Glossary

Administered items
Expenses, revenues, assets or liabilities that agencies administer on behalf of the Commonwealth. Administered expenses include grants, subsidies and benefits.
Average staffing level(s) (ASL)
ASL is the average number of employees receiving salary/wages (or compensation in lieu of salary/wages) over a financial year, with adjustments for casual and part-time employees to show the full-time equivalent.
Customers
Recipients of social support payments or outputs.
Competitive tendering
The process by which agencies call for offers to perform a service from internal and external bodies, including the private sector and other departments and agencies, in an open and transparent competitive environment.
Departmental
Assets, liabilities, revenues and expenses directly controlled by agencies.
Departmental outputs
Four common 'departmental' outputs are reported for each of the ten output groups. Broadly, these outputs are the direct product of the policy, management and administrative functions of FaCS.
Effectiveness
The extent to which actual outcomes are achieved, in terms of the planned outcomes, via relevant outputs, programs or administered expenses. The effectiveness of an output or program should be distinguished from its efficiency, which concerns the adequacy of its administration.
FaCS
Department of Family and Community Services including Child Support Agency.
FaCS core
Department of Family and Community Services excluding Child Support Agency.
Governance
Method or system of government or management of the organisation.
Outcomes
Results, impacts or consequences of actions by the Commonwealth on the Australian community. Outcomes are the results or impacts that the Government wishes to achieve. Actual outcomes are the results or impacts actually achieved.
Outputs
The goods and services produced by agencies on behalf of Government for external organisations or individuals. Outputs include goods and services produced for other areas of Government external to the agency.
Output groups
The aggregation based on homogeneity, type of product or beneficiary target group, of outputs. Aggregation may also be needed for the provision of adequate information for performance monitoring; or based on a materiality test.
Performance
The proficiency of an agency in acquiring resources economically and using those resources efficiently and effectively in achieving outcomes.
Performance indicators
Qualitative and quantitative factors of an output which provide a framework for assessing performance where direct causal links are not obvious and changes in performance are difficult to measure directly. Performance indicators are published in the Portfolio Budget Statement.
Performance information
Evidence about performance that is collected and used systemically. Evidence may relate to effectiveness or efficiency. It may be about outcomes, factors that affect outcomes, and what can be done to improve them. Performance information is the actual results in terms of performance indicators.
Performance measures
A more precise measure than indicators. Performance measures relate to outcomes, outputs, third party outputs and administered items. They are used when there is a direct causal link between an intervention and a measurable change in performance.
Portfolio Budget Statements
Statements prepared by portfolios to explain the budget appropriations in terms of planned Government outcomes.
Price
The amount the Government or the community pays for the delivery of agreed outputs. The total of all prices aggregates to equal total expenses.
Quality
Relates to the characteristics by which customers or stakeholders judge an organisation, product or service. Assessment of quality involves use of information gathered from interested parties to identify difference between users' expectations and experiences.
Quantity
Size of an output. Count or volume measures. How many or how much.
Strategies
Groups of activities to produce outputs required to achieve planned outcomes. Strategies usually comprise several activities and outputs.

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© Commonwealth of Australia, 2005 | Last modified 11 February 2005