Each year an Appropriation Bill is prepared and tabled alongside the Budget, currently known as Budget Paper 5.

The objective of this Bill is to authorise spending of Consolidated Fund as required during the financial year for services of the Government.

The authority to spend is allocated to departments of the public service and various special offices and the amounts that each of these agencies are allocated are determined as part of the Budget process.

During the year agencies may require variations to their annual appropriation, for example if new decisions are made by Government that require them to spend more than their existing appropriation for the Budget year.

Variations to Annual Appropriation

The following mechanisms can be used to supplement existing appropriations . For a more detailed explanation of the mechanisms available, refer to the Government Sector Finance Act 2018 and the Appropriation Act 2021 for the current year. 

GSF Act 2018 - S4.9: Transfers of the functions between GSF agencies

Section 4.9 can apply when responsibility for a service, function or program is transferred from one GSF agency to another. The section clarifies that the appropriation assigned to the original GSF agency may also be transferred to another agency through a determination made by the Treasurer.

GSF Act 2018 - S4.11: Variations of annual appropriations for Commonwealth Grants

Section 4.11 is available if the Commonwealth does not provide for the whole of the amount of  a Specific Purpose Payment (SPP), increases a SPP or makes a SPP that was not included in the Budget Papers of the year. The Treasurer can adjust the agency’s appropriation to reflect the Commonwealth’s adjustments. 

GSF Act 2018 - S4.13: Exigencies of Government - Additional Consolidated Fund Appropriation is required

Section 4.13 is generally available only for urgent and unforeseen expenditures, e.g. natural disasters and unforeseen costs etc. The Treasurer, with the approval of the Governor, may determine that additional amounts can be paid out of Consolidated Fund for such urgent and unforeseen expenditures. Any additional amount determined under this section must also be no more than is necessary in the public interest. 

Appropriation Act 2021 – S32(1): Exigencies of Government - Transfer of appropriation from another agency due to exigencies of government

The Treasurer can transfer appropriations from one agency to another if there is an exigency of Government. The purpose for which the transferred appropriation is used must be consistent with the purposes set out in the same Part of the Appropriations Act as the original appropriation.

Appropriation Act 2021 – S32(2): Transfer of appropriation from the savings of another agency

Transfers of appropriations from one agency to another is permitted if the original recipient of the appropriation has savings in their consolidated fund appropriation. The Treasurer can determine that those savings can be utilised to supplement another agency’s appropriation if that agency’s appropriation is insufficient to carry out their purpose. The purpose for which the transferred appropriation is used must be consistent with the purposes set out in the same Part of the Appropriations Act as the original appropriation.  

List of Principal Departments and Special Offices

The following agencies receive a direct appropriation. All other agencies receive authority to spend Consolidated Fund via one of the Principal Departments or Special Offices listed below and or under other legislation.

Principal Departments

Special Offices and the Legislature
Department of Customer Service Judicial Commission of New South Wales
Department of Education Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions
Ministry of Health Office of the Children's Guardian
Department of Planning, Industry and Environment Independent Commission Against Corruption
Department of Premier and Cabinet Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal
Regional NSW Law Enforcement Conduct Commission
Department of Communities and Justice New South Wales Electoral Commission
Transport NSW Ombudsman's Office
The Treasury Public Service Commission
  The Legislature


Last updated: 26/08/2021