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Appropriation Bill (No. 3) 2013-2014

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2013-2014

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appropriation Bill (No. 3) 2013-2014

 

 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Circulated by the authority of the Minister for Finance,

Senator the Honourable Mathias Cormann)



 

Table of Acronyms and Defined Terms

 

 

AAO

Administrative Arrangements Order

Act (No. 1)

Appropriation Act (No. 1) 2013-2014

AFM

Advance to the Finance Minister

AI Act

Acts Interpretation Act 1901

CAC Act

Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997

CRF

Consolidated Revenue Fund

Finance Minister

Minister for Finance

FMA Act

Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997

FMA Regulations

Financial Management and Accountability Regulations 1997

GST

Goods and Services Tax

LI Act

Legislative Instruments Act 2003

Portfolio Statements

Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements and Portfolio Budget Statements

 





Appropriation Bill (No. 3) 2013-2014

General Outline

1                     This Explanatory Memorandum accompanies Appropriation Bill (No. 3) 2013-2014 (the Bill).

2                     The main purpose of the Bill is to propose appropriations from the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) for the ordinary annual services of the Government in addition to amounts appropriated through the Appropriations Acts that implemented the 2013-2014 Budget of the previous Government.

3                     Appropriations for the ordinary annual services of the Government must be contained in a separate Bill from other appropriations in accordance with sections 53 and 54 of the Australian Constitution (the Constitution). Other annual appropriations that are not for the ordinary annual services of the Government are proposed in Appropriation Bill (No. 4) 2013-2014 and Appropriation (Parliamentary Departments) Bill (No. 2) 2013-2014 . Together these three Bills are termed the Additional Estimates Appropriation Bills.

4                     The Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements are published and tabled in the Parliament in relation to the Bill. This Explanatory Memorandum should be read in conjunction with the various 2013-2014 Portfolio Statements (being the Portfolio Budget Statements that accompanied the 2013-2014 Budget and the Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements) which contain details on the appropriations set out in the Schedules of the Bills.

Structure of appropriations in the Bill

5                     The Bill provides for the appropriation of specified amounts for expenditure by Australian Government entities, primarily being Agencies under the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (FMA Act) plus payments to bodies under the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 (CAC Act).

6                     Part 1 of the Bill deals with definitions, the interpretative role of the Portfolio Statements and the concept of notional payments. Part 2 of the Bill proposes appropriations to make payments of the amounts in Schedule 1 for departmental items (clause 7), administered items (clause 8) and CAC Act body payment items (clause 9). Part 3 of the Bill specifies the ways in which the amounts in Schedule 1 may be adjusted.

7                     Part 4 deals with credits to Special Accounts (clause 14) and provides for amounts to be appropriated as necessary (clause 15). In addition to the adjustment provisions in Part 3, clause 15 of the Bill recognises that the appropriations in the Bill may also be varied by the FMA Act.

Financial Impact

8                The Bill, if enacted, would appropriate the amounts specified in Schedule 1.





 

Statement of compatibility with human rights

1                The Bill seeks to appropriate money for the ordinary annual services of the Government.

2                Accordingly , this Appropriation Bill performs an important constitutional function, by authorising the withdrawal of money from the Consolidated Revenue Fund for the broad purposes identified in the Bill .

3                However, as the High Court has emphasised, beyond this, the Appropriation Acts do not create rights and nor do they, importantly, impose any duties .

4                Given that the legal effect of Appropriation Bills is limited in this way, the Appropriation Bill is not seen as engaging, or otherwise affecting, the rights or freedoms relevant to the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011 .

5                Detailed information on the relevant appropriations, however, is contained in the Portfolio Statements.



 

 



Notes on clauses

Part 1—Preliminary

Clause 1—Short title

1                This clause specifies that the short title of the Bill, once enacted, will be Appropriation Act (No. 3) 2013-2014 .

Clause 2—Commencement

2                Clause 2 provides for the Bill to commence as an Act on the day of the Royal Assent.

Clause 3— Definitions

3                Clause 3 defines the key terms used in the Bill, such as “administered item”, “Agency”, “CAC Act body payment item”, “current year” and “departmental item”.

