accurate information
c) is necessary to achieve a public purpose and is supported by analysis and research
d) is an efficient and cost-effective means of achieving the public purpose.
The advertising compliance certificate serves as the approval by the head of a government agency for all Government advertising campaigns, regardless of value.
Under the Government Information (Public Access) Regulation 2009, the advertising compliance certificate issued by the head of a Government agency is prescribed as open access information of that agency, which means it should be publicly available free of charge on the agency's website.
Note: that the Department of Customer Service has a monitoring role in relation to Government advertising. The Department of Customer Service is not responsible for providing assurance on other agencies’ compliance with the Act. Completion of peer review does not signify compliance to all other aspects of the Act or the regulatory framework.
Exceptions to the requirement for compliance certificates
Routine Advertising under $250,000 (ex GST) does not require compliance certificate according to Government Advertising Regulation 2018 Section 7 if it meets the following:
- The advertising is approved by an "Authorised Officer" with written authorisation from the Head of the Agency and authority to incur the expenditure (for example Delegations Manual)
- The Authorised officer is satisfied that the advertising complies with the Government Advertising Act 2011, the Regulation, and the Government Advertising Guidelines
Routine advertising is defined in Section 7 of the Regulation as the dissemination of the following:
- Information about routine matters relating to the provision of services, including notification of service changes;
- Information about requirements imposed on persons;
- Community announcements or notices about community events or activities;
- Notices or announcements required to be made by or under any law;
- Recruitment notices; and
- Government tender or procurement notices.
All other advertising is considered non-routine advertising.