Latest release

Standard Economic Sector Classifications of Australia (SESCA)

Contains institutional sector and associated classifications used in the compilation and publication of national accounts and related statistics

Reference period
2008 (Version 1.1)

Introduction

Preface

This publication describes the suite of economic sector classifications used by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) to produce macro-economic statistics including National Accounts, Government Finance and International Accounts statistics as well as other component economic indicators.

The classifications are:

  • Standard Institutional Sector Classification of Australia (SISCA);
  • Public/Private Classification;
  • Level of Government Classification;
  • Jurisdiction Classification; and
  • Type of Legal Organisation (TOLO).

The classifications are shown in detail, while the data cubes show correspondences between the revised SISCA, the previous SISCA and the 2008 SNA classification.

Brian Pink
Australian Statistician

What's new

The ABS has completed an update of the Standard Economic Sector Classifications of Australia (SESCA). The concepts described in this publication are consistent with those presented in the original 2008 version. SESCA 2008 version 1.1 is presented in an e-mag format, replacing the original pdf publication.

Reason for this SESCA update

The update of SESCA was triggered primarily because of changes made to the ABS Economic Units Model (EUM). In addition, this version:

  • clarifies class definitions;
  • modifies includes/excludes to overcome practical difficulties in the classification of certain unit types;
  • corrects minor errors and omissions;
  • creates new classes brought about by changes in legislation; and,
  • contains consequential changes to the 'Unit of Classification' and 'Glossary' brought about by the inclusion of the new EUM.

Standard Institutional Sector Classification of Australia classification changes

  • Classes 1001 Non-Financial Investment Funds and 2142 Non-Money Market Financial Investment Funds:
    • Clarification of the boundary between these classes by changes to the inclusions.
  • Class 2191 Securitisers
    • Identification of the Special Purpose Entity/Vehicle within the class description.
  • Class 2200 Financial Auxiliaries:
    • Explicit inclusion of units engaged in trading or broking carbon credits; and,
    • Explicit inclusion of Holding Companies with financial subsidiaries.
  • Class 3000 General Government:
    • Explicit inclusion of Future and Sovereign Wealth Funds; and,
    • Removal of explicit identification of Public Universities pending future investigation into market/non market characteristics.

Jurisdiction classification changes

  • Removal of separate class 1 for "Commonwealth";
  • Reduction of existing class numbering by one to reflect removal of "Commonwealth";
  • Change of former class 10 Multi-jurisdiction to class 9 Other Jurisdiction;
  • Explicit inclusion of Christmas and Cocos Keeling Islands in revised class 9 Other Jurisdiction.

Level of government classification change

  • Inclusion of new class 4 Control n.f.d. (Not further defined) for public sector units where control is not recognised for any single level of government.

Other changes

  • Global change of “Not for Profit” usage to “Non-profit” to align with 2008 SNA.
     

Overview

Purpose of the SESCA

The purpose of sector classification is to identify and group economic units which share common organisational and operational characteristics for the purpose of economic analysis. Sector classifications provide an integrated framework for the collection, analysis and dissemination of sector data for the economy.

This publication describes the following classifications:

  • Standard Institutional Sector Classification of Australia (SISCA);
  • Public/Private Classification;
  • Level of Government Classification;
  • Jurisdiction Classification; and
  • Type of Legal Organisation (TOLO).

Many of the macro-economic statistics produced by the ABS are classified by sector, including the National Accounts, Balance of Payments (BOP) and International Investment Position (IIP) statistics, Government Finance Statistics (GFS), and other financial statistics.

Unit of classification

Statistical units are the entities about which data are collected or tabulated.

Specific units are used for different statistical purposes, e.g. producing units are used in compiling industry statistics and institutional units are used in compiling financial statistics. This publication describes institutional units and their classification.

International standards

Statistical standards enable meaningful comparisons to be made between Australia's economy and the rest of the world.

The classifications discussed in this publication are aligned to classifications and concepts in the System of National Accounts 2008 (2008 SNA). 2008 SNA provides the basis for the production of a transparent and integrated set of economic statistics which is internationally comparable. In addition to 2008 SNA, the classifications in this publication include elements drawn from the classifications used in the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) sixth edition of the Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Manual (BPM6) and the IMF's Government Finance Statistics Manual 2001.

The ABS adheres to internationally accepted standards. This ensures that Australian statistics are comparable with other countries that apply the standards. These statistical standards are developed in consultation with national statistical agencies, including the ABS, and other bodies with an interest in internationally comparable statistics.

Previous national classifications

This publication replaces SESCA 2008 which was also based on the institutional unit classifications articulated in the System of National Accounts 2008 (2008 SNA).

Overview of this edition

Concepts

The 'unit of classification' chapter provides an outline of the statistical units applied to the classifications in this publication. Statistical units are the entities about which information is compiled. They are defined in a consistent way to enable users of statistics to make valid comparisons of information compiled from different statistical sources and to enable composite pictures of the Australian economy to be drawn.

The 'key concepts' section provides definitions such as control, market and non-market operators, Australia's economic territory and residence. These concepts underpin the classification of units to institutional sector, Public/Private and Level of Government classifications and the definition of the national economy. They facilitate analysis of sectoral data through the formation of homogeneous categories in these classifications.

Classifications

The Standard Institutional Sector Classification of Australia (SISCA) is a classification of institutional units which provides a framework for dividing the Australian economy into institutional sectors. These sectors group units which have similar economic functions and structural characteristics. This framework allows for the consistent collection, analysis and dissemination of institutional sector information. The SISCA is the most widely adopted classification among the classifications covered in this publication.

The Public/Private classification divides the Australian economy into the public sector (resident units controlled by government) and the private sector (all other resident units).

The Level of Government classification divides the public sector into levels on the basis of control and underpins the production of GFS.

The Jurisdiction classification divides the Public sector into classes based on the government which exercises control over a particular institutional unit. The classes refer to the Governments of the Commonwealth and the individual states and territories.

The Type of Legal Organisation (TOLO) classification is applied to business entities and subdivides them into classes on the basis of their legal organisation. This classification provides structures for presenting information on the characteristics of businesses in Australia and in analysis of employing units.

Explanatory notes and correspondences

The explanatory notes and data cubes provide additional information about these classifications. Within the explanatory notes, the Appendix details the ABS economic units model. A glossary of the main terms used in the SESCA and an abbreviations list is also provided. The data cubes include a series of correspondences which provide links between SISCA 1998 and SISCA 2008, as well as the relationship between SISCA and the 2008 SNA institutional sector classification, highlighting areas of difference..

Implementation of classifications in Australian Bureau of Statistics publications

Of the classifications included in this publication, none of the updates will have a major impact on published statistics.

Concepts

Unit of classification

Introduction

Statistical units are businesses, government entities, households or other entities about which statistics are compiled. They are defined in a consistent way to enable users of ABS statistics to make valid comparisons of information compiled from different statistical sources and to enable composite pictures of the economy to be drawn.

The basic statistical unit that is classified by sector is the institutional unit. An institutional unit is one that is able to:

  • own or exchange goods and assets in its own right;
  • make economic decisions and engage in economic activities for which it is held directly responsible and accountable at law;
  • enter into contracts and incur liabilities on its own behalf; and
  • compile a complete set of accounts, including a statement of financial position.

In some instances it is statistically advantageous to recognise as separate institutional units some entities which do not meet the above criteria. Although these units do not exist as separate institutional units from their owners, and therefore are not institutional units in their own right, where they operate autonomously and keep a full set of accounts, notional institutional units are created to enable their separate collection.

Institutional units can be originated either formally or informally. They can be created formally, either individually, as in the case of some government authorities through an Act of Parliament; or as a specific type of unit, as in the case of corporations through the Corporations Act 2001. The law establishes the existence of such entities as separate from their owners or members. Institutional units can also be created informally, such as a household formed by individual members sharing a dwelling.

The ABS statistical unit is considered an approximation to the institutional unit as defined by 2008 SNA. There are, however, some differences between the institutional unit and the practices adopted for the ABS Business Register as outlined in the ABS Economic Units Model Appendix.

Types of institutional units

There are four types of institutional units:

  • Corporations;
  • Government units;
  • Non-profit institutions; and
  • Households.
Corporations

A corporation is 'a legal entity, created for the purpose of producing goods and services for the market, that may be a source of profit or other financial gain to its owner(s); it is collectively owned by shareholders who have the authority to appoint directors responsible for its general management' (2008 SNA, paragraph 4.39).

Corporations are typically:

  • created by processes of law that establish their existence as independent from their shareholders, including other institutional units (i.e. other corporations, household unincorporated enterprises, government units and NPIs) that may own shares or other equity in the corporations;
  • created for the purpose of market production;
  • owned by shareholders who receive a distribution of profits in proportion to their shareholdings; and
  • fully accountable at law for their actions, obligations and contracts and are liable to pay taxes (i.e. they are a legal entity).

