Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

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2010/11 Determinations/Financial (Other) as made
This Determination establishes the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service Special Account.
Administered by: Finance
General Comments: This determination takes effect on the day immediately after the last day on which a House of Parliament could have passed a resolution disallowing it (see s 22(4) of the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997).

This determination was originally made under subsection 20(1) of the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 and from 1 July 2014 is taken to have been made under subsection 78(1) of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (see Schedule 2, Part 2, item 36 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Act 2014).
Registered 14 Jul 2010
Tabling HistoryDate
Tabled HR28-Sep-2010
Tabled Senate28-Sep-2010
Date of repeal 01 Oct 2020
Repealed by Sunsetting

EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

Issued by the authority of the Minister for Finance and Deregulation

Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997

Determination 2010/11 to establish a Special Account

Purposes of Determination 2010/11

The attached instrument makes a determination under subsection 20 (1) of the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (FMA Act) to establish a Special Account, entitled Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service Special Account.  It also specifies the nature of amounts that may be credited to, and the purposes for which amounts may be debited from, the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service Special Account.

Special Accounts generally

In accordance with the Constitution, all revenues or moneys raised or received by the Government of the Commonwealth form one Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) and may not be spent unless under an appropriation by the Parliament for the purposes of the Commonwealth.  A Special Account may be established by a determination that sets out the amounts that may be credited and the purposes for which it may be debited.  Special Accounts established by determination are supported by an appropriation under section 20 of the FMA Act.  In effect, Special Accounts allow amounts from the CRF to be spent on the purposes specified in the determination.

Determinations that establish Special Accounts, or vary determinations that establish Special Accounts, are subject to section 22 of the FMA Act.  Section 22 of the FMA Act requires the Finance Minister to table a copy of the establishing or varying determination in each House of the Parliament.  Either House may disallow a determination within five sitting days of tabling.  If the determination is not disallowed, it comes into effect on the calendar day after the last day on which it could have been disallowed.

Regulation 10 of the Legislative Instruments Regulations 2004 preserves the disallowance provisions under section 22 of the FMA Act by exempting Special Account determinations from subsections 57(2) and 57(5) of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003.

Special Accounts can be abolished by a determination of the Finance Minister.  However, such a determination is not subject to parliamentary disallowance.

Operation of Determination 2010/11

Purpose of the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service Special Account

This determination will establish a Special Account to be used to manage funding for the activities of the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS). AQIS provides quarantine, import and export inspection and certification services to protect the safety and health of Australia’s agriculture industries and environment. AQIS also works to achieve greater access to overseas markets for Australian agricultural commodities as well as improving efficiency of service delivery to industry.

 

 

Reasons for establishing a new Special Account

The Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service Special Account is required in order to give effect to changes that are required to the existing Australian Quarantine Inspection Service Account (‘the old Account’), but which are not practical to make by variation to the old Account, due to the way in which the Initial Determination was structured.

Upon commencement of the FMA Act on 1 January 1998, the old Account was established as a component of the Reserved Money Fund (RMF) in the Initial Determination.  The Financial Management Legislation Amendment Act 1999, which varied the FMA Act, converted the component of the RMF into a Special Account.

The current purposes of the old account are:

“For expenditure relating to:

(1)   the provision of quarantine and inspection services and matters incidental there to; and

(2)   for notional payment of moneys to the Official Public Account, as agreed from time to time by the Minister for Finance and Administration and the relevant Minister.”

Changes required

The changes required to the old account are set out below:

·                    The new Special Account’s title has been changed to differentiate it from the old Account; and

·                    The clarification of the expenditure purposes to better describe the activities of the Special Account. It is not intended to change the scope of the old Account.

As part of a programme to enhance the clarity of Special Account determinations and to remove any areas of doubt over the scope of the purposes of Special Accounts, the following changes are being incorporated within the determinations of all Special Accounts, where appropriate, and where the need for other variations arises:

·                    a provision to debit amounts relating to incidental activities.  This allows administration costs, including such items as auditing, reporting, budgeting, accounting and information technology services incurred in the course of operating the Special Account, to be debited from the Special Account.  The existing purpose clause would often allow the debiting of the Special Account for these costs, depending on the degree of directness of connection of the costs with other purposes of the Special Account.  The inclusion of the new incidental clause removes the need to obtain legal advice on the degree of directness of connection for individual transactions;

·                    a capacity to return excess amounts to the Budget (that is, reduce the balance of the Special Account without a real or notional payment).  This provision does not allow amounts to be transferred to another Special Account, or to be allocated for any other purpose, that is not consistent with the purposes of the Special Account;

·                    a clause to allow for amounts to be repaid when another Act or law allows it.  This has always been permitted by section 28 of the FMA Act, but is now included in determinations to simplify accounting for these transactions; and

·                    notes that identify general credits and debits that can be made to Special Accounts, for information purposes, in reliance on other laws.

Limitations in the structure of the Initial Determination

It is not practical to vary the Initial Determination signed by the delegate of the Minister for Finance and Administration on 31 December 1997 (establishing a Australian Quarantine Inspection Service Reserve as a component of the Reserved Money Fund).  This is because the format of the determination constrains the amount of information that can be included.  Accordingly, a new Account is being established to provide for the continuation of the activities of the old Account, the incorporation of the necessary changes, and to ensure that the determination is as clear and informative as possible.

Consultation

The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry is the agency affected by this instrument.  The agency was provided with drafts of the instrument and agrees with the form of the instrument.  As the instrument is for internal machinery of government purposes only, no consultation was considered necessary with other persons (see sections 17 and 18 of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003).

 

Estimates of transactions on the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service Special Account

 

 ($’000)

Opening Balance

Credits(1)

Debits

Closing Balance

Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service Special Account

2009-10

0

12,480.6

0

12,480.6

2010-11

12,480.6

49,890.0

49,890.0

12,480.6

 

(1) Includes balance debited from the old Account and credited to the new Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service Special Account.