Appropriations

DecorationThe Constitution requires all revenue raised or received by the Commonwealth to form one Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF).  The Constitution only permits the Government to spend money from the CRF with an appropriation made by Parliament. 

The following guidance explains the two types of appropriations used by the Commonwealth:

  • Introduction to appropriations
  • Annual appropriations summary –  Annual appropriation acts provide annual funding for government operations and programmes and also for investment in assets and reduction of liabilities.  Annual appropriations continue to be available to entities until the relevant amount is fully expended or the relevant legislation ceases to provide authority for any unspent amounts
  • Special appropriations (including special accounts) – provisions in an act that provide authority to spend money for particular purposes, for example, to finance a particular project or to make social security payments
  • Repayments - guidance on repayments made using the special appropriation in section 77 of the PGPA Act
  • Central Budget Management System (CBMS) – the system used to manage the cash and appropriations

Adjusting annual appropriations

The annual appropriation acts, the PGPA Act and Government policy contain mechanisms for adjusting annual appropriations:

  • Advance to the Finance Minister – provision for the Minister for Finance to provide additional urgently needed appropriation to entities
  • Retained receipts – the PGPA Act enables entities to retain and spend receipts of money from various prescribed sources.  Note these receipts differ from cost recovery activities, where revenue collected must be returned to the Consolidated Revenue Funds
  • GST appropriations management – provision for increasing certain appropriations with a GST related amount
  • Taxation of Government entities – an arrangement that imposes administrative charges on entities that mirrors GST
  • Foreign exchange – policy on managing the risk around fluctuations in foreign currency and adjusting appropriations to cover currency movements

Contact for annual appropriations: GARMAnnualAppropriations@finance.gov.au 

Contact for special appropriations: special.appropriations@finance.gov.au

Last updated: 07 July 2015