The company structure of corporations enables profits to be distributed to their shareholders.

Examples of corporations are proprietary companies, limited liability companies and no liability companies.

Some incorporated entities are prohibited from distributing profits to their shareholders or members. Most companies limited by guarantee and all incorporated associations fall into this category. These types of institutional units are non-profit institutions (NPIs) and are discussed later in this chapter.

As noted earlier, to qualify as a corporation a unit must be a recognised legal entity. The exception to this rule is where notional institutional units are created for 'foreign branches', or unincorporated enterprises owned by non-resident units (see Chapter 3 for further detail on the concept of residence). To qualify as a notional institutional unit, a foreign branch must:

  • have the same relationship to its owners as a corporation has to its shareholders;
  • have a full set of accounts, including a statement of financial position; and
  • be a market operator.

Artificial subsidiaries and holding corporations whose activities are confined to owning the controlling level of equity in the group are not recognised as separate institutional units. For statistical purposes these are merged with the parent unit.

Government units

Government units are 'legal entities established by political processes that have legislative, judicial or executive authority over other institutional units within a given area'. (2008 SNA, paragraph 4.117)

The principal functions of government units are:

  • to provide goods and services to individuals or the community at large;
  • to redistribute income and wealth; and
  • to engage in non-market production.

The majority of government units are readily identifiable as their operations are mainly financed from taxation and they redistribute income by means of transfers (e.g. subsidies, grants, welfare payments) or engage in other forms of non-market production, such as the provision of government services (e.g. defence, education, health services, economic advice) free of charge or at nominal prices.

To qualify as a separate legal entity, a government unit must:

  • have funds of its own, raised by taxing other institutional units or received as transfers from other government units;
  • have authority to disburse some, or all, of such funds in the pursuit of its policy objectives; and
  • have authority to borrow funds on its own account.

Units that do not meet all of these criteria are treated as part of a larger government unit, i.e. the collective legal entity comprising all government units included in the public accounts. Included in this collective legal entity are departments and agencies operating from the public accounts of the parent government.

The exception to this rule is where notional institutional units are created from entities which are part of the public accounts. These are usually government entities that do not exist as separate legal entities from the collective parent government unit, but that operate autonomously in the market. To be recognised as a notional institutional unit of government, a unit must:

  • have the same relationship to its owners as a corporation has to its shareholders;
  • have a full set of accounts, including a statement of financial position; and
  • be a market operator.

In practice, notional institutional units of government will only be created where they engage in significant market activity.

Statutory authorities and companies created by legislation or regulation which operate outside the public accounts, along with local government authorities, qualify individually as government units.

In the event of dissolution of units under government control, the assets are returned to the government. As a result, units under government control do not meet the non-distribution criteria set out for NPIs detailed below.

Non-profit institutions (NPIs)

Non-profit institutions (NPIs) are defined as 'legal or social entities created for the purpose of producing goods and services whose status does not permit them to be a source of income, profit or other financial gain for the units that establish, control or finance them'. (2008 SNA, paragraph 4.83).

NPIs must have an enabling instrument which includes a clause that prohibits the NPI from distributing income, profit or other financial gain to its establishing, controlling or financing unit. This includes benefitting from the sale of assets in the event of the dissolution of the unit.

The productive activities of NPIs may generate either surpluses or deficits but any surpluses they make cannot be appropriated by the establishing, controlling or financing institutional unit. For this reason, they are frequently exempted from various kinds of taxes.

The main characteristics of NPIs are they:

  • are created by processes of law that establish the NPI's separate existence from the units that establish, finance, control or manage them;
  • have purpose statements set out in articles of association;
  • are associations with members who have equal voting rights and limited liability with respect to the NPI's operations;
  • cannot distribute profits to members (the term 'non-profit institution' reflects the embargo on distribution of financial gains and is not intended to imply that NPIs cannot make a profit); and
  • are self-governing, with their direction usually vested in a group of officers, an executive committee or a similar body elected by a majority of members.

A unit that is 'self-governing' is in charge of its own destiny. It is able to 'dissolve itself, set and change its by-laws and alter its mission or internal structure without having to secure permission from any other authority than the normal registration officials' (Handbook on Non-profit Institutions in the System of National Accounts 2003, paragraph 2.18).

Households

A household is 'a group of persons who share the same living accommodation, who pool some, or all, of their income and wealth and who consume certain types of goods and services collectively, mainly housing and food'. (2008 SNA, paragraph 4.149)

Individual members of households are not treated as institutional units because many assets are owned (and liabilities incurred) jointly by two or more members of a household. Income can be pooled, and expenditure decisions are often made for the household as a whole. As a result, the household as a whole, including all individual members, is considered to be an institutional unit.

Where an unincorporated enterprise is entirely owned by a household, it is treated as an integral part of that household.

Some members of households engage in market production through unincorporated enterprises such as sole proprietorships, partnerships and trusts.

Partnerships can be comprised of partners belonging to different households.

The liability of the owners of unincorporated businesses is unlimited. As a result, these businesses are treated as household units since all the assets of the household, including the dwelling itself, are at risk if the enterprise goes bankrupt. The institutional unit of each household involved in the partnership therefore represents the individual members of the household as well as the share of the unincorporated partnership owned by each household.

The exception to this rule is where notional institutional units are created from unincorporated enterprises within household units. These are usually unincorporated enterprises that do not exist as separate legal entities from the household institutional unit, but:

  • have the same relationship to their owners as a corporation has to its shareholders;
  • have a full set of accounts, including a statement of financial position;
  • are market operators; and
  • are assessable for income tax purposes as companies.

Examples of the types of unincorporated enterprises recognised as notional institutional units include unincorporated financial enterprises (except for financial auxiliaries); unincorporated partnerships of companies and trading trusts; and all other unincorporated enterprises assessable for income tax purposes as companies.

Key concepts

This chapter provides explanations of the key concepts that underpin the classification of units to institutional sector, Public/Private and Level of Government classifications and the definition of the national economy. They facilitate analysis of sectoral data through the formation of homogeneous categories in these classifications.

See all key concepts

Control

Control is used to delineate the public and private sectors and to identify artificial subsidiaries and holding corporations in groups of corporations.

Control is the ability of one entity (other than a household institutional unit) to determine another entity’s financial and operating policies governing the entity's strategic or long-term directions. A controlled entity is known as a subsidiary. The entity that exercises control is known as the parent.

As outlined in the Corporations Act 2001, an entity may exercise control through:

  • holding majority ownership of shares;
  • holding majority of the voting interest where decisions are not made on a one share: one vote basis;
  • determining the composition of the entity's board; or,
  • being in a position to cast, or control the casting of, the majority of votes that might be cast at a general meeting.

The control exercised by a parent need not necessarily extend to control over the day-to-day operations of the subsidiary. The officers of the subsidiary would normally be expected to manage these in a manner consistent with and in support of its overall objectives. Similarly, it also does not necessarily extend to the direct control over any professional, technical or scientific judgments, as these would normally be viewed as part of the core business of the subsidiary.

Control may be exercised by a government unit over a corporation, other government unit or NPI. Corporations can exercise control over other corporations. NPIs can control corporations.

Corporations

In general, control of a corporation is exercised by the shareholders collectively. A corporation has a board of directors, appointed by the shareholders, that is responsible for the corporation's policy and appoints the senior management of the corporation.

Government units may control a corporation through a variety of mechanisms. In addition to those listed in paragraph 3.4, governments may exercise control of corporations through:

  • appointing the board or its key members through legislative, regulatory or contractual means;
  • appointing key personnel such as the chief executive;
  • controlling key committees;
  • determining corporate policy or programmes through other means such as legislation, regulation, contractual arrangements, golden share arrangements, or loan conditions; or,
  • acting as guarantor or accepting the risk associated with the corporation's activities.

Government regulation of an industry or a group of entities does not in itself indicate control of a unit's corporate policy. Similarly legal entities created by legislation are not necessarily controlled by government. The Australian Government, for example, oversees the Corporations Act 2001 but does not control every entity created under this Act.

Other entities

A trust is a legal arrangement whereby a trustee manages an asset on behalf of the beneficiaries of the trust. This can involve overseeing business activity on behalf of the beneficiaries. The terms of the arrangement are set out in the trust deed.

A trust is controlled in the same manner as a corporation. For example an entity may control the trust through majority ownership of the trust units. The trustee acts in accordance with the trust deed and is not considered to be in control of the trust.

Artificial subsidiaries

An artificial subsidiary is defined as a subsidiary that is wholly owned by a parent entity and is strictly confined to providing services to the parent entity of the subsidiary, or other entities under common control.

Artificial subsidiaries are created to place the parent entity in an advantageous position. They may receive benefits from minimising taxes, minimising liabilities in the event of bankruptcy or to secure other advantages under tax or corporations legislation. Artificial subsidiaries can be the nominal employer of staff who is contracted to other subsidiaries. Typical services provided by artificial subsidiaries to their parents include transport, purchasing, sales, financial services, computing services, communications, security, maintenance and cleaning.

