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Note 3: Funding

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This section identifies the Attorney-General's Department funding structure.

3.1 Appropriations

3.1A: Annual appropriations ('recoverable GST exclusive')
2017 Appropriations
  Appropriation Act PGPA Act
  Annual Appropriation 1 Section 74 Section 75 Total appropriation Appropriation applied in 2017 (current and prior years) Variance 2
  $'000 $'000 $'000 $'000 $'000 $'000
DEPARTMENTAL
Ordinary annual services 199,889 43,476 243,365 230,229 13,136
Capital budget 3 15,773 15,773 12,715 3,058
Other services
Equity 4,731 4,731 1,175 3,556
Total departmental 220,393 43,476 263,869 244,119 19,750
ADMINISTERED
Ordinary annual services
Administered items - Outcome 1 608,271 2,758 611,029 557,810 53,219
Capital budget 3 856 856 46 810
Other services
States, ACT, NT and Local Governments 7,248 7,248 6,162 1,086
Administered assets and liabilities 20,712 20,712 19,265 1,447
Total administered 637,087 2,758 639,845 583,283 56,562

Notes:
1 In 2016-17, departmental appropriations of $0.700m were withheld (Section 51 of the PGPA Act) in accordance with budget measures taken by the Government. No departmental and administered appropriations were quarantined for administrative purposes.
2 The variances reflect drawdowns of prior year appropriation and timing differences between expenses and cash outflows.
3 Departmental and Administered Capital Budgets are appropriated through Appropriation Acts (No. 1 and 3). They form part of ordinary annual services, and are not separately identified in the Appropriation Acts.

The following entities spend money from the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) on behalf of the department:

  • Department of Finance;
  • Department of Human Services;
  • Department of Industry, Innovation and Science; and
  • Department of Social Services.
2016 Appropriations
  Appropriation Act PGPA Act      
  Annual Appropriation 1 Section 74 Section 75 2 Total appropriation Appropriation applied in 2016 (current and prior years) Variance 3
  $'000 $'000 $'000 $'000 $'000 $'000
DEPARTMENTAL
Ordinary annual services 212,022 49,819 (18,008) 243,833 252,356 (8,523)
Capital budget 4 17,522 (989) 16,533 11,557 4,976
Other services
Equity 29,786 29,786 35,256 (5,470)
Total departmental 259,330 49,819 (18,997) 290,152 299,169 (9,017)
ADMINISTERED
Ordinary annual services
Administered items - Outcome 1 502,839 1,911 504,750 441,141 63,609
Administered items - Outcome 2 212,330 35 (122,753) 89,612 89,678 (66)
Capital budget 4 2,497 2,497 3,028 (531)
Payments to corporate Commonwealth entities 409,566 (143,893) 265,673 265,673
Other services
States, ACT, NT and Local Governments 7,248 7,248 3,792 3,456
Administered assets and liabilities 6,949 6,949 931 6,018
Payments to corporate Commonwealth entities 31,177 (6,046) 25,131 25,131
Total administered 1,172,606 1,946 (272,692) 901,860 829,374 72,486

Notes:
1 In 2015-16, departmental appropriations of $2.972m were withheld (Section 51 of the PGPA Act) in accordance with budget measures taken by the Government. Administered appropriation of $2.4m were withheld (Section 51 of the PGPA Act) as a consequence of lapsed appropriations, movement of funds budget measures. $0.747m of departmental appropriations were quarantined for administrative purposes
2 In accordance with the Administrative Arrangement Orders of 21 September 2015, the classifications, Copyright and Arts and Cultural Development programmes and functions were transferred to the Department of communications and the Arts (DOCA) with effect from 1 November 2015.
3 The variances reflect drawdowns of prior year appropriation and timing differences between expenses and cash outflows.
4 Departmental and Administered Capital Budgets are appropriated through Appropriation Acts (No. 1,3,5). They form part of ordinary annual services, and are not separately identified in the Appropriation Acts.

