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Objectives of the Attorney-General’s Department

The Attorney-General’s Department (the department) supports the Attorney-General and Minister for Industrial Relations and the Assistant Minister to the Attorney-General and Assistant Minister for Industrial Relations. The department assists the Australian Government to achieve its legal, legal policy and industrial relations policy objectives through the provision of expert advice and services on a range of law, justice and industrial relations issues.

Outcome 1: A just and secure society through the maintenance and improvement of Australia’s law, justice, security and integrity frameworks.

There are seven programs within Outcome 1: Attorney-General's Department Operating Expenses - Civil Justice and

Legal Services (1.1), Attorney-General's Department Operating Expenses - National Security and Criminal Justice (1.2),

Australian Government Solicitor (1.3), Justice Services (1.4), Family Relationships (1.5), Indigenous Legal and Native Title Assistance (1.6) and Royal Commissions (1.7).

Outcome 2: Facilitate jobs growth through policies and programs that promote fair, productive and safe workplaces.

There are three programs within Outcome 2: Attorney-General’s Department Operating Expenses – Industrial Relations (2.1), Workplace Support (2.2) and Workers’ Compensation Payments (2.3).

The continued existence of the department in its present form and with its present programs is dependent on government policy and on continuing appropriations by Parliament for the department’s administration and programs.

The department's activities contributing toward these outcomes are classified as either departmental or administered. Departmental activities involve the use of assets, liabilities, income and expenses controlled or incurred by the department in its own right. Administered activities involve the management or oversight by the department, on behalf of the government, of items controlled or incurred by the government.

Basis of preparation of the financial statements

The financial statements are required by section 42 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 and are general purpose financial statements.

The financial statements and notes have been prepared in accordance with:

  • Public Governance, Performance and Accountability (Financial Reporting Rule) 2015 (FFR); and
  • Australian Accounting Standards and Interpretations – Reduced Disclosure Requirements issued by the Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB) that apply for the reporting period.

The financial statements have been prepared on an accrual basis and in accordance with historical cost convention, except for certain assets and liabilities at fair value. Except where stated, no allowance is made for the effect of changing prices on the results or the financial position.

The financial statements are presented in Australian dollars and values are rounded to the nearest thousand dollars unless otherwise specified.

Impact of COVID-19

COVID-19 has not caused any significant impact to the operating result of the department or amounts recorded for assets and liabilities in the financial statements. Some of the department’s Administered Equity Investments are subject to prevailing economic conditions, among other factors, that may include impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

New Australian Accounting Standards

Adoption of New Australian Accounting Standard Requirements
No accounting standard has been adopted earlier than the application date as stated in the standard.


The department is exempt from all forms of taxation except Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) and the Goods and Services Tax (GST). The income tax expense recorded in these statements is a notional amount calculated as being payable to the Australian Government in the form of company income tax under the Income Tax Assessments Acts had they applied.

Reporting of administered activities

Administered revenues, expenses, assets, liabilities and cash flows are disclosed in the administered schedules and related notes. Administered items are distinguished by shading in the financial statements.

Except where otherwise stated, administered items are accounted for on the same basis and using the same policies as for departmental items, including the application of Australian Accounting Standards.

Events after the reporting period


There were no subsequent events that had the potential to significantly affect the ongoing structure and financial activities of the department.


There were no subsequent events that had the potential to significantly affect the ongoing structure and administered financial activities of the department.