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3.4 Financial management

ACARA is an independent statutory authority and a corporate Commonwealth entity that manages funding in accordance with its Charter. Its funding is approved by Education Council, which has endorsed a 50 per cent contribution by the Commonwealth and 50 per cent contributions by state and territory governments.

ACARA also delivers priority projects on behalf of the Commonwealth government, which provides a separate revenue source above its Charter funding.

ACARA manages all funding in compliance with government policy, guidelines and legislative requirements, where applicable. ACARA’s financial accountability and reporting responsibilities are set out in section 46 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act) and are based on efficient, effective and ethical use of allocated resources. ACARA works within a financial control framework, which ensures that ACARA administers its responsibilities appropriately and effectively.

Analysis of financial performance

ACARA reported a surplus of $1.34m for the year ended 30 June 2020.

Of the $1.34m surplus, $0.86m is attributable to timing differences (recognition of revenue for which work is yet to be completed) created as a result of the first time adoption of AASB 15 (a technical surplus). The remaining $0.48m is predominantly attributable to underspend in travel and headcount as a result of COVID-19 impacts.

At 30 June 2020, the cash and cash-equivalent balance of ACARA was $11.45 million. Where cash and cash-equivalents exceeded ACARA’s at call requirements, they were transferred to investments in accordance with ACARA’s investment strategy.

The following pie graph provides a breakdown of ACARA Program Expenditure for the year ended 30 June 2020.

National Assessment 56%, National Collaboration and Leadership 9%, National Curriculum 24%, National Data Collection and Reporting 10%

Factors that have affected or may affect operations

No major financial factors have impacted ACARA’s operations to date. ACARA’s operations are dependent on funding from state, territory and Australian governments.

Reportable decisions or issues

Under paragraph 19(1)(c), (d) or (e) of the PGPA Act, ACARA must notify the federal Minister for Education of any significant decisions or issues. There were no significant decisions or issues reportable under these provisions for the year ended 30 June 2020.