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Monday, 7 November 2011
Page: 8445

Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy

(Question No. 1114)

Senator Humphries asked the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, upon notice, on 12 September 2011:

(1) Have staffing numbers in agencies within the Minister's portfolio been reduced as a result of the efficiency dividend and/or other budget cuts; if so, in which areas and at what classification.

(2) Are there any plans for staff reduction in agencies within the Minister's portfolio; if so, can details be provided i.e. reduction target, how this will be achieved, services/programs to be cut etc.

(3) What changes are underway or planned for graduate recruitment, cadetships or similar programs, and if reductions are envisaged can details be provided, including reasons, target numbers etc.

Senator Conroy: The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

The response has been prepared in relation to portfolio agencies staffed under the Public Service Act 1999.

The Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy

(1) The impact of the efficiency dividend, together with all other budget measures, are taken into consideration in developing the annual budget for the department. In aggregate, since its formation, the department's staffing levels have grown.

(2) There is no intention to reduce staff numbers.

(3) The university graduate program will increase participant numbers from six to ten in 2012. There are no plans to change the year 12 graduate program.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority

(1) Yes. The ACMA has reduced staffing by 20 to meet the 2011-12 budget. No programs or services have been reduced, and the reduction is widespread throughout the ACMA. The classifications affected are as follows:

Executive Level 2 - 3

Executive Level 1 - 8

APS Level 6 - 5

APS Level 5 - 3

APS Level 4 -1

(2) It is possible that staff numbers will be reduced in the future in line with the overall budget for the ACMA. Specific reductions would not be detailed until the outcomes of the external budget process were finalised. Possible areas of impact could include activities that have specific funding and more general areas of activity in accordance with priorities and government policy.

(3) There are no changes anticipated in these areas.