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Research Guides


Collections in Perth: A Guide to Commonwealth Government Records


12. Financial Matters

Commonwealth functions of a financial nature include audit matters, taxation, Treasury concerns and banking. Generally agencies concerned with these matters were highly centralised, with policy matters being determined at their head offices in Melbourne or Canberra. Relevant Western Australian agencies are described below.

Audit

The Agency

The Office of Auditor-General was established by the Audit Act 1901. In 1902 Frederick Spencer, the Auditor-General of Western Australia, was appointed to the position of Deputy Commonwealth Auditor-General of Western Australia. The title changed a number of times before it became – and remained for the next 50 years – the Chief Auditor in 1926. In 1912 this office was transferred from the Treasury to the Prime Minister's Department. From the time of its creation the Auditor-General's Office has been responsible for auditing the accounts of the Government departments and agencies.

  • 1902–96: Auditor General's Office (1984–90, the Australian Audit Office (CA 564)
  • 1990–: he Australian National Audit Office), WA (CA 564)

The Records

The following list includes examples of records created by the Auditor-General's Office, WA.

REGISTER OF AUDITOR-GENERAL'S COMMONWEALTH RULINGS AND PROCEDURES, ETC, 1905–51
Perth
This series contains one volume of brief summaries of rulings given and procedures determined in connection with Commonwealth activities.
Series: PP211/4
Quantity: 0.36 metres
Recorded by: 1905–52: Auditor-General's Office, WA (CA 564)
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENCE FINANCE CIRCULARS, 1917
Perth
This series consists of a volume that contains an index and consecutively numbered blank pages. Each page contains a circular headed, 'To all district paymasters'. The circulars are financial instructions to 1st AIF paymasters about Defence and civilian personnel.
Series: PP211/1
Quantity: 0.54 metres
Recorded by: 1917: Auditor-General's Office, WA (CA 564)
PUBLIC SERVICE BOARD, CIRCULAR MEMORANDUMS, 1917–33
Perth
This series contains circulars dealing with duties and conditions existing in all departments, including furlough, sick leave, travelling allowance and hours of work.
Series: PP211/3
Quantity: 0.09 metres
Recorded by: 1917–33: Auditor-General's Office, WA (CA 564)
CORRESPONDENCE REGISTER, 1918–28
Perth
This series consists of a volume containing entries of correspondence received by the Audit Office. Information recorded includes audit number, date, subject of correspondence and disposal of the matter.
Series: PP211/2
Quantity: 0.09 metres
Recorded by: 1918–28: Auditor-General's Office, WA (CA 564)
CORRESPONDENCE FILES, MULTIPLE NUMBER SERIES, 1928–48 (CONTENTS RANGE: 1911–50)
Perth
This series contains the agency's first main correspondence file series and documents the activities of the agency, including administrative matters.
Series: K1228
Quantity: 1 metre
Recorded by: 1928–48: Auditor-General's Office, WA (CA 564)
Taxation procedures, 1911–48 K1228, 20/1/1
War Service Homes agreement with State Government, 1922–26 K1228, 23/1/1/1
Checks internal – general – all departments, 1924–42 K1228, 3/2/1
Commonwealth Auditor-General's reports, 1927–48 K1228, 1/5/2 part 1
Commonwealth Auditor-General's reports, 1927–48 K1228, 1/5/2 part 2
Commonwealth Auditor-General's reports, 1927–48 K1228, 1/5/2 part 5
Commonwealth Auditor-General's reports, 1927–48 K1228, 1/5/2 part 6
Commonwealth Auditor-General's reports, 1927–48 K1228, 1/5/2 part 7
Preservation of war records, 1928–48 K1228, 3/4/11
Department of Navy – Royal Naval Forces based in Australia, 1945 K1228, 14/1/2/17

Treasury, loans and banking

The Agencies

Soon after Federation the Commonwealth arranged for a permanent head to be appointed to the Western Australian Treasury Department. The permanent head was responsible for certifying expenditure accounts for services rendered to the Commonwealth by the Deputy Auditor-General and by officers from the Commonwealth Sub-Treasury and the State Audit Department. It was not until 1906 that a Commonwealth Sub-Treasury was established in WA. This consisted principally of a Sub-Treasury accountant and a Sub-Treasury paymaster.

Inscribed stock registries were created in 1915 in accordance with the Commonwealth Inscribed Stock Act 1911. These registries were responsible to the Treasury, with section 4(1) of the principal legislation specifying in part that the:

Governor-General may by order create capital stock called Commonwealth Government Inscribed Stock for raising money by way of loan.

The Act also specified that registries were to be established for the inscription of stock within the Commonwealth and that all stock issued had to be inscribed in a stock ledger at a registry.

The Commonwealth Loans and National Savings Organisation was created during World War II. Its function was to publicise the issue of Commonwealth loans securities and to encourage national savings groups. It later dealt with the issue of special bonds and, in the 1960s, with drought bonds.

  • 1915–: Registrar of Inscribed Stock, Perth (CA 7232)
  • 1919–76: Sub-Treasury (from 1974, known as the Office of the Australian Treasury), WA (CA 1008)
  • 1942–76: Commonwealth Loans and National Savings Organisation (from 1974, the Australian Government Loans and National Savings Organisation), WA (CA 5267)

The Records

The following list contains examples of record series created by agencies responsible for Treasury, loans and banking matters.

LOAN AND FUNDRAISING MEMORABILIA, RANDOM ORDER, 1942–63
Perth
This series contains loan and fundraising memorabilia of the Loans and National Savings Organisation. Honour pennants, samples of Treasury bonds, photographs, miscellaneous bulletins, certificates, newspaper cuttings, minutes of war effort committee meetings, and gramophone records about national quizzes are included in this series.
Series: K459
Quantity: 1 metre
Recorded by: 1942–63: Commonwealth Loans and National Savings Organisation, WA (CA 5267)
HONORARY LOAN SECRETARY'S FILES, ALPHABETICAL ORDER BY TOWN, 1942–76
Perth
This series contains files about the establishment and functions of honorary loan secretaries in country towns.
Series: K458
Quantity: 1 metre
Recorded by: 1942–76: Commonwealth Loans and National Savings Organisation (from 1974, the Australian Government Loans and National Savings Organisation), WA (CA 5267)
GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE FILES, 1947–79
Perth
Files in this series contain general correspondence on the policy and organisation of the Loans and National Savings Organisation, including material on the penny campaign and decimal currency.
Series: K460
Quantity: 0.36 metres
Recorded by: 1947–76: Commonwealth Loans and National Savings Organisation (from 1974, the Australian Government Loans and National Savings Organisation), WA (CA 5267)
NATIONAL SAVINGS PROGRAM FILES, SINGLE NUMBER SERIES, 1948–76
Perth
This series contains policy and administration files about the national savings program.
Series: K457
Quantity: 0.36 metres
Recorded by: 1948–76: Commonwealth Loans and National Savings Organisation (from 1974, the Australian Government Loans and National Savings Organisation), WA (CA 5267)

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