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Commonwealth of Australia - The Treasury

Annual Report 2014/15

Glossary

Activities
The actions/functions performed by agencies to deliver government policies.
Administered item
Appropriation that consists of funding managed on behalf of the Commonwealth. This funding is not at the discretion of the agency and any unspent appropriation is returned to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) at the end of the financial year. An administered item is a component of an administered program. It may be a measure but will not constitute a program in its own right.
Appropriation
An amount of public money parliament authorises for spending with funds to be withdrawn from the CRF.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.
APS employee
A person engaged under section 22, or a person who is engaged as an APS employee under section 72, of the Public Service Act 1999.
Clear read principle
Under the Outcomes arrangements, there is an essential clear link between the Appropriation Bills, the Portfolio Budget Statements (PBS), the Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements, and annual reports of agencies. Information should be consistent across these and other budget documents, and, where possible, duplication of reporting within the PBS should be avoided. This is called the clear read between the different documents.

Under this principle, the planned performance in PBS is to be provided on the same basis as actual performance in the annual reports covering the same period, to permit a clear read across planning and actual performance reporting documents. Agencies should take this into account in designing their performance reporting arrangements.

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.
Contractor
A person engaged by an agency, usually on a temporary basis. Treated as an employee of the agency for the purposes of program performance reporting.
Corporate governance
The process by which agencies are directed and controlled. It is generally understood to encompass authority, accountability, stewardship, leadership, direction and control.
Departmental item
Resources (assets, liabilities, revenues and expenses) that agency chief executive officers control directly. This includes outsourced activities funded and controlled by the agency. Examples of departmental items include agency running costs, accrued employee entitlements and net appropriations. A departmental item is a component of a departmental program.
Financial results
The results shown in the financial statements of an agency.
Grant
Commonwealth financial assistance as defined under the Commonwealth Grants Rules and Guidelines,
Materiality
Takes into account the planned outcome and the relative significance of the resources consumed in contributing to the achievement of that outcome.
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.
Non-ongoing APS employee
A person engaged as an APS employee under subsection 22(2)(a) of the Public Service Act 1999.
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.
Ongoing APS employee
A person engaged as an ongoing APS employee under section 22(2)(a) of the Public Service Act 1999.
Operations
Functions, services and processes performed in pursuing the objectives or discharging the functions of an agency.
Outcomes
The results, impacts or consequence of actions by the Commonwealth on the Australian community. They should be consistent with those listed in agencies’ Portfolio Budget Statements.
Performance information
Evidence about performance that is collected and used systematically, which
may relate to appropriateness, effectiveness and efficiency and the extent to which an outcome can be attributed to an intervention. While performance information may be quantitative (numerical) or qualitative (descriptive), it should be verifiable.
Portfolio Budget Statements (PBS)
Budget-related paper detailing budget initiatives and explanations of appropriations specified by outcome and program by each agency within a portfolio.
Programs
An activity or groups of activities that deliver benefits, services or transfer payments to individuals, industry/business or the community as a whole and are the primary vehicles for government agencies to achieve the intended results of their outcome statements.
Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act)
The Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 replaced the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 and the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 on 1 July 2014. As the primary piece of Commonwealth resource management legislation, the PGPA Act establishes a coherent system of governance and accountability for public resources, with an emphasis on planning, performance and reporting. The PGPA Act applies to all Commonwealth entities and Commonwealth companies. A list of Commonwealth entities and companies can be found at www.finance.gov.au/sites/default/files/pgpa_flipchart.pdf?v=2
Public service care agency
A public service care agency is defined in section 4 of the Carer Recognition Act 2010 to mean an agency as defined in the Public Service Act 1999 that is responsible for the development, implementation, provision or evaluation of policies, programs or services directed to carers or the persons for whom
they care.
Senate Estimates Hearings
Senate Standing Committees hold hearings to scrutinise the appropriation bills and any explanatory documentation tabled to accompany them. Public servants are called as witnesses to hearings.
Specific Purpose Payments (SPP)
Commonwealth payments to the states for specific purposes in order to pursue important national policy objectives in areas that may be administered by the states.