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Overview

Objectives of the Department of the House of Representatives

The department is one of four parliamentary departments supporting the Australian Parliament. It is a not-for-profit entity. The department provides services to support the efficient conduct of the House of Representatives, its committees and certain joint committees as well as a range of services for members in Parliament House. The department also supports the parliament by providing advice and services to support the parliament’s national, international and regional relationships and by assisting other parliaments, primarily within the Indo-Pacific region, by partnering in capacity-building activities.

The department is structured to meet one outcome:

  • Advisory and administrative services support the House of Representatives to fulfil its representative and legislative role.

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

The department’s activities contributing to this outcome are classified as either departmental or administered. Departmental activities involve the use of assets, liabilities, revenues 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 parliament, of items controlled or incurred by the government.

Administered objectives

The department receives administered funding in order to support the parliament by:

  • providing a booking service for school groups visiting Parliament House
  • coordinating provision of hospitality for these groups.

Basis of preparation of the financial report

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

The financial statements have been prepared in accordance with:

  1. Public Governance, Performance and Accountability (Financial Reporting) Rule 2015 (FRR); and
  2. 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 the 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.

New accounting standards

All new/revised/amending standards and/or interpretations that were issued prior to the sign-off date and are applicable to the current reporting period did not have a material effect on the entity’s financial statements.

AASB 16 Leases

This new standard replaces the previous standard AASB 117 and applies to reporting periods commencing on or after 1 July 2019. The department has recognised the costs of use of leased assets and the associated benefits on its 2019­–20 statement of financial position and recognised an interest charge on the lease liability through the statement of comprehensive income. The department currently has leases which will be recorded in accordance with the new standard therefore the implementation of AASB 16 Leases will have ongoing financial impacts on the department’s financial statements from the 2019–20 financial year onwards.

The department has adopted AASB 16 using the modified retrospective approach, under which the cumulative effect of initial application is recognised in retained earnings at 1 July 2019. Accordingly, the comparative information presented for 2019 is not restated, that is, it is presented as previously reported under AASB 117 and related interpretations.

Impact on transition

On transition to AASB 16, the entity recognised additional right-of-use assets and additional lease liabilities, recognising the difference in retained earnings. The impact on transition is summarised below:

  • Departmental: 1 July 2019
  • Debit: Right-of-use assets – property, plant and equipment 67,514
  • Credit: Lease liabilities 67,514
  • Credit: Retained earnings Nil

AASB 15 Revenue from Contracts with Customers and AASB 1058 Income of Not-for-Profit Entities

Commonwealth not-for-profit entities with a 30 June financial year-end are required to apply AASB 1058 and AASB 15 from the 2019–20 annual reporting period. AASB 1058 replaces most of the not-for-profit provisions of AASB 1004 by clarifying and simplifying income recognition requirements for these entities. AASB 15 replaces AASB 118 Revenue and outlines the principles that a for-profit entity must apply to recognise and measure revenue. The department adopted AASB 15 and AASB 1058 using the modified retrospective approach, under which the cumulative effect of initial application is recognised in retained earnings at 1 July 2019. Accordingly, the comparative information presented for 2019 is not restated, that is, it is presented as previously reported under the various applicable AASBs and related interpretations.

The department has determined that the agreements with Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAT) are not enforceable and the promises are not ‘sufficiently specific’, the department has applied the general AASB 1058 principles for revenue recognition.

Impact on transition

The impact on transition is summarised below:

  • Departmental: 1 July 2019
  • Debit: Unearned revenue 80,000
  • Credit: Retained earnings 80,000
  • Total adjustment recognised in retained earnings 80,000

Taxation

The department is exempt from all forms of taxation except fringe benefits tax (FBT) and the goods and services tax (GST).

Reporting of administered activities

Administered revenues, expenses, assets, liabilities and cash flows are disclosed in the administered schedules and related notes.

Except where otherwise stated below, 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

Departmental

There have been no significant events after balance date that may have an impact on the department’s operations.

Administered

There have been no significant events after balance date that may have an impact on the department’s operations.