Available Classifications
Alternate structures
Alphabetical Indexes
Correspondence Tables
Free downloads
International Family of Classifications
  Best practices

National classifications

  Statistical Commission
  Expert Group
  Technical Subgroup
  Workshops and Training


Contact us

   Back to regional overview

National Classifications

Government Purpose Classification

Country / Area: Australia

Classification category: Expenditure classifications

General information
1 (a)Name of the current national classification (full name in official national languages and in English with acronyms in brackets, should be given)Government Purpose Classification (GPC).
1 (b)In which language(s) is the classification available?English
1 (c)Can the classification (or information about it) be accessed on the Internet? If yes, please provide the URL.Yes, the GPC is available on the ABS website as detailed below:
Classification structure
2 (a)Please describe the structure of the classification: How many levels does the classification have? (Please provide labels, such as “Division”, “Class”) How many categories exist at each level?The GPC contains three distinct levels; Division, Group and Class. There are 14 Divisions, 54 Groups and 89 Classes.
2 (b)Please provide examples of the coding system used at each level.The Division level contains a two-digit number that precedes the title (eg. 12 Transport and Communities). The Group is coded by a three-digit that precedes the title (eg. 121 Road transport). The Class is coded by a four-digit number that precedes the title (eg. 1213 Road rehabilitation.
Relationship to international standards
3 (a)Is this classification based on (or linked to) an international standard classification? If yes, please describe.Yes, the GPC is based on the previous version of the Classification of the Functions of Government (COFOG) at the two-digit level.

GPC is in the process of being updated to align with the latest version of COFOG at the two-digit level (eg. 02 Defence, 04 Economic affairs, etc.)

3 (b)Is the classification structure identical to the international standard or, if not, how does it differ? (e.g. have additional levels been added to the international standard or have changes been made within the level of the international structure, such as aggregations or additional breakdowns)The GPC is not identical to the latest version of COFOG. Currently the GPC contains a greater number of Divisions (14) in comparison to the number of division of the COFOG (10). Once the update to the GPC has taken place it is envisaged that the classification will be identical across the ten Division codes of the COFOG. The GPC will also contain an eleventh Division code for Transport. The GPC will differ at the three-digit level and at the four-digit level.
3 (c)Please describe deviations from the international standard (in terms of structure, methodology or application rules). Please use examples, if a general statement is not possible.The GPC deviates from the COFOG at the three-digit level and at the four-digit level.
3 (d)At what level of the international standard can data be reported for international comparison? (Please provide examples of programmes / indicators if reporting takes place at different levels of the classification.)Data can be reported at the two-digit level for the purposes of international comparison, although the GPC cannot be directly mapped to the COFOG at this time.
3 (e)If no links to international classifications exist or no international standard is used, please state if there are plans to use international norms in the future.Not applicable.
Classification uses
4 (a)Please state for which statistical purposes (surveys etc.) this classification is used and if there are users outside of the Statistical Office. Please indicate at which level the classification is used for data collection and for data publishing.The GPC is used to classify government expenditure in the publication of Government Finance Statistics, see link below:
4 (b)Please give the names of institutions that use the classification for non-statistical purposes (as opposed to statistical purposes in question 4(a)). Also indicate the kind of use (e.g. tax offices, social security, customs, enterprise register, employment services, work permits etc.)Not applicable.
4 (c)Please indicate if alternative classifications are used by other institutions of the economy. Are these classifications available and useful for the Statistical Office?An alternative classification that is used within the ABS is the Local Government Purpose Classification 2008 (LGPC) which aligns with the COFOG at the two-digit level or Division level. This classification is available on the ABS website as indicated by the link below:
Implementation / revision status
5 (a)Please state the date of the official adoption of the classification. If not yet adopted, please indicate the current state (e.g. in development, sent for approval, in printing, ready to be distributed etc.)June 2006.
5 (b)Please state the date of use of the classification for individual statistical programmes.2006, then amendments were made in 2011.
5 (c)Are there existing plans for revision or update of the current classification?Yes, there are existing plans for the revision of the GPC classification to bring it into alignment with the latest version of COFOG at the two-digit level.
5 (d)Name of former (previous) national classification (full name in both national tongue and in English with acronyms in brackets, should be given)Government Purpose Classification (GPC).
5 (e)Please describe the link of the former classification to international classificationsIt was based on the SNA93 Classification of the Functions of Government (COFOG).
5 (f)Please describe the structure of the former classification and indicate the number of items at each level of the classification. (similar to question 2(a))The GPC contained three distinct levels; Division, Group and Class. There were 14 Divisions, 54 Groups and 114 Classes.
5 (g)Do conversion tables exist between the former and current classification?Yes, there is a correspondence available.
5 (h)When was the former classification implemented?We believe it was implemented in 1999.
5 (i)Are statistical data still collected or published according to the former classification? Please indicate if this statistical data is collected or published by the Statistical Office or elsewhere.No.
Supporting documents
6 (a)Have national explanatory notes and/or guidelines been elaborated?Explanatory notes to the GPC are available at the ABS website as linked below:
6 (b)Do correspondence tables exist between the national and the international classifications (if applicable)?Yes, because there are international reporting requirements to the IMF on a COFOG basis.
6 (c)Are correspondence tables between alternative and current classification available (if applicable)?Yes, there are correspondence tables from LGPC to COFOG, from LGPC to CEPA, and from LGPC to GPC available at the website below:
6 (d)Does a national coding index exist?No.
6 (e)Is the classification available in electronic form? If yes, in which formats is it available?(e.g. PDF, TXT, Excel, XML)Yes, the classification is available at the address below:
6 (f)Are the correspondence tables or indexes available in electronic form?Yes, see below:
Contact information
7 (a)Name of institution / office responsible for the development and maintenance of the classificationPublic Finance Section, Australian Bureau of Statistics
7 (b)Contact address, phone number, e-mail or website for public information and inquiryFor further information please contact the National Information and Referral Service (NIRS) by telephone on 1300 135 070.
Other comments
9 (a)Please provide any other information on this classification that you consider relevantNot applicable.

Source: UN questionnaire, 8/22/2012