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Government Finance Statistics Quarterly Estimates
 
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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 quarterly 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 in the System of National Accounts 1993 (SNA93) and the draft accrual version of the International Monetary Fund's A Manual on Government Finance Statistics.

      Estimates of GFS data are derived each quarter. After each June quarter, the estimates are summed to provide provisional annual estimates for the latest financial year.

    PURPOSE

      The statistics from this collection are primarily compiled to provide general government and public non-financial corporations aggregates for input to the quarterly national accounts.General government includes Commonwealth and State governments, local governments and universities. Quarterly GFS data are also used to produce the first annual estimates of 'actual' data for a given financial year.

    SCOPE

      Only statistical units in the public sector fall within the scope of GFS in Australia. This includes all general government units and all public corporations at each level of government.

      Not all the in-scope units (ie units in the public sector) are currently covered by GFS. Moreover, some in-scope units are only covered in an indirect manner. Non-coverage may occur for a number of reasons, for example when:

      • units, transactions or values are judged to be relatively insignificant;
      • the costs of collection from smaller units outweigh the benefits;
      • information for units is captured indirectly; or
      • data are not readily available

      Units not directly covered include some of the smaller public entities, such as,hospitals and the smaller commodity marketing authorities.

      Where organisations are largely funded from the Commonwealth and State budgets (ie public hospitals), some measures of their activities are indirectly covered by GFS. While such an indirect approach results, in most cases, in the bulk of the transactions being effectively recorded in GFS, it does leave out the 'own-source' or 'own-account' transactions.

      The quarterly GFS collection is a subset of GFS and it differs from the annual data in that only statistical units for general government and public non-financial corporations are covered. Quarterly public financial corporations data for inclusion in National Accounts statistics are supplied from other ABS quarterly collections.



    DATA DETAIL

    Conceptual framework

      The Australian system of quarterly 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 in SNA93 and the draft accrual version of the International Monetary Fund's A Manual of Government Finance Statistics (IMF).

      With the adoption of the accrual accounting system (September '99) the new conceptual framework is 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 quarterly GFS. See details in the Classifications Summary.

    Main outputs

      The statistics from this collection are primarily compiled to provide general government and public non-financial corporations aggregates for input to the quarterly national accounts.

    Classifications

      Economic Type Framework (ETF) - This is the main classification for stocks and flows. It is structured as an input classification, unlike the previous 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).

      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 quarterly accrual GFS means that many more transactions are now subject to consolidation.

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


    Other concepts (summary)

      The majority of enterprises or units in the public sector are unambiguously classifiable to a particular sector. However, there are occasions when some boundaries are not clearly defined.

      To cater for the classification of units having multiple functions and/or falling on the boundary between sectors (public/private, financial/non-financial, and general government/public trading), the following rules are used, resulting in some units being classified to sector on a residual basis. For example, if an entity is not unequivocally classifiable as a:

      • public enterprise, it is treated as private;
      • public financial corporation, it is treated as non-financial; and
      • public non-financial corporations, it is treated as general government

    GEOGRAPHIC DETAIL
    1. National & State/Territory\1.01 Australia
    1. National & State/Territory\1.02 All States & Territories

    Comments and/or Other Regions



    COLLECTION FREQUENCY
    Quarterly

    Frequency comments
    Production dates are set primarily to meet the quarterly National Accounts timetable. National Accounts require GFS data approximately five to six weeks after the end of the reference period.

    COLLECTION HISTORY


      Early 1960's First quarterly collection included in quarterly National Accounts data

      ?/1983 New mainframe system introduced. Prior to this date general government data was compiled
      manually, while public trading enterprises data was on a computer based system.

      7/1992 New quarterly adjust system was introduced

      3/1993 First use of tailored forms for some units in quarterly GFS.

      12/1994 Conversion of ASIC code to ANZSIC code.

      9/1995 Initial 'electronic receipt' of quarterly GFS data for some sectors.

      9/1997 Inclusion of universities in a separate multi-jurisdictional sector

      9/1998 Changes due to implementation of SNA93. These changes have affected
      the treatment of the following items for GFS purposes:
      - Defence capital expenditure and current consumption;
      - Some social benefits;
      - Regulatory fees and user charges;
      - Fines and drivers' licences

      9/1998 Reclassification of central borrowing authorities from the general government
      sector to the public financial sector.

      9/1999 Conversion from Cash to Accrual accounting basis for both general government and public
      non-financial corporations. This represents a break in GFS time series.

    DATA AVAILABILITY
    Yes

    Data availability comments
    Quarterly data is made available to National Accounts five or six weeks after the end of the reference period and is included in many of the tables published in the quarterly National Accounts.


    DATE OF LAST UPDATE FOR THIS DOCUMENT
    19/06/2001 11:24 AM



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