Chief Finance Officer's report
In 2013–14, Austrade continued to maintain an effective financial management framework and achieved improvements in practices and processes. These included steps to strengthen the review of offshore and onshore locations, and further enhancements to internal compliance processes and reporting.
In a challenging financial environment, Austrade achieved its financial targets while integrating the tourism policy, programmes and research function, which was transferred from the former Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism under an Administrative Arrangements Order made on 3 October 2013.
In 2013–14, the Government provided Austrade with $176.8 million in funding for ordinary annual services. Revenue from government increased by $16.8 million compared to 2012–13. This was primarily due to the integration of the tourism function, along with other adjustments including the efficiency dividend, foreign exchange losses, and increased appropriation for fringe benefits tax on living away from home allowance under the Government’s ‘no win, no loss’ provisions.
In addition, Austrade received $23.9 million in revenue from external sources, up $6.5 million from 2012–13, primarily because of increased cost recovery from other Government agencies, and the integration of the tourism function, which had existing revenue. Expenditure was also higher this year in line with the integration of the tourism function. Austrade also received $11 million for the departmental capital budget.
Administered expenditure was slightly lower in 2013–14 due to lower Export Market Development Grants scheme payments, partly offset by the Asian Business Engagement Plan grant payments, which were new in 2013–14.
Table 23 shows Austrade’s financial performance during the last four years. The change in dollar value from 2012–13 to 2013–14 is measured as a percentage. Therefore, an increase in dollar value (revenue, expense, asset or liability) is shown as a positive percentage, and a decrease is shown as a negative percentage. The exception is the operating result, where a movement to a smaller loss shows as a positive percentage. All positive percentage changes are shown as an upward arrow, and all negative percentage changes are shown as a downward arrow.
Outlook for 2014–15
The tight fiscal environment experienced in recent times is set to continue for a number of years. To mitigate this, Austrade’s executive has explored options to address a progressive reduction in appropriation for the foreseeable future. Austrade expects to continue to achieve its outcomes within a reduced financial envelope, while undertaking several new activities to extend the reach and scope of the services it offers.
Chief Finance Officer
EMDG = Export Market Development Grants
ABEP = Asian Business Engagement Plan
(a) Funding for ABEP grants commenced in 2013–14.
(b) Includes EMDG scheme administrative costs.
Note: Some figures have been rounded.