Report on Performance:Outcome 2

Outcome 2: Improved government administration and operations

Finance supports improvement in government administration and operations by providing systems, policy implementation and advice on procurement, the management and construction of Commonwealth property, oversight of government business enterprises, assisting agencies in the effective management of risk, and the application of information and communications technology.

Support is provided to agencies for the procurement of certain goods and services in common use to enable them to access economies of scale in purchasing and to achieve greater value for money. In 2009-10, the government appointed a Procurement Coordinator to improve communication and understanding between government purchasers and business providers. New policy advice was introduced on the purchase of domestic air travel together with new arrangements for campaign advertising flowing from the Hawke Report.

Finance also constructs buildings and helps agencies achieve better value for money in the management of office space. The Commonwealth New Building Project to house the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) is taking shape and a new property management framework has been put in place to drive greater efficiency in the use of office space.

In its role assisting the government in the management of Government Business Enterprises (GBEs), Finance continued to give advice to the government on the National Broadband Network (NBN) on issues such as governance, board appointments and equity injections. Finance is also hosting the Moorebank Project Office to establish the business case and implementation strategy for the Moorebank intermodal terminal precinct.

The growth in the importance of information technology in the delivery of government services continued to drive innovation in Finance’s role to help agencies improve ICT services and achieve better value for money. New panel arrangements have been put in place for desktop and telecommunication services.

The 2010-11 Budget papers were published online under a Creative Commons license, meaning that while the Commonwealth still owns copyright in the documents, the public can reuse the content in new and useful ways without having to ask permission, and new techniques have been developed to better manage ICT skills and recruitment.

A number of Finance’s significant achievements are outlined below. Further information and commentary on Finance’s performance against deliverables and key performance indicators (KPIs) for this outcome is available at Table 5 and the resource statement is at Table 6.

Procurement Framework

Procurement management

Finance provides advice on the development and management of the Commonwealth procurement policy framework. The department continues to enhance the electronic whole‑of‑government procurement notification and reporting system AusTender.  Finance maintains the coordinated procurement contracting framework and continues to manage whole-of-government air travel, advertising and vehicle contracts. Finance also established the Procurement Coordinator to assist the business community with matters relating to Australian Government procurement activities.

Procurement framework

Finance continues to assist agencies in their understanding and implementation of the procurement policy framework.

Two air travel policies and related circulars were released in 2009-10: Finance Circular 2009/10 – Use of the Lowest Practical Fare for Official Domestic Air Travel and Finance Circular 2009/11 – Best Fare of the Day for International Official Air Travel. These circulars set out agency requirements for achieving value for money and encourage competition while promoting non-discriminatory procurement processes.

Finance also published better practice guides on Improving Value for Money in Media Monitoring Services and Assessing the Financial Viability of Tenderers, and simplified guidance to help agencies better apply government policies implemented through procurement activities.

Finance, in conjunction with the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, worked with National Disability Services during 2009-10 to help Australian Disability Enterprises provide employment through access to Australian Government business opportunities. This included Finance involvement on the Disability Procurement Project Steering Committee chaired by National Disability Services.

Finance supported the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in international negotiations covering government procurement. This included supporting negotiations on the development of the Australia‑Japan Free Trade Agreement, the Australia‑Korea Free Trade Agreement, and the Trans‑Pacific Partnership Agreement.

Procurement Coordinator

In July 2009, the government released the Australian Government Procurement Statement, which foreshadowed the creation of a Procurement Coordinator. The functions of the Procurement Coordinator include: providing external parties with a better understanding of the Commonwealth Procurement Framework; handling certain complaints; monitoring issues related to Australian Government procurement; and reporting to the Finance Minister on procurement matters. The Procurement Consultation Committee was established in October 2009, comprising industry, union and community stakeholders. The members identify procurement issues that affect their sectors, contribute to formulating workable solutions, and promote a better understanding of the Commonwealth’s financial and procurement frameworks within their sphere of authority.

Coordinated procurement contracting

Finance has established a framework to coordinate the procurement of certain goods and services in common use across Financial Management and Accountability (FMA) Act agencies. Coordinated procurement contracting aims to deliver efficiencies and savings by aggregating government purchasing to obtain better pricing and improve value for money. It reduces the cost and duplication of procurement practices for both agencies and industry.

Finance has the lead role in coordinated procurement contracting. During 2009-10, Finance continued to implement the government’s coordinated procurement initiative through whole‑of‑government procurement arrangements.

In October 2009, the Finance Minister announced that coordinated arrangements would be established for desktop computing equipment and telecommunications products and services. An approach to the market for desktops was undertaken in early 2010 and is scheduled for completion in September 2010. To meet requirements in the interim period, agencies have access to the Department of Defence’s (Defence) panel for desktop computing equipment. For telecommunications products there will be four approaches, some of which are nearing completion and the remainder will be completed by the end of 2010.

The government also agreed to implement a coordinated arrangement for major office machines and the approach to market is expected to be undertaken in the third quarter of 2010. In addition, the Australian Government Data Centre Strategy was released on 22 March 2010. It explained that data centre requirements would be planned, procured and managed on a whole‑of‑government basis. Approaches to the market are anticipated in the third and fourth quarters of 2010.

In May 2010, the tendering process for travel and related services was completed. Arrangements have been put in place for domestic and international air travel, and travel management services with effect from 1 July 2010.

Finance established an internal Travel Arrangements Taskforce to progress the whole‑of‑government tenders for travel services. Three separate open tenders were conducted in the second half of 2009 for domestic air travel, international air travel and travel management services. On 9 May 2010, the Finance Minister announced the appointment of four domestic airlines, thirteen international airlines and five travel management service providers to supply travel services to public service agencies as well as parliamentarians and their staff. The new travel arrangements, to apply from 1 July 2010, will deliver savings to the Budget by optimising value for money through travel cost reductions, more efficient practices and the promotion of behavioural change.

Preparation has commenced for the second phase of open tenders for the provision of accommodation, hire cars and travel cards to the Australian Government. Scoping studies were initiated to determine the feasibility of stationery and office supplies, and internet gateways for coordinated procurement arrangements.

Government advertising

Whole‑of‑government transparency and accountability arrangements have been in place since July 2008 to govern the content and presentation of Australian Government advertising campaigns valued at more than $250,000 conducted by FMA Act agencies. A key element included Guidelines on Campaign Advertising by Australian Government Departments and Agencies to govern the presentation and content of advertising campaigns.

In February 2010, an independent review of government campaign advertising arrangements was undertaken by Dr Allan Hawke AC (the Hawke Report). In response to the recommendations of the Hawke Report, the government introduced a number of changes to the governance arrangements for campaign advertising with effect from 31 March 2010. These changes included the adoption of simplified and clarified Guidelines on Information and Advertising Campaigns, and the creation of a new Independent Communications Committee (ICC) to provide reports to chief executives on whether advertising campaigns comply with the revised guidelines.

