PUBLIC SECTOR ACCOUNTS
The Public Sector Accounts Program provides Government Finance Statistics (GFS) in respect of the Australian, state and territory governments, their public financial and non-financial corporations, universities and local governments. The statistics are compiled predominantly from government accounting systems.
The main users of the program include various Australian Government agencies (in particular the Treasury, the Commonwealth Grants Commission, the Productivity Commission, and the Departments of: Finance and Deregulation; Education; Employment and Workplace Relations; Health and Ageing), state and territory government agencies (in particular state Treasuries), financial market analysts and international agencies.
GFS are used to monitor the financial performance of governments and to inform on the economic impact of government activities. They are also used to assist in the distribution of Australian government grants to state governments.
GFS are an important input to the Australian National Accounts, providing income and expenditure estimates for the public sector.
The program produces a number of GFS publications each year, compiled in accordance with the International Monetary Fund’s Government Finance Statistics Manual 2001.
The annual publication Government Finance Statistics, Australia (ABS cat. no. 5512.0) provides an operating statement, balance sheet and cash flow statement for the most recent year for each of the Australian, state, territory and local governments for the general government, and public non-financial and financial corporations. Key GFS accruals measures such as the net operating balance, net lending/ borrowing, and net worth are provided. A cash-based surplus/deficit is also produced.
Other annual publications include:
- Government Financial Estimates, Australia (ABS cat. no. 5501.0.55.001), which provides initial budget forecasts compiled by each jurisdiction on a GFS basis
- Taxation Revenue, Australia (ABS cat. no. 5506.0), which provides revenue from taxation of the Australian Government, the state and territory governments and local government authorities in Australia
- Government Finance Statistics, Education, Australia (ABS cat. no. 5518.0.55.001), which provides statistics on government expenditure in the field of education.
The quarterly publication, Government Finance Statistics, Australia
(ABS cat. no. 5519.0.55.001), provides operating statements for general government and public non-financial corporations sector aggregates.
The main medium-term developments in the program are to:
- secure ongoing provision of local government finance data to the ABS - due January 2014
- complete the assessment of the availability, quality and feasibility of compiling quarterly balance sheet data for the local government and public corporations sectors - due June 2014
- compile experimental quarterly GFS balance sheets for the Commonwealth and State general government sector - due December 2014
- implement revised international GFS standards in ABS statistics - due July 2016
- develop an implementation strategy for introducing Australia’s revised institutional sector classification for the Public Sector Accounts (Standard Economic Sector Classifications of Australia 2008) - due July 2016
- provide GFS technical assistance to Pacific Islands countries - ongoing
- assist the Treasury and/or the Department of Finance in each jurisdiction with implementation and interpretative issues associated with the adoption of the GFS-GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) harmonised financial reporting basis represented by the new accounting standard AASB 1049 (Whole of Government and General Government Sector Financial Reporting by Governments) - ongoing.
Judy Henson, Assistant Statistician, International and Government Finance Accounts Branch