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A Guide to the Public Finance Act (2005)


Term Explanation
Appropriation A parliamentary authorisation for the Crown or an Office of Parliament to incur expenses or capital expenditure.
Appropriation Bill A bill seeking authority from Parliament for the Crown and Offices of Parliament to incur expenses or capital expenditure, or in the case of an Appropriation (Financial review) Bill, a bill seeking Parliament’s confirmation or validation of matters relating to the previous financial year.
Budget The Minister of Finance or Treasurer’s Financial Statement in moving the second reading of the first Appropriation Bill for a financial year; also the name given to documents and statements released by the Minister of Finance or Treasurer which outline the Government’s proposed economic and financial policies.
carrying amount The amount at which an asset is recognised after deducting any accumulated depreciation (amortisation) and accumulated impairment losses thereon.
consolidated financial statements The financial statements of a group presented as if they were those of a single economic entity.
Crown Includes all Ministers of the Crown and all departments, but does not include an Office of Parliament, a crown entity, or a state enterprise.
Crown entities Organisations listed in schedule 1 or 2 of the Crown Entities Act 2004; a subsidiary of an organisation listed there, a school board of trustees and tertiary education institutions. The term crown entity covers a wide range of very different organisations that collectively undertake a range of different functions: regulatory, advisory, service delivery, devolved purchase and ownership. Most Crown entities exist under their own governing legislation. They form part of the crown reporting entity, but are not part of the Crown itself.
Department The departments that comprise the Public Service are listed in the First Schedule to the State Sector Act. In addition to those departments, the Public Finance Act includes the New Zealand Defence Force, New Zealand Police, Office of the Clerk, Parliamentary Counsel Office, Parliamentary Service, and New Zealand Security Intelligence Service. The latter six departments are also referred to as “Non-State Sector Act departments” or “Non-Public Service departments”.
Estimates A statement that describes and supports the appropriations being sought in an Appropriation Bill; and contains the information required in the Public Finance Act.
Executive The Prime Minister and other Ministers and Parliamentary Under-Secretaries; the Government.
Financial review Scrutiny by the House of the performance of the Government and government entities in the previous financial year.
general purpose financial reports Reports prepared for external users who do not have the ability to require or contract for the preparation of special reports to meet their specific information needs.
Government The party or parties that command a majority of the House on confidence and supply matters; also used to mean the Executive.
House of Representatives The elected Chamber of Parliament; made up of members elected to represent electorates and members elected from party lists.
Imprest Supply Bill A bill granting the Government interim authority to incur expenses and capital expenditure.
Minister A member of Parliament who is part of the Executive and who is usually responsible for one or more government departments or ministries.
OBERAC (operating balance excluding revaluations and accounting policy changes) A fiscal indicator that removes revaluation movements and accounting policy changes. It removes some of the volatility from the operating balance. However, it does not isolate aspects of changes in the operating balance (such as tax revenue and unemployment benefits) that arise from cyclical factors.
Offices of Parliament The primary function of an Office of Parliament is to be a check on the Executive, as part of Parliament’s constitutional role of ensuring the accountability of the Executive. An Office of Parliament must discharge functions which the House itself might appropriately undertake. At time of publication there were three Offices of Parliament: Office of the Controller and Auditor-General, Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment and Office of the Ombudsmen.
Parliament The Sovereign and the House of Representatives.
special purpose financial reports Financial reports tailored to meet the specific information needs of a particular user.
Speaker The principal presiding officer of the House, elected by the members.
State-owned enterprise (SOE) SOEs are businesses (typically companies) listed in the First Schedule to the State-Owned Enterprises Act 1986. SOEs operate as a commercial business but are owned by the State. They have boards of directors, appointed by shareholding Ministers to take full responsibility for running the business.

An appropriation or a grouping of appropriations that is—

  1. the responsibility of a designated Minister or Ministers and administered by 1 department, or
  2. the responsibility of the Speaker and administered by—
    1. an Office of Parliament, or
    2. the Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives, or
    3. the Parliamentary Service.
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