Prior to the adoption of these revised arrangements, advertising campaigns were considered at key stages of development by an Interdepartmental Committee on Communications (IDCC), a committee of six deputy secretaries from a number of agencies, chaired by Finance. They were subsequently independently reviewed by the Australian National Audit Office for compliance with the guidelines. Finance provided secretariat services for both the IDCC and the ICC. During the 2009‑10 financial year, the IDCC held 16 meetings, while the ICC met 11 times.

As part of an ongoing series of reports to provide greater transparency and accountability, the government released two publications detailing major government advertising campaigns and associated costs. The first report, released in September 2009, provided information covering media expenditure and associated costs (such as campaign research and advertising production costs) for the 2008-09 financial year. The second biannual report, released in March 2010, provided an overview of the media expenditure costs for campaigns that ran during the first half of the 2009-10 financial year.

The Communications Multi-Use List (CMUL), which is administered by Finance, continued to operate as a whole‑of‑government procurement arrangement for agencies undertaking major advertising campaigns. In consultation with Finance, agencies undertaking major campaigns access the CMUL to identify suitable communications experts in the areas of advertising, market research, public relations, communications with Indigenous Australians, and communications with people from non‑English speaking backgrounds. Consistent with the government’s commitment to introduce greater accountability and transparency in relation to advertising campaigns, the details of all suppliers listed on the CMUL are publicly available on AusTender.

Finance operates the Central Advertising System (CAS), which consolidates government advertising expenditure and secures optimal media discounts on Commonwealth-wide negotiated media rates. In operating the CAS, Finance manages the contracts of two media specialists which assist in media planning, placement and rates negotiations with media outlets. Adcorp Australia Limited (Adcorp) places all non-campaign advertisements, such as job vacancies, tender and public notices and Universal McCann handles all campaign media planning and placement.

Following open tender processes in 2008, the contract with Adcorp commenced on 5 May 2009 and Universal McCann commenced on 1 July 2009, both for an initial term of three years with two optional one-year extension periods.

On 1 July 2009, the government introduced Guidelines on Non-Campaign Recruitment Advertising (Recruitment Advertising Guidelines) for FMA Act agencies. The framework focuses on reducing recruitment advertising costs in the print media by setting maximum sizes, mandating the use of black and white printing and minimising the number of newspapers in which positions are advertised.

In March 2010, the Recruitment Advertising Guidelines were revised, in consultation with FMA Act agencies, to include the use of whole-of-government composite advertisements in national and metropolitan newspapers. The revised guidelines took effect from 1 July 2010 and continue to prohibit the use of colour for print recruitment advertising and encourage the use of alternative methods of recruitment advertising, such as online media.

A total of $40.6 million was expended on non-campaign advertising including recruitment and tender notices. Of this amount, FMA Act agencies accounted for $31.6 million and Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 (CAC Act) bodies accounted for $9.0 million.

In 2009-10, $132.1 million was expended on campaign advertising through the CAS including $114.7 million for FMA Act agencies and $17.4 million on CAC Act bodies. Table 3 details major advertising campaigns by FMA Act agencies placed through the CAS using media expenditure of $250,000 as the threshold.

Table 3: Major campaigns 2009-10

Campaign Department/Agency

Media Expenditure
$ (m)

National Security Attorney-General's Department

0.8

National Missing Persons Week Australian Federal Police

0.3

Donate Life Australian Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation Authority

4.9

Small Business Tax Break Australian Taxation Office

1.4

Digital Switchover Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy

10.9

National Broadband Network Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy

4.7

Defence Reserves Enhancements Department of Defence

0.5

Defence Force Recruiting Department of Defence

25.1

New Employment Services Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations 2.6
Pension Reforms Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs 1.1
Promoting Respectful Relationships Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs 2.9
Smartraveller Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade 0.7
Australian Better Health Initiative, Measure Up! Department of Health and Ageing 10.8
H1N1 Influenza (Human Swine Flu) Vaccination and Prevention Program 1 Department of Health and Ageing 8.8
Health Reforms Department of Health and Ageing 9.3
National Binge Drinking Campaign Department of Health and Ageing 6.8
National Illicit Drugs Department of Health and Ageing 4.6
National Sexually Transmissible Infections Department of Health and Ageing 0.6
National Skin Cancer Awareness Department of Health and Ageing 2.0
National Youth Tobacco Department of Health and Ageing 4.8
AusIndustry Branding 2 Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research 0.3
Tax Reform 3 Department of the Treasury 7.2

Motor vehicle fleet arrangements

Finance has a contract with LeasePlan Australia Ltd (LeasePlan) which governs the vehicle fleet arrangements for Australian Government agencies subject to the FMA Act. The contract commenced on 1 February 2004 and is scheduled to expire on 31 January 2013.

Finance monitors and reviews LeasePlan’s services to ensure that they are provided in accordance with the contract. The department also works with agencies to ensure they have an appropriate level of awareness about contract management and fleet management issues.

In addition, Finance manages vehicle supply arrangements with Ford, Holden and Toyota, consistent with the government’s policy of supporting Australian vehicle manufacturers.  Agencies make their vehicle selections within this purchasing framework having regard for value for money, safety, environmental benefit and operational suitability. More than 80 per cent of the fleet has been sourced from Australian manufacturers (either locally made or imported).

A per-vehicle administration fee, paid by participating agencies, funds Finance’s contract management services and the next approach to the market. During 2009-10, Finance received fees totalling $909,131 from participating agencies.

At 30 June 2010, there were 110 agencies participating in the arrangement with 8,379 commercial and passenger vehicles leased and managed under the contract. In addition, the contract applies to a fleet of 6,071 non-military vehicles operated by Defence. The total value of all vehicles was approximately $448 million.

Information on the fleet’s program to improve its environmental profile is included in Appendix F‑Ecologically Sustainable Development and Environmental Performance.

Efficient use of ICT

ICT Reform Program

Work on the four-year ICT Reform Program is well advanced. Sir Peter Gershon’s 2008 Review of the Australian Government’s use of Information and Communication Technology recommended 42 enabling activities to support the program between 2008‑09 and 2011‑12. To date, 35 of these enabling activities have been completed.

