Glossary of key terms
This glossary relates to key terms used in this document and other Budget Papers. While not exhaustive, it is designed to provide readers with definitions or explanations of some of the more frequently used terms that appear in the Budget Papers.
Recognition of economic events and other transactions involving revenues, expenses, assets, liabilities and equity as they occur, rather than when the flow of cash occurs.
Those expenses which are incurred in the current year, but may not be paid until the following year, such as electricity and telephone costs.
The work performed to produce services.
Assets, liabilities, revenues and expenses that an agency administers on behalf of the Government, but over which the agency does not exercise direct control.
Used generically to describe the various organisational units within Government that deliver services. The term includes departments, commercialised business units, shared service providers, statutory bodies and Government-owned corporations.
The periodic allocation of the cost of intangible or non-physical assets (e.g. patents, research and development costs, copyrights) representing the amount of the asset consumed during a particular period of time.
The vehicle by which Parliament approves expenditure of monies from the Consolidated Fund. Appropriation is the process whereby Parliament gives approval to the Treasurer to issue funds to agencies during the Budget year as the State's contribution to:
- the delivery of agreed services
- items administered on behalf of the Government
- adjusting the Government's equity holding in that agency.
A total State contribution for each agency is known as the agency's Vote.
A diagrammatic representation of the Appropriation process is included in this guide.
Physical and non-physical items of value that an agency owns and/or controls, and that are used in the delivery of services. Examples include buildings, x-ray machines, school laboratory equipment and computer hardware and software.
Australian Accounting Standard AASB1049 Whole-of-Government and General Government Financial Reporting
The accounting standard that specifies the general purpose financial reporting requirements for the consolidated Total State and General Government sectors.
A report outlining the assets, liabilities and equity (net worth) of an agency or the Government as a whole, at a specified date.
An outline of the Government's priorities and plans for the coming year, including an outline of the State's fiscal and economic standing.
The Budget Papers tabled in Parliament.
A term used to refer to the stock of assets, including property, plant and equipment, intangible assets and inventories, that an agency owns and/or controls, and uses in the delivery of services. The term is also sometimes used to refer to capital grants made to other entities for the purpose of acquiring capital items
Cash flow statement
A financial statement that reports the inflows and outflows of cash for a particular period for the operating, investing and financing activities undertaken by an agency or the Government as a whole.
An agency business undertaking which operates, as far as practicable, on a commercial basis.
The whole-of-Government operating fund into which administered funds are paid, and from which the cost of the activities of Government are paid as appropriated by Parliament.
An overall view of the financial position of the Queensland Government. It is derived by combining the financial statement of all Government agencies and eliminating the transactions that have occurred between agencies. Also referred to as ‘whole-of-Government consolidation'.
Contingent assets and liabilities
Items which are not recognised in the balance sheet because they cannot be measured reliably or because there is a degree of uncertainty as to whether they will be realised.
Assets, liabilities, revenue and expenses that are directly controlled by agencies, in that they relate directly to the agency's objectives.
The periodic allocation of the cost of physical assets, representing the amount of the asset consumed during a particular period of time.
Benefits that employees accrue during their employment, such as annual and long service leave.
The surplus of assets over liabilities. It represents the Government's net financial interest in the agency.
An increase in the investment of the Government in a public sector agency.
A decrease in the investment of the Government in a public sector agency.
The Parliamentary Committees that meet to scrutinise the Budget in order to ensure accountability in the operations of Government agencies.
The full accrual cost of delivering services to the community reported in the income statement. Controlled expenses include costs such as employee costs, supplies and services, grant expenses, and non-cash costs such as depreciation. Administered expenses generally relate to activities over which the agency does not exercise control.
Collective description for the income statement, statement of changes in equity, balance sheet, the cash flow statement and associated notes of agencies and the Government as a whole.
Activities, such as borrowing and equity adjustments, which provide additional balance sheet financing for an agency.
The sum of an agency's appropriation from Government through the Consolidated Fund for:
- equity adjustment
- administered items.
The fiscal limit represents the State's total contribution to the agency for the delivery of services and administered items for the year.
Estimates (on a rolling basis for three years after each Budget year) of future baseline funding requirements. These estimates assume there will be no significant change in Government policy and are designed to provide agencies with a longer-term perspective.
Authorities that typically provide goods and services at no charge or at below commercial rates such as departments, some statutory bodies and those commercialised business units that provide services only to other General Government enterprises (see also Government Finance Statistics).
The uniform format developed by the Australian Bureau of Statistics for presentation of government financial information on a comparable basis between jurisdictions. GFS are disaggregated into three sectors, General Government, Public Non-Financial Corporations and Non-Financial Public sector.
Government Owned Corporation (GOC)
A GOC is a government entity that is established as a corporation under an Act or the Corporations Act and declared by regulation to be a GOC. Examples include Queensland Rail and ENERGEX.
Activities which relate to the acquisition and disposal of property, plant, equipment and other capital items of an agency.
Amounts an agency owes to another entity which are incurred in the course of doing business. Liabilities include items such as accounts payable, borrowings and employee entitlements, and other provisions.
The redistribution of the public business of one government agency to another government agency.
Activities which relate to the provision of services by an agency.
The accounting surplus or deficit of an agency or the Government as a whole. It provides an indication of whether the agency has sufficient revenue to meet expenses in the current year, including non-cash costs such as depreciation. Due to the inclusion of non-cash revenues and expenses, this differs from a cash surplus or deficit. An operating surplus indicates that revenues earned during the year are greater than the expenses incurred for the year, while an operating deficit indicates that expenses exceed revenues.
Data reported with informs the community about how government is progressing towards achievings its objectives.
Queensland Government controlled entities which perform centralised banking functions, or accept demand, time or savings deposits, or that have the authority to incur liabilities and acquire financial assets in the market in their own account - for example, Queensland Treasury Corporation and WorkCover (see also Government Finance Statistics).
Public non-financial corporations
Queensland Government controlled non-financial entities that provide goods and services in the market and generally operate on a commercial or quasi-commercial basis.
Regional Papers which outline the key government budget initiatives occurring in each of the State's geographical regions.
The full accrual income arising from operations during the year, recorded in the income statement. Controlled revenues include revenue from the State Government in the form of payments for services, and own-source revenue such as user charges. Administered revenues are revenues which are forwarded to the Consolidated Fund and generally comprise taxes, fees and fines and royalty revenues.
The actions or activities (including policy development) of an agency which contribute to the achievement of the agency’s objectives.
Service Delivery Statements
Budget Papers prepared on a departmental basis by individual agencies reporting to their Minister and the Speaker and which set out the priorities, plans and financial statements of those agencies.
Units of measurement used to determine and assess the delivery of services. They measure the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery. Full details of each agency’s performance against its service standards are provided in the Service Delivery Statements.
Shared service providers
A whole-of-Government approach to corporate services delivery involving the consolidation of corporate services across Government.
Agencies established by legislation for a specific purpose, which can operate either inside or outside the General Government sector.
A cyclical process through which an agency determines its desired future direction in the light of environmental factors and the Government's key priorities.
A reporting regime developed through an inter-jurisdictional agreement between the Australian, state and territory governments for the reporting of comparable financial information at a whole-of-government level.
The total cash amount appropriated for an agency by Parliament in the annual Appropriation Act. The Act will also note how the total is distributed between agency services, administered items and equity adjustments (see also Appropriation).
See definition of Consolidation.