5519.0.55.001 - Government Finance Statistics, Australia, Quarterly, Electronic Delivery, Jun 2005  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 06/09/2005   
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Accrual basis of recording

A recording method in which revenues, expenses, lending and borrowing are recorded as they are earned, accrued or incurred regardless of when payment is made or received.

Capital transfers

Transactions in which the ownership of an asset (other than cash and inventories) is transferred from one institutional unit to another, in which cash is transferred to enable the recipient to acquire another asset or in which the funds realised by the disposal of another asset are transferred.

Change in inventories

The change in the value of inventories over the accounting period.

Chain volume measures

These measures are annually-reweighted chain Laspeyres indexes referenced to the current price values in a chosen reference year.


The process of elimination of all within-sector asset-liability positions, and all transactions between two units of the same sector. Consolidation can be applied to the statistics of any group of units of analytical interest.

Consumption of fixed capital

Consumption of fixed capital is the decline during the course of an accounting period in the value of fixed assets owned and used as a result of physical deterioration, normal obsolescence, or normal accidental damage. It is valued in the average prices of the period. To calculate consumption of fixed capital, the fixed assets purchased in the past and still in use have to be revalued at the average prices of the current period and assumptions have to be made regarding the remaining service lives of each asset and the rate at which their efficiency is expected to diminish.

Current transfers

Amounts payable or receivable for current purposes for which no economic benefits are receivable or payable in return.


The accounting process of systematically allocating the cost less estimated residual value of an asset over its expected useful life. Depreciation as recorded in government financial records may deviate considerably from consumption of fixed capital as depreciation is normally calculated using the original costs of fixed assets.

Dividend income

Dividends are a form of property income which shareholders are entitled to as a result of their ownership of equity in other entities. Dividend income in GFS refers to returns on equity from public enterprises to general government in the nature of dividends and dividends to public enterprises from subsidiaries.

Economically significant prices

Prices are economically significant when they have a significant influence on the amounts the producers are willing to supply and on the amounts purchasers wish to buy.

Economic type framework (ETF)

The Australian GFS classification used to classify economic flows and stocks according to their economic nature.


Transactions that reduce net worth.


Flows are monetary expressions of economic actions engaged in by units and other events affecting the economic status of units that occur within an accounting period.

Functional classification

Classification of expenses and other transactions according to functions (e.g. health, education) of government.

General government sector

Institutional sector comprising all government units and non-profit institutions controlled and mainly financed by government.

Government final consumption expenditure

SNA93 concept that refers to government use of goods and services for the satisfaction of individual or collective human needs or wants.

Government units

Unique kinds of legal entities established by political processes which have legislative, judicial or executive authority over other institutional units within a given area and which: (i) provide goods and services to the community and/or individuals free of charge or at prices that are not economically significant; and (ii) redistribute income and wealth by means of taxes and other compulsory transfers.


All transfers other than subsidies.

Gross fixed capital formation

The value of acquisitions of new and existing produced assets, other than inventories, less the value of disposals of new or existing produced assets, other than inventories.

Institutional sectors

The SNA groupings of all resident institutional units according to their institutional characteristics and functions. Five institutional sectors are recognised: the non-financial corporations sector, the financial corporations sector, the general government sector, the households sector and the non-profit institutions serving households sector.


Form of property income earned by making financial assets available to other units which is equal to the amount the debtor becomes liable to pay to the creditor over a given period of time without reducing the amount of the principal outstanding.

Interest expense is made up of nominal interest on unfunded superannuation and other interest payable. Nominal interest on unfunded superannuation is the imputed interest accrued during the period on unfunded superannuation liabilities. See 'Nominal superannuation interest expense' below.


Stocks of goods held that are intended for sale, use in production, or other use at a later date.


The public sector units over which the Commonwealth Government or an individual state or territory government has direct control or, in the case of local government authorities, the government which administers the legislation under which the authority was established.

Level of government (LOG)

The classification comprising the three tiers of government (National, State and Territory, local) for which Australia’s government finance statistics are compiled.

Local level of government

The level of government of public sector units that have a local role or function i.e. the political authority underlying their functions is limited to a local government area or other region within a state or territory or the functions involve policies that are primarily of concern at a local level.

Market output

Output that is sold at economically significant prices.

Multi-jurisdictional unit

A unit for which jurisdiction is shared between two or more governments, or its classification to jurisdiction is otherwise unclear. The main type of units currently falling into this category are public universities.

National level of government

The level of government of public sector units that have a national role or function, i.e. the political authority underlying their functions extends over the entire territory of Australia or the functions involve policies that are primarily of concern at a national level (i.e. the consolidated total of the Commonwealth government and all multi-jurisdictional units).

Net acquisition of non-financial assets

Gross fixed capital formation less depreciation plus change in inventories plus other transactions in non-financial assets.

Net lending/borrowing

The financing requirement of government, calculated as the GFS net operating balance less the net acquisition of non-financial assets. A positive result reflects a net lending position and a negative result reflects a net borrowing position.

Net operating balance

This is calculated as GFS revenue minus GFS expenses. It is equivalent to the change in net worth arising from transactions.

Nominal superannuation interest expense

Refers to the imputed interest accrued each quarter on unfunded superannuation liabilities. In an unfunded superannuation scheme, the increase in superannuation liability is taken as being equivalent to the liability that would be generated under a fully funded scheme as if the employer was paying into a separate superannuation fund. In this scenario, the government is viewed as compulsorily 'borrowing' from employees the value of the increase in superannuation liability each period. In doing so, it sustains an additional cost for the use of these 'borrowed' funds which is an interest expense. The cost of these 'borrowed' funds is presented in operating statements as nominal interest.

Operating statement

The Operating Statement presents details of transactions in GFS revenues, GFS expenses and the net acquisition of non-financial assets for an accounting period. GFS revenues are broadly defined as transactions that increase net worth and GFS expenses as transactions that decrease net worth. Net acquisition of non-financial assets equals gross fixed capital formation, less depreciation, plus changes in inventories plus other transactions in non-financial assets. Two key GFS analytical balances in the operating statement are GFS Net Operating Balance (NOB) and GFS Net Lending(+)/Borrowing(-).

Public non-financial corporations

Resident government controlled corporations and quasi-corporations mainly engaged in the production of market goods and/or non-financial services.

Public sector

The combination of the general government sector, the public non-financial corporations and the public financial corporations.


Transactions that increase net worth.

Sales of goods and services

Revenue from the direct provision of goods and services by general government and public corporations.

State/territory level of government

The level of government of public sector units that have a state or territory role or function, i.e. the political authority underlying their functions is limited to a state or territory or the functions involve policies that are primarily of concern at a state or territory level.

Seasonal adjustment

Data that are affected by seasonal factors are adjusted to remove the effects of these factors.

Seasonal adjustment - volume measures

Seasonally adjusted chain volume estimates are calculated from seasonally adjusted estimates expressed in the prices of the previous year.


Current transfers that government units make to enterprises either on the basis of the levels of their production activities or on the basis of the quantities or values of the goods or services that they produce, sell, or import.


Compulsory, unrequited transfers to the general government sector.


Interactions between two institutional units by mutual agreement or actions within a unit that it is analytically useful to treat as transactions.


Transactions in which one unit provides goods, services, assets or labour to another unit and receives nothing in return.