Major achievements in 2009-10 included:

  • Allocation of $231 million from two rounds of the ICT Business as Usual (BAU) Reinvestment Fund to fund 44 new projects across 20 government agencies.
  • Implementation of the UK Office of Government Commerce’s P3M3™ as a common capability assessment methodology of program and project management in all FMA Act agencies.
  • Endorsement by the Secretaries’ ICT Governance Board (SIGB) of six whole‑of‑government policies now subject to opt-out arrangements:
    • Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0
    • Common Parliamentary Workflow Language Taxonomy Terms and Definitions
    • ICT Customisation and Bespoke Development Policy
    • Strategic ICT Supplier Management Framework
    • Preservation of Online Content (proposed by the National Library of Australia)
    • ICT Tele‑working Policy to assist the government to recruit and retain ICT skilled professionals.
  • The release of the Australian Government’s Data Centre Strategy 2010‑2025 which aims to increase efficiency in the use of electricity and ICT assets, reduce data centre floor space and associated costs, better match data centre ICT facilities to business needs, and standardise ICT infrastructure architecture and the early use of new technologies.
  • Compliance with the initial phase of the ICT Customisation and Bespoke Development Policy by 96 per cent of FMA Act agencies.
  • The launch of the Government and Industry Principles of Engagement on ICT which improve the operation of the government ICT marketplace by outlining the expected standards and behaviours for all members of the Australian Government’s value chain.
  • An amendment to the intellectual property (IP) principles so that there is a default position in favour of the supplier owning the IP in software created by the supplier under contract with an FMA Act agency.
  • Endorsement of options for the mutual reinforcement of the government’s ICT and small and medium enterprise policies.
  • Benchmarking of agencies’ 2008-09 ICT activities and provision of reports to agencies on how they compared to other agencies. Finance also initiated work to investigate opportunities for achieving economies of scale for small agencies.
  • Completion of phase 1 of ICT contractor reductions which saw $5 million saved through the conversion of more than 200 contractor positions to Australian Public Service (APS) staff positions. This process also delivered savings of approximately $15 million through the removal of contract positions thus reducing the APS’s reliance on contractors.
  • The release of the whole-of-government Strategic ICT Workforce Plan and ICT Career Structure. The Workforce Plan helps agencies plan, develop and manage a qualified and flexible ICT workforce. The ICT Career Structure provides a whole-of-government
  • capability framework, and an online career planning tool to assist ICT professionals within the APS in planning their career.
  • Delivery of a range of workshops and presentations for non-ICT Senior Executive Service (SES) officers to promote a greater understanding of ICT issues at senior levels in agencies. The program included presentations by senior executives of Australian and international companies to APS leaders on the use of ICT in their organisation.
  • An assessment of the use and effectiveness of e-Auctions, including a pilot project. An e-Auction is a tool that can be used in procurement to obtain improved pricing as part of a value-for-money decision.

Further advances in environmentally sustainable components of the ICT Reform Program are reported at Appendix F – Ecologically Sustainable Development and Environmental Performance.

ICT governance committees

The SIGB continued to oversee the implementation of the ICT Reform Program and made decisions on 14 whole-of-government ICT strategies during the course of the year.

In December 2009, the SIGB dissolved the ICT Reform Program Board as it had largely completed its task and the implementation of the program had sufficient oversight provided through SIGB and the Expenditure Review Committee.

Delivering government information and services online

Australian Government Online Service Point (australia.gov.au redevelopment)

Work on the online service point continued with the launch of new features on ‘australia.gov.au’ to provide a better service delivery portal for citizens and an improved platform to support agencies in delivering better online services. The new features include:

  • an advanced online forms service that simplifies transactions with government
  • an improved search facility that encompasses state and local government websites
  • an optional customer account system that allows personalised and simplified access to government
  • a customer-focused whole-of-government service directory.

The ‘australia.gov.au’ website has averaged 710,000 visitors a month in the year-to-date, up from 607,000 per month in 2008-09. Finance continues to work with agencies to add new information and services to ‘australia.gov.au’.

Interacting with Government Online

During 2009-10, Finance conducted the fifth annual survey of Australians’ use and satisfaction with e-government services. The Finance Minister released the survey report, Interacting with Government, on 31 March 2010. The 2009 survey found that the number of people in older age groups who use e-government services continues to grow. Internet remains the most frequent method last used to contact government with two in five (38 per cent) people doing so. While in previous studies the internet was the most frequently used method for contacting government among those aged 18 to 44, it is now also the most frequently used method amongst those in the 55 to 64 years age group. Those in older age groups are also making increased use of communication technologies such as email, SMS and social networking sites.

Consulting with Government Online

Government 2.0 Taskforce and progress against recommendations

Finance’s 2008-09 Annual Report foreshadowed the establishment of the Government 2.0 Taskforce to advise on the role of Web 2.0 technologies in government. In December 2009, the taskforce released its report, Engage: Getting on with Government 2.0. In May 2010, the government broadly accepted 12 of the 13 recommendations. The government’s response will:

  • improve leadership, policy and governance to achieve shifts in public sector culture and practice
  • promote the use of Web 2.0 tools and practices to better engage with citizens and improve collaboration between agencies
  • open access to public sector information
  • make a Declaration of Open Government to promote greater participation in Australia’s democracy.

Since May 2010, Finance has:

  • established a steering group drawn from key government agencies to develop and implement the Government 2.0 work program
  • established a range of online forums, including govspace and the Government 2.0 Showcase, to enable public servants to learn about and participate in Government 2.0 practices
  • released the ‘data.australia.gov.au’ website to enable greater access to public sector information
  • developed guidance and policy to assist agencies in their use of Web 2.0 technologies.
Release of the 2010-11 Budget under a Creative Commons license

A major achievement was the release of the 2010-11 Budget papers under a Creative Commons license. This allowed users of the budget papers to use the data without having to go through a process of seeking additional copyright permission. The Creative Commons license clearly explains the responsibility of users and protects the integrity of official budget information.

WCAG 2.0 and the Web Accessibility National Transition Strategy

Since 2000, the mandated standard for ensuring accessible Australian Government information and services online has been the World Wide Web Consortium’s WCAG Guidelines. With the release of WCAG version 2.0, the government has now acted to mandate phased compliance with the improved standard.

On 30 June 2010, the government released the Web Accessibility National Transition Strategy. The strategy identifies the importance of accessibility in the provision of information online in meeting the objectives of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as well as the Disability Discrimination Act 1992. The strategy is a best practice guide on accessibility and will assist government agencies with ensuring their compliance with WCAG version 2.0.

Coordinated ICT procurement

In October 2009, the government announced its intention to establish new whole‑of‑government arrangements for the procurement of desktop computing equipment and telecommunications products and services. This followed scoping studies which indicated that greater coordination in the purchasing of these goods and services had the potential to achieve significant savings.

The new arrangements for desktop computing equipment and telecommunications products and services include whole-of-government panels and contracts. The desktop panel covers desktop and mobile computing equipment, monitors, and associated services such as installation and disposal. Contract implementation is expected during September 2010.

In conjunction with the desktop panel arrangements, the government has directed the development and implementation of a whole-of-government Common Operating Environment policy. The policy seeks to optimise desktop standard operating environments, improve agencies’ ability to share services and applications, and support the government’s e-Security policy.

The following four telecommunication panels were developed to manage procurement from the second half of 2010.

