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Glossary

Accrual accounting System of accounting where items are brought to account and included in the financial statements as they are earned or incurred, rather than as they are received or paid.
Accumulated depreciation The aggregate depreciation recorded for a particular depreciating asset.
Administered items Expenses, revenues, assets or liabilities managed by agencies on behalf of the Commonwealth. Agencies do not control administered items, but administer them according to legislation or other directives of Government/Ministers. Administered expenses include grants, subsidies and benefits. Administered revenues include taxes and other levies collected by agencies on behalf of the Commonwealth but not available for use by those agencies.
Additional Estimates Where amounts appropriated at Budget time are insufficient, Parliament may appropriate more funds to Portfolios through the Additional Estimates Acts. This is the Additional Estimates process.
Additional Estimates Bills or Acts These are Appropriation Bills 3 and 4, and a separate Bill for the Parliamentary Departments Appropriations (Parliamentary Departments) Bill (No 2). These Bills are introduced into Parliament after the Budget Bills. In 2008-09, the Budget was introduced in May 2008, and the Additional Estimates Bills were introduced in December 2008.
Appropriation An authorisation by Parliament to spend moneys from the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
Annual appropriation Two appropriation Bills are introduced into Parliament in May and comprise the Budget for the financial year beginning 1 July. Further Bills are introduced later in the financial year as part of the additional estimates. Parliamentary departments have their own appropriations.
Assets Future economic benefits controlled by an entity as a result of past transactions or other past events.
Capital expenditure Expenditure by an agency on capital projects, for example purchasing a building.
Consolidated Revenue Fund Section 81 of the Constitution stipulates that all revenue raised or money received by the Commonwealth forms the one consolidated revenue fund (CRF). The CRF is not a bank account. The Official Public Account reflects most of the operations of the CRF.
Departmental items Assets, liabilities, revenues and expenses which are controlled by the agency in providing its outputs. Departmental items would generally include computers, plant and equipment assets used by agencies in providing goods and services and most employee expenses, supplier costs and other administrative expenses incurred.
Depreciation Apportionment of an asset's capital value as an expense over its estimated useful life to take account of normal usage, obsolescence, or the passage of time.
Deprival asset valuation Values non-financial assets according to the current cost of their replacement. That is, non-financial assets are valued at the lowest cost of replacing the gross 'service potential' of those assets.
Equity or net assets Residual interest in the assets of an entity after deduction of its liabilities.
Expense Total value of all of the resources consumed in producing goods and services or the loss of future economic benefits in the form of reductions in assets or increases in liabilities of an entity.
Fair value Valuation methodology: The amount for which an asset could be exchanged, or a liability settled, between knowledgeable and willing parties in an arm's length transaction. The fair value can be affected by the conditions of the sale, market conditions and the intentions of the asset holder.
General Government Sector In accordance with international Government Finance Statistics conventions, the Commonwealth general government sector includes all departments and other administrative units, statutory authorities and other entities that are predominantly funded, directly or indirectly, by the Commonwealth Government.
Liabilities Future sacrifices of economic benefits that an entity is presently obliged to make to other entities as a result of past transactions or other past events.
Measure A decision by the Cabinet or Ministers that has been finalised since the 2007-08 Additional Estimates and has resulted in a change in expenditure in the years 2007-08 to 2011-12.
New works The construction of new items (assets).
Operating result (net surplus or deficit) Equals revenue less expense.
Outcomes The results, impacts or consequences of actions by the Australian Government on the Australian community.
Programs Deliver benefits, services or transfer payments to individuals, industry/business or the community as a whole and are the primary vehicle for government agencies to achieve the intended results of their outcome statements.
Revenue Total value of resources earned or received to cover the production of goods and services.
Special Account Balances existing within the CRF that are supported by standing appropriations (Financial Management and Accountability (FMA) Act 1997, ss.20 and 21). Special Accounts allow money in the CRF to be acknowledged as set-aside (hypothecated) for a particular purpose. Amounts credited to a Special Account may only be spent for the purposes of the Special Account. Special Accounts can only be established by a written determination of the Finance Minister (s.20 FMA Act) or through an Act of Parliament (referred to in s.21 of the FMA Act).
Special Appropriations (including Standing Appropriations) An amount of money appropriated by a particular Act of Parliament for a specific purpose and number of years. For special appropriations the authority to withdraw funds from the Consolidated Revenue Fund does not generally cease at the end of the financial year.
Standing appropriations are a sub-category consisting of ongoing special appropriations - the amount appropriated will depend on circumstances specified in the legislation.

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