Artificial subsidiaries are not treated as separate institutional units because they are considered to be artificial in nature and an integral part of the parent corporation. They lack the autonomy to operate independently. Artificial subsidiaries are merged into the unit in the group from which they were artificially split.

Holding corporations

A holding corporation owns controlling levels of equity in a group of subsidiary corporations. Broadly speaking there are three types of holding corporations defined by their activities:

  • Holding corporations whose activities are confined to owning the controlling levels of equity;
  • Holding corporations whose principal activity is owning and directing the group; and,
  • Holding corporations whose principal activity is not confined to owning and controlling the group.

Holding corporations whose principal activity is confined to owning the controlling level of equity in the group are not regarded as separate institutional units. They are merged with their largest subsidiary.

Holding corporations whose activity is owning and directing the group are regarded as separate institutional units.

Holding corporations whose activity is not confined to owning and controlling the group are also regarded as separate institutional units.

Market and non-market operators

Market operators are units which respond to market forces. Market operators make decisions about what to produce and how much to produce in response to expected levels of demand and expected costs of supply and are exposed to the risks associated with this production. Market operators adjust supply either with the goal of making a profit in the long run or, at a minimum, covering capital and other costs.

A market operator is identified through a range of attributes. A primary indicator is the expectation of the recovery of a considerable proportion of its production costs through sales income. Other factors, such as consistency across jurisdictions, may also be taken into account when determining whether units are either market or non-market operators.

Non-market operators are not likely to respond to changes in economic conditions in the same way as market operators. Their economic behaviour is influenced by the receipt of material financial support in the form of transfers such as grants and donations.

Australia's economic territory

Australia's economic territory is the area under the effective control of the Australian government. It includes the land area, airspace, territorial waters, including jurisdiction over fishing rights and rights to fuels and minerals. Australia's economic territory also includes territorial enclaves in the rest of the world. These are clearly demarcated areas of land, located in other countries and which are owned or rented by the Australian government for diplomatic, military, scientific or other purposes.

Specifically, the economic territory of Australia consists of:

  • Geographic Australia which includes Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Christmas Island;
  • Norfolk Island;
  • Australian Antarctic Territory;
  • Heard Island and McDonald Islands;
  • Territory of Ashmore Reef and Cartier Island;
  • Coral Sea Islands; and,
  • Australia's territorial enclaves overseas.

Geographic Australia is defined by the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) and is a subset of Australia's economic territory.

The Joint Petroleum Development Area (JPDA) is considered joint territory between Australia and East Timor.

Residence

Residence is used to define resident institutional units and to ultimately distinguish between Australia's national economy and the rest of the world. This concept underpins Australia's National Accounts and Balance of Payments statistics.

A unit's economic activity should be attributed to only one country based on residence. The residence of each institutional unit is the economic territory with which it has the strongest connection - its centre of predominant economic interest. An institutional unit can only be a resident of one economic territory.

If a unit has operated (or intends to operate) in Australia for one year or more, it is regarded as having a centre of economic interest in Australia.

The ownership of land and structures within the economic territory of Australia is deemed sufficient justification to record a centre of economic interest in Australia on the grounds that the property can be used for production. Where production activities are undertaken, a resident institutional unit (an Australian subsidiary or an Australian Branch) is recognised.

Where a non-resident owner does not have any economic interest other than ownership of the land and structures, ownership of this land and structures is treated as having been transferred to a notional resident institutional unit in Australia.

A special treatment concerns units using mobile equipment, such as ships, aircraft, drilling rigs and platforms, outside the economic territory in which the units are resident. Generally the operations are considered to be resident of the economic territory where they are undertaken and a resident institutional unit is recognised in that economic territory. There are two exceptions:

  • Operations in international waters or airspace which are attributed to the economy of residence of the operator; and,
  • Tax and licensing authorities in the economic territory do not recognise the operator as resident.

Unincorporated enterprises (other than notional institutional units) are not separate institutional units from their owners and, therefore have the same residence as their owners.

A household is considered to have a centre of economic interest in Australia when it maintains a dwelling in Australia that household members use as their principal residence. Generally, when a household member leaves to live in another country for a period of a year or more, the member is no longer treated as part of that household except where the individuals:

  • Maintain their principal residence in Australia;
  • Return regularly to their main household in Australia;
  • Study abroad; or,
  • Receive medical treatment abroad.

Technical assistance personnel on long-term assignments are treated as residents of the country in which they work.

The following categories of persons are also treated as residents:

  • Non-diplomatic staff of international agencies located in Australia who intend to stay more than 12 months;
  • The Australian recruited staff of foreign embassies, consulates, military bases, etc. in Australia; and,
  • Australian crews of ships, aircraft, or other mobile equipment operating partly, or wholly, outside the economic territory.

International organisations such as the United Nations and its agencies and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), are not considered to be residents of any national economy, including those in which they are located or conduct their affairs. They are treated as non-residents by all economies. However, persons working for these organisations are treated as residents of the economies in which they live.

An elaboration of the concept of residence can be found in Balance of Payments and International Investment Position, Australia, Concepts, Sources and Methods, 1998 (cat. no. 5331.0).

Classification of units
Temporary changes in control or function

The structure and intent of businesses can sometimes change over time such that the classification of a unit can be affected. This can occur for many reasons, including changes to legislation, business restructuring, subsidisation levels and the privatisation of public entities. These changes could theoretically result in a change to the sector classifications applied to the unit.

Temporary fluctuations based on minor shifts in control or function should not be reflected in the unit's sector classification. Resistance factors are applied which reduce 'flipping' of units between classes from year to year. This ensures that any changes in classification reflect relatively permanent changes in the function of the business.

Any change to the control or function of a unit must be in place for a minimum of two years before sectoral classification changes can be applied. For example, any relatively minor changes to the level of subsidisation a unit receives which puts it above or below the chosen market cost recovery threshold must remain in place for a minimum of two years before sectoral classification changes can be applied.

Consistency across jurisdictions

Certain types of government units perform the same economic functions but receive different levels of government financial support and risk. Strict application of the rules to each unit might result in a minority of units falling into a different sector. Where uniform classification is regarded as an overriding consideration, the same classification is applied to each government unit of the same type across different jurisdictions. The treatment of each type is explicitly stated within the relevant class within SESCA. These can be identified by references in the includes and excludes.

Standard Institutional Sector Classification of Australia (SISCA)

Introduction

The Standard Institutional Sector Classification of Australia (SISCA) provides a framework for dividing the Australian economy into institutional sectors. These sectors group units which have similar economic functions and share similar structural characteristics. This framework allows for the consistent collection, analysis and dissemination of sector information. The SISCA is the most widely adopted classification among the classifications covered in this publication.

SISCA numbering system

The numbering system adopted in the SISCA has a hierarchical structure, where a 1-digit numeric code denotes the sector, a 2-digit code denotes the subsector, a 3-digit code denotes the group, and a 4-digit code denotes the class. For example:

Level classification category

Hierarchial levelInstitutional unit
Sector 22 Financial Corporations
Subsector 2121 Financial Intermediaries
Group 214214 Financial Investment Funds
Class 21412141 Money Market Funds

In the example above, the 'Financial Corporations' Sector is represented by the numeric code 2. The 'Financial Intermediaries' Subsector is represented by code 21. The 'Financial Investment Funds' Group is represented by code 214, and the 'Money Market Funds' Class is represented by code 2141. 