Clause 4—Portfolio Statements

4                Clause 4 declares that the Portfolio Statements are extrinsic material under paragraph 15AB(2)(g) of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 (AI Act) that may be used to ascertain the meaning of certain provisions in accordance with subsection 15AB(1) of the AI Act. Paragraph 15AB(2) of the AI Act effectively provides that the material that may be considered in the interpretation of a provision of an Act includes any document that is declared by the Act to be a relevant document.

5                The purpose of the Portfolio Statements is to provide information on the proposed allocation of resources to Government outcomes by Agencies within each portfolio. The Portfolio Statements provide information to enable Parliament to understand the purpose of appropriations proposed in the Bill. The term “Portfolio Statements” is defined in the Bill, at clause 3, to mean both the Portfolio Budget Statements (that accompanied the Appropriation Bills tabled at the last Budget) and the Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements (tabled with this Bill).

Clause 5—Notional payments, receipts etc.

6                Clause 5 ensures that payments between Agencies result in a debit from the appropriation for the paying Agency. For example, the payments of the amounts in Schedule 1 from one FMA Act Agency to another do not require, in a constitutional sense, an appropriation, because both Agencies operate within the CRF. However, for reasons of financial discipline and transparency, the practice has arisen for these payments between Agencies to be treated as though they required an appropriation, and to debit an appropriation when such notional payments are made. This is consistent with section 6 of the FMA Act.



7                Clause 5 provides that notional transactions between Agencies are to be treated as if they are real transactions. Notional transactions, therefore, require the use of a drawing right and the debiting of an appropriation made by Parliament. When an FMA Act Agency makes a payment, whether to another FMA Act Agency or another part of the same Agency (such as a different “business unit” within the Agency), it is to be treated as a “real” payment.

8                This means that the appropriation made by Parliament is extinguished by the amount of the notional payment, even though no payment is actually made from the CRF. Similarly, a notional receipt in such a situation is to be treated by the receiving Agency (where relevant) as if it were a real receipt. This does not mean every internal transfer of public money involves a notional payment and receipt. As explained in regulation 19 of the Financial Management and Accountability Regulations 1997 (FMA Regulations), some transfers of public money from one official account to another do not involve a notional payment or debiting an appropriation.

Part 2—Appropriation items

Clause 6—Summary of appropriations

9                Clause 6 sets out the total of the appropriations in Schedule 1 of the Bill. Importantly, the amounts in Schedule 1 may be adjusted under the provisions in Part 3 of the Bill. In particular:

·                 Departmental items may be reduced in accordance with clause 10;

·                 Administered items may be reduced in accordance with clause 11;

·                 CAC Act body payment items may be reduced in accordance with clause 12; and

·                 items may be increased by a determination under clause 13

(Advance to the Finance Minister).

10            The amounts in Schedule 1 of the Bill may be adjusted further in accordance with sections 30, 30A, 31 and 32 of the FMA Act. Specifically:



·                 Section 30 allows an Agency to re-credit, to an appropriation that had been relied upon for an initial payment by the Agency, an amount equivalent to the repayment. The re-crediting, or reinstatement, authorised by section 30, can result in the total amount paid from the CRF in gross terms, exceeding the amount specified in an item. Section 30 also applies to notional transactions between and within Agencies.

·                 Appropriations may be adjusted by amounts recoverable by an Agency from the Australian Taxation Office for Goods and Services Tax (GST), in accordance with section 30A of the FMA Act . The amounts specified in Schedule 1 exclude recoverable GST. The appropriations shown represent the net amount that Parliament is asked to allocate to particular purposes. Section 30A has the effect of increasing an appropriation by the amount of the GST qualifying amount arising from payments in respect of the appropriation. As a result, there is sufficient appropriation for payments under an appropriation item, provided that the amount of those payments, less the amount of recoverable GST, can be met from the initial amount shown against the item in Schedule 1. Section 30A also applies to notional transactions between and within Agencies.

·                 Departmental items may be increased to take into account certain other amounts received by an Agency, if those receipts are prescribed by the FMA Regulations, in accordance with section 31 of the FMA Act. For example, FMA Regulation 15 prescribes amounts that offset costs in relation to the activities of an Agency and amounts that relate to an employee’s leave (including amounts received under the paid parental leave scheme that was established on 1 January 2011). FMA Regulation 15 also provides to increase their departmental item with amounts that relate to a trust or similar arrangement.

