This publication contains annual estimates of 'Government Finance Statistics' (GFS). These statistics measure the financial activities of government and reflect the impact of those activities on other sectors of the economy. The Australian system of Government Finance Statistics (AGFS15), which is used to derive the statistics presented here, is designed to provide statistical information on public sector entities in Australia classified in a uniform and systematic way. GFS enables policy makers and users to analyse the financial operations and financial position of the public sector by the level of government, institutional sector or set of transactions.
The main functions of government are the provision of non-market services, the regulation of economic and social conditions, and the redistribution of income between sections of the community. These activities are primarily financed by taxation and are carried out by entities in the general government sector. In addition to this core activity, governments can also own or control enterprises that sell goods or services to the public and which operate largely on a market basis (public non-financial corporations) or engage in financial intermediation (public financial corporations).
GFS provides details of revenues, expenses, cash flows and assets and liabilities of the Australian public sector and comprises units which are owned and/or controlled by the Commonwealth, state and local governments. The system of GFS is based on international standards set out in the System of National Accounts, 2008 (2008 SNA) and the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) Government Finance Statistics Manual (GFSM).
The IMF published a revised Government Finance Statistics Manual (GFSM 2014) and the ABS GFS Manual was updated to reflect the new international standards. These changes are presented and have been implemented for data reported for periods from 1 July 2017 onwards. Detailed of these changes as well as information on the concepts, sources and methods used in compiling GFS can be found in the Australian System of Government Finance Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods, 2015 (AGFS15).