If there is only one subsector within a sector, the 2-digit code is the 1-digit sector code followed by a zero. For example:

3 General Government

  • 30 General Government

If there is more than one subsector within a sector, the subsector codes are created using the 1-digit sector code followed by numbers starting with one. For example:

2 Financial Corporations

  • 21 Financial Intermediaries
  • 22 Financial Auxiliaries
  • 23 Captive Financial Institutions and Money Lenders

The same convention applies to groups and classes. For example:

2 Financial Corporations

  • 21 Financial Intermediaries
    • 211 Reserve Bank of Australia
      • 2110 Reserve Bank of Australia
    • 213 Pension Funds and Insurance Corporations
      • 2131 Pension Funds
      • 2132 Life Insurance Corporations
      • 2133 Non-Life Insurance Corporations

Where there is an 'other' group or class, the number nine is used. These categories include units belonging to the sector, but they may be diverse in nature or may not be sufficiently significant to justify separate groups or classes in their own right. For the purposes of the classification, they are grouped together and treated as separate categories to retain the homogeneity of the other categories within the classification. For example:

2 Financial Corporations

  • 21 Financial Intermediaries
    • 212 Depository Corporations
      • 2121 Banks
      • 2129 Other Depository Corporations
         

SISCA sector, subsector, group and class codes and titles

1 Non-financial corporations

  • 10 Non-Financial corporations
    • 100 Non-Financial Corporations
      • 1001 Non-Financial Investment Funds
      • 1009 Other Non-Financial Corporations

2 Financial corporations

  • 21 Financial Intermediaries
    • 211 Reserve Bank of Australia
      • 2110 Reserve Bank of Australia
    • 212 Depository Corporations
      • 2121 Banks
      • 2129 Other Depository Corporations
    • 213 Superannuation Funds and Insurance Corporations
      • 2131 Superannuation Funds
      • 2132 Life Insurance Corporations
      • 2133 Non-Life Insurance Corporations
    • 214 Financial Investment Funds
      • 2141 Money Market Funds
      • 2142 Non-Money Market Financial Investment Funds
    • 219 Securitisers and Other Financial Intermediaries
      • 2191 Securitisers
      • 2199 Other Financial Intermediaries
  • 22 Financial Auxiliaries
    • 220 Financial Auxiliaries
      • 2200 Financial Auxiliaries
  • 23 Captive Financial Institutions and Money Lenders
    • 230 Captive Financial Institutions and Money Lenders
      • 2301 Central Borrowing Authorities
      • 2309 Money Lenders and Other Captive Financial Institutions

3 General government

  • 30 General Government
    • 300 General Government
      • 3000 General Government

4 Households

  • 40 Households
    • 400 Households
      • 4000 Households

5 Non-profit institutions serving households

  • 50 Non-profit Institutions Serving Households
    • 500 Non-profit Institutions Serving Households
      • 5000 Non-profit Institutions Serving Households

6 Rest of the world

  • 60 Rest of the World
    • 600 Rest of the World
      • 6000 Rest of the World

 

A table showing correspondences between the 2008 SNA institutional sector classification and SISCA 2008 can be found in the Data downloads section. The remainder of this chapter discusses the composition of each of the SISCA sectors and subsectors.

The resident economy consists of SISCA Sectors 1 to 5 inclusive.

Sector 1 – Non-financial corporations

This sector consists of all resident corporations and notional institutional units mainly engaged in the production of market goods and/or non-financial services and holding companies with mainly non-financial corporations as subsidiaries. Also included are NPIs that mainly engage in market production of goods and non-financial services, and investment funds investing in predominantly non-financial assets such as infrastructure and property.

Subsector 10 - Non-financial corporations

Group 100 – Non-financial corporations

Class 1001 - Non-financial investment funds

This class consists of all non-financial investment funds. These are collective investment schemes, operated through trusts and corporations. They raise funds by issuing shares and/or units to the public, either via a prospectus or a distribution channel such as a platform. Investors are able to dispose of their holdings through well-developed secondary markets such as a stock exchange or through readily accessible redemption facilities. The investment funds pool and directly invest in predominantly long-term non-financial assets such as property or infrastructure.

Investment fund shares or units are generally not close substitutes for deposits.

Includes

  • Infrastructure funds investing in resident assets (e.g. airports, pipelines, roads)
  • Listed and unlisted infrastructure trusts investing in resident assets
  • Listed and unlisted property trusts investing in resident assets

Exclusions/References

  • Film funds are included in Class 1009 Other Non-Financial Corporations
  • Non-financial investment syndicates which are not open to public subscription are included in Class 1009 Other Non-Financial Corporations
  • Agricultural investment funds are included in Class 1009 Other Non-Financial Corporations
  • Funds predominantly investing in financial assets are included in the relevant classes within Group 214 Financial Investment Funds
  • Funds with overseas property investments are included in Class 2142 Non-Money Market Financial Investment Funds
     

Class 1009 - Other non-financial corporations

This class consists of all non-financial corporations mainly engaged in the production of market goods and/or non-financial services, other than non-financial investment funds.

Includes

  • Agricultural investment funds (including pine tree, olive, flower or fish farming investment funds)
  • Branches of non-resident enterprises providing non-financial goods and services
  • Film funds
  • Holding companies with mainly non-financial corporations as subsidiaries
  • Non-financial investment syndicates which are not open to public subscription
  • Non-profit institutions which provide market non-financial goods and services
  • Public non-financial corporations

Exclusions/References

  • Publicly listed property trusts are included in Class 1001 Non-Financial Investment Funds
  • Government owned corporations and notional institutional units which are non-market operators are included in Class 3000 General Government

Sector 2 - Financial corporations

This sector consists of all resident corporations and notional institutional units mainly engaged in financial intermediation and provision of auxiliary financial services. Holding companies with mainly financial corporations as subsidiaries are also included, as are market NPIs that mainly engage in financial intermediation or production of auxiliary financial services.

Subsector 21 - Financial intermediaries

Financial intermediaries are institutional units that engage in financial transactions in open markets by incurring liabilities for the purpose of acquiring financial assets.

Group 211 - Reserve Bank of Australia

Class 2110 - Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA)

This class includes only the RBA, which has responsibility for monetary policy, issuing banknote currency, holding Australia's international reserves, holding reserve deposits and providing banking services to the Commonwealth.

Includes

  • Reserve Bank of Australia

Exclusions/References

  • Finance industry regulators are included in Class 2200 Financial Auxiliaries
     
Group 212 - Depository corporations

Class 2121 - Banks

This class consists of all financial resident financial corporations and notional institutional units which are licensed to operate as banks. They have liabilities in the form of deposits or deposit substitutes such as short term certificates.
Includes

  • Australian branches of overseas banks
  • Australian owned banks
     

Class 2129 - Other depository corporations

This class consists of all approved depository institutions other than those that are categorised as banks. Depository corporations have liabilities in the form of deposits or deposit substitutes such as short term certificates. This class includes depository corporations registered financial corporations (RFCs) and special service corporations but excludes intra-group financiers.

Includes

  • Building societies
  • Credit unions

Exclusions/References

  • Cash management trusts are included in Class 2141 Money Market Funds; and
  • Intra-group financiers are considered to be artificial corporations and are classified along with the parent unit
     
Group 213 – Superannuation funds and insurance corporations

Class 2131 - Superannuation funds

This class consists of all funds that provide retirement benefits for specific groups of people. They own assets and liabilities and undertake financial transactions in the market.

Includes

  • Approved deposit funds (superannuation)
  • Autonomous funds established for the benefit of public sector employees
  • Superannuation funds that are regarded as complying funds for the purposes of the Superannuation Industry Supervision Act
     

Class 2132 - Life insurance corporations

This class consists of all corporations which provide life insurance.

Includes

  • Friendly societies
  • Life insurers

Exclusions/References

  • Life insurance brokers are included in Class 2200 Financial Auxiliaries.
     

Class 2133 - Non-life insurance corporations

This class consists of all corporations that provide insurance cover (other than life insurance), including reinsurance services provided to other insurance corporations.

Includes

  • Accident insurers
  • Consumer credit insurers
  • Discretionary mutual funds providing professional indemnity cover
  • Fire insurers
  • General insurers
  • Health insurers
  • Motor vehicle insurers
  • Owners' liability insurers
  • Reinsurers
  • Third party insurers
  • Travel insurers
  • Workers compensation insurers

Exclusions/References

  • Life insurers are included in Class 2132 Life Insurance Corporations; and
  • Insurance brokers are included in Class 2200 Financial Auxiliaries.
     
Group 214 – Financial investment funds

Class 2141 - Money market funds

This class consists of all money market funds. These are collective investment schemes, such as cash management trusts and cash common funds, that are constituted as legal entities. They raise funds by issuing shares or units to the public, either via a prospectus or a distribution channel such as a platform. The proceeds are invested primarily in money market instruments, money market shares/units, and transferable debt instruments with a residual maturity of less than one year, bank deposits, and instruments that pursue a rate of return that approaches the interest rates of money market instruments.

Money market fund shares or units may be regarded as a close substitute for deposits.

Includes

  • Cash common funds
  • Cash management trusts
  • Money market funds

Exclusions/References

  • Cash management accounts offered by depository corporations are included in Class 2129 Other Depository Corporations.
     

Class 2142 - Non-money market financial investment funds

This class consists of all non-money market investment funds. These are collective investment schemes, operated through trusts or corporations, which are constituted as legal entities. They raise funds by issuing shares or units to the public, either via a prospectus or a distribution channel such as a platform. The proceeds are used to purchase financial assets. The assets are owned by the investment fund, and usually managed by licensed fund managers external to the fund.

Non-money market investment fund shares or units are not close substitutes for deposits.

Investors are able to dispose of their units/shares on a well-developed secondary market such as a stock exchange or through readily accessible redemption facilities.

