Opinion Number. 342

Subject

FINANCE EXTENT OF POWERS OF GOVERNOR-GENERAL AND TREASURER TO TRANSFER MONEYS TO TRUST ACCOUNT

Key Legislation

AUDIT ACTS 1901-1906, s. 62A : SURPLUS REVENUE ACT 1908, s. 5

Date
Client
The Secretary to the Treasury

The Secretary to the Treasury forwards the following memorandum for advice:

The Audit Act (section 62a) provides that moneys appropriated by law, for the purposes of any Trust Account may be paid to the credit of the Trust Account.

The Schedule to the Audit Act defines the purposes of the Small Arms Ammunition Account.

Apparently moneys may be transferred from Revenue to Trust Fund without Order in Council on the authority of the Audit Act.

It is, however, observed that section 5 of the Surplus Revenue Act prescribes an Order in Council in such cases.

Will the Secretary please state if the authority conferred by the Audit Act is affected by the provision in the Surplus Revenue Act?

In my opinion the authority conferred by section 62A of the Audit Act is in no way affected by section 5 of the Surplus Revenue Act.

The latter section prevents appropriation for the purposes of a Trust Fund from lapsing at the end of the financial year for the service of which they were made, and enables the Governor-General in any year to pay to the Trust Fund any moneys so appropriated.

The power of the Governor-General under this section does not detract from the power of the Treasurer under the Audit Act.

It may be observed that the wording of the section in the Surplus Revenue Act is wider in one respect than the Audit Act; it mentions appropriations 'for the purposes of the Trust Account, or for any purpose for which the Trust Account is established'.

But I think that paragraph (a) of sub-section (5) of section 62A of the Audit Act-'All moneys appropriated by law for the purposes of any Trust Account'-covers the case where the purpose of the appropriation is identical with the purposes of the Trust Account, as defined in the Fourth Schedule to the Act, or by the Treasurer under sub-section (2) of section 62A-notwithstanding that the Trust Account is not mentioned in the appropriation.(1)

[Vol. 7, p. 171]

(1) This opinion was published in Commonwealth of Australia, Pari Papers 1909, Vol. II, p. 1284.

* See also Opinions Nos 343,409.