A glossary of terms used in this report

Administered items

Revenues, expenses, assets and liabilities that the government controls, but which an agency or authority manages on the government’s behalf.


An amount of public monies the Parliament authorises for spending for a particular purpose.


The Australian Government’s web-based procurement system, which provides centralised access to all publicly available approaches to market, multi-use lists, annual procurement plans and reported contracts.

Co-located services

Co-location of services improves the way people deal with the Australian Government by providing convenient, easy-to-access, coordinated services from a single location. People who visit a co-located office can choose from a range of Centrelink, Medicare, Child Support, CRS Australia and other government services.

Commonwealth Procurement Rules

The Commonwealth Procurement Rules establish the core procurement policy framework and articulate the government’s expectations for government agencies and their officials when performing duties related to procurement.

Corporate governance

The process by which agencies are directed and controlled. It is generally understood to encompass authority, accountability, stewardship, leadership, direction and control.

Data centres

The department’s data centres comprise a large network of computers used for remote storage, processing, matching and distribution of large amounts of data, including for other Australian Government departments.

Ecologically sustainable development

The National Strategy for Ecologically Sustainable Development defines ecologically sustainable development as ‘using, conserving and enhancing the community’s resources so that ecological processes, on which life depends, are maintained, and the total quality of life, now and in the future, can be increased’.


Web-based training is anywhere, any-time instruction delivered over the internet or a corporate intranet to browser-equipped learners.

International standards

The ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is an independent, non-governmental membership organisation and the world's largest developer of voluntary International Standards. The standards give world-class specifications for products, services and systems, to ensure quality, safety and efficiency.

Key performance indicators

These are financial and non-financial measures used to help define and evaluate an organisation’s success. An indicator is usually selected on the basis of relevance as a measure of some aspect of a specific project or operation.

Mobile apps

A mobile app is a software application designed to run on smartphones, tablet computers and other mobile devices. Usually, they are downloaded from a platform to a target device, such as an iPhone, BlackBerry, Android phone or Windows Phone, tablets such as iPads, and laptops or desktops.

Online services

These provide subscribers with a wide variety of data transmitted over telecommunications lines, that is, via the internet. The department offers a range of online services to customers and other subscribers, such as doctors. The department’s online services include sending electronic messages and online letters, accepting payment and benefit claims and low income card renewals online and offering health professionals secure access to Medicare electronic services.

Outcomes and outputs structure

This structure reflects an agency’s business and enables sound performance reporting to parliament. Outcomes are the results, impacts or consequences of actions by the Australian Government affecting the Australian community. Outputs contribute to outcomes. They are the goods or services produced by agencies on behalf of the government.

Policy departments

Australian Government policy departments are responsible for developing and implementing policies and programmes for the Australian community. The department delivers payments and services on behalf of a number of Australian Government policy departments and agencies.

Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements

Statements that inform senators, members of parliament, government departments and agencies, and the public, of changes to the proposed allocation of resources to government outcomes since the Budget.

Portfolio Budget Statements

Budget-related statements which explain how monies included in the Appropriation Bills (Budget Bills) are to be spent.


Australian Government programmes deliver benefits, services or transfer payments to individuals, industry, business or the community as a whole and are the primary vehicles for government agencies to achieve the intended results of their outcome statements. Amounts stated may differ to those reported by other client agencies due to accounting adjustments and treatments adopted by these agencies.

Service transformation

To achieve our goal of ‘excellence in the provision of government services’ the department is always looking for new ways to transform service delivery. Our approach is collaborative and wide-ranging and includes fundamental reviews of business processes and the way we manage work, as well as implementing new approaches and techniques in our interactions with customers.

Smart centres

Smart centres are virtual centres located within the department, which carry out phone and processing work across the department’s programmes, including Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support. In practical terms smart centres mean customers have better experiences, more personalised phone calls from staff, and access to department-wide assistance tailored to their individual circumstances.

Page last updated: 5 February 2016

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