Supplementary expense and capital tables and the Contingency Reserve
Table 19 shows estimates of Australian Government general government sector expenses by function for 2004-05 and the forward years.
Table 19: Estimates of Australian Government general government expenses by function
Table 19: Estimates of Australian Government general government expenses by function (continued)
The Contingency Reserve (Other Purposes Function) is an allowance, included in aggregate expenses figuring, to reflect anticipated events that cannot be assigned to individual programmes in the preparation of the Australian Government budget estimates. The reserve is an estimating device used to ensure that the budget estimates are based on the best information available at the time of the MYEFO. It is not a general policy reserve.
While the reserve ensures that aggregate estimates are as close as possible to expected outcomes, it is not appropriated. Allowances that are included in the reserve can only be drawn upon once they have been appropriated by Parliament. These allowances are removed from the reserve and allocated to specific agencies for appropriations and for outcome reporting closer to the time when they eventuate.
The Contingency Reserve makes allowance in 2004-05 and the forward years for anticipated events, including the following:
- an allowance for the tendency for estimates of expenses for existing government policy to be revised upwards in the forward years;
- an allowance for the tendency for the estimates of administered expenses for some specific agencies or functions to be overstated in the budget year;
- commercial-in-confidence and national security-in-confidence items that cannot be disclosed separately;
- decisions made too late for inclusion against individual agency estimates;
- the effect on the budget and forward estimates of economic parameter revisions received late in the process and hence not able to be allocated to individual agencies or functions; and
- provision for events and pressures that are reasonably expected to affect the budget estimates.
The contingency reserve also includes expenses associated with the Government’s major asset sales and associated administration costs.