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Monday, 8 March 1999
Page: 2426

Senator Faulkner asked the Minister representing the Prime Minister, upon notice, on 26 November 1998:

With reference to the Office of Government Information and Advertising (OGIA):

(1) What was the staffing establishment of OGIA as at 18 October 1998, including the number of actual positions and the number of staff and their classifications.

(2) (a) When and by whom was the decision taken to transfer OGIA from the Department of Finance and Administration to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C); and (b) when were staff informed of that decision, including the time and date.

(3) In which division of PM&C is OGIA now located.

(4) What is the new structure and what are the reporting arrangements for OGIA; and (b) can an outline of the former structure and reporting arrangements for OGIA be provided.

(5) What were the names, classifications and job titles of all senior executive service staff in OGIA as at: (a) 18 October 1998; and (b) 24 November 1998.

(6) How many OGIA staff, and at what classification level, transferred to PM&C.

(7) (a) How many OGIA staff, and at what classification level, took a redundancy; and (b) how many of these were voluntary.

(8) How many OGIA staff, and at what classification level, applied to transfer to PM&C.

(9) Will OGIA have a name change; if so, what is the proposed name.

(10) In July 1997 a review of the future roles and functions of OGIA was provided to former Minister for Administrative Services (Mr Jull): (a) what were its key findings; (b) has the review been released; and (c) can a copy be provided.

Senator Hill (Environment and Heritage) —The Prime Minister has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) At 18 October the OGIA had 17 staff, including one who was on maternity leave. Her position was filled by an officer on temporary transfer from another department. This temporary transfer ceased when OGIA was restructured. The staff classifications were:

SES Band 2—1

Exec Level 2—2

Exec Level 1—8

APS 6—1 (maternity leave)

APS 5—2

APS 4—2

APS 3—1

(2) (a) The Prime Minister's decision to transfer the function was reflected in the new Administrative Arrangements Order made on 21 October 1998. The formal instrument transferring the staff was signed by the Prime Minister on 23 October 1998.

(b) Staff were informed at approximately 10.30am on 20 October 1998.

(3) The Government Communications Division.

(4) (a) The Government Communications Unit comprises three sections Government Advertising; Policy and Secretariat; and Communications Strategy. It is a unit of the Government Communications Division which is part of the Government and Corporate Group in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

(b) OGIA comprised 3 sections: Advertising and Policy; Strategic Communications and Communications Research and Evaluation. Each section was headed by an Exec Level 2 who reported to the First Assistant Secretary, OGIA/AusInfo. OGIA was part of the Resource Management Framework Group in the Department of Finance and Administration.

(5) (a) Greg Williams, SES Band 2, First Assistant Secretary, OGIA/AusInfo.

(b) Greg Williams, SES Band 2, First Assistant Secretary, Government Communications

(6) Eight.

SES Band 2—1

Exec Level 2—1

Exec Level 1—3

APS 5—2

APS 3—1

(7) (a) 2 staff at Exec Level 1

(b) 2

A further seven staff transferred to the Department of Finance and Administration's Staffing Redeployment Unit.

(8) (a) Twelve staff expressed interest in positions with the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, two subsequently withdrew from consideration. The classifications of the staff who had a continuing interest were:

SES Band 2—1

Exec Level 2—2

Exec Level 1—3

APS 5—2

APS 4—1

APS 3—1

(9) Following its restructure OGIA was renamed the Government Communications Unit.

(10) (a) In summary, the review found that OGIA would add more value if it focused more on strategic and whole-of-government activities and less on process or transactional issues. It recommended that OGIA re-examine its role, purpose and modus operandi. It proposed a better level of support to the Ministerial Committee on Government Communications, a greater focus on media buying and placement, a more proactive approach to the management of the Central Advertising System, more effective evaluation of campaigns and a greater focus on skills development.

(b) The report has not been generally released.

(c) A copy has been provided to Senator the Hon Robert Ray. He was asked to treat it as confidential because all the recommendations had yet to be finalised.