Annual Report 2016-17

Glossary - Annual Report 2015-16

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.

Claims finalised

Claims finalised means claims that are granted or rejected.

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.

Corporate plan

The aim of the corporate plan is to outline the strategies we will follow to achieve our objectives, and how we will measure success. We report on the key performance indicators contained in the corporate plan in our annual reports and update the plan every year.

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.


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.

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 users 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.

Protected industrial action

Employees and employers can only take protected industrial action when they are negotiating on a proposed enterprise agreement. The industrial action can legally be taken when bargaining for the agreement is unsuccessful. The Fair Work Commission must order a protected action ballot to authorise the industrial action.

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 technologies 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.


Telephony is the construction or operation of telephones and telephonic systems and as a system of telecommunications in which telephonic equipment is employed in the transmission of speech or other sound between points, with or without the use of wires. The term is also used to refer to computer hardware, software, and computer network systems that carry out functions traditionally performed by telephone equipment.

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Page last updated: 6 August 2018