Table 4: Telecommunication panels

Panel Services covered

Internet Based Network Connection

Network carriage services (i.e. bandwidth)

Virtual connection management services (i.e. end-to-end delivery of the IP telecommunications services)

Major internet connection services (i.e. gateway connectivity to the internet)

Telecommunications Commodities, Carriage and Associated Services

Mobile voice and data services

SIM cards

Mobile handsets

Smartphone handsets

Mobile broadband modems and accessories

Telecommunication Invoice Reconciliation Services

Analysis of telecommunication invoices to identify opportunities for savings

Telecommunication Lifecycle Management Services

Design and specification

Help Desk support

Service level management

Telecommunications billing

Enhancing the management of the ICT skills base

Whole-of-government entry-level programs

During 2009‑10, Finance continued to manage the whole-of-government ICT entry level programs on behalf of APS agencies. The programs employed apprentices and cadets in positions in Canberra, Adelaide and Brisbane. The ICT entry-level programs enable agencies to build and develop their ICT capability while providing participants with an opportunity to commence an ICT career within the APS. Both the apprenticeship and the cadetship programs combine work and study, with apprentices employed at the APS 1 level and cadets at the APS 2 level. 

In January 2010, 29 apprentices and 26 cadets joined the apprenticeship and cadetship programs and were employed across 16 APS agencies. Finance employed one ICT apprentice in 2010. All of the seven ICT cadets and apprentices the department recruited between 2007 and 2009 were still employed by Finance as at 30 June 2010.

In February 2009, an additional entry level program, the Australian School Based Apprenticeship (ASBA) Program, was introduced with four participants undertaking a Certificate II in IT. ASBA participants are employed under the National Training Award Wage by the Australian Training Company and incorporate courses in their current secondary school curriculum while working in a host agency. The ASBA program was reviewed in 2010 with the recommendation that it be introduced permanently into the suite of ICT entry-level programs from 2011.

Finance continued to develop and expand its partnerships with a number of educational institutions including: the Canberra Institute of Technology; the Australian National University; the University of Canberra; the ACT Department of Education and Training; the Catholic Education Office; and schools and colleges in the ACT and surrounding regions.

In 2009‑10 apprenticeship program participants undertook Certificate IV IT qualifications in one of four streams: Systems Analysis and Design; Programming; Testing; or Networking. Apprentices study for the equivalent of one day per week and then gain relevant APS experience in their agency for the remainder of the week. Cadetship program participants study an undergraduate degree either in ICT or with an ICT major. Cadets study for three days per week and work the remaining two days in their agency. In 2009, the first cohort of cadets commenced, with eight participants of this group completing their qualification and graduating from the program by July 2010.

Finance coordinates whole‑of‑cohort learning and development for entry level program participants. In 2009‑10, this included attendance at the Australian Computer Society Conference and sessions in Communication and Negotiation Skills, Navigating the APS and Enhancing your Performance.

Whole-of-government ICT Awards

Women in ICT Executive Mentoring (WITEM)

On 15 April 2009, the inaugural APS and DELL WITEM Women in ICT Awards were held. The awards recognised excellence across a number of categories centred on the attraction, retention and progress of women with ICT talent in the public and private sectors. A full list of winners and finalists is on the Finance website at http://www.finance.gov.au/e-government/awards/women-in-ict.html.

ICT Professional of the Year Award

In 2010, Finance also introduced the APS ICT Professional of the Year Award which recognises outstanding achievement by a team or an individual in any ICT discipline. The winner of the inaugural ICT Professional of the Year Award was the Department of Immigration and Citizenship’s Communications and Change Taskforce and User Centred Design Branch. They demonstrated superior leadership and excelled in delivering large scale, complex, extended change management for the Systems for People Program.

Excellence in e-Government Awards

The 2010 Excellence in e-Government Awards promotes excellence in the use of ICT in all spheres of government across Australia. This year the awards were expanded to include categories across a number of ICT disciplines. The overall winner was the City of Marion, South Australia, for its geospatial SA Council Maps project.

Streamlining authentication services

Finance is streamlining the provision of government authentication services to make it simpler for citizens and businesses to interact with government online. In December 2009, the Finance Minister announced an approach that will reduce the number of authentication services. These services are used by Australian Government departments and agencies to verify the identity of individuals or organisations online.

Lead agencies will be appointed to manage the delivery of authentication services for people-to--government transactions, business-to-government transactions and government-to-government transactions.

Improving cyber security

Implementing the Australian Government’s Cyber Security Strategy

The aim of the Australian Government’s Cyber Security policy is to maintain a secure, resilient and trusted electronic operating environment that supports Australia’s national security and maximises the benefits of the digital economy. 4

Finance contributed to the Australian Government’s Cyber Security Strategy objectives through the following initiatives and activities:

  • Developing and implementing a new assessment approach to ensure that proposed Australian Government ICT-enabled projects consider cyber security risks through Finance’s ICT Two Pass Review Process and the ICT BAU Reinvestment Fund.
  • Developing whole-of-government strategies to increase the level of skills for cyber security practitioners. In particular, Finance established the Cyber Security Capability Framework to assist practitioners identify the capabilities required to perform their current APS cyber security role and to plan their development needs and career path. Finance also worked with tertiary institutions to raise their awareness of the importance of cyber security in ICT curricula, to expand their cyber security curricula, and to deliver their cyber security courses in a more flexible way.

Reducing the number of internet gateways

An internet gateway manages the connection between an agency’s ICT network and the internet. Information passing through an agency’s internet gateway includes email, web‑based transactions and website pages. Internet gateways help protect agency networks from cyber threats, including computer viruses, software designed to infiltrate or damage a computer system, inappropriate content and employee misuse. Finance completed a review of government agency connections to the internet, which recommended a reduction of internet gateways to enhance security, reliability and operational efficiency.

Finance has commenced a four-year program to progressively reduce the number of agency gateways from more than 100 to eight lead agency managed gateways. This activity provides improved security through a more consistent approach to gateway management, accreditation, monitoring and incident response.

Connected Government – agreement of several cross-jurisdictional projects by the Online and Communications Council

The Cross Jurisdictional Chief Information Officer Committee (CJCIOC) reports to the Online and Communications Council (OCC) to address e‑government issues that span jurisdictional boundaries. The CJCIOC engaged in several projects that aim to promote cooperation across jurisdictions by identifying common issues and developing collective solutions.

Finance, on behalf of the Australian Government, is leading work on new projects agreed by the OCC during 2009-10. These include: the development of a common taxonomy to measure expenditure on ICT; common standards to support secure information sharing between jurisdictions; a trial of a change of address notification service that would cross jurisdictional boundaries; a consistent approach to the way that governments use names to identify an individual; and a common Green ICT plan. Work from the previous year on a National Government Service Directory is continuing.

Government Business Oversight, Special Claims and Land Policy

Government business overview

Finance provides advice and support to the Finance Minister in exercising shareholder and financial oversight responsibilities for GBEs and other commercial entities. The department also assists the minister in managing residual issues arising from previous asset sales and businesses managed by Finance, and in making decisions about options for the future use of government assets.

