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Senate Legislative and General Purpose Standing Committees—Consolidated reports on the examination of annual reports—No. 1 of 2016 dated March 2016


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Australian Senate

Senate Legislation Committees

Reports on the examination of annual reports No. 1 of 2016

March 2016

© Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia 2016

ISSN 1834-4054

This document was printed by the Printing Unit, Department of the Senate, Parliament House, Canberra.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Community Affairs Committee

Annual reports (No. 1 of 2016), dated March 2016 .................................... 1

Economics Committee

Annual reports (No. 1 of 2016), dated March 2016 .................................. 33

Education and Employment Committee

Annual reports (No. 1 of 2016), dated March 2016 .................................. 85

Environment and Communications Committee

Annual reports (No. 1 of 2016), dated March 2016 ................................ 107

Finance and Public Administration Committee

Annual reports (No. 1 of 2016), dated March 2016 ................................ 143

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee

Annual reports (No. 1 of 2016), dated March 2016 ................................ 183

Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee

Annual reports (No. 1 of 2016), dated March 2016 ................................ 227

Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee

Annual reports (No. 1 of 2016), dated March 2016 ................................ 279

The Senate

Community Affairs

Legislation Committee

Annual reports (No. 1 of 2016)

March 2016

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© Commonwealth of Australia 2016

ISBN 978-1-76010-348-4

Secretariat Ms Jeanette Radcliffe Committee Secretary Ms Megan Jones Research Officer Ms Carol Stewart Administration Officer

PO Box 6100

Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: 02 6277 3516

Fax: 02 6277 5829

Email: community.affairs.sen@aph.gov.au Internet: www.aph.gov.au/senate_ca

This document was prepared by the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee and printed by the Senate Printing Unit, Parliament House, Canberra.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License.

The details of this licence are available on the Creative Commons website:

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/au/.

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Membership of the Committee 44th Parliament

Members

Senator Zed Seselja, Chair LP, Australian Capital Territory

Senator Rachel Siewert, Deputy Chair AG, Western Australia

Senator Carol Brown ALP, Tasmania

Senator Katy Gallagher (from 12/11/2015) ALP, Australian Capital Territory

Senator Bill Heffernan (from 4/2/2016) LP, New South Wales

Senator Joanna Lindgren (15/6/2015 to 4/2/2016, then from 23/2/2016) LP, Queensland

Senator Nova Peris (until 12/11/2015) ALP, Northern Territory

Senator Dean Smith (until 4/2/2015) LP, Western Australia

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Membership of the Committee ........................................................................ iii

Abbreviations ...................................................................................................... v

Chapter 1.............................................................................................................. 1

Overview .................................................................................................................... 1

Terms of Reference ................................................................................................ 1

Allocated portfolios and changes to portfolios ....................................................... 2

Purpose of annual reports ....................................................................................... 2

Reports examined 2014-15 .................................................................................... 4

Comments made in the Senate ............................................................................... 4

Other Issues ............................................................................................................ 5

Chapter 2.............................................................................................................. 7

Annual reports of Commonwealth Departments .................................................. 7

Department of Health ............................................................................................. 7

Department of Social Services ............................................................................... 9

Department of Human Services............................................................................ 11

Chapter 3............................................................................................................ 15

Annual Reports of Commonwealth Entities and Companies ............................. 15

Health Portfolio .................................................................................................... 16

Social Services Portfolio (including Human Services) ........................................ 19

Appendix 1 ......................................................................................................... 21

List of departments, executive agencies and other non-corporate Commonwealth entities required to present annual reports to the Senate ...... 21

Health portfolio .................................................................................................... 21

Social Services Portfolio (including Human Services) ........................................ 24

Annual reports from non-portfolio Agencies ....................................................... 24

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Abbreviations

AAO Administrative Arrangements Order

DHS Department of Human Services

DOH Department of Health

DSS Department of Social Services

KPI Key Performance Indicator

PGPA Act Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013

PM&C Requirements The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet Requirements for Annual Reports

the committee Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee

ACQA Australian Aged Care Quality Agency

OTA Australian Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation

Authority

ARPANSA Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency

IHPA Independent Hospital Pricing Authority

NHFB National Health Funding Body

NMHC National Mental Health Commission

AIFS Australian Institute of Family Studies

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Chapter 1 Overview

1.1 This is the first Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee (the committee) report on annual reports for 2016. It provides an overview of the committee's examination of annual reports for the 2014-15 financial year.1

1.2 Annual reports inform the Parliament, stakeholders and other interested parties of the operations and performance of public sector departments, agencies and companies. They are a primary accountability mechanism. Additionally, annual reports are important reference documents and form part of the historical record.2

Terms of Reference 1.3 Under Senate Standing Order 25(20), annual reports of departments and agencies shall stand referred to the legislation committees in accordance with an allocation of departments and agencies in a resolution of the Senate. Each committee shall:

(a) examine each annual report referred to it and report to the Senate whether the report is apparently satisfactory;

(b) consider in more detail, and report to the Senate on, each annual report which is not apparently satisfactory, and on the other annual reports which it selects for more detailed consideration;

(c) investigate and report to the Senate on any lateness in the presentation of annual reports;

(d) in considering an annual report, take into account any relevant remarks about the report made in debate in the Senate;

(e) if the committee so determines, consider annual reports of departments and budget-related agencies in conjunction with examination of estimates;

(f) report on annual reports tabled by 31 October each year by the tenth sitting day of the following year, and on annual reports tabled by 30 April each year by the tenth sitting day after 30 June of that year;

(g) draw to the attention of the Senate any significant matters relating to the operations and performance of the bodies furnishing the annual reports; and

1 Copies of this and other committee reports can be obtained from the Senate Table Office, the committee secretariat or online at www.aph.gov.au/senate_ca

2 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies, and other Non-Corporate Commonwealth Entities, 25 June 2015, p. 3.

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(h) report to the Senate each year whether there are any bodies which do not present annual reports to the Senate and which should present such reports.

Allocated portfolios and changes to portfolios 1.4 On 13 November 2013, a resolution of the Senate allocated the following three portfolios to this committee:

• Health;

• Social Services; and

• Human Services. 3

1.5 Under the most recent Administrative Arrangements Order (AAO), early childhood policies and programs were transferred from the Department of Social Services to the Department of Education and Training. Ageing and aged care policies and programs were transferred from the Department of Social Services to the Department of Health.4

1.6 The committee notes that the reports for the 2014-15 financial year relate to the period prior to the most recent AAO changes.

Purpose of annual reports 1.7 The primary purpose of annual reports is accountability, in particular to the Parliament.5 The tabling of annual reports places information about government departments and agencies on the public record and assists in the effective examination of the performance of departments and agencies and the administration of government grants.

Annual reporting requirements

1.8 Senate Standing Order 25(20) requires that the committee report on annual reports—tabled by 31 October each year—be tabled by the tenth sitting day of the following year. The committee is required to examine reports referred to it to determine whether they are timely and 'apparently satisfactory'. The committee must consider whether the reports comply with the relevant legislation and guidelines for the preparation of annual reports in forming its assessment.

1.9 The requirements for annual reports are reviewed annually. This is the first time departments and agencies are reporting under the Public Governance,

3 Journals of the Senate, No. 2—13 November 2013, pp 88-89.

4 Commonwealth of Australia, Administrative Arrangements Order, 30 September 2015, https://www.dpmc.gov.au/sites/default/files/files/AAO_30_September_2015.pdf (accessed 24 December 2015).

5 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies and other Non-corporate Commonwealth Entities, approved by the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit on 25 June 2015, p. 1, http://www.dpmc.gov.au/node/6392 (1 December 2015).

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Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act), which commenced on 1 July 2014. The PGPA Act consolidates the governance, performance and accountability requirements contained in the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 and the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997. It also establishes a performance reporting framework for all Commonwealth entities and companies. For the 2014-15 reporting period, transitional arrangements are in place for the full commencement of the performance reporting model under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act).

1.10 The requirements are set down in the following instruments:

• subsection 63(2) for departments of state and subsection 70(2) for Executive Agencies of the Public Service Act 1999. As a matter of policy, they also apply to other non-corporate Commonwealth entities, as defined in section 11 of the PGPA Act.

• for corporate Commonwealth entities, sections 7AB and 7AC of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Rule applies, which continues the application of the Commonwealth Authorities (Annual Reporting) Orders 2011 and the Commonwealth Companies (Annual Reporting) Orders 2011; and

• for non-statutory bodies, the guidelines are contained in the government response to the Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Public Administration Report on Non-Statutory bodies.6

1.11 Statutory authorities must report in accordance with their establishing legislation.

1.12 The committee notes that some of the bodies that are required to produce annual reports to the Senate fall outside the categories listed above. In these cases, examination of the annual report is based on general content and information rather than compliance with legislation and guidelines.

Timeliness of reports

1.13 Annual reports for departments, entities and companies are required to be tabled in Parliament by 31 October each year unless another date is specified in an agency's legislation, charter and/or terms of reference. The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet Requirements for Annual Reports (PM&C Requirements) state that 'it remains the Government's policy that all annual reports should be tabled by 31 October'.7 Annual reports are required to be provided to the responsible Minister by the fifteenth day of the fourth month after the end of the financial year. For the standard financial year, this is 15 October. The committee considers timeliness in annual reporting is an important element in accountability.

6 Senate Hansard, 8 December 1987, pp 2632-45.

7 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports, 2015, p. 2.

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1.14 PM&C Requirements state that in the event of Senate Supplementary Estimates being held before 31 October 2015, it is best practice for annual reports to be tabled prior to those hearings. This year Supplementary Estimates hearings took place on 21 and 22 October 2015, and the committee notes that a number of annual

reports were not tabled prior to the hearings. The committee encourages all Commonwealth entities and companies to comply with the best practice guidelines.

Publishing standards for the Presentation of Documents to Parliament

1.15 PM&C has produced Guidelines for the Presentation of Documents to the Parliament. These guidelines state:

Documents to be included in the Parliamentary Papers Series must be printed on International B5 size paper.8

1.16 The committee notes that the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency annual report has not been presented on B5 size paper and encourages the agency to follow this guideline for future reports.

Reports examined 2014-15 1.17 This report considers 21 annual reports received during the period 1 May 2015 to 31 October 2015. This report also examines five reports presented after 31 October 2015 but before the tabling of this report.

1.18 A list of the annual reports of Commonwealth entities and companies and other bodies tabled in the Senate (or presented out of session to the President of the Senate), and referred to the committee for examination, can be found at Appendix 1. The table shows the legislation under which reports are required to be provided and tabling information.

1.19 The committee is pleased to note that generally the annual reports examined adhere to the relevant reporting guidelines in a satisfactory manner. The reports continue to maintain high standards of presentation and provide a comprehensive range of information on their functions and activities.

Comments made in the Senate 1.20 The committee is obliged, under Senate Standing Order 25(20)(d), to take into account any relevant remarks made about these reports in the Senate. The committee is not aware of any comments made in the Senate regarding the annual reports of departments and agencies within its purview.

8 Australian Government Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Guidelines for the Presentation of Documents to the Parliament (including Government Documents, Government Responses to Committee Reports, Ministerial Statements, Annual Reports and other Instruments, May 2015, p. 4, https://www.dpmc.gov.au/pmc/publication/guidelines-presentation-documents-parliament (accessed 24 December 2015).

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Other Issues

Additional Reports

1.21 In addition to the reports listed in Appendix 1, the following reports were also referred to and received by the committee between the period of 1 May 2015 and 31 October 2015. The committee notes that these reports were for their information only and the committee is not required by the terms of the Standing Order to report on these:

• Australian Government Actuary—Fourth report on the costs of the Australian Government's Run-Off Cover Scheme for midwife professional indemnity insurers 2013-14 financial year;

• Australian Government Actuary—Tenth report on the costs of the Australian Government's Run-Off Cover Scheme for medical indemnity insurers 2013-14 financial year;

• Australian Government Department of Health—Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record System Operator—Annual Report 2014-15;

• Australian Government Department of Human Services—Healthcare Identifiers Service Annual Report 2014-15;

• Australian Government Office of the Australian Information Commissioner— Annual report of the Information Commissioner's activities in relation to eHealth 2014-15;

• Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency—Quarterly report for the period 1 July to 30 September 2015.

• Department of Health—2014-15 Report on the operation of the Aged Care Act 1997;

• Medical Training Review Panel—Eighteenth Report May 2015;

• National Health Practitioner Ombudsman and Privacy Commissioner—Annual Report 2014-15;

• Office of the Gene Technology Regulator—Quarterly Report for the period 1 April to 30 June 2015;

• Office of the Gene Technology Regulator—Quarterly Report for the period 1 July to 30 September 2015; and

• The seventh report of the Interdepartmental committee on human trafficking and slavery—Trafficking in Persons: The Australian Government Response 1 July 2014 - 30 June 2015;

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Chapter 2

Annual reports of Commonwealth Departments 2.1 For the financial year 2014-15, the annual reports of the following departments were referred to the committee for examination and report:

• Department of Health (DOH);

• Department of Social Services (DSS); and

• Department of Human Services (DHS).

Department of Health Tabling of the report

2.2 The 2014-15 annual report was tabled on 13 October 2015, in time for examination at the Supplementary Estimates 2014-15 hearing.1

Secretary's review

2.3 Mr Martin Bowles PSM, who commenced as secretary in October 2014, noted numerous significant achievements including:

• the establishment of 31 Primary Health Networks on 1 July 2015, replacing

Medicare Locals, to improve and better coordinate care for patients, particularly for those with poor health outcomes, across the local health care system;

• the commencement of a review of the services that are eligible for Medicare subsidies by the Medicare Benefits Scheme Review Taskforce; ;

• the establishment of the Indigenous Australians Health Programme, in July

2014, to consolidate funding streams to ensure high quality essential services align with need and to draw focus on tangible outcomes; and

• the implementation of the new Health Star Rating food labelling system to make it easier for shoppers to choose healthier food items. In the first year of implementation 1000 products have adopted the rating system.2

Chief Medical Officer's Report

2.4 The Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Baggoley AO, addressed a number of issues in his report including:

• Australia's response to the Ebola crisis which has included enhanced

border measures;

1 Journals of the Senate, No. 120—13 October 2015, p. 3213.

2 Department of Health, Annual Report 2014-2015, pp 4-6.

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• the outbreak of hepatitis A from imported frozen berries and DOH's role

in coordinating the national public health response and interagency communications;

• the release of the Australian Government's First National Antimicrobial

Resistance Strategy to address the major global health priority largely caused by the misuse of antibiotics; and

• the expansion of the National Immunisation Program to provide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged six months to five years with free seasonal influenza vaccines.3

Ministerial responsibilities

2.5 As at 30 June 2015, the minister and assistant minister responsible for the portfolio and its agencies were:

• the Hon Sussan Ley MP, Minister for Health and Minister for Sport; and

• Senator the Hon Fiona Nash, Assistant Minister for Health. 4

Performance reporting

2.6 The annual report addresses Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) as listed in the Portfolio Budget Statements 2014-15. The committee acknowledges that most of DOH's deliverable targets were met or substantially met. KPIs that were not met can be found in Outcome 4: Acute Care and Outcome 5: Primary Health Care.5

2.7 Major achievements during the reporting period include:

• implementation of the Hearing Services Online portal, resulting in a reduction of wait times for new clients from an average of four weeks to three days and an estimated saving to businesses of $19.1 million annually;6

• development of the Implementation Plan for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan 2013-23.in partnership with the National Health Leadership Forum. The Implementation Plan informs the development of the core services model, future workforce requirements and investment in capacity building requirements;7 and

• implementation of a range of sports integrity measures and revision of anti-doping legislation consistent with the global implementation of the 2015 World Anti-Doping Code. DOH delivered an 'Integrity in Sport' Roadshow targeting sub-elite athletes and worked closely with key stakeholders to

3 Department of Health, Annual Report 2014-2015, pp 8-11.

4 Department of Health, Annual Report 2014-2015, p. 25.

5 Department of Health, Annual Report 2014-2015, pp 31-142.

6 Department of Health, Annual Report 2014-2015, p. 58.

7 Department of Health, Annual Report 2014-2015, p. 76, 82.

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protect the integrity of the 2015 International Cricket Council World Cup and the 2015 Asian Football Confederation Asian Cup.8

2.8 The committee notes that a number of challenges still remain for DOH including closing the gap on Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander life expectancy and child mortality.9 Further work is also needed to achieve a more equitable distribution of the health workforce to rural and remote Australia.10

2.9 The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) concluded four reports into the operations of DOH throughout the financial year, making a total of 11 recommendations that related to DOH. The reports investigated the administration of the Medical Specialist Training Program, administration of the Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement, diagnostic imaging reforms, and DOH's implementation of previous ANAO recommendations.

2.10 The Commonwealth Ombudsman released the report Department of Health: Avoiding, acknowledging and fixing mistakes. The annual report does not provide information on this report but does provide a link to the Ombudsman's report online. The committee considers that the annual report could have been enhanced had a brief description of the report and recommendations been included.

Financial performance

2.11 DOH administered $43.3 billion in expenses on behalf of the Commonwealth in 2014-15 and recorded a combined operating deficit of $32.7 million under the net cash appropriation model. Own source revenue increased by 6 per cent to $167.6 million primarily through an increase in cost recovery activities by the Therapeutic Goods Administration. Meanwhile operating expenses decreased by 12 percent to $684.7 million primarily as a result of the changes to the Administrative Arrangement Orders (AAO) of September 2013.11

Department of Social Services Tabling of the report

2.12 The 2014-15 annual report was tabled on 15 October 2015, in time for examination at the Supplementary Estimates 2014-15 hearing.12

Secretary's review

2.13 The secretary, Mr Finn Pratt, noted several significant achievements during 2013-14:

• The release of the McClure Review into Australia's welfare system and the

commencement of implementing the recommendations including steps that

8 Department of Health, Annual Report 2014-2015, pp 136-140.

9 Department of Health, Annual Report 2014-2015, p. 76.

10 Department of Health, Annual Report 2014-2015, p. 120.

11 Department of Health, Annual Report 2014-2015, p. 197.

12 House of Representatives, Votes and Proceedings, No. 150—15 October 2015, p. 1654.

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will make Australia's welfare system more effective, coherent and sustainable. This includes an 'investment approach' to target people most at risk of long-term dependency and disadvantage and investing in them early.

• Continuing the roll out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, with

seven pilot sites helping 17,000 people access support and services. The Scheme will be fully transitioned in 2016.

• A number of reforms to aged care to give older people more say about the services they choose and improve their access to services. These include the introduction of the consumer-driven care approach, the enhancement of My Aged Care and the commencement of the Commonwealth Home Support Programme.

• To address domestic violence, DSS developed the free DAISY app, which connects women with services and support in their local area.13

Changes in administrative arrangements

2.14 Early childhood and child care programs were transferred from the Department of Education to DSS under the AAO of 23 December 2014.14

Ministerial responsibilities

2.15 As at 30 June 2015, the ministers and parliamentary secretaries responsible for the portfolio and its agencies were:

• The Hon Scott Morrison MP, Minister for Social Services;

• Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield, Assistant Minister for Social Services; and

• Senator the Hon Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, Parliamentary Secretary to the

Minister for Social Services.15

Performance reporting

2.16 The annual report highlights a number of performance achievements including:

• strengthened disability support pension assessments through the introduction

of a Disability Medical Assessment by a Government contracted doctor;

• providing an increase in support to families through child care fee assistance

with $6.6 billion in payments;

• implementing a Red Tape Reduction Action Plan for the aged care industry to reduce its administrative burden;

13 Department of Social Services, Annual Report 2014-2015, p. 2.

14 Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Administrative Arrangements Order made on 23 December 2014, https://www.dpmc.gov.au/pmc/publication/administrative-arrangements-order-made-23-december-2014 (accessed 10 December 2015).

15 Department of Social Services, Annual Report 2014-2015, p. 21.

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• constructing 5,383 additional dwellings under the National Rental

Affordability Scheme to provide rent at 20 per cent below market value to assist individuals and families; and

• assisting 235,349 people with disability to increase their capacity to work

through the Disability Employment Services.16

2.17 The committee notes that the KPIs and deliverables of DSS are extensive and varied and overall are well presented. However, it would aid the committee in its examination of the performance of DSS if, where possible, DSS stated whether the KPI and/or deliverable is considered to be met, substantially met, exceeded or not met.

2.18 It is a requirement for annual reports that for those KPIs that have not been met, a brief explanation is to be included. This report appears to have included an explanation in most instances; however it would assist the committee if future annual reports fully met this requirement.

Financial performance

2.19 DSS managed a budget of $128.9 billion, almost one-third of the Commonwealth budget. DSS achieved a small surplus of $0.8 million from its operating expenditure of $0.7 billion.17

Department of Human Services Tabling of the report

2.20 The 2014-15 annual report was received out of session by the President of the Senate on 28 October 2015.18 This meant the report was unavailable for examination at the Supplementary Estimates 2014-15 hearing.

Secretary's review

2.21 The secretary, Ms Kathryn Campbell, noted several achievements during the year including:

• transitioning 21,000 participants and 1000 staff under CRS Australia, which

ceased operation in February 2015, to new providers and redeployment within DHS respectively;

• assisting communities hit by natural disasters including the South Australian

bushfires, Tropical Cyclone Marcia in Queensland, Tropical Cyclone Lam in the Northern Territory, and storms and flooding in NSW; and

• further development and expansion of the MyGov digital service and shopfronts, which has seen a growth of active accounts to over seven million as at 30 June 2015.

16 Department of Social Services, Annual Report 2014-2015, pp 31-103.

17 Department of Social Services, Annual Report 2014-2015, p. 143.

18 Journals of the Senate, No. 128—9 November 2015, p. 3289.

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Ministerial Responsibilities

2.22 As at 30 June 2015, the Minister responsible for the Human Services Portfolio was Senator the Hon Marise Payne. On 21 September 2015 the Hon Stuart Robert MP was appointed Minister for Human Services.19

Performance reporting

2.23 The annual report addresses the KPIs as listed in the Portfolio Budget Statements 2014-15. The committee acknowledges that DHS met 27 of its 32 KPIs.20

2.24 DHS continued to focus on early interventions to manage identified payment risks. In 2014-15 $61.4 million in overpayments were prevented through early intervention measures such as sending letters and SMS messages. Data matching exercises were also undertaken to identify customers at risk of incorrect payment. Four data-matching cycles resulted in 24,178 reviews and returned $134.6 million in net benefits to government.21

2.25 As part of the Income Management Budget measures, DHS has continued to help people to pay for their priority items with the BasicsCard - a reusable, personal identification number-protected card that can be used via EFTPOS at approved stores and businesses. As at 30 June 2015, the BasicsCard was accepted at 14,258 stores and businesses, up from 13, 683 the previous year. The number of Centrelink customers using the BasicsCard increased from 91 per cent in 2013-14 to 97 per cent in 2014- 15.22

2.26 The ANAO published five reports into the operations of DHS throughout the financial year, making a total of nine recommendations that related to DHS. The reports investigated limited tender procurement arrangements, administration of the Australian Childhood Immunisation Registrar, management of Smart Centres' Centrelink Telephone Services, administration of the Assistance for Isolated Children Scheme and the administration of the Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement.23

2.27 The department has provided useful information on the employment of people with disability. However, the report does not appear to contain an 'explicit and transparent reference to other disability reporting mechanisms' as required under Attachment D of the PM&C Requirements. This information should be included in future annual reports.

Financial performance

2.28 DHS administered $165.8 billion in expenses on behalf of the Commonwealth in 2014-15. In 2014-15, DHS reported an operating surplus of $65.8 million after

19 Department of Human Services, Annual Report 2014-2015, p. 8.

20 Department of Human Services, Annual Report 2014-2015, pp 12-13.

21 Department of Human Services, Annual Report 2014-2015, p. 100.

22 Department of Human Services, Annual Report 2014-2015, pp 71-72.

23 Department of Human Services, Annual Report 2014-2015, pp 264-266.

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adjustment, unfunded depreciation and revaluation adjustments. This compares to a surplus of $132.6 million in 2013-14.24

24 Department of Human Services, Annual Report 2014-2015, p. 174.

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Chapter 3

Annual Reports of Commonwealth Entities and Companies 3.1 For the financial year 2014-15, the following annual reports were referred to the committee for examination and report by 31 October 2015:

Health Portfolio • Administrator of the National Health Funding Pool

• Aged Care Commissioner

• Aged Care Pricing Commissioner

• Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care

• Australian Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation Authority

• Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency

• Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority

• Australian Sports Commission

• Cancer Australia

• Food Standards Australia New Zealand;

• Independent Hospital Pricing Authority

• National Blood Authority

• National Health and Medical Research Council

• National Health Funding Body

• National Health Performance Authority

• Office of the Gene Technology Regulator

Social Services Portfolio (including Human Services) • Australian Hearing

• Australian Institute of Family Studies

• National Disability Insurance Agency

3.2 The committee also received the following reports for examination after 31 October 2015:

• Australian Aged Care Quality Agency

• Australian Institute of Health and Welfare;

• National Mental Health Commission

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• Professional Services Review Scheme

• Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency

3.3 The committee has chosen to examine the following reports in more detail:

• Aged Care Commissioner

• Australian Aged Care Quality Agency

• Australian Hearing

• Australian Institute of Family Studies

• Australian Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation Authority

• Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency

• Independent Hospital Pricing Authority

• National Disability Insurance Agency

• National Health Funding Body

• National Health Performance Authority

Health Portfolio

Aged Care Commissioner

3.4 The Aged Care Commissioner is a statutory office holder whose key function is to examine complaints against the Aged Care Complaints Scheme and the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency.

3.5 The annual report appears to meet the requirements set out in section 95A-12 of the Aged Care Act 1997 which are helpfully provided in the appendix of the report.

3.6 A key change for 2016 will see the responsibility for complaints about Australian Government funded aged care transferred from the Secretary of the Department of Health to the Aged Care Commissioner in the early part of the year. This will help create independence for the Aged Care Complaints Scheme.1

Australian Aged Care Quality Agency (ACQA)

3.7 ACQA is a non-corporate Commonwealth entity and the new accreditation body for residential aged care. ACQA commenced operation on 1 January 2014, replacing the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency. On 1 July 2014 ACQA assumed responsibility for the Quality Review of Home Care Services from the Department of Social Services and a number of staff transferred across from the department to undertake that work.2 ACQA appears to have met all of its deliverables and key performance indicators.3

1 Aged Care Commissioner, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 4.

2 Australian Aged Care Quality Agency, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 114.

3 Australian Aged Care Quality Agency, Annual Report 2014-15, pp 112-113

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3.8 This is the second annual report for ACQA and the annual report meets the standard of 'apparently satisfactory' and includes a number of suggested requirements. The report contains sufficient information and analysis and aligns with the overall accountability framework.

3.9 It would aid the committee in its examination of the report, if the report structure more closely aligned with the order that requirements are listed in the PM&C Requirements. For example, moving the summary of significant issues and developments to the Chief Executive Officer's review would enhance the structure of the report.

3.10 The annual report states that trend information refers to the previous entity in relation to the residential aged care accreditation program.4 However the report does not appear to have included trend information on whether KPIs have previously been met. Trend information should be included in future annual reports in order to meet this mandatory requirement.

Australian Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation Authority (OTA)

3.11 The OTA is a non-corporate Commonwealth entity. The OTA met all of its deliverables and had varied results for its key performance indicators. The rate of request by hospital staff to families for organ and tissue donation increased by two per cent from the previous year to 98 percent. However, the rate of family consent to organ and tissue donation decreased from 62 per cent in 2013 to 59 per cent in 2014. The aspirational target for the consent rate is 75 per cent and the OTA aims to achieve that target in the next four years.5

3.12 The OTA produced an exemplary annual report that met all mandatory and suggested requirements satisfactorily. The report was well presented, informative and easy to navigate.

Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA)

3.13 ARPANSA is a non-corporate Commonwealth entity. A significant development this year for ARPANSA was the passing of the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Amendment Bill 2015. This legislative change enables ARPANSA to regulate legacy sites with radioactive material and provides greater capacity for ARPANSA to respond to emergencies and non-compliance with legislation.6

3.14 ARPANSA has addressed all recommendations that were made in the 2014 Australian National Audit Office report on ARPANSA's regulation of Commonwealth licence holders. This has included implementing a new regulatory delivery model to

4 Australian Aged Care Quality Agency, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 112.

5 Australian Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation Authority, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 24.

6 Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 6.

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improve regulatory effectiveness and efficiency and the use of risk-based decision-making.7

3.15 ARPANSA produced a quality annual report containing detailed information where required. This year's PM&C Requirements were amended to include information on indigenous employment. This information is absent from ARPANSA's annual report. In order to fulfil this requirement, future annual reports should include a statement in the body of the report about indigenous employment.

Independent Hospital Pricing Authority (IHPA)

3.16 IHPA is a corporate Commonwealth entity and therefore is required to report under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Amendment (Annual Reports) Rule 2015 and follow the application of the Commonwealth Authorities (Annual Reporting) Orders 2011 for its 2014-15 annual report. IHPA has reported against the list of requirements as set out in the PM&C Requirements, which does not take effect for corporate Commonwealth entities until 2015-16.

3.17 IHPA had a number of notable achievements this year. IHPA achieved a surplus of $3.746 million through savings made in employment costs and sales of the Australian Refine Diagnosis Related Groups classification system. IHPA finalised and published the Pricing Framework for Australian Public Hospital Services 2015-16, developed national pricing models in consultation with stakeholders and released the

National Efficient Price and National Efficient Cost Determinations for 2015-16. IHPA also completed a mental health care costing study to inform the development of the Australian Mental Health Care Classification.

3.18 Overall IHPA's annual report is well presented and easy to navigate, and contains a significant amount of information that complies with the PM&C Requirements and appears to satisfactorily comply with the transitional requirements. It would assist the committee in its review of the report if the following information was to be included in future reports:

• work health and safety outcomes and statistics on incidences; and

• location of staff and key activities.

National Health Funding Body (NHFB)

3.19 The NHFB is a non-corporate Commonwealth entity that is also inter-jurisdictional in nature. The NHFB commenced operations on 1 July 2012 and was created to support and assist the Administrator of the National Health Funding Pool. The key outcome of the NHFB is to 'provide transparent and efficient administration of Commonwealth, state and territory funding of the Australian public hospital system and support the obligations and responsibilities of the Administrator'.8

7 Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency, Annual Report 2014-15, pp 6-7.

8 National Health Funding Body, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 21.

26

19

3.20 The NHFB's annual report meets the requirement of 'apparently satisfactory' and overall was well laid out. The report could be improved with greater discussion and analysis of the entity's financial performance, and assessment of the effectiveness of human resources management and assets management. The committee notes that information on trends in achieving KPIs was limited in the report and that this might be due to the number of years the NHFB has been in operation. The committee hopes to see more trend information in future annual reports.

National Mental Health Commission (NMHC)

3.21 The NMHC is a non-corporate Commonwealth entity. It was noted in the committee's Report on Annual Reports (2 of 2015) that a number of mandatory requirements were missing from the annual report for 2013-14. The committee is pleased to find some of these requirements included in the annual report for 2014-15. However, the committee considers that the annual report may not meet some mandatory requirements. Trend information and the agency resource statement in the required format should be included in future annual reports. Furthermore, in the PM&C Requirements, Attachment A outlines the mandatory requirements under Aids to Access. The NMHC's annual report does not meet this requirement as it conflates the alphabetical index with the compliance index, which is a separate requirement.

3.22 The committee notes that the compliance index listed in the report is incomplete, as it is missing the suggested requirements and new reporting requirements. The committee notes that the report does include statements that fulfil the new reporting requirements related to small business and indigenous employment; however this is not reflected in the compliance index. It would assist the committee in its examination of the report if the compliance index was a reflection of the most recent List of Requirements in Attachment F of the PM&C Requirements.

Social Services Portfolio (including Human Services)

Australian Hearing

3.23 Australian Hearing is a corporate Commonwealth entity. Australian Hearing has achieved strong financial revenue in 2014-15 at a total of $229.2 million - a 7.9 per cent increase on the previous year. Australian Hearing established 10 new hearing centres throughout the year and supported 230 rural and remote communities through the outreach program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. Australian Hearing also teamed up with country music singer Troy Cassar-Daley as official Ambassador to promote hearing health.9 Troy Cassar-Daley wrote a song for Australian Hearing that has been viewed more than 80,000 times online.10

Overall, the committee finds the annual report to be 'apparently satisfactory'. The committee notes that future reports would be enhanced with a general index and information about the enterprise agreement. This information will become mandatory

9 Australian Hearing, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 9.

10 Australian Hearing, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 10.

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next year when the PGPA Act comes into full effect and the committee looks forward to a more comprehensive report as a result.

Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS)

3.24 The AIFS is a non-corporate Commonwealth entity. On 30 June 2015 Professor Alan Hayes AM resigned as Director of AIFS after more than 10 years at the AIFS. The committee thanks Professor Hayes for his service. On 7 September2015 Ms Anne Hollands commenced as the new director of AIFS.11

3.25 The committee examined the annual report of AIFS and determined that it meets the requirement of 'apparently satisfactory'. The report meets the new reporting requirements under the PGPA Act and is of sound quality. However, the committee notes that the annual report does not contain the full range of work health and safety information as outlined in Attachment 3 of the PM&C Requirements. Further discussion on the details of the enterprise agreement would also enhance the report.

Senator Zed Seselja

Chair

11 Australian Institute of Family Studies, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 2.

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Appendix 1

List of departments, executive agencies and other non-corporate Commonwealth entities required to present annual reports to the Senate Health portfolio Department/Agency/Body Type Legislation Reporting

Year

Date tabled Senate or presented out of

sitting

Date

submitted to/ received by Minister (if available)

Administrator of the National Health Funding Pool Independent Statutory

Officer

Section 241 to 243 of the National Health Reform Act 2011

2014-15 28/10/2015 20/10/2015 / 22/10/2015

Aged Care Commissioner Statutory office holder - Departmental Body

Section 95A-12 of the Aged Care Act 1997 2014-15 19/10/2015 17/8/2015

Aged Care Pricing Commissioner

Statutory office holder Section 95B-12 of the Aged Care Act 1997

2014-15 22/10/2015 1/10/2015

Australian Aged Care Quality Agency1

Non-Corporate Commonwealth Entity

Section 47 of the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency Act 2013, Section 70 of the Public Service Act 1999 and Section 46 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act)

2014-15 2/11/2015 6/10/2015

Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care

Corporate Commonwealth Entity

Section 111 of the National Health Reform Act 2011 and Section 46 of the PGPA Act

2014-15 30/10/2015 21/9/2015

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Corporate Commonwealth

Entity

Section 46 of the PGPA Act 2014-15 2/11/2015 12/10/2015

Australian National Preventive Health Agency2

Non-Corporate Commonwealth Entity

Section 53 of the Australian National Preventive Health Agency Act 2010 and Sections 63 and 70 of the Public Service Act 1999

2014-15 13/10/2015 29/9/2015

1 Formerly known as the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency Ltd (ACSAA) 2 Financial statements incorporated into the Department of Health's Annual Report 2014-15 as

Appendix 4.

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22

Department/Agency/Body Type Legislation Reporting

Year

Date tabled Senate or presented out of

sitting

Date

submitted to/ received by Minister (if available)

Australian Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation Authority

Non-Corporate Commonwealth Entity

SubSection 28(1) of the Australian Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation Authority Act and Section 46 of the PGPA Act

2014-15 19/10/2015 30/9/2015 / 12/10/2015

Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency

Non-Corporate Commonwealth Entity

Section 59 of the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Act 1998 and Section 46 of the PGPA Act

2014-15 29/10/2015 30/9/2015

Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority Corporate Commonwealth

Entity

SubSection 74(1) of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority Act 2006, Section 63 of the Public Service Act 1999 and Section 46 of the PGPA Act

2014-15 30/10/2015 7/10/2015

Australian Sports Commission Corporate Commonwealth Entity

Section 48 of the Australian Sports Commission Act1989 and Section 46 of the PGPA Act

2014-15 30/10/2015 11/10/2015 / 12/10/2015

Australian Sports Foundation Limited 3 Commonwealth Company

Section 97 of the PGPA Act 2013-14 30/10/2015 11/10/2015 / 12/10/2015

Cancer Australia Non-Corporate

Commonwealth Entity

Section 37 of the Cancer Australia Act 2006 and Section 46 of the PGPA Act

2014-15 28/10/2015 14/9/2015 / 16/9/2015

Department of Health Non-Corporate Commonwealth Entity

Section 63 of the Public Service Act 1999 and Section 46 of the PGPA Act

2014-15 13/10/2015 29/9/2015

Food Standards Australia New Zealand Corporate Commonwealth

Entity

Section 152 of the Food Standards Australia New Zealand Act 1991 and Section 46 of the PGPA Act

2014-15 22/10/2015 6/10/2015 / 12/10/2015

Independent Hospital Pricing Authority Corporate Commonwealth

Entity

Section 193 of the National Health Reform Amendment (Independent Hospital Pricing Authority) Act 2011 and Section 46 of the PGPA Act

2014-15 26/10/2015 6/8/2015

National Blood Authority Non-Corporate Commonwealth Entity

Section 44 of the National Blood Authority Act 2003 and Section 46 of the PGPA Act

2014-15 21/10/2015 6/10/2015 / 12/10/2015

3 Incorporated into the Australian Sports Commission's Annual Report 2014-15 in Section 5.

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23

Department/Agency/Body Type Legislation Reporting

Year

Date tabled Senate or presented out of

sitting

Date

submitted to/ received by Minister (if available)

National Health and Medical Research Council Non-Corporate Commonwealth

Entity

Section 83 of the National Health and Medical Research Council Act 1992, Sections 63 and 70 of the Public Service Act 1999, and Section 46 of the PGPA Act

2014-15 27/10/2015 9/10/2015 / 13/10/2015

National Health Funding Body Non-Corporate Commonwealth

Entity

267 of the National Health Reform Act 2011, Section 63 of the Public Service Act 1999 and Section 46 of the PGPA Act

2014-15 28/10/2015 20/10/2015 / 22/10/2015

National Health Performance Authority Corporate Commonwealth

Entity

Section 111 of the National Health Reform Act 2011 and Section 46 of the PGPA Act

2014-15 29/10/2015 29/9/2015

National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme 4

Regulatory Scheme - Departmental Body

Section 108 of the Industrial Chemicals (Notification and Assessment) Act 1989

2014-15 13/10/2015 29/9/2015

National Mental Health Commission Non-Corporate Commonwealth

Entity

Section 70 of the Public Service Act 1999 and Section 46 of the PGPA Act

2014-15 2/11/2015 22/10/2015

Office of the Gene Technology Regulator Statutory office holder -

Departmental Body

Section 136 of the Gene Technology Act 2000, and Sections 63 and 70 of the Public Service Act 1999

2014-15 30/10/2015 6/10/2015 / 7/10/2015

Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee 5 Independent Expert Body

Section 99YBC of the National Health Act 1953 2014-15 13/10/2015 29/9/2015

Professional Services Review Scheme Non-Corporate Commonwealth

Entity

Section 106ZQ of the Health Insurance Act 1973, Section 63 of the Public Service Act 1999 and Section 46 of the PGPA Act

2014-15 2/11/2015 16/10/2015 / 19/10/2015

4 Incorporated into the Department of Health's Annual Report 2014-15 as Appendix 2. 5 Incorporated into the Department of Health's Annual Report 2014-15 as Appendix 1.

