Glossary

Actual available appropriation The Actual available appropriationindicates the total appropriations available to the entity for 2013‑14. It includes all appropriations made available to the entity in the year (+/- section 75 transfers, formal reductions, Advance to the Finance Minister and movements of funds). It is to be the same as the comparator figure included in the Appropriation Bills, and as such provides a comparison with the appropriation proposed for the budget year.
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 2013‑14, the Budget was introduced in May 2013, and the Additional Estimates Bills were introduced in February 2014.
Administered item Appropriation that consists of funding managed on behalf of the Commonwealth. This funding is not at the discretion of the entity and any unspent appropriation is returned to the CRF at the end of the financial year. An administered item is a component of an administered programme. It may be a measure but will not constitute a programme in its own right.
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.
Appropriation An amount of public money parliament authorises for spending (i.e. funds to be withdrawn from the CRF). Parliament makes laws for appropriating money under the Annual Appropriation Acts and under Special Appropriations, with spending restricted to the purposes specified in the Appropriation Acts.
Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) The principal operating fund from which money is drawn to pay for the activities of the Government. Section 81 of the Australian Constitution provides that all revenue raised or monies received by the Executive Government forms one consolidated revenue fund from which appropriations are made for the purposes of the Australian Government.
Departmental item Resources (assets, liabilities, revenues and expenses) that entity Chief Executive Officers control directly. This includes outsourced activities funded and controlled by the entity. Examples of departmental items include entity running costs, accrued employee entitlements and net appropriations. A departmental item is a component of a departmental programme.
Expenses not requiring appropriation in the Budget year Expenses not involving a cash flow impact are not included within the calculation of an appropriation. An example of such an event is goods or services received free of charge that are then expensed: e.g. ANAO audit services—the ANAO does not charge for audit services however the expense must be recognised. Similarly, bad debts are recognised as an expense but are not recognised for the purpose of calculating appropriation amounts to be sought from Parliament.
Forward Estimates Period The three years following the budget year. For example if 2014‑15 is the budget year, 2015‑16 is forward year 1, 2016‑17 is forward year 2 and 2017‑18 is forward year 3. This period does not include the current or budget year.
General Government Sector (GGS) A Government Finance Statistics classification of all entities that are controlled and largely funded by the Commonwealth Government. The GGS provides public services that are mainly non-market in nature and for the collective consumption of the community, or involve the transfer or redistribution of income. These services are largely financed through taxes and other compulsory levies, user charging and external funding. This sector comprises all government departments, offices and some other bodies.
Government Finance Statistics (GFS) A reporting framework that is a specialised statistical system designed to support economic analysis of the public sector. It allows for comprehensive assessments of the economic impact of government and is consistent with international statistical standards of the International Monetary Fund and the System of National Accounts.
Measure A new policy or savings decision of the government with financial impacts on the government's: underlying cash balance; fiscal balance; operating balance; headline cash balance; net debt or net worth. Such proposals are normally made in the context of the annual Budget, and are typically published in Budget Paper No. 2, in the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) and in the Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Outlook (PEFO).
Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) The MYEFO provides an update of the government's budget estimates by examining expenses and revenues in the year to date, as well as provisions for new decisions that have been taken since the Budget. The report provides updated information to allow the assessment of the government‘s fiscal performance against the fiscal strategy set out in its current fiscal strategy statement.
Official Public Account (OPA) The OPA is the Australian Government‘s central bank account held within the Reserve Bank of Australia. The OPA reflects the operations of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
Outcome An outcome is the intended result, consequence or impact of Government actions on the Australian community.
Outcome Statement An outcome statement articulates the intended results, activities and target group of an Australian Government entity. An outcome statement serves three main purposes within the financial framework:
  • to explain and control the purposes for which annual appropriations are approved by the Parliament for use by agencies;
  • to provide a basis for annual budgeting, including (financial) reporting against the use of appropriated funds; and
  • to measure and assess entity and programme (non-financial) performance in contributing to Government policy objectives.
Portfolio Budget Statements (PB Statements) Budget related paper detailing budget initiatives and explanations of appropriations specified by outcome and programme by each entity within a portfolio.
Programme Activity that delivers benefits, services or transfer payments to individuals, industry and/or the community as a whole, with the aim of achieving the intended result specified in an outcome statement.
Programme support The entity running costs allocated to a programme. This is funded as part of the entity‘s departmental appropriations.
Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act) The PGPA Act sets out the governance, performance and accountability of, and the use and management of public resources by, the Commonwealth, Commonwealth entities and Commonwealth companies, and for relate purposes.
Special Account Balances existing within the CRF, that are supported by standing appropriations (Public Governance, Performance and Accountability (PGPA) Act 2013, s78 and s80). 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 (s78 PGPA Act) or through an Act of Parliament (referred to in s80 of the PGPA 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.