For the purpose of this GS, the following terms have the meanings attributed below:


General Government Sector (GGS) – Defined in AASB 1049[25] (Appendix A) and the ABS GFS Manual[26] .


‘Machinery of Government’ (MOG) change – A MOG change refers to a restructure of existing government arrangements in the public sector that may involve the reallocation or reorganisation of government functions, responsibilities and resources between government-controlled entities. MOG changes may be made for a range of reasons, including to support the policy and/or political objectives of government. MOG changes can vary in scope and complexity and can involve a combination of:

  • abolishing government departments and/or government-controlled statutory bodies;
  • creating new government departments and/or government-controlled statutory bodies;
  • merging/amalgamating one or more government departments or government-controlled statutory bodies; and/or
  • moving functions between government departments and/or government-controlled statutory bodies.

MOG changes may occur at any time, often with little or no notice; however, significant MOG changes usually occur immediately following an election when a new government announces its new ministry and any new administrative arrangements. Changes may also transpire as a result of a legislative change or a government policy decision, such as to privatise a government-controlled entity, transfer a function or outsource a function.


Public Corporations[27] (and quasi-corporations) – The terms ‘Public Corporation’ and ‘quasi-corporation’ are defined in AASB 1049 (Appendix 1) and the ABS GFS Manual. Public Corporations are typically categorised into Public Financial Corporations (PFC) and Public Non-Financial Corporations (PNFC).


Public sector – The combination of the GGS and Public Corporations.


Accounting Standard AASB 1049 Whole of Government and General Government Sector Financial Reporting.


The Australian Bureau of Statistics publication Australian System of Government Finance Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods.


Some jurisdictions may use alternative terminology to refer to Public Corporations, such as Government Owned/Controlled Corporations, Government Trading Enterprises or Government Business Enterprises.