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24

Social Services Portfolio (including Human Services) Department/Agency/Body Type Legislation Reporting

Year

Date tabled Senate or presented out of sitting

Date

submitted to/ received by Minister (if available)

Australian Hearing Corporate

Commonwealth Entity

Section 46 of the PGPA Act 2014-15 28/10/2015 9/10/2015

Australian Institute of Family Studies Non-Corporate Commonwealth

Entity

Section 114LC of the Family Law Act 1975, Section 70 of the Public Service Act 1999 and Section 46 of the PGPA Act

2014-15 22/10/2015 2/10/2015

Department of Human Services Non-Corporate Commonwealth

Entity

Section 63 of the Public Service Act 1999 and Section 46 of the PGPA Act

2014-15 28/10/2015 1/10/2015 / 2/10/2015

Department of Social Services Non-Corporate Commonwealth Entity

Section 63 of the Public Service Act 1999 and Section 46 of the PGPA Act

2014-15 15/10/2015 25/09/2015

National Disability Insurance Agency Corporate Commonwealth

Entity

Section 172 of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 and Section 46 of the PGPA Act

2014-15 29/10/2014 6/10/2015

Annual reports from non-portfolio Agencies Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency6 Statutory

Agency

Schedule 3, Clause 8 of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act 2009, as in force in each state and territory

2014-15 30/11/2015 23/10/2015 / 30/10/2015

6 The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency supplies an annual report to the Ministerial Council of the Council of Australian Governments which supplies a copy to each state and territory Parliament and to the Commonwealth.

32

The Senate

Economics

Legislation Committee

Annual reports (No. 1 of 2016)

March 2016

33

ii

© Commonwealth of Australia 2015

978-1-76010-349-1

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License.

The details of this licence are available on the Creative Commons website: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/au/

Printed by the Senate Printing Unit, Parliament House, Canberra.

34

iii

Senate Economics Legislation Committee

Members

Senator Sean Edwards, Chair South Australia, LP

Senator Chris Ketter, Deputy Chair Queensland, ALP

Senator Sam Dastyari New South Wales, ALP

Senator David Bushby Tasmania, LP

Senator Dean Smith Western Australia, LP

Senator Nick Xenophon South Australia, IND

Secretariat

Dr Kathleen Dermody, Secretary Ms Leonie Lam, Research Officer Ms Sarah Batts, Administrative Officer

PO Box 6100 Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600 Ph: 02 6277 3540 Fax: 02 6277 5719 E-mail: economics.sen@aph.gov.au Internet: www.aph.gov.au/senate_economics

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iv

36

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Committee members…………………………………………………………iii

Abbreviations ....................................................................................................vii

Preface .................................................................................................................. 1

Introduction ............................................................................................................ 1

Terms of reference .................................................................................................. 1

Allocated portfolios ................................................................................................ 1

Role of annual reports ............................................................................................ 2

Annual reporting requirements ............................................................................... 3

Reports referred to the committee .......................................................................... 4

Additional reports referred to the committee ......................................................... 7

General comments on the annual reports ............................................................... 9

Chapter 1............................................................................................................ 13

Annual report of departments ............................................................................... 13

Department of Industry, Innovation and Science [incorporating the annual reports of Geoscience Australia and IP Australia] ........................................................... 13

Department of the Treasury .................................................................................. 17

Chapter 2............................................................................................................ 21

Individual 2014-15 Annual Reports ..................................................................... 21

Reports under the Industry portfolio .................................................................... 21

Reports under the Treasury portfolio ................................................................... 28

Appendix 1 ......................................................................................................... 37

Industry, Innovation and Science portfolio ......................................................... 37

List of annual reports tabled in the Senate in the period 1 May 2015 to 31 October 2015, and before report tabling ......................................................... 37

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vi

Appendix 2 ......................................................................................................... 39

Treasury portfolio .................................................................................................. 39

List of annual reports, and additional reports tabled in the Senate in the period 1 May 2015 to 31 October 2015, and before the tabling of this report ................ 39

Appendix 3 ......................................................................................................... 45

Changes to terminology from FMA Act and CAC Act to the PGPA Act ........... 45

38

Abbreviations

AAO Administrative Arrangements Order

ANAO Australian National Audit Office

ARENA Australian Renewable Energy Agency

CAS Centre for Accelerator Science

CAC Act Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997

CEFC Clean Energy Finance Corporation

GST Goods and services tax

HoR House of Representatives

KPIs Key Performance Indicators

OECD Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

PJC Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services

JCPAA Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit

PAES Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements

PBS Portfolio Budget Statements

PGPA Act Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013

PM&C Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet

PM&C guidelines Requirements for Annual Reports Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies and other non-Corporate Commonwealth entities, last revised on 25 June 2015

39

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Preface

Introduction 1.1 This is the Senate Economics Legislation Committee's (the committee) first report on annual reports for 2016 and provides an overview of the committee's examination of annual reports for the 2014-15 reporting period.

Terms of reference 1.2 Standing Order 25(20) relating to the consideration of annual reports by committee requires the committee to:

(a) examine each annual report referred to it and report to the Senate whether the report is apparently satisfactory;

(b) consider in more detail, and report to the Senate on, each annual report which is not apparently satisfactory, and on the other annual reports which it selects for more detailed consideration;

(c) investigate and report to the Senate on any lateness in the presentation of annual reports;

(d) in considering an annual report, take into account any relevant remarks about the report made in debate in the Senate;

(e) if the committee so determines, consider annual reports of departments and budget-related agencies in conjunction with examination of estimates;

(f) report on annual reports tabled by 31 October each year by the tenth sitting day of the following year, and on annual reports tabled by 30 April each year by the tenth sitting day after 30 June of that year;

(g) draw to the attention of the Senate any significant matters relating to the operations and performance of the bodies furnishing the annual reports; and

(h) report to the Senate each year whether there are any bodies which do not present annual reports to the Senate and which should present such reports.

1.3 The requirements apply to annual reports for the financial year ending on 30 June 2015.

Allocated portfolios 1.4 The committee's remit to examine the annual reports of the Industry, Innovation and Science Portfolio and the Treasury Portfolio was conferred by a resolution of the Senate. The Senate allocated departments and agencies to committees on 13 November 2013.1 In accordance with that resolution, the committee has responsibility for the oversight of the following:

• Industry, Innovation and Science Portfolio; 2 and

1 Journals of the Senate, No. 1, 13 November 2013, pp. 88-89.

2 The Department of Industry and Science was renamed Department of Industry, Innovation and Science following Machinery of Government changes on 21 September 2015.

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• Treasury Portfolio.

1.5 Following the Machinery of Government changes arising from the Administrative Arrangements Order (AAO) dated 21 September 2015, national policy issues relating to the digital economy and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) were transferred from the Industry, Innovation and Science Portfolio to the Environment Portfolio. The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) was transferred from the Treasury to the Environment Portfolio on 30 September 2015 in an amended AAO. As a result, the 2014-15 annual reports for ARENA and CEFC are not examined in this report.

Role of annual reports 1.6 Annual reports place a great deal of information about government departments and agencies on the public record. Accordingly, the tabling of annual reports is an important element of accountability to the Parliament, as the information provided in annual reports assists in the effective examination of the performance of departments and agencies, and the administration of government programs.

1.7 Together with Portfolio Budget Statements (PBS), Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements (PAES) and the Estimates process, annual reports are the primary mechanisms for scrutiny of the operations of government. Indeed, as highlighted in the Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies and Other Non-corporate Commonwealth Entities (Requirements for Annual Reports or PM&C guidelines) released by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C), and approved by the Joint Committee of Public

Accounts and Audit (JCPAA) under subsections 63(2) and 70(2) of the Public Service Act 1999 (PS Act):

Annual reports serve to inform the Parliament (through the responsible Minister), other stakeholders, educational and research institutions, the media and the general public about the performance of departments in relation to services provided. Annual reports are a key reference document and a document for internal management. They form part of the historical record.3

Annual reports and PB Statements are the principal formal accountability mechanisms between government and departments and from departments through (or on behalf of) government to the Parliament.4

3 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies and Other Non-corporate Commonwealth Entities (Requirements for Annual Reports), 25 June 2015, paragraph 5(2).

4 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports, 25 June 2015, paragraph 6(1).

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Annual reporting requirements 1.8 This is the first time departments and agencies are reporting under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act), which commenced on 1 July 2014. The PGPA Act consolidates the governance, performance and accountability requirements contained in the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (FMA Act) and the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 (CAC Act). It also establishes a performance reporting framework for all Commonwealth entities and companies.

1.9 Section 46 of the PGPA Act sets out the annual reporting requirements in relation to Commonwealth entities, including that annual reports must comply with any requirements prescribed by rules. Section 97 sets out the annual reporting requirements for Commonwealth companies.

1.10 However, as with 2013-14 annual reports, 2014-15 annual reports were prepared under the arrangements existing at 30 June 2014 as follows:

• for non-corporate Commonwealth entities (departments, executive agencies

and statutory agencies): the Public Service Act 1999, sections 63(2) and 70(2), and the Parliamentary Service Act 1999, section 65; other relevant enabling legislation for statutory bodies; and the Requirements for Annual Reports;

• for corporate Commonwealth entities: the Commonwealth Authorities

(Annual Reporting) Orders 2011 prescribe material that must be included in corporate entities' annual reports. These Orders continue to apply to 2014-15 annual reports under the PGPA (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Rule;

• for Commonwealth companies: the Commonwealth Companies (Annual

Reporting) Orders 2011 prescribe material that must be included in corporate entities' annual reports. These Orders continue to apply to 2014-15 annual reports under the PGPA (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Rule;5 and

• for non-statutory bodies: the guidelines are contained in the government

response to the Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Public Administration Report on Non-Statutory bodies.6

1.11 In its report on the development of the Commonwealth performance framework, the JCPAA foreshadowed that in future years the annual report requirements 'will be replaced through the consolidation of all mandatory requirements into a rule made for the purposes of section 46 of the PGPA Act'.7

5 Refer to Rules 7AB and 7AC.

6 Senate Hansard, 8 December 1987, pp 2632-45.

7 Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit, Report 452 Development of the Commonwealth Performance Framework, December 2015, p. 12.

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1.12 The enabling legislation of some agencies may require that agency to report on matters other than those included in the PM&C guidelines, or impose different reporting requirements. The committee's view is that such agencies, while bound by their enabling legislation, should also comply with the PM&C guidelines, to the extent that the requirements do not conflict.

Requirements for Annual Report for 2014-15 reports

1.13 The Requirements for Annual Reports were issued by the PM&C on 25 June 2015 and approved by the JCPAA. Two significant changes were made in relation to:

• small business procurement - three requirements have been added to reflect

the government's commitment to improve small business access to Commonwealth contracts; and

• Indigenous employment - reporting on Indigenous employment has been added to the existing requirement to report on the management of human resources.8

1.14 While the Requirements for Annual Reports issued on 25 June 2015 apply to annual reports for 2014-15, it was noted that:

Significant revisions to the Requirements are anticipated for the 2015-16 financial year with the commencement of the performance reporting model under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act).9

1.15 The tabling information is shown in Appendices 1 and 2 and changes to terminology from the FMA Act to the PGPA Act are contained in Appendix 3.

Reports referred to the committee 1.16 Under Standing Order 25(20)(f), the committee is required to report on the annual reports of departments and agencies tabled by 31 October each year by the tenth sitting day of the following year.10 This year that date is 2 March 2016.11 This Report on Annual Reports also examines annual reports that were tabled after 31 October 2015 but before this report's tabling.12

8 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies, and other Non-Corporate Commonwealth Entities, 25 June 2015, p. i.

9 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies, and other Non-Corporate Commonwealth Entities, 25 June 2015, p. i.

10 The second annual reports tabled by 30 April each year are to be reported on by the committee by the tenth sitting day after 30 June of that year

11 The second tabling date for reports on annual reports to be tabled in the Senate by 30 April each year will be 21 September 2016 (on the tenth sitting day after 30 June of that year).

12 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports, 25 June 2015, p. 2.

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1.17 The following annual reports were referred to the committee for consideration:

Departments of State (also non-corporate Commonwealth entities)

• Department of Industry, Innovation and Science [incorporating the reports of non-statutory non-corporate Commonwealth entities Geoscience Australia and IP Australia]; and

• Department of the Treasury.

Non-corporate Commonwealth entities under the PGPA Act

• Office of the Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (statutory agency); 13

• Office of the Australian Accounting Standards Board (statutory agency); 14

• Australian Bureau of Statistics (statutory agency);

• Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission;

• Australian Competition and Consumer Commission [incorporating the report of the Australian Energy Regulator] (statutory agency);

• Australian Office of Financial Management (non-statutory agency);

• Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (statutory agency);

• Australian Securities and Investments Commission (statutory agency); 15

• Commissioner of Taxation (Australian Taxation Office) (statutory agency);

• Commonwealth Grants Commission (statutory agency);

• Inspector-General of Taxation (statutory agency);

• National Competition Council (statutory agency);

• Private Health Insurance Administration Council (statutory authority, transferred to APRA on 1 July 2015);

• Productivity Commission (statutory agency); and

• Royal Australian Mint (non-statutory agency).

Non-corporate Commonwealth entities not under the PGPA Act (statutory and non-statutory bodies)

• Australian Statistics Advisory Council;

• Companies Auditors and Liquidators Disciplinary Board (statutory body); 16

13 Also stands referred to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services (PJC). 14 Also stands referred to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services (PJC).

15 Also stands referred to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services (PJC).

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• Financial Reporting Council (statutory body); 17

• Superannuation Complaints Tribunal (statutory body);

• Tax Practitioners Board (statutory body); and

• Takeovers Panel (non-statutory body). 18

Corporate Commonwealth entities under the PGPA Act

• Australian Institute of Marine Science;

• Australian Reinsurance Pool Corporation;

• Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation;19

• Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation;

• Corporations and Markets Advisory Committee (statutory agency);20

• National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority

(statutory agency); and

• Reserve Bank of Australia.

Commonwealth companies established under the Corporations Act 2001

• IIF Investments Pty Limited; and

• Snowy Hydro Limited.

1.18 Comments on these individual reports are contained in chapter 1 for departments of state, and chapter 2 for non-corporate Commonwealth entities and corporate Commonwealth entities. Reports are listed in alphabetical order under each portfolio.

1.19 Some of the aforementioned reports which are within the Treasury portfolio are also subject to scrutiny by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services (PJC), established by Part 14 of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001. Section 243 specifies the PJC's duties, which include:

(b) to examine each annual report that is prepared by a body established by this Act and of which a copy has been laid before a House, and to report to

16 Also stands referred to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services (PJC).

17 Also stands referred to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services (PJC).

18 Also stands referred to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services (PJC).

19 ANSTO Nuclear Medicine Pty Ltd is a Corporations Act company and a Public Non-financial Corporation entity under the PGPA Act.

20 Also stands referred to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services (PJC).

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both Houses on matters that appear in, or arise out of, that annual report and to which, in the Parliamentary Committee's opinion, the Parliament's attention should be directed...

1.20 In fulfilment of the PJC committee's duties under subsection 243(b), the PJC reports on the following bodies.

• Auditing and Assurance Standards Board; 21

• Australian Accounting Standards Board; 22

• Australian Securities and Investments Commission;

• Companies Auditors and Liquidators Disciplinary Board;

• Corporations and Markets Advisory Committee;

• Financial Reporting Council;

• Financial Reporting Panel; 23

• Office of the Australian Accounting Standards Board; 24

• Office of the Auditing and Assurance Standards Board; 25 and

• Takeovers Panel.

Additional reports referred to the committee 1.21 As the committee is not obliged to report on Acts, statements of corporate intent, surveys, policy papers, budget documents, corporate plans or errata, the following documents were referred to the committee for information only:

• Particulars of proposed additional expenditure in respect of the year ending on

30 June 2015 [Appropriation Bill (No. 3) 2015-2016];

• Particulars of certain proposed additional expenditure in respect of the year

ending on 30 June 2015 [Appropriation Bill (No. 4) 2015-2016];

• Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2015-16—Treasury Portfolio;

21 The ASIC Act directs that one annual report will cover both the AASB and the Office of the AASB. Similarly, the AUASB is required to prepare an annual report that addresses its activities and the activities of the Office of the AUASB.

22 The ASIC Act directs that one annual report will cover both the AASB and the Office of the AASB. Similarly, the AUASB is required to prepare an annual report that addresses its activities and the activities of the Office of the AUASB.

23 The Financial Reporting Panel (FRP) ceased to operate on 1 October 2012.

24 The ASIC Act directs that one annual report will cover both the AASB and the Office of the AASB. Similarly, the AUASB is required to prepare an annual report that addresses its activities and the activities of the Office of the AUASB.

25 The ASIC Act directs that one annual report will cover both the AASB and the Office of the AASB. Similarly, the AUASB is required to prepare an annual report that addresses its activities and the activities of the Office of the AUASB.

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• Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2015-16—Industry, Innovation and

Science Portfolio;

• Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) 2015-16;

• Tax Expenditures Statement 2015;

• Consolidated financial statements for the year ended 30 June 2015; and

• Final Budget Outcome 2014-15—September 2015.

• Australian Taxation Office:

o Super Co-contributions Quarterly Report—for the period 1 October 2015 to 31 December 2015—Section 54 of the Superannuation (Government Co-contribution for Low Income Earners) Act 2003;

o Low Income Superannuation Contributions Quarterly Report—for the period 1 October 2015 to 31 December 2015—Section 12 of the Superannuation (Government Co-contribution for Low Income Earners) Act 2003;

o Super Co-contributions Quarterly Report—for the period 1 July 2015 to 30 September 2015—Section 54 of the Superannuation (Government Co-contribution for Low Income Earners) Act 2003;

o Low Income Superannuation Contributions Quarterly Report—for the period 1 July 2015 to 30 September 2015—Section 12 of the Superannuation (Government Co-contribution for Low Income Earners) Act 2003;

o Super Co-contributions Quarterly Report—for the period 1 April 2015 to 30 June 2015 - Section 54 of the Superannuation (Government Co-contribution for Low Income Earners) Act 2003;

o Super Co-contributions Annual Statutory Report—1 July 2014 to 30 June 2015 - Section 54 of the Superannuation (Government Co-contribution for Low Income Earners) Act 2003;

o Low Income Superannuation Contributions Quarterly Report—for the period 1 April 2015 to 30 June 2015 - Section 12 of the Superannuation (Government Co-contribution for Low Income Earners) Act 2003;

o Low Income Superannuation Contributions Annual Report—1 July 2014 to 30 June 2015 - Section 12 of the Superannuation (Government Co-contribution for Low Income Earners) Act 2003;

o Super Co-contribution Quarterly Reports for the periods 1 July 2014 to 30 September 2014, 1 October 2014 to 31 December 2014 and

1 January 2015 to 31 March 2015—Section 54 of the Superannuation (Government Co-contribution for Low Income Earners) Act 2003;

o Low Income Superannuation Contributions Quarterly Reports for the periods 1 April 2014 to 30 June 2014, 1 July 2014 to 30 September 2014, 1 October 2014 to 31 December 2014, 1 January 2015 to 31 March 2015— Section 12 of the Superannuation (Government Co-contribution for Low Income Earners) Act 2003; and

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o Low Income Superannuation Annual Report for the year 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2014—Section 12 of the Superannuation (Government Co-contribution for Low Income Earners) Act 2003.

• Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006—

o National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA)—First operational review, dated September 2015 (tabled 16 September 2015);

o National Offshore Petroleum Titles Administrator (NOPTA)— First operational review, dated September 2015;

• Australian Government Response to the 2015 Review of the National Offshore Petroleum Titles Administrator, December 2015—Section 695 of the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006; and

• Australian Government Response to the 2015 Operational Review of the

National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority—December 2015—Section 695 of the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006;

• Productivity Commission:

o Report No. 75—Business set-up, transfer and closure, dated

30 September 2015;

o Report No. 76—Workplace relations framework, dated 30 November 2015 (Volumes 1 and 2).

• Reserve Bank of Australia:

o Equity and diversity—Annual Report for 2014-15; and

o Payments System Board—Annual Report for 2014-15.

General comments on the annual reports

'Apparently satisfactory'

1.22 Under the terms of Standing Order 25(20)(a), the committee is required to report to the Senate whether reports are 'apparently satisfactory'. In making this assessment, the committee considers such aspects as compliance with relevant reporting guidelines.

1.23 The annual reports examined by the committee in this report were found to be of a satisfactory standard, adequately describing the functions, activities, performance and financial positions of the departments and agencies. The committee finds the examined annual reports to be 'apparently satisfactory'.

1.24 Even so, the committee considers that some aspects of agency annual reports could be improved by a closer adherence to the Requirements for the Annual Reports. For example, some annual reports should contain a discussion of external scrutiny and

parliamentary accountability.

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External scrutiny and accountability

1.25 It is required that annual reports:

…must provide information on the most significant developments in external scrutiny of the department and the department's response, including particulars of:

(a) judicial decisions, decisions of administrative tribunals, and decisions by the Australian Information Commissioner, that have had, or may have, a significant impact on the operations of the department; and

(b) reports on the operations of the department, including by the Auditor-General (other than the report on financial statements), a Parliamentary committee, the Commonwealth Ombudsman, or agency capability reviews (once released).26

1.26 Annual reports should be a primary reference document for parliamentarians and others looking for information about external scrutiny of government agencies. As noted, the primary purpose of annual reports is accountability to the Parliament—it is

therefore important that details about external scrutiny are included in a clear manner in annual reports. Details on parliamentary scrutiny should be included in annual reports, including appearances at Senate estimates hearings (which are the subject of bi-annual reports to the Senate) and any evidence or submissions made to parliamentary inquiries. The reports should also note that they are subject to scrutiny by this and any other committee.

Timeliness

1.27 Standing Order 25(20)(c) requires the committee to report to the Senate on the late presentation of annual reports. The committee commends the departments and agencies discussed in this report for their timeliness.

Departments and PGPA Act entities

1.28 To ensure compliance with the PGPA Act,27 subsection 4(1) of the PM&C Requirements for Annual Reports states that annual reports of departments and agencies must be provided to the responsible Minister by the 15th day of the fourth month after the end of the reporting period. The responsible Minister must, in turn, present the report to each House of the Parliament on or before 31 October in the year in which the report is given. Furthermore, if Senate Supplementary Budget Estimates hearings are scheduled to occur prior to 31 October, it is best practice for annual reports to be tabled prior to those hearings.28 In 2015, hearings for the committee's portfolios commenced on 21 October.

26 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports, 25 June 2015, p. 9.

27 Section 46 of the PGPA Act provides for annual reports of Commonwealth entities.

28 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports, 25 June 2015, p. 2.

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1.29 The provisions of subsections 34C(4)-(7) of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 apply in relation to an application for extension of the period. An extension under the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 would need be sought only should a specified timeframe not be met. However, it remains the government's policy that all annual reports should be tabled by 31 October.29

Other entities

1.30 Entities reporting in accordance with their own legislation are often required to prepare for the relevant Minister their annual report 'as soon as is practicable' after the end of the particular period to which the reports relates. The committee draws attention to subsections 34C(2) and 34C(3) of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901, which stipulate that where no date for providing a report to a Minister is specified, the report should be presented no more than six months after the reporting period, and the Minister must provide the report to the Parliament within 15 days after the Minister receives it.

Reports received after 31 October date

1.31 The committee notes that this report includes the examination of several annual reports tabled after the 31 October date. See appendices 1 and 2 for more information.

1.32 Annual reports and other documents tabled in the Senate after 31 October and before the tabling of this report will be discussed in the committee's Annual reports (No. 2 of 2016).

Compliance indices or lists of requirements

1.33 The inclusion of a compliance index or a list of requirements in annual reports was mandatory for all departments and agencies under the previous FMA Act and now under the PGPA Act and as spelled out in the PM&C guidelines. The index

preferably should include a nil return entry where the agency has nothing to report under an item. A compliance index is a useful feature of reports and assists the committee considerably in its assessments of the reports. It also assists agencies by clearly showing that their compliance obligations have been met. It can be particularly useful for agencies with reporting requirements under various Acts.

1.34 The committee commends the great majority of agencies for their inclusion of compliance indices in their 2014-15 annual reports. However, the committee also notes some annual reports did not include some mandatory reporting requirements, or could be improved with a more accessible layout and format. The committee also notes the importance of closely adhering to the most recently updated compliance index for easy reference of specific information. As the reporting requirements are updated each year, it is also important for agencies to use the most up-to-date reporting requirements in the preparation of annual reports.

29 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports, 25 June 2015, p. 2.

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52

Chapter 1

Annual report of departments Department of Industry, Innovation and Science [incorporating the annual reports of Geoscience Australia and IP Australia] 1.1 The Department of Industry's 2014-15 annual report was tabled in both the Senate and House of Representatives on 14 October 2015. The 2014-15 annual reports for Intellectual Property Australia, which operates as a non-statutory agency with limited autonomy from the department, and the annual report for the Geoscience Australia, are also contained in this annual report.

1.2 Following the AAO issued on 21 September 2015 and 30 September 2015, the Industry, Innovation and Science portfolio was established. As a result of these AAOs, and as noted in the preface, the former Industry and Science portfolio's responsibility for the renewable energy technology development and the ARENA were transferred to the Department of the Environment. The Industry, Innovation and Science portfolio incorporates elements of the former Industry and Science portfolio as well as responsibility for Northern Australia policy and coordination and national issues relating to the digital economy.1 Likewise, as a result of the AAO in September 2015, the Treasury portfolio's responsibility for the Clean Energy Finance Corporation was transferred to the Department of the Environment.2

1.3 However, for the reporting period at 30 June 2015, the department remains the Department of Industry and Science3 and its performance reporting framework comprised three outcomes, which reflected the 2014-15 Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements.

Review by Departmental Secretary

1.4 In its review of the reporting period, the department saw responsibility for vocational education and skills policy and programmes transfer to the Department of Education and Training and small business programmes transfer to the Department of the Treasury.

1.5 The Secretary of the Department noted that the department's inclusion of science in the department's title recognises the greater focus on leveraging over $9 billion in investment in science, research and innovation to look for more

1 Industry, Innovation and Science Portfolio, Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2015-16, p. 3. See also Administrative Arrangements Order, 30 September 2015, p. 2 and Administrative Arrangements Order, 21 September 2015, p. 5.

2 Treasury Portfolio, Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2015-65, p. 3. See also Administrative Arrangements Order, 21 September 2015, p. 6.

3 The Department of Industry became the Department of Industry and Science as a result of the AAO made on 23 December 2014.

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opportunities to commercialise its ideas and to build on its collaborative work with its stakeholders.

1.6 Throughout this period, the department's efforts were directed towards the delivery of government initiatives, including policies and programmes to support its economic agenda in the following:

• transitioning industries to a new economy through the $50 million

Manufacturing Transition Programme, the $155 million Growth Fund and regional innovation funds in Tasmania and Victoria;

• building on Australia's competitive and economic strengths through

establishing five Industry Growth Centres, delivering the Energy White Paper, and establishing the Exploration Development Incentive to assist small exploration companies to undertake greenfields mineral exploration in Australia;

• focusing on innovation and entrepreneurship through delivering the flagship programmes of the R&D Tax Incentive, the Entrepreneurs' Programme, and the Cooperative Research Centres Programme; and

• strengthening the role of science at the heart of industry policy by assisting small and medium businesses to develop new ideas with commercial potential in collaboration with the research sector and encouraging better use by businesses of Australian research mainly in five identified sectors where Australia already has a comparative or competitive advantage.4

1.7 The department's direction for the following year will include the following:

• monitor the transition of Australian industry while rolling out the Growth

Funds;

• focusing on science and commercialisation;

• consolidating the rollout of the Entrepreneurs' Programme; and

• the development of the Energy Productivity Plan. 5

Operational matters

1.8 For the 2014-15 financial year, the department recorded an operating loss of $41.3 million, including depreciation and amortisation of $43.7 million. Excluding depreciation and amortisation, the department recorded an operating surplus of $2.4 million in 2014-15.6

1.9 The department reported administered revenue as largely relating to royalty revenue, dividends issued by Snowy Hydro Limited, and levy receipts generated by the National Offshore and Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management

4 Department of Industry, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 2

5 Department of Industry, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 3.

6 Department of Industry, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 31.

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Authority and registration fees generated by the National Offshore Petroleum Titles Administrator.7

1.10 Some of the department's administered expenses for programmes on behalf of the government included: $225.5 million in grants to facilitate science, research and innovation to deliver improved productivity for Australian Industry; $234 million in grants to support the development and growth of Australian industry; $83.6 million in grants to support the safe and sustainable operations of the resources sector, attract private sector investment and encourage innovative technologies; and $1,222.2 million in payments to the portfolio's corporate Commonwealth entities, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, the Australian Institute of Marine Science and the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority.8

1.11 The department reported a net equity of $228.2 million as at 30 June 2015. According to the annual report, the department has sufficient financial assets to pay its supplier and other payables as and when they fall due. Non-financial assets consist mainly of property (buildings and fit-out), plant and equipment owned by the department.9

Geoscience Australia

1.12 In its report, Geoscience Australia recorded the following significant activities for the reporting period 2014-15:

• Significant data acquisition, including drill holes in Victoria and an airborne

electromagnetic survey in New South Wales and Queensland, was undertaken via the UNCOVER initiative, designed to encourage mineral exploration in underexplored regions of Australia.10

• Work to advance the provision of fundamental geographic information for Australia included leading the Intergovernmental Committee on Surveying and Mapping in its decision to modernise the Australian datum. The new datum will underpin more accurate positioning for many applications, including navigation, infrastructure development and environmental monitoring.11

• Continued contribution to the Australian Government's Bioregional

Assessment Program, which aimed to better understand the potential impacts of coal seam gas and large coal mining developments on water resources.12

7 Department of Industry, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 31.

8 Department of Industry, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 31.

9 Department of Industry, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 31.

10 Department of Industry, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 158.

11 Department of Industry, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 158.

12 Department of Industry, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 158.

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• Significant contribution was made to assisting Australia's Pacific Island

neighbours with the provision of a groundwater database and maps for more than 1800 Pacific islands, to help these nations with their decision-making in relation to impacts on groundwater from possible future climates.13

1.13 In 2014-15, Geoscience Australia reported an operating deficit of $6.8 million, before adjusting for unfunded depreciation of $11.3 million.14

1.14 The entity's total income was $192.0 million for the reporting period, comprising $126.8 million in appropriations, $59.2 million received from the sale of goods and services to related and external entities, and $6.0 million as resources received free of charge and other gains. The $6.0 million other gain is the transfer of antenna assets from the Department of the Environment in June 2015.15

1.15 Expenses for Geoscience Australia were $198.8 million, with the major categories: employee expenses of $78.5 million; supplier expenses of $108.6 million; and depreciation of $11.3 million.16

1.16 During the reporting period, Geoscience Australia administered one grant on behalf of government worth $20,000, made to the Australian National Committee for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural International Geoscience Programme.17

IP Australia

1.17 In its annual report, Intellectual Property Australia (IP Australia) noted that:

While a range of domestic and international factors contribute to fluctuations in demand for IP rights, the overall trend in recent years has resulted in a growing demand, especially for trade marks.18

1.18 IP Australia reported on its close engagement with the administrative body for the global IP system, World Intellectual Property Organisation, as well as other national IP offices, to promote streamlined international IP rights administration and the adoption of global standards. It suggested such developments can assist Australian exporters and facilitate trade and investment.19

1.19 IP Australia was also active in multilateral and bilateral IP forums and continued to undertake capacity-building activities with other IP offices in its near region. IP Australia supported relevant negotiations, including the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and the

13 Department of Industry, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 158.

14 Department of Industry, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 184.

15 Department of Industry, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 184.

16 Department of Industry, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 184.

17 Department of Industry, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 184.

18 Department of Industry, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 246.

19 Department of Industry, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 246.

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Trans-Pacific Partnership. More generally, IP Australia contributed to a range of IP policy advice.20

1.20 IP Australia recorded an operating surplus of $11.7 million for 2014-15 against a planned surplus of $2.2 million, as published in the 2015-16 Portfolio Budget Statements (PBS). Revenue was $5.8 million (3.1 per cent) above plan due to higher than anticipated IP right filings, registrations and renewals. Expenses were $3.7 million (2.0 per cent) below budget as a result of a lower than planned average staffing level, delay in the commencement of IP Australia's new Enterprise Agreement and general savings realised across the organisation.21

Reporting requirements

1.21 The Department of Industry's 2014-15 annual report, which incorporates Geoscience Australia and IP Australia, is well presented, with easy to locate information and provides a 'clear read' between information contained in the annual report and the PBS. Information in Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) contains quantitative as well as qualitative information for benchmarking and assessing whether estimates have been achieved over the reporting period.

1.22 The annual report for the Department of Industry, incorporating Geoscience Australia and IP Australia, closely adheres to the compliance index.22 The committee considers that Department of Industry, Geoscience Australia and IP Australia, have met their reporting obligations under the Acts and the annual report is 'apparently satisfactory'.

Department of the Treasury 1.23 The Department of the Treasury's ('the department' or 'Treasury') 2014-15 annual report was tabled in the Senate on 9 November 201523 and in the House of Representatives on 9 November 2015.

Review by Departmental Secretary

1.24 In the Secretary's first departmental review, Mr John Fraser outlined the variety of work the department has undertaken. During the reporting period, the department provided more than 3,500 briefings, supported inquiries into competition policy and financial services, conducted more than 55 consultative processes, developed a tax discussion paper and published the fourth intergenerational report.24

1.25 On the international front, Mr Fraser reported Treasury was well represented in international fora, such as the G20, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and the Financial Stability Board. The Secretary

20 Department of Industry, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 246.

21 Department of Industry, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 260

22 Department of Industry, Annual Report 2014-15, pp. 319-322.

23 Tabled in the Senate chamber having been presented out of session on 30 October 2015.

24 Department of Treasury, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 3.

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is also the chair to the newly established Global Infrastructure Hub, which is a G20 initiative to lift quality public and private infrastructure investment. This activity builds on the reach Treasury has in driving economic reforms.25

1.26 According to Mr Fraser, on the domestic front, to ensure Treasury continued to provide quality advice, Treasury sought to engage across the broadest spectrum of stakeholders—government, non-government, think-tanks, academia, business, the social welfare sector, industry, the financial sector, peak organisations and the community.26 The 2015 Intergenerational Report outlined some of the challenges which require well-designed, productivity-enhancing reforms.27

1.27 The following were among some of the Secretary's listed highlights for the reporting period:

• hosting the G20 Finance Ministers' meetings;

• supporting the first comprehensive review of Australia's competition laws and

policy in more than 20 years;

• developing the government's responses to the Financial System Inquiry (FSI);

• reforming Australia's foreign investment framework; and

• enabling Australia to be a founding member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.28

Operational matters

1.28 The annual report noted that Treasury received an unqualified audit report on the 2014-2015 financial statements from the Australian National Audit Office.29

1.29 In 2014-15, Treasury reported a surplus of $4.6 million, which is an increase from $0.3 million in 2013-14. Employee expenses were $102 million lower compared to 2013-14, primarily reflecting lower staffing levels. Supplier expenses increased by $12.1 million, mainly as a result of an increase in the number of secondees from a range of government agencies ($2.0 million of which was received free of charge) and an increase in contractors for various information communication technology projects.

1.30 Treasury's net asset position increased by $1.3 million in 2014-15, partially as a result of the reduction in payables. Treasury reported it has sufficient cash reserves to fund its debts as and when they are due.30

1.31 The department incurred $83.8 billion in administered expenses over the reporting period. This this outcome represents a decrease of $10 billion from the $93.8

25 Department of Treasury, Annual Report 2014-15, pp. 4-5.

26 Department of Treasury, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 4.

27 Department of Treasury, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 5.

28 Department of Treasury, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 3.

29 Department of Treasury, Annual Report 2013-14, p. 12.

30 Department of Treasury, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 8.

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billion incurred in the 2013-14 period. This difference is attributed to the one-off grant of $8.8 billion in 2013-14 to the Reserve Bank of Australia to strengthen its financial position to the level considered appropriate by the bank's board.31

1.32 Treasury's administered net assets increased by $7.6 billion in 2014-15, driven by an increase in the value of the Treasury's investments in Australian Government Entities.32

1.33 During the reporting period, Treasury undertook the following activities:

• advised on macroeconomic policy, domestic and international forecasts;

• provided economy-wide modelling analysis for the Tax Discussion Paper;

• advised on and began processes for Australia's membership of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank;

• contributed to broader and deeper engagement with key Asian and Pacific economies through bilateral and regional forums, including the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Finance Ministers' Meeting;33

• coordinated the government's consultation on the recommendations of the

FSI;

• developed a package of reforms to strengthen the foreign investment framework;

• provided advice to government on competition policy and in response to the Competition Policy Review;

• developed and introduced the new Franchising Code of Conduct and the Food and Grocery Code of Conduct;

• extended the consumer unfair contract term protections to small businesses; 34

• established Treasury's Sydney office to build capability, improved stakeholder engagement and enhance Treasury advice;35

• assisted the government to develop its tax white paper;

• developed the international tax framework as part of the G20 tax agenda;

• represented Australia's interests at the OECD within the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting Action Plan process; and

• advised the government on the implementation of its taxation and retirement

income reform agenda including decisions in the Government's 2014-15 Budget.

31 Department of Treasury, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 8.

32 Department of Treasury, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 8.

33 Department of Treasury, Annual Report 2013-14, p. 30-31.

34 Department of Treasury, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 36.

35 Department of Treasury, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 53.

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Reporting requirements

1.34 The committee commends the Department of the Treasury for the quality of its annual report. The department's coverage of its operations and performance over the reporting period is both informative and comprehensive. The annual report's layout and format is user-friendly, especially with its inclusion of graphics, trend information and relevant visuals to break up the block of information presented in text form. This arrangement enhances the presentation of complex information. Furthermore, the list of requirements is closely adhered to, making information easy to locate and accessible. The committee is pleased to note the inclusion of suggested information such as: factors, events or trends influencing departmental performance; contribution of risk management in achieving objectives; and how the nature and amount of remuneration for SES officers is determined.36

1.35 In relation to external scrutiny, the committee notes that Treasury has included a range of reviews and inquiries in which it has participated, including a list of parliamentary committees and ANAO reports.37 Treasury also reported that following a merits review under the Freedom of Information Act 1982, it complied with the Privacy Commissioner's finding to set aside Treasury's decision not to release documents in The Age and Department of the Treasury [2014] AlCmr 141.38

1.36 The committee considers the Department of Treasury's 2013-14 annual report 'apparently satisfactory'.

1.37 The committee would like to express its appreciation to the Treasury for regularly appearing at estimates and contributing to the committee's inquiries in 2014-15, as well as to other parliamentary inquiries. However, as previously noted, the committee is disappointed in the significant number of late answers to questions on notice.