National Broadband Network

The Finance Minister and the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy are joint shareholders of NBN Co Limited (NBN Co). Finance, in consultation with DBCDE continued to provide advice on governance matters relating to the company, including board appointments and the provision of equity injections, as it progresses the rollout of the NBN.

Finance also worked with DBCDE to deliver the NBN Implementation Study, released on 6 May 2010, and subsequently updated the budget estimates to reflect the findings of the study. The study had 84 recommendations including on: operating arrangements; network design; market structure; policy framework; and ownership and funding arrangements. In addition, Finance provided advice on the Financial Heads of Agreement between NBN Co and Telstra announced on 20 June 2010. The NBN is also discussed under Outcome 1.

Medibank Private Limited

Finance advised the government on the commercial merit of Medibank Private Limited’s (MPL) acquisition of health services provider McKesson Asia-Pacific. The acquisition was announced on 9 April 2010 and is part of MPL’s strategic focus of expanding its health solutions business.

Wind up and deregistration of Australian Technology Group Limited (ATG) and Tuggeranong Office Park Pty Ltd (TOPPL)

Finance has been managing the wind up of ATG and TOPPL as residual actions in Commonwealth asset management. Wind up action on both entities followed the scheduled expiry of contractual commitments entered into some years ago.

On 9 March 2010, ATG, a company wholly owned by the Commonwealth, was deregistered by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) following a voluntary liquidation process commenced in March 2006 by the Commonwealth. Distributions of cash to the Commonwealth from the liquidation process were $1.3 million.

An application for voluntary deregistration of TOPPL lodged on 30 June 2010 was approved by ASIC on 2 July 2010 with notification in the ASIC Gazette. Deregistration was expected to occur two months after this notification. As part of the wind up process, the Commonwealth received dividends of $55 million and $10.6 million in 2008‑09 and 2009‑10 respectively.

Senate Inquiry ‘Review of Government Compensation Payments’

In 2009-10, the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee requested a report on the administration and effectiveness of mechanisms used by federal, state and territory governments to provide discretionary payments in special circumstances, or to provide financial relief from amounts owing to governments.

On 11 June 2010, Finance provided information to the committee on the act of grace and waiver of debt mechanisms which are vested in the Finance Minister, and information relating to Finance’s role as the policy sponsor for the Scheme for Compensation for Detriment caused by Defective Administration.

Access to Commonwealth land for mineral exploration and mining

Finance has been working to improve the information available to those applying to explore and mine on Commonwealth land. It has also been working to improve community understanding of the decision-making process. State governments are key stakeholders and Finance has been working with the states to develop protocols for dealing with shared interests. These protocols will make Commonwealth and state processes more efficient, expediting decisions and providing greater transparency for applicants and other affected stakeholders.

New tools such as electronic mapping have been developed to identify areas where various interests intersect and facilitate early identification and resolution of any conflicts.

Finance has also been consulted in the Review into the Security and Economic Interests in the Woomera Prohibited Area.

Moorebank Project Office

In the 2010-11 Budget, the government announced funding of $21.6 million in 2010-11 and $13.9 million in 2011-12 to establish a Moorebank Project Office (MPO) within Finance. The MPO will develop comprehensive business cases, designs, approvals, and an implementation strategy for the development of an intermodal terminal precinct at Moorebank in Sydney, New South Wales. The project is expected to provide benefits through: a reduction in heavy vehicle traffic on Sydney’s roads; improved import and export efficiency to boost Australia’s productivity and economic performance by rail; improved air quality; decreased greenhouse gas emissions and motor vehicle accident rates; and to create jobs in south-western Sydney.

Property and construction

Commonwealth New Building Project

Finance continues to manage the delivery of the Commonwealth New Building Project, which will provide a purpose-designed and built facility in Canberra for ASIO’s new central office. As at 30 June 2010, the site had been cleared, excavated to foundation level and 40 per cent of the building structure had been completed. The design for the base building was 100 per cent complete and the design for the fit-out of the building was 85 per cent complete.

During 2009-10, further planning authority approval processes for the project were completed. The National Capital Authority has provided its works approval for the site works, main building and the structured and on-grade car parks.

Finance and ASIO continue to keep the Parliamentary Standing Committee for Public Works informed of the project’s progress. A progress report was forwarded to the committee on 6 May 2010.

Villawood Immigration Centre

The department is managing delivery of the Villawood Immigration Detention Facility (VIDF) Redevelopment Project on behalf of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship. Following a hearing by the Public Works Committee (PWC) in September 2009, the parliament approved the VIDF Redevelopment Project in November 2009. Finance then commenced a major procurement process to engage key resources to assist with the design, construction and management of the project. Final negotiations with preferred tenderers concerning contracts for the role of managing contractor, its design team and a project manager took place in June 2010. The respective contracts with the managing contractor and project manager/contract administrator were both signed on 9 July 2010. The project design consultant entered into a contract with the project’s managing contractor on 22 July 2010.

ANZAC Park West

On 4 August 2009, the PWC held a public hearing into the ANZAC Park West fit-out project. The committee’s report was tabled in parliament and the expediency motion was passed on 14 September 2009. Construction has commenced with practical completion scheduled for the fourth quarter 2010. The project will provide flexible and modern office space for Defence.

Commonwealth Property Management Framework

On 28 October 2009, the Finance Minister announced the establishment of the Commonwealth Property Management Framework. The framework provides a range of policy, guidance and cooperative activities to support FMA Act agencies to achieve better property management outcomes. The development of the framework was assisted by a range of agencies, including five project-specific working groups drawn from over 50 FMA Act agencies.

The cornerstone of the framework is the Commonwealth Property Management Guidelines. The guidelines are principles-based with a focus on achieving efficiency and effectiveness. To promote further internal transparency and accountability, the guidelines contain a mandatory requirement for all agencies to have a property management plan in place by 1 October 2010, and to provide data to Finance on properties leased and owned as part of the Australian Government Property Data Collection. This data is collected on a consistent basis to better inform property management decisions across the Commonwealth. 5 The first data collection was undertaken in September 2009, a sample of which was subject to an independent verification.

The guidelines also incorporate an occupational density target of 16 square metres per occupied work-point. This target applies when agencies enter into a new lease or owned building, or undertake a major fit-out. Over time it will result in the Commonwealth occupying less space than it otherwise would have. This will reduce agencies’ property expenses and return substantial savings to the Budget, reducing pressure on future budgets.

Application of the framework is supported by the Commonwealth Property Interdepartmental Committee, comprised of deputy secretary level representatives from six government agencies and a senior property officers' forum that all FMA Act agencies are invited to attend. Finance, in partnership with FMA Act agencies, is preparing a range of guidance material to support the property guidelines to assist agencies to identify and move to better practice.

