TORRES STRAIT REGIONAL AUTHORITY
Notes to and forming part of the financial statements for the period ended 30 June 2015
Note 1: Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
1.1 Objectives of the Torres Strait Regional Authority
The Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA) is an Australian Government controlled entity. It is a not-for-profit entity. The objective of the TSRA is to achieve a better quality of life and develop an economic base for Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal persons living in the Torres Strait.
The TSRA is structured to meet one outcome:
Progress towards closing the gap for Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal people living in the Torres Strait Region through development planning, coordination, sustainable resource management, and preservation and promotion of Indigenous culture.
The continued existence of the TSRA in its present form and with its present programs is dependent on Government policy and on continuing funding by Parliament for the TSRA's administration and programs.
1.2 Basis of Preparation of the Financial Statements
The financial statements are general purpose financial statements and are required by clause 1(a) of Schedule 42 to the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013. The financial statements have been prepared in accordance with:
a) Financial Reporting Rule (FRR) for reporting periods ending on or after 1 July 2014; and
b) Australian Accounting Standards and Interpretations issued by the Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB) that apply for the reporting period.
The financial statements have been prepared on an accrual basis and in accordance with the historical cost convention, except for certain assets and liabilities at fair value. Except where stated, no allowance is made for the effect of changing prices on the results or the financial position. The financial statements are presented in Australian dollars and values are rounded to the nearest thousand dollars unless otherwise specified.
Unless an alternative treatment is specifically required by an accounting standard or the FRR, assets and liabilities are recognised in the statement of financial position when and only when it is probable that future economic benefits will flow to TSRA or a future sacrifice of economic benefits will be required and the amounts of the assets or liabilities can be reliably measured. However, assets and liabilities arising under executory contracts are not recognised unless required by an accounting standard. Liabilities and assets that are unrecognised are reported in the schedule of commitments or the contingencies note.
Unless alternative treatment is specifically required by an accounting standard, income and expenses are recognised in the Statement of Comprehensive Income when and only when the flow, consumption or loss of economic benefits has occurred and can be reliably measured.
1.3 Significant Accounting Judgements and Estimates
In the process of applying the accounting policies listed in this note, the TSRA has made the following judgements that have the most significant impact on the amounts recorded in the financial statements:
• The fair value of land and buildings has been taken to be the market value of similar properties as determined by an independent valuer. In some instances, the TSRA's buildings are purpose-built and may in fact realise more or less in the market.
• The initial fair value of concessional loans is taken to be the present value of all future cash receipts, discounted using the prevailing market rate of interest for instruments of a similar structure (currency, term, type of interest rate, credit risk). Subsequently the value of the loan is derived by applying the amortised cost using the effective interest method, with the initial market rate as the effective rate, and anticipated cash flows based on contracted repayment terms, resulting in the amortisation of the discount over the anticipated life of the loan.
No accounting assumptions or estimates have been identified that have a significant risk of causing a material adjustment to the carrying amounts of assets and liabilities within the next reporting period.
1.4 New Australian Accounting Standards
Adoption of New Australian Accounting Standard Requirements
No accounting standard has been adopted earlier than the application date as stated in the standard. The following new standards, revised standards, amended standards or interpretations were issued prior to the signing of the statement by the accountable authority and chief financial officer, were applicable to the current reporting period and had a material effect on the TSRA's financial statements.
i) AASB 1055 - Budgetary Reporting
The Standard requires disclosure of budgeted financial statements and major variances with actual figures. The standard has resulted in a substantial new note to the financial statements that adds new information that previously has not been disclosed.
Other new standards, revised standards, amended standards or interpretations that were issued prior to the signing of the statement by the accountable authority and chief financial officer and were applicable to the current reporting period did not have a material effect on the TSRA's financial statements and are not expected to have a future material effect on the TSRA's financial statements.
Future Australian Accounting Standard Requirements
There are no new standards/revised standards/interpretations/amending standards that were issued prior to the sign-off date and are applicable to the future reporting period that are expected to have a material financial impact on TSRA.
Revenue from the sale of goods is recognised when:
a) the risks and rewards of ownership have been transferred to the buyer;
b) the TSRA retains no managerial involvement or effective control over the goods;
c) the revenue and transaction costs incurred can be reliably measured; and
d) it is probable that the economic benefits associated with the transaction will flow to the TSRA.
