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Overview: Notes to the financial statements


Objective of the APSC

The Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) is an Australian Government controlled entity. It is a not-for-profit entity. The objective of the APSC is to lead and shape a unified, high-performing Australian Public Service.

The APSC is structured to meet one outcome, increased awareness and adoption of best practice public administration by the public service through leadership, promotion, advice and professional development,drawing on research and evaluation.

The continued existence of the APSC in its present form and with its present programmes is dependent on Government policy and on continuing funding by Parliament for the APSC's administration and programmes.

APSC activities contributing towards this outcome are classified as either departmental or administered. Departmental activities involve the use of assets, liabilities, income and expenses controlled or incurred by the APSC in its own right. Administered activities involve the management or oversight by the APSC, on behalf of the Government, of items controlled or incurred by the Government.

The APSC conducts the administered activity "Parliamentarians' and Judicial Office Holders' remuneration and entitlements" on behalf of the Government.

The basis of preparation

The financial statements are general purpose financial statements and are required by section 42 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013.

The Financial Statements have been prepared in accordance with:

  • Financial Reporting Rule (FRR) for reporting periods ending on or after 1 July 2015; and
  • Australian Accounting Standards and Interpretations issued by the Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB) that apply for the reporting period.

The financial statements have been prepared on an accrual basis and in accordance with the historical cost convention, except for certain assets and liabilities at fair value. Except where stated, no allowance is made for the effect of changing prices on the operating result or the financial position.

The financial statements are presented in Australian dollars and values are rounded to the nearest thousand dollars unless otherwise specified.

New accounting standards

Adoption of new Australian Accounting Standard requirements

No accounting standard has been adopted earlier than the application date as stated in the standard.

New and revised standards,interpretations and amending standards that were issued prior to the sign-off date and are applicable to the current reporting period did not have a material effect, and are not expected to have a material effect, on the APSC's financial statements.

Future Australian Accounting Standard requirements

AASB 15 Revenue from Contracts with Customers is effective for annual reporting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2017. This will require the APSC to recognise revenue when the APSC satisfies performance obligations with its customers. This will defer the timing of the recognition of revenue for some services that the Commission provides. Potentially expenses could be incurred in a different financial year to when revenue is recognised. However this is not expected to have a material impact on the APSC's financial statements.

Changes to AASB 16 Leases are effective for annual reporting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2019. This will require the APSC to recognise lease assets and lease liabilities for office accommodation leases that are currently classified as operating leases. This will materially increase the level of building assets and lease liabilities recognised in the statement of financial position. Operating lease rental expenses, which are currently recognised on a straight line basis, will be reclassified as either a reduction in the lease liability or as lease interest expense. Also, amortisation for leased assets will be recognised as an expense. The combined impact on the change to the timing of when expenses are recognised is yet to be quantified.

No other new or revised standards, interpretations and amending standards were issued prior to the sign-off date and are applicable to the future reporting period are expected to have a material effect on the APSC's financial statements.

Accounting Judgements and Estimates

No accounting assumptions or estimates have been identified that have a significant risk of causing a material adjustment to carrying amounts of assets and liabilities within the next reporting period.


Cash is recognised at its nominal amount. Cash and cash equivalents includes:

  • cash on hand and
  • cash held by outsiders


Inventories held for distribution are valued at cost,adjusted for any loss in service potential.

Contingent liabilities and contingent assets

The APSC had no quantifiable or unquantifiable contingent assets or liabilities as at 30 June 2016 (2015: nil).


The APSC is exempt from all forms of taxation except Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) and the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Revenues,expenses, assets and liabilities are recognised net of GST except:

  • where the amount of GST incurred is not recoverable from the Australian Taxation Office; and
  • for receivables and payables.

The APSC is not subject to competitive neutrality arrangements.

Reporting of administered activities

Administered revenues, expenses, assets, liabilities and cash flows are disclosed in the administered schedules and related notes.

Except where otherwise stated, administered items are accounted for on the same basis and using the same policies as for departmental items, including the application of Australian Accounting Standards.

Contingent liabilities and contingent assets

The APSC had no quantifiable or unquantifiable administered contingent assets or liabilities as at 30 June 2016 (2015: nil).

Breach of section 83 of the Constitution

The possibility of breaches of section 83 of the Constitution for the APSC's administered payments was investigated and confirmed in prior years. In order to reduce the risks of-non-compliance to an acceptable low level, changes were made to the Remuneration Tribunal Act 1973 which were enacted on 28 May 2013.

Reviews conducted by drawing entities identified that no payments (2015: No payments) were made without legal authority in contravention of section 83 of the Constitution for payments reported under the Remuneration Tribunal Act 1973.

Events after the reporting period

There was no subsequent event that had the potential to affect the ongoing structure and financial activities of the APSC for either departmental or administered activities.

Last reviewed: 
14 May 2018