Royal Australian Mint

Finance continues to manage the defect liability period for the Royal Australian Mint Process Building, with final completion expected in the fourth quarter of 2010. The Mint Administration Building was scheduled for practical completion in December 2009 and this was achieved on 5 March 2010. The delay in reaching practical completion was due to limited contractor availability at that time, and did not result in an additional cost to the Commonwealth. Final completion of the Administration Building is expected in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Sale of Block 13 Section 9 Barton

The Commonwealth-owned development site at Block 13 Section 9 Blackall Street, Barton was sold by public auction for $16.5 million on 19 May 2010 and the sale was completed on 16 June 2010. The site has been designated under the National Capital Plan for mixed use development including office, residential, retail and car parking, including replacement of the existing open car park of 470 spaces.

Cocos (Keeling) Islands Runway Project

Finance undertook a review of this project and by revising the scope of the works has been able to achieve considerable savings. The project requires shape correction of the aircraft pavements followed by a reseal. The Cocos (Keeling) Islands are located approximately 2,750 kilometres northwest of Perth. The remoteness of the islands presents a logistical challenge in supplying, delivering and landing material. The project is currently out to tender and is expected to be completed in June 2011.

Green Improvement Agreements

Finance has improved the environmental performance of the Commonwealth’s non‑Defence domestic-owned estate, with Green Improvement Agreements in place with tenants in its main office buildings. Further information about progress in this area is outlined in Appendix F-Ecologically Sustainable Development and Environmental Performance.

Insurance and Risk Management

Comcover Benchmarking Survey

Finance provides insurance and risk management services to FMA Act agencies through Comcover. Agencies are regularly assessed on their risk management capability and performance. Comcover’s 2010 Risk Management Benchmarking Survey measured the risk management capabilities of agencies against a maturity model developed from the Comcover Better Practice Guide – Risk Management 2008. This survey showed a continuing improvement on previous results. Agencies displayed strong capabilities in recognising the benefit of integrating the process of risk management with their overarching governance framework.

Performance information and resources for Outcome 2

During 2009-10 Finance substantially achieved performance targets for the deliverables and KPIs that contributed to Outcome 2. Due to the shift from outputs to programs in the 2009-10 Portfolio Budget Statements a number of deliverables and KPIs were revised to better reflect the outcome objectives. Additional changes were made in the 2009-10 Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements, program 2.1.

The general trend has been positive with consistently good results achieved over recent years. However, in some areas performance has not met the nominated target. In some instances the target has proven difficult to achieve due to circumstances that were either hard to anticipate or respond to quickly.

  • Notwithstanding an increased focus in this area, the preparation of advice to the minister in relation to the operations of GBEs has occasionally not been provided within the nominated time, in circumstances where further clarification or extended consultation was required.
  • The number of people using online services to contact the government has steadily increased over the last three years and the internet is now the most frequently used method for communicating with the government. However, the growth in the use of the internet to contact the government was not at the expected rate when compared with the growth of broadband connectivity.
  • The rate of return target on managed properties has not been met for the last two years due to untenanted properties and high remediation costs.
  • As anticipated in last year’s annual report, minor slippage occurred with practical completion of the Royal Australian Mint.
  • Comcover member satisfaction has fallen marginally short of the 80 per cent target and, at 35 per cent, the contribution of legal costs to total claim costs has continued to exceed the 33 per cent target.

The tables below provide a detailed assessment of the department’s performance against 2009-10 Portfolio Budget Statement Outcome 2 performance targets.

Table 5: Performance information for Outcome 2

Outcome 2: Improved government administration and operations through systems, policy and advice on: procurement; Commonwealth property management and construction; government enterprises; risk management; and application of information and communications technology.
Program 2.1: Government Business and ICT

Program Objective
This program contributes to the outcome through activities in a number of areas:

Procurement Framework

  • Providing a robust Procurement Policy Framework that fosters efficient, effective, ethical and accountable procurement decision-making by Commonwealth departments and agencies.
  • Assisting the government to deliver efficiencies and savings with regard to procurement particularly through management of coordinated procurement contracting arrangements.
  • Managing the whole-of-government procurement and notification systems and the electronic tendering system.
  • Managing the Coordinated Procurement Contracting Special Account and the Media Commissions Special Account.
Deliverables Key Performance Indicators Results

Providing advice to the Finance Minister, departments and agencies on procurement policy and related operational matters.

Provision of timely and relevant advice to the government on procurement policy matters as required.

Satisfaction rating of 'good' or better from 75% of agencies attending procurement seminars.

Achieved. Finance provided procurement policy advice to ministers and agencies in a timely manner.

Achieved. Finance received a satisfaction rate of ‘good’ or better from 97% of agencies that provided feedback on procurement seminars conducted by Finance.

Developing and managing of the whole‑of‑government procurement notification and reporting systems, and the electronic tendering system.

AusTender availability is 99% during business hours (ACT local time) Achieved. AusTender availability was at 99.8% of time.

Managing the coordinated procurement contracting arrangements, including conducting scoping studies into goods and services which may be suitable for coordinated arrangements and establishing and managing coordinated procurement contracts. 

Timely completion of scoping studies, approaches to market and effective implementation of whole‑of‑government contracts. 6

Achieved. Approach to market completed and contracts entered into for travel services covering domestic and international air travel, and travel management. An approach to market was undertaken for desktops, telecommunications and data centres and preparation completed for major office machines.

A scoping study was undertaken for stationery and office supplies.

Managing the Coordinated Procurement Contracting Special Account and the Media Commissions Special Account.

The Coordinated Procurement Contracting Special Account and Media Commissions Special Account were managed in accordance with government priorities and legislation. 7

Achieved. All debits and credits were in accordance with the purposes of the Special Accounts.

Providing assistance and advice to departments and agencies on the process of developing government advertising campaigns.

High satisfaction ratings in surveys from 75% of clients of the master media agency contractor(s) in relation to the central advertising system.

Achieved. 76% of clients were either ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with the campaign master media agency’s performance. 76% of clients were either ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with the non- campaign master media agency’s performance.

Implementing relevant elements of the Australian Government Procurement Statement of July 2009. 8

Timely establishment of the functions of the Procurement Coordinator. 9

Achieved. Established the Procurement Consultation Committee and the Procurement Advice and Complaints Handling Unit. AusTender enhanced for searches of Annual Procurement Plans and to provide notification about information on sub-contractors.


Program 2.1: Government Business and ICT

Program Objective
This program contributes to the outcome through activities in a number of areas:

Efficient Use of Government ICT
Achieving more effective and efficient use of ICT by the Australian Government. This includes greater value for money in ICT investment and procurement by supporting the government’s ICT procurement reforms, improving the quality of ICT management in the APS, and enhancing the capacity of the APS workforce to deliver ICT programs.

