Other Information:Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations and Acronyms

Glossary of Terms

Term Meaning
Accrual accounting The accounting basis that brings items to account as they are earned or incurred (and not as cash received or paid) and recognises them in financial statements for the related accounting period.
Act of Grace payment A discretionary power provided under section 33 of the FMA Act to make payments in special circumstances, generally those in which the Australian Government considers it has a moral rather than legal obligation to provide redress to an individual or other entity. These  relate to losses directly caused by the acts or omissions of the government, or are caused by the unintended, unfair or anomalous effect of its legislation.
Administered items Revenues, expenses, assets and liabilities that the executive government controls, but which an agency or authority manages on the government’s behalf.
Appropriation An amount of public monies the parliament authorises for spending (that is, funds to be withdrawn from the Consolidated Revenue Fund).  Not only does an appropriation authorise the Australian Government to withdraw monies, but it also restricts the expenditure to the particular purpose specified.
AusTender The Australian Government's web‑based procurement system, which provides centralised access to all publicly available approaches to market, multi‑use lists, annual procurement plans and reported contracts.
Australian Reward Investment Alliance The trustee for the Commonwealth Superannuation Scheme, the Public Sector Superannuation Scheme and the Public Sector Superannuation Accumulation Plan and manages the investments of the associated funds.  See www.aria.gov.au [External Site].
Australian Political Exchange Council An organisation that develops young Australian political leaders by providing opportunities to gain insights into the political systems and cultures of countries with which an exchange program has been established.
Australian Workplace Agreement (AWA) An individual written agreement between an employer and employee about the terms and conditions of employment, made under the Workplace Relations Act 1996 up until 13 February 2008.
Authentication A process for establishing the validity of, and confidence in, the claimed identity of a person or entity.
Average Staffing Level (ASL) The average number of employees receiving salary or wages (or compensation in lieu of salary or wages) over a financial year, with adjustments for casual and part-time employees to show the full-time equivalent.
Budget The Australian Government Budget sets out the fiscal and economic outlook for Australia, and includes expenditure and revenue estimates for the current financial year, the budget year, and three forward financial years.  It shows the government's social and political priorities, and how the government intends to achieve these.  The Budget is usually announced in May each year.
Collective Agreement A collective agreement relating to employment conditions made directly between an employer and a group of employees.
Comcover The Australian Government’s self-managed general insurance fund.
ComSuper Provides superannuation administration services to the Boards of Trustees responsible for the Commonwealth Superannuation Scheme, Public Sector Superannuation Scheme, Public Sector Superannuation Accumulation Plan, Military Superannuation and Benefits Scheme and the Defence Force Retirement and Death Benefits Scheme.  See www.comsuper.gov.au[External Site].
Commonwealth Monthly Financial Statements Statements published pursuant to section 54 of the FMA Act.
Consolidated Financial Statements Statements that present the whole-of-government financial results inclusive of all Australian Government-controlled entities, including entities outside the general government sector, such as Australia Post and the Reserve Bank of Australia. 
Commonwealth Parliament Offices Offices that provide state-based parliamentary office accommodation for ministers, opposition office-holders and leaders of minority parties, and provide temporary office and meeting facilities for visiting senators and members.  Senators may also choose to establish their electorate office within a Commonwealth parliamentary office. 
Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines (CPGs) Guidelines that are issued by the Minister for Finance and Deregulation under Financial Management and Accountability Regulation 7(1).  They establish the core procurement policy framework and articulate the government's expectations for all FMA Act agencies and their officials when performing duties related to procurement.
Consultancy services One particular type of service delivered under a contract for services.  They are distinguished from other contracts by the nature of the work performed.  A consultant is an entity (individual, partnership or corporation) engaged to provide professional, independent and expert advice or services.  Typically, the term consultancy services is used to describe the application of expert professional skills to: investigate or diagnose a defined issue or problem; carry out defined research, reviews or evaluations; or provide independent advice, information or creative solutions to assist the agency in management decision-making.
Cyber security Measures taken to maintain a secure, resilient and trusted electronic operating environment that supports Australia’s national security and maximises the benefits of the digital economy.
Debt waiver A discretionary power provided under section 34 of the FMA Act to waive debts owed to the Australian Government in special circumstances, generally those in which the government considers it has a moral, rather than legal obligation to extinguish a debt, the repayment of which would result in an overall loss to the individual or entity concerned, which has arisen through a direct act or omission of the government; or in the case of an individual, which would cause or exacerbate ongoing financial hardship.
