Glossary

Costings

(in relation to budgeting) An assessment of the financial impact of a proposed policy change. Commonwealth entities are required to provide costings for any new policy proposal and seek Cabinet endorsement. Finance must agree to these costings before they can be incorporated into a submission for Cabinet.


CSC

Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation. CSC was established on 1 July 2011 by merging ARIA, the Military Superannuation and Benefits Board and the Defence Force Retirement and Death Benefits Authority. CSC is responsible for managing the main Commonwealth civilian and military superannuation schemes. From 1 July 2015 they became responsible for the Administrations Services previously performed by ComSuper. The relevant schemes are:

  • the Commonwealth Superannuation Scheme
  • the Public Sector Superannuation Scheme
  • the Public Sector Superannuation Accumulation Plan
  • the Military Superannuation and Benefits Scheme
  • the Defence Force Retirement and Death Benefits Scheme
  • the Defence Forces Retirement Benefits Scheme
  • the Defence Force (Superannuation) (Productivity Benefit) Scheme
  • the superannuation scheme established by the Superannuation Act 1922
  • the scheme provided for under regulations made by the Papua New Guinea (Staffing Assistance) Act 1973.

CSS

Commonwealth Superannuation Scheme. The CSS provides for a combination of defined benefits and accumulation benefits. The defined benefit in the CSS is usually a pension based on the length of membership, age and salary at retirement. The accumulation benefits include the 3% employer productivity contribution, if applicable, and the employee component. The CSS was closed to new members from 1 July 1990.


Custody of relevant money

When a person:

holds the money by way of a petty cash advance, change float or other advance or

has received the money, but has not yet dealt with it as required under section 55 of the PGPA Act (which is about banking of relevant money).


Custody of relevant property

When:

a person has taken delivery of relevant property and has not returned it to another person entitled to receive the property on behalf of the Commonwealth and

the person has signed a written acknowledgement at the time of delivery, that the property was delivered on the express condition that the person would at all times take strict care of the property.


Debt (amount owing to the Commonwealth)

A sum of money owing to the Commonwealth which is known and not being disputed, due for payment now and legally capable of being recovered in a legal action for debt. For example, an official who has been overpaid a salary, or a person who has been overpaid a social security payment, may owe a debt to the Commonwealth as a result of the overpayment. Accountable authorities of non-corporate Commonwealth entities are required to pursue amounts owing to the Commonwealth in accordance with section 11 of the PGPA Rule.


Defective administration

In relation to the Commonwealth Scheme for Compensation for Detriment caused by Defective Administration (CDDA Scheme), defined as:

a specific and unreasonable lapse in complying with existing administrative procedures that would normally have applied to the claimant's circumstances or

an unreasonable failure to institute appropriate administrative procedures to cover a claimant's circumstances or

giving advice to (or for) a claimant that was, in all circumstances, incorrect or ambiguous or

an unreasonable failure to give to (or for) a claimant, the proper advice that was within the official's power and knowledge to give (or was reasonably capable of being obtained by the official to give).


Defined Benefit Scheme

A scheme that provides a retirement benefit usually based on salary and/or a pre-determined formula for calculating that benefit. Unlike an accumulation scheme, the retirement benefit and method of calculation is known to the member at all times.


Delegate

(in relation to the PGPA Act) An official who has been given statutory authority, by an instrument of delegation, to make particular decisions or perform particular functions. A delegate is constrained by any limitations expressed in the delegation instrument.


Delegation

(in relation to the PGPA Act) A statutory procedure permitting an official to entrust their statutory authority to another official (the delegate). Delegates personally hold and possess the powers and responsibilities that they have been given and are personally accountable for their decisions and actions in the exercise or performance of the powers and responsibilities that they have been given. A delegation is distinct from an authorisation.


Department of State

As established by the Governor-General (in Council) under section 64 of the Constitution.


Department of State

As established by the Governor-General (in Council) under section 64 of the Constitution.


Department of State

A Department of State is established by the Governor-General under section 64 of the Constitution. The Constitution recognises that core aspects of government operations are conducted by departments of state. A Department of State has the flexibility to accommodate policy and functional activities in various ways. For example, functions in departments can be separately branded, giving them a distinct identity, and legislation may be used to establish positions or entities, with specific roles and responsibilities, which are administratively supported by the department.