36 Department of Treasury, Annual Report 2014-15, pp. 19-68, 19-68, 88 and 85.

37 Department of Treasury, Annual Report 2014-15, pp. 78-79.

38 Department of Treasury, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 79.

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Chapter 2

Individual 2014-15 Annual Reports 2.1 As noted in the reface, on 25 June 2015, PM&C released the new

'Requirements for Annual Reports'. The JCPAA has foreshadowed the development of consolidating all mandatory reporting requirements for the following year. The committee has decided to examine a select number of the annual reports for the financial year 2014-15. The following annual reports selected for examination were tabled by 31 October 2015 and some after that date, but before the tabling of this Report on Annual Reports:

2.2 For the Industry portfolio:

• Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS);

• Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO);

• Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO);

• National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management

Authority (NOPSEMA)

2.3 For the Treasury portfolio:

• Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS);

• Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC);

• Australian Competition and Consumer Commission ACCC [incorporating the

report of the Australian Energy Regulator (AER)];

• Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA)

• Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC); 1

• Commissioner of Taxation (Australian Taxation Office or ATO); and

• Commonwealth Grants Commission (CGC);

Reports under the Industry portfolio

Australian Institute of Marine Science

Operational matters

2.4 The Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) was established by the Australian Institute of Marine Science Act 1972 (AIMS Act) and is a corporate Commonwealth entity under the PGPA Act.2

2.5 AIMS' objective is to undertake scientific research in support of the protection and sustainable development of Australia's marine resources.3 It operates from bases

1 Also stands referred to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services (PJC).

2 Australian Institute of Marine Science, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 71.

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in Perth and Darwin, which allows it to undertake research across northern Australia—spanning two oceans and three regional seas.4

2.6 AIMS' total revenue for 2014-15 was $62.3 million, which is an 18 per cent increase on the previous reporting period's revenue. The increase of $9.6 million was mainly attributed to securing additional Australian government appropriation for operations, including $5.5 million for the National Sea Simulator; a $0.5 million increase in external funding, and $4.5 million in non-cash revenue from the acquisition of a 50 per cent share of Arafura Timor Research Facility at no cost; and forgiveness of debt by the Queensland government as part of long-term repayment.5

2.7 Some highlights recorded in the annual report for 2014-15 included:

• contribution to the development and implementation of the Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan—this is part of its strategic plan to work towards a healthy and resilient Great Barrier Reef;6

• leading the Dredging Synthesis Report, which documented known and unknown impacts of dredging on the Great Barrier Reef;7

• recognition from industry for work with Woodside Energy on the

environmental impact of the North Ranking gas platform after 30 years of operation;8

• dividends from AIMS' investments in Darwin and Perth bases as more industry players recognise the value of reliable, impartial, baseline data on tropical ecosystems for measuring the impact of development;9

• completion of first full year of operation of the National Sea Simulator

(SeaSim), a state of the art marine research aquarium facility that enables researchers to conduct experiments which could not be undertaken previously;10 and

• publication of high-impact research papers that included reports on: the impact of 'green zones' on fish stocks; the genetics of coral heat tolerance; the increasing frequency of extreme floods; and tiger shark migration.11

2.8 As previously reported, AIMS researchers continued their strong publication record within their fields of expertise—climate change and ocean acidification,

3 Australian Institute of Marine Science, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 108.

4 Australian Institute of Marine Science, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 1.

5 Australian Institute of Marine Science, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 63.

6 Australian Institute of Marine Science, Annual Report 2014-15, pp. 3-4.

7 Australian Institute of Marine Science, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 3.

8 Australian Institute of Marine Science, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 3.

9 Australian Institute of Marine Science, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 3.

10 Australian Institute of Marine Science, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 3.

11 Australian Institute of Marine Science, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 4.

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biodiversity, ecosystem processes, ecosystem status and trends, water quality and marine microbiology. For the 2014 calendar year, AIMS scientists produced 218 publications, including high profile articles in some of the world's most prestigious multidisciplinary journals.12

Reporting requirements

2.9 AIMS' annual report was prepared in accordance with reporting obligations set out in the AIMS Act and the provisional arrangements contained in PGPA (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Rule which stipulate that for the 2014- 2015 period, annual reports be prepared in accordance with the CAC Act, and in particular Part 2 of the Finance Minister's Commonwealth Authorities (Annual Reporting) Orders 2011.13

2.10 The committee commends AIMS for a well presented, comprehensive and accessible report. The information in the report is both user-friendly and thorough. The inclusion of an assessment of its deliverables against KPIs is very helpful. The

use of trend information, graphs and tables enhances the report's content. The committee is also pleased to note AIMS' detailed adherence to the list of reporting requirements and its inclusion of background information detailing the provisional reporting arrangements.14 The committee considers the annual report 'apparently satisfactory'.

Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation

Operational matters

2.11 The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) reported a strong performance in 2014-15. During the reporting period, ANSTO recorded the following achievements:

• The completion of the Centre for Accelerator Science and the commissioning

of three neutron beam instruments at the Bragg Institute. This expansion in national infrastructure will deliver national benefits from developments in nuclear science and technology.15

• The OPAL multipurpose research reactor set a new performance benchmark

operating continuously for 307 days—this achievement and reliability establishes it as one of the highest performing research reactors. It also gives ANSTO a competitive edge in the supply of critical lifesaving

radiopharmaceuticals and the availability of beam lines for research and collaboration.16

12 Australian Institute of Marine Science, Annual Report 2014-15, pp. 9, 39 and 147-165.

13 Australian Institute of Marine Science, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 179.

14 Australian Institute of Marine Science, Annual Report 2014-15, pp. 173 and 179-182.

15 Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, Annual Report 2014-15, pp. 7-9.

16 Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 9.

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• ANSTO formalised a number of relationships with its Japanese counterparts,

including the signing of memoranda of understandings with the Japan Atomic Energy Agency, the Institute of Solid State Physics at the Tokyo University, the National Institute of Materials Science and Tsukuba University. These partnerships will strengthen research collaborations and the exchange of scientific and technical information.17

• A number of ANSTO researchers received awards both at home and overseas.18

• ANSTO continuing to make progress in its commitment to a friendly

workplace that offers equal employment opportunities—a Gender Equity Committee was formed in 2014 with a mandate and strategy to support the delivery of improved employment flexibility, challenge outdated work practices and foster opportunities for multiple career paths. There are over 50 ANSTO employees from across the agency advancing the Gender Equity Program.19

2.12 It should also be noted that ANSTO received additional funding from the Australian Government of $20.5 million for the ANSTO-operated Australian Synchrotron to continue operations over the 2017 period while long-term ownership and operations are being finalised with stakeholders.20 The Chairman's Report noted that the Australian Synchrotron remains one of the most important research infrastructure elements to be resolved in the current deliberations initiated in the Research Infrastructure Review.21

Reporting requirements

2.13 ANSTO's annual report is well presented, comprehensive, and user-friendly in its use of accessible language and inclusion of appropriate pictures, graphs and trend information. The addition of relevant information in the appendices, such as the various legislative requirements governing ANSTO and an index of compliance with reporting guidelines is very useful. An acronym page and ANSTO's assessment of actual performance against strategic objectives is also helpful.22 ANSTO received an

17 Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 10.

18 Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 10.

19 Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, Annual Report 2014-15, pp. 10 and 108.

20 Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 7.

21 Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 7.

22 Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 48. ANSTO noted that the OPAL total availability figure reported in its 2013-14 Annual Report was reported as 97%, which represented the planned availability. This figure has been amended to the correct figure of 81%.

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unqualified audit report from the Auditor-General for its 2014-15 financial statements.23

2.14 The committee considers that ANSTO has met its reporting requirements under the Acts and its annual report is 'apparently satisfactory'.

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation

Operational matters

2.15 During the annual reporting period the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) conducted extensive engagement with its customers, partners and staff to elicit input into the new CSIRO Strategy 2020 (Strategy), which took effect from 1 July 2015. The annual report explained this strategy sought to position CSIRO for longer term differentiation and sustainability,

with particular focus on playing a role in significantly lifting Australia's innovation performance while delivering against areas of national challenge.24

2.16 In the new Chief Executive's report, Dr Larry Marshall noted that progressing the organisation's strategy was a priority. He observed that industries can and must reinvent themselves and that the CSIRO must be vigilant of disruptive innovation affecting Australia. According to Dr Marshall, CSIRO would seek to work more collaboratively at a global level to increase its market vision and market access for customers, and to increase its capacity for breakthrough innovation. It was therefore important for CSIRO to boost Australia's innovation performance, which on most indices was poor compared to other advanced economies.25

2.17 In 2014-15, CSIRO reported a deficit from ongoing operations of $14.5 million, which is a decrease from the previous period's deficit of $25.7 million. CSIRO's total revenue of $1,230.8 million (compared to $1,244.9 million in 2013-14) included $745.3 million in appropriation from government and $485.5 million in revenue generated from other sources.26

2.18 Some highlights as recorded in the annual report for 2014-15 included:

• a 3D printed titanium heel bone successfully implanted in Australian patient;27

• RV Investigator's recent discovery of extinct volcanoes off the coast of

Sydney;28

23 Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, Annual Report 2014-15, pp. 49-50.

24 Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Annual Report 2014-15, p. iv.

25 Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 4.

26 Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 15.

27 Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Annual Report 2014-15, pp. 4, 6 and 48.

28 Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 4.

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• the Scientists and Mathematicians in Schools (SMiS) partnership program,

whereby CSIRO shares its knowledge with students—1,799 scientists and mathematicians reached 1,263 schools, including 30 per cent of partnerships in rural and regional schools;29

• CSIRO's excellence in research output reflected by its publications being 48 per cent more cited than the global average;30

• CSIRO ranking in the top 1 per cent in 15 research fields globally; 31

• CSIRO's work with approximately 3,000 customers including 500 major

Australian companies and more than 1,200 Australian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs);32

• a three-fold increase (from 20 to 63) in the number of Indigenous employees

over the 2011-15 CSIRO Strategy period; and

• Australian and international universities were partners in about 75 per cent of

CSIRO's research publications.33

2.19 This is the last annual report under the chairmanship of Mr Simon McKeown's six-year term.

Reporting requirements

2.20 The committee commends the CSIRO on its user-friendly annual report. The well-presented report is easy to read and includes accessible information in the appendices, indexes containing acronyms, glossary, contacts and a compliance index. The committee considers the CSIRO has met its reporting obligations and the report is 'apparently satisfactory'.

National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority

Operational matters

2.21 The National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) is an independent Commonwealth statutory authority which was established in 2012 to independently regulate offshore safety, well integrity and environmental management of offshore petroleum and greenhouse gas storage

29 Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Annual Report 2014-15, pp. 7 and 56.

30 Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Annual Report 2014-15, pp. 7, 32-33.

31 Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Annual Report 2014-15, pp. 7and 33.

32 Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Annual Report 2014-15, pp. 7and 25.

33 Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Annual Report 2014-15, pp. 7and 33.

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activities in Commonwealth waters. It also has responsibilities in coastal waters where state and territory regulatory powers and functions have been conferred on it.34

2.22 During the reporting period, NOPSEMA oversaw some substantial changes. One included the implementation of an organisational restructure—comprising two regulatory divisions, one regulatory support division, and a legal team.35 Another was the effect of changes to the legislative regime, which took place on 1 October 2014.36 These changes included the mandatory requirement of titleholders to demonstrate their capacity to financially proceed with proposed petroleum activities.37

2.23 In 2014-15, NOPSEMA was also the subject of two performance audits—one independent review of NOPSEMA's compliance with the environmental management authorisation process endorsed under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) and an independent operational review in accordance with section 695(2) of the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006 (OPGGS Act). NOPSEMA reported it will use these reports'

findings and recommendations to guide its priorities and activities when the final reports become available.38

2.24 Other matters covered over the reporting period included:

• industry's improved performance on personal safety measures; 39

• an increase in environmental inspections from seven in 2012 to 29 in 2014; 40

• NOPSEMA's attendance at the annual general meetings of the International

Regulators' Forum and the International Offshore Petroleum Environment

34 NOPSEMA commenced its operations on 1 January 2012 following the Final Government Response to the Report of Montara Commission of Inquiry and a decision to extend the remit of the National Offshore Petroleum Safety Authority (NOPSA) to include regulatory functions and responsibilities for environmental management. See National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 10.

35 The two regulatory divisions are Safety and Integrity Division and Environment Division. National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority, Annual Report 2014-15, pp. 7 and 17.

36 National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 8.

37 National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 8.

38 National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 8.

39 National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 90.

40 National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 90.

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Regulators to share its expertise and insights, and to collaborate with other international regulatory bodies;41

• NOPSEMA's conclusion of two investigations into accidents—one of the accidents on a mobile offshore drilling unit in the Bass Strait resulted in two deaths and the other, a serious injury to a diver.42

Reporting requirements

2.25 The committee commends NOPSEMA on its comprehensive annual report. The well-presented report is easy to read and includes helpful information in the appendices—an alphabetical index and a compliance list of requirements. A glossary of abbreviations makes the report user-friendly to readers. The committee considers the NOPSEMA has met its reporting obligations and the report is 'apparently satisfactory'.

Reports under the Treasury portfolio

Australian Bureau of Statistics

Operational matters

2.26 The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has continued to work towards three main outcomes as described by the Australian Statistician, Mr David Kalisch. They are the continued delivery of rigorous, robust and timely data, an increase in innovation and the effective use of ABS by other national bodies.43

2.27 In 2014-15, the ABS has focused on its preparations for the 2016 Census, which is due to take place on 9 August of this year. In line with the ABS' digitisation agenda, the Census will be administered primarily online—with an expectation that approximately two thirds of respondents will use the online system whether that be through a desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone.44

2.28 The Australian Statistician, Mr David Kalisch reports that the ABS has been successful in gaining Federal Government agreement for $250 million in additional funding for statistical infrastructure over the period 2015-16 to 2019-20. He noted

that the ABS has not received this kind of funding in nearly two decades, and that such a large financial commitment demonstrates the government's confidence in the ABS.

Reporting requirements

2.29 The committee considers the ABS has met its reporting requirements under the PGPA Act and congratulates it on a well presented and detailed report.

41 National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 8.

42 National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 8.

43 Australian Bureau of Statistics, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 3.

44 Australian Bureau of Statistics, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 8.

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Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission

Operational matters

2.30 In 2014-15, the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) worked towards several key goals. These included the creation of a more accurate Charity Register, ensuring compliance, reducing red tape in line with the government's initiative as well as increasing its online engagement.45

2.31 The agency concedes that it did not meet all of its service standards during the financial year due to an unexpectedly high volume of work. The standards affected were those relating to the allocation of charity applications to an analyst.46

2.32 In 2015-16, the ACNC will focus on 'improving the timeliness of responses to correspondence, processing forms and answering telephone calls'.47

2.33 The ACNC is a listed entity under the PGPA Act whose financial activities are reported through the Australian Taxation Office. However, the ACNC did receive a budget of $15.039 million in its Special Account for the operation of the ACNC in 2014-15 on which it underspent by $637,000.48

Reporting requirements

2.34 The committee considers the ACNC has met its reporting obligations and its annual report is considered 'apparently satisfactory'.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission [incorporating the Australian Energy Regulator]

Operational matters

2.35 The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's (ACCC) overall financial position remained sound for the reporting period 2014-15. It reported a modest operating deficit of $0.6 million excluding depreciation ($6.4 million including depreciation). This was largely due to an increase in the write down of property, plant and equipment after external evaluation.49

2.36 The net cost of services for 2014-15 was $173.8 million (compared with $181.9 million for 2014), with revenue from government of $167.4 million ($179.5 million in 2014).50

45 Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, Annual Report 2014-15, pp. 9-11.

46 Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 32.

47 Ibid.

48 Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 31.

49 Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and Australian Energy Regulator, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 7.

50 Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and Australian Energy Regulator, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 7.

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2.37 ACCC reported expenditure on activities decreased by $6.6 million in 2014-15, which was attributed to a decrease in separation and redundancies and legal settlements.51

2.38 As the ACCC is a knowledge-based organisation, in 2014-15, it spent approximately 55 per cent of total expenditure on employee costs—this compared to 58 per cent in 2013-14.

2.39 During the reporting period, the ACCC celebrated the 40-year anniversary of the Trade Practices Act 1974, which was superseded by the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. The milestone was marked by the Chief Justice of the High Court delivering the inaugural Ron Bannerman Competition Lecture—in honour of the inaugural Trade Practices Commissioner and Chairman of the Trade Practices Commission.52

2.40 The highlights for the ACCC recorded in its annual report in 2014-15 included:

• instituting proceedings against Informed Sources and five petrol retailers who

subscribed to the Informed Sources petrol price information system, for alleged anti-competitive conduct in setting fuel prices;53

• administering over 596 product safety recalls. It initiated and negotiated

20 recalls, received and assessed 2601 mandatory reports, and conducted 3192 inspections, resulting in 29 recalls and 126 product types being withdrawn from sales;54

• managing several high profile consumer product safety issues, including—the

recall of nearly a million faulty Takata airbags, Samsung's reworking of 63,000 fire-risk top loader washing machines and the ongoing work regarding Infinity cable;55 and

• securing a penalty of $2.5 million against Coles Supermarkets for misleading claims on par-baked bread products, and a $300,000 penalty against Pirovic Enterprises for misleading claims on free range eggs.56

51 Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and Australian Energy Regulator, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 7.

52 Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and Australian Energy Regulator, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 6.

53 Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and Australian Energy Regulator, Annual Report 2014-15, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 28.

54 Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and Australian Energy Regulator, Annual Report 2014-15, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 58.

55 Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and Australian Energy Regulator, Annual Report 2014-15, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 58.

56 Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and Australian Energy Regulator, Annual Report 2014-15, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 58.

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Australian Energy Regulator

2.41 The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) is the national energy market regulator and its annual reported is included in the ACCC's annual report. Its roles cover the retail and wholesale electricity and gas markets and energy network infrastructure. The AER's common legislative objective is to promote efficient investment in, and efficient operation and use of, energy services for the long-term interests of end users.57

2.42 The AER reported that, on the whole, it met its performance indicators in relation to providing effective network regulation, building confidence in retail energy markets, and supporting efficient wholesale energy markets.58

Reporting requirements

2.43 The committee considers that the ACCC and AER have met their reporting requirements under the relevant Acts and compliments them on a well-structured report. The report's inclusion of case studies to highlight the diversity of the ACCC's work activities and its effect on communities across Australia adds value to the report's content.59

2.44 The annual report's inclusion of actual performance in relation to deliverables and KPIs set out in the PBS and the Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements provides a useful summary assessment of each organisation's achievements.60

2.45 The committee notes that although the report included a compliance index, the compliance index referred to the FMA Act instead of the PGPA Act.61

Australian Securities and Investments Commission

Operational matters

2.46 During the 2014-15 reporting period, ASIC reported that it raised $824 million for the Commonwealth in fees and charges, an increase of 8 per cent

57 Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and Australian Energy Regulator, Annual Report 2014-15, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 166.

58 Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and Australian Energy Regulator, Annual Report 2014-15, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 178, 189 and 198.

59 See for example the case study on the Federal Court case on free range eggs—Federal Court finds misleading representation in promotion of eggs as 'free range', Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and Australian Energy Regulator, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 72.

60 Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and Australian Energy Regulator, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 55-5, 121-122, 162,163, 202-240, 178, 189 and 198.

61 This is despite references made to PGPA Act superseding the FMA Act in parts of the report. See pp. 213, 301 and 332 Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and Australian Energy Regulator, Annual Report 2014-15, pp. 166, 243-244 and 378.

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from 2013-14. The increase in revenue was driven by continued net company growth coupled with fee indexation.62

2.47 ASIC reported $312 million in appropriation revenue from government (including approximately $16 million from the Enforcement Special Account to fund investigations), which represents a 10 per cent reduction compared with

2013-14. Similar to 2013-14, it received approximately $5 million of own-source revenue.63 This decrease in appropriation revenue relates to a net decrease in both operational funding and funding for special initiatives. The annual report noted that a permanent savings measure was applied to reduce operational funding by 10 per cent. In addition, there was a reduction in non-ongoing funding for operational support and other initiatives, including over-the-counter derivative reforms, dealing in carbon permits and superannuation reforms.64

2.48 ASIC incurred expenditure (excluding depreciation and amortisation) of approximately $313 million—a 10 per cent reduction compared with the preceding period.65 According to the annual report, this decrease in expenditure was consistent with the reduction in appropriation revenue and represents a general reduction in staff and supplier expenditure.66

2.49 Over the same period, ASIC released its four-year corporate plan, which set out in more detail the challenges it will face and how it will meet them. Some of ASIC's long-term challenges identified by the Chair included:

• conduct risk and the balance between a free market-based system and investor and financial consumer protection;67

• digital disruption and cyber resilience in final services and markets; 68

• structural change driven by superannuation; 69

• complexity driven by financial innovation; 70 and

• globalisation—a more integrated financial system, which brings more complex issues.71

62 Australian Securities and Investments Commission, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 32.

63 Australian Securities and Investments Commission, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 32.

64 Australian Securities and Investments Commission, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 32.

65 Australian Securities and Investments Commission, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 32.

66 Australian Securities and Investments Commission, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 32.

67 Australian Securities and Investments Commission, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 2.

68 Australian Securities and Investments Commission, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 3.

69 Australian Securities and Investments Commission, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 3.

70 Australian Securities and Investments Commission, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 3.

71 Australian Securities and Investments Commission, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 3.

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2.50 Following the Senate's inquiry into ASIC's performance, ASIC noted in its annual report that it took the following steps in 2014-15 to improve its practices:

• established an Office of the Whistleblower to monitor the handling of all whistleblower reports, manage staff development and training, and handle the relationship with whistleblowers on more complex matters;72

• redesigned ASIC's webpage to make it more user-friendly and accessible; 73

and

• updated its guidance on enforceable undertakings with information on

independent experts and publicity for enforceable undertakings.74

2.51 Some key outcomes delivered by ASIC over the reporting period included:

• The launch of the Financial Advisers Register, which captures financial

adviser qualification, training and professional membership details. The register provides consumers with information that will assist them in making an informed decision about their choice of adviser.75

• ASIC's participation in a number of parliamentary Senate and Joint

Committee inquiries—lifting professional, ethical and education standards in the financial services industry; financial advice reforms; digital currency; and forestry managed investment schemes.76

• ASIC permanently banning 14 individuals from providing financial advice. A further 23 individuals were banned or agreed to stay out of the industry for shorter periods of time. ASIC conducted 321 funds management surveillances, including a review of risk management practices.77

• ASIC's monitoring of the marketing of financial products to make sure people

were not misled, which resulted in 54 advertisements being changed or withdrawn.78

Reporting requirements

2.52 The annual report of ASIC is well-presented and comprehensive. The report's attractive lay-out containing sub-headings, indexes and appendices make information in the report easy to locate. The effective use of graphs, pictures and tables to depict trend and complex information enhanced the report's usability.

72 Australian Securities and Investments Commission, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 14.

73 Australian Securities and Investments Commission, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 14.

74 Australian Securities and Investments Commission, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 14.

75 Australian Securities and Investments Commission, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 12.

76 Australian Securities and Investments Commission, Annual Report 2014-15, pp. 13-14.

77 Australian Securities and Investments Commission, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 3.

78 Australian Securities and Investments Commission, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 3.

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2.53 The committee considers ASIC to have met its reporting obligations and the annual report is 'apparently satisfactory'.

Australian Prudential Regulation Authority

Operational matters

2.54 During the reporting period, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) reported it remained a relatively lean and efficient supervisory agency. APRA reported constant levels of expenditure and staffing, with growth in its operating costs substantially lower than its peers overseas.79

2.55 APRA's income, which was sourced primarily from annual levies on supervised institutions, was directed towards its ongoing supervisory and enforcement activities, as well as implementing and enhancing Australia's prudential regulatory

framework.80

2.56 APRA reported little change in its operating expenditure over the past five years. APRA's total operating expenditure over the reporting period was $117.3 million against a budget of $122.4 million. This under-expenditure related mainly to a lower-than-budgeted average staffing level, no general remuneration increases being paid to staff as a consequence of delays in establishing APRA's new workplace agreement, savings from productivity and efficiency initiatives, and the deferral of certain activities to 2015-16.81

2.57 APRA's total income for the reporting period was $125.4 million against a budget of $122.4 million. The income surplus was largely attributed to higher than budgeted industry levies collected. The over- or under-collection of levies in any year would be factored into the determination of levies in subsequent years, and is therefore returned or recouped from industry in this manner.82

2.58 In 2014-15 APRA formally took on additional responsibilities for the prudential supervision of private health insurance. The transfer took effect on 1 July 2015, following the passage of the Private Health Insurance (Prudential

Supervision) Act 2015.83 APRA Chairman, Mr Wayne Byres, noted that while the transfer was 'ultimately relatively seamless', much work went into the preparation to realise the move. This required a considerable amount of work from both APRA and the Private Health Insurance Administration Council (PHIAC), as well as assistance from both the Departments of the Treasury and Health. APRA also implemented a

79 Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 8.

80 Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 45.

81 Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 45.

82 Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 45.

83 This transfer of responsibilities was announced back in the 2013-14 Commonwealth Budget. Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 8.

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new set of prudential standards that, to the maximum extent possible, replicate PHIAC's existing standards.84

Reporting requirements

2.59 Overall, the committee commends APRA for a well presented and user friendly annual report containing comprehensive information on the range of work activities undertaken by the agency. The committee considers that APRA has met its reporting requirements under the legislation and its annual report is 'apparently satisfactory'.

Commissioner of Taxation (Australian Taxation Office or ATO)

Operational matters

2.60 In his 2014-15 annual report, the Commissioner of Taxation,

Mr Chris Jordan, noted that the ATO had made a significant effort to reinvent the way it interacts with its clients. An important part of this reinvention is the use of digital technologies, including myTax and myGov online as well as the ATO app and voice authentication for calls to the ATO. This last initiative led to the ATO receiving innovation awards from the Australian Business Awards and Auscontact.85

2.61 The ATO also implemented administrative changes resulting in savings of nearly $318 million, in line with the government's deregulation agenda.86

2.62 The ATO reported an operating surplus of $52 million (1.6 per cent) in 2014-15.87

2.63 As at 30 June 30 2015, the ATO had 21,251 employees, 1.4 per cent of whom identified as Indigenous. This figure is a 0.2 per cent increase on 2013-14.88

Reporting requirements

2.64 The committee considers that the ATO has met its reporting requirements under the FMA Act, noting the comprehensive work undertaken in addressing Indigenous workforce and Small Business. The committee compliments the ATO on a well-structured report. The report is considered 'apparently satisfactory'.

Commonwealth Grants Commission

Operational matters

2.65 The CGC sole outcome for the year 2014-15 was informing government decisions relating to horizontal fiscal equalisation.89 This is to ensure the correct

84 Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 8.

85 Australian Taxation Office, Annual Report 2013-14, p. 12.

86 Australian Taxation Office, Annual Report 2013-14, p. 17.

87 Australian Taxation Office, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 95.

88 Australian Taxation Office, Annual Report 2013-14, pp. 84-85.

89 Commonwealth Grants Commission, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 4.

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distribution of goods and services tax (GST) to the States and Territories whilst allowing for differences in economic means and resources in each state or territory.

2.66 The CGC's main focus of work during 2014-15 was the Report on GST Revenue Sharing Relativities 2015 review, presented to the Treasurer in February 2015.90

Reporting requirements

2.67 The CGC is a non-corporate Commonwealth entity under the PGPA Act. The committee considers that the CGC has met its reporting requirements to a satisfactory standard but that more attention to detail could be made to ensure the accuracy of the list of requirements.

Senator Sean Edwards

Chair

90 Commonwealth Grants Commission, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 1.

76

Appendix 1

Industry, Innovation and Science portfolio List of annual reports tabled in the Senate in the period

1 May 2015 to 31 October 2015, and before report tabling

Reporting body Date of

transmittal letter

Date sent to/ Date received by Minister (if known)

Date tabled/ presented*

Department of Industry and Science, incorporating the reports of Geoscience Australia and IP Australia

24.9.15 25.09.15/

25.09.15

Senate 14.10.15

HoR 14.10.15

Australian Institute of Marine Science 29.9.15 30.9.15/

30.9.15

Senate 9.11.15

HoR 15.10.15

Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation

2.10.15 23.9.15/

24.9.15

Senate 9.11.15 (27.10.15)

HoR 9.11.15

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)—Report for 2014-15, including report for the Science and Industry Endowment Fund.

24.8.15 20.10.15/

20.10.15

Senate 9.11.15 (23.10.15)

HoR 9.11.15

IIF Investments Pty

Limited

23.10.15 28.10.15/

29.10.15

Senate 30.11.15

HoR 30.11.15

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National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority

1510.15 16.10.15/

16.10.15

Senate 9.11.15 (30.10.15)

HoR 9.11.15

Snowy Hydro Limited, Consolidated Financial Report for the period 28 June 2014 to 27 June 2015

— 15.10.15/

22.10.15

Senate 30.11.15

HoR 26.11.15

78

Appendix 2 Treasury portfolio

List of annual reports, and additional reports tabled in the Senate in the period 1 May 2015 to 31 October 2015, and before the tabling of this report

Reporting body Date of

transmittal letter Date sent to / Date received by Minister (if known)

Date tabled/ (presented)

Department of the Treasury

14.10.15 14.10.15/

14.10.15

Senate 9.11.15 (30.10.15)

HoR 9.11.15

Auditing and Assurance Standards Board 14.10.15 15.10.15/

15.10.15

Senate 3.11.15 (30.10.15)

HoR 9.11.15

Australian Accounting Standards Board 8.10.15 15.10.15/

15.10.15

Senate 9.11.15 (30.10.15)

HoR 9.11.15

Australian Bureau of Statistics 14.9.15 14.09.15/

14.09.15

Senate 14.10.15

HoR 14.10.15

Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (ACNC)

5.10.15 8.10.15/

8.10.15

Senate 9.1.15 (28.10.15)

HoR 9.11.15

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Reporting body Date of

transmittal letter Date sent to / Date received by Minister (if known)

Date tabled/ (presented)

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission —Report for 2014-15, including report of the Australian Energy Regulator (AER)

2.10.15 2.10.15/

2.10.15

Senate 9.11.15 (30.10.15)

HoR 9.11.15

Australian Office of Financial Management 30.9.15 30.9.15/

30.9.15

Senate 9.11.15 (23.10.15)

HoR 9.11.15

Australian Prudential Regulation Authority 7.10.15 8.10.15/

8.10.15

Senate 9.11.15 (30.10.15)

HoR 9.11.15

Australian Reinsurance Pool Corporation 22.9.15 7.10.15/

7/10.15

Corrigendum

23.10.15/ 23.10.15

Senate 9.11.15

Corrigendum 9.11.15 (4.11.15)

HoR 21.10.15 Corrigendum 9.11.15

Australian Statistics Advisory Council

29.9.15 2.10.15/

2.10.15

Senate 9.11.15

HoR 22.10.15

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Reporting body Date of

transmittal letter Date sent to / Date received by Minister (if known)

Date tabled/ (presented)

Australian Securities and Investments Commission

15.10.15 16.10.15/

16.10.15

Senate 9.11.15 (30.10.15)

HoR 9.11.15

Commissioner of Taxation (ATO)— Volumes 1 and 2

13.10.15 16.10.15/

16.10.15

Senate 9.11.15 (28.10.15)

HoR 9.11.15

Commonwealth Grants Commission 29.9.15 2.10.15/

2.10.15

Senate

9.11.15

HoR 22.10.15

Companies Auditors and Liquidators Disciplinary Board

8.10.15 9.10.15/

9.10.15

Senate 9.11.15 (29.10.15)

HoR 9.11.15

Financial Reporting Council

29.9.15 29.9.15/

29.9.15

Senate 9.11.15

HoR 15.10.15

Inspector-General of Taxation

6.10.15 7.10.15/

7.10.15

Senate 9.11.15 (23.10.15)

HoR 9.11.15

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Reporting body Date of

transmittal letter Date sent to / Date received by Minister (if known)

Date tabled/ (presented)

National Competition Council 26.8.15 1.10.15/

1.10.15

Senate 9.11.15 (30.10.15)

HoR 9.11.15

Private Health Insurance Administration Council

7.10.15 8.10.15/

8.10.15

Senate 9.11.15 (30.10.15)

HoR 9.11.15

Productivity Commission

8.10.15 15.10.15/

15.10.15

Senate 9.11.15 (23.10.15)

HoR 23.10.15

Reserve Bank of Australia

9.10.15 9.10.15/

9.10.15

Senate 9.11.15

HoR 22.10.15

Royal Australian Mint 15.10.15 9.10.15/

9.10.15

Senate 9.11.15 (26.10.15)

HoR 26.10.15

Superannuation Complaints Tribunal 25.9.15 1.10.15/

1.10.15

Senate 9.11.15

HoR 22.10.15

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Page 43

Reporting body Date of

transmittal letter Date sent to / Date received by Minister (if known)

Date tabled/ (presented)

Takeovers Panel 30.9.15 14.10.15/

14.10.15

Senate 9.11.15 (29.10.15)

HoR 9.11.15

Tax Practitioners Board 14.10.15 14.10.15/

14.10.15

Senate 9.11.15 (28.10.15)

HoR 9.11.15

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Appendix 3

Changes to terminology from FMA Act and CAC Act to the PGPA Act

FMA Act PGPA Act

Agency or FMA Act agency Non-corporate Commonwealth entity (NCE)

Prescribed agency Listed agency

Chief executive Accountable authority

Chief executive instructions Accountable authority instructions

Public money Relevant money

Non-bankable (money) Unbankable (money)

Public property Relevant property

Officer/staff/employee Official

FMA Regulations PGPA Rule

Finance Minister’s Orders PGPA (Financial Reporting) rule 2015

(FRR)

CAC Act PGPA Act

Commonwealth authority Corporate Commonwealth entity

Director Accountable authority

Director, senior manager or employee Official

Money held in own account Relevant money

Finance Minister’s Orders PGPA rule for financial reporting

Finance Minister’s Orders PGPA rule for financial reporting

General Policy Order Government Policy Order

84

The Senate

Education and Employment

Legislation Committee

Annual reports (No. 1 of 2016)

March 2016

85

© Commonwealth of Australia 2016

ISBN: 978-1-76010-350-7

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License.

The details of this licence are available on the Creative Commons website:

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/au/.

This document was produced by the Senate Standing Committee on Education and Employment and printed by the Senate Printing Unit, Parliament House, Canberra.

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MEMBERSHIP OF THE COMMITTEE

Members

Senator Bridget McKenzie, Chair, NATS, VIC

Senator Sue Lines, Deputy Chair, ALP, WA

Senator the Hon David Johnston, LP, WA

Senator Deborah O'Neill, ALP, NSW

Senator Linda Reynolds, LP, WA

Senator Lee Rhiannon, AG, NSW (until 14 October 2015)

Senator Robert Simms, AG, SA

Senator the Hon Arthur Sinodinos, LP, NSW (until 12 October 2015)

Secretariat

Ms Julia Agostino, Secretary

Dr Patrick Hodder, Principal Research Officer

Dr Joel Bateman, Acting Principal Research Officer

Ms Ashlee Hill, Research Officer (from 14 September 2015)

Ms Louise Kelly, Administrative Officer (until 22 January 2016)

PO Box 6100 Ph: 02 6277 3521

Parliament House Fax: 02 6277 5706

Canberra ACT 2600 E-mail: eec.sen@aph.gov.au

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Membership of the Committee ......................................................................... iii

Chapter 1: Introduction ..................................................................................... 1

Terms of reference .................................................................................................. 1

Allocated portfolios ................................................................................................ 1

Role of annual reports ............................................................................................ 2

Annual reporting requirements ............................................................................... 2

Annual reports referred ........................................................................................... 3

Reports not examined ............................................................................................. 4

Method of Assessment ........................................................................................... 4

Timeliness ............................................................................................................... 5

Senate debate .......................................................................................................... 5

Bodies not presenting annual reports to the Senate ................................................ 5

General comments on reports ................................................................................. 5

Chapter 2: Review of annual reports ................................................................ 7

Department of Education and Training .................................................................. 7

Australian Skills Quality Authority ........................................................................ 8

Australian National University ............................................................................... 9

Department of Employment ................................................................................. 10

Comcare and Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission ................. 12

Safe Work Australia ............................................................................................. 13

Appendix 1: Dates relating to the presentation of annual reports ............... 15

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Chapter 1 Introduction

1.1 This is the Senate Education and Employment Legislation Committee's (the committee) first report on annual reports for 2016. It provides an overview of annual reports of agencies within the allocated portfolios tabled between 1 May 2015 and 31 October 2015.

Terms of reference 1.2 This report was prepared pursuant to Standing Order 25(20) relating to the consideration of annual reports by committees, which states:

Annual reports of departments and agencies shall stand referred to the committees in accordance with an allocation of departments and agencies in a resolution of the Senate. Each committee shall:

(a) Examine each annual report referred to it and report to the Senate whether the report is apparently satisfactory.

(b) Consider in more detail, and report to the Senate on, each annual report which is not apparently satisfactory, and on the other annual reports which it selects for more detailed consideration.

(c) Investigate and report to the Senate on any lateness in the

presentation of annual reports.

(d) In considering an annual report, take into account any relevant remarks about the report made in debate in the Senate.

(e) If the committee so determines, consider annual reports of departments and budget-related agencies in conjunction with examination of estimates.

(f) Report on annual reports tabled by 31 October each year by the tenth sitting day of the following year, and on annual reports tabled by 30 April each year by the tenth sitting day after 30 June of that year.

(g) Draw to the attention of the Senate any significant matters relating to the operations and performance of the bodies furnishing the annual reports.

(h) Report to the Senate each year whether there are any bodies which do not present annual reports to the Senate and which should present such reports.

Allocated portfolios 1.3 In accordance with the resolution of the Senate on 12 November 2013, the committee has oversight of the following portfolios:

• Education and Training; and • Employment. 1

1 Journals of the Senate, No.1, 12 November 2013, p. 15.

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Role of annual reports 1.4 Annual reports place information about government departments and agencies on the public record in relation to the performance, activities, management and financial position of the reporting body. They are a primary accountability mechanism and assist the Parliament in the effective examination of the performance of departments and agencies, and the administration of government programs.

Annual reporting requirements 1.5 On 1 July 2014, the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act) replaced the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (FMA Act) and the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 (CAC Act). The PGPA Act consolidates the governance, performance and accountability requirements contained in the FMA Act and the CAC Act. It also establishes a performance reporting framework for all Commonwealth entities and companies.

1.6 Annual reporting requirements for non-corporate and corporate

Commonwealth entities are set out in section 46 of the PGPA Act, including that annual reports must comply with any requirements prescribed by the rules. Section 97 prescribes the annual reporting requirements for Commonwealth companies.

1.7 However, as with 2013-14 annual reports, 2014-15 annual reports were prepared under the arrangements existing at 30 June 2014 as follows:

• for non-corporate Commonwealth entities (departments, executive agencies

and statutory agencies): the Public Service Act 1999, sub-sections 63(2) and 70(2), and the Parliamentary Service Act 1999, section 65; other relevant enabling legislation for statutory bodies; and the Requirements for Annual Reports;

• for corporate Commonwealth entities: the Commonwealth Authorities (Annual

Reporting) Orders 2011 prescribe material that must be included in corporate entities' annual reports. These Orders continue to apply to 2014-15 annual reports under the PGPA (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Rule;

• for Commonwealth companies: the Commonwealth Companies (Annual Reporting) Orders 2011 prescribe material that must be included in corporate entities' annual reports. These Orders continue to apply to 2014-15 annual reports under the PGPA (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Rule; and

• for non-statutory bodies: the guidelines are contained in the government

response to the Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Public Administration Report on Non-Statutory bodies.2

Requirements for annual reports for 2014-15

1.8 Annual reports are prepared in accordance with the Requirements for Annual Reports. These requirements are reviewed annually by the Department of Prime

2 Senate Hansard, 8 December 1987, p. 2632-2645.

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Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) and approved by the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit (JCPAA).

