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In-year Reporting

Performance during the year is monitored by regular reports produced from departmental information systems. Each department and Crown entity is responsible for its own financial management and is therefore responsible for developing and operating its own financial information system.

Because the range of outputs government agencies supply varies widely, reporting and costing systems also vary widely. Particular attention is paid to how expensive, routinely produced outputs (such as defence outputs, schools and prisons) are priced and reported on. In such cases, mature reporting systems provide consistent cost and output information that are used to monitor cost and performance over protracted periods.

Because agencies must specify the quality, quantity, cost and delivery timeframes of their outputs in detail, management systems and in-year reports can integrate financial and non-financial information. Increasingly, independent benchmarking processes are being used to compare efficiency across agencies. Effective agencies and monitoring agents analyse and report on efficiency and assess cost-effectiveness, and use the results to help improve value-for-money.

Chief executives provide regular information on their financial performance to the Treasury through CFISnet. Reports are tailored to an individual Minister's needs but should:

  • warn the Minister in advance of any significant issues
  • reflect the Minister's policy, purchase and ownership priorities
  • contain an appropriate level of detail
  • be forward-looking and identify areas where the Minister may need to make decisions or take remedial action
  • focus on areas where performance has departed, or is expected to depart, from agreed performance measures.

Departmental performance reports may be copied to the State Services Commission, so they are available for use in chief executives' performance assessments.

Crown entities' quarterly reports, together with the monitoring departments' reports on the performance of Crown entities, allow their Ministers to track delivery and expenditure against expectations, and to manage risks. For certain Crown entities, quarterly and monitoring reports are copied to the Ministers of State Services and Finance who receive advice from officials if any significant performance issues or risks are identified.

Throughout the year, departments report financial information on CFISnet. This covers departmental and non-departmental expenditure.

The Treasury uses trend and aggregated financial information from departments to identify differences between forecast and actual performance, to reconcile inter-agency transactions, and monitor financial performance.

Aggregated information from CFISnet is used to compile periodic reports on the financial performance of the (whole of) government reporting entity.

The information is also used in the Supplementary Estimates process outlined in Chapter Three.

Reporting, Transparency and External Scrutiny

  • Fiscal Strategy Report
  • Economic and Fiscal Updates
  • Tax Expenditure Statement
  • Estimates & Information Supporting the Estimates
  • Statements of Intent
  • Annual Reports (Departments, Crown entities and SOEs)
    • Statements of Service Performance[44]
    • GAAP Financial Statements
  • Statement on Long-term Fiscal Position (at least every four years)
  • Annual Financial Statements of the Government
    • GAAP Financial Statements
    • Borrowings Statement
    • Unappropriated Expenditure
    • Trust Money
    • Emergency Expenditure
  • Monthly Financial Statements (for most months of the year)
  • Investment Statement of the Government

For example, departments usually report:

  • monthly to the Treasury on financial performance via CFISnet
  • quarterly to their relevant Ministers against output plans
  • half-yearly to their Responsible Minister against chief executive performance expectations.

Except for the first two months of the year, information provided monthly to the Treasury is consolidated into the monthly financial statements of the Government. These statements are published and allow Ministers, members of Parliament, financial markets and the public to see how the Government is tracking financially compared with its forecasts.


  • [44]Reporting arrangements for SOEs are outlined in the Owner's Expectations Manual for SOEs.
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