·                 Items may be adjusted to take into account the transfer of functions between Agencies, in accordance with section 32 of the FMA Act. It is possible that adjustments under section 32 may result in new items and/or outcomes being created in an Appropriation Act.



Clause 7—Departmental items

11            Clause 7 provides that the amount specified in a departmental item for an Agency may be applied for the departmental expenditure of the Agency. Clause 3 defines:



·                 “departmental item” to be the total amount set out in Schedule 1 in relation to an Agency under the heading “Departmental”; and

·                 “expenditure” to be payments for expenses, acquiring assets, making loans or paying liabilities.

12            While the departmental items in Schedule 1 may be divided between outcomes, the different amounts against outcomes are notional. The total appropriation for departmental expenses represents the departmental item.

13            Departmental items involve costs over which an Agency has control. Departmental appropriations can be used to make any payment related to the functions of the Agency including on purposes covered by other items whether or not they are in the Act for an Agency. Expenditure typically covered by departmental items includes employee expenses, suppliers and other operational expenses (e.g. interest and finance expenses). There can also be occasions when an Agency, such as a portfolio Department, needs to cover matters in relation to other areas of the Government. Examples can include whole-of-Government activities or a portfolio Department assisting with the formation and initial costs of a new portfolio body (for which the Department might later be reimbursed). Another example would be where government has decided to implement shared services arrangements, and one Agency is providing corporate services assistance to another Agency.

14            Since 2010-11, departmental items have included amounts specifically to meet costs associated with the acquisition and capitalised maintenance of departmental assets valued at $10 million or less. Departmental items also include supplementation in circumstances when Agencies were directed by government to undertake additional responsibilities in the previous financial year. This applies when the direction was given, or a decision to propose further Appropriation Bills is made, in a timeframe within which it is not practicable to include the expected expenses in a further Appropriation Bill for that financial year.

15            Generally, Agencies are expected to meet the cost of additionally directed activities from their existing appropriations, which may then be replenished by a departmental appropriation in the following financial year.



16            Departmental items are not expressed in terms of a particular financial year and do not automatically lapse. Because the cash to meet expenses can be required at times other than when the expenses are incurred, the departmental appropriations remain available until required. Departmental items are available until they are spent or reduced in accordance with clause 10.



17            The Finance Minister manages the payment from departmental items by Agencies through the issuing of drawing rights in accordance with sections 26 and 27 of the FMA Act. Drawing rights control who may spend money from appropriations, and allow for conditions and limits to be set by the Finance Minister (or the Finance Minister’s delegate) in relation to those activities.

18            Amounts appropriated for departmental items can be subject to a reduction process in accordance with clause 10 of the Bill. Clause 10 enables the following people to make a written request to ask the Finance Minister to make a determination to reduce an Agency’s departmental appropriation: the Prime Minister or a Minister acting on behalf of the Prime Minister; the Minister responsible for an Agency; or the Chief Executive of an Agency for which the Finance Minister is responsible.

Clause 8—Administered items

19            Subclause 8(1) provides for the appropriation of administered amounts to be applied by an Agency for the purpose of contributing to the outcome for an Agency. An “administered item” is defined in clause 3 to be the amounts set out in Schedule 1 opposite an outcome for an Agency under the heading “Administered”. Administered amounts are appropriated separately for outcomes (i.e. unlike departmental items, the split across outcomes is not notional), making it clear what the funding is intended to achieve. Schedule 1 specifies how much can be expended on each outcome.

20            The appropriations for administered items in Schedule 1 represent the amounts required to meet the total estimated expenses for the administered outcomes for 2013-2014.

21            The purposes for which each administered item can be spent are further set out in subclause 8(2). Subclause 8(2) provides that where the Portfolio Statements indicate a particular activity is in respect of a particular outcome, then expenditure on that activity is taken to be expenditure for the purpose of contributing to achieving that outcome.



22            Administered items are those administered by an Agency on behalf of the Government (e.g. certain grants, benefits and transfer payments). These payments are usually made pursuant to eligibility rules and conditions established by the Government or the Parliament. Specifically:

·                 administered items are tied to outcomes (departmental items are not);

·                 administered items must be spent in accordance with rules and conditions established by the Government or Parliament; and

·                 there is a process in clause 11 for dealing with administered items that are not fully expensed or spent during the financial year.

