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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')

  2018 Appropriations
  Appropriation Act Adjustments to appropriation      
  Annual Appropriation 1 PGPA Act
Section 74
PGPA Act
Section 75 2
Total appropriation Appropriation applied in 2018 (current and prior years) Variance 3
  $'000 $'000 $'000 $'000 $'000 $'000
DEPARTMENTAL            
Ordinary annual services            
Capital budget 4 211,909 31,622 (23,667) 219,864 207,390 12,474
Other services 22,212 (11,056) 11,156 11,548 (392)
Equity 18,847 (1,124) 17,723 9,134 8,589
Total departmental 252,968 31,622 (35,847) 248,743 228,072 20,671
ADMINISTERED            
Ordinary annual services            
Administered items 437,547 20,554 (35,439) 422,661 387,660 35,001
Capital budget4 867 (851) 16 16
Payments to corporate Commonwealth entities 14,439 14,439 14,439
Other services            
States, ACT, NT and Local Governments 3,214 - (1,969) 1,246 1,916 (670)
Administered assets and liabilities 7,446 - 7,446 2,841 4,605
Total administered 463,513 20,554 (38,259) 445,808 406,872 38,936

Notes:

1 In 2017-18, departmental appropriations of $6.420m were withheld (Section 51 of the PGPA Act) in accordance with budget measures taken by the Government. In 2017-18, $1.336m of 2017-18 administered appropriations and $2.144m of 2016-17 administered appropriations were withheld (Section 51 of the PGPA Act) in accordance with budget measures taken by the Government.

2 In accordance with the Administrative Arrangements Orders of 20 December 2017 and 10 May 2018, national security, commonwealth emergency management, natural disaster relief and Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment programs and functions were transferred to the Department of Home Affairs.

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 and 3). They form part of ordinary annual services, and are not separately identified in the Appropriation Acts.

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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.
2017 Appropriations
Appropriation Act Adjustments to appropriation      
Annual Appropriation 1 PGPA Act
Section 74
PGPA Act
Section 75
Total appropriation

Appropriation applied in 2017 (current and prior years)

Variance2
$'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 608,271 2,758 - 611,029 557,810 53,219
Capital budget3 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. 1,3,5). They form part of ordinary annual services, and are not separately identified in the Appropriation Acts.

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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;
  • Department of Industry, Innovation and Science; and
  • Department of Social Services.

3.1B: Unspent annual appropriations ('recoverable GST exclusive')

Authority 2018
$'000
2017
$'000
2016/17 Supply Act 1 29 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 8,491 37,973
2016/17 Appropriation Act 1 - Cash at Bank 1,944
2016/17 Appropriation Act 1 - Capital Budget (DCB) - Non Operating 454 7,393
2016/17 Appropriation Act 2 - Non Operating - Equity Injection Non Operating 2,131
2016/17 Appropriation Act 3 8,538 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
2017/18 Appropriation Act 1 15,147
2017/18 Appropriation Act 1 - Cash at Bank 1,862
2017/18 Appropriation Act 1 - Capital Budget (DCB) - Non Operating 6,321
2017/18 Appropriation Act 2 - Non Operating - Equity Injection Non Operating 1,681
2017/18 Appropriation Act 3 2,957
2017/18 Appropriation Act 3 - Capital Budget (DCB) - Non Operating 3,843
2017/18 Appropriation Act 4 - Non Operating - Equity Injection Non Operating 10,464
Total departmental 59,787 63,051

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Authority 2018
$'000
2017
$'000
2014/15 Appropriation Act 1 2,253
2014/15 Appropriation Act 1 - Capital Budget (DCB) - Non Operating 130
2014/15 Act 2 - Non Operating - Administered Assets and Liabilities 6,092
2014/15 Appropriation Act 3 319
2014/15 Act 4 - Non Operating - Administered Assets and Liabilities 12,211
2015/16 Appropriation Act 1 1,063 1,815
2015/16 Appropriation Act 1 - Capital Budget (DCB) - Non Operating 159
2015/16 Act 2 - Non Operating - Administered Assets and Liabilities 3,761 3,761
2015/16 Appropriation Act 2 - Specific Purpose Payment (SPP) 410
2015/16 Appropriation Act 3 1,488 1,704
2015/16 Act 4 - Non Operating - Administered Assets and Liabilities 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 125 199
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 490 801
2016/17 Appropriation Act 2 - Specific Purpose Payment (SPP) 1,630
2016/17 Appropriation Act 3 35,842 61,575
2016/17 Act 4 - Non Operating - Administered Assets and Liabilities 19,338
2017/18 Appropriation Act 1 14,769
2017/18 Act 2 - Non Operating - Administered Assets and Liabilities 105
2017/18 Appropriation Act 3 34,402
2017/18 Act 4 - Non Operating - Administered Assets and Liabilities 4,500
Total administered 96,545 122,436

