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Tuesday, 13 May 2008
Page: 1

Senator Minchin asked the Minister representing the Attorney-General and the Minister for Home Affairs, 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 Attorney-General and the Minister for Home Affairs 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.

Attorney-General’s Department

Public Affairs Branch

(1)   At the end of January 2008 there were 28 full-time equivalent (FTE) funded positions in the Attorney General’s Department Public Affairs Branch, two of which were vacant while others were filled by staff in full or part-time capacities.

(2)   Public Affairs Branch staff were spread across a range of responsibilities including: media management; strategic co-ordination; campaign management; corporate and internal communications; speech writing and Branch administration.

(3)   These positions were classified as SES x 1; EL2 x 4; EL1 x 10; APS6 x 5; APS5 x 5; APS4 x 2; APS3 x 1.

(4)   The anticipated total annual employee costs for the Public Affairs Branch (at the end of January 2008) was approximately $2.7 million. The non-staff operating budget varies depending on projects being undertaken at any given time. The budgets for the financial years 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11 are yet to be determined.

Classifications Operations Branch

(1)   At the end of January 2008, four employees of the Classification Operations Branch were engaged in positions which had some public affairs and media responsibilities. Approximately 5% of each of these employees’ positions was devoted to these responsibilities.

(2)   These Classification Operations Branch staff are responsible for handling the public affairs and media requirements of the Classification Board and the Classification Review Board. All other media responsibilities are directed to the Public Affairs Branch of the Department.

(3)   The Australian Public Service classifications of these positions in the Classification Operations Branch are SES x 1; EL2 x 1; APS6 x 1 and 1 x APS 3.

(4)   There is no specific budget for the Classification Operations Branch public affairs and media-related responsibilities. These tasks are accommodated in the existing Branch budget.

Emergency Management Australia

(1)   As at 4 December 2007 there is one public affairs position engaged.

(2)   The position is responsible for media liaison, media monitoring and advice and assistance with public communication issues.

(3)   Executive Level 1

(4)   The current staffing operations budget for the position is $118,354.00.

The budget for the financial years 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11 are yet to be determined.

Administrative Appeals Tribunal

(1)   The Administrative Appeals Tribunal has no employees solely engaged in positions responsible for public affairs, media management, liaison with the media and media monitoring. All media issues are dealt with by the Registrar and Assistant Registrar.

(2)   , (3) and (4) Not applicable, see answer (1) above

Australian Crime Commission

(1)   The Australian Crime Commission (ACC) currently has two full time staff engaged in positions responsible for public affairs, media management, liaison with the media and monitoring.

(2)   Staff in this area are responsible for:

  • Providing project management of communications projects
  • Performing a range of editorial tasks, including writing, editing and proofing of ACC documents/publications, intelligence products and statutory reports
  • Working closely with the ACC webmaster to maintain the ACC internet site
  • Providing media liaison support and media analysis duties
  • Developing and implementing communication strategies for ACC determinations, operations and projects
  • Promoting the ACC brand and providing information and advice to ACC staff on communication and publication processes, styles and standards
  • Providing media and communications advice to ACC executive and the Minister’s office
  • Providing event management assistance in relation to ACC conferences, events and forums

(3)   Executive Level 1 and Australian Public Service level 5.

(4)   The year to date expenditure as at 31 January 2008 is $59,565 and the forecasted expenditure based on the current level of expenditure for the 2007-08 financial year is $102,111 excluding staff expenses. The forecasted budget figures for media management and public affairs are difficult to predict for forward years.

The estimated operating budget for media management and public relations for the ACC is as follows:









Australian Customs Service

(1)   As at 4 December 2007, there were 10 employees within the Australian Customs Service engaged in positions responsible for public affairs, media management, liaison with the media and media monitoring.

(2)   These staff are responsible for media liaison, public affairs, crisis and reputation management, and external communication projects.

(3)   One Australian Public Service (APS) Executive Level 2 position (Customs Level 5), three APS Executive Level 1 positions (Customs Level 4), four APS Level 6 (Customs Level 3) positions, and two APS Level 4/5 (Customs Level 2) positions.

(4)   The current operating budget for this section within the Australian Customs Service in 2007-08 is $1,854,097. Total operating expenditure for the financial years 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11 for this section has yet to be determined.

Australian Federal Police (includes Australian Institute of Police Management)

(1)   The AFP has 11 public affairs officers working in the National Media Team based in Canberra.

(2)   The National Media Team deals with all media liaison for national operations.