23            The Finance Minister manages payments from administered items by Agencies through the issuing of drawing rights in accordance with sections 26 and 27 of the FMA Act. Drawing rights control who may spend money from appropriations, and allow for conditions and limits to be set by the Finance Minister (or the Finance Minister’s delegate) in relation to those activities.

Clause 9—CAC Act body payment items

24            Clause 9 provides for direct appropriations of money for CAC Act bodies to be paid from the CRF by the relevant Department. Clause 9 provides that payments for CAC Act bodies must be used for the purposes of those bodies.

25            A “CAC Act body” is defined in clause 3 to be a Commonwealth authority or a Commonwealth company within the meaning of the CAC Act. Many CAC Act bodies receive funding directly from appropriations. However, these bodies are legally separate from the Commonwealth, and as a result, do not debit appropriations or make payments from the CRF.

26            CAC Act body payments are initiated by requests to the relevant portfolio Departments from the CAC Act bodies. The Finance Minister manages appropriations for CAC Act bodies through the issuing of drawing rights in accordance with sections 26 and 27 of the FMA Act. Drawing rights control who may spend money from appropriations and allow for conditions and limits to be set by the Finance Minister (or the Finance Minister’s delegate) in relation to those payments. CAC Act bodies hold the amounts paid to them on their own account.

27            Subclause 9(2) provides that if a CAC Act body is subject to another Act that requires amounts appropriated by Parliament for the purposes of that body to be paid to the body, then the full amount of the CAC Act body payment must be paid to the body. The purpose of subclause 9(2) is to clarify that subclause 9(1) is not intended to qualify any obligations in other legislation regulating a CAC Act body, where that other legislation requires the Commonwealth to pay the full amount appropriated for the purposes of the body.



28            The full amount of the CAC Act body payments specified in Schedule 1 may be reduced in accordance with clause 12. Subclause 12(6) provides that subclause 9(2) does not prevent the CAC Act body payments in Schedule 1 being reduced.

29            In addition to the annual appropriations, some CAC Act bodies may also receive public money from related entities such as a portfolio Department and from special appropriations managed by those Departments. Many CAC Act bodies also receive funds from external sources.

Part 3—Adjusting appropriation items

30            Part 3 of the Bill provides for reductions or increases to the amounts specified in Schedule 1. The reduction provisions are contained in clauses 10 through 12 inclusive. The provision that can increase the amounts specified in Schedule 1 is contained in clause 13.

Clause 10—Reducing departmental items

31            Departmental items remain available until the appropriation is spent or reduced in accordance with clause 10. This clause enables surplus departmental item appropriation amounts to be reduced to promote the efficient, effective, economical and ethical management of any surplus appropriations. Agencies should only spend all of a departmental item if there are government decisions to support that expenditure. Examples of where clause 10 may be appropriate to reduce a departmental item include:



·                 an excessive amount was originally appropriated in error;

·                 an amount is reclassified and appropriated again under another kind of appropriation (e.g. where an amount appropriated as departmental is to be reclassified as administered and a new administered appropriation is provided). The existing departmental appropriation remains legally available even though there is no government authority to spend the funds;

·                 efficiency savings result in a program costing less than expected; or

·                 a program is abolished under government policy before the appropriation is expended.

32            Where further Appropriation Bills can effect an appropriation reduction, for example by reducing a proposed increase to appropriations, this approach may also be taken to have reduced the appropriation.

33            Paragraph 10(1)(a) enables the Prime Minister, or a Minister acting on behalf of the Prime Minister, to request that the Finance Minister reduce a departmental item for an Agency. Paragraph 10(1)(b) enables the Minister who is responsible for the Agency to request the Finance Minister to reduce a departmental item for an Agency. Paragraph 10(1)(c) enables the Chief Executive of an Agency for which the Finance Minister is responsible to request the Finance Minister to reduce a departmental item for that Agency. Subclause 10(6) assists readers by noting that a request under subclause 10(1) is not a legislative instrument within the meaning of section 5 of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003 (LI Act), on the basis that it is requesting a determination to be made, and it is the determination under subclause 10(2) that has substantive effect.