 

A Department of State includes anybody (except a body corporate), person, group of persons or organisation that is presribed by an Act or the rules in relation to a specified Department of State. Does not include any part of a Department of State that is a listed entity.


Departmental capital budget (DCB), administered capital budget (ACB)

(in relation to budgeting and appropriation bills) Departmental (or administered) capital budget (DCB/ACB) are provided to non-corporate Commonwealth entities that receive government funding to meet the costs associated with the replacement of minor assets (assets valued at $10 million or less) or maintenance costs that are eligible to be capitalised.


Departmental items

(in relation to budgeting and reporting) Departmental items are usually appropriations managed by an entity, and over which the entity has control. That is, the entity's accountable authority has discretion in delivering the activities and/or allocating resources. Typically, these items include the day-to-day operations and program support activities of an entity. Items should be classified as either departmental or administered.


Determination

Under the PGPA Act the Finance Minister may make a determination that:

transfers an appropriation from one non-corporate Commonwealth entity to another (also known as a section 75 transfer)

establishes, varies or revokes a special account in accordance with sections 78 of the PGPA Act

Determination made under section 75 or 78 are legislative instrument that cannot be disallowed.


Director

The person appointed to the position of a director (or is acting in that capacity) of a Commonwealth company in accordance with the Corporations Act 2001.


Drawdown

The process of moving monies from the OPA to a Commonwealth entity's transactional bank account.


Economical

(in relation to the proper use of public resources) The extent to which the proposed use avoids waste and sharpens the focus on the level of resources that the Commonwealth applies to deliver results. This generally relates to approving the best cost option to deliver the expected results. Economical considerations must be balanced with whether the use will also be efficient, effective and ethical.


Effective

(in relation to the proper use of public resources) The extent to which an intervention has attained its major relevant objectives. Effectiveness considerations must be balanced with whether the use will also be efficient, economical and ethical


Efficiency dividend

Currently, Commonwealth entities are subject to an annual efficiency dividend that reduces entity budgets each year in anticipation of efficiencies being found. The efficiency dividend applies to the operational (running) costs. The objectives of the efficiency dividend have been to:

provide managers with a financial incentive to continually seek new or more efficient ways of carrying out ongoing government business

allow government to redirect a portion of efficiency gains to higher priority activities and

clearly demonstrate public service efficiencies resulting from improvements in management and administrative practices and return these gains to the Budget.


Efficient

(in relation to the proper use of public resources) The extent to which an activity's inputs are minimised for a given level of activity outputs, or the extent to which outputs are maximised for a given level of inputs. Efficiency considerations must be balanced with whether the use will also be effective, economical and ethical.


Enabling Legislation

(also known as ‘establishing legislation’) – Parliament’s authorisation in statute for a body to be established with certain powers and functions. See also statutory authority.


Enabling Legislation

(also known as ‘establishing legislation’) – Parliament’s authorisation in statute for a body to be established with certain powers and functions. See also statutory authority.


Enabling legislation

For a Commonwealth entity, the Act or legislative instrument that establishes the entity.


Entity

A non-corporate Commonwealth entity or corporate Commonwealth entity as defined by the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013.


Entity

A non-corporate Commonwealth entity or corporate Commonwealth entity as defined by the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013.


Estimates

(in relation to budgeting) Expected expenses, revenues, assets, liabilities, and cash flows of the Commonwealth, prepared in consultation between Finance and the entities responsible for program delivery. The term 'agreed estimates' is sometimes also used to stress the fact that these estimates are agreed by government, either through individual Cabinet decisions or as a result of Cabinet-endorsed general adjustment processes (for example, parameter indexation). Related terms:parameters, indexation.


Estimates memoranda

These are sent by Finance to Commonwealth entities and cover matters relating to budget estimates and the reporting of actual expenses, and provide advice on:policy changes, whole-of-government processes and requirements, upcoming deadlines, and specific actions that entities must take.