1.9 Significant amendments to the most recent Requirements for Annual Reports relate to:

• Small Business Procurement—three requirements have been added to reflect the Government's commitment to improve small business access to Commonwealth contracts; and

• Indigenous Employment—reporting on 'Indigenous Employment' has been

added to the existing requirement to report on the Management of Human Resources.3

Future changes to the Requirements for Annual Reports

1.10 As noted in the Requirements for Annual Reports issued on 25 June 2015:

Significant revisions to the Requirements are anticipated for the 2015-16 financial year with the commencement of the performance reporting model under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act).4

Annual reports referred 1.11 In accordance with Senate Standing Order 25(20) this report examines those annual reports tabled between 1 May 2015 and 31 October 2015. The committee examined the following reports:

Departments of State

• Department of Employment—Annual Report 2014-15; and

• Department of Education and Training—Annual Report 2014-15, including

annual reports of the:

• Tuition Protection Service;

• Trade Support Loans; and

• Student Identifiers Office.

Non-corporate Commonwealth entities under the PGPA Act

• Australian Research Council—Annual Report 2014-15;

• Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA)—Report for 2014-15

• Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA)—Report for 2014-15;

3 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies, and other Non-Corporate Commonwealth Entities, 25 June 2015, p. i.

4 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies, and other Non-Corporate Commonwealth Entities, 25 June 2015, p. i.

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• Seafarers Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Authority—Seacare—

Annual Report 2014-15;

• Fair Work Commission—Annual Report 2014-15;

• Fair Work Ombudsman—Report for 2014-15;

• Fair Work Building and Construction—Annual Report 2014 -15; and

• Safe Work Australia—Annual Report 2014-15.

Corporate Commonwealth entities under the PGPA Act

• Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Studies—Annual

Report 2014-15;

• Australian National University—Annual Report 2014; and

• Comcare and Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission—Annual

Report 2014-15.

Other statutory authorities/bodies not under the PGPA Act

• Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal—Report for 2014-15.

Reports not examined 1.12 The committee is not obliged to report on Acts, statements of corporate intent, surveys, policy papers, budget documents, corporate plans or errata. Accordingly, the following documents were referred to the committee but are not examined in this report:

• Departmental Report—Review of the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority;

• Australian Research Council—Corporate plan 2015-16 to 2018-19;

• Human Trafficking and Slavery Interdepartmental Committee—Seventh report—Trafficking in persons: The Australian Government response, 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2015;

• Final budget outcome 2014-15—Report by the Treasurer (Mr Hockey) and

the Minister for Finance (Senator Cormann); and

• Finance—Advances provided under the annual Appropriation Acts—Report

for 2014-15—Letter of advice.

Method of Assessment 1.13 Senate Standing Order 25(20) requires the committee to examine the annual reports referred to it to determine whether they are timely and 'apparently satisfactory'. In making this assessment, the committee considers whether the reports comply with the relevant legislation and requirements for the preparation of annual reports.

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Timeliness 1.14 Annual reports must be presented by the responsible Minister to each House of Parliament on or before 31 October each year.5 The Requirements for Annual Reports also note that '[i]f Senate Supplementary Budget Estimates hearings are scheduled to occur prior to 31 October, it is best practice for annual reports to be tabled prior to those hearings.'6 In 2015, hearings for the committee's portfolios commenced on 21 October.

1.15 The committee recognises that some agencies are required to comply with other timeframes stipulated in their enabling legislation. Nonetheless, the committee reminds all agencies that it is the Government's policy that annual reports be tabled by 31 October each year.

1.16 Annual reports examined in this report were presented in the Parliament in a timely manner, that is, by 31 October 2015.

1.17 Appendix 1 lists the annual reports presented to Parliament between 1 May and 31 October 2015, and referred to the committee, with relevant tabling dates.

Senate debate 1.18 Senate Standing Order 25(20) requires the committee to take into account any relevant remarks about the reports made in debate in the Senate. The committee notes that none of the annual reports examined in this report have been the subject of comments or debate in the Senate.

Bodies not presenting annual reports to the Senate 1.19 The committee is required to report to the Senate each year on whether there are any bodies not presenting annual reports to the Senate which should. The committee is satisfied that there are no such bodies at this time.

General comments on reports 1.20 The committee has examined all annual reports referred during the reporting period and has found them to be of a satisfactory standard and largely compliant with the relevant requirements. The committee considers the reports examined to be 'apparently satisfactory'.

1.21 The committee suggests that in future departments and agencies note in their annual reports work undertaken with regard to providing benefits to regional Australia.

5 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies, and other Non-Corporate Commonwealth Entities, 25 June 2015, p. 2.

6 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies, and other Non-Corporate Commonwealth Entities, 25 June 2015, p. 2.

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Chapter 2

Review of annual reports

2.1 This chapter examines selected annual reports in greater detail, and provides the Senate with information that may be of interest. The following reports are discussed in this chapter:

• Department of Education and Training;

• Australian Skills Quality Authority;

• Australian National University;

• Department of Employment;

• Comcare and Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission; and

• Safe Work Australia.

Department of Education and Training

2.2 The Department of Education and Training (the Department) has portfolio responsibilities for national policies and programs to help Australians access quality early learning, school education, higher education, vocational education and training, and international education and research.1 In 2014-15, the Department sought to achieve strongly against four goals; to support quality early learning and school, to excel through knowledge, to build skills and capability and to enable business areas.2

2.3 A priority for the Department in 2014-15 was working with states, territories and national agencies to deliver the National Assessment Program—Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) online from 2017.3 Moving NAPLAN assessments online will allow individual tests to be tailored according to each student's ability, giving teachers and parents more accurate information regarding student performance.4 This tailored approach will enhance opportunities for teachers to help students develop fundamental literacy and numeracy skills.5

2.4 There was an emphasis in 2014-15 on enhancing teaching of foreign languages.6 The Department commenced the Early Learning Languages Australia (ELLA) trial in 41 services offering a preschool programme. The trial will provide

1 Department of Education and Training, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 2.

2 Department of Education and Training, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 2-3.

3 Department of Education and Training, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 17.

4 Department of Education and Training, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 31.

5 Department of Education and Training, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 31.

6 Department of Education and Training, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 17.

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over 1600 preschool children across Australia with the opportunity to test new applications designed to develop recognition skills of a foreign language through play based learning.7 The aim of the trial is to determine the effectiveness of early exposure to languages through online programmes.8 Three learning applications have been released to date and include a number of the major languages other than English spoken in Australia.9

2.5 In 2014-15, the Department has worked to implement the Government's vocational education and training (VET) reform agenda, with a focus on improving the quality of training and job outcomes for students.10 National consultations with stakeholders on VET were carried out in early 2015 and have been a key element of each step in the VET reform process.11 As part of the reform implementation process, the Department introduced a number of measures aimed at supporting Australian apprentices.12 One of these measures is the Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (the Apprenticeships Network). Commencing on 1 July 2015, the Apprenticeships Network aims to increase apprenticeship completion rates by delivering tailored advice and support to apprentices and employers.13

2.6 The Department of Education Strategic Plan 2014-17 was launched in July 2014, setting out the Department's goals and overarching vision of 'opportunity through learning'.14 The strategic plan describes the Department's pathways, values and culture. It also includes the Department's commitment to improving education outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.15

2.7 The committee finds the Department's annual report to be compliant with reporting requirements and easy to navigate.

Australian Skills Quality Authority

2.8 The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) was established on 1 July 2011 under the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011 and supplementary legislation.16 The agency was transferred to the Education and Training portfolio in December 2014 following machinery of government changes arising from

7 Department of Education and Training, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 18.

8 Department of Education and Training, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 26.

9 Department of Education and Training, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 27.

10 Department of Education and Training, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 39.

11 Department of Education and Training, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 66.

12 Department of Education and Training, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 65.

13 Department of Education and Training, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 65-66.

14 Department of Education and Training, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 74.

15 Department of Education and Training, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 74.

16 Australian Skills Quality Authority, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 4.

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the Administrative Arrangements Order of 23 December 2014. ASQA is the national VET regulator with responsibilities for maintaining the strength and reputation of Australia’s VET sector.17

2.9 ASQA received a total of 6079 applications in relation to registration as a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) during the 2014-15 reporting period.18 This represents a decrease of 20.2 per cent from the 2013-2014 year.19 This decrease has been largely attributed to a reduction in the number of applications from providers to change their registration, which has in turn resulted from the equivalent training package reform.20 Implemented on 1 July 2014, the equivalent training package reform means that when a training package product is updated, and this updated product is considered to be 'equivalent' to the former version, it is automatically added to the provider's scope of registration.21 This is one of a suite of seven reforms implemented by ASQA as part of the Australian Government's VET Regulatory Reform agenda.22

2.10 A key issue in the VET sector in 2014-15 was the marketing employed by approved VET FEE-HELP providers.23 A high number of complaints received during the reporting period were related to the marketing of providers and courses to vulnerable individuals.24 Marketing issues represent 13.9 per cent of the complaints received by ASQA since its establishment, making it the second most common complaint category.25 In line with the government’s VET Regulatory Reform agenda, the new standards for RTOs, which came into effect on 1 April 2015, include explicit requirements for providers’ marketing and advertising.26

2.11 The committee commends ASQA for a well presented and accessible report.

Australian National University

2.12 The Australian National University (ANU) is a research-intensive education institute initially established by an Act of parliament in 1946.27 ANU's functions are

17 Australian Skills Quality Authority, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 4.

18 Australian Skills Quality Authority, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 21.

19 Australian Skills Quality Authority, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 21.

20 Australian Skills Quality Authority, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 21.

21 Australian Skills Quality Authority, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 17.

22 Australian Skills Quality Authority, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 17.

23 Australian Skills Quality Authority, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 17.

24 Australian Skills Quality Authority, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 45.

25 Australian Skills Quality Authority, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 44.

26 Australian Skills Quality Authority, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 40.

27 Australian National University, Annual Report 2014, p. 82.

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set out by the Australian National University Act 1991 (ANU Act).28 The University is governed by the ANU Council who, under the ANU Act, may enact Statutes to regulate matters relating to the operations of the University.29

2.13 In his introduction, Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Ian Young AO noted that the first cohort of students studying a flexible double degree began in 2014.30 These degrees allow students to combine two Bachelor degrees of their choice.31 In 2014, a total of 3027 students enrolled in flexible double degrees, representing 38 per cent of the undergraduate cohort for the reporting period.32

2.14 Professor Young also noted that the number of international enrolments at the University had increased by 8.5 per cent from 2013.33 A total of 6097 international enrolments were recorded across both undergraduate and postgraduate programs as compared to 5590 the previous year.34 Students from North-East Asia made up the largest portion of international enrolments, representing more than half of the reported total.35

2.15 The committee considers that the ANU has met its reporting requirements. However, the committee notes that while ANU's annual report contains an index, a compliance index would have greatly enhanced the report's accessibility.

Department of Employment

2.16 The Department of Employment (the Department) has portfolio responsibilities for national policies and programmes that assist Australians in finding and keeping employment and to work in safe and fair workplaces.36 The Department's vision—More Jobs. Great Workplaces.—is built on the government's plans for stronger economic growth. The Department aims to achieve this vision through the provision of effective advice on policies that aim to create jobs and assist job seekers in finding employment.37

28 Australian National University, Annual Report 2014, p. 82.

29 Australian National University, Annual Report 2014, p. 104.

30 Australian National University, Annual Report 2014, p. 6.

31 Australian National University, Annual Report 2014, p. 26.

32 Australian National University, Annual Report 2014, p. 27.

33 Australian National University, Annual Report 2014, p. 6.

34 Australian National University, Annual Report 2014, p. 61.

35 Australian National University, Annual Report 2014, p. 61.

36 Department of Employment, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 1.

37 Department of Employment, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 2.

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2.17 A focus for the Department in 2014-15 was designing the new employment services model, Jobactive.38 The new programme, implemented on 1 July 2015, replaces the Job Services Australia programme.39 Jobactive is comprised of five services that are designed to be more flexible and responsive to the needs of jobseekers and employers. Specifically, the programme aims to ensure that job seekers better meet the needs of employers; increase job seeker engagement by introducing stronger mutual obligation requirements; increase job outcomes for unemployed Australians; and reduce prescription and red tape for service providers.40

2.18 The Work for the Dole programme makes up one component of the new Jobactive system. In her review, Ms Renée Leon, Secretary for the Department of Employment, highlighted the Work for the Dole programme as part of Jobactive and noted that 53 forums were held for potential host organisations in May and June 2015.41 The programme, which was phased in in 18 selected areas from 1 July 2014, is designed to assist job seekers in gaining the skills and experience necessary to move from welfare to work and to make a positive contribution to their local community.42

2.19 During the 2014-15 reporting period, the Jobactive programme achieved 92 per cent of its expected number of commencements and 135 per cent of its expected number of places sourced.43 Following a competitive tender process, 19 Work for the Dole Coordinators commenced work nationally on 1 May 2015. Coordinators will aim to source suitable Work for the Dole activities for participants in both not-for-profit and government sectors.44

2.20 In 2014-15, the Department undertook substantial process improvements in relation to the administration of the Fair Entitlements Guarantee programme. These improvements aim to reduce the wait time for workers seeking assistance under the scheme as well as ensure accurate and timely payments.45 A total of $301.04 million was paid to 18 849 claimants under the Fair Entitlements Guarantee during the reporting period.46

2.21 The committee considers the Department to have met its reporting obligations and compliments it on a well-structured annual report.

38 Department of Employment, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 8.

39 Department of Employment, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 10.

40 Department of Employment, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 11.

41 Department of Employment, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 3.

42 Department of Employment, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 15.

43 Department of Employment, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 15.

44 Department of Employment, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 11.

45 Department of Employment, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 42.

46 Department of Employment, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 43.

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Comcare and Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission

2.22 Comcare and the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission (SRCC) are both established under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 and jointly oversee the Comcare scheme.47 Comcare also has functions and responsibilities under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and is the sole regulator of work health and safety in the scheme.48 Comcare’s overarching role is to have a positive impact on reducing and preventing injury and harm in the workplace.49

2.23 In 2014-15, 6.7 work-related injury claims per 1000 FTE employees were recorded by the Comcare scheme, representing a drop of 13 per cent from the previous year.50 Comcare also received 10 notifiable worker fatalities; however no death claims were accepted during the reporting period.51

2.24 Comcare continued to work with industry stakeholders through its Health Benefits for Work (HBoW) programme. The programme aims to promote working as part of recovery from injury or illness.52 In early 2015, an HBoW advisory group was established in order to provide strategic direction and support the aims of the programme.53 Comcare also appointed the agency’s first Work for Health Advisor to drive engagement in the areas of employment, injury insurance, health and social welfare.54

2.25 The committee finds Comcare and the SRCC's annual report to be clearly presented and informative.

Safe Work Australia

2.26 Safe Work Australia is a statutory agency established under the Safe Work Australia Act 2008. It is the national body responsible for developing policy strategies

47 Comcare and Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 20.

48 Comcare and Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 20.

49 Comcare and Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 20.

50 Comcare and Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 39.

51 Comcare and Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 39.

52 Comcare and Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 72.

53 Comcare and Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 72.

54 Comcare and Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 72.

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to improve Australia's work health and safety conditions and workers' compensation.55 Safe Work Australia is funded through both the Commonwealth and state and territory governments. While Safe Work Australia does not carry out any regulatory functions in regard to work health and safety, the agency works collaboratively across jurisdictions to carry out its functions in areas including policy development, compliance, research and evaluation.56

2.27 Chief Executive Officer, Ms Michelle Baxter, noted the continued reduction in the number of work-related fatalities and serious injury claims during the reporting period. A total of 188 worker fatalities were reported in 2014, representing a reduction

of 39 per cent since a peak of 310 in 2007.57

2.28 In October 2014, Safe Work Australia piloted the Australian Strategy Virtual Seminar Series. The Virtual Seminar Series is a free online programme aimed at providing information and promoting discussion regarding key themes of the Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012-2022.58 The pilot program drew on the expertise of national and international industry leaders and academics and was shared through a variety of channels including live panel discussions, pre-recorded video presentations and infographics.59

2.29 In line with the agency's Operational Plan 2014-15, the evaluation of work health and safety laws continued to be a focus for Safe Work Australia throughout the reporting period. Safe Work Australia completed a number of studies regarding the effectiveness of the model Work Health and Safety (WHS) laws.60 These studies encompassed interviews with Australian businesses of all sizes as well as a cost-

benefit analysis of the effect of model WHS laws on workers, business and government.61 Safe Work Australia also undertook work to examine the extent and appropriateness of any 'regulatory burden' that the model WHS laws place on Australian businesses. This work included a Health and Safety at Work Survey involving over 2300 business owners and operators across Australia.62

55 Safe Work Australia, Annual Report 14-15, p. 8.

56 Safe Work Australia, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 8.

57 Safe Work Australia, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 10.

58 Safe Work Australia, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 18.

59 Safe Work Australia, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 21.

60 Safe Work Australia, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 28.

61 Safe Work Australia, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 28.

62 Safe Work Australia, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 28.

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2.30 The Committee thanks Safe Work Australia for a clear and concise annual report.

Senator Bridget McKenzie Chair

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Appendix 1

Dates relating to the presentation of annual reports between 1 May to 31 October 2015

Reporting Body

Submitted to Minister Received by Minister

Tabled in the Senate or presented out of sitting (*)

Tabled in the House of Representatives

EDUCATION AND TRAINING PORTFOLIO

Department of Education and Training 13/10/2015 13/10/2015 28/10/2015* 09/11/2015

Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Studies 02/10/2015 02/10/2015 30/10/2015* 09/11/2015

Australian Research Council 08/10/2015 08/10/2015 28/10/2015* 09/11/2015

Australian Skills Quality Authority

09/10/2015 12/10/2015 09/11/2015 22/10/2015

Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency 06/10/2015 07/10/2015 09/11/2015 21/10/2015

Australian National University 10/04/2015 09/06/2015 22/06/2015 22/06/2015

EMPLOYMENT PORTFOLIO

Department of Employment 30/09/2015 01/10/2015 09/11/2015 19/10/2015

Comcare and Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission 09/10/2015 12/10/2015 29/10/2015* 09/11/2015

Seafarers Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Authority 09/10/2015 12/10/2015 29/10/2015* 09/11/2015

Fair Work Commission 13/10/2015 13/10/2015 28/10/2015* 09/11/2015

Fair Work Ombudsman 30/09/2015 30/09/2015 09/11/2015 21/10/2015

Fair Work Building and Construction

24/09/2015 24/09/2015 09/11/2015 15/10/2015

Safe Work Australia 06/10/2015 06/10/2015 27/10/2015* 09/11/2015

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Reporting Body

Submitted to Minister Received by Minister

Tabled in the Senate or presented out of sitting (*)

Tabled in the House of Representatives

Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal 30/09/2015 01/10/2015 09/11/2015 22/10/2015

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The Senate

Environment and Communications

Legislation Committee

Annual reports (No. 1 of 2016)

March 2016

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© Commonwealth of Australia 2016 ISBN 978-1-76010-351-4

Committee address PO Box 6100 Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600 Tel: 02 6277 3526 Fax: 02 6277 5818 Email: ec.sen@aph.gov.au Internet: http://www.aph.gov.au/senate_ec

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial- NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License.

The details of this licence are available on the Creative Commons website: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/au/.

This document was produced by the Senate Standing Committee on Environment and Communications and printed by the Senate Printing Unit, Parliament House, Canberra.

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Committee Membership

Committee members

Senator Linda Reynolds CSC, Chair LP, Western Australia

Senator Anne Urquhart, Deputy Chair ALP, Tasmania

Senator Chris Back LP, Western Australia

Senator the Hon Eric Abetz (from 4 February 2016) LP, Tasmania Senator the Hon Lisa Singh ALP, Tasmania

Senator Larissa Waters AG, Queensland

Former member

Senator the Hon Michael Ronaldson (to 4 February 2016) LP, Victoria

Secretariat

Ms Christine McDonald, Secretary Ms Kirsty Cattanach, Research Officer

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Table of Contents

Committee Membership ................................................................................... iii

Chapter 1: Introduction ..................................................................................... 1

Terms of reference .................................................................................................. 1

Allocated portfolios ................................................................................................ 2

Annual reporting requirements ............................................................................... 2

Reports examined ................................................................................................... 7

Reports not examined ............................................................................................. 8

Timeliness ............................................................................................................... 9

Senate debate ........................................................................................................ 10

Apparently satisfactory ......................................................................................... 10

Chapter 2: Review of departments and selected agencies ............................ 11

Communications and the Arts portfolio ............................................................... 11

Environment portfolio .......................................................................................... 17

Appendix 1: Dates relating to the presentation of reports between. 1 May to 31 October 2015 ................................................................................................. 23

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Chapter 1

Introduction

1.1 This is the first report on annual reports for 2016 of the Senate Environment and Communications Legislation Committee (the committee). It provides an overview of annual reports of agencies within the allocated portfolios tabled in the Senate between 1 May 2015 and 31 October 2015.

1.2 Annual reports inform the Parliament, stakeholders and other interested parties of the operations and performance of public sector departments, agencies and companies. They are a primary accountability mechanism. Additionally, annual reports are important reference documents and form part of the historical record.1

Terms of reference

1.3 Under Standing Order 25(20), the annual reports of certain departments and agencies are referred to the committee for examination and assessment. The committee is required to:

(a) Examine each annual report referred to it and report to the Senate whether the report is apparently satisfactory.

(b) Consider in more detail, and report to the Senate on, each annual report which is not apparently satisfactory, and on the other annual report which it selects for more detailed consideration.

(c) Investigate and report to the Senate on any lateness in the presentation of annual reports.

(d) In considering an annual report, take into account any relevant remarks about the report made in debate in the Senate.

(e) If the committee so determines, consider annual reports of departments and budget-related agencies in conjunction with examination of estimates.

(f) Report on annual reports tabled by 31 October each year by the tenth sitting day of the following year, and on annual reports tabled by 30 April each year by the tenth sitting day after 30 June of that year.

(g) Draw the attention of the Senate to any significant matters relating to the operations and performance of the bodies furnishing the annual reports.

1 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies, and other Non-Corporate Commonwealth Entities, 25 June 2015, p. 3.

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(h) Report to the Senate each year whether there are any bodies which do not present annual reports to the Senate and which should present such reports.

Allocated portfolios

1.4 In accordance with the resolution of the Senate on 12 November 2013, the committee has oversight of the following portfolios:

• Environment; and

• Communications and the Arts. 2

Annual reporting requirements

1.5 This is the first time departments and agencies are reporting under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act), which commenced on 1 July 2014. The PGPA Act consolidates the governance, performance and accountability requirements that were contained in the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (FMA Act) and the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 (CAC Act). It also establishes a performance reporting framework for all Commonwealth entities and companies.

1.6 Section 46 of the PGPA Act sets out the annual reporting requirements in relation to Commonwealth entities, including that annual reports must comply with any requirements prescribed by rules. Section 97 sets out the annual reporting requirements for Commonwealth companies.

1.7 However, as with 2013-14 annual reports, 2014-15 annual reports were prepared under the arrangements existing at 30 June 2014 as follows:

• for non-corporate Commonwealth entities (departments, executive agencies

and statutory agencies): the Public Service Act 1999, sections 63(2) and 70(2), and the Parliamentary Service Act 1999, section 65; other relevant enabling legislation for statutory bodies; and the Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies, and other Non-Corporate Commonwealth Entities (Requirements for Annual Reports);

• for corporate Commonwealth entities: the Commonwealth Authorities (Annual Reporting) Orders 2011 prescribe material that must be included in corporate entities' annual reports. These Orders continue to apply to 2014-15 annual reports under the PGPA (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Rule;

• for Commonwealth companies: the Commonwealth Companies (Annual

Reporting) Orders 2011 prescribe material that must be included in corporate entities' annual reports. These Orders continue to apply to 2014-15 annual

2 Journals of the Senate, No. 1, 12 November 2013, p. 16.

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reports under the PGPA (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Rule; and

• for non-statutory bodies: the guidelines are contained in the government response to the Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Public Administration report on non-statutory bodies.3

1.8 In its report on the development of the Commonwealth performance framework, the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit (JCPAA) foreshadowed that in future years the annual report requirements 'will be replaced through the consolidation of all mandatory requirements into a rule made for the purposes of section 46 of the PGPA Act'.4

Requirements for Annual Report for 2014-15 reports

1.9 The Requirements for Annual Reports were issued by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet on 25 June 2015 and approved by the JCPAA. Two significant changes were made to the Requirements for Annual Reports issued on 25 June 2015 in relation to:

• small business procurement—three requirements have been added to reflect

the Government's commitment to improve small business access to Commonwealth contracts; and

• Indigenous employment—reporting on Indigenous employment has been added to the existing requirement to report on the management of human resources.5

1.10 While the Requirements for Annual Reports issued on 25 June 2015 apply to annual reports for 2014-15, it was noted that:

Significant revisions to the Requirements are anticipated for the 2015-16 financial year with the commencement of the performance reporting model under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act).6

3 Senate Hansard, 8 December 1987, pp 2632-45.

4 Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit, Report 453 Development of the Commonwealth Performance Framework, December 2015, p. 12.

5 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies, and other Non-Corporate Commonwealth Entities, 25 June 2015, p. i.

6 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies, and other Non-Corporate Commonwealth Entities, 25 June 2015, p. i.

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Financial statements

1.11 The PGPA Act provides for the financial reporting of Commonwealth entities and requires the preparation of annual financial statements for an entity for inclusion in the entity's financial report. Subsection 42(2) of the PGPA Act requires that annual financial statements must 'comply with the accounting standards and any other requirements prescribed by the rules'.

1.12 On 4 February 2015, the Minister for Finance made the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability (Financial Reporting) Rule 2015 (FRR). The FRR applies to all Commonwealth entities that need to prepare financial statements for reporting periods commencing on or after 1 July 2014. The explanatory statement to

the FRR states that:

The FRR sets out the financial reporting requirements for the preparation of financial statements and provides consistent financial reporting across the Commonwealth to facilitate comparison between entities' financial statements. This allows for the consolidation of Commonwealth reporting entity financial statements to prepare the Australian Government consolidated financial statements.7

1.13 Financial statements are not required to be prepared under the FRR for a company for the purposes of the Corporations Act 2001 (Corporations Act) or the subsidiary of a Commonwealth entity as these are not Commonwealth entities. Financial statements for these bodies are prepared under the Corporations Act or other relevant legislation.8

1.14 A number of major changes have been incorporated in the FRR compared to the previous 2013-14 Finance Minister's Orders for Financial Reporting. This included 'streamlining the director/senior management personnel (executive) remuneration disclosure to generally match up with AASB 124: Related Party Disclosure that is applicable to the private sector'.9

1.15 Previously, the requirements for financial statements for FMA Act and CAC Act entities were set out in Finance Minister's Orders. The final Finance Minister's Orders were made on 8 March 2012 and included the requirements for the reporting of the remuneration of directors, senior executives and other highly paid

7 Explanatory statement to Public Governance, Performance and Accountability (Financial Reporting) Rule 2015, p. 1.

8 Explanatory statement to Public Governance, Performance and Accountability (Financial Reporting) Rule 2015, p. 2.

9 Explanatory statement to Public Governance, Performance and Accountability (Financial Reporting) Rule 2015, p. 2.

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employees.10 For each senior executive and highly paid employee, the following components of reportable remuneration were required:

• reportable salary (including reportable fringe benefits and reportable employer superannuation contributions);

• contributed superannuation;

• reportable allowances, and

• bonus paid.

11

1.16 The committee notes that the Orders made on 16 March 2011 under the FMA Act and CAC Act made changes to the requirements for director/executive remuneration in financial statements relating to the disclosure of average performance bonus paid. The explanatory statement commented that 'these changes increase accountability and transparency in relation to the remuneration of senior executives and other highly paid employees'.12

1.17 The approach to the reporting of director and senior executive remuneration under the FRR in financial statements is significantly different to that under the previous Orders: no longer will Commonwealth entities have to report on the remuneration of other highly paid employees; and, the remuneration of directors and senior executives is provided as a single total figure for each of the following categories as required by AASB 124:

• short-term employee benefits;

• post-employment benefits;

• other long-term benefits; and

• termination benefits. 13

1.18 The explanatory statement to the FRR commented on the new requirements as follows:

The purpose of this section is to set out minimum requirements for reporting entities financial reporting disclosures for senior management personnel remuneration. The intention is to report the cost to the Commonwealth of employing senior management personnel for the

10 Finance Minister's Orders (Financial Statements for reporting periods ending on or after 1 July 2011).

11 Finance Minister's Orders (Financial Statements for reporting periods ending on or after 1 July 2011), Schedule 1, item 23.

12 Explanatory Statement, Financial Management and Accountability Orders (Financial Statements for reporting periods ending on or after 1 July 2010) and Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Orders (Financial Statements for reporting periods ending on or after 1 July 2010), p. 3.

13 Australian Accounting Standard Board, AASB 124: Related Party Disclosures, paragraph 17.

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reporting period, but not reporting the individual benefits received by those persons.14

1.19 The effect of the FRR is seen in the 2014-15 financial statements of Commonwealth entities. Only a single total amount for directors/senior executives is provided in each of the categories required by AASB 124.15 In addition, remuneration information is no longer provided for 'other highly paid employees'.

Committee comment

1.20 The committee notes that the explanatory statement to the FRR comments that the streamlining of director/senior management personnel (executive) remuneration will now 'generally match up with AASB 124: Related Party Disclosures that is applicable to the private sector'. While welcoming moves to streamline information provided to the Parliament, the committee questions whether it is appropriate for the

disclosure of remuneration information in the public sector to be aligned with that of the private sector. In particular, the basis of accountability and scrutiny in the public sector is very different to that of the private sector.

1.21 In addition, while the FRR sets out a 'minimum' requirement, no entities within the committee's portfolio areas provided any additional information on director/senior executive remuneration in financial statements. However, the committee notes that the NBN Co Annual Report 2014-15 provided full disclosure of senior executive remuneration. As a Commonwealth company, it is not required to provide this level of information on remuneration. The committee acknowledges NBN Co's commitment to transparency.

1.22 As a consequence of the FRR, it is more difficult, and for some entities not possible, to establish senior executive remuneration except for the total remuneration paid across the categories set out in AASB 124. The committee considers that full, disaggregated remuneration information for each director and senior executive should be available to the Parliament: the disclosure of remuneration of senior executives is part of the accountability process and aids transparency; and, the remuneration of senior executives amounts to many millions of dollars and may include performance payments which will no longer be disclosed separately in financial statements.

1.23 The committee considers this matter raises significant transparency and accountability issues and should be pursued further. In the first instance, the committee will write to the Minister for Finance seeking further information on the basis for the changes made to the disclosure of director and senior executive remuneration in financial statements. Secondly, the committee will draw this matter to

14 Explanatory statement to Public Governance, Performance and Accountability (Financial Reporting) Rule, p. 7.

15 See for example, Australia Post, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 86; Department of the Environment, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 305; Department of Communications and the Arts, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 125.

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the attention of the JCPAA. The JCPAA is currently examining the proposed annual reporting guidelines under the PGPA Act for Commonwealth entities. The committee believes that the JCPAA should give strong consideration to ensuring that the full disclosure of directors and senior executive remuneration, as previously required under Finance Minister's Orders, is a mandatory requirement for the annual reports of Commonwealth entities.

Reports examined

1.24 This report examines the following reports, tabled in the Senate or presented out of session to the President of the Senate and referred to the committee between 1 May 2015 and 31 October 2015:

Departments of state

• Department of Communications—Annual Report 2014-15; and

• Department of the Environment—Annual Report 2014-15, including reports on the operation of the:

• Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999;

• Natural Heritage Trust of Australia Act 1997;

• Product Stewardship Act 2011;

• Product Stewardship (Oil) Act 2000;

• Fuel Quality Standards Act 2000;

• Hazardous Waste (Regulation of Exports and Imports) Act 1989;

• Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act

1989;

• Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards Act 2005; and

• Water Act 2007.

Non-corporate Commonwealth entities

• Australian Communications and Media Authority—Annual Report 2014-15;

• Clean Energy Regulator—Annual Report 2014-15;

• Climate Change Authority—Annual Report 2014-15; and

• Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority—Annual Report 2014-15.

Executive Agencies

• Bureau of Meteorology—Annual Report 2014-15; and

• Old Parliament House (Museum of Australian Democracy)—Annual Report 2014-15.

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Corporate Commonwealth entities

• Australian Broadcasting Corporation—Annual Report 2014-15;

• Australia Council—Annual Report 2014-15;

• Australian Film, Television and Radio School—Annual Report 2014-15;

• Australian National Maritime Museum—Annual Report 2014-15;

• Australian Postal Corporation (Australia Post)—Annual Report 2014-15;

• Australian Renewable Energy Agency—Annual Report 2014-15;

• Clean Energy Finance Corporation—Annual Report 2014-15;

• Director of National Parks—Annual Report 2014-15;

• National Film and Sound Archive—Annual Report 2014-15;

• National Gallery of Australia—Annual Report 2014-15;

• National Library of Australia—Annual Report 2014-15;

• National Museum of Australia—Annual Report 2014-15;

• National Portrait Gallery of Australia—Annual Report 2014-15;

• Screen Australia—Annual Report 2014-15;

• Special Broadcasting Service—Annual Report 2014-15; and

• Sydney Harbour Federation Trust—Annual Report 2014-15.

Commonwealth companies

• Australia Business Arts Foundation Ltd (Creative Partnerships Australia)— Annual Report 2014-15;

• Bundanon Trust—Annual Report 2014-15;

• NBN Co Limited—Annual Report 2014-15.

Reports not examined

1.25 The committee is not obliged to report on Acts, statements of corporate intent, surveys, policy papers, budget documents, corporate plans or errata. The following were referred to the committee between 1 May and 31 October 2015 but are not examined in this report:

• Australian Competition and Consumer Commission—Telstra's Structural

Separation Undertaking Report 2014-15;

• Australian Postal Corporation (Australia Post)—Diversity and Inclusion Report 2014-15;

• Regional Telecommunications Independent Review—Regional Telecommunications Review Unlocking the Potential in Regional Australia 2015;

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• Broadcasting Services Act 1992—Review of Local Content and Local

Presence Requirements on Regional Commercial Radio Broadcasters;

• Interactive Gambling Act 2001—Report on the Operation of the Prohibition of Interactive Gambling Services Advertisements;

• Port of Gladstone Independent Review—Report on Findings;

• Port of Gladstone Independent Review—Supplementary Report;

• Port of Gladstone Independent Review—Bund Wall at the Port of Gladstone Report on Findings;

• Port of Gladstone Independent Review—Government Response to the Port of

Gladstone and the Bund Wall at the Port of Gladstone Reports on Findings;

• Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000—Report for 2014 on the Operation

of the Act; and

• Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards Act 2005—Independent Review of

the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards Scheme Second and Final Report.

Timeliness

1.26 Section 46 of the PGPA Act requires the provision of an annual report of a Commonwealth entity to the responsible minister by the 15th day of the fourth month after the end of the reporting period for the entity. The Requirements for Annual Reports, which relate to departments, executive agencies and other non-corporate Commonwealth entities, reflects the PGPA Act and states that 'the responsible minister must, in turn, present the report to each House of the Parliament on or before 31 October in the year in which the report is given'.16 Where a body is unable to meet this deadline, an extension of time to report can be sought under the provisions of subsections 34C(4)-(7) of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901.17

1.27 Section 97 of the PGPA Act sets out the requirements for the provision of annual reports of Commonwealth companies to the responsible minister.

Reports received after 31 October 2015

1.28 The committee is disappointed to note that three agencies within the Environment Portfolio presented their annual reports after 31 October 2015. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency, the Supervising Scientist and the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust presented their respective annual reports to the President of

16 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies, and other Non-Corporate Commonwealth Entities, 25 June 2015, p. 2.

17 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies, and other Non-Corporate Commonwealth Entities, 25 June 2015, p. 2.

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the Senate on 2 November 2015. The annual reports were tabled in the Senate on 9 November 2015. Those annual reports received after the 31 October deadline will be examined and considered in the committee's Annual Reports (No. 2 of 2016).

Senate debate

1.29 Under Standing Order 25(20)(d), the committee is obliged to note any remarks made in the Senate about annual reports. None of the annual reports examined in this report were the subject of Senate debate.

Apparently satisfactory

1.30 Standing Order 25(20)(a) requires that the committee report to the Senate on whether the annual reports of departments and agencies in its portfolios are 'apparently satisfactory'. In making this assessment, the committee considers such aspects as timeliness of presentation and compliance with relevant reporting requirements.

1.31 The committee has examined all annual reports referred during the reporting period and considers that they are apparently satisfactory.

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Chapter 2

Review of departments and selected agencies

2.1 The committee provides the following comments on the annual reports of the two portfolio departments referred to it as well as reports from two agencies within the portfolios as follows:

• Department of Communications;

• Australia Post;

• National Portrait Gallery;

• Department of the Environment;

• Bureau of Meteorology; and

• Director of National Parks.

Communications and the Arts portfolio

Department of Communications

2.2 The Department of Communications Annual Report 2014-15 was received on 22 October 2015 and tabled in the Senate on 9 November 2015.

2.3 The Secretary's Review provided a summary of significant achievements in the department's work over 2014-15. Some of the highlights included:

• establishment of the Digital Transformation Office within the portfolio;

• assisting with the establishment of the Children's e-Safety Commissioner;

• managing the transition of the functions of the Telecommunications Universal

Service Management Agency into the department;

• establishment of the Bureau of Communications Research; and

• working with the Australian Communications and Media Authority to

complete the Spectrum Review.1

Performance reporting

2.4 It is noted in the annual report that the department's performance information changed in the 2014-15 Budget. The department previously delivered its outcome through three programs, which have now been consolidated into one program.2 A comparison of the old and new programs is presented in Table 2.1.

1 Department of Communications, Annual Report 2014-15, pp 2-3.

2 Department of Communications, Annual Report 2014-15, pp 5-6.

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Table 2.1: Changes to the Department of Communications program structure

2013-14 program structure 2014-15 program structure

Program 1.1: Broadband and Communications Infrastructure

Program 1.1: Digital Technologies and Communications Services Program 1.2: Digital Economy and Postal Services

Program 1.3: Broadcasting and Digital Television

Source: Department of Communications, Annual Report 2014-15, pp 5-6.

2.5 The annual report stated that the department's strategy to deliver its outcome is to provide strategic advice on, and administer projects and initiatives to:

• enhance digital productivity—advising the Government on the opportunities

arising from the innovative adoption and use of digital technologies, and supporting government, business and the community to maximise these opportunities;

• expand digital infrastructure—advising the Government on the necessary

market settings to deliver competitive and efficient digital infrastructure to drive growth in the broader economy; and

• promote efficient communications markets—advising the Government on the

necessary market settings to promote competition, while ensuring access to basic services, making available socially valuable content, and safeguarding consumers from inappropriate content and unfair dealing.3

2.6 The performance reporting section is clearly presented and provides a detailed assessment of how the department has progressed in meeting its key performance indicators (KPIs) and deliverables. The flow of information gives the reader a broad understanding of the work conducted by the department while still providing specific performance information.