Revenue from rendering of services is recognised by reference to the stage of completion of contracts at the reporting date. The revenue is recognised when:
a) the amount of revenue, stage of completion and transaction costs incurred can be reliably measured; and
b) the probable economic benefits associated with the transaction will flow to the TSRA.
The stage of completion of contracts at the reporting date is determined by reference to the proportion that costs incurred to date bear to the estimated total costs of the transaction.
Receivables for goods and services, which have 30 day terms, are recognised at the nominal amounts due less any impairment allowance account. Collectability of debts is reviewed at end of the reporting period. Allowances are made when collectability of the debt is no longer probable.
Interest revenue is recognised using the effective interest method as set out in AASB 139 Financial Instruments: Recognition and Measurement.
Resources Received Free of Charge
Resources received free of charge are recoginised as revenue when, and only when, a fair value can be reliably determined and the services would have been purchased if they had not been donated. Use of those resources is recognised as an expense.
Resources received free of charge are recorded as either revenue or gains depending on their nature.
Contributions of assets at no cost of acquisition or for nominal consideration are recognised as gains at their fair value when the asset qualifies for recognition, unless received from another non-corporate or corporate Commonwealth entity as a consequence of a restructuring of administrative arrangements (this did not occur in 2014-15 or 2013-14).
Revenue from Government
Funding received or receivable from non-corporate Commonwealth entities (appropriated to the non-corporate Commonwealth entity as a corporate Commonwealth entity payment item for payment to this entity) is recognised as Revenue from Government by the corporate Commonwealth entity unless the funding is in the nature of an equity injection or a loan.
Resources Received Free of Charge
Resources received free of charge are recognised as gains when, and only when, a fair value can be reliably determined and the services would have been purchased if they had not been donated. Use of those resources is recognised as an expense.
Resources received free of charge are recorded as either revenue or gains depending on their nature.
Contributions of assets at no cost of acquisition or for nominal consideration are recognised as gains at their fair value when the asset qualifies for recognition, unless received from another Government entity as a consequence of a restructuring of administrative arrangements (this did not occur in 2014-15 or 2013-14).
Sale of Assets
Gains from disposal of assets are recognised when control of the asset has passed to the buyer.
1.7 Transactions with the Government as Owner
Amounts appropriated which are designated as 'equity injections' for a year (less any formal reductions) and Departmental Capital Budgets (DCBs) are recognised directly in contributed equity in that year.
Restructuring of Administrative Arrangements
Net assets received from or relinquished to another Government entity under a restructuring of administrative arrangements are adjusted at their book value directly against contributed equity.
Other Distributions to Owners
The FRR require that distributions to owners be debited to contributed equity unless it is in the nature of a dividend.
1.8 Employee Benefits
Liabilities for 'short-term employee benefits' (as defined in AASB 119 Employee Benefits) and termination benefits expected within twelve months of the end of the reporting period are measured at their nominal amounts.
The nominal amount is calculated with regard to the rates expected to be paid on settlement of the liability.
Other long-term employee benefits are measured as net total of the present value of the defined benefit obligation at the end of the reporting period minus the fair value at the end of the reporting period of plan assets (if any) out of which the obligations are to be settled directly.
The liability for employee benefits includes provision for annual leave and long service leave. A provision for personal leave payable also exists for a select number of staff as personal leave is vesting for these staff due to a clause in their employment agreement.
The leave liabilities are calculated on the basis of employees' remuneration at the estimated salary rates that will be applied at the time the leave is taken, including the TSRA's employer superannuation contribution rates to the extent that the leave is likely to be taken during service rather than paid out on termination.
The liability for long service leave has been determined by reference to the work of an actuary as at 30 June 2015. The estimate of the present value of the long service leave liability takes into account attrition rates and pay increases through promotion and inflation.
Separation and Redundancy
Provision is made for separation and redundancy benefit payments. The TSRA recognises a provision for termination when it has developed a detailed formal plan for the terminations and has informed those employees affected that it will carry out the terminations.
The TSRA's staff are members of the Commonwealth Superannuation Scheme (CSS), the Public Sector Superannuation Scheme (PSS) or the PSS accumulation plan (PSSap).
The CSS and PSS are defined benefit schemes for the Australian Government. The PSSap is a defined contribution scheme.