34            Subclause 10(2) enables the Finance Minister to make a written determination to reduce a departmental item. The Finance Minister is not obliged to act on a request to reduce excess departmental item appropriations. However, if the Finance Minister does:

·                 the determination must be for the amount specified in the request: subclause 10(2);

·                 the determination may not reduce the departmental item below nil: subclause 10(3); and



·                 the departmental item in Schedule 1 will be taken to be reduced in accordance with the determination of the Finance Minister: subclause 10(4).

35            Subclause 10(5) provides that once a determination is made under subclause 10(2), it must not be rescinded, revoked, amended or varied, other than to correct an error. Subclause 10(5) applies despite subsection 33(3) of the AI Act. This subclause intends to exclude the operation of subsection 33(3) of the AI Act, which would otherwise allow the Minister to repeal, rescind, revoke, amend or vary any such instrument from determinations made under subclause 10(2). The purpose of subclause 10(5) is to ensure that the departmental item appropriation, when reduced under subclause 10(2), cannot be restored by means of a later determination.

36            Subclause 10(7) provides that a determination made under subclause 10(2) is a legislative instrument.

37            Despite subsection 44(2) of the LI Act , which provides that instruments made under annual Appropriation Acts are not subject to disallowance, subclause 10(7) provides that a determination reducing a departmental item is subject to disallowance in accordance with section 42 of the LI Act. Parliament retains the power to disallow a determination to reduce a departmental item, because any such determination will reduce the amount of an appropriation authorised by Parliament. Subclause 10(7) also confirms subsection 54(2) of the LI Act , which provides that instruments made under annual Appropriation Acts are not subject to sunsetting.

Clause 11—Reducing administered items

38            Clause 11 provides for amounts of administered items not required after the end of the current year to be extinguished. If the government then decides that amounts should be spent in a later financial year, the government must request Parliament to appropriate these amounts in future Appropriation Bills.

39            Clause 11 limits the amount that may be applied for an administered item to the amount reported for that item in an Agency’s annual report. Subclause 11(1) provides that if the amount published in the annual report is less than the amount of the item, then the administered item is taken to be reduced to the amount specified in the annual report. The amount of the item specified in Schedule 1 of the Bill may be increased or reduced by the other clauses of Part 3 of the Bill, or in accordance with sections 30, 30A and 32 of the FMA Act. The amount in the annual report must therefore be compared with the amount for the item in Schedule 1, together with any other adjustments that have been made to that amount.



40            Subparagraph 11(2)(a)(i) retains a power for the Finance Minister to make a written determination specifying that subclause 11(1) does not apply in relation to the item. Subparagraph 11(2)(a)(ii) enables the Finance Minister to determine that an amount published in the financial statements of an Agency, is taken to be the amount specified in his or her determination. The power in subparagraph 11(2)(a)(ii) is to ensure that the amount published for the administered item in an Agency annual report can be corrected through the determination if, for example, the amount published is erroneous. Additionally, the power in paragraph 11(2)(b) is to provide the Finance Minister with the capacity to make a written determination in those cases where an Agency has failed to specify a required amount in its annual report. In those cases the amount specified in the determination as the required amount will be taken to be the required amount for the purposes of subclause 11(1).

41            Subclause 11(3) provides that a determination made under subclause 11(2) is a legislative instrument.

42            Despite subsection 44(2) of the LI Act , which provides that instruments made under annual Appropriation Acts are not subject to disallowance, subclause 11(3) provides that a determination regarding an administered item is subject to disallowance in accordance with section 42 of the LI Act. Parliament retains the power to disallow a determination to reduce an administered item because any such determination will reduce the amount of an appropriation authorised by Parliament. Subclause 11(3) also confirms subsection 54(2) of the LI Act , which provides that instruments made under annual Appropriation Acts are not subject to sunsetting.

Clause 12—Reducing CAC Act body payment items

43            Clause 12 provides a process for reducing CAC Act body payment items, which is similar to that for reducing departmental items. Paragraph 12(1)(a) enables the Prime Minister, or a Minister acting on behalf of the Prime Minister, to request that the Finance Minister reduce a CAC Act body payment item. Paragraph 12(1)(b) enables a Minister responsible for a CAC Act body, to request that the Finance Minister reduce a CAC Act body payment item. Paragraph 12(1)(c) enables the Secretary of the Department of Finance to request a reduction for a CAC Act body payment item for a body which the Finance Minister is responsible. Subclause 12(7) assists readers by noting that a request under subclause 12(1) is not a legislative instrument within the meaning of section 5 of the LI Act, on the basis that it is requesting a determination under subclause 12(2) to be made and it is the determination that has substantive effect.