2.7 The committee notes that all deliverables across Program 1.1: Digital Technologies and Communications Services were met.

Financial performance

2.8 The Secretary, Mr Drew Clarke, noted an operating surplus of $0.6 million (excluding depreciation) in 2014-15, which declined from $1.0 million (excluding depreciation) in 2013-14.4

3 Department of Communications, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 18.

4 Department of Communications, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 4.

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Australian Postal Corporation (Australia Post)

2.9 The Australia Post Annual Report 2014-15 was received on 15 October 2015 and tabled in the Senate on 9 November 2015.

Annual report size and format

2.10 Australia Post has provided its annual report for 2014-15 in A4 size with bi-fold pages. The committee notes that this format does not comply with the Printing Standards for Documents Presented to Parliament.

2.11 In addition, the layout of the Australia Post Annual Report 2014-15 includes a number of photographs on each page, a wide margin at the top of the page and the use of a large font size for headings. While photographs can be a useful tool to aid in the presentation of significant information, entities must always be mindful that the aim of the annual report is to provide information on which the Parliament can analyse and judge performance. In this instance, the committee considers that the photographs and diagrams used by Australia Post has limited value of enhancing the performance information provided.

Performance reporting

2.12 Australia Post has previously included in its annual reports an overview of its highlights, challenges and outlook for each of its performance areas. However, the committee is disappointed to note that this has been omitted from Australia Post Annual Report 2014-15. The committee finds the performance summary to be a useful tool and encourages Australia Post to reconsider including it in future annual reports.

2.13 The committee also notes that there appears to be a reduction in the amount of performance information provided in the Australia Post Annual Report 2014-15. For example, in its Annual Report 2014-15, Australia Post reported the result of its Retail Customer Experience Program as follows:

Our Retail Customer Experience Program (Retail CX) provides valuable bi-monthly feedback that helps us continually improve the services we provide.

Run across 3,164 corporate and licensed post offices, Retail CX is a simple and effective way for customers to provide feedback on their in-store experience. This year, overall customer satisfaction was 9.28 out of 10 (up from 9.14 last year and 9.06 in 2013).5

2.14 However, in its Annual Report 2013-14 Australia Post provided a more extensive analysis of the Retail Customer Experience Program with information

5 Australia Post, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 28.

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provided across five performance measures and examples of improvements implemented as a result of customer feedback included.6

2.15 A further example is reporting on community service obligations (CSOs). CSOs are a significant aspect for Australia Post's business. While information on the CSOs is provided in the notes of Australia Post's financial statements, the 2014-15 Annual Report contains very little other discussion of the CSOs, even to the extent that the CSOs are not listed in the index.

2.16 The reporting on the Retail Customer Experience Program and the CSOs are only two of a range of matters where the level of reported information has changed between the 2013-14 Annual Report and the 2014-15 Annual Report. In addition, the

committee notes that the index to the report is less than comprehensive. The committee suggests that Australia Post provide a more comprehensive index to ensure that all relevant performance information is easily accessible.

Financial information

2.17 The annual report stated that Australia Post incurred a loss after tax of $221.7 million.7 The committee notes the effect of material items during the reporting period:

• letters restructuring costs of $200.1 million, which mainly comprises of

$190 million of voluntary redundancy costs associated with its Reform Program;

• asset write-offs and impairments of $214.1 million following a comprehensive review of the carrying value of assets of Australia Post; and

• the remeasurement of the defined benefit superannuation net asset of

$565.1 million following an independent actuarial reassessment at balance date.8

2.18 The Australia Post financial statements provide director and senior executive remuneration only to the extent required under AASB 124. That is, a total of $13.5 million was received directly or indirectly by nine senior executives and eight directors.9 The committee has already commented on the provision of information on director and senior executive remuneration in Chapter 1.

6 Australia Post, Annual Report 2013-14, p. 21.

7 Australia Post, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 14.

8 Australia Post, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 70.

9 Australia Post, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 86.

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National Portrait Gallery of Australia

2.19 The National Portrait Gallery of Australia (NPGA) Annual Report 2014-15 was received on 28 October 2015 and tabled in the Senate on 9 November 2015.

2.20 The committee notes that this is the first time it has had the opportunity to review the NPGA's annual report since the Administrative Arrangements Orders were amended on 21 September 2015. Previously, Arts agencies were a part of the Attorney-General's portfolio and its annual reports were reviewed by the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee.

2.21 The Director, Mr Angus Trumble, provided a comprehensive overview of the NPGA's activities. Of particular note were:

• the acquisitions for the Gallery's collection;

• the nine exhibitions displayed in addition to the NPGA's routine collection;

• the redesign of the NPGA's website; and

• the launch of the National Portrait Gallery Foundation. 10

Design and format

2.22 The layout and design of the NPGA Annual Report 2014-15 results in minimal information being provided per page. The layout features very wide top margins and on some pages only one column of text has been used, which leaves a considerable amount of blank space. Additionally, the NPGA 2014-15 Annual Report featured a number of photographs including its acquisitions, which added 117 pages to the report.

2.23 The committee notes that the issue of unnecessary material in annual reports was noted by the recent Independent Review of Whole-of-Government Internal Regulation conducted by Ms Barbara Belcher. For example, it recommended that 'Finance re-focus the annual report which is tabled in Parliament around the entity's performance in achieving its purposes, and remove unnecessary detail that obscures this primary purpose'.11 In addition, in 2013 the Senate Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee, in its examination of annual reports, noted that annual reports frequently included significant amounts of information, for example photographs and staff profiles, which was of only slight use to the Parliament or the public when assessing performance.12

10 National Portrait Gallery of Australia, Annual Report 2014-15, pp 6-13.

11 Belcher B, Independent Review of Whole-of-Government Internal Review, Report to the Secretaries Committee on Transformation, Volume 1 Recommendations, August 2015, p. 35.

12 Senate Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee, Annual Reports (No.1 of 2013), p. 9.

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2.24 Similarly, the committee considers that the inclusion of peripheral information such as photographs and case studies in annual reports should only be used to directly enhance performance reporting. The inclusion of an additional 117 pages of photographs of recent acquisitions in the NPGA Annual Report does not enhance performance reporting and the committee suggests that this should be avoided in future annual reports.

Performance reporting

2.25 The NPGA reported its performance against the strategic priorities and deliverables set out in its 2014-17 Corporate Plan and the Attorney-General's Portfolio Budget Statement for 2014-15. However, the committee is disappointed to note that the 2014-17 Corporate Plan is no longer available from the NPGA's website and has been replaced by the 2015-19 Corporate Plan.

2.26 There is comprehensive discussion of NPGA's achievements under each goal. However, no explanation has been provided for its performance against key performance indicators. Similarly, the table containing the NPGA's performance against its key performance indications appears to be incomplete. For example, the actual number of on-site visitors to the NPGA for 2014-15 was not provided despite the actual number of visitors being reported as 528 752 in an earlier chapter of the annual report.13

2.27 Moreover, the committee noted a number of inconsistencies in the key performance indicators table. A number of figures supplied as actual results in 2013-14 for expenditure on collection development; expenditure on other (i.e. non-collection development) labour costs; expenditure on other capital items; and other expenses do not match that reported in the Annual Report 2013-14.14 Similarly, the 2014-15 budget targets provided for these items of expenditure in the NPGA's Annual Report 2014-15 did not match the figures contained in the Attorney-General's 2014-15 Portfolio Budget Statement.15

2.28 The committee expresses its concern that without an explanation or notes to the key performance indictors table it is unable to accurately review the NPGA's performance or make comparisons with previous years. The committee recommends that the NPGA, for its future annual reports, present its performance information with supporting notes or discussion, particularly where information reported in one year has changed in the next.

13 National Portrait Gallery of Australia, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 31.

14 National Portrait Gallery of Australia, Annual Report 2013-14, p. 25.

15 National Portrait Gallery of Australia, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 61; and Attorney-General's Portfolio Budget Statement 2014-15, pp 461-462.

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Compliance index

2.29 A compliance index is a useful feature of reports and assists the committee considerably in its assessment of the reports. The committee notes that the NPGA has complied with the Commonwealth Authorities Annual Reporting Orders 2011 and selectively complied with the Requirements for Annual Reports. The NPGA, as a Commonwealth corporate entity, is not required to comply with the Requirements for Annual Reports. It would assist the committee if page numbers were also included for those requirements that the NPGA had decided to selectively report on.

Financial performance

2.30 The committee notes that the NPGA reported a surplus of $0.4 million excluding depreciation and amortisation expenses. The NPGA further stated:

After adjusting for the $2.2 million non-appropriated depreciation and amortisation expense, the Gallery achieved a surplus of $2.6 million. This $2.6 million surplus is attributable to generous cash and artwork donations of $1.6 million, $0.9 million received for the rectification of defects and a surplus from operations of $0.1 million.16

Environment portfolio

Department of the Environment

2.31 The Department of the Environment Annual Report 2014-15 was received on 30 October 2015 and tabled in the Senate on 9 November 2015.

2.32 The Secretary's Review commented on the department's achievements for the 2014-15 period, which included:

• the appointment of an Indigenous Development Coordinator to support the development and implementation of a new Indigenous Employment and Capability Strategy;

• supporting the Minster for the Environment to protect the Great Barrier Reef,

and maintain its health and resilience through a range of approaches;

• delivering three rounds of the Green Army Programme with 329 projects commenced or completed by 30 June 2015;

• responding to the World Heritage Committee requests for information on the Tasmanian Wilderness, Wet Tropics of Queensland, and the Greater Blue Mountains Area;

• establishing a national approach to recovering threatened species with the

appointment of a Threatened Species Commissioner; and

16 National Portrait Gallery of Australia, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 79.

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18

• developing a Threatened Species Strategy to protect and recover plants and

animals most at risk of extinction.17

Performance reporting

2.33 The performance reporting section is clearly presented and provides an informative assessment of how the department has progressed in meetings its key performance indicators, deliverables and objectives. The flow of information gives the reader a broad understanding of the work conducted in each program while still providing specific performance information.

2.34 For each program KPIs, deliverables and results are listed alongside the 2014-15 budget targets. Where the 2014-15 budget targets have not been met, an explanation of the reason has been provided. For example, the deliverable to review and revise the National Carbon Offset Standard by 30 June 2015, in Program 2.1: Reducing Australia's Greenhouse Gas Emissions, was 'largely achieved'. The annual report stated that the 'review outcomes will be considered in the second half of 2015'.18

2.35 The annual report also includes report on the following seven Acts:

• Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999;

• National Heritage Trust of Australia Act 1997;

• Product Stewardship Act 2011;

• Product Stewardship (Oil) Act 2000;

• Fuel Quality Standards Act 2000;

• Hazardous Waste (Regulation of Exports and Imports) Act 1989;

• Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989;

• Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards Act 2005; and

• Water Act 2007.

Financial performance

2.36 The annual report provides a comprehensive summary of departmental and administered finances. The committee notes that the department recorded an operating deficit of $79.46 million.19

17 Department of the Environment, Annual Report 2014-15, pp 2-6.

18 Department of the Environment, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 91.

19 Department of the Environment, Annual Report 2014-15, pp 8-9.

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Bureau of Meteorology

2.37 The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) Annual Report 2014-15 was presented to the President of the Senate on 30 October 2015 and tabled in the Senate on 9 November 2015.

2.38 The Director's review provides a comprehensive summary of the key achievements of the BOM for 2014-15. In particular, the Director, Dr Rob Vertessy, drew attention to 2014 being recognised as Australia's fourth warmest year and the world's warmest year since records began.20

2.39 Other achievements outlined in the Director's review included:

• completion of the final steps in the national delivery of the Next Generation Forecast and Warning System and MetEye services;

• agreement by the Council of Australian Governments' Law, Crime and Community Safety Council that BOM should adopt a consistent approach to the provision of hazard services to all states and territories;

• diversification of the BOM's revenue sources to grow externally-generated

revenue from $77 million in 2013-14 to over $78.1 million in 2014-15;

• introduction of a number of new products regarding water information; and

• the appointment of Dr Sue Barrell in November 2014 as Deputy Director,

Observations and Infrastructure.21

Performance reporting

2.40 The BOM has again provided a performance overview table which summarises deliverables, KPIs and results. The table is clear and easy to read and includes page references to assist the reader in accessing more detailed information. A discussion summarising the performance of each deliverable is also included. The committee notes that the BOM achieved all 14 of its deliverables in its outcome.

Financial performance

2.41 The committee notes that the BOM reported an operating deficit of $52.463 million for the financial year 2014-15, compared to an operating deficit in 2013-14 of $73.799 million.22

20 Bureau of Meteorology, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 2.

21 Bureau of Meteorology, Annual Report 2014-15, pp 2-3.

22 Bureau of Meteorology, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 4.

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Management and accountability

2.42 The committee notes that the BOM is participating in a pilot of sustainability reporting that uses the Global Reporting Initiative framework as a base for reporting.23

2.43 The committee also notes that the BOM has not included information regarding the number of ongoing or non-going employees who identify themselves as Indigenous. This is a mandatory requirement, which was added to the latest version of the Requirements for Annual Reports (see paragraph 1.9). The committee suggests that the BOM closely review the Requirements for Annual Reports to ensure it reports on all mandatory matters.

Director of National Parks

2.44 The Director of National Parks Annual Report 2014-15 was received on 30 October 2015 and tabled in the Senate on 9 November 2015.

2.45 The Director of National Parks is the statutory agency responsible for the Australian Government's terrestrial and marine protected area estates. The Director is assisted by Parks Australia, a division of the Department of the Environment, in managing terrestrial and marine reserves. The Department of the Environment's Australian Antarctic Division is responsible for the management of the Heard Island and McDonald Islands Marine Reserve.24

2.46 In the Director's review, Ms Sally Barnes, discussed the efforts of Parks Australia on its four overarching goals:

(i) resilient places and ecosystems;

(ii) multiple benefits for traditional owners;

(iii) amazing destinations; and

(iv) ecologically sustainable use.25

2.47 The Director's review notes a number of activities completed during 2014-15 including:

• extensive rat and cat controls on Norfolk Island, which has significantly

increased the breeding pairs of the threatened green parrot;

• finalising a plan to guide the management of tropical fire ants and their impact

on Ashmore Reef Commonwealth Marine Reserve;

• the opening of a new visitor discovery centre on Norfolk Island;

23 Bureau of Meteorology, Annual Report 2014-15, pp 231-233.

24 Director of National Parks, Annual Report 2014-15, p. ii.

25 Director of National Parks, Annual Report 2014-15, pp 2-8.

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• the release of the 25 year masterplan for the Australian National Botanic

Gardens; and

• co-hosting, in partnership with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and the NSW Government, the World Parks Congress in Sydney in November 2014.26

2.48 The report also foreshadowed the priorities of the Director of National Parks for 2015-16, which include:

• finalising an updated Kakadu Tourism Plan; and

• working with cruise, dive and fishing industries to encourage new tourism

experiences within Commonwealth Marine Reserves.27

Performance reporting

2.49 The performance information for 2014-15 is reported against the program objectives, KPIs and deliverables contained in the Environment Portfolio Budget Statements 2014-15. The discussion of the four program objectives is comprehensive and provides a useful overview of the 2014-15 results. The committee suggests that the Director of National Parks include a table at the beginning of its performance section, which summarises the performance of each deliverable and KPI.

Financial performance

2.50 The committee notes that the Director of National Parks recorded an operating deficit of $0.816 million for the financial year 2014-15.28

Senator Linda Reynolds CSC Chair

26 Director of National Parks, Annual Report 2014-15, pp 2-10.

27 Director of National Parks, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 7.

28 Director of National Parks, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 16.

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134

Appendix 1

Dates relating to the presentation of reports between

1 May to 31 October 2015 Reporting Body Submitted to Minister

Received by Minister

Tabled in the House of Representatives

Tabled in the Senate

COMMUNICATIONS AND THE ARTS PORTFOLIO

Department of Communications— Report for 2014-15

01/10/2015 02/10/2015 22/10/2015 09/11/2015

(received 22/10/2015*)

Australia Council for the Arts (Australia Council)—Report for 2014-15

13/10/2015 13/10/2015 09/11/2015 09/11/2015

(received 30/10/2015*)

Australian Broadcasting Corporation—Report for 2014-15

23/10/2015 23/10/2015 09/11/2015 09/11/2015

(received 30/10/2015*)

Australian Business Arts Foundation Ltd (Creative Partnerships Australia)— Report for 2014-15

13/10/2015 13/10/2015 09/11/2015 09/11/2015

(received 30/10/2015*)

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission—Telstra's structural separation undertaking—Report for 2013-14

26/02/2015 26/02/2015 12/05/2015 12/05/2015

Australian Communications and Media Authority— Report for 2014-15

01/10/2015 02/10/2015 09/11/2015 09/11/2015

(received 28/10/2015*)

Australian Film, Television and Radio School—Report for 2014-15

13/10/2015 13/10/2015 09/11/2015 09/11/2015

(received 29/10/2015*)

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Reporting Body Submitted to Minister Received by

Minister

Tabled in the House of Representatives

Tabled in the Senate

Australian National Maritime Museum— Report for 2014-15

14/10/2015 14/10/2015 22/10/2015 09/11/2015

(received 22/10/2015*)

Australian Postal Corporation (Australia Post)—Report for 2014- 15

07/10/2015 12/10/2015 15/10/2015 09/11/2015

(received 15/10/2015*)

Australian Postal Corporation (Australia Post)—Diversity and Inclusion Report for 2014-15

07/10/2015 12/10/2015 15/10/2015 09/11/2015

(received 15/10/2015*)

Bundanon Trust Limited—Report for 2014-15

15/10/2015 15/10/2015 09/11/2015 09/11/2015

(received 30/10/2015*)

Classification Board and Classification Review Board—Report for 2014- 15

21/10/2015 21/10/2015 09/10/2015 09/11/2015

(received 30/10/2015*)

National Film and Sound Archive of Australia— Report for 2014-15

14/10/2015 14/10/2015 22/10/2015 09/11/2015

(received 22/10/2015*)

National Gallery of Australia—Report for 2014-15

13/10/2015 13/10/2015 09/11/2015 09/11/2015

(received 23/10/2015*)

National Library of Australia—Report for 2014-15

13/10/2015 13/10/2015 09/11/2015 09/11/2015

(received 28/10/2015*)

National Museum of Australia—Report for 2014-15

13/10/2015 13/10/2015 09/11/2015 09/11/2015

(received 30/10/2015*)

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25

Reporting Body Submitted to Minister

Received by Minister

Tabled in the House of Representatives

Tabled in the Senate

National Portrait Gallery of Australia—Report for 2014-15

15/10/2015 15/10/2015 09/11/2015 09/11/2015

(received 28/10/2015*)

NBN Co Limited— Report for 2014-15 14/08/2015 18/08/2015 07/09/2015 07/09/2015 (received

24/08/2015*)

Old Parliament House (Museum of Australian Democracy)—Report for 2014-15

14/10/2015 14/10/2015 22/10/2015 09/11/2015

(received 22/10/2015*)

Public Lending Right Committee—Report for 2014-15

19/10/2015 20/10/2015 09/11/2015 09/11/2015

(received 30/10/2015*)

Regional Telecommunications Independent Review Committee—Regional telecommunications review 2015—Unlocking the potential in regional Australia

29/09/2015 29/09/2015 22/10/2015 09/11/2015

(received 22/10/2015*)

Screen Australia— Report for 2014-15 13/10/2015 13/10/2015 09/11/2015 09/11/2015 (received

29/10/2015*)

Special Broadcasting Service—Report for 2014-15

13/10/2015 13/10/2015 09/11/2015 09/11/2015

(received 23/10/2015*)

Telecommunications Universal Service Management Agency— Report for 2014-15

01/10/2015 02/10/2015 09/11/2015 09/11/2015

(received 28/10/2015*)

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26

Reporting Body Submitted to Minister

Received by Minister

Tabled in the House of Representatives

Tabled in the Senate

Broadcasting Services Act 1992—Review of local content and local presence requirements on regional commercial radio broadcasters

18/03/2015 18/03/2015 12/05/2015 12/05/2015

Interactive Gambling Act 2001—Report for 2014 on the operation of the prohibition of interactive gambling services advertisements

11/08/2015 18/08/2015 14/09/2015 14/09/2015

*An asterisk denotes a report presented to the President out of session.

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27

Reporting Body Submitted to Minister

Received by Minister

Tabled in the House of Representatives

Tabled in the Senate

ENVIRONMENT PORTFOLIO

Department of the Environment—Report for 2014-15

02/10/2015 02/10/2015 09/11/2015 09/11/2015

(received 30/10/2015*)

Australian Renewable Energy Agency—Report for 2014-15

01/10/2015 01/10/2015 09/11/2015 09/11/2015

(received *02/11/2015)

Bureau of Meteorology—Report for 2014-15

15/10/2015 15/10/2015 09/11/2015 09/11/2015

(received 30/10/2015*)

Clean Energy Finance Corporation—Report for 2014-15

15/10/2015 15/10/2015 09/11/2015 09/11/2015

(received 30/10/2015*)

Clean Energy Regulator—Report for 2014-15

14/10/2015 14/10/2015 09/11/2015 09/11/2015

(received 30/10/2015*)

Climate Change Authority—Report for 2014-15

15/10/2015 15/10/2015 22/10/2015 09/11/2015

(received 22/10/2015*)

Director of National Parks—Report for 2014-15

15/10/2015 15/10/2015 09/11/2015 09/11/2015

(received 30/10/2015*)

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority— Report for 2014-15

30/09/2015 01/10/2015 09/11/2015 09/11/2015

(received 30/10/2015*)

Land Sector Carbon and Biodiversity Board— Explanatory statement, in place of an annual report for 2013-14 and all subsequent years

29/06/2015 29/05/2015 19/08/2015 19/08/2015

139

28

Reporting Body Submitted to Minister

Received by Minister

Tabled in the House of Representatives

Tabled in the Senate

National Environment Protection Council— Report for 2013-14

14/08/2015 14/08/2015 07/09/2015 07/09/2015

(received 01/09/2015*)

National Water Commission—Report for 2014-15

09/09/2015 09/09/2015 12/10/2015 12/10/2015

(received 18/09/2015*)

Port of Gladstone Independent Review— Bund Wall at the Port of Gladstone—Report on findings, dated April 2014

08/05/2014 08/05/2014 19/08/2015 19/08/2015

Port of Gladstone Independent Review— Government response to the Port of Gladstone and the Bund Wall at the Port of Gladstone reports on findings

13/08/2014 13/08/2014 19/08/2015 19/08/2015

Port of Gladstone Independent Review— Report on findings, dated July 2013

05/11/2013 05/11/2013 19/08/2015 19/08/2015

Port of Gladstone Independent Review— Supplementary report, dated October 2013

05/11/2013 05/11/2013 19/08/2015 19/08/2015

Supervising Scientist— Report for 2014-15 16/10/2015 16/10/2015 09/11/2015 09/11/2015 (received

02/11/2015*)

Sydney Harbour Federation Trust— Report for 2014-15

06/10/2015 06/10/2015 09/11/2015 09/11/2015

(received 02/11/2015*)

140

29

Reporting Body Submitted to Minister

Received by Minister

Tabled in the House of Representatives

Tabled in the Senate

Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000— Report for 2014 on the operation of the Act

22/04/2015 22/04/2015 12/05/2015 11/05/2015

Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards Act 2005—Independent review of the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards Scheme— Second and final report

24/06/2015 24/06/2015 19/08/2015 19/08/2015

*An asterisk denotes a report presented to the President out of session.

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The Senate

Finance and Public Administration

Legislation Committee

Annual reports (No. 1 of 2016)

March 2016

143

ii

© Commonwealth of Australia 2016

ISBN 978-1-76010-352-1

Senate Finance and Public Administration Committee Secretariat:

Ms Lyn Beverley (Secretary)

Ms Margaret Cahill (Research Officer)

Ms Sarah Brasser (Administrative Officer)

The Senate PO Box 6100 Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600 Ph: 02 6277 3530 Fax: 02 6277 5809 E-mail: fpa.sen@aph.gov.au Internet: www.aph.gov.au/senate_fpa

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License.

The details of this licence are available on the Creative Commons website:

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/au/.

Printed by the Senate Printing Unit, Parliament House, Canberra.

144

iii

Membership of the Committee

Members

Senator Cory Bernardi (Chair) LP, SA

Senator Jenny McAllister (Deputy Chair) ALP, NSW Senator Joanna Lindgren (from 23 February 2016) LP, QLD Senator Bridget McKenzie NAT, VIC

Senator Nova Peris ALP, NT

Senator Janet Rice AG, VIC

Senator Dean Smith (until 23 February 2016) LP, WA

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Table of Contents

Membership of the Committee ........................................................................ iii

Chapter 1.............................................................................................................. 1

Introduction ............................................................................................................ 1

Terms of reference .................................................................................................. 1

Allocated portfolios ................................................................................................ 2

Role of annual reports ............................................................................................ 2

Reports examined ................................................................................................... 2

Reports not examined ............................................................................................. 3

Method of assessment and current annual reporting requirements ........................ 4

Timeliness ............................................................................................................... 7

Senate debate .......................................................................................................... 9

Non-reporting bodies ........................................................................................... 10

Assessment of reports ........................................................................................... 10

Chapter 2............................................................................................................ 11

Review of selected reports ...................................................................................... 11

Department of Parliamentary Services ................................................................. 11

Department of Finance ......................................................................................... 17

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet .................................................... 19

Australian National Audit Office ......................................................................... 23

Australian Public Service Commissioner ............................................................. 25

Office of the Official Secretary to the Governor-General .................................... 27

Appendix 1 ......................................................................................................... 31

Dates relating to the presentation of reports between

1 May to 31 October 2015 ...................................................................................... 31

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Chapter 1

Introduction 1.1 The Senate Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee (the committee) is responsible for examining the annual reports of the parliamentary departments,1 and the departments and agencies of the Prime Minister and Cabinet Portfolio and the Finance Portfolio.

1.2 This is the first report on annual reports for 2016 and provides an overview of selected annual reports presented to the Parliament between 1 May and 31 October 2015. Copies of this and other committee reports can be obtained from the Senate Table Office, the committee secretariat or online at the committee's web page.

Terms of reference 1.3 Under Senate Standing Order 25(20) the annual reports of certain departments and agencies stand referred to committees for examination and assessment. Each committee is required to:

(a) examine each annual report referred to it and report to the Senate whether the report is apparently satisfactory;

(b) consider in more detail, and report to the Senate on each annual report which is not apparently satisfactory, and on the other annual reports which it selects for more detailed consideration;

(c) investigate and report to the Senate on any lateness in the presentation of annual reports;

(d) in considering an annual report take into account any relevant remarks about the report made in debate in the Senate;

(e) if the committee so determines, consider annual reports of departments and budget-related agencies in conjunction with examination of estimates;

(f) report on annual reports tabled by 31 October each year by the tenth sitting day of the following year, and on annual reports tabled by 30 April each year by the tenth sitting day after 30 June of that year;

(g) draw to the attention of the Senate any significant matters relating to the operations and performance of the bodies furnishing the annual reports; and

(h) report to the Senate each year whether there are any bodies which do not present annual reports to the Senate and which should present such reports.

1 As a matter of comity between the Houses of Parliament, neither House inquires into the operations of the other House. For this reason, neither the annual report of, nor the proposed expenditure for, the Department of the House of Representatives is referred to a Senate committee for review.

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2

Allocated portfolios 1.4 The Senate allocated departments and agencies to committees on 13 November 2013.2 In accordance with that resolution, the committee has responsibility for the oversight of the following:

 Parliament;

 Prime Minister and Cabinet Portfolio (PM&C Portfolio); and

 Finance Portfolio.

Role of annual reports 1.5 Annual reports place a great deal of information about government departments and agencies on the public record in relation to the performance, activities, management and financial position of the reporting body. The Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies and Other Non-corporate Commonwealth Entities (Requirements for Annual Reports), prepared by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C), note that '[t]he primary purpose of annual reports of departments is accountability, particularly to the Parliament.'3 Annual reports assist the Parliament in the examination of the performance of departments and agencies, and the administration of government programs.

Reports examined 1.6 During the period of 1 May to 3l October 2015, 17 annual reports of bodies or statutory office holders were presented to the Parliament and referred to the committee. The reports examined are categorised as follows:

Non-corporate Commonwealth entities

Parliamentary departments

 Department of the Senate - Report for 2014-15

 Parliamentary Budget Office - Report for 2014-15

 Department of Parliamentary Services - Report for 2014-15

Departments of State

 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet - Report for 2014-15

 Department of Finance - Report for 2014-15

Agencies

 Australian National Audit Office - Report for 2014-15

2 Journals of the Senate, No. 1, 13 November 2013, pp 88-89.

3 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies and Other Non-Corporate Commonwealth Entities, 25 June 2015, p. 3.

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3

 Office of the Official Secretary to the Governor-General - Report for 2014-15

 Australian Public Service Commission - Report for 2014-15, including report

of the Merit Protection Commissioner

 Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security - Report for 2014-15

 Commonwealth Ombudsman - Report for 2014-15

 Private Health Insurance Ombudsman - Report for 2014-15

 Future Fund Management Agency- Report for 2014-15 4

Corporate Commonwealth entities

 Albury-Wodonga Development Corporation - Report for the period 1 July to

31 December 2014 [Final report]

Commonwealth companies

 National Australia Day Council Limited - Report for 2014-15

 Australian River Co. Limited - Report for the period 1 December 2013 to

30 November 2014

Statutory office holders

 Parliamentary Service Commissioner - Report for 2014-15, including report

of the Parliamentary Service Merit Commissioner

 Remuneration Tribunal - Report for 2014-15

Reports not examined 1.7 The committee is not obliged to examine reports on the operation of Acts, reports of Royal Commissions, statements of corporate intent, surveys, policy papers, budget documents, corporate plans or errata. Where a report is referred to two standing committees, the committee has deferred examination of those reports to the committee which has primary oversight of the portfolio where that agency sits. Accordingly, the following documents were also referred to the committee but not examined in this report:

 Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse - Royal Commission - Report of case study no. 17 - The response of the Australian Indigenous Ministries, the Australian and Northern Territory governments and the Northern Territory police force and prosecuting authorities to allegations of child sexual abuse which occurred at the Retta Dixon Home, dated July 2015

 Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995 - Independent review of Part 10 (Material prohibited in certain areas in the Northern Territory) by MinterEllison, dated 6 August 2015

4 It is noted that section 10(2) of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013, states that the High Court and the Future Fund Board of Guardians are not Commonwealth entities.

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4

 Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory Act 2012 - Independent review of

the effectiveness of Northern Territory and Commonwealth laws in reducing alcohol-related harm by MinterEllison, dated 6 August 2015

 Australian Electoral Commission - Western Australian Senate Election 2014

- Funding and disclosure report, dated January 2015

 Final Budget Outcome 2014-15

 Clean Energy Finance Corporation - Report for 2014-15

Method of assessment and current annual reporting requirements 1.8 Senate Standing Order 25(20) requires that the committee examine reports referred to it to determine whether they are timely and 'apparently satisfactory'. The committee must consider whether the reports comply with the relevant legislation and guidelines for the preparation of annual reports in forming its assessment.

Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013

1.9 The Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act) came into effect on 1 July 2014, replacing the repealed Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (FMA Act) and the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 (CAC Act). As set out in previous reports of the committee, different reporting requirements had applied to the former FMA Act bodies and CAC Act bodies.

1.10 Major changes to the Requirements for Annual Reports, which apply to non-corporate Commonwealth entities, were anticipated for the 2014-15 annual reports following the commencement of the PGPA Act. However, these revisions are now anticipated to come into effect in 2015-16.5 Notwithstanding this delay, changes were made to the updated Requirements for Annual Reports in the interim to reflect the passage of the PGPA Act, including the amendment of references to the CAC Act and FMA Act.

1.11 The Requirements for Annual Reports do not apply to corporate Commonwealth entities and Commonwealth companies (formerly CAC Act authorities and companies). The current Requirements for Annual Reports note that sections 7AB and 7AC of the Public Governance Performance and Accountability (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Rule 2015 continue the application of the Commonwealth Authorities (Annual Reporting) Orders 2011 and the Commonwealth Companies (Annual Reporting) Orders 2011 to annual reports for those entities and therefore will apply for the 2014-15 reporting period.6

5 See Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies and FMA Act Bodies, 29 May 2014, p. i; and Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive

Agencies and Other Non-Corporate Commonwealth Entities, 25 June 2015, p. i. 6 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies and Other Non-Corporate Commonwealth Entities,

25 June 2015, p. 1.

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1.12 Therefore, noting the above changes and transitional arrangements, below is a summary of the instruments under which the 2014-15 annual reports were prepared:

 for non-corporate Commonwealth entities: the PGPA Act, section 46; for portfolio departments and executive agencies, the Public Service Act 1999, sections 63(2) and 70(2); for parliamentary departments, the Parliamentary Service Act 1999, section 65; for statutory bodies, relevant enabling legislation; and the Requirements for Annual Reports;

 for corporate Commonwealth entities: the PGPA Act, section 46; for statutory

bodies, relevant enabling legislation; the Commonwealth Authorities (Annual Reporting) Orders 2011;

 for Commonwealth companies: the PGPA Act, section 97, which also refers

to requirements under the Corporations Act 2001; Commonwealth Companies (Annual Reporting) Orders 2011; and

 for non-statutory bodies: the guidelines are contained in the government response to the Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Public Administration Report on Non-Statutory bodies, Senate Hansard, 8 December 1987, pp 2632-45.

Development of new reporting rules under the PGPA Act

1.13 The committee notes that the responsibility for issuing the Requirements for Annual Reports transferred from the Department of PM&C to the Department of Finance on 1 July 2015.7 Under the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit's (JCPAA) inquiry into the Department of Finance's development of the Commonwealth Performance Framework, Finance advised that 'these requirements will be replaced through the consolidation of all mandatory requirements into a rule made for the purposes of section 46 of the PGPA Act.'8 Section 46(4) of the PGPA Act states that before rules are made they must be approved on behalf of the Parliament by the JCPAA.

1.14 The Department of Finance will undertake a consultation process in the development of the guidelines which will include input from the JCPAA.9 The committee understands that the JCPAA will seek feedback from Senate Standing Committees on the development of the new guidelines and looks forward to the opportunity of participating in this process.

7 See footnote 28, Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit, Report 453 Development of the Commonwealth Performance Framework, December 2015, p. 12.

8 Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit, Report 453 Development of the Commonwealth Performance Framework, December 2015, p. 12.

9 Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit, Report 453 Development of the Commonwealth Performance Framework, December 2015, Submission 17 - Supplementary Submission, pp 2-3.

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PM&C Requirements for Annual Reports for 2014-15 reports

1.15 The Requirements for Annual Reports are reviewed annually and, if required, are updated to take into account any changes to reporting requirements in legislation, arising from new policy, or recommendations in parliamentary, Australian National Audit Office (ANAO), or other reports. The Requirements for Annual Reports published on 25 June 2015, noted that the significant amendments, apart from those noted above concerning enactment of the PGPA Act, to the current version relate to small business procurement and Indigenous employment. 10

Small Business Procurement

1.16 This new mandatory reporting obligation is comprised of three elements which have been added to reflect the Government’s commitment to improve small business access to Commonwealth contracts and requires:

 the inclusion of a statement that refers readers to the statistics on Small and

Medium Enterprises (SMEs) participation on the Department of Finance's website;

 for bodies that are 'material' in nature, the inclusion of a statement which

refers readers to the on-time payments performance results on Treasury's website; and

 the inclusion of a brief statement on the ways in which the agency's

procurement practices support SMEs which is consistent with paragraph 5.4 of the Commonwealth Procurement Rules.11

Indigenous employment

1.17 This new mandatory reporting requirement specifies that the annual report must include information on the number of ongoing and non-ongoing employees as at 30 June, for the current and preceding year who identify as Indigenous. The Requirements for Annual Reports note that this requirement follows the Australian Government's announcement of a new Indigenous employment target across the Commonwealth public sector as part of its response to the Forrest Review, Creating Parity.12

10 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies and Other Non-Corporate Commonwealth Entities, 25 June 2015, p. i.

11 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies and Other Non-Corporate Commonwealth Entities, 25 June 2015, pp 14-15.

12 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies and Other Non-Corporate Commonwealth Entities, 25 June 2015, p. 10.

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Timeliness

Commonwealth entities

1.18 Section 46 of the PGPA Act requires Commonwealth entities to prepare an annual report and provide it to the responsible Minister by the 15th day of the fourth month after the end of the reporting period for the entity.13 This section of the Act does not, however, provide for a timeframe for the Minister to present the report to the Parliament. For non-corporate Commonwealth entities, the Requirements for Annual Reports state that:

The responsible Minister must, in turn, present the report to each House of the Parliament on or before 31 October in the year in which the report is given. If the Senate Supplementary Budget Estimates hearings are scheduled to occur prior to 31 October, it is best practice for annual reports to be tabled prior to those hearings.14

1.19 As the Requirements for Annual Reports only apply to non-corporate Commonwealth entities, there is a lack of clarity regarding the timeframe for the presentation to the Parliament of annual report of corporate Commonwealth entities. It would appear that Section 34C of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 regarding periodic reports would apply to corporate Commonwealth entities, as it did for Commonwealth authorities under the former CAC Act. Section 34C(3) of the Acts Interpretation Act states that:

(3) Where an Act requires a person to furnish a periodic report to a Minister for presentation to the Parliament but does not specify a period within which the report is to be so presented, that Minister shall cause a copy of the periodic report to be laid before each House of the Parliament within 15 sitting days of that House after the day on which he or she receives the report.

1.20 The committee hopes that the development of the new reporting requirements, as noted earlier, will provide clarity on this issue.

Commonwealth companies

1.21 Under section 97 of the PGPA Act, Commonwealth companies are required to prepare an annual report and provide it to the responsible Minister:

(a) if the company is required by the Corporations Act 2001 to hold an annual general meeting—the earlier of the following:

(i) 21 days before the next annual general meeting after the end of the reporting period for the company;

13 Following concerns raised by the committee on the operation of Section 46 of the PGPA Act, this section was amended to provide for the provision of the annual report to the Minister by 15 October rather than by 31 October, as originally drafted.

14 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies and Other Non-Corporate Commonwealth Entities, 25 June 2015, p. 3.

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(ii) 4 months after the end of the reporting period for the company; and

(b) in any other case—4 months after the end of the reporting period for the company; or the end of such further period granted under subsection 34C(5) of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901.

1.22 Section 97(5) of the PGPA Act states that:

(5) If the Commonwealth company is a wholly-owned Commonwealth company, or is not required to hold an annual general meeting, the responsible Minister must table the documents in each House of the Parliament as soon as practicable after receiving them. In all other cases, the responsible Minister must table the documents in each House of the Parliament as soon as practicable after the annual general meeting of the company.

Timeliness of the 2014-15 reports examined

1.23 The committee considers the timely presentation of annual reports to be an important element in accountability to the Parliament and continues to encourage bodies and statutory officers to endeavour to meet relevant timeframes.

1.24 Appendix 1 lists the annual reports tabled (or presented) in Parliament between 1 May and 31 October 2015, and referred to the committee, with relevant tabling dates.

1.25 As noted above, the presentation of annual reports to the Parliament has two elements with regard to timeliness: the furnishing of the report to the Minister and the presentation of the report to the Parliament.