Deliverables Key Performance Indicators Results
Coordinating whole‑of‑government approaches to ICT management through strategies including implementing the independent whole‑of‑government review of ICT recommendations. Continued high-level ranking for the Australian Government amongst e‑Government leaders internationally, with Australia to be ranked in the leading group in independent government ranking studies. Achieved. Australia rated highly in the 2010 United Nations e-Government Survey, ranking second in the e-Participation Index. In 2010, Australia also maintained its position in the top ten ranked nations in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s e-readiness Rankings.
Managing the ‘Two Pass Review’ process for major ICT-enabled budget proposals.   Achieved. During 2009-10, Finance reviewed 26 ICT Two Pass proposals

Implementing strategies such as the ICT Apprenticeship Program to address ICT skills shortages.

The capacity of the APS ICT entry level workforce to meet demand for skilled ICT workers is increased. Over 90% of apprentices who complete their apprenticeship are recruited as ongoing APS employees.

Mostly achieved. The government released a whole‑of‑government Strategic ICT Workforce Plan to increase agencies’ capacity to plan, develop and manage a qualified, satisfied and flexible ICT workforce. Eighty three per cent of graduating apprentices have been recruited as ongoing APS employees.
Improving the delivery of government information and services by enhancing ‘australia.gov.au’ through the Australian Government Online Service Point. Increased use and awareness of Australian Government online services, with increased take-up of the internet for contact with the government representing at least 75% of any growth in broadband connectivity. More than 60% of Australians indicate awareness of the Australian Government entry point, www.australia.gov.au [External Site].

Mostly achieved. The 2009 Interacting with Government survey report which measures Australians’ use and satisfaction with e-government services, was released by Finance on 31 March 2010. The survey showed that the internet is now the most frequently used channel for communicating with government. Broadband connectivity has increased from 68% in 2008 to 76% in 2009. In the same period, the ratio of internet use to contact the Australian Government increased by 5%.

The survey revealed that 59% of Australians were aware of the Australian Government entry point, www.australia.gov.au [External Site].

Achieved. A major technology update to ‘australia.gov.au’ was released on 26 February 2010. This update enabled optional user accounts that can link many of an individual’s online government identities into a single, easily-managed identity. The update also delivered the first release of the Government Service Directory, an information-rich and user-friendly guide to discovering and locating Australian Government services and service channels.

Program 2.1: Government Business and ICT

Program Objective
This program contributes to the outcome through activities in a number of areas:

Government Business Oversight, Special Claims and Land Policy

  • Promoting a robust governance and accountability framework for Government Business Enterprises (GBEs) and the provision of advice on the strategy, governance and performance for GBEs to the Finance Minister in exercising his shareholder and oversight responsibilities.
  • Providing advice and support to the Finance Minister and the Assistant Treasurer 10in meeting responsibilities arising from the discretionary powers pursuant to sections 33 and 34 of the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 and provision of advice on Australian Government land and public works policy and operations under the Lands Acquisition Act 1989 and Public Works Committee Act 1969.
Deliverables Key Performance Indicators Results

Provision of advice on operations, financial forecasts and performance of GBEs and other commercial entities and assisting the Finance Minister to manage residual issues arising from previous asset sales and businesses managed by Finance.

Briefings on corporate plans and progress reports to be provided to Finance Minister within four weeks of receipt.

Mostly achieved. All corporate plans and statements of corporate intent were reviewed within four weeks of receipt and timely advice was submitted to the minister. In some cases, briefings were not provided to the minister within four weeks of receipt due to the need to consult with entities and joint shareholder departments.
Key issues briefs to be provided twice a year. Required half-yearly update briefs were provided to the minister in a timely manner.
Quarterly meetings held with larger Government Business Enterprises and annual or semi- annual meetings held with others. Achieved.
Providing policy advice to the Finance Minister and the Assistant Treasurer in meeting responsibilities arising from discretionary powers pursuant to sections 33 and 34 of the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997; and processing of claims for discretionary payments. Provision of high quality, timely and relevant advice to stakeholders, including the Public Works Committee on land and public works policy within the required timeframe.

Achieved

  • Finance engaged with stakeholders and developed an inter-agency forum to promote the sharing of information on discretionary compensation. Finance provided a submission to the National Advisory Committee on Alternative Dispute Resolution. Finance Circular 2009/09 – Discretionary Compensation and Waiver of Debt Mechanisms was substantially revised and released in November 2009.
  • Finance dealt with a number of claims for discretionary payments during 2009-10 (1,015 case loads involving 2,189 individuals and companies). Finance completed 73% of cases within 21 days and 84% of cases within 35 days.
  • Finance submitted six reports to the Public Works Committee.

Payment of grants-in-aid funding.

Timely payment of grants-in-aid funding. Achieved.

Program 2.2: Property and Construction

Program Objective
This program contributes to the outcome through the management of the Australian Government’s non-Defence Commonwealth-owned property portfolio within Australia and aims to optimise the rate of return on the portfolio through the adoption of best practices in property and investment management. This is undertaken while recognising public interest considerations, the need to maintain tenant satisfaction and the condition of the portfolio. As a result of operating in a competitive market, Property Management makes competitive neutrality payments and equity repayments to the Australian Government.

This program provides strategic whole-of-government advice and leadership at the inception stage for the Australian Government’s non-Defence domestic capital works projects.

Finance also provides advice on the development and management of a Commonwealth property management framework.

Deliverables Key Performance Indicators Results

Providing advice and support to the Finance Minister in exercising his role in efficiently and effectively managing the non-Defence property portfolio within Australia, including:

  • managing properties to meet their intended purposes
  • maintaining the condition of the portfolio to industry standards
  • achieving a commercial rate of return on the portfolio
  • meeting legislative requirements
  • containing management costs within market benchmarks
  • divesting properties that are surplus to the government’s needs
  • managing residual issues arising from previous property sales.

 

Deliver a rate of return of 6% of opening fair market value (excluding asset revaluations). Not achieved. The rate of return on opening fair value for 2009-10 (excluding asset revaluations) was 4.12% which was lower than target primarily due to untenanted properties.
Meet tenant needs in line with industry and government needs. Achieved. Finance met tenant needs. During the year two tenant surveys were conducted providing an above average tenant satisfaction level of 87.5%.
Rationalise the residual estate having regard to risk management, environmental, heritage and acquisition obligations. Partially achieved with the disposal of three properties including a major ACT development site; works continuing for the preparation of other complex sites.
Achieve a benchmark management expense ratio (MER) of 0.8% of portfolio value. Achieved. The management expense ratio (MER) for 2009-10 was 0.74%.
Properties within the portfolio are assessed for heritage values and where required, have in place Heritage Management Plans in accordance with the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. Achieved.

Managing the ‘two stage’ Budget review process for major building construction projects.

Delivering significant Australian Government building projects and providing expert advice on their construction.  Current projects include:

  • ANZAC Park West fit-out
  • the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO)
  • Central Office Project
  • refurbishment of the Royal Australian Mint buildings in Canberra
  • ANZAC Park East-development of a detailed business case for a preferred second stage option
  • West Block refurbishment-development of a detailed business case for a second stage consideration.