Ethical

(in relation to the proper use of public resources) The extent to which the proposed use is consistent with the core beliefs and values of society. Where a person behaves in an ethical manner it could be expected that a person in a similar situation would undertake a similar course of action. For the approval of proposed commitments of relevant money, an ethical use of resources involves managing conflicts of interests, and approving the commitment based on the facts without being influenced by personal bias. Ethical considerations must be balanced with whether the use will also be efficient, effective and economical.


Evaluation

Evaluation is the systematic and objective assessment of the design, implementation or results of a government program or activity for the purposes of continuous improvement, accountability and decision-making. It provides a structured and disciplined analysis of the value of policies, programs and activities at all stages of the policy cycle.


Executive Agency

An agency designated, in an executive order made by the Governor-General-in-Council, as separate from a department, for staffing and accountability and reporting purposes, under the Public Service Act 1999.


Executive Agency

An agency designated, in an executive order made by the Governor-General-in-Council, as separate from a department, for staffing and accountability and reporting purposes, under the Public Service Act 1999.


Executive Agency

An agency designated, in an executive order made by the Governor-General-in-Council, as separate from a department, for staffing and accountability and reporting purposes, under the Public Service Act 1999.


Expenditure

Payments for expenses, acquiring assets, making loans or paying liabilities.


Expenditure Review Committee (ERC)

A committee of Cabinet responsible for examining all proposals in light of the Government's overall fiscal strategy, advising Cabinet on Budget spending priorities and initiating reviews of individual ongoing programmes. Membership of the ERC consists of the Prime Minister, Treasurer and the Minister for Finance, along with other selected portfolio ministers.


Final Budget Outcome (FBO)

The Budget result for each year released publicly by the Treasurer no later than three months after the end of the financial year. The report contains fiscal outcomes for the general government sector, public financial corporations and public non-financial corporations, including information on actual revenue, expenses, net capital investment, federal / state financial relations and other information for the financial year.


Finance law

For the purpose of the PGPA Act, finance law comprises:

the PGPA Act       

the PGPA Rule

any other instrument made under the PGPA Act (for example:Commonwealth Procurement Rules (CPRs), Commonwealth Grants Rules and Guidelines (CGRGs) and PGPA (Financial Reporting) Rule 2015 (FRR); accountable authority instructions under section 20A; determinations establishing special accounts under section 78; determinations transferring functions between non-corporate Commonwealth entities under section 75; and government policy orders under sections 22 or 93)

an Appropriation Act.


Financial results

The results shown in the financial statements of an entity.


Fiscal balance

An accrual measure that shows whether the government has to borrow from financial markets to cover its activities. Fiscal balance is calculated as revenue net of expenses from operations, plus revaluation adjustments (to remove items that do not impact on the fiscal balance), plus capital adjustments. Net investment in non-financial assets worsens fiscal balance as such investment is integral to the operation of government. Related term: underlying cash balance.


Fiscal policy

The government's approach to taxation and spending, both of which can affect the economy.


Forward estimates

(in relation to budgeting) A system of rolling three-year financial estimates of the revenues and costs of ongoing government policy decisions, after allowing for estimated movements in economic parameters (after the budget year). The forward estimates include the level of expenses proposed by the Government for future years (based on relevant economic, demographic and other forecasting assumptions.


Fraud (against the Commonwealth)

Dishonestly obtaining a benefit, or causing a loss, by deception or other means. May include (but is not limited to):

theft

accounting fraud (false invoices, misappropriation etc)

unlawful use of, or obtaining property, equipment, material or services

causing a loss, or avoiding and/or creating a liability

providing false or misleading information to the Commonwealth, or failing to provide it when there is an obligation to do so

misuse of Commonwealth assets, equipment of facilities

cartel conduct; making, or using false, forged of falsified documents and

wrongfully using Commonwealth information or intellectual property.

Accountable authorities of Commonwealth entities must take all reasonable measures to prevent, detect and deal with fraud in accordance with section 10 of the PGPA Rule.


Funded Superannuation Scheme

A scheme where contributions are paid to a superannuation fund by or on behalf of members of that fund. For taxation purposes the scheme is also known as a taxed scheme. Some schemes provide a combination of funded and unfunded benefits.


Future Fund - Board of Guardians

A body corporate which is responsible for the investments of the Future Fund and Nation-building Funds and is accountable to the Government for the safekeeping and performance of the Funds’ assets.