The following entities spend money from the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) on behalf of the department:

  • Australian Financial Security Authority;
  • Department of Finance;
  • Department of Human Services; and
  • Department of Social Services.
3.1B: Unspent annual appropriations ('recoverable GST exclusive')
2017 2016
Authority $'000 $'000
2014/15 Appropriation Act 1 19,978
2015/16 Appropriation Act 1 13,426
2015/16 Appropriation Act 1 - Capital Budget (DCB) - - Non Operating 7,952
2015/16 Appropriation Act 1 – Cash at Bank 3,066
2016/17 Supply Act 1 29
2016/17 Supply Act 1 - Capital Budget (DCB) - - Non Operating 519
2016/17 Supply Act 2 - Non Operating - Equity Injection Non Operating 347
2016/17 Appropriation Act 1  37,973
2016/17 Appropriation Act 1 – Cash at Bank 1,944
2016/17 Appropriation Act 1 - Capital Budget (DCB) - - Non Operating 7,393
2016/17 Appropriation Act 2 - Non Operating - Equity Injection Non Operating 2,131
2016/17 Appropriation Act 3 8,538
2016/17 Appropriation Act 3 - Capital Budget (DCB) - - Non Operating 3,098
2016/17 Appropriation Act 4 - Non Operating - Equity Injection Non Operating 1,078
Total departmental 63,050 44,422


2017 2016
Authority $'000 $'000
ADMINISTERED    
2014/15 Appropriation Act 1 2,253 4,909
2014/15 Appropriation Act 1 - Capital Budget (DCB)  -  - Non Operating 130 176
2014/15 Act 2 - Non Operating - Administered Assets and Liabilities 6,092 24,957
2014/15 Appropriation Act 3 319 319
2014/15 Act 4 - Non Operating - Administered Assets and Liabilities 12,211 12,211
2015/16 Appropriation Act 1 1,815 67,900
2015/16 Appropriation Act 1 - Capital Budget (DCB)  -  - Non Operating 159 159
2015/16 Act 2 - Non Operating - Administered Assets and Liabilities 3,761 3,786
2015/16 Appropriation Act 2 - Specific Purpose Payment (SPP) 410 954
2015/16 Appropriation Act 3 1,704 15,481
2015/16 Act 4 - Non Operating - Administered Assets and Liabilities 985 985
2016/17 Supply Act 1 48
2016/17 Supply Act 1 - Capital Budget (DCB)  -  - Non Operating 357
2016/17 Supply Act 2 - Non Operating - Administered Assets and Liabilities 199
2016/17 Appropriation Act 1 8,150
2016/17 Appropriation Act 1 - Capital Budget (DCB)  -  - Non Operating 499
2016/17 Act 2 - Non Operating - Administered Assets and Liabilities 801
2016/17 Appropriation Act 2 - Specific Purpose Payment (SPP) 1,630
2016/17 Appropriation Act 3 61,575
2016/17 Act 4 - Non Operating - Administered Assets and Liabilities 19,338
Total administered 122,436 131,837


3.1C: Special appropriations ('recoverable GST exclusive')
Appropriation Applied
2017 2016
Authority Type Purpose $'000 $'000
 
High Court Justices (Long Leave Payments) Act 1979 Unlimited To make provisions for long leave payments for Justices of the High Court. 437
Law Officers Act 1964 Unlimited To make payments of pensions and benefits to former Solicitors General.  All transactions under this Act are recognised as Administered items. 432 418
Social Security (Administration) Act 1999 Unlimited To enable the payment of income support payments.  All transactions under this Act are recognised as Administered items. 25,995 22,987
Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 Refund To provide for payments under Section 77 of the PGPA Act.  All transactions under this Act are recognised as Administered items. 8 27
Total special appropriation applied     26,872 23,432

Other Special Appropriations that had nil balances at the end of the 2016-17 financial year and for which there were no transactions debited or credited to them during the 2016-17 financial year are:

  • Native Title Act 1993 Purpose: Payment of successful Native Title compensation claims
  • Family Law Act 1975 Purpose: Salary and Allowances  of Judges
  • Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 Purpose: Salary and Allowances of Judges
  • Federal Circuit Court of Australia Act 1999 Purpose: Salary and Allowances of Judges
  • Judges (Long Leave Payments) Act 1979 Purpose: To make provision for long leave payments for Judges
  • High Court of Australia Act 1979 Purpose: Salary and Allowances of Judges
  • Crimes (Superannuation Benefits) Act 1989 Purpose: Superannuation benefits paid or payable to or in respect of certain persons convicted of corruption offences, and for related purposes
  • Commonwealth Places (Application of Laws) Act 1970 Purpose: Application and administration of laws in places acquired by the Commonwealth for public purposes
3.1D: Disclosure by agent in relation to annual and special appropriations ('recoverable GST exclusive')
Australian Public Service Commission Payments in relation to the Remuneration Tribunal Act 1973 s7(13) Remuneration (including salary) or allowances Department of Finance Parliamentary Entitlements Act 1990 s11, 5 (1)(b) and Parliamentary Entitlements Regulations 1997, Part 3 - Legal assistance to ministers
2017 $'000 $'000
Total receipts 3,902 464
Total payments 3,902 370
 
