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Tuesday, 13 May 2008
Page: 1606


Senator Minchin asked the Minister representing the Minister for Health and Ageing, 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 Ludwig (Minister for Human Services) —The Minister for Health and Ageing has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:

The information provided below relates to the Health and Ageing portfolio after the machinery of government changes which took place on 3 December 2007.

As the information requested cannot be disaggregated across the portfolio, responses are in relation to the Department of Health and Ageing, including Sport.

(1)   The number of employees engaged in positions responsible for public affairs, media management, liaison with the media and media monitoring as at 29 February 2008:

Department

33.25 FTE

Agencies

18.88 FTE

(2)   Responsibilities of these staff across the department and agencies cover the following range of activities:

(a)   Provide communications advice and services to support the department, its portfolio and agencies and the ministerial team in communicating health and ageing information, policies, issues and programs to the public, including: Develop and implement communication strategies to inform consumers and stakeholders about relevant policies and programs, particularly where they are new or changing; Prepare information material for consumers and stakeholders; Assist with announcements of new initiatives and programs, including writing of media releases and other information material; Develop and implement advertising, social marketing, public information and community relations campaigns; Commission market research to inform the development of public information messages and activity; Assist with coordinating departmental and ministerial public events; Undertake internal communications activities; Advise the department on branding and copyright issues.

(b)   Provide media liaison and issues management support for the department and portfolio agencies, including: Coordinate responses to media inquiries across the department; Provide media and issues management advice on emerging issues.

(c)   Deliver daily monitoring of portfolio issues in media, including: Monitor and report on portfolio-related events; Manage media monitoring contract.

(3)   The APS classifications for these positions are:

Department

Ranging from APS4 - SES1, Public Affairs Officer Level 1 - Senior Public Affairs Officer Level 1 including staff employed by companies contracted to provide media liaison and issues management, not under APS structure

Agencies

Ranging from APS2 - SES1, Public Affairs Officer Level 3, including non-APS equivalents employed by external companies

(4)   The operating budgets for financial years 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11 have not yet been agreed. The operating budgets for December 2007 - June 2008 for the media-related sections within the Department and agencies are as follows:

Department

$2,266,253

Agencies

$2,156,760