General Government Sector

A group comprising entities that are primarily budget-funded or that obtain their funds from government generally.


General Government Sector

A group comprising entities that are primarily budget-funded or that obtain their funds from government generally.


General government sector (GGS)

A group of government-controlled entities that provide public services which are mainly:

    • non-market in nature;
    • for the collective consumption of the community, involving the transfer or redistrubution of income; and
    • budget-funded or obtain their funds from government

This sector classification enables the collection of financial information on the performance of Commonwealth entities and companies in the Commonwealth public sector, and is classified by institutional sector, as defined and required by Australian equivalents of international standards - known as Government Finance Statistics. The other sector classifications are public financial corporations sector (PFC) and public non-financial corporations sector (PNFC).


General revenue assistance

Commonwealth payments to states and territories made in accordance with Part 2 of the FFR Act that states can use for any purpose (i.e. no conditions are applied to this funding). General revenue assistance includes GST payments that are distributed between the states and territories in accordance with the recommendations of the Commonwealth Grants Commission.

Two other types of payments that the Commonwealth makes to the states and territories under the FFR Act are national specific purpose payments and national partnership payments.


Gifting

(in relation to relevant property) is disposing of relevant property by an entity unconditionally without receiving payment or other consideration. A minister or official must gift relevant property in accordance with section 66 of the PGPA Act. This does not include relevant money (gifting relevant money is a grant.)


Governance

See public sector governance.


Governing body

The governing body of a corporate Commonwealth entity means:

for a corporate Commonwealth entity that has a board, council or other governing body — that board, council or governing body and

otherwise — all of the members of the entity.

Related term: accountable authority.


Government business enterprise (GBE)

(in relation to public sector governance) A Commonwealth entity or Commonwealth company that is prescribed as a GBE by the rules made under the PGPA Act, and so may operate as a profit-making business.

 

The accountable authority of a Commonwealth entity or directors of a Commonwealth company that is a GBE has additional responsibilities, e.g. extra disclosure requirements in section 28F of the PGPA Rule.


Government finance statistics (GFS)

Provides statistics that are based on accounting information, which enable policy-makers and other stakeholders to:

assess the impact of policy decisions on the economy

make international comparisons of financial performance information

analyse the financial operations and financial position of the public sector at either the specific government, institutional sector or transactional level.

The GFS system covers all activities of governments that can be measured in financial terms. The system distinguishes between transactions and other economic flows that impact on movements in assets and liabilities held by governments. The statistics also include information about the value of governments' investments and debt.

GFS is not an accounting system — accounts are mapped to a GFS view, providing the Australian Bureau of Statistics an alternative view of the accounting data.


Government policy order (GPO)

An order made by the Finance Minister under the PGPA Act, that specifies a policy of the Australian Government that is to apply:

to one or more corporate Commonwealth entities in accordance with section 22 of the PGPA Act or

to one or more wholly-owned Commonwealth companies in accordance with section 93 of the PGPA Act.


Grant

(in relation to arrangements) An arrangement for the provision of financial assistance by the Commonwealth or on behalf of the Commonwealth:

under which relevant money or other CRF money is to be paid to a recipient other than the Commonwealth

which is intended to assist the recipient achieve its goals

which is intended to help to address one or more of the government's policy objectives and

under which the recipient may be required to act in accordance with specified terms or conditions.

The CGRGs exempt certain arrangements from the definition of a grant, and therefore from the CGRGs, including procurements, tax concessions, loans, investments, certain intergovernmental payments and international official development assistance.

(in relation to accounting) A payment made by a Commonwealth entity for the purpose of distributing government financial assistance to persons outside the public sector. Grants also include non-monetary distribution of benefits. No consideration is received by the entity for the issuing of a grant.

All grants (monetary and non-monetary) must be reported by entities at fair value and not at nominal amounts, consistent with the Australian Accounting Standards and the FRR.


Guarantee

A promise whereby one party assumes responsibility for the debt, or performance obligations, of another party should that party default in some way — for example, where an entity guarantees payment of bank borrowings by a third party. A guarantee may give rise to a contingent liability. A guarantee can only be given by an accountable authority of a non-corporate Commonwealth entity in accordance with section 60 of the PGPA Act and the Finance Minister's delegation of this power to accountable authorities.