e-Government The application of information and communications technology – particularly the internet – to enable better service delivery and better administration by government.
Ethanol blended fuel (E10) A blended fuel consisting of 10 per cent ethanol and 90 per cent unleaded petrol.
Expenditure Review Committee of Cabinet The major ministerial committee responsible for examining all expenditure proposals in light of the government’s overall fiscal strategy, advising Cabinet on budget spending priorities and initiating reviews of expenditure under individual ongoing programs.
Expenditure Review Taskforce A taskforce charged with identifying savings or opportunities to improve the overall quality of government program delivery. 
Final Budget Outcome report Financial statements which are similar to those in the Budget but provide actual outcomes rather than estimates and are released no later than three months after the end of the relevant financial year.
Future Fund A fund established by the government for the purpose of accumulating assets to offset future Australian Government superannuation liabilities.
Gateway Review Process (Gateway) A project assurance methodology that involves short, intensive reviews at critical points in the project's life-cycle by a team of reviewers not associated with the project.  This provides an ‘arm's length’ assessment of the project against its specified objectives and an early identification of areas requiring corrective action.
General Government Sector This sector comprises entities that provide public services which are mainly non‑market in nature, are mainly for the collective consumption of the community, involve the transfer or redistribution of income or are financed mainly through taxes and other compulsory levies.
Government Business Enterprise (GBE) A Commonwealth authority or Commonwealth company that is prescribed as a GBE in section 4 of the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Regulations 1997
Headcount The actual number of employees employed by the department.
Internet gateway Internet gateways control the connection between an organisation’s computer networks and the internet, managing services like email, websites and web-based transactions.
Mid-year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) The MYEFO updates the economic and fiscal outlook from the previous Budget.  It is released each year by the end of January or six months after the last Budget, whichever is later. 
Moorebank Project Office (MPO) An office established within the Department of Finance and Deregulation (Finance) to progress the planning and approvals phase of the Intermodal Terminal Precinct in Moorebank, Sydney. The MPO is represented by officials from Finance, the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, and the Department of Defence.
Nation-building Funds The collective term for the Building Australia Fund, the Education Investment Fund and the Health and Hospitals Fund.  These funds provide financing sources to meet the government’s commitment to invest in critical areas of infrastructure such as transport, communications, energy, water, education, research and health. 
Non-ongoing staff member A person engaged as an APS employee under subsection 22(2)(b) or 22(2)(c) of the Public Service Act 1999.
Ongoing staff member A person engaged as an ongoing APS employee under subsection 22(2)(a) of the Public Service Act 1999. 
Operation Sunlight The Australian Government’s reform agenda to improve the openness and transparency of public sector budgetary and financial management, and to promote good financial governance practices.
Outcomes The government's objectives in each portfolio area. Outcomes are desired results, impacts or consequences for the Australian community influenced by the actions of the Australian Government. Actual outcomes are the results or impacts actually achieved.
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. 
Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements Statements which inform senators, members and the public of changes since the Budget to the proposed allocation of resources to government outcomes.
Portfolio Budget Statements Statements which explain how moneys included in the Appropriation Bills (Budget Bills) are to be spent.
Practical completion The point in time at which construction works have been completed, except for minor defects, and the contractor has provided appropriate certifications and documentation.
Program The government actions taken to deliver stated outcomes. Agencies are required to identify the programs which contribute to government outcomes over the Budget and forward years.
Protective Security Manual The principal means for disseminating Australian Government protective security policies, principles, standards and procedures to be followed by all Australian Government agencies for the protection of official resources.
Strategic Priorities and Budget Committee of Cabinet A sub-committee that provides strategic oversight and direction to: broad government strategy; sensitive whole-of-government issues; Council of Australian Government processes; and budget processes, by setting the budget and fiscal strategies and broad policy priorities for expenditure.
TelePresence A secure, high-definition video-conferencing system manufactured by Cisco Systems providing virtual face-to-face meetings connecting Commonwealth, state and territory governments across the country.
Updated Economic and Fiscal Outlook (UEFO) A UEFO is published should the government consider that changes in economic conditions or its fiscal strategy warrant an update of its economic forecasts and key budget aggregates.  The first UEFO was released on 3 February 2009 to explain the impact of the global recession on Australia’s economic outlook and key fiscal measures.

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