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  Chapter Title - Secreta
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  Spacer Image Chapter 1 > Introduction > Delivering Government Reforms & Priorities
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INTRODUCTION

During 1999-2000, the Department of Finance and Administration (DOFA) consolidated the changes of the last three years, emphasising continuous improvement and flexibility. The highlight of our year was successful delivery of the second accrual Budget. Also, we refined and streamlined implementation of the Government’s public sector reforms, and continued to deliver high quality outputs for our customers - the Minister for Finance and Administration, the Special Minister of State, and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Finance and Administration.

DOFA’s business ranges from delivering the Budget and managing a $2.4 billion property portfolio to providing cars and drivers for Senators and Members of Parliament. Our flexibility is key to delivering successfully these diverse outputs, and we are proud of our ability to reshape our department to meet change. For example, we established a GST Implementation Coordination Unit to assist Commonwealth agencies with their preparations for the start of the New Tax System. Similarly, recently we created an e-Solutions Business Group to harness more effectively, the benefits of the e-business revolution.

DOFA aims to be an employer of choice, and we have implemented strategies to support and develop our staff, not only through professional development programmes but also through our home life balance programme designed to support the general well-being of our staff. DOFA seeks to attract and retain high quality staff by encouraging diversity in the workplace.

Our financial results for 1999-2000 were very positive, with a departmental operating surplus of $244.5 million recorded, some $88 million above the original budget estimate, reflecting in large part the surplus on the sale of property. With the commercialisation of our property portfolio and the increased coverage of Comcover, DOFA reduced its dependence on Government appropriations to some 24 per cent of total departmental revenue in 1999-2000. We also reduced expenses by 30 per cent from the previous year, in line with budget expectations.

We paid a dividend to the Government of $71.7 million from the surplus, and we returned $382.6 million of equity. We expect to be able to continue to pay dividends in future years.

We have strived to transform into a high performance organisation, and we believe we are on the way to achieving this goal. As an organisation, we have positioned ourselves at the forefront of public administration reform and our efforts increasingly are recognised in both the public and private sectors, and in international arenas.

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