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Financial Performance

Financial performance

Finance’s 2018–19 financial statements are presented in Part 5 of this report. The Australian National Audit Office issued an unmodified audit opinion for the financial statements on 30 August 2019.

A summary of Finance’s financial performance for departmental activities and the activities administered on behalf of the Government is provided below.

Departmental activities

The 2018–19 operating surplus of $16.5 million (2017–18: $126.9 million) is reflective of the Department’s strong resource management. The Department manages a diverse range of activities that are subject to external factors that can significantly impact the operating result in any given year. The 2018–19 operating result is lower than 2017–18, primarily due to Comcover insurance claims.

The result is in keeping with the Department’s sound financial position as at 30 June 2019, with financial assets of $932.7 million exceeding total liabilities of $731.6 million. Non-financial assets were $2.1 billion as at 30 June 2019, primarily reflecting the Department’s non-Defence domestic property portfolio.

Activities administered on behalf of the Australian Government

In 2018–19, Finance administered four programs on behalf of the Australian Government with expenses of $11.7 billion including:

  • $8.4 billion in member benefits for Commonwealth defined benefit superannuation schemes
  • $2.6 billion relating to the investment funds including distributions to portfolio special accounts
  • $0.6 billion for ministerial and parliamentary services including entitlements, salaries for staff employed under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984, and COMCAR services.

Administered income of $2.6 billion includes $1.2 billion of superannuation contributions and $1.3 billion of interest, dividends and distributions and gains from the investment funds.

At 30 June 2019, administered assets were $41.0 billion and contain investments in a wide range of securities, instruments and collective investment vehicles. Total assets increased 25.2 per cent from 2018–19, mainly due to government contributions.

Administered liabilities of $235.5 billion largely consist of member benefits for the Commonwealth defined benefit superannuation schemes. Superannuation liabilities increased by $50.0 billion from the prior year primarily as a result of changes to the discount rate used to value the liabilities.