The liability for defined benefits is recognised in the financial statements of the Australian Government and is settled by the Australian Government in due course. This liability is reported in the Department of Finance's administered schedules and notes.
The TSRA makes employer contributions to the employees' superannuation scheme at rates determined by an actuary to be sufficient to meet the current cost to the Government. The TSRA accounts for the contributions as if they were contributions to defined contribution plans.
The liability for superannuation recognised as at 30 June represents outstanding contributions for the final fortnight of the year.
A distinction is made between finance leases and operating leases. Finance leases effectively transfer from the lessor to the lessee substantially all the risks and rewards incidental to ownership of leased assets. An operating lease is a lease that is not a finance lease. In operating leases, the lessor effectively retains substantially all such risks and benefits.
The TSRA does not have any finance leases.
Operating lease payments are expensed on a straight line basis which is representative of the pattern of benefits derived from the leased assets. In 2014-15, the TSRA leased office accommodation, commercial and residential property for the operation of the organisation.
1.10 Borrowing Costs
All borrowing costs are expensed as incurred.
1.11 Fair Value Measurement
No transfer between levels of the fair value hierarchy has occurred at the end of the reporting period.
Cash is recognised at its nominal amount. Cash and cash equivalents includes:
a) cash on hand; and
b) demand deposits in bank accounts with an original maturity of 3 months or less that are readily convertible to known amounts of cash and subject to insignificant risk of changes in value.
1.13 Financial Assets
The TSRA classifies its financial assets in the following categories:
a) loans and receivables; and
b) held-to-maturity investments.
The classification depends on the nature and purpose of the financial assets and is determined at the time of initial recognition.
Financial assets are recognised and derecognised upon trade date.
Effective Interest Method
The effective interest method is a method of calculating the amortised cost of a financial asset and of allocating interest income over the relevant period. The effective interest rate is the rate that exactly discounts estimated future cash receipts through the expected life of the financial asset, or, where appropriate, a shorter period.
Income is recognised on an effective interest rate basis except for financial assets that are recognised at fair value through profit or loss.
Non-derivative financial assets with fixed or determinable payments and fixed maturity dates that the group has the positive intent and ability to hold to maturity are classified as held-to-maturity investments. Held-to-maturity investments are recorded at amortised cost using the effective interest method less impairment, with revenue recognised on an effective yield basis.
Loans and Receivables
Trade receivables, loans and other receivables that have fixed or determinable payments that are not quoted in an active market are classified as 'loans and receivables'. Loans and receivables are measured at amortised cost using the effective interest method less impairment. Interest is recognised by applying the effective interest rate.
Impairment of Financial Assets
Financial assets are assessed for impairment at the end of each reporting period.
Financial assets carried at amortised cost - if there is objective evidence that an impairment loss has been incurred for loans and receivables or held to maturity investments held at amortised cost, the amount of the loss is measured as the difference between the asset's carrying amount and the present value of estimated future cash flows discounted at the asset's original effective interest rate. The carrying amount is reduced by way of an allowance account. The loss is recognised in the Statement of Comprehensive Income.
1.14 Financial Liabilities
Financial liabilities are classified as either financial liabilities 'at fair value through profit and loss' or other financial liabilities. Financial liabilities are recognised and derecognised upon trade date.
Financial Liabilities at Fair Value Through Proflt or Loss
Financial liabilities at fair value through profit or loss are initially measured at fair value. Subsequent fair value adjustments are recognised in profit or loss. The net gain or loss recognised in profit or loss incorporates any interest paid on the financial liability.
Other Financial Liabilities
Other financial liabilities, including borrowings, are initially measured at fair value, net of transaction costs. These liabilities are subsequently measured at amortised cost using the effective interest method, with interest expense recognised on an effective yield basis.
The effective interest method is a method of calculating the amortised cost of a financial liability and of allocating interest expense over the relevant period. The effective interest rate is the rate that exactly discounts estimated future cash payments through the expected life of the financial liability, or, where appropriate, a shorter period.
Supplier and other payables are recognised at amortised cost. Liabilities are recognised to the extent that the goods or services have been received (and irrespective of having been invoiced).
