The Australian Parliament, via the Appropriation Acts, provides the department with two types of funding: departmental and administered.
Departmental resources are used to develop and implement policies and deliver services (programs). Departmental financial statements include the activities of the Overseas Property Special Account, which manages the Commonwealth’s overseas property portfolio.
We also administer payments, revenues, and other resources on behalf of the Australian Government, including the Official Development Assistance program. A shaded background in our Financial Statements indicates information that relates to an administered resource.
The department operated in an environment that continued to be heavily impacted by COVID‑19. Interruption to business as usual saw reduced expenditure on travel, passports production, representation activity and employee expenses, offset by increased expenditure in the consular response. The appreciation in the Australian dollar resulted in lower operating expenses overseas and significantly impacted adjustments for the revaluation of the department’s assets and liabilities. The withdrawal from Afghanistan increased expenditure near the end of the financial year, with the recognition of impairment of physical and right-of-use lease assets.
Table 3: Trends in departmental finances
2020-21 ($ million)
2019-20 ($ million)
Change ($ million)
Revenue from the Australian Government
Deficit from continuing operations
Financial assets (A)
Non‑financial assets (B)
Net assets (A+B‑C)
The department reported $1,760.9 million of revenue in the Statement of Comprehensive Income, comprising:
$1,581.8 million of appropriation revenue from government
$152.8 million of own source income
$26.2 million in gains.
This represents an increase of $115.9 million from 2019–20. The main factor contributing to this movement is an increase in appropriation revenue from government, including funding for new measures and security enhancements in the overseas network.
The department also reported a $189.8 million loss from asset revaluation movements in the Statement of Comprehensive Income. This is recorded directly as equity on the Statement of Financial Position and is not incorporated into the departmental deficit from continuing operations.
The department reported $1,823.9 million of expenses in the Statement of Comprehensive Income. This is a decrease of $16.4 million from 2019–20.
The main factors contributing to the movement in 2020–21 were:
a decrease in employee expenses of $47.0 million due to the increase in the 10‑year government bond rate which decreased the long service leave provision; decrease in overseas expenses due to exchange rate fluctuations; and the decrease in employee allowances due to COVID‑19‑related disruptions to business as usual
a decrease in supplier expenses of $44.4 million from COVID‑19 impacts on business as usual including passport production, property-related expenses and security expenses, and
an increase in write down and impairment of other assets of $55.4 million due to the closure of the Kabul embassy which required removing the plant and equipment and AASB 16 Right-of-Use assets from the Statement of Financial Position.
Assets and liabilities
The department reported a strong net asset position of $4,468.9 million in the Statement of Financial Position, with liabilities equating to 26 per cent of the total asset base.
This is a decrease of $96.6 million from 2019–20. The main factors contributing to the movement in 2020–21 were:
a decrease in land assets of $130.2 million and building assets of $208.6 million due to the improvement in AUD exchange rates which resulted in a revaluation decrease
an increase in cash of $75.6 million from the sale of property near year end which increased the OPO special account balance, and
an increase in appropriation receivable of $175.4 million due to an increase in appropriation revenue and a decrease in drawdowns due to lower spending from COVID‑19 impacts on business as usual.
Administered program performance
In 2020–21 expenses administered by the department on behalf of government were $4,709.9 million, an increase of $305.2 million over 2019–20. The movement is attributed to an increase in international development assistance of $419.7 million relating to increased government initiatives in the Pacific, including temporary, targeted and supplementary measures in response to COVID‑19. This increase was partially offset by a decrease in multilateral replenishments and other loans of $159.7 million resulting from a reduction in the value of new pledges in line with the pledge cycle and our commitments agreed with the World Bank.
In 2020–21 income administered by the department on behalf of government was $323.7 million, which is $260.0 million less than 2019–20. The movement is due to a decrease of $278.9 million for passport, consular and other fee revenue resulting from the COVID‑19 travel restrictions. The increase in the Export Finance Australia (EFA) National Interest Account of $25.7 million resulted from a reassessment by EFA of its expected revenue.
Other comprehensive income was $5.9 million, a decrease of $134.7 million from 2019–20. Fair value movements in defined benefit plan liabilities and multilateral equity instruments as assessed by independent experts and the movement in the net asset position of portfolio agencies EFA and Tourism Australia are reflected in these figures. The valuation movement has decreased significantly from last year, particularly in regard to multilateral equity instruments, by $104.4 million, resulting in the overall decrease.