The Estimates contain requests from Vote Ministers for appropriations.
An appropriation provides a Vote Minister with authority to incur expenditure, expenses or liabilities. It establishes the maximum expense, liability or expenditure that can be incurred. Estimates include:
- how appropriations will be spent;
- significant changes in the Vote;
- how performance will be measured;
- any differences from previous years.
The Public Finance Act 1989 requires that the Estimates accompany the Appropriation (2011/12 Estimates) Bill, which is the first Appropriation Bill relating to 2011/12 financial year. The Bill must be passed within three months of delivery of the Budget.