1.15 Contingent Liabilities and Contingent Assets
Contingent liabilities and contingent assets are not recognised in the statement of financial position but are reported in the notes. They may arise from uncertainty as to the existence of a liability or asset or represent an asset or liability in respect of which the amount cannot be reliably measured. Contingent assets are disclosed when settlement is probable but not virtually certain and contingent liabilities are disclosed when settlement is greater than remote.
1.16 Acquisition of Assets
Assets are recorded at cost on acquisition except as stated below. The cost of acquisition includes the fair value of assets transferred in exchange and liabilities undertaken. Financial assets are initially measured at their fair value plus transaction costs where appropriate.
Assets acquired at no cost, or for nominal consideration, are initially recognised as assets and income at their fair value at the date of acquisition, unless acquired as a consequence of restructuring of administrative arrangements. In the latter case, assets are initially recognised as contributions by owners at the amounts at which they were recognised in the transferor's accounts immediately prior to the restructuring.
1.17 Property, Plant and Equipment
Asset Recognition Threshold
Purchases of property, plant and equipment are recognised initially at cost in the statement of financial position, except for purchases costing less than $1,000, which are expensed in the year of acquisition (other than where they form part of a group of similar items which are significant in total). The initial cost of an asset includes an estimate of the cost of dismantling and removing the item and restoring the site on which it is located.
Following initial recognition at cost, material property, plant and equipment were carried at fair value less subsequent accumulated depreciation and accumulated impairment losses. In accordance with the FRR, immaterial property, plant and equipment is measured at cost. Valuations were conducted with sufficient frequency to ensure that the carrying amounts of assets did not differ materially from the assets' fair values as at the reporting date. The regularity of independent valuations depended upon the volatility of movements in market values for the relevant assets.
Revaluation adjustments were made on a class basis. Any revaluation increment was credited to equity under the heading of asset revaluation reserve except to the extent that it reversed a previous revaluation decrement of the same asset class that was previously recognised in the surplus/deficit. Revaluation decrements for a class of assets were recognised directly in the surplus/deficit except to the extent that they reversed a previous revaluation increment for that class.
Any accumulated depreciation as at the revaluation date was eliminated against the gross carrying amount of the asset and the asset was restated to the revalued amount.
Depreciable property, plant and equipment assets are written-off to their estimated residual values over their estimated useful lives to the TSRA using, in all cases, the straight-line method of depreciation.
Depreciation rates (useful lives), residual values and methods are reviewed at each reporting date and necessary adjustments are recognised in the current, or current and future reporting periods, as appropriate.
Depreciation rates applying to each class of depreciable asset are based on the following useful lives:
|Buildings on freehold land||40 years||40 years|
|Leasehold improvements||Lease term||Lease term|
|Other Plant and Equipment||3 to 8 years||3 to 8 years|
All heritage and cultural assets have indefinite useful lives and are not depreciated.
All assets were assessed for impairment at 30 June 2015. Where indications of impairment exist, the asset's recoverable amount is estimated and an impairment adjustment made if the asset's recoverable amount is less than its carrying amount.
The recoverable amount of an asset is the higher of its fair value less costs to sell and its value in use. Value in use is the present value of the future cash flows expected to be derived from the asset. Where the future economic benefit of an asset is not primarily dependent on the asset's ability to generate future cash flows, and the asset would be replaced if the TSRA were deprived of the asset, its value in use is taken to be its depreciated replacement cost.
An item of property, plant and equipment is derecognised upon disposal or when no further economic benefits are expected from its use or disposal.
Heritage and Cultural Assets
The TSRA has a limited collection of 21 (2014 : 21) distinct Cultural and Heritage assets with an aggregated fair value of $60,000 (2014: $60,000). Cultural assets are comprised of artworks, carvings, and traditional headdresseses. Heritage assets consist of models of 2 (2014 : 2) sailing vessels and a brass Pearl Diver's helmet (2014 : 1) each of which has historical significance to the region. The assets are on display at the TSRA's main office and the Gab Titui Cultural Centre. The conservation and preservation of TSRA's heritage and cultural assets is achieved by a variety and combination of means including: the provision of education and awareness programs; asset management planning; professional training and development; research; and the provision of appropriate storage and display environments.
1.18 Taxation / Competitive Neutrality
The TSRA is exempt from all forms of taxation except Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) and the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
Revenues, expenses and assets are recognised net of GST except:
a) where the amount of GST incurred is not recoverable from the Australian Taxation Office; and
b) for receivables and payables.