Australian Public Service Commission Payments in relation to the Remuneration Tribunal Act 1973 s7(13) Remuneration (including salary) or allowances Department of Finance Parliamentary Entitlements Act 1990 s11, 5 (1)(b) and Parliamentary Entitlements Regulations 1997, Part 3 - Legal assistance to ministers
2016 $'000 $'000
Total receipts 3,791 368
Total payments 3,791 301

3.2 Special accounts and client and third party funds 1

Services for Other Entities and Trust Money - Attorney-General's Department Special Account 2 National Cultural Heritage Special Account 3 Art Rental Special Account 4
2017 2016 2017 2016 2017 2016
$'000 $'000 $'000 $'000 $'000 $'000
Balance brought forward from previous period 20,731 14,081 1 780
Increases    
Receipts 7,133 22,474 - 465 1,508
Total increases 7,133 22,474 - 465 1,508
Available for payments 27,864 36,555 466 2,288
Decreases      
Departmental      
Payments made: suppliers (1,366)
Restructuring transfer (922)
Total departmental (2,288)
       
Administered      
Payments made: suppliers (11,478) (15,824)
Restructuring transfer (466)
Total administered 5(11,478) (15,824) (466)
Total decreases (11,478) (15,824) (466) (2,288)
Total balance carried to the next period 16,386 20,731


National Collections Special Account 5 Cultural Special Account 6 Indigenous Repatriation Special Account 7
2017 2016 2017 2016 2017 2016
$'000 $'000 $'000 $'000 $'000 $'000
Balance brought forward from previous period 406 2,272
Increases    
Receipts 196 635
Total increases 196 635
Available for payments 602 2,907
Decreases    
Departmental      
Payments made: suppliers (2) (256)
Restructuring transfer (600) (2,651)
Total departmental (602) (2,907)
       
Administered    
Payments made: suppliers
Restructuring transfer
Total administered
Total decreases (602) (2,907)
Total balance carried to the next period

Australian Government Solicitor Operations Special Account 8
2017 2016
$'000 $'000
Balance brought forward from previous period 25,786
Increases  
Receipts 24,000 96,218
Total increases 24,000 96,218
Available for payments 49,786 96,218
Decreases  
Departmental  
Payments made: suppliers (12,500) (70,432)
Total departmental (12,500) (70,432)
   
Administered  
Payments made: suppliers
Restructuring transfer
Appropriation debited from special account
Total administered
Total decreases (12,500) (70,432)
Total balance carried to the next period 37,286 25,786

1 In accordance with the Administrative Arrangement Orders of 21 September 2015, the Classification, Copyright and Arts and Cultural Development programs and functions were transferred to the Department of Communications and the Arts (DOCA) with effect from 1 November 2015.

2 Appropriation: Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013; section 78.
Establishing Instrument:  Financial Management and Accountability Determination 2011/04.
Purpose: Amounts may be debited from the special account for:
(a) to disburse amounts held on trust or otherwise for the benefit of a person other than the Commonwealth;
(b) to disburse amounts in connection with services performed on behalf of other governments and bodies that are note FMA Act agencies;
(c) to repay amounts where an Act or other law requires or permits the repayment of an amount received; and
(d) to reduce the balance of the Special Account (and, therefore, the available appropriation for the Special Account) without making a real or notional payment.
This account is non-interest bearing and the balance is held in the Official Public Account.

3 Appropriation: Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013; section 80.
Establishing Instrument: Protection of Moveable Cultural Heritage Act 1986 section 25.
Purpose: Amounts standing to the credit of the National Cultural Heritage Account may be expended for the purpose of facilitating the acquisition of the Australian protected objects for display or self keeping.
This account is non-interest bearing and the balance is held in the Official Public Account.

4 Appropriation: Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013; section 78.
Establishing Instrument: Financial Management and Accountability Determination 2006/18.
Purpose: Amounts may be debited from the special account for:
(a) acquire, deaccession, lease, promote, develop, exhibit, lend, conserve and undertake any other activities in relation to managing an art rental collection for the Commonwealth;
(b) activities that are incidental to the purposes mentioned in paragraph (a); and
(c) the repayment of amounts where an Act or other law requires or permits the repayment of an amount received.
This account is non-interest bearing and the balance is held in the Official Public Account.

5 Appropriation: Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013; section 78.
Establishing Instrument: Financial Management and Accountability Determination 2011/18.
Purpose: Amounts may be debited from the special account for:
(a) conducting activities that are approved by the Minister for the Arts and are joint arrangements with one or more State and Territory governments;
(b) incidental activities including the administration of the Special Account and dealing with direct and indirect costs; and
(c) the repayment of amounts where an Act or other law requires or permits the repayment of an amount received.
This account is non-interest bearing and the balance is held in the Official Public Account.

