5519.0.55.001 - Government Finance Statistics, Australia, March Quarter 2016 Quality Declaration
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 31/05/2016
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MARCH QUARTER 2016 KEY FIGURES: ALL LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT
In the March quarter 2016:
GFS KEY FIGURES: ALL LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT, ORIGINAL
QUARTERLY NATIONAL ACCOUNTS PUBLIC SECTOR MEASURES - KEY FIGURES
The table below includes the key public sector aggregates for the March quarter 2016 which will be included in the Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product (cat. no. 5206.0). The key figures shown include Government Final Consumption Expenditure for general government and Gross Fixed Capital Formation for general government and public corporations, seasonally adjusted in current prices and chain volume terms.
In the March quarter 2016:
QUARTERLY NATIONAL ACCOUNTS PUBLIC SECTOR MEASURES - KEY FIGURES, SEASONALLY ADJUSTED
(a) See paragraph 37 of the Explanatory Notes for the relationship between general government final consumption expenditure and GFS aggregates.
(b) Reference year for chain volume measures is 2013-14.
MARCH QUARTER 2016 GFS RELEASE
This release presents quarterly government finance statistics on an accrual accounting basis. All tables are presented in GFS operating statement format and are for the general government sector, with the exception of Table 2 which presents data for the public non-financial corporations sector.
Detailed quarterly GFS are released for the current financial year only, other than in the September quarter, when the quarters of the previous financial year are presented. Users requiring data for earlier periods should consult the annual publication Government Finance Statistics, Australia (cat. no. 5512.0). The latest issue (2014-15) was released on 26 April 2016. Final annual GFS results for 2015-16 are scheduled for release by the ABS in April 2017.
RELEASE OF QUARTERLY GFS THIS ISSUE
Government Finance Statistics are part of the broader suite of macroeconomic accounts produced by the ABS. They share their basic concepts with the National Accounts and Balance of Payments. The conceptual framework is agreed internationally and published by the International Monetary Fund. Macroeconomic statistics are compiled to enable macroeconomic analysis and the standards may differ from accounting standards in some regards.
TRANSACTIONS RELATED TO RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA DIVIDENDS
During September quarter 2015, the Treasurer determined that a sum of $1.9 billion in Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) earnings available for distribution from 2014-15 was payable as a dividend to the Commonwealth. RBA dividends are recorded in GFS and the National Accounts in the period that the Treasurer makes the determination. This timing is different to the accounting standards used for the Commonwealth Financial Statements where the RBA dividend is recorded in the period that the dividend is earned.
TRANSACTIONS RELATED TO VISA APPLICATION CHARGES
In December 2015, the Commonwealth Government released the 2015-16 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) which included a reclassification of visa application charges (VAC). In MYEFO these charges are now treated as taxation revenue rather than sales of goods and services. This reclassification has been applied to the Government Finance Statistics (GFS), with no impact on total GFS revenue or the GFS net operating balance. The National Accounts statistics will maintain coherence with previously published data and classify this transaction as sales of goods and services. These treatments will remain in place until a review of the treatment of VAC and similar government charges in macroeconomic statistics has been completed. This review is expected to be finalised by the end of 2016.
TRANSACTIONS RELATED TO THE ACT GOVERNMENT ASBESTOS REMOVAL SCHEME
Since March quarter 2015, the ACT Government has undertaken a range of activities to address the health risks associated with properties affected by asbestos. In macroeconomic statistics, transactions for the initial purchase of the properties by the ACT Government from householders have been recorded as expenditure on non-financial assets in the GFS. These transactions do not contribute to the net operating balance on the operating statement; instead they are shown under net acquisition of non-financial assets. This approach in macroeconomic statistics is based on the principle that observed prices are treated as a market price in most circumstances.
The ACT Treasury has applied a different interpretation for the purposes of preparing its financial statements. Under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles used by ACT Treasury, homeowner acquisition transactions may include a transfer component, which would be appropriately recognised as an expense. The ABS acknowledges that a genuine divergence exists for these transactions between GFS and the ACT Government’s consolidated financial statements and that the difference between the sets of statements has arisen through a change in treatment by the ABS.
The release of GFS quarterly data is usually coordinated to be the day before the respective issue of Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product (cat. no. 5206.0). The scheduled release dates for the next two issues are:
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