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3.1C: Special appropriations ('recoverable GST exclusive')

Authority Type Purpose Appropriation Applied
2018
$'000

2017
$'000
High Court Justices (Long LeavePayments) 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. 451 432
Social Security (Administration) Act 1999 1 Unlimited To enable the payment of income support payments. All transactions under this Act are recognised as Administered items. 2,798 25,995
Public Governance, Performance andAccountability Act 2013 Refund To provide for payments under Section 77 of the PGPA Act. All transactions under this Act are recognised as Administered items. 20

8

Total special appropriation applied     3,269 26,872

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Other Special Appropriations that had nil balances at the end of the 2017-18 financial year and for which there were no transactions debited or credited to them during the 2017-18 financial year are:

  • Native Title Act 1993 Purpose: Payment of successful Native Title compensation claims;
  • Native Title Amendment (Indigenous Land Use Agreements) Act 2017, Schedule 1 s.13(3): 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; and
  • 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 Department of Finance Parliamentary Business Resources Act 2017 – Legal assistance to ministers
  2018 $'000 $'000 $'000
Total receipts   4,102 495 595
Total payments   4,101 508 619
         
         
    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 Department of Finance Parliamentary Business Resources Act 2017 – Legal assistance to ministers
  2017 $'000 $'000 $'000
Total receipts   3,902 464
Total payments   3,902 370

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3.2: Special and client funds accounts1

  Services for Other Entities and Trust Money - Attorney- General's Department Special Account 2 Australian Government Solicitor Operational Special Account 2015 3
2018
$'000
2017
$'000
2018
$'000
2017
$'000
Balance brought forward from previous 16,386 20,731 41,619 29,721
Increases        
Receipts 2,575 7,133 192,183 179,890
Total increases 2,575 7,133 192,183 179,890
Available for payments 18,961 27,864 233,802 209,611
Decreases        
Departmental        
Payments made: suppliers (180,113) (167,992)
Total departmental (180,113) (167,992)
         
Administered        
Payments made: suppliers (10,256) (11,478)
Total administered (10,256) (11,478)
Total decreases (10,256) (11,478) (180,113) (167,992)
Total balance carried to the next period 8,705 16,386 53,689 41,619
         
Balance represented by:        
Cash held in departmental bank accounts 2,403 4,333
Cash held in the Official Public Account 8,705 16,386 51,286 37,286
Total balance carried to the next period 8,705 16,386 53,689 41,619

1In accordance with the Administrative Arrangements Orders of 20 December 2017 and 10 May 2018, national security, commonwealth emergency management, natural disaster relief and Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment programs and functions were transferred to the Department of Home Affairs.

2Appropriation: 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:

  1. to disburse amounts held on trust or otherwise for the benefit of a person other than the Commonwealth;
  2. to disburse amounts in connection with services performed on behalf of other governments and bodies that are not non corporate Commonwealth entities;
  3. to repay amounts where an Act or other law requires or permits the repayment of an amount received; and
  4. 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.

3Appropriation: 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:

  1. to pay for costs, expenses and other obligations incurred in relation to the provision of services by the AGS and AGS lawyers to clients;
  2. 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;
  3. to pay for expenses that are incidental to administering the special account; and
  4. 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 and AGS operational bank accounts.

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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 2017-18 financial year by both AGD and DHS identified the following:

  • In 2017-18 207 (2017: 20) potential non-compliant prior years payments totalling $211,113 (2017: $23,881) were identified; and
  • No payments made in 2017-18 (2017: 96) are currently under investigation. In accordance with the Administrative Arrangements Order of 20 December 2017, natural disaster relief and Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment programs and functions were transferred to the Department of Home Affairs.

Australian Government Solicitor Client Funds Special Account

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.

  2018
$'000
2017
$'000
Australian Government Solicitor Client Funds Special Account    
Balance brought forward from previous period 29,860 20,208
Add receipts 538,476 275,789
Available for payments 568,336 295,997
     
Less payments 547,100 266,137
Total balance carried to the next period 21,236 29,860

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3.3: Regulatory charging summary1

  2018
$'000
2017
$'000
Amounts applied    
Departmental    
Annual appropriation 6,896 10,043
Total amounts applied 6,896 10,043
     
Expenses    
Departmental 6,749 10,258
Total expenses 6,749 10,258
     
External revenue    
Departmental 8,427 12,469
Administered 2,623 2,523
Total external revenue 11,050 14,992

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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 regulates 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:

1In accordance with the Administrative Arrangements Orders of 20 December 2017 and 10 May 2018, national security, commonwealth emergency management, natural disaster relief and Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment programs and functions were transferred to the Department of Home Affairs.

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