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Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 2003-04

Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2004
ISSN 1441 9335

Review of performance

About this part of the annual report

This part reports on:

The sections reporting progress towards Outcomes 1 and 2 each include a summary of key achievements followed by a more detailed report on performance.

Tables are used to compare the Department's management of appropriations with the performance information set out in the Portfolio Budget Statements 2003-2004 Environment and Heritage Portfolio. The tables show three amounts to explain the funds needed to deliver the Department's outputs:

  1. The estimated price set out in the portfolio budget statements at the beginning of the financial year.
  2. Where applicable, the revised price, which was the full-year budget at the end of the financial year. Budgets were adjusted during the financial year (for example, through the additional estimates and supplementary additional estimates processes). They were also adjusted for actual revenue received from other sources, and revised output allocations.
  3. The actual expenses during 2003-04, which set out what was spent during the financial year. This may differ from the revised price due to changes in the Department's structure and reallocation of funding to other functions.

Footnotes are used to explain any significant differences between the budgeted prices, including any revisions, and actual expenses.

The words 'Natural Heritage Trust national investment' are used to indicate projects that were funded by the 'national investment stream' of the Natural Heritage Trust.

Use of performance information

The performance information in the portfolio budget statements reflects the structure and programmes of the Department in April 2003. In July 2003 the Department underwent a restructure. Some functions listed under Outcome 1 in the portfolio budget statements were assigned to the National Oceans Office and the Australian Antarctic Division. The Natural Heritage Division was renamed and its functions redistributed.

Consequently not all the performance information shown in the tables in this part of the annual report aligns exactly with the Department's activities during 2003-04. The additional estimates process did not change this performance information.

During 2003-4 the Department revised its performance information. The changes appear in the Portfolio Budget Statements 2004-2005 Environment and Heritage Portfolio. The Department's annual report for 2004-05 will report against the revised performance information.

Although the Department reviews the performance of its programmes each year, it can take many years to detect changes in the environment as a result of these programmes. Even then it may be difficult to decide how much change can be attributed to government action, and how much to other agents or natural causes.

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