Financial performance

The department ended the 2016–17 financial year reporting a surplus attributable to the Australian Government of $2.316 million. The net cash position (after deducting
depreciation and amortisation expenses of $0.909 million) was a surplus of $1.407 million.

There were two reasons for this result:

  • The 2016–17 federal budget included supplementary funding of $2.368 million for the department. The department also recognised revenue from government relating
    to the prior year of $1.016 million, making a total of $3.384 million in additional available appropriation for 2016–17.
  • Expenditure can vary significantly over the three-year parliamentary cycle due to fluctuations in the level of departmental activity (see Figure 3). As the Forty-fifth Parliament commenced during the first quarter of the reporting period, expenditure remained low until the second half of the financial year. The main stimulus to expenditure is employee costs. Depending on the sitting pattern and the number of committees supported, the department may undertake an extensive recruitment process at the start of each new parliament. The department reached full staffing capacity in February 2017.

The increase in funding was very welcome, relieves financial pressure and ensures appropriate allocation of resources to support business-as-usual operations. The department’s own-source revenue decreased as a result of the completion of external funding contracts from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for Pacific parliamentary development programs; no new programs were established and other programs were not able to be progressed due to the timing of the general election. The amount of revenue recognised in relation to these programs corresponds to the amount of expenses incurred during the financial year.

The department’s financial position has remained strong, with appropriation receivable totalling $14.742 million. The department undertook a materiality review of its carrying value of the property, plant and equipment asset class. The independent valuer’s report concluded that there was no material difference between the fair value and the carrying value of this asset class. Asset additions during the year related to the office furniture replacement project. Replacement of items in the staff areas of members’ offices commenced in late 2015 and will conclude in July 2018.

Total liabilities rose slightly as a result of the calculation of leave balances in employee provisions and an increase in the payables for accrued salaries and wages due to the timing of the final payroll payment for the year.

The estimates for 2017–18 indicate that the department has sufficient resources to continue to support members, the House and committees. The department will continue to innovate and keep pace with technological change in order to sustain the quality of its service delivery.

Figure 3 Financial performance, 2012-13 to 2016-17

Financial performance, 2012-13 to 2016-17

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