Includes

  • Funds with predominantly overseas property or infrastructure holdings
  • Listed and unlisted equity trusts investing in resident and non-resident assets
  • Listed and unlisted infrastructure trusts investing in non-resident assets
  • Listed and unlisted non-resident property trusts investing in non-resident assets
  • Listed and unlisted mortgage trusts (unit trusts)
  • Listed investment companies
  • Non-cash common funds

Exclusions/References

  • Investment funds which predominantly invest in Australian non-financial assets are included in Class 1001 Non-Financial Investment Funds
  • Financial investment syndicates which are not open to public subscription are included in Class 2309 Money Lenders and Other Captive Financial Institutions
     
Group 219 - Securitisers and other financial intermediaries

Class 2191 - Securitisers

This class consists of specially created units known as special purpose vehicles (SPVs) which hold pooled assets such as residential mortgages, commercial property loans and credit card debt. These are packaged as collateral backing for bonds or short-term debt securities, referred to as asset backed securities and are then sold to investors.

Includes

  • Securitisers
     

Class 2199 - Other financial intermediaries

This class consists of all financial intermediaries not elsewhere classified. Included in this class are various housing finance schemes established by state governments to assist first home buyers and development funds and depository funds operated by religious institutions.

Includes

  • Commercial financiers
  • Co-operative housing societies
  • Economic development corporations owned by governments
  • Religious institution depository funds
  • Religious institution development funds
  • State government housing schemes
     

Subsector 22 Financial auxitiaries

Group 220 – Financial auxiliaries

Class 2200 - Financial auxiliaries

This class consists of all units providing auxiliary financial services that are closely related to, and designed to facilitate, financial intermediation. Units in this class are not financial intermediaries because they do not incur liabilities.

Includes

  • Actuarial service providers
  • Claim adjusters and assessors
  • Commodity futures brokers or dealers
  • Derivative dealers
  • Finance brokers or consultants
  • Financial regulators not funded through government revenue
  • Flotation companies
  • Fund managers
  • Holding companies with mainly financial corporations as subsidiaries
  • Insurance agency
  • Insurance brokers or consultants
  • Loans brokers or consultants
  • Money changers
  • Securities brokers or consultants
  • Security valuations
  • Share registry
  • Stock brokers or traders
  • Stock exchange
  • Trustees or nominees
  • Units engaged in trading or broking carbon credits

Exclusions/References

  • Financial industry regulators funded through parliamentary appropriations and taxation revenue are included in Class 3000 General Government
     
Subsector 23 - Captive financial institutions and money lenders

Captive financial institutions are characterised by having a balance sheet holding financial assets, usually on behalf of other companies. These institutions are usually legal entities such as corporations, trusts, or partnerships established by their parent unit for a specific and limited purpose. Captives typically have little or no employment or operations and usually do not undertake significant production.

Money lenders are units providing financial services where most of either their assets or liabilities are not transacted on open financial markets. Also included are units which provide financial services exclusively from their own funds, or funds provided by a sponsor, to a range of clients and incur the financial risk of the debtor defaulting.
 

Group 230 - Captive financial institutions and money lenders

Class 2301 - Central Borrowing Authorities (CBAs)

This class consists of all Central Borrowing Authorities (CBAs) established by each state and territory government. CBAs primarily provide finance for public corporations and notional institutional units and other units owned or controlled by the government. They also arrange the investment of surplus funds. CBAs raise funds predominantly by issuing securities. They also engage in other financial intermediation activity for investment purposes, and may participate in the financial management activities of the parent government.

Includes

  • Central borrowing authorities
     

Class 2309 - Money lenders and other captive financial institutions

This class consists of units providing financial services, except CBAs, where most of either their assets or liabilities are not transacted on open financial markets. Also included here are units which provide financial services exclusively from their own funds, or funds provided by a sponsor, to a range of clients and incur the financial risk of the debtor defaulting.

Includes

  • Brass-plate companies
  • Conduits
  • Corporations engaged in lending (e.g. student loans, import/export loans) from funds received from a sponsor such as a government unit on non-profit institution
  • Financial investment syndicates which are not open to public subscription (e.g. mortgage syndicates)
  • Holding companies with predominantly international assets and liabilities
  • Money lenders
  • Pawnshops that predominantly engage in lending
  • Shelf companies
  • Shell companies
  • Venture capital funds which do not meet the investment fund criteria

Sector 3 - General government

Subsector 30 General government

Group 300 – General government

Class 3000 - General government 

This class consists of government units (as defined in 'unit of classification') of the Australian Government, each state and territory government, and all local government authorities. It also includes NPIs controlled by government.

Includes

  • Courts
  • Government departments
  • Governor General's Office
  • Future and Sovereign Wealth Funds
  • NPIs controlled by government

Exclusions/References

  • Government owned corporations and notional institutional units engaged in market production are included in the relevant classes in Sector 1 Non-Financial Corporations or Sector 2 Financial Corporations

Sector 4 - Households

Subsector 40 - Households

Group 400 – Households

Class 4000 - Households

This class consists of all resident households (as defined in 'unit of classification'). Included are all unincorporated enterprises that are owned and controlled by households, other than those which are recognised as notional institutional units.

Includes

  • Households
  • Partnerships
  • Sole proprietors
  • Trusts

Exclusions/References

  • Unincorporated enterprises which qualify as notional institutional units are included in the relevant classes in Sector 1 Non-Financial Corporations and Sector 2 Financial Corporations.

Sector 5 - Non-profit institutions serving households (NPISH)

Subsector 50 - Non-profit institutions serving households (NPISH)

Group 500 – Non-profit institutions serving households (NPISH)

Class 5000 - Non-profit institutions serving households

This class consists of all resident NPIs providing goods and services to households free or at prices that are not economically significant. Included here are NPIs that are mainly financed from household member subscriptions and produce benefits primarily for the household members and NPIs created for philanthropic purposes which are financed mainly from donations or government grants.

Includes

  • Aid agencies
  • Charities
  • Consumers' associations
  • Cultural clubs
  • Learned societies
  • Political parties
  • Recreational clubs
  • Relief agencies
  • Religious institutions
  • Social clubs
  • Sports clubs
  • Trade unions

Exclusions/References

  • Non-profit Institutions engaged in market production are included in the relevant classes in Sector 1 Non-Financial Corporations or Sector 2 Financial Corporations
  • NPIs controlled by government are included in Sector 3 General Government

Sector 6 - Rest of the world (ROW)

Subsector 60 Rest of the world (ROW)

Group 600 – Rest of the world (ROW)

Class 6000 - Rest of the world (ROW)

This class consists of all non-resident units that enter into transactions, or have other economic links, with Australian resident units.

Includes

  • Australian tourists overseas staying greater than 12 months (aside from exceptions outlined in key concepts)
  • Foreign tourists in Australia staying less than 12 months
  • Foreign students

Public/Private classification

Introduction

The Public/Private classification provides a standard for the compilation of statistics that involve dividing the resident economy into broad economic sectors depending on whether or not they are controlled by government.
The Public/Private classification divides the economy into two sectors:

  1. Public (government units and units controlled by government); and
  2. Private (all other units).

For the purposes of the Public/Private classification, government control of corporations is assessed against the criteria outlined in 'Key Concepts'. This does not include government regulation of an industry or group of entities. Similarly entities created by legislation are not necessarily controlled by government. Government authority to determine the general policy of a corporation usually comes from legislation that is specific to the individual corporation over which control is exercised.

Instances can arise in which the public and private sectors share ownership of a corporation. In such cases, the corporation is allocated to the sector that has effective control over the activities and policy of the corporation.

Sector 1 - Public sector

The public sector comprises:

  • All government units as defined in 'Unit of Classification'
  • All institutional units and notional institutional units controlled by government as per the definition of control outlined in 'Key Concepts'

Includes

  • Financial corporations controlled by government
  • Government agencies
  • Government departments
  • Non-financial corporations controlled by government
  • Notional institutional units controlled by government
  • Public financial corporations
  • Public non-financial corporations

Exclusions/References

  • Superannuation funds for public sector employees are included in the Private Sector
Sector 2 Private sector

The private sector comprises all resident units operated by private enterprise, except those controlled by government.

Includes

  • Household institutional units
  • Private corporations
  • Private notional institutional units
  • Superannuation funds for public sector employees
  • Unincorporated enterprises

Exclusions/References

  • Notional institutional units controlled by government are included in the Public Sector
     

Level of government classification

Introduction

The Level of Government classification is a standard for the compilation of statistics that involve dividing the Public sector (as defined in the Public/Private Classification) into the four class of government. These classes represent the administrative and legal arrangements of government in Australia.

Allocating a unit to a Level of Government is undertaken by determining the institutional unit deemed to exercise control (see 'Key Concepts'). While Level of Government classification is consistent with 2008 SNA paragraphs 4.130 and 22.42, several qualifications must be noted:

  • Social Security Funds are separately identified in the alternate structure described in 2008 SNA paragraph 4.129. As no social security funds are considered to exist within Australia, this level is not reflected within SESCA 2008 Version 1.1;
  • While NPIs controlled by government are part of the public sector, these units are not considered material. In practice, most NPIs controlled by government will be treated as government units and therefore classified to the general government sector; and,
  • SESCA 2008 Version 1.1 creates a Control not further defined (n.f.d.) Level of Government to include public sector entities where control is not recognised by any government. This deviation from 2008 SNA paragraph 22.42 is a pragmatic necessity to enable separate identification of public sector entities which are excluded from charts of accounts compiled by state, territory and commonwealth governments and therefore enable reconciliation.

