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User Guide to the Portfolio Budget Statements

User Guide

The purpose of the 2008-09 Portfolio Budget Statements (PBS) is to inform Senators and Members of Parliament of the proposed allocation of resources to Government outcomes by agencies within the Portfolio. Agencies receive resources from the annual appropriations acts, special appropriations (including standing appropriations and special accounts), and revenue from other sources.

A key role of the PBS is to facilitate the understanding of proposed annual appropriations in Appropriation Bills No. 1 and No. 2, 2008-09. In this sense the PBS are Budget related papers and are declared by the Appropriation Acts to be 'relevant documents' to the interpretation of the Acts according to section 15AB of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901.

The PBS provide information, explanation and justification to enable Parliament to understand the purpose of each outcome proposed in the Bills.

As required under section 12 of the Charter of Budget Honesty Act 1998, non-general government sector entities are not consolidated into the Commonwealth general government sector fiscal estimates and accordingly, these entities are not reported in the PBS.

Structure of the Portfolio Budget Statements

The PBS have been revised for the 2008-09 Budget, with significant changes made to reduce the work load on agencies and to provide Parliament with more targeted and comprehensive information on government expenditure.

Included below is a brief outline of each section of the revised document.

Portfolio overview
The Portfolio overview is largely unchanged with portfolio departments required to briefly outline the responsibilities of the Portfolio, list the relevant agencies and Ministers and the resources available.
Agency Resources and Planned Performance
A statement (under the name of the agency) for each agency within the Portfolio.
Section 1: Agency overview and resources
  • This section includes three components:
    • 1.1 Strategic direction;
    • 1.2 Agency resource statement; and
    • 1.3 Budget measures.
  • The intention of this section is to provide readers with an overview of the functions and responsibilities of the agency, its contribution towards its outcomes for the budget year and the resources available.
  • The agency resource statement and measures table summarise resource information into two tables. Budget Measures information reflects the information covered in Budget Paper 2, with the output group against which the measures are to be pursued included to improve cross-referencing.
Section 2: Outcomes and Planned Performance
  • The outcomes section reports the results that contribute to outcomes and focuses on the activities and processes of agencies.
  • The outcome resource statement provides lower level resourcing information for general users at the results level, grouped by output group.
Section 3: Explanatory tables and budgeted financial statements
  • The section includes:
    • an explanation of any differences at agency level between the information included in the Budget Papers and the PBS arising from the use of the Government Finance Statistics (GFS) and the Australian Accounting Standards (AAS) accounting methodologies; and
    • explanatory tables to provide supplementary information on the reconciliation between total available appropriation and outcome attribution, the re-phasing and use of appropriations, special account flows and Australian Government Indigenous Expenditure.
Glossary Explains key terms relevant to the Portfolio.
Abbreviations Explains abbreviations relevant to the Portfolio.
Index Alphabetical guide to the Statements.

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Budget 2008-09