1.26 In regard to the first element, the committee notes that for relevant reports, most were provided to the Minister within the required timeframes as set out above. Two non-corporate Commonwealth entities failed to provide their reports to the Minister by 15 October: the Australian Public Service Commissioner and the Future Fund Management Agency both submitted their annual reports on 23 October.

1.27 Reports covering the 2014-15 financial year examined in this report were presented in the Parliament in a timely manner, that is, by 31 October 2015.

1.28 The committee commends those agencies whose annual reports were presented in the Parliament before the Supplementary Budget Estimates hearings which commenced in the week beginning 19 October 2015, making them available for examination at this time.

Reports covering other timeframes

1.29 The final report of the Albury-Wodonga Development Corporation covered the period 1 July to 31 December 2014 and the final report of the Australian River Co. Limited covered the period 1 December 2013 to 30 November 2014. Both reports appear to have met the relevant tabling requirements.

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Minister's response to recommendation from Report 1 of 2015

1.30 On 23 June 2015 the committee received advice from the Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Senator the Hon Nigel Scullion, in response to its recommendation from its report Annual reports (No. 1 of 2015) concerning the absence of annual performance information for the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations (ORIC) being tabled in the Parliament. The committee recommended:

…that the Minister for Indigenous Affairs and the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations review the previous process of incorporating information about the Registrar in the annual report of the portfolio department which supported accountability to the Parliament, and advise the committee on future arrangements.15

1.31 The Minister advised the committee that he and the Registrar reviewed the previous practice of incorporating ORIC's performance information in the portfolio department's annual report (then the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs). He informed the committee that the Registrar had advised of his support for the resumption of the previous practice of incorporating performance information in the portfolio department's report and that the Department of the PM&C, as the new portfolio department, had advised of no impediments to this practice. The Minister further noted that arrangements had been made to include performance information from ORIC in the 2014-15 annual report of the Department of the PM&C. Further comment on the Department of the PM&C's report appears in Chapter 2 of this report.

1.32 The formal Government response to the recommendation was tabled in the Senate on 4 February 2016 and confirmed that information on ORIC had been included in the annual report of the Department of the PM&C.

Senate debate 1.33 In accordance with Standing Order 25(20)(d) the committee is required to take into account any relevant remarks about the reports made in debate in the Senate. The committee notes that none of the annual reports examined in this report have been the subject of comments or debate in the Senate.

1.34 However, it is noted that the 2014-15 annual reports were the subject of questioning by senators during the Supplementary Budget Estimates 2015-16 hearings on 19 and 20 October 2015. Senators referred to the annual reports on several occasions and one theme of questioning concerned the timeliness of tabling of the reports. In particular, explanations were sought from some bodies that failed to meet best practice by not having the annual report available to the committee in time for the estimates hearings.16

15 Senate Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee, Annual reports (No. 1 of 2015), March 2015, p. 11.

16 See for example, Official Committee Hansard, 19 October 2015, pp 77-78; Official Committee Hansard, 20 October 2015, pp 67-68.

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Non-reporting bodies 1.35 Standing Order 25(20)(h) requires that the committee inquire into, and report on, any bodies which do not present annual reports to the Senate but should present such reports.

1.36 The committee makes no recommendation for any bodies not presenting an annual report to do so.

Assessment of reports 1.37 Under Standing Order 25(20)(a), the committee is required to examine the annual reports of departments and agencies and report to the Senate on whether they are 'apparently satisfactory'. In its examination of the annual reports referred, the committee found them to be of a satisfactory standard and largely adhere to relevant requirements. The committee considers the reports examined to be 'apparently satisfactory'.

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Chapter 2

Review of selected reports

2.1 The committee has selected the annual reports of the following bodies for closer examination:

 Department of Parliamentary Services

 Department of Finance

 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

 Australian National Audit Office

 Australian Public Service Commission

 Office of the Official Secretary to the Governor-General

Department of Parliamentary Services Secretary's review

2.2 This year's annual report of the Department of Parliamentary Services (DPS) was prepared under the leadership of the Acting Secretary, Dr Dianne Heriot. The report generally adheres to the Requirements for Annual Reports and includes suggested as well as mandatory items. The committee appreciated Dr Heriot's forthright and open account of the year in review which highlighted not only the achievements of the department, but also the challenges, including the scrutiny of departmental processes and systems through reviews and audits by parliamentary committees and the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO).

2.3 Dr Heriot did not gloss over the findings of these processes and was frank in her description:

There were highly critical findings by the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO), further review of the performance of the department by the Senate Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee, and an inquiry by the Senate Standing Committee of Privileges into the use of CCTV material in Parliament House.

Many aspects of our work were scrutinised, including record-keeping, asset management, procurement, contract management, leadership and the use of CCTV footage in an internal disciplinary matter. One outcome of the Privileges Committee inquiry into CCTV use was the development by the Presiding Officers of a new code of practice for CCTV. In accordance with the Committee’s recommendations, privileges training for DPS staff has been strengthened.

The wide ranging inquiry by the Senate Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee had not yielded a final report by the end of the financial year, but the two interim reports the committee issued in April and June 2015 signalled serious concerns with key aspects of DPS’

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performance. The report on DPS’ performance by the ANAO, Performance Audit 2014-15 #24 Managing Assets and Contracts at Parliament House, which was released in February 2015, similarly pointed to significant

shortcomings.1

2.4 Dr Heriot also helpfully outlined how the department was responding to the findings of these reviews:

The department worked hard to respond to the findings of each of the reviews and inquiries. More robust systems were put in place, to improve accountability and transparency, and to ensure that DPS employees better understand their obligations. While there is still some way to go, considerable progress has been made.

In particular, our 2014-15 work involved systematically and progressively responding to the recommendations of the ANAO report.

New procurement and contract management policies, and training modules for staff involved in procurement and contract management, have been developed and introduced. The suite of training now ranges from foundation training to quarterly procurement practitioners’ forums which share learnings and reinforce best practice. Further advanced training will be introduced in 2015-16. By early 2015-16 a new Procure to Pay (P2P) system will complete the comprehensive reforms of DPS’ procurement processes.

The majority of the ANAO’s recommended reforms will have been implemented by December 2015.

A new DPS Risk Management Policy and Framework was also implemented in 2014-15, and work on a new fraud control plan was well advanced by the end of the financial year.

While there have been some sound achievements, there remains a significant program of work ahead to address findings in relation to records and asset management and to build on improvements in procurement and contract management.2

2.5 Notwithstanding the issues noted above, Dr Heriot also outlined the broad range of work carried out by the department in support of the functions of the Parliament and the needs of parliamentarians and their offices throughout 2014-15. Some highlights included:

 support for the 12 new senators who took their seats in July 2014, in addition to four senators who filled casual vacancies;

 installation of assisted listening devices in all but one of the committee rooms making the Parliament more accessible to occupants with a hearing impairment;

1 Department of Parliamentary Services Annual Report 2014-15, pp 2 and 4.

2 Department of Parliamentary Services Annual Report 2014-15, p. 4.

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 availability of on-demand streaming of parliamentary proceedings and

historical footage via smartphone, tablet or computer;

 new behind-the-scenes tours and special events to coincide with major local events;

 completion of a Building Condition Assessment Report and a Strategic Asset Management Plan; and

 commencement of a major program of work to improve physical security at Parliament House.3

2.6 The Secretary's review also remarked that the Senior Executive Service turnover rate within the department continued to be high, noting that four senior staff departed during the year and that the former Secretary, Ms Carol Mills, ceased in that role in April 2015. Dr Heriot further noted that '[s]tability of the leadership team remains a challenge…'.4

2.7 The committee notes that the report does not specifically note that Ms Mills' term as Secretary of DPS was terminated. The report's discussion of SES employment only notes the recruitment and departures, including transfers and a resignation.5 The committee acknowledges the sensitivities around this action; however, as annual reports are the key reference document relating to the operations and performance of departments each year and also form part of the historical record, it would be expected that it include this detail. The termination of a departmental secretary due to the loss of confidence of a Minister, or in this case, the Presiding Officers, is a relatively rare and significant event, and it would be expected to be recorded in the annual report for that year.

Parliamentary Librarian's review

2.8 The Parliamentary Librarian, Dr Dianne Heriot, highlighted the client evaluation survey of library services for the 44th Parliament, noting a high overall satisfaction rate of 93% among Senators, Members and their staff. Dr Heriot advised that this was a pleasing result in light of the previously reported budgetary constraints under which the Library has been operating. However, it was further noted that the evaluation found:

…that behind positive satisfaction ratings there were indications that the impacts of past budget cuts have been felt by all client groups. Ratings for proactivity, for quality and consistency of services had declined since the last evaluation (in 2012); and satisfaction rates among parliamentary staff were less positive than those of senators and members (78 per cent for committee staff and 86 per cent for other parliamentary staff). While the very welcome additional funding provided in the 2014-15 Resource Agreement has enabled the Library to begin to address capacity gaps, this

3 Department of Parliamentary Services Annual Report 2014-15, pp 2-6.

4 Department of Parliamentary Services Annual Report 2014-15, p. 6.

5 Department of Parliamentary Services Annual Report 2014-15, p. 157.

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remained a work in progress throughout the reporting period. The benefits of this investment will be realised in 2015-16 and beyond.6

2.9 Other areas which were a focus for the Library during 2014-15 were the development of the new strategic plan; progress in digitisation of two million pages of archived information and 1200 hours of electronic media archives; improvements to the delivery of news and media monitoring services by providing access to a much wider range of regional press, online news and regional radio; and assistance to new Senators who commenced in 2014.7

Performance information

2.10 The report on performance is arranged by departmental divisions and includes divisional highlights and discussion on activities. At the end of these sections a table of results against key performance indicators (KPIs) is included. The KPIs are similar to the previous year with some minor amendments. They generally reflect the KPIs presented in the Portfolio Budget Statements (PBS) for 2014-15 but have been allocated numbering and had some additional areas included for the building occupant satisfaction measure, including new measures for cleaning, gardens and landscaping, art services and heritage management. Like the 2013-14 PBS, the 2014-15 PBS does not include deliverables8 for the department.

2.11 The committee commented in some detail on the department's performance measures in its report Annual Reports (Report 1 of 2015). As the department's performance information is essentially the same as the previous year, the committee reiterates its earlier comments, particularly in relation to the absence of program deliverables and the limitations of relying on the building occupant satisfaction survey as the measure for performance for core services delivered by DPS.9

2.12 The report advised that the building occupant/client satisfaction survey was conducted jointly with the ANAO in September 2014.10 It was noted that this survey invited the 226 parliamentarians, with 33 responding, and did not involve other building occupants. Noting the above comments on the disadvantages of relying of client surveys to measure performance for core services, it was nevertheless pleasing to note that new feedback mechanisms may be incorporated into the performance information in 2015-16; where, in addition to parliamentarians, the survey would include their staff and other building occupants:

6 Department of Parliamentary Services Annual Report 2014-15, pp 81-82.

7 Department of Parliamentary Services Annual Report 2014-15, pp 82-84.

8 'Deliverables' are produced by the programme in meeting its objective; and tangible, quantifiable products of a programme, see Department of Finance, Guide to preparing the 2014-15 Portfolio Budget Statements, p. 24.

9 Senate Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee, Annual Reports (No. 1 of 2015), pp 16-21.

10 The ANAO was part of the survey to enable it to inform its performance audit. See Department of Parliamentary Services Annual Report 2014-15, p. 74.

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…in 2015-16 the department will develop a Client Feedback Policy and Service Charter that outlines what our clients, stakeholders and customers can expect from our service delivery and it will also outline how they interact with the department. In addition, the department is considering a new quarterly survey aimed at obtaining regular feedback from building occupants. The surveys could seek feedback about a number of services or activities including:

 cleaning

 building maintenance

 parliamentary broadcasting and recording

 management of the Parliament House Art Collection

 garden and landscaping

 parking

 heritage

 gym and sporting fields

 security 11

2.13 Following the committee's recent inquiries into the performance of DPS, the committee continues to take an active interest in a number of areas and projects within the department. One area of particular interest is heritage management and the development of the department's new heritage framework comprising a conservation management plan and design principles document. The performance report on heritage and design integrity provided background on the development of these documents but does not indicate when they will be completed.12 Last year's annual report noted that both documents were expected to be completed in 2014-15.13 The Secretary's review in this year's report notes that '[b]oth documents are expected to be competed in 2015-16' but does not offer an explanation as to why they were not delivered in 2014-15 as anticipated.14

2.14 It is noted that the Parliamentary Library continues to report against its KPIs and deliverables relating to research services and information access services over a three year period even though these are not included in the PBS. It is commended for maintaining this performance information and making it available in the department's annual report.15

11 Department of Parliamentary Services Annual Report 2014-15, p. 75

12 Department of Parliamentary Services Annual Report 2014-15, p. 45.

13 Department of Parliamentary Services Annual Report 2013-14, p. 47.

14 Department of Parliamentary Services Annual Report 2014-15, pp 7-8.

15 Department of Parliamentary Services Annual Report 2014-15, pp 127-136.

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Financial Performance

2.15 The report included a good summary of the department's financial performance which satisfactorily met the requirements under the Requirements for Annual Reports.

2.16 DPS recorded an operating surplus of $10.9 million (excluding unfunded depreciation) in 2014-15 and follows two years of financial deficits.16 The surplus was attributed to the following causes:

 flow-on effects of the savings measures implemented in 2013-14 to minimise the operating deficit…;

 fewer voluntary redundancies than planned with 11 of the planned 24 completed during 2014-15; and

 delays in the implementation the Australian Parliament House Security Upgrade Budget Measure.17

2.17 It was noted that DPS received 'significant investment' in the 2014-15 budget to improve services. The report discussed how the additional resources were being utilised:

…DPS has improved its financial and procurement policies and processes. This included the development, in the latter part of the financial year, of a new procurement framework, new Accountable Authority Instructions, an updated financial delegation manual, a new Capital Management Governance Framework, new financial reports to all executives and upgrades to the Enterprise Resource Management System.

These improvements address weaknesses identified in reviews of the department and will better position DPS to deliver sustainable services and a significant capital program over the next four years.18

2.18 The Parliamentary Librarian also provided a discussion on the budget and financial performance of the Parliamentary Library in 2014-15. Dr Heriot noted that funding for the Parliamentary Library is set out in the Resource Agreement between herself and the Secretary of DPS which is provided for under section 38G of the Parliamentary Service Act 1999 to help ensure the independence of the Library. There was under-expenditure of budgeted funds in 2014-15. The Library's Resource Agreement provided for an operating budget $16.348 million and a capital budget of $1.240 million; and actual expenditure was $15.729 million in operation funding and $1.532 in capital funding. This was attributed primarily to employee costs where recruitment was slower than anticipated.19

2.19 The department received an unqualified audit report from the ANAO on its financial statements.

16 Department of Parliamentary Services Annual Report 2014-15, pp 4-5.

17 Department of Parliamentary Services Annual Report 2014-15, p. 20.

18 Department of Parliamentary Services Annual Report 2014-15, p. 18.

19 Department of Parliamentary Services Annual Report 2014-15, pp 92-93.

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External Scrutiny

2.20 The report's section on significant development in external scrutiny was comprehensive. This section included details of the improvements which had been implemented as a result of the six recommendations from the ANAO performance audit concerning DPS's management of assets and contracts. The full terms of reference for both the Committee's inquiry into DPS and the Senate Privileges Committee inquiry into the use of CCTV material in Parliament House were also included in this section.20

New reporting requirements for 2014-15

2.21 The annual report goes some way to address the new requirement on the number of Indigenous employees, but does not fully cover the information required. It provides a percentage of the representation of Indigenous employees across the department as at 30 June 2015 only; however, it does not include the number of ongoing and non-ongoing employees as at 30 June, for the current and preceding year who identify as Indigenous.21

2.22 The other new requirement for the 2014-15 annual report concerning procurement initiatives to support small business was adequately covered in the annual report.22

Department of Finance 2.23 Finance has again produced an informative and high quality annual report which closely aligns with the reporting requirements, including 'suggested' as well as 'mandatory' information. Information is clearly presented and the report is easy to navigate. The comprehensive glossary is a helpful inclusion.

Secretary's overview

2.24 The Secretary of the Department of Finance, Ms Jane Halton AO PSM, noted that the 2014-15 year was her first in that role. Her overview provides a useful summary of the key achievements throughout the year, which included the provision of support to government to formulate and deliver the 2015-16 budget. Other highlighted achievements of the department by the Secretary included:

 working with Commonwealth entities and companies to assist them in understanding new duties and responsibilities under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013;

 design, development and implementation of the enhanced Commonwealth

performance framework;

 development and implementation of the Australian Government charging

framework to improve consistency of charging activities;

20 Department of Parliamentary Services Annual Report 2014-15, pp 148-151.

21 Department of Parliamentary Services Annual Report 2014-15, p. 161.

22 Department of Parliamentary Services Annual Report 2014-15, p. 166.

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 the conduct of the pilot phase of the Efficiency Through Contestability

Program;

 the launch of the Australian Government Organisations Register;

 the launch of govCMS to provide a new whole-of-government website

delivery service to Commonwealth, state and local Australian government entities; and

 support to the 2014 G20 Leaders' Summit and associated meetings, including through COMCAR services.23

2.25 The review also noted significant changes to the Finance Portfolio through privatisation, mergers and closures facilitated by the department throughout the year. These involved the sale of Medibank Private in November 2014, the merger of ComSuper with the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation on 1 July 2015, and closure of Albury-Wodonga Development Corporation and the Australian River Co. Limited during the year.24

2.26 The Secretary's review also outlined the department's financial performance and priorities for the coming year.25

Performance reporting

2.27 The department's report on performance presents a concise and thorough review of how the department has performed during the year in relation to its deliverables and KPIs. The department has developed a detailed and comprehensive set of deliverables and KPIs. The KPIs are a mix of qualitative and quantitative measures and the inclusion of some targets aids in the assessment of achievement.

2.28 A summary overview of performance for each outcome is presented followed by highlights of significant activities and achievements in 2014-15. The introductory discussion for each outcome notes that all deliverables were achieved and provides an overview of the results for the KPIs. Out of the total number of 46 KPIs across the three outcomes, 39 were fully met. The summary overview of performance for each outcome includes a comparison of aggregate results of KPIs from the previous year.

2.29 Following this are the performance information tables presenting a list of deliverables and the results for each of the KPIs. The tables provide information on whether the KPI was achieved and in many cases includes supporting commentary which is particularly helpful as an explanation for those KPIs which were not achieved or only partially achieved.

2.30 Where performance information had changed, this was noted and an explanation provided. For example, the amendment to the deliverable and KPI for

23 Department of Finance Annual Report 2014-15, pp 3-5.

24 Department of Finance Annual Report 2014-15, p. 4.

25 Department of Finance Annual Report 2014-15 pp 6-7.

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'International governance and cooperation' under Program 1.1 had been amended and was noted in the report as required under the Requirements for Annual Reports.26

Financial performance

2.31 The Secretary noted in her review that the department's financial position is sound, and is operating within its appropriations.27 The report indicated that the department recorded an operating surplus of $56.4 million for the 2014-15 financial year compared to an operating deficit of $97.1 million last year.28 The surplus was attributed to:

The effective management of both its departmental specific budget funded operations and special accounts covering whole-of-government activities such as the Commonwealth's procurement arrangements and property portfolio.29

2.32 The department's audited financial statements received an unqualified audit opinion from the ANAO.30

External scrutiny

2.33 The report's section dealing with significant developments in external scrutiny was comprehensive and included details of all ANAO reports involving the department, a full list of the details of engagement with parliamentary committees, and details of substantial legal actions. This section also helpfully notes that the department was not impacted by reports or decisions of other the external oversight bodies, such as the Commonwealth Ombudsman and the Australian Information Commissioner.31

New reporting requirements for 2014-15

2.34 Finance has included the necessary information for the new mandatory requirements concerning the Indigenous employment and small business procurement in this year's report.32

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet 2.35 This is the first annual report of the new Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C), Mr Michael Thawley AO.33 Some of the areas highlighted by the Secretary in his overview included the department's role in

26 Department of Finance Annual Report 2014-15, pp 32-33.

27 Department of Finance Annual Report 2014-15, p. 7.

28 Department of Finance Annual Report 2014-15, p. 82.

29 Department of Finance Annual Report 2014-15, p. 7.

30 Department of Finance Annual Report 2014-15, pp 92-93.

31 Department of Finance Annual Report 2014-15, pp 66-70.

32 Department of Finance Annual Report 2014-15, pp 90 & 238.

33 Mr Thawley announced his resignation in November 2015 and was replaced as Secretary by Dr Martin Parkinson PSM on 23 January 2016.

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supporting Australia's G20 Presidency, the relocation of the Government to north-east Arnhem Land for almost a week in September 2014 and coordination of major economic reform projects. Under the department's responsibility for Indigenous Affairs, the Secretary noted the conduct of the first open grant round under the Indigenous Advancement Strategy (IAS), and results from the Remote School Attendance Strategy. He further noted that the policy priorities over the coming year will focus on economic reform and national security.34

2.36 The committee notes the comprehensive overview of the Prime Minister and Cabinet Portfolio structure in this year's report, which includes a list of all non-corporate Commonwealth entities, corporate Commonwealth entities, Commonwealth companies, and other statutory office holders and bodies within the portfolio as at the time of reporting.35

Performance

2.37 This year's report on performance sets out the departmental objectives as listed in the PBS, followed by the results for the KPIs. The discussion of performance is presented against each of the nine deliverables as set out in the PBS, rather than by the departmental group, as has been the case in recent reports. This is a welcome approach to the structure of the performance section of the report which now aligns more closely with the performance information set out in the PBS, providing a clearer read between the documents.

2.38 The KPIs for Program 1 - Prime Minister and Cabinet, are qualitative and are set out in a tabular format indicating that each KPI was met. The KPIs for Program 1 are essentially the same as the previous year; however, three additional KPIs for Program 1 have been included this year to reflect the additional departmental responsibilities as a result of the amendments to the Administrative Arrangements Order after the federal election in 2013 which added the responsibilities of deregulation and women's policy. The department met all the KPIs for Outcome 1.

2.39 Outcome 2, Indigenous, is delivered through five streams (six programs) under the new Indigenous Advancement Strategy. The KPIs and deliverables for programs under Outcome 2, have been updated and are set out in tables by program, providing a clear read between the information presented in the PBS and the report. While most of the KPIs are quantitative, they do not include targets, which would enhance this information to provide a measurable basis to assess performance of the department in meeting a program's objective.

2.40 For example, the KPIs for Program 2.5 - Remote Australia Strategies, are set out in the report as follows:

34 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet Annual Report 2014-15, pp v-vii.

35 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet Annual Report 2014-15, p. 1.

It is noted that following the amendment to the Administrative Arrangements Order 21 September 2015 the Digital Transformation Office moved from the Communication and Arts Portfolio to the Prime Minister and Cabinet Portfolio.

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KPI 1 Met

Number of standardised tenancy agreements in place in relation to houses located on Indigenous land ✓

Since NPARIH commenced, 9277 standardised tenancy agreements have been put in place in relation to houses located on Indigenous land.

KPI 2 Met

Number of community based Indigenous Advancement Strategies developed ✓

The Department continued to actively engage with communities and stakeholders to guide the practical action taken in communities to address the Government’s priority areas of education, employment and community safety.

KPI 3 Met

Number of new home owners on Indigenous land

✘

The Department’s focus was on addressing the impediments to Indigenous home ownership on Indigenous land. The Department worked with Indigenous Business Australia and relevant jurisdictions to implement policies to help reduce the barriers to home ownership on Indigenous land. Work aimed to reform the delivery of Indigenous home loans in remote areas, develop and implement policies to allow the sale of social housing policies and provide advice to potential home owners to assist individuals to make informed decisions. Despite these efforts, there was only one additional Indigenous home ownership outcome

2.41 The KPIs for Program 2.5 are all quantitative; however, without a target figure to indicate a measure of success of failure, the reader is left to wonder how the result of 'met' or 'not met' was assessed. Notwithstanding this, the department is commended for establishing a comprehensive performance framework for Outcome 2 and for presenting results for the KPIs in the annual report in a clear and accessible manner. The explanatory comments supporting the result for each KPI in the performance tables is a particularly helpful inclusion.

2.42 The performance information is set out in a similar format to that for Outcome 1, that is, a discussion for each deliverable and the results for KPIs in a table format with an indication if the measure had been met. Of the total number of 19 KPIs for Outcome 2, 14 were met, two 'were on track', one was 'not on track', and two were not met.

2.43 Both the performance report and the Secretary's overview noted the conduct of the first IAS grant round in 2014-15 which funded 996 organisations to deliver over 1350 projects at a value of $1 billion.36 The strategy and grant round processes were subsequently the subject of some criticism, including in relation to the consultation processes. On 19 March 2015, the Senate referred the IAS tendering processes to the Senate Finance and Public Administration References Committee for inquiry and report. Acknowledging difficulties with the processes, the department subsequently announced in evidence before the References Committee that post implementation reviews of the grant funding round and the program guidelines would be conducted:

36 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet Annual Report 2014-15, pp vi and 22.

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It is acknowledged that the transition to the new arrangements has been a significant shift and for a number of organisations very difficult. For some organisations the IAS funding round may have been the first time they have had to formally apply for funding in a national funding process. As noted previously, following the announcement of the outcomes on 4 March the government committed to ensuring that there were no unintended gaps resulting from the funding round. On 27 May the minister announced a number of additional grants aimed at providing longer funding agreements and ensuring that the service delivery gaps were filled. Feedback received directly by the department and through submissions to the inquiry process has indicated that there was a mixed level of awareness and understanding of these new arrangements. The department acknowledges this and, as I think has already been mentioned, has started a process to review the funding round process and the guidelines. The reviews are twofold. There is an external review and there is also an internal departmental review. We have started to write to people out in the sector and also key leaders in the area to consider what we will be doing in the post-implementation review of the funding round. The review will consider processes, administration and communication around the funding round. The review of the IAS guidelines will include consideration of matters such as program descriptions, linkages to the outcomes and additional information that could be included in any guidelines in the future.37

2.44 While the References Committee had not yet reported on its inquiry into the IAS, nor had the departmental reviews been reported on at the time of the completion of the annual report, it is still expected that the annual report would note that difficulties were experienced in the first grant round of this strategy and the action taken in response to those criticisms. While an annual report should document achievements and successes, the committee expects it to also be a frank account of challenges experienced by departments and agencies during the year and their response to them. Agencies are reminded that a mandatory requirement of annual reports is the inclusion of significant developments in external scrutiny during the year in review.38 While the PM&C annual report does include a section on external scrutiny, it does not mention the Senate FPA References Committee inquiry into the tendering processes for the IAS, which could be seen as a significant development in external scrutiny of the department.39

Financial performance

2.45 The department's financial statements received an unqualified opinion by the ANAO.40 The report's discussion on financial performance provides an account of the

37 Ms Eliza Carroll, Associate Secretary, Indigenous Affairs, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Senate Finance and Public Administration References Committee, Committee Hansard, 29 June 2015, p. 45.

38 Requirement for Annual Reports, p. 9.

39 Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet Annual Report 2014-15, p. 42.

40 Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet Annual Report 2014-15, pp 64-65.

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department's operating result and includes a statement of financial position. The department recorded an operating surplus of $8.1 million, noting that the Statement of Comprehensive Income discloses a technical operating deficit of $17.5 million which includes:

• G20 operating surplus of $5.2 million

• unfunded depreciation and amortisation expense and asset write downs totaling $28.2 million

• a $1.8 million revaluation of employee liabilities due to changes in the long term bond rate and on-costs.41

Appendices

2.46 The report includes four appendices, each of which provides an annual report or background information on entities within the PM&C Portfolio, including those supported by the department:

 Aboriginals Benefit Account Annual Report 2014-15

 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Land Account Annual Report 2014-15

 Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations Annual Report 2014-15

 National Australia Day Council

2.47 In particular, the committee notes the inclusion of the annual report for the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations in this year's report, in response to the committee's recommendation from its first report of 2015 (as noted in Chapter 1 of this report). This one page summary is a welcome inclusion, and provides statistics on reporting compliance, formal examinations, provision of corporate governance training and products, LawHelp and prosecution. However, information on the office's funding and expenditure details, which the committee had previously noted were not publicly available, were not provided and would be a useful inclusion to aid in the organisation's transparency.42

New reporting requirements for 2014-15

2.48 The report includes the required information for the new mandatory requirements concerning the Indigenous Employment and small business procurement.43

Australian National Audit Office 2.49 This is the first annual report of the new Auditor-General, Mr Grant Hehir, who commenced in the role on 11 June 2015. The 2014-15 annual report is a concise and comprehensive account of the year and largely complies with the Requirements for Annual Reports.

41 Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet Annual Report 2014-15, p. 57.

42 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet Annual Report 2014-15, p. 217.

43 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet Annual Report 2014-15, pp 44 & 51.

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2.50 Mr Hehir's overview provides a balanced account of achievements and challenges facing the office during the year. He noted that the ANAO had achieved 'solid ratings' in the survey of members of Parliament. In particular, the office attained 91 per cent satisfaction for both the responsiveness of staff and the integrity of the office; and achieved an overall satisfaction rating of 84 per cent, slightly lower than the previous result of 86 per cent in 2011-12. The areas identified for improvement included, better articulation of the ANAO's contribution to improving public sector administration, the communication of findings, and liaison with members of Parliament through the committee system.44

2.51 He noted the challenges facing the financial statement audit teams as a result of machinery of government changes resulting in some delays in completion of audits; however, added that he was confident that the 2014-15 financial statements would, nonetheless, be prepared, audited and reported on time.45

2.52 The ANAO delivered an operating surplus this year of $0.925 million, an increase from the 2013-14 surplus of $0.444 million. This was attributed to lower than anticipated expenditure due primarily to lower salary expenses resulting from staff vacancies during the year.46

Performance

2.53 The report includes a summary of 'Results at a Glance', a tabular presentation of results against the agency's performance information for deliverables and KPIs clearly setting out the target and result for each. It is noted that out of a total of 13 performance measures, nine were met or were exceeded.47

2.54 The performance measures reported on in the annual report, reflect those presented in the PM&C PBS for 2014-15, providing a clear read between the documents.

2.55 The performance report also included the results from surveys of stakeholders, noted above, including client surveys and feedback from Parliament. The report notes that feedback from stakeholders is an important mechanism for providing an understanding of the effectiveness of current practice and informs the development of new audit practices and approaches.48

New reporting requirements for 2014-15

2.56 In relation to the two new requirements included in the latest Requirements for Annual Reports, the report includes the number of staff who identify as Indigenous as at 30 June 2015; however does not include the figure for the preceding year, as

44 Australian National Audit Office Annual Report 2014-15, p. 2.

45 Australian National Audit Office Annual Report 2014-15, p. 2.

46 Australian National Audit Office Annual Report 2014-15, p. 9.

47 Australian National Audit Office Annual Report 2014-15, p. 10.

48 Australian National Audit Office Annual Report 2014-15, p. 29.

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required under item 12(8) of the Requirements.49 It is also noted that this item is not listed in the compliance index at the back of the report.

2.57 The other new reporting obligation requiring the inclusion of details of procurement initiatives to support small business, could not be located in the report. As noted in Chapter 1 of this report, there are three elements to this requirement: the first requires the inclusion of a statement that refers readers to the statistics on SMEs on the Department of Finance's website. This could not be located in the report. The second part of the requirement requires the inclusion of a statement in the annual report which refers readers to the on-time payments performance results on Treasury's website and only applies to bodies that are considered 'material' in nature. According to the Department of Finance Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 agency flip chart the ANAO is not considered a 'material' entity and therefore this element appears not to apply to it.

2.58 The third element, requiring a brief statement on the ways in which the agency's procurement practices support SMEs could not be located. The compliance index lists this requirement 'Procurement initiatives to support small business', but does not include a page reference number.50

Australian Public Service Commissioner 2.59 The annual report of the Australian Public Service Commissioner incorporates the report of the Merit Protection Commissioner. This is the first annual report of the Hon John Lloyd PSM who was appointed as the Public Service Commissioner in December 2014.

2.60 The 2014-15 report is a more streamlined document than the previous year, running to 144 pages, 58 pages fewer than the 2013-14 report. This reflects, in part, a more condensed performance section. It is an informative and concise report which meets the Requirements for Annual Reports and includes the suggested as well as mandatory requirements.

2.61 It was noted that the Internet address for the report inside the title page of the report under contact details,51 which is required under the Requirements for Annual Reports, takes the user to a page which requires a username and password for access.

Public Service Commissioner's review

2.62 The Commissioner's review notes that during 2014-15 the agency has focussed on initiatives to deliver a smaller, more flexible Australian Public Service (APS), including:

 modernising and streamlining the industrial relations framework;

 managing a reduction in APS staffing numbers; and

49 Australian National Audit Office Annual Report 2014-15, p. 46.

50 Australian National Audit Office Annual Report 2014-15, p. 133.

51 See https://www.apsc.gov.au/annualreport (accessed 22 January 2016).

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 developing the leadership cadre of the APS. 52

2.63 The review also included the priorities in the coming year which the Commissioner noted included a focus on modernising the APS employment framework; improving the capability of human resource managers; performance management, learning, development and talent management; and APS workplace bargaining.53

2.64 The Commissioner included a brief summary of the agency's performance in 2014-15. It noted that the agency met its deliverables and KPIs for 2014-15, and achieved its Outcome within its budgeted resources. A clear statement summarising the agency's performance in relation to its performance framework set out in the 2014-15 PBS at the beginning of the report is a useful inclusion.54

Performance report

2.65 The Commission has developed detailed performance information which is set out in the PBS for the PM&C Portfolio for 2014-15. The performance review section of the report generally includes the performance information as listed in the PBS. As noted above, the Public Service Commissioner in his introductory remarks, advised that the Commission had met all of its deliverables and KPIs in 2014-15. In examination of the performance section of the report, it was noted that one KPI, relating to the number of reviews finalised on behalf of the Merit Protection Commissioner, was not met. Some KPIs are set out in tabular format with a result for the 2014-15 year listed, as well as a result from the preceding year. However, others are listed in a dot point format without a specific result or comment addressing each one.55

Financial performance

2.66 In addition to the Commissioner's note in his introductory review advising that the agency operated within its resources during the year, the report also includes a section on funding and financial performance. This section provides a summary which advises that a small surplus of $0.05 million was achieved by the Commission for 2014-15 and which notes that it includes the effects of the government's net cash funding arrangement where depreciation and amortisation expenses are no longer funded by an appropriation. It was further noted that excluding these factors, the Commission delivered an operating surplus of $1.1 million. The surplus was attributed to prudent management of financial resources.56

52 Australian Public Service Commissioner Annual Report 2014-15, p. 2.

53 Australian Public Service Commissioner Annual Report 2014-15, p. 3.

54 Australian Public Service Commissioner Annual Report 2014-15, p. 3.

55 Australian Public Service Commissioner Annual Report 2014-15, pp 10-11.

56 Australian Public Service Commissioner Annual Report 2014-15, p. 7.

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New reporting requirements for the 2014-15

2.67 The annual report has satisfactorily addressed the two new requirements for the 2014-15 annual reports concerning Indigenous employment and procurement initiatives supporting small business. The relevant sections in the report included all the necessary information. Of note was the significant change in the number of employees who identified as Indigenous in the last two years: from sixteen in 2013-14 to nine in 2014-15.57

Merit Protection Commissioner Annual Report 2014-15

2.68 The Merit Protection Commissioner is responsible for the delivery of review and fee-for-service functions set out in the Public Service Act 1999 and the Public Service Regulations and comprise the functions of independent reviews of employment decisions and fee-for-service activities, including Independent Selection Advisory Committees.58

2.69 The annual report of the Merit Protection Commissioner for 2014-15 is informative and provides a good account of the year's activities and outcomes, the outlook for 2015-16 and the governance arrangements applying to the role of the Merit Protection Commissioner. The report includes statistics and discussion of the office's performance in regard to review processes during 2014-15, including volume and timeliness measures across different categories.

2.70 The report includes nine text boxes which contain brief case studies or feedback comments, similar to last year's report. While the committee prefers that annual reports not include excessive extraneous information to the core requirements of annual reports, it found that the inclusion of these items enhanced the report on this occasion. The inclusion of some actual examples of reviews that the office had undertaken with identifying information removed, assisted in illuminating the work of the office.

Office of the Official Secretary to the Governor-General 2.71 The annual report of the Office of the Official Secretary of the Governor-General is informative and meets the Requirements for Annual reports including the mandatory, as well as suggested items, where applicable.

Official Secretary's review

2.72 The Official Secretary's review provides an overview of the program of outreach and engagements by the Governor-General and Lady Cosgrove throughout 2014-15 facilitated by the office. The report highlights the significant ceremonial activities and engagements during the year including the services to mark the 100th anniversary of the ANZAC landings at Gallipoli. The review also highlights the number of community engagements undertaken throughout Australia and noted that one-third of the events the Governor-General attended were located in rural, regional

57 Australian Public Service Commissioner Annual Report 2014-15, pp 41-42, 96.

58 Australian Public Service Commissioner Annual Report 2014-15, p. 107.

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or remote locations.59 It was noted that the office launched an official Facebook page to increase opportunities for the Governor-General to communicate with the Australian public.60

2.73 In the Official Secretary's outlook for 2015-16 it was noted that on-going budgetary pressures remained and expenditure will continue to be closely monitored 'to ensure core vice-regal business remains unaffected.'61 However, also highlighted in this section was the allocation of additional funding in the 2015-16 Budget for a new property program and to meet the increased demand for medals and insignia for the Australian honours and awards program.62

Design

2.74 The annual report's design is similar to the previous year and again features large top and left margins. As the committee has previously commented, this format limits the amount of text per page resulting in a lengthier report.63

Performance information

2.75 The performance report provides a concise review of the office's productivity throughout 2014-15. The report includes the KPIs and objectives as set out in the PM&C Portfolio PBS 2014-15,64 however, does not include a list of the deliverables.

2.76 The committee notes the KPIs in the PBS 2014-15 have been modified from the previous year and the changes include the targets for processing times on nominations for Honours and Awards being replaced by a general satisfaction measure. However, the annual report continues to report against the earlier KPIs and presents results against them for 2014-15 as well as the previous three years.65 The committee hopes to see this information available in the future even though these KPIs are no longer contained in the PBS.