The Level of Government classification divides the Public sector between:

  • Commonwealth;
  • State/Territory;
  • Local; and
  • Control n.f.d.

The National Level of Government is defined as the sum of Classes 1 and 4.

Class 1 - Commonwealth

All public sector units controlled by the Australian Government are classified to the Commonwealth Level of Government.

Includes

  • Government units controlled by the Australian Government
  • Public financial corporations controlled by the Australian Government
  • Public non-financial corporations controlled by the Australian Government
Class 2 - State/territory

All public sector units controlled by state / territory governments are classified to the State / Territory Level of Government. For the purposes of the classification, these governments include:

  • New South Wales Government;
  • Victorian Government;
  • Queensland Government;
  • Western Australian Government;
  • South Australian Government;
  • Tasmanian Government;
  • Northern Territory Government; and
  • Australian Capital Territory Government.

Includes

  • Government units controlled by a state / territory government
  • Public financial corporations controlled by a state / territory government
  • Public non-financial corporations controlled by a state / territory government
Class 3 - Local

All public sector units controlled by a local government are classified to the Local Level of Government. Local government units are usually known as councils and are constituted through Local Government legislation. They are established to govern articulated regions within the state or territory known variously as districts, municipalities, shires, or areas. The power to create or vary these regions usually lies with the Governor General, State Governor or a Commonwealth Minister.

For the purposes of this classification, the local government authorities referenced below also includes Norfolk Island administration, Christmas Island Shire Council and Cocos (Keeling) Islands Shire Council.

Includes

  • Local Government authorities
  • Public financial corporations controlled by a local government authority
  • Public non-financial corporations controlled by a local government authority
Class 4 - Control not further defined

All public sector units where control is not recognised by any government are classified to the Control n.f.d. Level of Government.

Includes

  • Public Universities
     

Jurisdiction classification

Introduction

The Jurisdiction classification is a standard for dividing the State/Territory and Local Levels of Government (see Level of Government Classification) into classes to identify the government which exercises control over a particular institutional unit. This classification is not applied to the Commonwealth Level of Government (as it does not have a state dimension) and the Control nfd Level of Government (since control has not been defined).

The Jurisdiction classification divides state / territory and local Levels of Government between the following nine classes:

  1. New South Wales
  2. Victoria
  3. Queensland
  4. Western Australia
  5. South Australia
  6. Tasmania
  7. Northern Territory
  8. Australian Capital Territory
  9. Other Jurisdiction

Each unit within the Local Level of Government will be allocated to the jurisdiction responsible for the legislation under which their administration is established.

Units controlled by governments outside the first eight jurisdictions such as Christmas Island, Cocos Island and Norfolk Island are classified to Other Jurisdiction.

The institutional units which participate in unincorporated joint ventures are classified to their respective jurisdiction.

Class 1 - New South Wales

This class consists of all units controlled by the government of New South Wales.

Includes

  • General government units controlled by the New South Wales government
  • Public financial corporations controlled by the New South Wales government
  • Public non-financial corporations controlled by the New South Wales government
  • Local governments (and controlled entities) administered under New South Wales Government legislation

Class 2 - Victoria

This class consists of all units controlled by the government of Victoria.

Includes

  • General government units controlled by the Victorian government
  • Public financial corporations controlled by the Victorian government
  • Public non-financial corporations controlled by the Victorian government
  • Local governments (and controlled entities) administered under Victorian government legislation
Class 3 - Queensland

This class consists of all units controlled by the government of Queensland.

Includes

  • General government units controlled by the Queensland government
  • Public financial corporations controlled by the Queensland government
  • Public non-financial corporations controlled by the Queensland government
  • Local governments (and controlled entities) administered under Queensland government legislation
Class 4 - Western Australia

This class consists of all units controlled by the government of Western Australia.

Includes

  • General government units controlled by the Western Australian government
  • Public financial corporations controlled by the Western Australian government
  • Public non-financial corporations controlled by the Western Australian government
  • Local governments (and controlled entities) administered under Western Australian government legislation
Class 5 - South Australia

This class consists of all units controlled by the government of South Australia.

Includes

  • General government units controlled by the South Australian government
  • Public financial corporations controlled by the South Australian government
  • Public non-financial corporations controlled by the South Australian government
  • Local governments (and controlled entities) administered under South Australian government legislation
Class 6 Tasmania

This class consists of all units controlled by the government of Tasmania.

Includes

  • General government units controlled by the Tasmanian government
  • Public financial corporations controlled by the Tasmanian government
  • Public non-financial corporations controlled by the Tasmanian government
  • Local governments (and controlled entities) administered under Tasmanian government legislation
Class 7 - Northern Territory

This class consists of all units controlled by the government of Northern Territory.

Includes

  • General government units controlled by the Northern Territory government
  • Public financial corporations controlled by the Northern Territory government
  • Public non-financial corporations controlled by the Northern Territory government
  • Local governments (and controlled entities) administered under Northern Territory government legislation
Class 8 - Australian Capital Territory

This class consists of all units controlled by the government of the Australian Capital Territory.

Includes

  • General government units controlled by the Australian Capital Territory government
  • Public financial corporations controlled by the Australian Capital Territory government
  • Public non-financial corporations controlled by the Australian Capital Territory government
Class 9 - Other jurisdiction

This class consists of all units not controlled by another resident government

Includes

  • Norfolk Island administration
  • Christmas Island Shire Council
  • Cocos (Keeling) Islands Shire Council.
     

Type of Legal Organisation (TOLO) classification

Introduction

The Type of Legal Organisation (TOLO) classification is used to classify institutional units according to the type of legal organisation that best describes their structure. For the purposes of TOLO, notional institutional units are classified to the same category as their parent institutional unit.

There are three types of legal organisations:

  • Incorporated private sector entities;
  • Unincorporated private sector entities; and
  • Public sector entities.

TOLO is a two level hierarchical classification. The 1-digit numeric code relates to the group level, which provides a broad level breakdown of legal organisations, and the 2-digit code denotes the class, which provides a more detailed breakdown of legal organisations.

1 Incorporated Private Sector Entities

  • 11 Proprietary Companies
  • 12 Public Companies
  • 13 Other Incorporated Entities

2 Unincorporated Private Sector Entities

  • 21 Sole Proprietorship
  • 22 Family Partnerships
  • 23 Other Partnerships
  • 24 Trusts Regarded as Corporations
  • 25 Other Trusts
  • 26 Other Unincorporated Entities

3 Public Sector Entities

  • 31 Government Companies
  • 32 Other Government Entities
  • 33 Foreign Government Entities

A table showing correspondences between the current and previous TOLO classifications is included in data cube (available from the Data downloads section). The remainder of this chapter discusses the composition of each of the TOLO Groups and Classes.

Group 1 – Incorporated private sector entities

This group comprises all private sector entities which have a separate legal identity from their members (i.e. shareholders). They may be incorporated through the Corporations Act or other government legislation.

Class 11 – Proprietary companies

This class consists of entities, incorporated through the Corporations Act, as proprietary companies (defined under section 45A (1) of the Corporations Act 2001). These companies have restrictions on how they may operate, for example they are not permitted to have more than 50 shareholders or offer its shares to the public.

Under the Corporations Act there are two types of proprietary companies: those limited by shares and those with unlimited liability.

Proprietary Limited companies must have at least one non-employee shareholder and must not have more than 50 non-employee shareholders. The liability of shareholders is limited to amounts unpaid on shares held by them. These companies must use Limited at the end of their name and are known as Proprietary Limited companies.

Alternatively, shareholder liability may be unlimited. These companies are known as Proprietary companies and must use Proprietary or Pty at the end of their name.

Includes

  • Proprietary companies
  • Proprietary Limited companies

Exclusions/References

  • Public sector companies are included in Class 31 Government Companies
Class 12 - Public companies

This class consists of entities incorporated through the Corporations Act which are:

  • Limited by shares
  • Limited by guarantee
  • No liability

The liability of shareholders of companies limited by shares is limited to amounts unpaid on their shares. The liability of members of companies limited by guarantee is limited to the amounts that they undertake to contribute in the event of the company being wound up. Many NPIs are incorporated as public companies limited by guarantee.

The activities of 'No liability' companies are restricted to those directly involved in mining and are not entitled to calls on the unpaid price of its shares.

Also included are companies which are incorporated through state or territory legislation that are listed in prescribed financial markets such as the Australian Stock Exchange.

