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Annual Report 1995/1996 Northern Territory Tourist Commission



Annual Report 1995/1996 Northern Territory Tourist Commission

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Tabled Paper 2792


Tabled Papers for 7th Assembly 1994 - 1997; Tabled papers; ParliamentNT




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O v e r v i e w o f F i n a n c i a 1 R e p o r t i n g f o r t h e Y e a r E n d e d 3 0 J u n e 1 9 9 6 p L E G I S L A T I V E R E Q U I R E M E The Northern Territory Tourist Commission, although constituted under its own legislation, namely the N o r th e r n T e r r ito r y T o u r is t C o m m iss io n A ct. is nevertheless also bound by the provisions of the F in a n c ia l M a n a g e m e n t A c t, the A u d i t A c t and the P r o c u r e m e n t A c t. Under Section 13 of the F in a n c ia l M a n a g e m e n t A c t, the Commission's Managing Director is an Accountable Officer for the purposes of the legislation. Accountable Officers are the primary authority for providing financial management and accountability within Government agencies. Section 10 of the F in a n c ia l M a n a g e m e n t A c t requires an Agency to prepare an Annual Report and financial statements within 3 months of the end of the financial year. The Agency's Minister is required to table these in the Legislative Assembly. The Commission is required under Section 11(2) of the F in a n c ia l M a n a g e m e n t A c t, to produce annual financial statements in such a form as the Treasurer directs. Treasurer's Direction 2.5 requires agencies to produce a series of financial statements that are essentially cash based. The Commission's Board has directed that in addition to producing statements to satisfy the requirements of this Direction, the Commission is also to publish accrual based financial statements. This later requirement is in order to meet a commitment given by all State Tourist Commissions and the Australian Tourist Commission at a meeting of the Australian Standing Committee on Tourism in 1994. At this meeting, it was agreed that all National Tourist Organisations would prepare their statements in accrual accounting format in order to supply comparable financial information on marketing and other related activities on an annual basis to each other. In addition to the audit of the Commission's finances carried out by the Auditor-General for the Northern Territory as part of his statutory audit of the Public Account, the Commission has also contracted with the Auditor-General to undertake the audit of the accrual based statements. Accrual based statements comply with Australian Accounting Standards. Compliance with Australian Accounting Standards requires the preparation of commercial style financial statements, which entail a Balance Sheet, Statement of Income and Expenditure, Statement of Cash Flows and Explanatory Notes to the Financial Statements. These are prepared using accrual accounting, which record and report transactions in the year in which liability for a payment, or entitlement to revenue, is incurred. This differs from cash accounting which records a transaction only when the cash receipt or payment occurs. F I N A N C I A L R E P O R T I N G T O M A N A G E M E N T The Commission's monthly financial reporting to management is on a cash flow rather than an accrual basis. This is because the Commission receives appropriation from Government on a cash based allocation method and as such, budgeting needs to plan the outlays of that cash allocation. Reporting of actual expenditure, in comparison to the cash budget therefore also needs to be on a cash basis. The Commission utilises the Government Accounting System (GAS) as its management accounting tool. Monthly expenditure data is downloaded from the GAS ledger and provided to Cost Centre Managers comparing actual expenditure to their budget. Cost Centre Managers are clearly accountable for the management of the financial resources allocated to them to meet 58 A N N U A L R E P O R T 1 9 9 5 ~ 19 9 6