(3)   AFP staff are not employed under the Australian Public Service Act 1999. Therefore a direct comparison with Australian Public Service classifications is not possible. AFP classifications for staff in the media team are one Band 9, three Band 8 and seven Band 6 positions.

(4)   The 2007-08 budget for AFP National Media is $1,701,446. This comprises $1,291,816 in employee budget and $409,630 in supplier budget. The AFP does not have budget allocations for future financial years for this function.

In addition to the AFP National Media Team, the ACT Policing function undertaken by the AFP under an arrangement with the ACT Government maintains a separate media unit. As the budget for ACT Policing is provided by the ACT Government, it has not been included in response to the honourable senator’s question.

Australian Institute of Criminology

(1)   0.3 FTE

(2)   Media management and public affairs is undertaken as part of the Institutes requirement to disseminate research findings. Some media monitoring is undertaken to inform research projects in areas such as homicide/deaths in custody, transnational crime, high tech crime and drug use.

This is quite separate from our work associated with our dissemination of research material as performed in line with our output 1.1 Policy advice and publications.

(3)   Executive Level 1 equivalent










Australian Law Reform Commission

(1)   One part-time employee—the Communications Manager—who is employed three days per week.

(2)   The ALRC Communications Manager, oversees the Communications Unit, which has responsibility for:

  • maintenance of the ALRC website;
  • design of general ALRC publications;
  • managing the print production process of ALRC consultation papers and reports;
  • editing and production of the ALRC journal, Reform;
  • preparation of the ALRC Annual Report;
  • organisation of events; and
  • media liaison.

(3)   The ALRC is not an Australian Public Service agency. The Communications Manager is employed at classification ALRC 3, with a salary range of $58,162 to $73,678 per annum.

(4)   The operating budget for the Communications Unit—which has a number of functions in addition to media liaison—is $181,730 in 2007--08. Operating budgets for future years have not yet been set.

Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO)

(1)   & (2) ASIO maintains an all-hours media monitoring capability to help identify emerging issues of national security significance in Australia and globally. ASIO also maintains a limited media liaison function and an all-hours media enquiries line. As a matter of security policy, ASIO does not provide specific details of the number of staff engaged in specific activities, or their responsibilities.

(3)   ASIO does not provide a breakdown of its staffing allocations beyond that already provided in its Report to Parliament for reasons of national security.

(4)   ASIO does not generally publish financial data beyond that published in its Report to Parliament for reasons of national security.

Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC)

(1)   There are four employees engaged in such positions: the Senior Manager, Corporate Communications and Manager, Corporate Communications; total time dedicated to media-related tasks amounts to 5% of the Senior Manager’s workload and 20% of the Manager’s overall workload. Two other communications officers provide limited support as required. The agency librarian also provides occasional, limited media monitoring services.

(2)   The Senior Manager, Corporate Communications and Manager, Corporate Communications are responsible for oversight of and managing public affairs, media management, liaison with the media and media monitoring. The Manager, Corporate Communications is also responsible for, among other things, developing and implementing the agency’s media relations strategy, analysing media reportage and managing any issues arising. Other communications officers provide a support role on an as-needed basis to research and develop responses, and to coordinate the external monitoring service.

(3)   The Senior Manager Corporate Communications is EL2, Manager Corporate Communications is EL1 and the two communications officers are at the APS5 and APS6 levels.

(4)   AUSTRAC has estimated $105,000 will be spent on ‘media related’ activities in the current (2007-08) financial year. AUSTRAC has yet to develop the media section budget for the next and subsequent financial years.


(1)   The Communication and Marketing Team (including parliamentary business, legal and policy coordination) comprised of 3.6 staff as at 4 December 2007.

(2)   Of these staff, the manager has sole responsibility for public affairs, media management and liaison with media. One staff member has responsibility for media monitoring and in-house communication. One staff member has responsibility for parliamentary business and legal and one part-time staff member has responsibility for policy creation and coordination.

(3)   The manager is an Executive Level 2. The media monitoring and in-house communication position is an APS6. The parliamentary business and legal position is an Executive Level 1. The part-time policy position is an Executive Level 1.

(4)   The operating budget for the entire team is as follows:









Family Court of Australia

(1)   As at 4 December 2007, the Family Court of Australia had one employee specifically engaged for media-related communication (Media Advisor). A further two positions have some elements of public affairs and media responsibilities. These positions are:

  • Communications Manager (25%)
  • Strategic Communication Officer (25%)

(2)   The responsibilities of these staff are as follows: Media Adviser The Media Adviser manages all aspects of communications between the Court and the news media. This includes researching and proactively promoting the Court’s activities; responding to after-hours media calls; managing information provision concerning Missing Children and publication requirements under s.121 of the Family Law Act 1975; and overseeing media monitoring for the Court. Communication Manager (25% of the FTE) The Communication Manager provides communications leadership that supports the Court’s strategic direction through high level internal and external communication and the provision of public information and education. Strategic Communication Officer (25% of the FTE) The Strategic Communication Officer has no specific media responsibilities, but does have public affairs duties including developing and implementing communication strategies and liaising with government agencies and other stakeholders.

