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Local Government Finance Statistics, NT
 
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    NAME OF ORGANISATION
    Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)

    OVERVIEW
    Government Finance Statistics (GFS) refer to statistics that measure the financial transactions of governments and reflect the impact of these transactions on other sectors of the economy. GFS focuses on financial transactions such as governments' spending, lending, taxing and borrowing activities. The Australian system of GFS is designed to provide statistical information on Australian public sector entities (ie, general government (GG) and public non-financial corporations (PNFCs), classified in a uniform and systematic way. The system is based on international standards set out in the System of National Accounts 1993 (SNA93) and the draft accrual version of the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) Government Finance Statistics Manual.

    The collection of financial data from NT Municipalities has been conducted since 1978-79, and from indigenous communities since 1994-95. CGCs and IIAs are often remotely located and perform typical local government functions such as the collection of waste, repairing of roads and the provision of community and recreational amenities. They are recognised and funded as local government by both the Commonwealth and NT governments.

    PURPOSE
    The statistics from this collection are primarily compiled to provide General Government and Public Corporations aggregates for the local government sector for GFS purposes. A further purpose is served of producing local government financial data at the Authority level for the NT Dept of Local Govt. These objectives combined allow a complete picture of government financial activity in the NT to be presented. Generating a contribution to National Accounts is a third aim of the collection.

    SCOPE

    All legal Local Government Councils (Municipalities), Community Government Councils (CGCs) and Identified Incorporated Associations (IIAs) in the NT are in scope. Coverage is 100% of these.
    (Municipalities include Jabiru, established under the Jabiru Town Development Act.)

    DATA DETAIL

    Conceptual framework
    The method of classification and aggregation of data items is based on the Classification Manual for Government Finance Statistics (GFS), 1989 (ABS Cat No. 1217.0) and the information paper, Accruals-based Government Finance Statistics, 1999 (ABS Cat No.5517.0) .

    The Australian system of GFS is designed to provide statistical information on Australian public sector entities (ie, general government (GG) and public non-financial, and financial, corporations (PNFCs and PFCs) classified in a uniform and systematic way. The system is based on international standards in SNA93 and the draft accrual version of the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) Government Finance Statistics Manual.

    With the adoption of accrual accounting (September '99) the new conceptual framework is now in the form of an integrated statement of stocks and flows derived from the System of National Accounts 1993 (SNA93). This differs significantly from the old cash-based framework which focused on selected flows and stocks. The new framework facilitates a more comprehensive assessment of the economic impact of government activity and the sustainability of fiscal policy. It also provides an improved basis for monitoring the efficiency in the allocation and use of government resources.

    The adoption of a new conceptual framework has required changes to most of the classifications used in the compilation of GFS. See details in 5.3 Classifications (summary).

    Main outputs
    Government Finance Statistics (GFS) data. The statistics from this collection are primarily compiled to provide general government and public non-financial corporations aggregates. Data are currently published in a number of publications produced by National Accounts and Public Sector Accounts.

    Classifications
    A comprehensive account of the concepts applied in GFS is provided in Government Finance Statistics Australia: Concepts, Sources and Methods (ABS Cat No. 5514.0).

    Economic Type Framework (ETF) - This is the main classification for stocks and flows. It is structured as an input classification, unlike the previous cash accounting -based classification which was output oriented and focused on outlays, revenues and financing transactions. The new ETF resembles a set of financial accounting statements with sections for the operating statement, cash flow statement, balance sheet and other sections.

    Government Purpose Classification (GPC) - The GPC is used to classify revenues, expenses and net acquisition of non-financial assets of the public sector in terms of the purposes for which the transactions are made. The GPC is based on the SNA93 Classification of the Functions of Government (COFOG). The use of this classification will be phased out commencing from 2003/04. The GPC classification will be replaced by the Local Government Purpose Classification (LGPC)

    Local Government Purpose Classification (LGPC) - NOT YET IN USE - The LGPC provides a structure to classify a range of financial transactions in terms of the purposes for which the transactions are made. These include outlays on final consumption expenditure, intermediate consumption, gross capital formation and capital and current transfers, by local government. Data collected according to LGPC will provide information on the socioeconomic effects of local government transactions. It will be also be useful in establishing trends in local government outlays on particular purposes over time. The units of classification are, in principle, individual transactions. This means that each purchase, wage payment, transfer, loan disbursement or other outlay should be assigned an LGPC code according to the function that the transaction serves.

    Taxes Classification (TC) - Taxes are broken down into the following broad categories -

      1. Taxes on income, profits and capital gains.
      2. Taxes on employer's payroll and labour force.
      3. Taxes on property.
      4. Taxes on provision of goods and services.
      5. Taxes on the use of goods and performance of activities.

    Source/Destination Classification (SDC) - The implementation of accrual GFS means that many more transactions are now subject to consolidation. The SDC facilitates this.

    Type of Asset Classification (TAC) - This classification incorporates the SNA93 distinction between produced (tangible and intangible) and non-produced (tangible and intangible) assets.

    Each statistical unit included in the GFS is classified according to a number of classifications including:

      • Institutional sector (General Government, Public Non-financial Corporation or Public Financial Corporation sector);
      • Level of government (Commonwealth, State, Local or Multi-jurisdictional);
      • State of jurisdiction; and
      • Industrial sector (ANZSIC).

    The statistics show, for the public sector:

      • Consolidated transactions (for all sectors), presented so that the economic impact and sustainability of government fiscal programs can be assessed;
      • The roles of the different levels of government in the undertaking and financing of their fiscal programs;
      • The transactions of the Commonwealth, individual State, Territory and Local governments, so they may be used to indicate the comparative standing of each level of government in relation to its expenditure, its sources of revenue, and its financing transactions.

    Within the NT there has been lengthy discussion as to what constitutes the local government sector because of the unique nature of indigenous communities. According to SNA93 they are local government and have been accepted as such. The NT Government has advised all communities that currently have IIA status that they will be required to become CGCs in the near future.

    Other concepts (summary)

    System of National Accounts 1993 (SNA93)

    GEOGRAPHIC DETAIL
    Northern Territory
    Legal Local Government Area

    Comments and/or Other Regions

    Certain indigenous organisations are out of scope and hence excluded.

    COLLECTION FREQUENCY
    Annually

    Frequency comments


    COLLECTION HISTORY
    1978-79
    Data collected for NT Municipalities. (There are seven of these, including Jabiru which has the status of a 'special town'.)

    1994-95
    Preliminary data collected for CGCs and IIAs. There are approximately 30 of each of these. Units can lose or gain their CGC / IIA status from time to time.)

    2000-01

    The collection of data from the Communities was conducted by the NT Department of Local Government using their own instrument. Data were passed on to the ABS once collected (although approximately 18 months beyond the reference period). Municipality data were drawn from published financial statements (by ABS personnel).

    2001-02
    No change from previous cycle.

    2002-03



    DATA AVAILABILITY
    Yes

    Data availability comments


    Data at the individual Local Government level are available as a Special Data Service from the ABS.
    Aggregated data are published in Government Finance Statistics, Australia (ABS Cat. No. 5512.0).



    DATE OF LAST UPDATE FOR THIS DOCUMENT
    06/06/2006 09:45 AM



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