Includes

  • Companies limited by guarantee
  • Companies limited by shares
  • No liability companies

Exclusions/References

  • Government controlled companies are included in Class 31 Government Companies
Class 13 - Other incorporated entities

This class consists of entities which are incorporated through means other than the Corporations Act such as state or territory associations' acts or the Commonwealth's Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006. These entities have a legal identity separate from their members or shareholders.

Also included here are Australian branches of corporations registered overseas.

Includes

  • Associations incorporated through state or territory legislation
  • Australian branches of corporations registered overseas
  • Cooperatives incorporated through state or territory legislation
  • Incorporated Limited partnerships
  • Indigenous corporations
  • Strata title bodies corporate incorporated through state or territory legislation

Exclusions/References

  • Companies created through state or territory legislation that are listed in prescribed financial markets such as the Australian Stock Exchange are included in Class 12 Public Companies

Group 2 – Unincorporated private sector entities

Class 21 - Sole proprietorship

This class consists of single owner entities which do not operate through an incorporated entity. The owner of the business is personally responsible for all business decisions and liabilities.
Includes

  • Sole proprietorships
Class 22 - Family partnerships

This class consists of partnerships formed by members of the same family who enter into a formal agreement to conduct business. As with sole proprietorships the partners are personally responsible for business decisions and liabilities.

Includes

  • Family partnerships
Class 23 - Other partnerships

This class consists of partnerships comprised of individuals who enter into a formal agreement to conduct business. Membership is not confined to members of the same family. The partners may be companies, government departments or individuals. Partners operate under their own names and are responsible for business decisions and liabilities.

Includes

  • Public private partnerships
  • Partnerships not involving family members
  • Partnerships of companies

Exclusions/References

  • Unincorporated joint ventures are not recognised as separate institutional units
Class 24 - Trusts regarded as corporations

This class consists of all trusts which behave as corporations. A trust is a legal arrangement whereby a trustee manages an asset on behalf of the beneficiaries of the trust. This may include overseeing business activity on behalf of the beneficiaries. The terms of the arrangements are set out in the trust deed. Units in this class are all regarded as notional institutional units and are classified to the Corporations sectors in SISCA.

Includes

  • Corporate unit trusts
  • Superannuation funds
  • Trading trusts

Exclusions/References

  • Superannuation accounts not constituted as separate institutional units are not recognised in TOLO.
Class 25 - Other trusts

This class consists of all trusts, other than those regarded as corporations. A trust is a legal arrangement whereby a trustee manages an asset on behalf of the beneficiaries of the trust. The terms of the arrangements are set out in the trust deed.

Includes

  • Family trusts
  • Service trusts
  • Management trusts

Exclusions/References

  • Unit trusts and corporate unit trusts are included in Class 24 Trusts Regarded as Corporations
  • Superannuation funds are included in Class 24 Trusts Regarded as Corporations
Class 26 - Other unincorporated businesses

This class consists of unincorporated entities other than sole proprietors, partnerships and trusts. Examples of other unincorporated entities are sporting or social clubs. Legally these do not have a separate identity from their owners.

Includes

  • Unincorporated associations
  • Unincorporated clubs

Exclusions/References

  • Incorporated associations and clubs are included in Class 13 Other Incorporated Entities
  • Incorporated cooperatives are included in Class 13 Other Incorporated Entities

Group 3 – Public sector entities

Class 31 - Government companies

This class consists of government units (as defined in 'Unit of Classification') which are created as bodies corporate through the Corporations Act in Australia or through other legislation.

Includes

  • Government controlled companies created by legislation
  • Government controlled Corporations Act companies

Exclusions/References

  • Government departments are included in Class 32 Other Government Entities
  • Legislature units are included in Class 32 Other Government Entities
  • Courts are included in Class 32 Other Government Entities
  • Local governments are included in Class 32 Other Government Entities
  • Statutory authorities are included in Class 32 Other Government Entities
  • Marketing boards are included in Class 32 Other Government Entities
Class 32 - Other government entities

This class consists of all government units (as defined in 'Unit of Classification') except those that are created as bodies corporate.

Includes

  • Courts
  • Government departments
  • Legislature
  • Local governments
  • Marketing boards
  • Statutory authorities

Exclusions/References

  • Government controlled Corporations Act companies are included in Class 31 Government Companies; and
  • Government controlled companies created by legislation are included in Class 31 Government Companies.
Class 33 - Foreign government entities

This class consists of foreign government entities which operate in Australia.

Includes

  • Embassies of foreign governments in Australia

Exclusions/References

  • Australian embassies operating overseas are included in Class 32 Other Government Entities.

Data downloads

SESCA Version 1.1 SISCA and SNA Correspondences

Explanatory notes

ABS Business Register and The ABS Units Model (Appendix)

Introduction

The Units Model was reviewed in 2012. The previous version was introduced in 2000 in response to major taxation reforms.

ABS Units Model

The Units Model used by the ABS in determining the structure of businesses is consistent with Australia's Corporations Law and with the definition of institutional units outlined in 2008 System of National Accounts (SNA). The model consists of:

  • The Enterprise Group (EG)
  • one or more Legal Entities (LEs)
  • one or more Type of Activity Units (TAUs)
  • one or more Locations

The EG and LE are institutional units and the TAU and Location are producing units.

The LE and the TAU are the main institutional and producing units used by the ABS to produce statistical outputs. They do not have a universal relationship with each other, e.g. one to one, one to many, many to one. A variety of relationships exist in some of the larger and more complex Australian enterprise groups.

    Diagram 1: Legal Entity (LE) to Type of Activity Unit (TAU) relationship

    Diagram 1: Legal Entity (LE) to Type of Activity Unit (TAU) relationship

    Diagram 1: Legal Entity (LE) to Type of Activity Unit (TAU) relationship

    This diagram illustrates the relationship between Legal Entities and Type of Activity Units.

    Top left sits a "one to one" relationship where one Legal Entity (LE) is connected to one Type of Activity Unit (TAU).
    Below left there is a "one to many" relationship where one Legal Entity (LE) is connected to many Type of Activity Units (TAU).
    On the right is a "many to one" relationship where many Legal Entities (LE) are connected to one Type of Activity Unit (TAU).

    This is a limited departure from the 2008 SNA, which states that there is a hierarchical relationship between institutional and producing units. In the 2008 SNA the enterprise (the producing view of an individual institutional unit) can be partitioned into one or more establishments. The 2008 SNA statement is true at the EG level, but not necessarily at the LE level.

    Diagram 2 illustrates the nature of the relationships between the unit types in the model. The LE is represented by the ABN in the diagram, as they are usually the same.

      Diagram 2: ABS Units Model

      Diagram 2: ABS Units Model

      Diagram 2: ABS Units Model

      This diagram is a flow chart that illustrates the nature of relationships between unit types in the model.

      At the top of the chart sits a box labeled 'Enterprise Group (EG'), this then splits into five Legal Entity (LE) boxes.
      Starting from the left, the first Legal Entity box splits into two Type of Activity Unit boxes, the first of which flows into three boxes labeled "location" and the second flows into only one.
      The next three Legal Entity boxes flow into a singular Type of Activity Unit box which then flows into three location boxes.
      The final Legal Entity box flows into a singular Type of Activity Unit which then flows into two location boxes.
      Unit definitions

      The Legal Entity (LE) statistical unit is defined as a unit covering all the operations in Australia of an entity which possesses some or all of the rights and obligations of individual persons or corporations, or which behaves as such in respect of those matters of concern for economic statistics. Examples of legal entities include companies, partnerships, trusts, sole (business) proprietorships, government departments and statutory authorities. Legal entities are institutional units.

      The Enterprise Group (EG) is an institutional unit covering all the operations within Australia's economic territory of legal entities under common control. Control is defined in Corporations legislation. Majority ownership is not required for control to be exercised.

      The Type of Activity Unit (TAU) is a producing unit comprising one or more legal entities, sub-entities or branches of a legal entity that can report productive and employment activities via a minimum set of data items. Only a small number of data items are required to be available on a quarterly basis. The data items are:

      • Total capital expenditure;
      • Income from the sale of goods and services;
      • Wages and salaries;
      • Total inventories; and,
      • Total purchases and selected expenses.

      A TAU can also be formed in situations where only some data items are available directly from accounts and good quality estimates can be provided.

      The activity of the unit should be as homogeneous as possible. If accounts sufficient to approximate Industry Value Added (IVA) are available at the ANZSIC Subdivision level, a TAU will be formed.

      Ideally, all TAUs are constructed so that two-digit ANZSIC (Subdivision) homogeneity is observed. This ensures that good quality industry estimates can be calculated by the ABS at that level. However, not all businesses are able to supply a complete set of accounts for every ANZSIC Subdivision in which they have activity.

      Where a business cannot supply adequate data to form a TAU for an individual ANZSIC Subdivision, a TAU will be formed which contains activity in two or more ANZSIC Subdivisions.

