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1. Financial Performance

This section analyses the financial performance of the Australian Bureau of Statistics for the year ended 2019.

1.1 Expenses

2019

2018

$'000

$'000

Note 1.1A: Employee Benefits

Wages and salaries

ABS staff

193,674

198,206

Interviewers

15,370

13,267

Census field staff

-

9

Total wages and salaries

209,044

211,482

Superannuation

Defined contribution plans

ABS staff

21,040

20,328

Interviewers

2,291

1,874

Census field staff

-

3

Total defined contribution plans

23,331

22,205

Defined benefit plans

ABS staff

18,448

19,133

Interviewers

585

513

Census field staff

-

1

Total defined benefit plans

19,033

19,647

Leave and other entitlements

32,345

25,778

Separation and redundancies

490

7,834

Other employee expenses

831

1,126

Total employee benefits

285,074

288,072

Accounting Policy

Liabilities for ‘short-term employee benefits’ (as defined in AASB 119 Employee Benefits) and termination benefits due within twelve months of the end of the reporting period are measured at their nominal amounts.

The nominal amount is calculated with regard to the rates expected to be paid on settlement of the liability.

Other long-term employee benefits are measured as net total of the present value of the defined benefit obligation at the end of the reporting period minus the fair value at the end of the reporting period of plan assets (if any) out of which the obligations are to be settled directly.

Leave

The liability for employee benefits includes provision for annual leave and long service leave. No provision has been made for sick leave as all sick leave is non-vesting and the average sick leave taken in future years by employees of the ABS is estimated to be less than the annual entitlement for sick leave.

The leave liabilities are calculated on the basis of employees’ remuneration at the estimated salary rates that will apply at the time the leave is taken, plus the ABS’s employer superannuation contribution rates and applicable on-costs, to the extent that the leave is likely to be taken during service rather than paid out on termination.

The liability for long service leave has been determined by reference to the work of the Australian Government Actuary as at 30 June 2019. The estimate of the present value of the liability takes into account attrition rates and pay increases through promotion and inflation.

An independent actuarial valuation of employee benefit liabilities is conducted every three years. The last review was performed by the Australian Government Actuary in June 2017.

Separation and Redundancy

Provision is made for separation and redundancy benefit payments. The ABS recognises a provision for termination when it has developed a detailed formal plan for the terminations and has informed those employees affected that it will carry out the terminations.

Superannuation

The ABS’s staff are members of the Commonwealth Superannuation Scheme (CSS), the Public Sector Superannuation Scheme (PSS), the PSS accumulation plan (PSSap) or other superannuation funds held outside the Australian Government.

The CSS and PSS are defined benefit schemes for the Australian Government. The PSSap is a defined contribution scheme.

The liability for defined benefits is recognised in the financial statements of the Australian Government and is settled by the Australian Government in due course. This liability is reported in the Department of Finance’s administered schedules and notes.

The ABS makes employer contributions to the employees’ superannuation scheme at rates determined by an actuary to be sufficient to meet the current cost to the Government, and accounts for the contributions as if they were contributions to defined contribution plans.

The liability for superannuation recognised as at 30 June represents outstanding contributions for the final fortnight of the year.

2019

2018

$'000

$'000

Note 1.1B: Suppliers

Goods and services supplied or rendered

Consultants

6,962

7,008

Contractors

15,770

23,145

IT services and communications

23,428

23,511

Printing and subscriptions

2,161

14,482

Building expenses (excluding lease payments)

7,267

8,758

Population survey operations interviewer

5,458

4,225

Census operation costs

-

5

Recruitment and employment related

791

603

Stationery and postage

1,777

28,344

Travel

10,735

10,557

Training

3,416

4,536

Advertising

273

17,317

Other

3,025

2,701

Total goods and services supplied or rendered

81,063

145,192

Goods and services are made of:

Goods supplied

6,508

20,230

Services rendered

74,555

124,962

Total goods and services supplied or rendered

81,063

145,192

Other suppliers

Operating lease rentals

16,249

16,714

Workers compensation expenses

3,948

4,718

Total other suppliers

20,197

21,432

Total suppliers

101,260

166,624

Leasing commitments

The ABS in its capacity as lessee has the following types of operating leases:

Leases for office accommodation

Lease payments are subject to annual increases which are either fixed as outlined in the rental agreement or in accordance with upwards movements in the Consumer Price Index. Office accommodation leases may be renewed for up to five years at the ABS's option following a one-off adjustment of rentals to current market levels.

Leases for the provision of motor vehicles

No contingent rentals exist. There are no renewal or purchase options available to the ABS.

Commitments for minimum lease payments in relation to non-cancellable operating leases are payable as follows:

Within 1 year

17,368

10,214

Between 1 to 5 years

84,586

42,453

More than 5 years

96,600

25,953

Total operating lease commitments

198,554

78,620

Accounting Policy

Leases

Operating lease payments are expensed on a straight-line basis which is representative of the pattern of benefits derived from the leased assets.

2019

2018

$'000

$'000

Note 1.1C: Write-Down and Impairment of Other Assets

Impairment of intangible assets1

1,984

-

Write-down of property, plant and equipment

344

1,271

Write-down of Intangibles2

1,736

553

Total write-down and impairment of other assets

4,064

1,824

1. This amount relates to the impairment provision for some Internally Generated Software (IGSW) assets reflecting the uncertainty around the project re-commencement.

2. This amount represents the disposal of a number of IGSW assets due to technological obsolescence.

1.2 Own-Source Revenue and Gains

Note 1.2A: Rendering of Services

Rendering of services

47,839

35,868

Total rendering of services

47,839

35,868

Accounting Policy

Rendering of services include revenue from the provision of statistical services and products.

Revenue from rendering of services is recognised by reference to the stage of completion of contracts at the reporting date. The revenue is recognised when:

  • the amount of revenue, stage of completion and transaction costs incurred can be reliably measured; and
  • the probable economic benefits associated with the transaction will flow to the ABS.

The stage of completion of contracts at the reporting date is determined by reference to the proportion of costs incurred to date when compared to the estimated total costs of the transaction.

Receivables for goods and services, which have 30 day terms, are recognised at the nominal amounts due, less any impairment allowance amount. Collectability of debts is reviewed at the end of the reporting period. Allowances are made when collectability of the debt is no longer probable. Refer to Note 2.1A for further detail.

2019

2018

$'000

$'000

Note 1.2B: Other Revenue

Resources received free of charge1

560

327

Other2

284

3,128

Total other revenue

844

3,455

1. This amount relates to the services received free of charge from the Australian National Audit Office financial statements audit, external board members, and staff secondment from the Australian Taxation Office, and Stats NZ.

2. In 2017-18 the ABS received a Comcare premium reduction and a refund of prior year lease payments.

Accounting Policy

Resources received free of charge

Resources received free of charge are recognised as revenue when, and only when, a fair value can be reliably determined and the services would have been purchased if they had not been donated. Use of those resources is recognised as an expense. Resources received free of charge are recorded as either revenue or gains depending on their nature.

Other revenue

Other revenue includes all miscellaneous revenue such as various refunds including Comcare premium adjustments.

Note 1.2C: Other Gains

Other1

35

233

Total other gains

35

233

1.This amount includes gains on sale of assets and other gains.

Accounting Policy

Sale of assets

Gains from disposal of non-current assets are recognised when control of the asset has passed to the buyer.