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Financial management and organisational performance

From 1 July 2016, the Courts Administration Legislation Amendment Act 2016 established the amalgamated entity, known as the Federal Court of Australia (the entity).

The financial figures outlined in this report are for the consolidated results of the Federal Court, the National Native Title Tribunal, the Family Court, the Federal Circuit Court and the Commonwealth Courts Corporate Services (Corporate Services).

The financial statements show an operating surplus of $4.594 million before depreciation costs of $13.882 million. The entity was budgeting a break-even position for the year, with the surplus stemming from a number of projects that have been delayed to future years following uncertainty surrounding the passage of legislation in family law. The courts operate under strict budgetary controls ensuring that the entity operates within the appropriation.

The next three-year budget cycle continues to challenge the entity to make further savings. With over 60 per cent of the entity’s costs relating to property and judicial costs, which are largely fixed, the ability to reduce overarching costs is limited.

In 2017–18, the entity received $14 million in additional funding under the Modernisation Fund over a three-year period. This funding is enabling the entity to develop the DCP and support the courts’ ongoing digital transformation and improve service delivery.