Part 3 - Appropriation disclosures

General requirements for appropriation disclosures

FRR section 35 - General requirements

This section of the FRR sets outs general principles for appropriation disclosures.

Where a non-corporate Commonwealth entity (NCE) is concerned that appropriation may be or has been spent in breach of section 83 of the Constitution:

  • an appropriate risk assessment must be conducted
  • where appropriate, advice from the Australian Government Solicitor or the Attorney-General’s Department may need to be sought to identify whether a possible breach may have occurred.

A section 83 disclosure is generally required where an entity considers that there is a risk that a breach occurred, or an actual breach has occurred, in the reporting period. See RMG-100 Guide to Appropriations for further information and RMG-125 Commonwealth Entities Financial Statements Guide, for financial reporting requirements. 

Payments from the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) that are not authorised by appropriation, are always ‘material in nature’ and an explanation is required irrespective of the amount. Entities should make appropriate disclosures in relation to both actual and potential breaches of section 83, and actions taken to manage section 83 risks.

The appropriation note is prepared on a recoverable GST exclusive and cash basis, and does not include:

  • GST on payments that is recoverable from the ATO
  • GST received on taxable suppliers that is payable to the ATO
  • payments to or refunds from the ATO of GST amounts.

Specific requirements for appropriation disclosures

FRR section 43 - Annual appropriations

This section details the annual appropriation disclosures required.

For a template of annual appropriation disclosures, see Primary reporting and information management aid (PRIMA) forms of financial statements.

The key sources of information when preparing appropriation disclosures are the appropriation Acts, government-approved legal instruments/government decisions (to support formal additions and reductions), and the entities’ own financial management information system (FMIS). CBMS can also assist with reconciling amounts drawn down from and returned to the OPA with amounts held in entity bank accounts. 

Under sections 37 and 41 of the PGPA Act, the accountable authority must ensure that the entity keeps proper records which explains its transactions, and its financial performance and position.

Unspent appropriations

FRR section 44 - Unspent annual appropriations

This section sets out the disclosure requirements for unspent annual appropriations.

Unspent balances incorporate adjustments to appropriations under appropriation Acts and the PGPA Act (for example, PGPA Act section 75 transfers).

Amounts subject to quarantines or withheld under a PGPA Act section 51 direction are included in unspent balances.

Appropriation drawn down from the CRF via CBMS and/or PGPA Act section 74 receipts that remain in a NCE’s bank account (that is, not transferred to the OPA), should be reflected in the unspent appropriations note as at 30 June. Lapsing appropriations (which had been appropriation revenue or contributed equity in previous reporting period) are accounted for as departmental equity returns in accordance with section 39 of the FRR.

These unspent appropriation amounts (that is, cash or cash equivalents) can be disclosed either as a separate line item or included with the relevant appropriation Act(s).

For a template of unspent annual appropriation disclosures, see PRIMA forms of financial statements.

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