3.5. GFS are collected and compiled in three phases: quarterly, forward annual estimates and final annual data. The phases are determined by the ABS publication programme for GFS, which is discussed in chapter 5, and the national accounting requirement for quarterly data. The phasing also enables progressive refinement of the data over the cycle.
3.6. The first phase in the cycle is the collection of quarterly data to produce quarterly estimates of public sector activity for incorporation in the Australian national accounts. The quarterly collection is confined to general government units and public non-financial corporations. Other ABS sources are used to produce national accounts data for public financial corporations. The quarterly collection is not a full enumeration in as much as smaller units are omitted and less than the full range of annual data is collected from units included in the collection. Specifically, balance sheet data and some cash flow data is not collected. Estimates are however made for missing quarterly data.
3.7. The collection and compilation of forward estimates for the coming financial year is the next phase in the cycle. These forecasts are produced for incorporation in the budgets presented for passage through the parliament of each jurisdiction. They are currently published by the ABS as a single electronic release in Government Financial Estimates (ABS Cat. no. in the 5501.0.55.001), which is known as the ‘GFE’.
3.8. The final phase of the cycle is the collection and production of final annual statistics. These represent the most detailed and complete set of statistics for a financial year. They are based, wherever possible, on final audited data. The final statistics are published in Government Finance Statistics (ABS Cat. no. 5512.0), which is also known as the ‘GFS’.