      A Location is a single, unbroken physical area, occupied by an organisation, at which or from which, the organisation is engaged in productive activity on a relatively permanent basis, or at which the organisation is undertaking capital expenditure with the intention of commencing productive activity on a relatively permanent basis at some time in the future.

      The exception is the agricultural location unit (farm unit) where land parcels are operated as a single property and are treated as a single location.The TAU may be subdivided into TAU-state units which cover production in each state of operation. TAU-state units are synthesised for the Labour Statistics collections. They are derived statistical units and inherit the attributes of the TAU statistical units.

      Ancillary units

      A business unit's productive activity is described as ‘ancillary’ when its sole function is to provide common types of services for intermediate consumption within the same enterprise group. These are typically services likely to be needed in most enterprise groups, whatever their principal activities. Examples are: transportation, purchasing, sales and marketing, various financial or business services, personnel, computing and communications, security, maintenance and cleaning.

      Classification of units

      Various classifications are applied to the units in the ABS Units Model. The main classifications applied are:

      • ANZSIC for industry
      • Type of Legal Organisation (TOLO)
      • Type of Business Entity (TOBE) for the type of entity
      • Standard Institutional Sector Classification of Australia (SISCA) for institutional sector and the public / private flag.

      ANZSIC is used to classify the industry in which the TAU has productive activity. Each unit is assigned a four digit (class level) ANZSIC code which reflects the predominant industry of the TAU's economic activity. ANZSIC can be found at ABS catalogue number 1292.0.

      SISCA provides a framework for dividing the Australian economy into institutional sectors. These sectors group Legal Entities which have similar economic functions and share similar structural characteristics.

      Statistical collections

      The ABS uses the TAU unit as the statistical unit for industry and some other economic statistics collections. For some activity and labour collections, the ABS uses sub-TAU units e.g. farm units, TAU State units.

      ABS business register

      The ABS uses the Australian Business Register (ABR) as its primary source to identify new registrants and this information flows through to the ABS Business Register. The ABS Business Register provides the register or frame for the various business surveys run by the ABS.

      Organisations are included on the ABR when they register for an Australian Business Number (ABN). The Commonwealth Government requires all government departments and agencies to make use of the ABR to reduce government imposed reporting load , and to use the ABN as the primary reference number for all dealings between government and business.

      Two populations

      The ABS is unable to actively apply the Units Model to all ABN registrants. Enterprise groups which are considered sufficiently complex and significant are profiled to create units according to the Units Model. These groups are known as the Profiled Population.

      The remainder of ABN registrants are assumed to have simple structures. They are regarded as single legal entity, single enterprise group and single TAU units. These units are known as the Non-Profiled population.

      The two populations are mutually exclusive and cover all organisations in Australia which have registered for an ABN.

      Glossary

      Australian Business Number (ABN)

      A unique business entity identifier used by businesses in their dealings with the Australian government.

      ABS business register

      A list of all Australian businesses and other organisations which contains identifying and classificatory data.

      Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC)

      The Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) has been jointly developed by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and Statistics New Zealand (Statistics NZ). An industrial classification is one way to organise data about business units. It provides a standard framework under which business units carrying out similar productive activities can be grouped together, with each resultant group referred to as an industry.

      Artificial subsidiary

      A subsidiary corporation with productive activities strictly confined to providing services to its parent corporation or other corporations in the same enterprise group. They are not treated as separate institutional units for statistical purposes.

      Australian Business Register (ABR)

      The list of entities registered for an ABN with the Australian Business Registrar. This list is maintained by the Registrar and is accessible to other government agencies and to businesses.

      Centre of economic interest

      An institutional unit has a centre of economic interest in Australia if it owns and/or operates a place of production within Australia's economic territory, or intends to operate for a year or more.

      Control

      The ability of one entity to determine another entity's financial and operating policies which relate particularly to the entity's strategic or long-term directions.

      Corporation

      A legal entity, created for the purpose of producing goods and services for the market, that may be a source of profit or other financial gain to its owner(s). It is collectively owned by shareholders who have the authority to appoint directors responsible for its general management.

      Economic territory of Australia

      The geographic area under the effective control of the Australian Government. It includes the land area, airspace, territorial waters, and the continental shelf lying in international waters for which Australia has jurisdiction. It includes Norfolk Island, the Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Christmas Island, and Australian embassies, consulates, military bases and similar enclaves located in other countries.

      Enterprise group

      A statistical unit covering all the operations in Australia of legal entities under common control.

      Financial corporation

      A corporation or notional institutional unit that is mainly engaged in financial intermediation or the provision of auxiliary financial services.

      Government units

      Legal entities established by political processes that have legislative, judicial or executive authority over other institutional units in a given area. They are financed mainly from taxation or government transfers and are principally involved in the provision of goods and services free of charge or at economically insignificant prices.

      Household

      A group of persons who share the same living accommodation, who pool some, or all, of their income and wealth and who consume certain types of goods and services collectively, mainly housing and food.

      Household unincorporated enterprise

      An unincorporated enterprise that is owned by members of a household and is therefore included as part of the household.

      Institutional unit

      The basic statistical unit that is classifiable by sector. It is defined as an economic entity that is capable, in its own right, of owning assets, incurring liabilities and engaging in economic activities and transactions with other entities.

      Legal entity

      The statistical unit which:

      1. is classified to institutional sector;
      2. is the ABS unit closest in concept to the SNA08 institutional unit, and;
      3. is defined as a unit covering all the operations in Australia of an entity that possesses some or all of the rights and obligations of individual persons or corporations; or that behaves as such, in respect of those matters of concern for economic statistics.
      Location

      A single unbroken physical area occupied by an organisation at which, or from which, the organisation is engaged in productive activity on a relatively permanent basis. A location also exists where the organisation is undertaking capital expenditure with the intention of commencing productive activity on a relatively permanent basis at some time in the future.

      Market operator

      An entity which produces goods or services for the market which are sold at economically significant prices aimed at making a profit.

      Non-market operator

      An entity which produces goods and services but does not have the primary goal of making profit, increasing market share or influencing market prices or market behaviour. The costs of its economic activities are generally covered by the receipt of material financial support in the form of transfers such as grants and donations.

      Non-profit institution (NPI)

      A legal entity which:

      1. is created for the purpose of producing goods and services, and;
      2. whose articles of association prohibit it from being a source of income, profit or other financial gain to the units that establish, control or finance the legal entity.
      Non-profit institutions serving households (NPISH)

      Non-profit institutions which are not controlled by government and which provide goods or services to households for free or at prices that are not economically significant. Examples include churches and religious societies, sports and other clubs, trade unions and political parties.

      Non-resident unit

      A unit whose centre of economic interest is outside the economic territory of Australia.

      Notional institutional units

      Units which do not exist as separate legal entities from their owners, and therefore are not institutional units in their own right, but operate autonomously and keep a full set of accounts.

      Private sector

      The combination of the household sector, the NPISH sector and all resident corporations and quasi-corporations not controlled by the general government sector.

      Producing units

      Statistical units which:

      1. are owned and financed by institutional units;
      2. are so named because they exercise a degree of control over production activities, and;
      3. comprise type of activity based units.
      Public sector

      The combination of the general government sector, and all resident corporations and quasi-corporations controlled by the general government sector.

      Quasi-corporation

      A notional institutional unit which engages in market production.

      Resident unit

      An institutional unit that has a centre of economic interest within the economic territory of Australia as evidenced by the location of a place of production.

      Standard Institutional Sector Classification of Australia (SISCA)

      A classification of institutional units which provides a framework for dividing the Australian economy into institutional sectors. These sectors group units which have similar economic functions and structural characteristics.

      Statistical units

      Units about which statistics are tabulated, compiled or published.

      Subsidiary corporation

      A legal entity controlled by a parent legal entity.

      Type of activity unit (TAU)

      A producing unit comprising one or more business entities, sub-entities or branches of a business entity that can report production and employment activities.

      Type of Legal Organisation (TOLO)

      The Type of Legal Organisation (TOLO) classification is used to classify institutional units according to the type of legal organisation that best describes their structure.

      Abbreviations

      ABNAustralian Business Number 
      ABRAustralian Business Register 
      ABSAustralian Bureau of Statistics 
      APRAAustralian Prudential Regulation Authority 
      ASNAAustralian System of National Accounts 
      ATOAustralian Taxation Office 
      BOPBalance of Payments 
      CBAsCentral Borrowing Authorities 
      GFSGovernment Finance Statistics 
      IIPInternational Investment Position 
      IMFInternational Monetary Fund 
      LOGLevel of government 
      NPIsNon-profit institutions 
      NPISHNon-profit institutions serving households 
      RBAReserve Bank of Australia 
      SESCAStandard Economic Sector Classifications of Australia 
      SISCAStandard Institutional Sector Classification of Australia 
      TAUType of activity unit 
      TOLOType of Legal Organisation 

      Previous catalogue number

      This release previously used catalogue number 1218.0