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Australian Government Coat of Arms

Budget | 2014-15

Budget 2014-15
Australian Government Coat of Arms, Budget 2014-15

Part 1: Agency Resourcing — Appropriations required by Agencies


An appropriation is a legal entitlement to spend money from the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF). Appropriations can be classified as annual appropriations or special appropriations. Annual appropriations are contained in the annual Appropriation Acts. Special appropriations are contained in Acts, other than the annual Appropriation Acts, with some aspects also appearing in specific legislative instruments (such as applies to Special Accounts established, under the FMA Act, by disallowable determinations of the Finance Minister).

The CRF is a concept established in section 81 of the Australian Constitution to represent all Commonwealth money. The CRF is formed of all revenues or moneys raised or received by the Executive Government of the Commonwealth. All moneys paid to the Commonwealth, or any person or organisation acting on behalf of the Commonwealth, automatically form part of the CRF. Money forms part of the CRF upon receipt by, or on behalf of, the Commonwealth, regardless of whether the money is credited a bank account. This covers taxes, charges, levies, borrowings, loan repayments and moneys held in trust.

Section 83 of the Constitution provides that no money shall be drawn from the Treasury of the Commonwealth except under an appropriation made by law. Section 81 provides that all appropriations from the CRF must be for the purposes of the Commonwealth. The 'Treasury' of the Commonwealth, noted in section 83, equates to the CRF referred to in section 81. Together, sections 81 and 83 provide that there must be an appropriation, made by law, for the purposes of the Commonwealth, before money may be spent. This is a key element of the provisions which safeguard Parliament's control over Australian Government spending.

Table 1.1 refers to certain non‑appropriated amounts where Parliament has authorised an entity to retain an amount received from an external source, including another agency, or where the entity can retain and re‑use those receipts based on its own governance structure. An example of this is a Commonwealth company under the CAC Act. Strictly, where the entity is an FMA Act agency, this authorisation is an appropriation for that expenditure. For other entities, such as a Commonwealth authority under the CAC Act, its enabling legislation would allow it to retain and re‑use the relevant receipt.

Three Departments of State were abolished in the MoG changes in 2013‑14. These Departments do not appear in the Agency Resourcing Tables as the tables describe the total income and receipts of all agencies and other bodies that receive appropriations from the Parliament in 2014‑15.

More generally, the estimated actuals, printed in italics, represent the amounts appropriated in the 2013‑14 annual Appropriation Acts, as affected by amounts that have been transferred between agencies as part of MoG changes, adjustments such as Advances to the Finance Minister and reductions by the Finance Minister, and in some instances limits applied administratively by the Department of Finance. For these reasons, the estimated actuals figures may be different from the sum of amounts provided in earlier Appropriation Acts, and do not provide comparator information for any agencies abolished in 2013‑14.

For further details on how the MoG changes impact on individual portfolios refer to their 2014‑15 Portfolio Budget Statements.

Further information on the appropriations framework, including annual and special appropriations, and non‑appropriated receipts, can be found at‑process/appropriation‑bills.html.

1.1 Total resourcing by source of appropriation

Table 1.1 shows, by portfolio and by entity, and for expenses by outcome,1 the estimated amounts of money that entities are expected to have available for their activities during the budget year. The amounts are broken down by the different sources of funding: the annual Appropriation Bills; special appropriations; non‑appropriated Special Account receipts and other non‑appropriated receipts that entities are eligible to retain and spend.

The table also shows appropriations provided for Departmental and Administered purposes. Departmental appropriations are available to meet costs over which an agency has substantial control. They typically cover employee expenses; supplier expenses; and other operational expenses (such as interest and finance expenses). Administered appropriation items are those administered by the agency on behalf of the government. They typically cover activities governed by eligibility rules and conditions established by the government or Parliament such as grants, subsidies and benefit payments. Agencies therefore have less discretion over how administered operating costs are incurred as they are appropriated separately for outcomes.

Although the annual appropriation amounts are specified exactly, the majority of the amounts entities expect to spend from special appropriations, special accounts and receipts are estimates based on models of client demand etc. The presentation of cash receipts and special account receipts are displayed in separate columns:

  • the column headed 'Agency/CAC receipts' shows estimates of non‑appropriated receipts that entities are authorised to retain and spend in 2014‑2015 by portfolio, entity and outcome;2 and
  • the column headed 'Special Accounts' shows estimated special account receipts that are not directly appropriated to those accounts also by portfolio, entity and outcome. The amount shown is the total for both departmental and administered special accounts in each outcome.

For each of the different sources of funding, Table 1.1 also includes a figure for the previous financial year as a comparison, labelled the 'Estimated Actual'. It is printed in italics under each estimated amount for the Budget year. In relation to the Appropriations Bills, the Estimated Actual is the same as the Actual Available Appropriation. For special appropriations, special accounts and entity receipts, the Estimated Actual amounts are the estimated actual amounts published in the PB Statements.

Note that, because some entities provide funding to others, the total amounts in Table 1.1 cannot be used to calculate total resourcing at the whole of government level. Similarly, transactions between entities while shown in financial statements of individual agencies, are eliminated in the Commonwealth's consolidated financial statements. The inclusion of all real and notional transactions in Table 1.1 is in accordance with section 5 of the Annual Appropriation Acts, which states that notional transactions between agencies are treated as real transactions, even though the amounts do not leave the CRF.

Note also that estimates of expenditure from special appropriations are shown against the agency whose Minister is responsible for administration of the Act concerned. This may not necessarily be the agency that actually spends the money — agencies are able to spend money from special appropriations that are the responsibility of a Minister in another portfolio through the operation of drawing rights issued under the FMA Act.

Table 1.1 also includes estimates of non‑appropriated receipts into special accounts including receipts of special public money (which includes amounts held on trust or otherwise on behalf of another person).

1 The text of the outcomes applying to each agency is set out at Appendix A, Agency Outcome Statements.

2 'Non-appropriated receipts' represents amounts initially derived from a source external to the relevant entity.