Indemnity

A legally binding promise whereby a party undertakes to accept the risk of loss or damage another party may suffer. For example, where an entity hires a venue to host a conference it may indemnify the owner of that venue against losses that may be suffered if attendees damage the venue. An indemnity may give rise to a contingent liability. A guarantee can only be given by an accountable authority of a non-corporate Commonwealth entity in accordance with section 60 of the PGPA Act and the Finance Minister's delegation of this power to accountable authorities.


Indexation

The process by which the forward cost estimates are updated to reflect the forecast economic conditions of the year in which costs are expected to occur.


Intelligence or security agency

The following entities are defined in the Crimes Act as intelligence or security agencies:

Australian Security Intelligence Organisation

Australian Secret Intelligence Service

Office of National Assessments

the parts of the Defence Department known as the Australian Signals Directorate, the Defence Intelligence Organisation, and the Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organisation.


Inter-entity agreement

A documented relationship for the provision of services, exchange of information or other administrative function or support, signed between two or more Commonwealth entities. Examples include:an MoU, exchange of letters, business partnership or a service level agreement.


Intergenerational report

A report, published by the Treasurer, that assesses the long-term sustainability of current government policies over the 40 years following the release of the report, including taking into account the financial implications of demographic change. The report is prepared at least every five years as required under the Charter of Budget Honesty Act 1998.


Investment

Purchase of financial assets with relevant money by Commonwealth entities for the purpose of generating future income, appreciation in asset value over time, or hedging for risks. An entity can only invest if empowered by a delegation from the Finance Minister or Treasurer. The PGPA Act and PGPA Rule places restrictions on how investments are to be administered and sets limits on the types of investments (“authorised investments”) that can be made. Delegations from  the Finance Minister or Treasurer can include further restrictions or directions.

Some entities have enabling legislation permitting investment activities. The PGPA Act does not limit these investment provisions.

The Treasurer has delegated investment powers to the Australian Office of Financial Management for its role in managing the Commonwealth's public debt.


Key performance indicator (KPI)

(in relation to managing performance) A type of performance measurement (using either qualitative or quantitative data) on the efficiency or effectiveness of activities in achieving purposes. Related terms:evaluation and monitoring.


Legal Services Directions

Directions issued by the Attorney-General under the Judiciary Act 1903 that set out certain requirements for Commonwealth legal work.


Legal Services Directions

Directions issued by the Attorney-General under the Judiciary Act 1903 that set out certain requirements for Commonwealth legal work.


Legislation

A law or body of laws formally made or enacted. Legislation includes:

statute law (Acts of Parliament, also known as primary legislation)

legislative instruments, such as rules and regulations (also known as subordinate or delegated legislation) made by other persons under a power authorised through statute by the parliament (for example, rules made by the Finance Minister in accordance with the PGPA Act).


Liability cap

(in relation to procurement) A legally binding agreement whereby a contactor's liability for damage or loss is limited to a certain amount.


Listed entity

A 'listed entity' is a type of Commonwealth entity for the purpose of the PGPA Act. In the PGPA Act, a listed entity is defined to include a body, person, group of persons or organisation (or any combination of these) that is prescribed by rules made under the PGPA Act or another Act to be a listed entity, but does not include a body corporate. As a listed entity is not a body corporate, a listed entity is known as a non-corporate Commonwealth entity. The other types of non-corporate Commonwealth entities are Departments of State and Parliamentary Departments.


Listed law enforcement agency

A law enforcement agency within the meaning of section 85ZL of the Crimes Act 1914, that is prescribed by section 7 of the PGPA Rule. Includes the Australian Federal Police, the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity and the Australian Crimes Commission.


Machinery of Government (MoG)

Used to describe a variety of organisational or functional changes affecting the Commonwealth. The term is interchangeable with 'administrative re-arrangements' and/or the Administrative Arrangement Order (AAO).


Material entities

Government entities are classified based on the extent to which their financial information has a material impact on the whole-of-government financial statements. The breakdown is determined by aggregating the total income, expenses, assets and liabilities of all entities. Entities whose total falls within the top 99 per cent of the total general government sector are classified as 'material' entities. Exceptions apply to entities that are considered material in nature, such as departments of state.