44            Subclause 12(2) enables the Finance Minister to make a written determination to reduce a CAC Act body payment item. The Finance Minister is not obliged to act on a request to reduce a CAC Act body payment item. However, if the Finance Minister does:

·                 the determination must be for the amount specified in the request: subclause 12(2);

·                 the determination may not reduce the CAC Act body payment item below nil: subclause 12(3); and

·                 the CAC Act body payment item in Schedule 1 will be taken to be reduced in accordance with the determination of the Finance Minister: subclause 12(4).

45            Subclause 12(5) provides that a determination made under subclause 12(2) once made, must not be rescinded, revoked, amended or varied, other than to correct an error. Subclause 12(5) applies despite subsection 33(3) of the AI Act, which would otherwise allow the Minister to repeal, rescind, revoke, amend or vary any such instrument. This subclause intends to exclude the operation of subsection 33(3) of the AI Act from determinations made under subclause 12(2). The purpose of subclause 12(5) is to ensure that the CAC Act body payment item appropriation, when reduced under subclause 12(2), cannot be restored by means of a later determination.

46            Subclause 12(6) provides that the full amount that is required to be paid to a CAC Act body by subclause 9(2) of the Bill, may be reduced in accordance with clause 12.

47            Subclause 12(8) provides that a determination made under subclause 12(2) is a legislative instrument.

48            Despite subsection 44(2) of the LI Act, which provides that instruments made under annual Appropriation Acts are not subject to disallowance, subclause 12(8) provides that a determination reducing a CAC Act body payment item is subject to disallowance in accordance with section 42 of the LI Act. Parliament retains the power to disallow a determination to reduce a CAC Act body payment item because any such determination will reduce the amount of an appropriation authorised by Parliament. Subclause 12(8) also confirms subsection 54(2) of the LI Act, which provides that instruments made under annual Appropriation Acts are not subject to sunsetting.



Clause 13—Advance to the Finance Minister

49            Section 13 of the Appropriation Act (No. 1) 2013-2014 (Act (No. 1)) enables the Finance Minister to provide additional appropriations for items when satisfied that there is an urgent need for expenditure and the existing appropriation is inadequate [1] . This additional appropriation is referred to as the Advance to the Finance Minister (AFM). Subsection 13(3) of Act (No. 1) provides that the total amount that can be determined under the AFM provision is $295 million.

50            Clause 13 of the Bill provides that irrespective of the amounts issued from the AFM before the commencement of the Bill, the amount available under section 13 of Act (No. 1) will be restored to the original amount of

$295 million. The provision has been added to the Bill to ensure that there will be sufficient scope to provide amounts from the AFM for the remainder of the financial year.

51            Subclause 13(1) specifies that if the Finance Minister has determined under subsection 13(2) of Act (No. 1) to increase an amount in Schedule 1 of Act (No. 1) from the AFM, then that amount is to be disregarded when the Bill commences. From the date this Bill commences as an Act the total amount that can be determined under the AFM will again be $295 million.

52            Subclause 13(2) prevents appropriations for the same expenditure from both the AFM and the Bill. Subclause 13(2) ensures that if Schedule 1 of the Bill provides an amount for a particular expenditure and, prior to the commencement of the Bill, the Finance Minister determines an amount from the AFM under section 13 of Act (No. 1) for the same expenditure (the advanced amount), then the appropriation in the Bill will be reduced by the amount of the advanced amount. The appropriated amount cannot be reduced below nil. For example if the Bill provides $20 million for a grants program and an advanced amount of $5 million is determined by the Finance Minister under Act (No. 1) for a particular grant payment under that program, then the amount appropriated by the Bill, once enacted, will be reduced by $5 million (i.e. appropriating only $15 million for the grants program).

53            The Finance Minister may continue to make determinations under subsection 13(2) of Act (No. 1) to add an amount from the AFM to an item of an Agency if the criteria in subsection 13(1) of that Act are satisfied.