6 Appropriation: Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013; section 78.
Establishing Instrument: Financial Management and Accountability Determination 2005/44.
Purpose: Amounts may be debited from the special account for:
(a) conducting projects, programs and strategies approved by the responsible agency, associated with future directions, needs and priorities of the collection sector;
(b) activities that are incidental to the purposes mentioned in paragraph (a); and
(c) the repayment of amounts where an Act or other law requires or permits the repayment of an amount received.
This account is non-interest bearing and the balance is held in the Official Public Account.

7 Appropriation: Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013; section 78.
Establishing Instrument: Financial Management and Accountability Determination 2011/16.
Purpose: Amounts may be debited from the special account for:
(a) developing and conducting projects, programs and strategies associated with the repatriation of Indigenous ancestral remains and sacred objects;
(b) activities that are incidental to the purposes mentioned in paragraph (a); and
(c) the repayment of amounts where an Act or other law requires or permits the repayment of an amount received.
This account is non-interest bearing and the balance is held in the Official Public Account.

8 Appropriation: Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013; section 78.
Establishing Instrument: Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act Determination 2015/02.
Purpose: Amounts may be debited from the special account:
(a) to pay for costs, expenses and other obligations incurred in relation to the provision of services by the AGS and AGS lawyers to clients;
(b) to pay remuneration and employee entitlements of the AGS, and AGS lawyers and other AGD employees who ordinarily perform work under the supervision or direction of the AGS;
(c) to pay for expenses that are incidental to administering the special account; and
(d) to reduce the balance of the special account (and, therefore, the available appropriation) without making a real or notional payment.
This account is non-interest bearing and the balance is held in the Official Public Account.

Compliance with Statutory Conditions for Payments from the Consolidated Revenue Fund

The Department of Human Services (DHS) provides assessment and payment services on behalf of AGD in disaster-affected locations to claimants assessed as being eligible and who meet the statutory conditions authorising payments to be made under the Social Security Act 1999. The conditions and circumstances under which payments are made may contribute to a circumstance where there is an incorrect payment arising from a mistake of fact.

Both AGD and DHS have an ongoing program designed to detect, and where appropriate, recover any unauthorised payment.  The outcome of work undertaken during the 2016-17 financial year by both AGD and DHS identified the following:

  • In 2016-17 20 (2016: 56) potential non-compliant prior years payments totalling $23,881 (2016: $61,740) were identified; and
  • 96 payments made in 2016-17 (2016: nil) are currently under investigation. While AGD and DHS continue to follow up potential overpayments and seek recovery where applicable, the enactment of the amendments to the Social Security Act 1991 and Social Security (Administration) Act 1999 effected by Financial Framework Legislation Amendment Act (No 2) Act 2013 on 28 May 2013 so that overpayments made in good faith will not give rise to a breach of section 83 of the Constitution.

Client and third party funds

AGS receives money in trust for clients usually pending settlement of client transactions. These moneys are not available for legal practice operating purposes and are not recognised in the financial statements. Typically client funds are held for short periods where a settlement is delayed or title to funds is disputed. By arrangement with our clients interest may be payable to the client or the client’s nominee or on the instructions of a court. AGS does not pay interest to its clients except where an arrangement has been made to do so.

  2017
$'000
2016
$'000
Australian Government Solicitor client and
third part funds accounts
Balance brought forward from previous period 20,208 35,126
Add receipts 275,789 278,497
Available for payments 295,997 313,623
 
Less payments 266,137 293,415
Total balance carried to the next period 29,860 20,208


3.3 Regulatory charging summary

  2017
$'000
2016
$'000
Amounts applied
Departmental
Annual appropriation 10,043 12,522
Total amounts applied 10,043 12,522
 
Expenses
Departmental 10,258 13,500
Total expenses 10,258 13,500
 
External revenue
Departmental 12,469 13,311
Administered 2,523 4,142
Total external revenue 14,992 17,453

Regulatory charging activities:

AusCheck Background Checking Service: coordinates national security background checks and related functions for the aviation, maritime and national health security schemes. The enabling legislation is the AusCheck Act 2007 and the AusCheck Regulations 2007.

Commonwealth Marriage Celebrants Program: supports the availability of services across Australia and regulate marriage celebrant performance to ensure professional, knowledgeable and legally correct services are delivered to marrying couples. The enabling legislation is the Marriage (Celebrant Registration Charge) Act 2014 and the Marriage Amendment (Celebrant Administration and Fees) Act 2014.

Cost Recovery Impact Statements (CRISs) for the above activities are available at:

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