Materiality

Takes into account the planned outcome and the relative significance of the resources consumed in contributing to the achievement of that outcome.


Measure

A policy or decision of the government that affects revenues, expenses or capital (on a GFS basis). Related terms:capital measure and savings measure.


Member

A generic term used primarily in this document to describe a person who is a shareholder or a guarantor of a company. (It can also describe a director in terms of being a member of a board or a member of an accountable authority


Member

A generic term used primarily in this document to describe a person who is a shareholder or a guarantor of a company. (It can also describe a director in terms of being a member of a board or a member of an accountable authority


Member

A generic term used primarily in relation to the governance of a Commonwealth body to describe:

  • a person who is a shareholder or a guarantor of a company or
  • a director who is a member of a board or
  • a member of an accountable authority.

Memorandum of understanding (MOU)

A written agreement between two or more parties that defines the working relationship, expectations and responsibilities. MoUs are usually not legally binding on the parties. They are commonly used to clarify arrangements between non-corporate Commonwealth entities.


Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (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 purpose of the report is to provide updated information to allow the assessment of the Government's fiscal performance against the fiscal strategy set out in its current fiscal strategy statement.


Minister

Includes a Presiding Officer of a parliamentary department.


Monitoring

The performance and analysis of routine measurements to detect changes. Monitoring is used to inform managers about the progress of an ongoing activity, and to detect problems that may be able to be addressed through corrective actions.


National partnership payments

Commonwealth payments to states and territories made in accordance with Part 4 of the FFR Act for major reforms or projects, including payments made to support projects, facilitate major reforms and reward jurisdictions that deliver on nationally significant reforms. These payments are facilitated by the following types of agreements:

National Agreements, which define the mutually agreed objectives, outcomes, outputs and performance benchmarks or milestones related to the delivery of specific projects, improvements in service delivery or reform

Project Agreements, which are a simpler form of National Partnership, used for low value and/or low risk projects and

Implementation Plans, which are subsidiary documents to some National Partnership agreements that outline how an individual jurisdiction intends to achieve the outcomes and outputs specified in the overarching National Partnership.

Two other types of payments that the Commonwealth makes to the states and territories under the FFR Act are general revenue assistance and national specific purpose payments.


National specific purpose payments

Annual Commonwealth payments to states and territories made in accordance with Part 3 of the FFR Act to be spent in the key service delivery sectors (for example health, schools, skills, and training, disability services and affordable housing).

Two other types of payments that the Commonwealth makes to the states and territories under the FFR Act are general revenue assistance and national partnership payments.


Net debt

A common measure of the strength of the government's financial position. Net debt equals interest-bearing debts less nominated financial assets.


Net worth

An economic measure of wealth. Net worth equals GFS assets less liabilities.


New policy proposals (NPPs)

Any proposal that requires a government decision and that:

have a certain or potential financial impact including on the fiscal balance, underlying cash balance, headline cash balance, net debt or net worth on existing estimates within the forward estimates period or beyond (including drawing down on cash reserves or moving expenditure from outside into the forward estimates) or

have changes in expenses offset by changes in other expenses or user charges (revenue) or

create a legal, financial, contingent or other commitment for the Commonwealth or

changes the intent of a previous new policy decision or position, including proposals that are fully offset, absorbed within existing resources, or involve movements between or within outcomes.


Non-corporate Commonwealth entity (NCE)

Non-corporate Commonwealth entities (NCEs) are legally and financially part of the Commonwealth. Examples of NCEs include departments of state, parliamentary departments or listed entities.

NCEs are established under power that comes from the Constitution, usually through legislation and the exercise of executive power. NCEs form part of the executive government, and are accountable to the Parliament. NCEs are subject to the PGPA Act, which further clarifies the financial and corporate governance arrangements of these bodies.

The PGPA Act Flipchart and list is a reference of all Commonwealth entities and companies. 


Non-ongoing APS employee

A person engaged as an APS employee under subsection 22(2)(b) or 22(2)(c) of the Public Service Act 1999.