Completion of projects directed by the government to an agreed timeframe to meet client needs.  For current projects, these timeframes are:

  • ASIO Central Office Project to have the building structure commenced by June 2010.  Complete the design of the base building by June 2010 and manage the delivery of the Base Building Works elements of the project within the approved time, cost and quality constraints.
  • The Royal Australian Mint to achieve practical completion in December 2009.

 

 

  • Public Works Committee approval of ANZAC Park West fit-out and remaining base building works by December 2009.

 

 

 

 

Achieved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not Achieved. Practical Completion of the Royal Australian Mint was achieved on 5 March 2010. The Commonwealth did not incur any additional expenditure resulting from the delay.

Achieved. The Public Works Committee’s expediency motion of the ANZAC Park West fit-out project was passed on 14 September 2009
Providing advice to government on Commonwealth property management policy. Provision of high quality advice to government and agencies on Commonwealth property management policy. Achieved. Finance developed and maintained the framework, consulted with stakeholders and provided advice to ministers and agencies in a timely manner.
For projects directed by government, this program will manage the planning phase from first pass to the second pass budget approval process for Commonwealth major non-Defence capital works.  90% of projects directed by government are presented for second pass consideration within 12 months of receipt of project. Achieved. Projects were developed for consideration as directed by the government.

Program 2.3: Insurance and Risk Management

Program Objective
The program contributes to the outcome by providing general insurance services and promoting risk management across the Australian Government through the Comcover Fund.

Comcover’s objectives are to:

  • Promote best practice risk management in agencies through a range of training, education and assessment services to improve policy formulation and delivery of government programs and services to deliver a net benefit to the Australian Government Budget over the longer term; and
  • Provide a comprehensive general insurance fund to protect government agencies against the impact of insurable losses and to effectively manage legal liability claims against the Commonwealth in accordance with the requirements of the Legal Services Directions 2005.
Deliverables Key Performance Indicators Results

Promote best practice risk management in Fund Member Agencies.

Fund Member Agencies’ overall agency average benchmarking scores exceed 5.8 as measured by improvement in Comcover’s annual Benchmarking Risk Management Survey.

Achieved. The 2009-10 benchmarking survey score was 6.3, indicating that agencies had continued to improve the implementation of their risk management frameworks.

Fund member satisfaction with the quality, relevance and timeliness of advice and services. Members overall satisfaction score exceeds 80% as measured in the overall rating by Fund Members in Comcover’s annual satisfaction survey. Not Achieved. The 2009 satisfaction survey found that of the 176 fund members that completed the survey, 78% were satisfied with the quality, relevance and timeliness of Comcover’s advice and services. There was also a higher percentage of respondents who reported that they were neither satisfied or dissatisfied with Comcover services.
Adequate equity is retained within the range approved by government to fund all known and estimated liabilities. Equity is maintained within the $125 million to $180 million range. Achieved. Comcover’s equity as at 30 June 2010 was approximately $169 million.
Fund Member Agencies participate in one or more of Comcover’s services (such as benchmarking, training, public seminars and forums, and risk management services). The percentage of Fund Member Agencies participating in one or more Comcover services exceeds 80%. Achieved. 81.3% of Comcover fund member agencies participated in one or more of Comcover’s services.
Legal costs are reduced as a proportion of total claim costs. The proportion of legal costs to total claims is less than 33% by the end of 2009-10. Not Achieved. The proportion of legal costs to total claim costs was 35%.  Comcover is seeking to achieve the target of 33% by the end of 2010-11.

Table 6: Resources for Outcome 2
Budget 11
2009-10
$'000
Actual Expenses
2009-10
$'000
Variation
2009-10
$'000
(a) (b) (a-b)
Program 2.1: Government Business Enterprise
Ownership and Divestment
     
Administered Expenses      
Ordinary Annual Services (Appropriation Bill No. 1)      
Grant in Aid - Animals Australia Incorporated 31 31 0
Grant in Aid - Australian Institute of Political Science 31 31 0
Grant in Aid - Chifley Research Centre 194 194 (0)
Grant in Aid - Green Institute 50 50 -
Grant in Aid - Menzies Research Centre 194 194 (0)
Grant in Aid - Page Research Centre 98 97 1
Grant in Aid - Royal Humane Society of Australia 23 23 -
Grant in Aid - Royal Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals 31 31 0
Special Accounts      
Media Commission Special Account - 608 (608)
Expenses not requiring appropriation - 4,540 (4,540)
Departmental Expenses      
Ordinary Annual Services (Appropriation Bill No. 1)      
Government Business Enterprises Ownership and Divestment 5,923 6,324 (401)
Special Claims and Land Policy 5,803 4,581 1,222
Australian Government Information Management Office 39,518 40,967 (1,449)
Procurement Framework 10,787 10,334 453
Expenses against revenues from other (section 31)      
Government Business Enterprises Ownership and Divestment - 22 (22)
Special Claims and Land Policy - 30 (30)
Australian Government Information Management Office - 1,370 (1,370)
Procurement Framework - 59 (59)
Special Accounts      
Coordinated Procurement Contracting Special Account 64,027 57,006 7,021
Business Services Special Account - 97 (97)
Total for Program 2.1 126,710 126,591 119
       
Program 2.2: Property and Construction      
Departmental Expenses      
Special Accounts      
Property Special Account 56,681 167,463 (110,782)
Total for Program 2.2 56,681 167,463 (110,782)
       
Program 2.3: Insurance and Risk Management      
Departmental Expenses      
Special Accounts      
Comcover Special Account 117,616 107,240 10,376
Total for Program 2.3 117,616 107,240 10,376
       
Total Expenses for Outcome 2 301,007 401,294 (100,287)
Departmental 300,355 395,494 (95,139)
Administered 652 5,799 (5,147)
       
  2008-09  2009-10  
Average staffing level (number) 396 444  

Footnotes:

  1. These campaigns were granted an exemption from the Guidelines by the Cabinet Secretary.
  2. Advertising for AusIndustry Branding was not subject to an advertising guideline review as it was categorised as operational activity.
  3. These campaigns were granted an exemption from the guidelines by the Cabinet Secretary.
  4. Australian Government’s Cyber Security Strategy, Attorney-General’s Department, 2009, http://www.ag.gov.au/www/agd/agd.nsf/Page/CyberSecurity_CyberSecurity or http://tinyurl.com/3y6l4jx.
  5. Data specifications are available at www.finance.gov.au.
  6. KPI developed after publication of the Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2009-10.
  7. The Media Commissions Special Account was abolished and the balances transferred to the Coordinated Procurement Contracting Special Account in August 2009.
  8. Added in the Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2009-10.
  9. KPI developed after publication of the Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2009-10.
  10. On the 9 June 2009, Senator the Hon Nick Sherry, formerly the Minister for Superannuation and Corporate Law, was sworn in as Assistant Treasurer. Minister Sherry maintained his Finance Portfolio responsibility for act of grace payments and waiver of debts.
  11. Full-year 2009-10 PAES budget

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