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Tuesday, 13 May 2008
Page: 1601


Senator Minchin asked the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Minister for Trade, upon notice, on 12 February 2008:

As at 26 November 2007, with reference to the department and all agencies in the Minister’s portfolio:

(1)   How many employees are engaged in positions responsible for public affairs, media management, liaison with the media and media monitoring.

(2)   What are the responsibilities of these staff.

(3)   What are the Australian Public Service classifications of these positions.

(4)   For each of the financial years 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11, what is the current operating budget for these media-related sections within the department or agency.


Senator Faulkner (Special Minister of State and Cabinet Secretary) —The Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Minister for Trade have provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:

The information provided below relates to the minister’s portfolio after the machinery of government changes which took place on 3 December 2007.

DFAT

(1)   The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has 9 staff engaged (in Australia) in positions responsible for public affairs, media management, liaison with the media and media monitoring associated with the Australian media.  In addition, it has 5 staff engaged in similar positions in Australia associated with international media.  To provide detailed information relating to all of DFAT’s overseas posts would entail a significant diversion of resources because overseas staff frequently have multiple responsibilities which may encompass public affairs broadly defined.  In these circumstances, I do not consider the additional work would be justified.

For Australian Media :

(2)  

(a)   responding to media inquiries and briefing the media

(b)   monitoring media for portfolio-related stories

(c)   producing the Department’s Daily Media round-up and arranging transcripts of media stories

(d)   liaising with Ministers’ offices and geographic/policy desks on media-related issues, including coordinating responses to media inquiries

(e)   editing and distributing media releases (both Ministerial and Departmental)

(f)   preparing and implementing media strategies to promote a better understanding of specific issues and Government policies;

(g)   providing media assistance for Australian journalists attending major international meetings or events (eg ARF, APEC, Ministerial visits);

(h)   operating a 24-hour on-call service for media to obtain official comment on portfolio issues as they arise; and

(i)   administrative support to Media Liaison Section.

(3)   SES Band 1 (1)                50% of duties Executive Level 2 (1)      100% of duties Executive Level 1 (5)      100% of duties APS 4 (2)                          100 % of duties

(4)   FY 2007-2008:                $231,168 FY 2008-2009                   yet to be determined by departmental budget process FY2009-10                        yet to be determined by departmental budget process FY 2010-11                       yet to be determined by departmental budget process

For International Media

(2)   - Management of International Media Visits (IMV) program - Monitoring of international media coverage of Australia - Liaison with Foreign Correspondents based in Australia

(3)   Senior Executive Band 1: (1)            20 percent of duties Executive Level 2: (1)                        60 percent of duties Executive Level 1: (3)                        100 percent of duties

(4)   FY 2007-08: $544,000                         (100 percent expended on public affairs/media management issues) FY 2008-09: to be determined by departmental budget process FY 2009-10: to be determined by departmental budget process FY 2010-11: to be determined by departmental budget process

AUSTRADE

(1)   The Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) has 7 staff engaged in positions responsible for public affairs, media management, liaison with the media and media monitoring.

(2)   The responsibilities of these Austrade staff are as follows:

(i)   Media and public relations activities to raise awareness of:

(a)   the benefits of exporting and international business for the Australian community;

(b)   Government business services and programs delivered through Austrade;

(c)   export strategies and market opportunities; and

(d)   Australia’s business and industry capabilities.

(ii)   develop and distribute media releases and other publicity materials

(iii)   provide responses to media inquiries

(iv)   monitor media coverage of trade issues, Austrade services and programs

(v)   provide media related advice to the Minister and Parliamentary Secretary

(vi)   prepare and implement media strategies

(viii)   co-ordinate media support for major events and visits

(ix)   production of broadcast materials

(3)   1 SES Band 1:                  30 per cent of duties 1 Executive Level 2:        100 per cent of duties 4 Executive Level 1:        100 per cent of duties 1 APS Level 6:                 100 per cent of duties

(4)   Operational expenditure for Austrade’s public affairs and media activities:

(i)   for 2007-08 is projected at $729,218 which represents staff costs of $594,218 and media monitoring and analysis costs of $135,000

(ii)   for 2008-09: yet to be determined by Austrade budget process

(iii)   for 2009-10: yet to be determined by Austrade budget process

(iv)   for 2010-11: yet to be determined by Austrade budget process

AusAID

(1)   AusAID had 17 staff engaged in such positions at 3 December 2008

(2)   The responsibilities of these AusAID staff are as follows:

(a)   media liaison

(b)   provide responses to media requests

(c)   monitor the media for aid and development related stories

(d)   prepare the daily media clips

(e)   develop and distribute media releases

(f)   provide media related advice to the Minister and Parliamentary Secretaries

(g)   prepare and implement media strategies

(h)   prepare material for aid related speeches

(i)   co-ordinate media support for major events

(j)   assist with official visits

(k)   respond to inquiries from the public

(l)   develop and support national and international exhibitions and information campaigns

(m)   production of broadcast materials

(n)   internal communications

(3)   For those staff engaged under the Public Service Act, classifications range from APS 3 to EL2.

(4)   Operational expenditure for the AusAID media section in 2007-08 is projected at $714,000. Operational budgets for this function are developed on an annual basis.

Export Finance and Insurance Corporation

(1)   These responsibilities (amongst many other responsibilities) are included in the job descriptions of three employees.

(2)   In terms of media management, and aside from all other responsibilities, these employees are responsible for preparing press releases, answering media enquiries, relationship management and public relations strategy development.

(3)   Not applicable. EFIC employees are not subject to APS classifications. These positions are professional level roles.

(4)   Approximately $165,000 may be attributed in 2007-08 to direct media activities and associated salaries within the wider Marketing budget, with a similar amount (adjusted for inflation) in outer years.

ACIAR

(1)   Three employees, at 0.2 of FTE each.  There are no individual employees responsible for public affairs, media management, liaison with the media and media monitoring.  It is part of the aforementioned officers’ duties.

(2)   In relation to question 1, these staff are responsible for: - Monitoring media about organisation - Communicating science results and project outcomes to end-users - Public awareness about agricultural research and the aid program - Providing media releases to Minister and Parliamentary Secretary

(3)   Executive Level 2, Executive Level 1, APS 5.

(4)   Indicative costs for 2007-08 are $7,000 (excluding salary costs) and it is expected this amount will be similar for 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11.