Non-operating appropriation

Sometimes called 'capital' costs, these are appropriations included in the even numbered Appropriation Acts (for example, Appropriation Act (No. 2 or 4), which deal with appropriations other than those for the ordinary annual services of the government), and include:

'equity injections', which are provided to entities to, for example, to enable investment in assets to facilitate departmental activities

a 'collection development acquisition budget' (CDAB) for Designated Collecting Institutions (such as the National Gallery of Australia) to purchase heritage and cultural assets

administered assets and liabilities appropriations, which provide funding for acquiring new administered assets, enhancing existing administered assets and discharging administered liabilities relating to activities administered by entities on behalf of the government.


Non-recovery of a debt (write-off)

The accountable authority (or delegate) of a non-corporate Commonwealth entity may only write off an amount owing to the Commonwealth in accordance with section 11 of the PGPA Rule. The accountable authority does not need to pursue the recovery of a debt where it is considered not economical, a debt is not legally recoverable or the write-off is authorised by an Act. A decision to write off a debt does not legally extinguish the debt. For example, if the debtor's circumstances change in the future the debt can be reinstated and pursued.


Notional payments and receipts

Transactions that do not actually involve money leaving the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF), because both parties to the transaction are part of the Commonwealth, or acting on behalf of the Commonwealth. For example, where one non-corporate Commonwealth entity pays another for services, or where one part of a non-corporate Commonwealth entity pays another division of that entity. Section 76 of the PGPA Act treats these notional payments and receipts as real payments and receipts and as such, the appropriation relied on for the transaction should be debited/credited as appropriate.


Objectives

The intended or desired results that are to be attained or accomplished in pursuit of a stated result, often prescribed through legislative or statutory requirements.


Official

Officials include:

  • accountable authorities
  • employees, officers or members of the entity (e.g. members of a commission or members of a governing board),
  • directors and
  • persons prescribed by an Act (e.g. statutory office holders) or the PGPA Rule.

Officials do not include:

  • Ministers
  • Judges
  • consultants or independent contractors who have not been prescribed as officials
  • a person, or class of people, who are prescribed by an Act or rules not to be officials.

Official Public Account (OPA)

The Commonwealth's central bank account. The OPA is one of a group of linked bank accounts, referred to as the Official Public Account Group of Accounts. OPAs are maintained with the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), as required by subsection 53(3) of the PGPA Act.


Ongoing APS employee

A person engaged as an ongoing APS employee under subsection 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 entity.


OTE

Ordinary Time Earnings. OTE is the default earnings base under the Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act 1992 for calculating the SG 9% employer contribution. Since 1 July 2008 all employers have been required to contribute at least 9% of OTE to satisfy their SG obligations. Members of the PSSAP will receive employer contributions in all circumstances that are at least 9% of OTE.


Other CRF money

Money that forms part of the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) other than:

relevant money or

any other money of a kind prescribed by the rules (section 105 of the PGPA Act).

Other CRF money provides for situations where a person other than an official of a non-corporate Commonwealth entity receives, holds or spends money that is part of the CRF. This is most likely where a person outside the Commonwealth is engaged as an agent of the Commonwealth to collect money payable to the Commonwealth and, potentially, make payments from the money collected.

Accountable authorities of non-corporate Commonwealth entities must ensure any arrangements relating to the use or management of other CRF money must comply with section 29 of the PGPA Rule.

For example an auction house could be engaged to sell surplus assets on behalf of the Commonwealth. Under the contract they are able to receive the proceeds of sale and take an agreed commission before returning the balance to the Commonwealth. In this situation, the auction house is acting on behalf of the Commonwealth in receiving and managing money that belongs to the Commonwealth (and therefore forms part of the CRF).


Outcomes

The results, impacts or consequences of a purpose or activity, as defined in the annual Appropriation Acts and the portfolio budget statements, by a Commonwealth entity and company.


Parameters

Economic or activity variables which influence the price or cost of the activity. Economic parameters are the forecasts in the budget and forward years of various economic indicators including movements in prices, production levels and exchange rates. Activity-specific parameters, estimated by entities in consultation with Finance, refer to changes in non-economic variables such as conditions of specific activities (for example, the number of unemployment benefit recipients or the number of sole parents).