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Financial performance

In 2018–19, the Office recorded an operating surplus of $1.4 million, excluding depreciation, amortisation and write down of assets compared to 2017–18 operating deficit of $0.147 million. The 2018–19 operating surplus was broadly consistent with the balanced outcome estimate included in the 2018–19 Portfolio Budget Statements.

Expenses

Total expenses increased from $36 million in 2017–18 to $43 million in 2018–19. The increase
was mainly driven by costs associated with travel, property, contractors and additional staffing costs for new functions such as the VET Student Loans Ombudsman.

Income

Appropriation revenue increased from $23.7 million in 2017–18 to $39.1 million in 2018–19, an increase of $15.4 million.

This was due to the additional funding received for:

  • The new VET Student Loans Ombudsman function, an increase of $4.1 million.
  • Private Health Insurance Ombudsman, an increase of $1.9 million.
  • Defence Force Ombudsman, an increase of $7.9 million, (largely offset by the cessation of related cost recovery arrangements).
  • Immigration Ombudsman, an increase of $0.3 million.
  • Postal Industry Ombudsman, an increase of $0.8 million.
  • The move to appropriation from rendering services revenue of $0.3 million for oversight of the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) and the Australian Federal Police (AFP).

Rendering of services revenue decreased from $11 million in 2017–18 to $4 million in 2018–19. The decrease mainly related to the ended cost recovery agreement with the Department of Defence for our abuse reporting function. The remaining revenue is represented by the International Program funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the work undertaken for the ACT Ombudsman function funded by the ACT Government.

Assets

Total assets increased by $5.5 million, comprising:

  • an increase in cash held ($1.4 million)
  • acquisition of assets ($2.3 million), offset by depreciation and amortisation ($1.2 million)
  • an increase in trade and other receivables ($2.8 million).

The Office acquired $2.3 million in new assets in 2018–19, funded through the departmental capital appropriation and the operating surplus. This included the replacement of ICT infrastructure, purchase of new software, refurbishment of offices and enhancements to core existing ICT systems.

Assets were checked for impairment and a stock take undertaken at year end to ensure completeness. Assets are maintained and kept in good working order by the Office.

Liabilities

Total liabilities increased by $4.7 million, which was mainly due to:

  • trade creditors ($3 million)
  • salary increase ($0.1 million)
  • lease incentive ($0.4 million).

Employee provisions increased by $1million.