(3)   The Australian Public Service classifications of these positions are:

  • Media Advisor - EL1
  • Communications Manager - EL2
  • Strategic Communications Officer - EL1

(4)   The operating budget for media-related sections for the Family Court over the nominated years is:













Federal Court of Australia (includes Copyright Tribunal and Defence Force Discipline Appeal Tribunal)

(1)   One

(2)   To deal with media enquiries regarding cases before the Court and to liaise generally with the media on topical issues. Also included is the production of educational and training materials regarding the court’s work.

(3)   Executive Level 2


2007-08 budget


2008-09 budget

Not confirmed

2009-10 budget

Not confirmed

2010-11 budget

Not confirmed

Federal Magistrates Court of Australia

(1)   One full-time employee is engaged in a public affairs capacity.

(2)   This staff member is responsible for overseeing all public affairs matters, managing media monitoring, liaising with the media and developing internal public affairs policy.

(3)   The position is classified as an Executive Level 1 within the Australian Public Service classification system.

(4)   In financial year 2007-08 the operating budget for public affairs is $137,740.00 (which includes salary and related costs of $113,740 and expenses associated with media monitoring, $24,000). The anticipated operating budgets for public affairs for the Federal Magistrates Court of Australia for financial years 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11 will be approximately $140,000.00.

High Court of Australia

(1)   One

(2)   Media liaison; preparing judgment summaries; disseminating information to the media about the operations of the High Court; producing the Court’s Annual Report; conducting tours of the High Court building for visiting dignitaries; handling of general inquiries from the public (including students); maintaining and updating Court brochures; and liaising with publishers about the use of Court material in textbooks.

(3)   High Court Executive Level 1 (equivalent to APS Executive Level 1).

(4)   The annual operating budget for the functions listed in part (2) of the High Court answer to the question is approximately $100,000, including salary, superannuation and supplier expenses.

Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC)

(1)   7


  • Director of Public Affairs - management of public affairs unit
  • Web Manager - oversee the management of the HREOC website and mailing lists
  • Web developer - assist web manager with maintaining HREOC’s website
  • Public Affairs admin officer - administration duties for the public affairs unit
  • Education Manager - oversee the management of HREOC’s education program
  • 2 x media advisors - media advice/support for the President/Commissioners


  • Director of Public Affairs - EL2
  • Web Manager - APS6
  • Web developer - APS4
  • Public Affairs admin officer - APS4
  • Education Manager - EL1
  • Media advisors - 2 x EL1





(forecast $,000)


(forecast $,000)


(forecast $,000)





National Capital Authority (NCA)

(1)   Two (after implementation of the recent NCA budget savings, this will be reduced to one part time position)

(2)   Media relations and the production of internal publications.

(3)   Executive Level 1 and APS 4 (after implementation of the recent NCA budget savings, this will be reduced to one part time Executive Level 1 positions).

























* This figure reflects staff transitions associated with the budget savings.

At 4 December 2007, this expense was $170,000.

† These figures anticipate an average of two working days per week.

The actual expense may vary according to workload.

National Native Title Tribunal

(1)   7.5FTE

(2)   Public affairs and risk management advice and direction; development and delivery of communication programs with stakeholders; publications development and distribution; drafting and publishing to website and intranet; media management and liaison.

(3)   0.5xEL2; 1x EL1; 4xAPSL6; 1XAPSL5; 1xAPSL3

(4)   2007-08: The Public Affairs budget (including media) is $1,011,016. 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11 budgets have not been confirmed.

Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions

(1)   0.5 FTE.

(2)   Responsibilities include:

  • Review media clips;
  • Disseminate media clips with Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions;
  • Prepare media summary for the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions intranet; and
  • Media liaison.

(3)   The classification of this position is APS Level 6.

(4)   The current operating budget for media-related activity within the CDPP is set out below:


$ ‘000









The portfolio agencies listed below do not have any positions that are dedicated to public affairs, media management, liaison with the media and media monitoring:
  • Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity
  • Australian Government Solicitor
  • Criminology Research Council
  • Insolvency and Trustee Service Australia
  • Office of Parliamentary Counsel