5519.0.55.001 - Government Finance Statistics, Australia, Quarterly, Jun 2006
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 05/09/2006
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JUNE QUARTER 2006 KEY FIGURES: ALL LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT
GFS KEY FIGURES: ALL LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT, ORIGINAL
QUARTERLY NATIONAL ACCOUNTS PUBLIC SECTOR MEASURES - KEY FIGURES
The table below includes the key public sector aggregates for the June quarter 2006 from the forthcoming national accounts publication. The key figures shown include Government Final Consumption Expenditure and Gross Fixed Capital Formation for general government and public corporations, seasonally adjusted for current prices and in chain volume terms.
QUARTERLY NATIONAL ACCOUNTS PUBLIC SECTOR MEASURES - KEY FIGURES, SEASONALLY ADJUSTED
(b) Reference year for chain volume measures is 2004-05.
ABOUT THIS RELEASE
This release presents quarterly government finance statistics (GFS) on an accrual accounting basis. All tables are presented in GFS operating statement format for the general government sector, with the exception of Table 2 which presents data for the public non-financial corporations sector.
Quarterly GFS are released for the current financial year only, other than in the September quarter, when the quarters of the previous financial year are presented. Users requiring data for earlier periods should consult Government Finance Statistics, Australia (cat.no. 5512.0). The latest issue (2004-05) was released on 29 March 2006.
In this issue data for the operating statements for the June quarter 2006 are not shown in Table 3 (Commonwealth Government) and Table 4 (Total State and Local) because it would be in advance of the release of the Commonwealth Government's Final Budget Outcome Statement for 2005-06. Commonwealth general government data for the June quarter 2006 have however been included in the calculation of the All levels of government data in Table 1.
RELEASE OF QUARTERLY GFS THIS ISSUE
The September quarter 2006 issue is expected to be released on 5 December 2006 and the December quarter 2006 issue on 6 March 2007, one day before the release of the September quarter 2006 and December quarter 2006 National Accounts publications respectively. Users should check the ABS Release Advice closer to the date for confirmation of the release date.
The contact officer for this release is Jonathan Sim on Canberra (02) 6252 5735.
CHANGES TO RECORDING OF EDUCATION GRANT EXPENSES
As indicated in previous releases, the accrual recording of education grants in GFS has been under review. This review is now complete and the ABS has changed the way in which it records education grants for the Commonwealth General Government sector. This has led to revisions to the relevant series for the period September quarter 2003 to March quarter 2006. The recording of these grants for the State General Government sector remains unchanged.
From July 2003, ABS recording of education grants for the Commonwealth General Government sector occurred at the time of the signing of the Ministerial determination which gave effect to the grants, typically between December and February each year. This had the effect of bunching the full year's expenses in the December and March quarters. This recording was consistent with the recording of the grants by the Commonwealth government in its own financial reports. However, for the State General Government sector, the ABS recorded education grants in the period in which cash was actually received, which was consistent with the treatment of these grants in the states' financial statements (and which was consistent with Commonwealth government recording prior to July 2003). This method of recording lead to a mismatch between the time of recording of the Commonwealth General Government expense and the State General Government revenue.
While GFS concepts do allow for recording transfers at the time obligations are created (this would, in some cases, include the signing of Ministerial determinations), specific reference in the statistical standards is also made to grants which set them aside from other transfers. The underlying premise in relation to the accrual recording of grants is that they should be recorded by recipients when they have gained control over the monies by meeting all specified conditions and eligibility criteria.
The states' entitlement to the education grants in question are subject to conditions being met and not necessarily when the Ministerial determinations are signed. For statistical purposes, the actual cash payments are a better indication of the fulfilment of the conditions and therefore a better reflection of accrual recording. As a result, the ABS has determined that the education grants should be recorded in GFS for both the Commonwealth and state governments at the time the states receive the cash. As this occurs on a fortnightly basis, the effect will be to more evenly spread the Commonwealth's education grant expense throughout the financial year.
Amendments for this change in treatment have been made for all quarters back to the September quarter 2003, including the four quarters in this release. Amendments have also been made to the 2003-04 and 2004-05 annual figures and will be incorporated into the release of the 2005-06 GFS estimates scheduled for release in March/April of 2007.
This change has no impact on the national accounts. As previously advised, following the change in the point of recognition of the grant expense by the Commonwealth government, the ABS continued to record in the national accounts the grant expense at the time cash was disbursed to preserve the integrity of the time series.
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