Part 4—Miscellaneous

Clause 14—Crediting amounts to Special Accounts

54            Clause 14 provides that if the purpose of an item in Schedule 1 is also the purpose of a Special Account (regardless of whether the item expressly refers to the Special Account), then amounts may be debited against the appropriation for that item and credited to the Special Account. Special Accounts may be established under the FMA Act by a determination of the Finance Minister (section 20) that is disallowable by Parliament or by another Act (section 21). The determination or Act that establishes the Special Account will specify the purposes of the Special Account.



Clause 15—Appropriation of the Consolidated Revenue Fund

55            Clause 15 provides that the CRF is appropriated as necessary for the purposes of the Bill. Significantly, this clause means that there is an appropriation in law when the Act commences. That is, the appropriations are not made or brought into existence just before they are paid, but when the Royal Assent is given. This clause indicates that the amounts appropriated may be affected by the FMA Act, in particular sections 30, 30A, 31 and 32 (see clause 6), after the Bill receives the Royal Assent.

Schedule 1—Services for which money is appropriated

56            Schedule 1 specifies the appropriations proposed for the ordinary annual services of the Government. Schedule 1 contains a summary table which lists the total amounts for each portfolio. A separate summary table is included with further detail for each portfolio, with other tables detailing the appropriations for each Agency.

57            Schedule 1 includes, for information purposes, the amount appropriated in Act (No. 1), which is printed in italics and labelled as “Budget Appropriation”. The amount printed as the Budget Appropriation is an estimate that does not affect the amount available at law.

58            Schedule 1 also includes, for information purposes, a figure for the previous financial year printed in light figures labelled the “Actual Available Appropriation”. That figure provides a comparison with the proposed appropriations. It is calculated for each item by adding the amounts appropriated in the previous year’s annual Appropriation Acts, amounts adjusted under certain provisions of the FMA Act plus adjustments such as AFMs and reductions by the Finance Minister. In some instances the figure may also be affected by limits applied administratively by the Department of Finance. The Actual Available Appropriation is an estimate that does not affect the amount available at law.

59            More details about the appropriations in Schedule 1 are contained in the Portfolio Statements and the second reading speech for the Bill.

60            The following Agencies appear in an annual Appropriation Bill for the first time:

·                 the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency, established on 1 August 2013 by the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency Act 2013 ; and

·                 the National Disability Insurance Scheme Launch Transition Agency, established on 1 July 2013 by the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 .

61            These Agencies could not, therefore, have appropriations proposed for them in Act (No. 1), which was introduced into the House of Representatives on 14 May 2013.

Machinery of Government changes

62            Since the commencement of Act (No. 1), there have been changes to Departments and Agencies pursuant to the Machinery of Government changes from the Administrative Arrangements Order (AAO) of 18 September 2013, as amended on 3 October 2013 and 12 December 2013.

63            On 18 September 2013, the Governor-General in Council acting on the Prime Minister’s recommendation under section 64 of the Constitution:

·                 Abolished the following Departments of State:

-                the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations;

-                the Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport; and

-                the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism.

·                 Established the following Departments of State:

-                the Department of Education; and

-                the Department of Employment.



 

·                 Renamed the Departments of State in the first column to the names in the second column:

 

Before 18 September 2013

After 18 September 2013

Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

Department of Agriculture

Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy

Department of Communications

Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities

Department of the Environment

Department of Infrastructure and Transport

Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development

Department of Finance and Deregulation

Department of Finance

Department of Health and Ageing

Department of Health

Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

Department of Social Services

Department of Immigration and Citizenship

Department of Immigration and Border Protection

Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education

Department of Industry

64            Schedule 1 to this Bill therefore differs to Schedule 1 of Act (No. 1) in the following ways:

·                 it refers to the new names of Departments as a result of the AAO; and

·                 it includes transferred outcomes in relation to transferred functions between Departments and Agencies.

65            One of the ways these AAOs were implemented was through the Acts Interpretation (Substituted References - Section 19B) Order 1997 . This Order altered references to the names of Departments in Schedule 1 of Act (No. 1) to reflect these AAOs.




[1] Under the AFM guidelines, expenditure is urgent if required within two weeks. The guidelines are available at:

http://www.finance.gov.au/budget/budget-process/advance-to-finance-minister.html .