5517.0 - Information Paper: Accruals-based Government Finance Statistics, 2000  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 13/03/2000   
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Contents >> Chapter 5. ABS GFS publications

5.1. With the move to accruals GFS, the ABS will release redesigned GFS publications. The format of these publications will reflect the shift in the analytical focus of GFS from the Deficit/Surplus and Net Debt under the cash based system to Net Operating Balance, Net Lending/Borrowing, Net Worth and Surplus/Deficit under the accrual system.

5.2. This chapter outlines the structure of GFS publications presented on an accrual basis and describes the full range of data that is expected to be available either in future GFS publications or as special data services. However, due to timing constraints and data availability, the inaugural accrual Government Financial Estimates (GFE) 1999–2000 will not include this full range of data. This chapter also describes the subset of the data that will be available in GFE 1999–2000.

5.3. Generic examples of the new table formats for GFS publications are set out in appendix 2; however, as noted above, only a subset of the full range of accrual GFS data will be available in GFE 1999–2000.


5.4. The timing of publications to date (November for Government Financial Estimates (Cat. no. 5501.0) and May for Government Finance Statistics (Cat. no. 5512.0)) has largely been driven by the delivery of budgets by the Commonwealth and each State/Territory government, the Uniform Presentation Agreement (UPA) promulgated in 1991, and the availability of final audited data. This arrangement saw the ABS publishing Cat. no. 5501.0 some 6–8 weeks after the last budget (usually November) and Cat. no. 5512.0 in May of the following year. With the move to accruals and the presentation of early budgets (April/May) by most jurisdictions, the ABS is re-examining the timing of the release of these publications.

5.5. In the future, the ABS expects to publish Cat. no. 5501.0, based on budget data, in August and follow up in March of the following year with Cat. no. 5512.0, based on final audited data. However, this timetable will only be feasible if all jurisdictions move to early budgets.

5.6. GFS publications will present statistics for the Commonwealth, State (including the Territories) and local governments, their public non-financial corporations and their public financial corporations. Universities will be included as general government units in a separate multi-jurisdictional sector.

5.7. Data for the relevant time periods will be presented in the format of operating statements, cash flow statements, balance sheets and statements of stocks and flows. Key GFS accrual measures such as the Net Operating Balance and Net Lending/Borrowing will be provided as the principal analytical balances in each operating statement. Net Worth and Increase in Net Worth will be included in each balance sheet and statement of stocks and flows. A cash-based Surplus/Deficit will also be derived as an extension to each cash flow statement. In addition, Net Debt will be included as a memorandum item in each balance sheet.

5.8. A number of reconciliation statements, firstly between GFS and AAS 31 and secondly between GFS and ASNA, will be included in GFS publications to explain to users any differences in published key measures due to the different treatment of component items in each set of data. Descriptions of these reconciliation statements are in chapter 6.

5.9. Table 5.1 below outlines the structure of accrual GFS publications and summarises the data that are expected to be available under the accrual GFS system when it has been fully implemented.



5.10. Government Financial Estimates, 1999–2000 (Cat. no. 5501.0), to be published on 3 April 2000, should be viewed as a ‘transitional’ publication. For the reasons provided below, it will not include the full set of accrual GFS data that will be available in subsequent editions. It will not include full balance sheet data for back years or any reconciliations between key GFS and AAS 31 measures. Table 5.2 below outlines the data that will be presented in the April 2000 edition. It should be noted that accrual data relating to the Tasmanian general government sector will be estimated as this jurisdiction has not yet adopted accrual reporting. Accrual data for the Northern Territory general government sector will also include some estimation.

5.11. GFE 1999–2000 will not include an accrual GFS back series prior to 1998–99. However, accrual statistics for years earlier than 1998–99 will be published in future GFEs for those jurisdictions where accrual data are available and have been provided to the ABS in a format suitable for GFS purposes. Only balance sheet data at 30 June 1999 will be included in GFE 1999–2000 as balance sheet data at 30 June 2000, prepared on a comparable basis to 30 June 1999, will not be available for most jurisdictions.

5.12. Reconciliations between GFS and AAS 31 measures will not be included in GFE 1999–2000. It is the intention of the ABS to reconcile GFS measures with AAS 31 measures only where the measures have been published by the respective jurisdiction as part of AAS 31 reports or budget documents. Given the April 2000 timing of this GFE and the fact that in some cases the 1998–99 data will be preliminary and unaudited for which the corresponding AAS 31 statements will not have been published, reconciliations will not be included in this edition.


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