2.77 The office has included a brief statement confirming the office performed well against its performance framework:

In relative performance terms the Office performed well in delivering both components of our outcome—support for the Governor-General’s program and administration of the Australian honours system—exceeding all performance indicators.66

59 Office of the Official Secretary to the Governor-General Annual Report 2014-15, pp 2-8.

60 Office of the Official Secretary to the Governor-General Annual Report 2014-15, pp 3 and 27.

61 Office of the Official Secretary to the Governor-General Annual Report 2014-15, p. 3.

62 Office of the Official Secretary to the Governor-General Annual Report 2014-15, p. 3.

63 Senate Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee, Annual reports (No. 1 of 2015), p. 3.

64 See Table 1, Office of the Official Secretary to the Governor-General Annual Report 2014-15, p. 12.

65 Office of the Official Secretary to the Governor-General, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 13.

66 Office of the Official Secretary to the Governor-General Annual Report 2014-15, p. 9.

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2.78 The inclusion of performance results or a summary of results against each of the agency's deliverables and KPIs as listed in Table 1 - Performance Indicators for Program 1 would enhance the presentation of performance information in the report.67

Financial performance

2.79 The report provides an overview of the office's 2014-15 financial performance, which resulted in a small operating surplus after adjustments for depreciation and amortisation.68 The report contains an unqualified audit report on the office's financial statements from the ANAO.69

New reporting requirements for 2014-15

2.80 The office has reported against both new reporting requirements concerning Indigenous employment and small business procurement. However, the committee noted that the office has not included the number of on-going and non-going employees who identify as indigenous from 2013-14 and has only included the figure for 2014-15. Further, the section on small business procurement does not include all required elements, including the reference to the Department of Finance's website.70

Senator Cory Bernardi Chair

67 Office of the Official Secretary to the Governor-Genera, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 12.

68 Office of the Official Secretary to the Governor-General Annual Report 2014-15, p. 9.

69 Office of the Official Secretary to the Governor-General Annual Report 2014-15, pp 9 and 59.

70 Office of the Official Secretary to the Governor-General Annual Report 2014-15, pp 48 and 130.

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Appendix 1

Dates relating to the presentation of reports between 1 May to 31 October 2015 Reporting Body Submitted to

Minister

Received by Minister Tabled in the Senate or

presented out of sitting (*)

Tabled in the House of Representatives

PARLIAMENT

Department of the Senate - Report for 2014-15 - - 12/10/15 -

Parliamentary Budget Office - Report for 2014-15 - - 14/10/15 14/10/15

Department of Parliamentary Services - Report for 2014-15 - - 15/10/15 15/10/15

Parliamentary Service Commissioner - Report for 2014-15, including report of the Parliamentary Service Merit Commissioner

- - 29/10/15* 09/11/15

PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET PORTFOLIO

Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse - Royal Commission - Report of case study no. 17 - The response of the Australian Indigenous Ministries, the Australian and Northern Territory governments and the Northern Territory police force and prosecuting authorities to allegations of child sexual abuse which occurred at the Retta Dixon Home, dated July 2015

Also forwarded to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee

27/07/15 27/07/15 19/08/15 19/08/15

Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995 - Independent review of Part 10 (Material prohibited in certain areas in the Northern Territory) by MinterEllison, dated 6 August 2015

31/08/15 31/08/15 16/09/15 16/09/15

Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory Act 2012 - Independent review of the effectiveness of Northern Territory and Commonwealth laws in reducing alcohol-related harm by MinterEllison, dated 6 August 2015

31/08/15 31/08/15 16/09/15 16/09/15

Australian National Audit Office - Report for 2014-15 - - 12/10/15 17/09/15

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Reporting Body Submitted to

Minister

Received by Minister Tabled in the Senate or

presented out of sitting (*)

Tabled in the House of Representatives

Office of the Official Secretary to the Governor-General - Report for 2014-15 13/10/15 15/10/15 26/10/15* 09/11/15

Australian Public Service Commissioner - Report for 2014-15, including report of the Merit Protection Commissioner

23/10/15 23/10/15 30/10/15* 09/11/15

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet - Report for 2014-15, including reports of the Aboriginals Benefit Account, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Land Account and the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations

01/10/15 01/10/15 09/11/15 15/10/15

Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security - Report for 2014-15 02/10/15 02/10/15 09/11/15 15/10/15

Remuneration Tribunal - Report for 2014-15 01/10/15 02/10/15 09/11/15 22/10/15

Commonwealth Ombudsman - Report for 2014-15

(Also referred to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee)

15/10/15 15/10/15 27/10/15* 09/11/15

Private Health Insurance Ombudsman - Report for 2014-15 15/10/15 15/10/15 27/10/15* 09/11/15

National Australia Day Council Limited - Report for 2014-15 22/10/15 22/10/15 27/10/15* 09/11/15

FINANCE PORTFOLIO

Australian Electoral Commission - Western Australian Senate Election 2014 - Funding and disclosure report, dated January 2015

21/05/15 21/05/15 05/06/15* 15/06/15

Albury-Wodonga Development Corporation - Report for the period 1 July to 31 December 2014 [Final report]

27/03/15 27/03/15 15/06/15 25/05/15

Australian River Co. Limited - Report for the period 1 December 2013 to 30 November 2014

Also forwarded to the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee

31/03/15 31/03/15 15/06/15 14/05/15

Final Budget Outcome 2014-15 24/09/15 24/09/15 12/10/15 12/10/15

Department of Finance - Report for 2014-15 14/10/15 14/10/15 16/10/15* 19/10/15

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Reporting Body Submitted to

Minister

Received by Minister Tabled in the Senate or

presented out of sitting (*)

Tabled in the House of Representatives

Future Fund Board of Guardians and Future Fund Management Agency- Report for 2014-15

23/10/15 23/10/15 29/10/15* 09/11/15

Clean Energy Finance Corporation - Report for 2014-15

Also referred to the Environment and Communications Legislation Committee

15/10/15 15/10/15 30/10/15* 09/11/15

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The Senate

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade

Legislation Committee

Annual reports (No. 1 of 2016)

March 2016

183

ii

© Commonwealth of Australia 2016

ISBN 978-1-76010-353-8

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License.

The details of this licence are available on the Creative Commons website:

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/au/.

Printed by the Senate Printing Unit, Parliament House, Canberra

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Membership of the Committee Members

Senator Chris Back, LP, WA (Chair) Senator Alex Gallacher, ALP, SA (Deputy Chair) Senator David Fawcett, LP, SA Senator Scott Ludlam, AG, WA Senator Anne McEwen, ALP, SA Senator the Hon Eric Abetz, LP, TAS

Secretariat

Mr David Sullivan, Secretary Mr Owen Griffiths, Principal Research Officer Ms Casey Mazzarella, Senior Research Officer Ms Kimberley Balaga, Research Officer Ms Shannon Ross, Administrative Officer

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee Department of the Senate PO Box 6100 Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600 Australia

Phone: + 61 2 6277 3535 Fax: + 61 2 6277 5818 Email: fadt.sen@aph.gov.au Internet: http://www.aph.gov.au/senate_fadt

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Table of Contents

Membership of the Committee ........................................................................ iii

Preface .................................................................................................................. 1

Introduction .............................................................................................................. 1

Terms of reference .................................................................................................. 1

Allocated portfolios ................................................................................................ 2

Annual reporting requirements ............................................................................... 2

Assessment of annual reports ................................................................................. 4

General comments on the annual reports ............................................................... 5

Annual reports referred to the committee ............................................................... 6

Chapter 1.............................................................................................................. 9

Annual reports of departments ............................................................................... 9

Department of Defence ........................................................................................... 9

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade ............................................................ 12

Department of Veterans' Affairs ........................................................................... 14

Chapter 2............................................................................................................ 19

Annual reports of statutory and non-statutory agencies .................................... 19

Defence portfolio .................................................................................................. 19

Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio ..................................................................... 21

Veterans' Affairs portfolio .................................................................................... 26

Other reports ......................................................................................................... 28

Appendix 1 ......................................................................................................... 29

Compliance table of annual reports for the period 2014-15 .............................. 29

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Preface

Introduction

1. This is the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation

Committee's first report on annual reports for 2016. It provides an overview of annual reports of agencies within the allocated portfolios tabled in the Senate between 1 May 2015 and 31 October 2015.

2. Annual reports inform the Parliament, stakeholders and other interested parties of the operations and performance of public sector departments, agencies and companies. They are a primary accountability mechanism. Additionally, annual reports are important reference documents and form part of the historical record.1

Terms of reference

3. Under Standing Order 25(20), the annual reports of certain departments and agencies are referred to the committee for examination and assessment. The committee is required to:

(a) Examine each annual report referred to it and report to the Senate whether the report is apparently satisfactory.

(b) Consider in more detail, and report to the Senate on, each annual report which is not apparently satisfactory, and on the other annual report which it selects for more detailed consideration.

(c) Investigate and report to the Senate on any lateness in the presentation of annual reports.

(d) In considering an annual report, take into account any relevant remarks about the report made in debate in the Senate.

(e) If the committee so determines, consider annual reports of departments and budget-related agencies in conjunction with examination of estimates.

(f) Report on annual reports tabled by 31 October each year by the tenth sitting day of the following year, and on annual reports tabled by 30 April each year by the tenth sitting day after 30 June of that year.

(g) Draw the attention of the Senate to any significant matters relating to the operations and performance of the bodies furnishing the annual reports.

1 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies, and other Non-Corporate Commonwealth Entities, 25 June 2015, p. 3.

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(h) Report to the Senate each year whether there are any bodies which do not present annual reports to the Senate and which should present such reports.

Allocated portfolios

4. In accordance with the resolution of the Senate on 12 November 2013, the committee has oversight of the following portfolios:

• Defence, including Veterans' Affairs; and

• Foreign Affairs and Trade. 2

Annual reporting requirements

5. This is the first time departments and agencies are reporting under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act), which commenced on 1 July 2014. The PGPA Act consolidates the governance, performance and accountability requirements contained in the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (FMA Act) and the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 (CAC Act). It also establishes a performance reporting framework for all Commonwealth entities and companies.

6. Section 46 of the PGPA Act sets out the annual reporting requirements in relation to Commonwealth entities, including that annual reports must comply with any requirements prescribed by rules. Section 97 sets out the annual reporting requirements for Commonwealth companies.

7. However, as with 2013-14 annual reports, 2014-15 annual reports were prepared under the arrangements existing at 30 June 2014 as follows:

• for non-corporate Commonwealth entities (departments, executive agencies

and statutory agencies): the Public Service Act 1999, sections 63(2) and 70(2), and the Parliamentary Service Act 1999, section 65; other relevant enabling legislation for statutory bodies; and the Requirements for Annual Reports;

• for corporate Commonwealth entities: the Commonwealth Authorities

(Annual Reporting) Orders 2011 prescribe material that must be included in corporate entities' annual reports. These Orders continue to apply to 2014-15 annual reports under the PGPA (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Rule;

• for Commonwealth companies: the Commonwealth Companies (Annual

Reporting) Orders 2011 prescribe material that must be included in corporate entities' annual reports. These Orders continue to apply to 2014-15 annual

2 Journals of the Senate, No. 1, 12 November 2013, p. 16.

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reports under the PGPA (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Rule; and

• for non-statutory bodies: the guidelines are contained in the government response to the Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Public Administration Report on Non-Statutory bodies.3

8. In its report on the development of the Commonwealth performance framework, the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit (JCPAA) foreshadowed that in future years the annual report requirements 'will be replaced through the consolidation of all mandatory requirements into a rule made for the purposes of section 46 of the PGPA Act'.4

Changes to the Requirements for Annual Reports

9. The Requirements for Annual Reports were issued by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet on 25 June 2015 and approved by the JCPAA. Two significant changes were made to the Requirements for Annual Reports issued on 25 June 2015 in relation to:

• small business procurement - three requirements have been added to reflect

the Government's commitment to improve small business access to Commonwealth contracts; and

• Indigenous employment - reporting on Indigenous employment has been added to the existing requirement to report on the management of human resources.5

10. While the Requirements for Annual Reports issued on 25 June 2015 apply to annual reports for 2014-15, it was noted that:

Significant revisions to the Requirements are anticipated for the 2015-16 financial year with the commencement of the performance reporting model under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act).6

3 Senate Hansard, 8 December 1987, pp 2632-45.

4 Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit, Report 452 Development of the Commonwealth Performance Framework, December 2015, p. 12.

5 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies, and other Non-Corporate Commonwealth Entities, 25 June 2015, p. i.

6 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies, and other Non-Corporate Commonwealth Entities, 25 June 2015, p. i.

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Assessment of annual reports

11. Senate Standing Order 25(20) requires that the committee examine reports referred to it to determine whether they are timely and 'apparently satisfactory'. The committee must consider whether the reports comply with the relevant legislation and guidelines for the preparation of annual reports in forming its assessment.

12. The enabling legislation of some agencies may require that agency to report on matters other than those included in the guidelines, or impose different reporting requirements. The committee's view is that such agencies, while bound by their enabling legislation, should also comply with the PM&C guidelines, to the extent that the requirements do not conflict.

Timeliness

13. Under Standing Order 25(20)(c), the committee must report to the Senate any lateness in the presentation of annual reports.

14. In accordance with the Requirements for Annual Reports published in June 2015, agencies are required to present a copy of the annual report:

...to each House of Parliament on or before 31 October in the year in which the report is given. If Senate Supplementary Budget Estimates hearings are scheduled to occur prior to 31 October, it is best practice for annual reports to be tabled prior to those hearings.7

15. A number of annual reports were tabled late. On 12 October 2015, the Chair of AAF Company wrote to the Minister for Defence seeking an extension for the tabling of AAF Company's Annual Report 2014-2015 to 30 November 2015 to allow sufficient time to obtain approval, print copies of the report and mitigate any unforeseen delays.8 The report was tabled in the House of Representatives on 26 November 2015 and in the Senate on 30 November 2015.

16. The Chairman of the RAAF Welfare Recreational Company also wrote to the Minister for Defence seeking an extension of the tabling date to 30 November 2015 to allow sufficient time to obtain approval, print copies of the report and mitigate any unforeseen delays.9 The report was tabled in the House of Representatives and in the Senate on 11 November 2015.

17. A table detailing the dates relating to the timeliness of presentation is at Appendix 1. It should be noted that, apart from those referred to above, the following

7 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports, 25 June 2015, p. 2.

8 Brigadier P Daniel AM CSC, Chair, AAF Company to the Minister for Defence, dated 12 October 2015.

9 Air Commodore A R B Elfverson, Chairman, RAAFWRC to the Minister for Defence, 7 October 2015.

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annual reports were also tabled after 31 October 2015. These reports were received out of sitting on 2 November 2015 and tabled in the Senate on 9 November 2015:

• ASC Pty Ltd;

• Defence Housing Australia;

• Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office; and

• Australian War Memorial.

General comments on the annual reports

Matters of significance

18. In accordance with Standing Order 25, the committee is to note any significant matters relating to the operations and performance of the bodies presenting their annual reports. The committee notes that on 1 July 2015, the Defence Materiel Organisation was officially delisted as a listed entity and transitioned to form the Capability, Acquisition and Sustainment Group with the Department of Defence.10

Comments made in the Senate

19. The committee is obliged, under Standing Order 25(20)(d), to consider any remarks made about these reports in the Senate. There were no comments in the Senate on any of these reports.

Bodies not presenting annual reports to the Senate

20. The committee is required to report to the Senate each year on whether there are any bodies that do not present annual reports to the Senate and which should present such reports. The committee is satisfied that there are no bodies within these portfolios that do not meet their reporting requirements to the Senate.

Standard of reports

21. Under the terms of Standing Order 25(20)(a), the committee is required to report to the Senate whether reports are 'apparently satisfactory'. In making this assessment, the committee considers such aspects as compliance with relevant reporting guidelines.

22. The committee found all reports to be generally of a high standard. They effectively described the function, activities and financial positions of the various departments and agencies. The committee therefore found all of the annual reports to be 'apparently satisfactory'.

10 Department of Defence, Defence Annual Report 2014-15, Volume 1, p. 91.

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Annual reports referred to the committee

23. The following annual reports were referred to the committee for

consideration:

Departments of State

• Department of Defence (a non-corporate Commonwealth entity incorporating

the report of Defence Materiel Organisation)

• Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (a non-corporate Commonwealth

entity)

• Department of Veterans' Affairs (a non-corporate Commonwealth entity incorporating the reports of Repatriation Commission and Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission)

Corporate Commonwealth entities under the PGPA Act

• Army and Air Force Canteen Service

• Australian War Memorial (statutory agency)

• Defence Housing Australia (statutory agency)

• Export Finance and Insurance Corporation

• Royal Australian Air Force Veterans' Residences Trust Fund

• Royal Australian Navy Central Canteens Board

• Services Trust Funds

• Tourism Australia

Non-corporate Commonwealth entities under the PGPA Act

• Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (statutory agency) 11

• Australian Trade Commission (statutory agency)

• Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office (statutory agency) 12

11 A statutory agency means the agency is identified in its enabling legislation as a statutory agency for the purposes of the Public Service Act 1999, whereby the legislation provides for the agency head to employ APS employees for that agency.

12 The Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office is a division within the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, however, the Director-General is a statutory officer who reports directly to the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

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Statutory bodies not under the PGPA Act

• Director of Military Prosecutions

Commonwealth companies limited by guarantee under the Corporations Act 2001

• AAF Company

• Australian Strategic Policy Institute

• Repatriation Medical Authority

• Royal Australian Air Force Welfare Recreational Company

• Veterans' Review Board (statutory agency)

Commonwealth companies limited by shares under the Corporations Act 2001

• ASC Pty Ltd

13

24. Comments on these individual reports are contained in chapter 1 for departments of state, and chapter 2 for statutory and non-statutory agencies. Reports are listed in alphabetical order under each portfolio.

13 The ASC Pty Ltd sits within the Finance portfolio and is examined by the Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee.

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Chapter 1

Annual reports of departments Department of Defence 1.1 The Department of Defence annual report 2014-15 was presented out of sitting on 30 October 2015 and tabled in the Senate and the House of Representatives on 9 November 2015.

Reviews by the Secretary and the Chief of the Defence Force

1.2 In his review, the Secretary of the Department, Mr Dennis Richardson AO, observed the past year had been dominated by the Defence White Paper, the Force Structure Review, the First Principles Review, major procurement decisions, and continued cultural reform.1

1.3 The First Principles Review was presented to the government and released publicly in April 2015. It was highly critical of the way the department operates and recommended changes to organisational structures and processes. A two-year plan was developed by the department, to begin on 1 July 2015, to implement the major changes recommended by the review.2

1.4 The Secretary discussed the department's workforce and noted that the department continued to downsize. The public service full-time equivalent staff reduced from around 22 300 in mid-2012 to just over 18 300 in September 2015. The APS workforce is anticipated to stabilise by around mid-2016.3 The Secretary also commented that although the department made good progress in the recruitment of Indigenous Australians and people with disability, the gender balance of the workforce had seen little change.4

1.5 The Secretary noted that French, German and Japanese entities were invited to submit proposals to the government's competitive evaluation process to determine a design partner for the future submarines. The proposals were required to be received by 30 November 2015. The evaluation is to be completed in the first half of 2016.5

1.6 The Secretary gave his thanks to Defence public servants for their work and acknowledged the contribution of Defence contractors and service providers.6

1.7 In his review as Chief of the Defence Force (CDF), Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin AC observed that the past year was one of the most unpredictable periods in

1 Department of Defence, Defence Annual Report 2014-15, Volume 1, p. 1.

2 Department of Defence, Defence Annual Report 2014-15, Volume 1, p. 1.

3 Department of Defence, Defence Annual Report 2014-15, Volume 1, p. 1.

4 Department of Defence, Defence Annual Report 2014-15, Volume 1, p. 2.

5 Department of Defence, Defence Annual Report 2014-15, Volume 1, p. 2.

6 Department of Defence, Defence Annual Report 2014-15, Volume 1, p. 3.

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recent history. The CDF discussed some of the Australian Defence Force's (ADF) achievements, including the responses to flights MH370 and MH17, the Building Partner Capacity mission in Iraq, and significant international maritime operations.7

1.8 The CDF highlighted that ADF personnel and assets were still engaged in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in the Southern Ocean, when Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over Ukraine. The ADF worked with Australian Federal Police on Operation Bring them Home, to return the victims to their families.8

1.9 Around 300 personnel are deployed in Iraq on the Building Partner Capacity mission. Together with their New Zealand counterparts, Task Group Taji provides Iraqi Army soldiers with additional training in a range of military skills as well as the laws of armed conflict and leadership.9

1.10 The CDF noted that over the past two years, Royal Australian Navy ships seized more than $2.2 billion in illegal narcotics that would have been used to fund terrorist activities around the world. HMAS Success became the first Australian ship to participate in a NATO maritime operation on Operation Ocean Shield, which extended its counter-piracy mission in the Gulf of Aden and off the Horn of Africa.10

1.11 The CDF discussed the commencement of air strikes against Daesh, and the work carried out by Air Task Group:

At the Iraqi Government’s request, the Air Task Group has conducted regular air strikes since October. In that time, the F/A-18A Hornet and F/A-18F Super Hornet combination has flown more than 5,000 hours, employing more than 400 precision weapons against Daesh targets. These operations are part of the international coalition’s air campaign supporting Iraqi Security Force operations on the ground. The combination of Australian strike aircraft, tankers and airborne early warning aircraft make this Air Task Group one of the most capable air packages the ADF has ever deployed. It is also the first completely self-contained Air Task Group we have deployed, with the E-7A AEW&C Wedgetail completing more than 100 operational sorties and the KC-30A air-to-air refuelling team delivering 25 million pounds of fuel to Australian and coalition aircraft.11

1.12 The CDF also drew attention to the ADF's humanitarian and disaster relief operations following Tropical Cyclone Marcia, Cyclone Lam, and Cyclone Pam as well as the relief and recovery operations following the earthquake in Nepal.12

7 Department of Defence, Defence Annual Report 2014-15, Volume 1, p. 4.

8 Department of Defence, Defence Annual Report 2014-15, Volume 1, p. 4.

9 Department of Defence, Defence Annual Report 2014-15, Volume 1, p. 4.

10 Department of Defence, Defence Annual Report 2014-15, Volume 1, p. 5.

11 Department of Defence, Defence Annual Report 2014-15, Volume 1, p. 4.

12 Department of Defence, Defence Annual Report 2014-15, Volume 1, p. 4.

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External accountability

Judicial decisions and decisions of administrative tribunals

1.13 The Defence annual report described a number of judicial decisions and decisions of administrative tribunals. One matter is currently awaiting the court's decision on whether the applicant will be allowed to file a further amended statement of claim, while two other matters had their decisions reserved by the court.13

1.14 Defence is currently the respondent in six applications to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, where the applicants seek review of decisions by Defence to reject their claims for compensation, in relation to Defence activities at the Salt Ash Weapons Range. The applicants are the lead group of 102 claimants whose claims for compensation under regulation 57 have been rejected by Defence. The hearing of these applications was listed to commence on 26 October 2015.14

Auditor-General's reports

1.15 In 2014-15, the Auditor-General tabled six performance audit reports relating directly to Defence and the Defence Materiel Organisation and one report on a cross-portfolio audit involving Defence.15

Australian National Audit Office report

1.16 The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) report for the Department of Defence demonstrated that there were eight moderate findings and one significant legislative finding from the previous financial year which were resolved by the department during 2014-15.16 The ANAO identified three new moderate findings which were unresolved at the end of its 2014-15 final audit phase. These included:

• estimation of MSI impairment;

• estimation of impairment of Defence Weapons Platforms; and

• general stores inventory pricing. 17

Summary

1.17 The committee finds that Defence's annual report complies adequately with all reporting requirements for a department.

13 Department of Defence, Defence Annual Report 2014-15, Volume 1, p. 171.

14 Department of Defence, Defence Annual Report 2014-15, Volume 1, p. 170.

15 Department of Defence, Defence Annual Report 2014-15, Volume 1, pp 171-172.

16 Australian National Audit Office, ANAO Audit Report No.15 2015-16: Audits of the financial statements of Australian Government Entities for the period ended 30 June 2015, pp 66-68. 17 Australian National Audit Office, ANAO Audit Report No.15 2015-16: Audits of the financial statements of Australian Government Entities for the period ended 30 June 2015, pp 66-68.

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Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade 1.18 The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) annual report 2014-15 was tabled in the House of Representatives and in the Senate on 14 October 2015.

Secretary's review

1.19 The Secretary of the Department, Mr Peter Varghese AO, , noted that the 2014-15 financial year had been one of organisational renewal and important successes in DFAT's implementation of the government's foreign policy, trade and investment and development agenda.18

1.20 The Secretary observed that the department made positive contributions to global prosperity and security during the year:

We have deepened our strategic relations with major powers and regional partners. We have supported Australia’s major role in the US-led coalition against Daesh in Iraq. Furthering the pursuit of economic diplomacy, we promoted the economic opportunities arising from new trade agreements with Korea and Japan, concluded negotiations on a new trade agreement with China and supported Australia’s presidency of the G20. The department extended people-to-people links with the expansion of the New Colombo Plan from its pilot phase. Our development assistance has promoted economic growth and stability in our region.19

Regional and multilateral diplomacy

1.21 The department worked closely with Defence to facilitate Australia’s military contribution to the international coalition countering the threat posed by Daesh and provided substantial humanitarian assistance in response to the conflicts in Iraq and Syria.20 As the Secretary highlighted, the department engaged across a range of forums to promote Australia's interests:

Our two-year term as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council concluded in December. The department supported Australia’s leadership in responding to the downing of MH17 to ensure investigators’ access to the crash site, enable repatriation of victims and support efforts towards accountability. We won support for access for humanitarian relief into Syria, focused the Security Council on countering terrorism and violent extremism and secured unanimous agreement to strengthen UN policing.21

Economic diplomacy, trade and investment

1.22 The department worked to improve market access for Australian goods and services and promote foreign investment to Australia. As the Secretary noted:

18 Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 3.

19 Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 3.

20 Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 5.

21 Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 5.

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Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with Korea and Japan entered into force during the year and the department drove accelerated FTA negotiations with China and India, leading to the signing of China-Australia FTA in June. We worked closely with Austrade to promote the benefits of these agreements, completing a national series of information seminars for Australian businesses. The department led negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and made significant progress in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and PACER Plus negotiations.22

The aid program

1.23 During the year, the department provided humanitarian assistance in 21 countries, including major relief efforts in Vanuatu, after Tropical Cyclone Pam in March this year, and in Nepal, following the earthquakes in April and May. The Secretary also noted the response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa was a substantial contribution to international efforts.23

Efficient, effective and responsive services

1.24 Consular assistance was provided to 15 824 Australians in difficulty overseas and the department responded to 50 525 emergency calls. The department increased travel information found on the smartraveller.gov.au website and issued a record number of 1.83 million passports over the year.24

1.25 According to the Secretary, a substantial amount of assistance was provided to the families of the victims of downed flight MH17 and those affected by the natural disasters in Vanuatu and Nepal. The Secretary emphasized that the department would continue to pursue justice for the victims of MH17.25

Outlook

1.26 In his outlook for the department, the Secretary anticipated that a number of new diplomatic posts will be established 'in the single largest expansion of the diplomatic network in 40 years'.26

External scrutiny and accountability

1.27 The annual report provided information on the significant developments in external scrutiny of the department and the department's response.

1.28 Departmental officers appeared as witnesses before the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties in relation to seven proposed treaty actions.27 During the year the department successfully defended two employment actions brought in a foreign

22 Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 6.

23 Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 6.

24 Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 7.

25 Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 7.

26 Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Annual Report 2014-15, pp 8-9.

27 Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 229.

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court by former locally engaged staff members, and settled a third.28 At the end of the financial year there were six active applications before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for review of passports decisions, and one for review of a Freedom of Information decision.29

1.29 In 2014-15, the Auditor-General tabled in parliament five reports by the ANAO relating to the department's operations:

• Report No. 16: Audits of the Financial Statements of Australian Government Entities for the period ended 30 June 2014;

• Report No. 21: Delivery of Australia’s Consular Services;

• Report No. 43: Managing Australian Aid to Vanuatu;

• Report No. 44: Interim Phase of the Audits of the Financial Statements of

Major General Government Sector Agencies for the year ending 30 June 2015; and

• Report No. 48: Limited Tender Procurement. 30

Australian National Audit Office report

1.30 The Australian National Audit Office report for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade demonstrated that there were two moderate findings from the previous financial year which were resolved by DFAT during the 2014-15 interim and

final audit phases.31

1.31 The ANAO had identified that the department did not have adequate processes in place to ensure the timely and accurate preparation of their 2013-14 financial statements. The department addressed these deficiencies in 2014-15, including preparing and implementing a detailed financial statement preparation plan and a financial statements quality assurance plan, which supported the timely and accurate preparation of the 2014-15 financial statements.32

Summary

1.32 The committee finds that the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's annual report adequately complies with all reporting requirements for a department.

Department of Veterans' Affairs 1.33 The Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) is the primary service delivery agency responsible for developing and implementing programs that assist the veteran and defence force communities. DVA also provides policy advice, administrative

28 Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 265.

29 Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 265.

30 Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 229.

31 Australian National Audit Office, ANAO Audit Report No.15 2015-16: Audits of the financial statements of Australian Government Entities for the period ended 30 June 2015, p. 93. 32 Australian National Audit Office, ANAO Audit Report No.15 2015-16: Audits of the financial statements of Australian Government Entities for the period ended 30 June 2015, p. 93.

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support and staff for the Repatriation Commission and the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission. The department administers a range of legislation, including the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986, the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004, the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988, the Defence Service Homes Act 1918 and the War Graves Act 1980.33

1.34 DVA's annual report 2014-15 was received out of sitting on 30 October 2015 and tabled in the House of Representatives and in the Senate on

9 November 2015. The report also includes separate reports of both the Repatriation Commission and the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission. They describe how each commission interrelates with DVA, its membership and the main activities for the reporting period. The reports do not include performance reporting, which is covered in DVA's report.

Secretary's year in review

1.35 In the Secretary's year in review, Mr Simon Lewis PSM reflected on the department's significant achievements, realised across a number of areas: rehabilitation and compensation health, commemorations, and corporate management.34

Commemorative activities

1.36 The Secretary highlighted the Department's management of commemorative activities during the 2014-15 year, including the Albany Convoy Commemorative Event, the ceremony at Gallipoli for the Anzac Day Dawn Service, Anzac Day services at Villers-Bretonneux and Isurava, two missions supporting veterans of the Second World War to travel to France and the United Kingdom to mark the seventieth anniversary of the declaration of Victory in Europe, and to Borneo to commemorate the seventieth anniversary of Operation Oboe.35

1.37 The Secretary also drew attention to the 1395 Anzac Centenary local grants, totalling $14.3 million (excluding GST), which were awarded to community and ex-service organisations, schools and other educational institutions, museums and other cultural institutions, local government authorities and non-profit community organisations.36

33 Repatriation Commission, Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission, Department of Veterans' Affairs, Annual Reports 2014-2015, p. 9.

34 Repatriation Commission, Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission, Department of Veterans' Affairs, Annual Reports 2014-2015, p. 2.

35 Repatriation Commission, Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission, Department of Veterans' Affairs, Annual Reports 2014-2015, p. 4.

36 Repatriation Commission, Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission, Department of Veterans' Affairs, Annual Reports 2014-2015, p. 3.

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Mental health

1.38 The Secretary emphasized that the department's efforts in mental health were focused on early intervention and noted a number of significant achievements were realised, including:

• three major research studies were completed: the Vietnam Veterans’ Family Study, the Peacekeepers’ Health Study and the Australian Gulf War Veterans’ Follow Up Health Study;

• the 2013-14 mental health services expansion Budget measure was implemented, including expansion of eligibility for the Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS); expansion of eligibility for treatment for certain mental health conditions, regardless of the cause; and introduction of a health assessment by a GP for all ex-ADF personnel; and

• the High Res smartphone app, to manage stress and build resilience, was released.37

1.39 The Secretary also discussed the department's commitment to reaching vulnerable clients:

The Department is working closely with ex-service organisations and welfare agencies to identify ex-ADF members who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and ensure that they are linked to appropriate emergency accommodation and other support services. We have also initiated research to inform the development of longer term strategies to minimise the risks which can lead to ex-ADF members becoming homeless.38

Service delivery strategy and online services

1.40 The department's Client Service Survey received responses from over 3000 clients. The survey results indicated that 89 per cent were satisfied or very satisfied with DVA’s services. This is an improvement on the satisfaction rate in the previous survey which was conducted in 2010.39 The Secretary observed that the results of the survey contributed to DVA’s service reform activities:

During 2014-15, we updated the DVA Service Charter, increased the services available online through MyAccount and completed a pilot project to better direct telephone enquiries and reduce call waiting times.

During 2015-16, we will build on these initiatives by implementing a new telephone system to more efficiently manage call services. We will work towards a more connected digital environment, increasing digital information and services for clients and their nominated representatives.

37 Repatriation Commission, Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission, Department of Veterans' Affairs, Annual Reports 2014-2015, p. 3.

38 Repatriation Commission, Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission, Department of Veterans' Affairs, Annual Reports 2014-2015, p. 4.

39 Repatriation Commission, Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission, Department of Veterans' Affairs, Annual Reports 2014-2015, p. 5.

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We will also develop more consistent, streamlined ways of connecting veterans with the services they need, through a national approach.40

The year ahead

1.41 The Secretary anticipated the department would have a busy and challenging year ahead, as DVA implements 2015-16 budget initiatives and continues to work on service delivery reform. The Secretary stated that key priorities over the next 12 months would include:

• improving rehabilitation and compensation workload management;

• implementing the next phase of the Veterans’ Employment Assistance Initiative;

• implementing the Government’s decision to excise Part XI (Australian Defence Force coverage) from the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 into a standalone Act;

• implementing mental health polices, particularly in the areas of prevention and early intervention;

• digitising business processes;

• leading the second year of the Anzac Centenary Programme 2014-2018; and

• engaging in whole-of-government reform initiatives.41

Australian National Audit Office report

1.42 The Australian National Audit Office report for the Department of Veterans' Affairs demonstrated that there were two moderate findings and one significant legislative finding from the previous financial year which were resolved42 by DVA during the 2014-15 final audit phase.43

Summary

1.43 The committee finds the Department of Veterans' Affairs annual report complies adequately with all reporting requirements for a department.

40 Repatriation Commission, Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission, Department of Veterans' Affairs, Annual Reports 2014-2015, p. 5.

41 Repatriation Commission, Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission, Department of Veterans' Affairs, Annual Reports 2014-2015, p. 7.

42 Significant legislative findings which occurred in 2013-14 but did not occur in 2014-15 were closed by the ANAO.

43 Australian National Audit Office, ANAO Audit Report No.15 2015-16: Audits of the financial statements of Australian Government Entities for the period ended 30 June 2015, p. 73.

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Chapter 2

Annual reports of statutory and non-statutory agencies Defence portfolio

Defence Housing Australia

2.2 Defence Housing Australia (DHA) is a commercially focused Government Business Enterprise that provides housing and related services to ADF members and their families in accordance with the Defence Housing Act 1987 and service agreements with the Department of Defence. DHA is a self-funded and full tax paying entity which does not receive funding from the Federal Budget.1

2.3 DHA's annual report 2014-15 was received out of sitting on

2 November 2015 and tabled in the Senate and in the House of Representatives on 9 November 2015.

Chairman's foreword

2.4 In his foreword, the Hon J.A.L. (Sandy) Macdonald, Chairman, welcomed the government's decision in May 2015 to proceed with the privatisation of DHA.2 The Chairman discussed DHA's continued support of the broader Defence community and its significant contributions over the year to a number of organisations. The Chairman was pleased that DHA was the Australian presenting partner of Nomanslanding—an international commemorative art exhibition at Darling harbour in Sydney—which provided the opportunity to educate everyday Australians about the services provided to ADF members and their families.3

2.5 The Chairman anticipated that priorities for the coming year would focus on the strategic expansion of programs and services, particularly the Sale and Leaseback program and further development of housing services to single ADF members.4

Managing Director's year in review

2.6 In his review, Mr Peter Howman, Managing Director, reported that DHA's performance during 2014-15 had been strong against budget. The organisation managed 18 872 properties worth approximately $10 billion. Full financial year results were $140.8 million earnings before interest and tax (against a budget of $132.1 million) while total revenue for the year was $1.3 billion.5

2.7 DHA's managed costs and focus on operational efficiency resulted in operating expenses which were $6.7 million under budget. The year closed with 715 properties for single ADF members, which is close to achieving national coverage and

1 Defence Housing Australia, Annual Report 2014-15, p. vii.

2 Defence Housing Australia, Annual Report 2014-15, p. x.

3 Defence Housing Australia, Annual Report 2014-15, p. x.

4 Defence Housing Australia, Annual Report 2014-15, p. xi.

5 Defence Housing Australia, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 6.

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DHA's target of 1000 properties by 30 June 2015.6 The Managing Director stated that DHA aims to continue to improve financially and operationally and acknowledged the valuable contribution of its staff over the year.7

External scrutiny

2.8 The Commonwealth Ombudsman did not release any reports relating to DHA during 2014-15. However, 40 approaches concerning DHA were received, 10 of which were the subject of investigation, and one of which is ongoing.8

Australian National Audit Office report

2.9 The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) report for Defence Housing Australia demonstrated that there were no significant or moderate audit findings arising from the 2013-14 or 2014-15 audits.9

Summary

2.10 The committee finds Defence Housing Australia's annual report adequately complies with the relevant requirements for the preparation of annual reports.

Defence Materiel Organisation

2.1 The Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) was officially delisted as a listed entity on 1 July 2015 and transitioned to form the Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group within the Department of Defence.10 The 2014-15 annual report represents the last for the DMO, which was responsible for the acquisition and sustainment of the materiel elements of capability for the ADF.

2.2 The annual report of the Defence Materiel Organisation is contained in Defence's annual report. It was presented out of sitting on

30 October 2015 and tabled in the Senate and the House of Representatives on 9 November 2015.

Review by the Chief Executive Officer

2.3 Mr Warren King, Chief Executive Officer, noted that since being prescribed in 2005, the DMO has delivered more than 170 projects, most of which were delivered within budget and to the required capability level.11 Mr King reflected that the DMO operated more effectively in delivering an increased acquisition and sustainment

6 Defence Housing Australia, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 6.

7 Defence Housing Australia, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 8.

8 Defence Housing Australia, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 78.

9 Australian National Audit Office, ANAO Audit Report No.15 2015-16: Audits of the financial statements of Australian Government Entities for the period ended 30 June 2015, p. 69.

10 Department of Defence, Defence Annual Report 2014-15, Volume 1, p. 91.

11 Department of Defence, Defence Annual Report 2014-15, Volume 1, p. 91.

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workload with 464 fewer people in its workforce and $28.249 million less operating expenditure than 2013-14.12

2.4 Mr King gave recent examples of ADF capability enhancements, including the Air-to-Air Refueller and Wedgetail, which are both currently being used in overseas operations. Both capabilities were previously listed on the 'Projects of Concern' list but were remediated by DMO and their industry partners.13

2.5 Mr King observed that the DMO drove effective and innovative sustainment solutions, in particular by extending the various air, land and maritime fleets. The Smart Sustainment Reform Programme resulted in $2 billion worth of savings since 2009, while the introduction of performance-based contracting resulted in significant improvements in sustainment efficiency and productivity by industry.14

Australian National Audit Office report

2.6 The Australian National Audit Office report for the Defence Materiel Organisation demonstrated that there was one moderate finding from the previous financial year which was resolved by DMO during the 2014-15 final audit.15 The ANAO identified four new moderate findings over the 2014-15 interim and final audit phases which remained unresolved by the end of the 2014-15 final audit phase. These include:

• accuracy and completeness of month end System Project Office financial information;

• accounting for commitments;

• effectiveness of assurance processes; and

• valuation and management of overseas project bank accounts. 16

Summary

2.7 The committee finds Defence Materiel Organsiation's annual report complies adequately with the relevant requirements for the preparation of annual reports.

Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio

Australian Trade Commission

2.8 The Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) was established by the Australian Trade Commission Act 1985 and is a non-corporate Commonwealth entity under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013. Austrade

12 Department of Defence, Defence Annual Report 2014-15, Volume 1, p. 92.

13 Department of Defence, Defence Annual Report 2014-15, Volume 1, p. 91.

14 Department of Defence, Defence Annual Report 2014-15, Volume 1, p. 91.

15 Australian National Audit Office, ANAO Audit Report No.15 2015-16: Audits of the financial statements of Australian Government Entities for the period ended 30 June 2015, pp 70-71. 16 Australian National Audit Office, ANAO Audit Report No.15 2015-16: Audits of the financial statements of Australian Government Entities for the period ended 30 June 2015, pp 71-72.

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helps Australian businesses, education institutions, tourism operators, governments and citizens as they develop international markets and promote international education; win productive foreign direct investment; strengthen Australia's tourism industry; and seek consular and passport services in certain locations overseas.17

2.9 The Australian Trade Commission's annual report was received out of sitting on 2 November 2015 and tabled in the Senate and in the House of Representatives on 9 November 2015.

Chief Executive Officer's report

2.10 In his report, Mr Bruce Gosper, Chief Executive Officer, discussed some of Austrade's achievements in the past year. These included the department's assumption of new investor visa responsibilities, its promotion of opportunities stemming from the North Asia free trade agreements, and its work promoting Australia as a destination for productive foreign direct investment.18

2.11 During the year, Austrade opened a new office in Houston, Texas, to focus on attracting investment into the resources and energy sector, agribusiness, advanced services, manufacturing and technologies.19 Austrade helped to develop the White Paper on Developing Northern Australia and worked to strengthen the tourism sector by:

…developing policy, managing programs and providing research to grow Australia’s tourism market share. We worked to give the tourism sector a more effective voice in policy development and to improve policy settings in immigration, transport, employment and the business environment to enable the sector to prosper and grow. We also worked with state and territory governments, tourism organisations and the tourism industry to implement the Tourism 2020 strategy.20

2.12 Over the year, Austrade delivered major business missions and events such as Australia Business Week in India and Match Australia.21 Austrade received nearly 3200 applications for grants under the Export Market Development Grants scheme, assisted 891 Australians overseas, and processed 13 486 new passport applications.22

2.13 Mr Gosper noted that Austrade's Service Improvement Study for 2014-15 showed that satisfaction with Austrade is high. The study found that 80 per cent of clients were satisfied with their dealings with Austrade during the past 12 months.23

17 Australian Trade Commission, Annual Report 2014-2015, p. 2.

18 Australian Trade Commission, Annual Report 2014-2015, pp 7-8.

19 Australian Trade Commission, Annual Report 2014-2015, p. 7.

20 Australian Trade Commission, Annual Report 2014-2015, p. 8.

21 Australian Trade Commission, Annual Report 2014-2015, pp 7-8.

22 Australian Trade Commission, Annual Report 2014-2015, pp 9-10.

23 Australian Trade Commission, Annual Report 2014-2015, p. 7.

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2.14 Mr Gosper anticipated that 2015-16 would be a big year for Austrade, noting that new funding had been received to expand investment facilitation work, promote free trade agreements and increase the schedule of major business events and business missions.24

External scrutiny

2.15 Austrade was the subject of two reports tabled by the Auditor-General in Parliament during 2014-15:

• fraud control arrangements (Audit Report No. 3, 2014-15); and

• administration of the Export Market Development Grants scheme (Audit

Report No. 15, 2014-15).25

2.16 During the reporting period, the Information Commissioner finalised one review of a Freedom of Information decision made by Austrade, with the decision currently on appeal at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. The Commonwealth Ombudsman advised Austrade that it was investigating a complaint about the handling of disclosures made under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013.26

Australian National Audit Office report

2.17 The Australian National Audit Office report for the Australian Trade Commission demonstrated that were no significant or moderate audit findings arising from the 2013-14 or 2014-15 audits.27

Summary

2.18 The committee finds the Australian Trade Commission's annual report to be satisfactory in complying with the relevant requirements for the preparation of annual reports.

Export Finance and Insurance Corporation

2.19 The Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (Efic) is Australia's export credit agency. It was established in its current form on 1 November 1991 under the Export Finance and Insurance Act 1991 (Cth). Efic delivers solutions for Australian companies to enable them to win business, grow internationally and achieve export success.28

2.20 The Export Finance and Insurance Corporation's annual report for 2014-2015 was tabled in the House of Representatives on 21 October 2015 and in the Senate on 9 November 2015.

24 Australian Trade Commission, Annual Report 2014-2015, p. 10.

25 Australian Trade Commission, Annual Report 2014-2015, p. 144.

26 Australian Trade Commission, Annual Report 2014-2015, p. 144.

27 Australian National Audit Office, ANAO Audit Report No.15 2015-16: Audits of the financial statements of Australian Government Entities for the period ended 30 June 2015, p. 94.

28 Export Finance and Insurance Corporation, Annual Report 2014-2015, p. 26.

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Chairman's report

2.21 In his report, Mr James Millar AM, Chairman, observed that during the year Efic provided 234 facilities to Australian companies worth $179 million.29

2.22 The Chairman noted the government's amendments to the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation Act 1991 in March 2015 allows Efic to lend directly for the export of all goods not just 'capital goods'. However, no change had been made to Efic's 'market gap' mandate, which means Efic can still only provide financial solutions to SMEs when the private market is unable or unwilling to help.30

2.23 The Chairman observed that the underlying business performed well, with a focus on efficiency contributing savings of $1 million in budgeted costs. However, given all loan provisions are held predominantly in US dollars, the fall in the Australian dollar from $0.94 to $0.77 during the year reduced profit by $5.4 million.31

Managing Director's report

2.24 Mr Andrew Hunter, Managing Director and CEO, highlighted that more than 60 per cent of Efic's financial support by value was allocated to SMEs during the year, and 94 per cent of Efic's transactions by number were for SMEs, up from 90 per cent last year. The average transaction turnaround time is 78 days, down from 105 last year.32

2.25 In response to Efic's new lending flexibility, a new Export Contract Loan product was developed. As at 30 June, Efic had closed 13 Export Contract Loan transactions from a standing start in an average of 56 days, compared to 100 days for an average working capital guarantee.33

Australian National Audit Office report

2.26 The Australian National Audit Office report for the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation demonstrated that were no significant or moderate audit findings arising from the 2013-14 or 2014-15 audits.34

Summary

2.27 The committee finds the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation's annual report to be satisfactory in complying with the relevant requirements for the preparation of annual reports.

29 Export Finance and Insurance Corporation, Annual Report 2014-2015, p. 6.

30 Export Finance and Insurance Corporation, Annual Report 2014-2015, p. 7.

31 Export Finance and Insurance Corporation, Annual Report 2014-2015, p. 6.

32 Export Finance and Insurance Corporation, Annual Report 2014-2015, pp 8-9.

33 Export Finance and Insurance Corporation, Annual Report 2014-2015, p. 8.

34 Australian National Audit Office, ANAO Audit Report No.15 2015-16: Audits of the financial statements of Australian Government Entities for the period ended 30 June 2015, p. 94.

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Tourism Australia

2.28 Tourism Australia is an Australian Government statutory authority formed under the Tourism Australia Act 2004 and is subject to the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013. As Australia's national tourism marketing organisation, it aims to increase visitors for international leisure and business events by promoting Australia as a compelling tourism destination. In 2014-15, this outcome was delivered through two programs:

• increase demand for Australia as a tourism destination; and

• industry development. 35

2.29 Tourism Australia's annual report for 2014-2015 was received out of sitting on 30 October 2015 and tabled in the Senate and in the House of Representatives on 9 November 2015.

Chairman's report

2.30 In his report for 2014-15, Mr Geoff Dixon, Chairman, reflected that the Australian tourism industry performed very strongly during the past 12 months. Tourism benefited from highly successful international marketing campaigns and major improvement in distribution and aviation capacity. International arrivals and spending reached record levels, with growth of 7 per cent in arrivals and 10 per cent in spend by international travellers.36

2.31 Mr Dixon noted that, over the year, 7.1 million international visitors injected more than $33 billion into the economy, with Greater China and South East Asia as the standouts. The year was also Tourism Australia's best for partnerships which generated close to $60 million in revenue through significant commercial deals with partners such as Virgin Australia and Etihad Airways.37

Managing Director's report

2.32 Looking back on the year, Mr John O'Sullivan, Managing Director, observed that international arrivals and spending was at record highs. Major events such as the 2015 AFC Asian Cup and the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup helped to drive tourism. Mr O'Sullivan noted:

For example, figures provided by the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed 46 per cent year on year spike in visitor arrivals from India during the month of March, coinciding with India’s appearance in the semi-final of the Cricket World Cup. Beyond increased visitor numbers and tourism spending, these two events helped showcase Australia to a combined global television audience of 4 billion people.38

35 Tourism Australia, Annual Report 2014-15, pp 5-6.

36 Tourism Australia, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 16.

37 Tourism Australia, Annual Report 2014-15, pp 16-17.

38 Tourism Australia, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 19.

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2.33 Mr O'Sullivan drew attention to Tourism Australia's work introducing an elite network of specialist travel agents in China, trained to sell high-quality Australian holiday packages to China's rapidly growing middle class, noting that a similar approach is in place in Singapore and being rolled out in Indonesia.39

2.34 Mr O'Sullivan discussed Tourism Australia's work on the global campaign Restaurant Australia, which focused on Australia's food and wine, reaching a global audience of more than 1.25 billion people. The campaign began by gaining the

support of the tourism industry, followed by a major media campaign and launch events, including a pop-up restaurant in London and food trucks in Paris. This was followed by inviting 86 of the world's most influential food and wine figures to experience Australia's produce and places firsthand.40

External Scrutiny

2.35 Tourism Australia's external audit function is performed by the Australian National Audit Office. No material audit issues or compliance breaches were noted during the year.41 No judicial or tribunal decisions were made and no parliamentary reports were published in respect of Tourism Australia in 2014-15.42

Summary

2.36 The committee finds Tourism Australia's annual report to be satisfactory in complying with the relevant requirements for the preparation of annual reports.

Veterans' Affairs portfolio

Australian War Memorial

2.37 The Australian War Memorial (the Memorial) was established as a statutory authority under the Australian War Memorial Act 1980. The performance of the Memorial and the accountability of its council and management are subject to the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013.

2.38 The Memorial is accountable to the government through the Minister for Veterans' Affairs. The Council of the Australian War Memorial is responsible for the conduct and control of the activities of the Memorial. Its numerous functions and responsibilities include:

• establishing the Memorial's strategic direction and vision;

• approving the Memorial's goals and key objectives;

• approving the annual budget and monitoring expenditure and reporting; and

39 Tourism Australia, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 19.

40 Tourism Australia, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 18.

41 Tourism Australia, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 93.

42 This committee's Report on Annual Reports is not tabled until the financial year being examined has ended.

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• ensuring that the Memorial has adequate financial resources to meet known

and planned future resources.43

2.39 The Australian War Memorial's annual report 2014-15 was received out of sitting on 2 November 2015 and tabled in the Senate and in the House of Representatives on 9 November 2015.

Chairman's report

2.40 The Chairman, Rear Admiral Ken Doolan AO RAN (Ret’d), reflected that the Centenary of the First World War brought with it challenges and opportunities. One of the most significant was the completion of the First World War Galleries, which was one of the largest projects ever undertaken by the institution.44

2.41 The Chairman observed that throughout the 2014-15 year the Memorial hosted many distinguished visitors and significant commemorative ceremonies such as Remembrance Day 2014 and Anzac Day 2015. The Dawn Service at the Australian War Memorial on 36 April 2015 attracted a record crowd, with at least 128 700 people turning out to mark the centenary of the Gallipoli landings.45

2.42 The Chairman noted that there were several changes to the membership of the Council of the Australian War Memorial during the 2014-15 year, and offered his thanks to those whose terms on the Council had come to an end.46

2.43 On behalf of the Council, the Chairman also expressed gratitude to the Director, the Honourable Dr Brendan Nelson, and the Memorial's hardworking paid and volunteer staff.

Australian National Audit Office report

2.44 The Australian National Audit Office report for the Australian War Memorial demonstrated that were no significant or moderate audit findings arising from the 2013-14 or 2014-15 audits.47

Summary

2.45 The committee finds the Australian War Memorial's annual report to be satisfactory in complying with the relevant requirements for the preparation of annual reports.

43 Australian War Memorial, Annual Report 2014-15, pp 3-4.

44 Australian War Memorial, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 1.

45 Australian War Memorial, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 2.

46 Australian War Memorial, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 3.

47 Australian National Audit Office, ANAO Audit Report No.15 2015-16: Audits of the financial statements of Australian Government Entities for the period ended 30 June 2015, p. 69.

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Other reports 2.46 Other portfolio authorities, agencies and/or companies which had their annual reports examined by the committee, but were not otherwise commented upon in this report, include:

Defence portfolio

• AAF Company (tabled 30 November 2015);

• Army and Air Force Canteen Service (tabled 9 November 2015);

• ASC Pty Ltd (tabled 9 November 2015);

• Australian Strategic Policy Institute (tabled 9 November 2015);

• Director of Military Prosecutions (tabled 16 September 2015);

• Royal Australian Air Force Welfare Recreational Company (tabled 11 November 2015);

• Royal Australian Air Force Veterans' Residences Trust Fund (tabled 9 November 2015);

• Royal Australian Navy Central Canteens Board (tabled 9 November 2015);

and

• Services Trust Funds (tabled 9 November 2015).

Foreign Affairs portfolio

• Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office (tabled

9 November 2015); and

• Australian Centre for International Agriculture Research (tabled

9 November 2015).

Veterans' Affairs portfolio

• Repatriation Medical Authority (tabled 9 November 2015); and

• Veterans' Review Board (tabled 9 November 2015).

2.47 The committee considers that all the annual reports of the above-mentioned organisations adequately met their respective reporting requirements.

Senator Chris Back Chair

216

Appendix 1

Compliance table of annual reports for the period 2014-15

Scrutiny of reports to be tabled by 31 October 2015

Department/agency Enabling legislation

and

timeliness

Date on letter of transmittal

@ Date report submitted to minister (if known)

% Date report received by minister (if known)

* Date report presented to President

# Date tabled in the Senate

^ Date tabled in H/Representatives

Defence portfolio

AAF Company

Commonwealth company, limited by guarantee, subject to the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability (PGPA) Act 2013

To be tabled by 31 October

12 Oct 15 @23 Oct 15

%23 Oct 15

#30 Nov 15

^26 Nov 15

Army and Air Force Canteen Service

Corporate Commonwealth entity, established by regulations under the Defence Act 1903, subject to the PGPA Act

To be tabled by 31 October

6 Oct 15 *30 Oct 15

#9 Nov 15

^9 Nov 15

217

30

Scrutiny of reports to be tabled by 31 October 2015

Department/agency Enabling legislation

and

timeliness

Date on letter of transmittal

@ Date report submitted to minister (if known)

% Date report received by minister (if known)

* Date report presented to President

# Date tabled in the Senate

^ Date tabled in H/Representatives

Defence portfolio

ASC Pty Ltd

Commonwealth company, limited by shares, registered under the Corporations Act 2001, subject to the PGPA Act

To be tabled by 31 October

*Forwarded to the Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee

16 Oct 15 *2 Nov 15

#9 Nov 15

^9 Nov 15

Australian Strategic Policy Institute Limited

Commonwealth company, limited by guarantee, subject to the PGPA Act

To be tabled by 31 October

9 Oct 15 *30 Oct 15

#9 Nov 15

^9 Nov 15

Defence Housing Australia

Corporate Commonwealth entity, established under the Defence Housing Authority Act 1987, s4, subject to the PGPA Act

To be tabled by 31 October

7 Oct 15 *2 Nov 15

#9 Nov 15

^9 Nov 15

218

31

Scrutiny of reports to be tabled by 31 October 2015

Department/agency Enabling legislation

and

timeliness

Date on letter of transmittal

@ Date report submitted to minister (if known)

% Date report received by minister (if known)

* Date report presented to President

# Date tabled in the Senate

^ Date tabled in H/Representatives

Defence portfolio

Department of Defence

Incorporating the report of…

Defence Materiel Organisation;

Non-corporate Commonwealth entity, established under the Australian Constitution and Administrative Arrangements Order. The Department may engage members of the Australian Defence Force under the Defence Act 1903, the Naval Defence Act 1910 and the Air Force Act 1923, subject to the PGPA Act

To be tabled by 31 October

9 Oct 15 *30 Oct 15

#9 Nov 15

^9 Nov 15

Director of Military Prosecutions Statutory body established under the

Defence Force Discipline Act 1982 (DFDA)

Section 196B of the DFDA requires the DMP to be tabled as soon as practicable after 31 Dec each year

12 Jun 15 @8 Jul 15

%20 Jul 15

#16 Sep 15

219

32

Scrutiny of reports to be tabled by 31 October 2015

Department/agency Enabling legislation

and

timeliness

Date on letter of transmittal

@ Date report submitted to minister (if known)

% Date report received by minister (if known)

* Date report presented to President

# Date tabled in the Senate

^ Date tabled in H/Representatives

Defence portfolio

Royal Australian Air Force Veterans’ Residences Trust Fund

Corporate Commonwealth entity, established under the Royal Australian Air Force Veterans’ Residences Act 1953, s3, limited by guarantee, subject to the PGPA Act

To be tabled by 31 October

28 Sep 15 @14 Oct 15

%14 Oct 15

*30 Oct 15

#9 Nov 15

^21 Oct 15

Royal Australian Air Force Welfare Recreational Company

Commonwealth company, limited by guarantee, subject to the PGPA Act

To be tabled by 31 October

7 Oct 15 @20 Oct 15

%22 Oct 15

#11 Nov 15

^11 Nov 15

Royal Australian Navy Central Canteens Board

Corporate Commonwealth entity, established by regulations under the Naval Defence Act 1910, subject to the PGPA Act

To be tabled by 31 October

9 Oct 15 *30 Oct 15

#9 Nov 15

^9 Nov 15

220

33

Scrutiny of reports to be tabled by 31 October 2015

Department/agency Enabling legislation

and

timeliness

Date on letter of transmittal

@ Date report submitted to minister (if known)

% Date report received by minister (if known)

* Date report presented to President

# Date tabled in the Senate

^ Date tabled in H/Representatives

Defence portfolio

Services Trust Funds—Royal Australian Navy Relief Trust Fund, Australian Military Forces Relief Trust Fund; and Royal Australian Air Force Welfare Trust Fund

Corporate Commonwealth entity, established under the Services Trust Funds Act 1947, subject to the PGPA Act

To be tabled by 31 October

25 Sep 15

17 Sep 15

26 Aug 15

respectively

*30 Oct 15

#9 Nov 15

^9 Nov 15

221

34

Scrutiny of reports to be tabled by 31 October 2015

Department/agency Enabling legislation

and

timeliness

Date on letter of transmittal

@ Date report submitted to minister (if known)

% Date report received by minister (if known)

* Date report presented to President

# Date tabled in the Senate

^ Date tabled in H/Representatives

Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio

Australian Centre for International Agriculture Research (ACIAR)

Non-corporate Commonwealth entity, established under the Australian Centre for International Agriculture Research Act 1982, s4 as a statutory agency, subject to the PGPA Act

To be tabled by 31 October

Oct 15 (letter not dated) *28 Oct 15

#9 Nov 15

^9 Nov 15

Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office

Established under the Nuclear Non- Proliferation (Safeguards) Act 1987, s51; Chemical Weapons (Prohibition) Act 1994, s96; Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Act 1998, s71. Minister to table within 15 sitting days of receiving report, subject to the PGPA Act

To be tabled by 31 October

20 Oct 15 *2 Nov 15

#9 Nov 15

^9 Nov 15

222

35

Scrutiny of reports to be tabled by 31 October 2015

Department/agency Enabling legislation

and

timeliness

Date on letter of transmittal

@ Date report submitted to minister (if known)

% Date report received by minister (if known)

* Date report presented to President

# Date tabled in the Senate

^ Date tabled in H/Representatives

Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio

Australian Trade Commission

Non-corporate Commonwealth entity, established under the Australian Trade Commission Act 1985, s92, Minister to table within 15 sitting days of receiving report, subject to the PGPA Act

To be tabled by 31 October

14 Sep 15 @14 Sep 15

%14 Sep 15

#9 Nov 15

^19 Oct 15

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Non-corporate Commonwealth entity, established under the Australian Constitution and Administrative Arrangements Order, subject to the PGPA Act

To be tabled by 31 October

16 Sep 15 @16 Sep 15

%16 Sep 15

#14 Oct 15

^14 Oct 15

Export Finance and Insurance Corporation

Corporate Commonwealth entity, established under the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation Act 1991, s6, subject to the PGPA Act

To be tabled by 31 October

No letter of transmittal @7 Oct 15 %8 Oct 15

#9 Nov 15

^21 Oct 15

223

36

Scrutiny of reports to be tabled by 31 October 2015

Department/agency Enabling legislation

and

timeliness

Date on letter of transmittal

@ Date report submitted to minister (if known)

% Date report received by minister (if known)

* Date report presented to President

# Date tabled in the Senate

^ Date tabled in H/Representatives

Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio

Tourism Australia Corporate Commonwealth entity, established under the Tourism Australia Act 2004 s5, subject to the PGPA Act To be tabled by 31 October

14 Oct 15 *30 Oct 15

#9 Nov 15

^9 Nov 15

224

37

Scrutiny of reports to be tabled by 31 October 2015

Department/agency Enabling legislation

and

timeliness

Date on letter of transmittal

@ Date report submitted to minister (if known)

% Date report received by minister (if known)

* Date report presented to President

# Date tabled in the Senate

^ Date tabled in H/Representatives

Veterans' Affairs portfolio

Australian War Memorial

Corporate Commonwealth entity, established under the Australian War Memorial Act 1980, s4, subject to the PGPA Act

To be tabled by 31 October

21 Sep 15 *2 Nov 15

#9 Nov 15

^9 Nov 15

Department of Veterans' Affairs

Incorporating the reports of …

Repatriation Commission and

Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission

Non-corporate Commonwealth entity, established under the Australian Constitution and Administrative Arrangements Order, subject to the PGPA Act

To be tabled by 31 October

Veterans' Entitlement Act 1986, s215. Minister to table within 15 days of receiving report

Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004, s385 and Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988, s161

[As soon as possible after 30 June]

1 Oct 15 *30 Oct 15

#9 Nov 15

^9 Nov 15

225

38

Scrutiny of reports to be tabled by 31 October 2015

Department/agency Enabling legislation

and

timeliness

Date on letter of transmittal

@ Date report submitted to minister (if known)

% Date report received by minister (if known)

* Date report presented to President

# Date tabled in the Senate

^ Date tabled in H/Representatives

Veterans' Affairs portfolio

Repatriation Medical Authority Established under the Veterans' Entitlement

Act 1986, s196B No statutory reporting requirement

30 Sep 15

*29 Oct 15

#9 Nov 15

^9 Nov 15

Veterans' Review Board Established under the Repatriation Legislation

Amendment Act 1984 and continued by the Veterans' Entitlement Act 1986, s215 (4) Report to be submitted to the Minister as soon as practicable after 30 June

Minister to table within 15 sitting days of receiving report

18 Sep 15 *30 Oct 15

#9 Nov 15

^9 Nov 15

226

The Senate

Legal and Constitutional Affairs

Legislation Committee

Annual reports (No. 1 of 2016)

March 2016

227

ii

© Commonwealth of Australia ISBN 978-1-76010-354-5

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License.

The details of this licence are available on the Creative Commons website:

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/au/.

This document was printed by the Senate Printing Unit, Department of the Senate, Parliament House, Canberra.

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iii

Members of the Committee

44th Parliament

Members Senator the Hon Ian Macdonald (LP, QLD) (Chair) Senator Jacinta Collins (ALP, VIC) (Deputy Chair) Senator Catryna Bilyk (ALP, TAS) Senator Barry O'Sullivan (Nat, QLD) (member from 04.02.2016) Senator Jo Lindgren (LP, QLD) (member until 04.02.2016) Senator Dean Smith (LP, WA) Senator Nick McKim (AG, TAS)

Secretariat Ms Sophie Dunstone Committee Secretary Mr Joshua Wrest Research Officer Ms Jo-Anne Holmes Administration Officer

Suite S1.61 Telephone: (02) 6277 3560

Parliament House Fax: (02) 6277 5794

CANBERRA ACT 2600 Email: legcon.sen@aph.gov.au

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230

v

Table of contents

Members of the Committee .............................................................................. iii

Preface Terms of reference ................................................................................................ vii

Role of annual reports .......................................................................................... vii

Annual reporting requirements ............................................................................viii

Reports examined .................................................................................................. ix

'Apparently satisfactory' ........................................................................................ xi

Timeliness .............................................................................................................. xi

Requirement for non-reporting bodies to report ...................................................xii

Chapter 1

Annual reports of departments ............................................................................... 1

Attorney-General's Department .............................................................................. 1

Depart

ment of Immigration and Border Protection ............................................... 3

Chapter 2

Annual reports of agencies ...................................................................................... 9

Attorney-General's Portfolio .................................................................................. 9

Immigrati

on and Border Protection Portfolio ........................................................ 9

Consideration of annual reports.............................................................................. 9

Australian Customs and Border Protection Service ............................................. 10

CrimTrac ............................................................................................................... 11

The Federal

Circuit Court of Australia ................................................................. 13

Appendix 1 - Reports tabled during the period 1 May 2015 and 31 October 2015 and referred to the committee ............................................ 25

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vi

232

Preface

Terms of reference On 12 November 2013, a resolution of the Senate allocated the following portfolios to the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs:

 Attorney-General's portfolio; and

 Immigration and Border Protection portfolio.

This report was prepared pursuant to Standing Order 25(20) relating to the consideration of annual reports by committees. The Standing Order states:

Annual reports of departments and agencies shall stand referred to the committees in accordance with an allocation of departments and agencies in a resolution of the Senate. Each committee shall:

(a) Examine each annual report referred to it and report to the Senate whether the report is apparently satisfactory;

(b) Consider in more detail, and report to the Senate on, each annual report which is not apparently satisfactory, and on the other annual reports which it selects for more detailed consideration;

(c) Investigate and report to the Senate on any lateness in the presentation of annual reports;

(d) In considering an annual report, take into account any relevant remarks about the report made in debate in the Senate;

(e) If the committee so determines, consider annual reports of departments and budget-related agencies in conjunction with examination of estimates;

(f) Report on annual reports tabled by 31 October each year by the tenth sitting day of the following year, and on annual reports tabled by 30 April each year by the tenth sitting day after 30 June of that year;

(g) Draw to the attention of the Senate any significant matters relating to the operations and performance of the bodies furnishing the annual reports; and

(h) Report to the Senate each year whether there are any bodies which do not present annual reports to the Senate and which should present such reports.

This report examines annual reports tabled in the Senate or presented to the President between 1 May and 31 October 2015.

Ro

le of annual reports Annual reports place a great deal of information about government departments and agencies on the public record. Accordingly, the tabling of annual reports is an important element of accountability to Parliament. The information provided in annual reports assists in the effective examination of the performance of departments and agencies, and the administration of government programs.

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viii

Annual reporting requirements This is the first time departments and agencies are reporting under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act), which commenced on 1 July 2014. The PGPA Act consolidates the governance, performance and accountability requirements contained in the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (FMA Act) and the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 (CAC Act). It also establishes a performance reporting framework for all Commonwealth entities and companies.

Section 46 of the PGPA Act sets out the annual reporting requirements in relation to Commonwealth entities, including that annual reports must comply with any requirements prescribed by rules. Section 97 sets out the annual reporting requirements for Commonwealth companies.

However, as with 2013-14 annual reports, 2014-15 annual reports were prepared under the arrangements existing at 30 June 2014 as follows:

 for non-corporate Commonwealth entities (departments, executive agencies and statutory agencies): the Public Service Act 1999, sections 63(2) and 70(2), and the Parliamentary Service Act 1999, section 65; other relevant enabling legislation for statutory bodies; and the Requirements for Annual Reports;

 for corporate Commonwealth entities: the Commonwealth Authorities (Annual Reporting) Orders 2011 prescribe material that must be included in corporate entities' annual reports. These Orders continue to apply to 2014-15 annual reports under the PGPA (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Rule;

 for Commonwealth companies: the Commonwealth Companies (Annual Reporting) Orders 2011 prescribe material that must be included in corporate entities' annual reports. These Orders continue to apply to 2014-15 annual reports under the PGPA (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Rule; and

 for non-statutory bodies: the guidelines are contained in the government response to the Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Public Administration Report on Non-Statutory bodies.1

In its report on the development of the Commonwealth performance framework, the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit (JCPAA) foreshadowed that in future years the annual report requirements 'will be replaced through the consolidation of all mandatory requirements into a rule made for the purposes of section 46 of the PGPA Act'.2

1 Senate Hansard, 8 December 1987, pp 2632-45.

2 Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit, Report 452 Development of the Commonwealth Performance Framework, December 2015, p. 12.

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ix

Requirements for Annual Report for 2014-15 reports

The Requir

ements for Annual Reports were issued by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet on 25 June 2015 and approved by the JCPAA. Two significant changes were made to the Requirements for Annual Reports issued on 25 June 2015 in relation to:

 small

business procurement - three requirements have been added to reflect the government's commitment to improve small business access to Commonwealth contracts; and

 Indigenous employment - reporting on Indigenous employment has been added to the existing requirement to report on the management of human resources.3

While the Requirements for Annual Reports issued on 25 June 2015 apply to annual reports for 2014-15, it was noted that:

Significant revisions to the Requirements are anticipated for the 2015-16 financial year with the commencement of the performance reporting model under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act).4

Reports examined This report examines the following reports; tabled in the Senate or presented out of session to the President of the Senate and referred to the committee between 1 May 2015 and 31 October 2015:

Department of state

 Department of Immigration and Border Protection-Annual Report 2014-15; 5

and

 Attorney-General's Department-Annual Report 2014-15, including the

reports on the operations of the:

 Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 2004-Annual Report

2014-15; and

 Surveillance Devices Act 2004-Annual Report 2014-15.

3 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies, and other Non-Corporate Commonwealth Entities, 25 June 2015, p. i.

4 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies, and other Non-Corporate Commonwealth Entities, 25 June 2015, p. i.

5 Received 28 October 2015 and subsequently not available for the Supplementary Budget Estimates hearings on 19 and 20 October.

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x

Statutory agencies/authorities

Department of Immigration and Border Protection portfolio

 Australian Customs and Border Protection Service-Annual Report 2014-15; 6

and

 Migration Review Tribunal and Refugee Review Tribunal-Annual Report

2014-15.7

Attorney-General's portfolio

 Administrative Appeals Tribunal-Annual Report 2014-15; 8

 Australian Financial Security Authority-Annual Report 2014-15; 9

 Australian Human Right Commission-Annual Report 2013-14; 10

 Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions-Annual Report 2014-15; 11

 CrimTrac-Annual Report 2014-15.

 Federal Circuit Court of Australia-Annual Report 2014-15; 12

 Office of the Australian Information Commissioner-Annual Report

2014-15;13 and

 Social Security Appeals Tribunal-Annual Report 2014-15. 14

6 Received 28 October 2015 and subsequently not available for the Supplementary Budget Estimates hearings on 19 and 20 October.

7 Received 26 October 2015 and subsequently not available for the Supplementary Budget Estimates hearings on 19 and 20 October.

8 Received 26 October 2015 and subsequently not available for the Supplementary Budget Estimates hearings on 19 and 20 October.

9 Received 29 October 2015 and subsequently not available for the Supplementary Budget Estimates hearing on 19 and 20 October.

10 The Australian Human Rights Commission's Annual Report for 2013-14 was not provided within either reporting period for 2014, hence its inclusion in the 2014-15 report. The Australian Human Rights Commission's Annual Report for 2014-15 was not provided to the Senate by the 31 October 2015 deadline.

11 Received 26 October 2015 and subsequently not available for the Supplementary Budget Estimates hearings on 19 and 20 October.

12 Received 26 October 2015 and subsequently not available for the Supplementary Budget Estimates hearings on 19 and 20 October.

13 Received 26 October 2015 and subsequently not available for the Supplementary Budget Estimates hearings on 19 and 20 October.

14 Received 26 October 2015 and subsequently not available for the Supplementary Budget Estimates hearings on 19 and 20 October.

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'Apparently satisfactory' Under the terms of Standing Order 25(20)(a), the committee is required to report to the Senate whether reports are 'apparently satisfactory'. In making this assessment, the committee considers such aspects as compliance with relevant reporting guidelines.

The committee found all of the reports submitted to be 'apparently satisfactory', describing the functions, activities, performance and financial positions of the departments and agencies. In considering the reports, the committee did not identify any relevant remarks about the reports made in debate in the Senate.

Timeliness Under Standing Order 25(20)(c), the committee must also report to the Senate on any lateness in the presentation of annual reports.

Section 46 of the PGPA Act sets out the requirements for the presentation of annual report for Commonwealth entities to the responsible minister by the 15th day of the fourth month after the end of the reporting period for the entity. The Requirements for Annual Reports, which relate to departments, executive agencies and other non-corporate Commonwealth entities, state that 'the responsible minister must, in turn, present the report to each House of the Parliament on or before 31 October in the year in which the report is given'.15 Where a body is unable to meet this deadline, an extension of time to report can be sought under the provisions of subsections 34C(4)- (7) of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901.16

Section 97 of the PGPA Act sets out the requirements for the provision of annual reports of Commonwealth companies to the responsible minister.

A table listing the annual reports of departments and agencies tabled in the Senate (or presented out of session to the President of the Senate) between 1 May 2015 and 31 October 2015, and which have been referred to the committee for examination, can be found at Appendix 1.17 Also included in this table is the date each report was tabled in the House of Representatives.

The annual reports included and examined in this report met the reporting deadline of 31 October 2015.

The following annual reports were not tabled in the Senate, nor referred to the committee by the 31 October deadline. These reports will be examined by the committee in its next Report on Annual Reports (No. 2 of 2016):

 Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity-Annual

Report 2014-15;

15 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies, and other Non-Corporate Commonwealth Entities, 25 June 2015, p. 2.

16 Acts Interpretation Act 1901, s. 34.

17 The table also includes reports on the operation of acts or programs that have been referred to the committee.

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 Australian Crime Commission (ACC)-Annual Report 2014-15;

 Australian Federal Police-Annual Report 2014-15;

 Australian Government Solicitor-Annual Report 2014-15;

 Australian Human Rights Commission-Annual Report 2014-15;

 Australian Institute of Criminology-Annual Report 2014-15;

 Australian Law Reform Commission-Annual Report 2014-15;

 Australian Security Intelligence Organisation-Annual Report 2014-15;

 Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre-Annual Report 2014-15;

 Family Court of Australia-Annual Report 2014-15;

 Family Law Council-Annual Report 2014-15;

 Federal Court of Australia-Annual Report 2014-15;

 High Court of Australia-Annual Report 2014-15;

 National Archives of Australia and National Archives of Australia Advisory Council-Annual Report 2014-15; and

 Office of Parliamentary Counsel-Annual Report 2014-15.

The committee continues to encourage bodies to table annual reports before the Supplementary Budget Estimates hearings in October each year, in accordance with best practice, as outlined in the Requirements for Annual Reports.18

Requirement for non-reporting bodies to report In accordance with Standing Order 25(20)(h), the committee is required to report on bodies that do not present an annual report to the Senate and which should present such a report. On this occasion, all bodies have provided their annual reports to the Senate.

18 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies, and other Non-Corporate Commonwealth Entities, 25 June 2015, p. 2.

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Annual reports of departments 1.1 The annual reports of the following departments for the financial year 2014-15, were referred to the committee for examination and report:

 Attorney-General's Department; and

 Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

Attorney-General's Department

Tabling of report

1.2 The 2014-15 annual report was tabled in the Senate on 12 October 2015. The report was available to senators for the Supplementary Budget Estimates 2014-15

hearing on 20 October 2015.

Secretary's review

1.3 The Secretary's review for 2014-15 included an overview of the changes to the depart ment's portfolio. The Australian Government Solicitor (AGS) was

consolidated into the Attorney-General's Department (department) and the Social Security Appeals Tribunal, Migration Review Tribunal and Refugee Review Tribunal were amalgamated into the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).1

1.4 The review focused on the threat of terrorism and the department's response to this threat. Measures taken by the department included: 'initiatives to prevent and disrupt violent extremism; legislative reform to address the security risk posed by foreign fighters; [and] improvements to the technical capabilities of [Australia's] agencies and international partners'.2 Australia also hosted the Regional Summit to Counter Violent Extremism in June 2015, which was organised by the department.3

1.5 Key legislation identified by the secretary included the Telecommunications (Interpret and Access) Amendment (Data Retention) Act 2015 and the Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Act 2015.4

1.6 The outlook for 2015-16 included a continuation of the department's role in addressing the threat of terrorism. The secretary also identified that the department will initiate a Review of Commonwealth Legal Services, in line with the government's 'Efficiency through Contestability Programme', and highlighted the expected amalgamation of the corporate functions of the Federal Court of Australia, Family Court of Australia and Federal Circuit Court of Australia from 1 July 2016.5

1 Attorney-General's Department Annual Report 2014-15, p. 2.

2 Attorney-General's Department Annual Report 2014-15, p. 2.

3 Attorney-General's Department Annual Report 2014-15, p. 2.

4 Attorney-General's Department Annual Report 2014-15, p. 2.

5 Attorney-General's Department Annual Report 2014-15, p. 3.

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Changes to the portfolio structure

1.7 As discussed in paragraph 1.3, the Migration Review Tribunal, Refugee Review Tribunal and Social Security Appeals Tribunal were all amalgamated into the AAT. The AGS was also consolidated into the department. Both the consolidation of AGS into the department and the amalgamation of AAT were implemented on 1 July 2015.6

Performance reporting

1.8 The annual report's performance review addressed the key performance indicators (KPIs) of each of the department's programs, as listed in the Portfolio Budget Statements (PBS) and Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements (PAES).7

1.9 The Attorney-General's Department has made a change to the latest annual report in accordance with a recommendation made by the committee in its Report on Annual Reports (No. 1 of 2015). The annual report now includes the program deliverables, as listed in the PBS/PAES, prior to the details of the department's achievements contributing to its deliverables. The inclusion of program deliverables gives context to the department's achievements against program objectives and subsequently assists with achieving a 'clear read' when comparing the annual report with the PBS and PAES.

1.10 The report provides a comprehensive account of the department's achievements and the work progress within each program; however, the analysis of the achievements and results against KPI targets rely on qualitative descriptions. As noted in previous Reports on Annual Reports, the committee recommends the use of quantitative data, when appropriate, to help assess the effectiveness of the work of the department. The committee does acknowledge, however, the difficulty in using quantitative KPI targets to assess the effectiveness of departmental programs that involve policy development.

1.11 The committee reminds the department of best practice for the development of KPIs, which is outlined in the Australian National Audit Office's (ANAO) Development and Implementation of Key Performance Indicators to Support the Outcomes and Programs Framework:

The tendency for entities to rely on qualitative KPIs reduces their ability to measure the results of program activities over time. A mix of effectiveness KPIs, that place greater emphasis on quantitative KPIs and targets, would provide a more measureable basis for performance assessment. Targets, in particular, should be used more often to express quantifiable performance levels to be attained at a future date. By enabling a more direct assessment

6 Attorney-General's Department Annual Report 2014-15, p. 5.

7 Attorney-General's Department Annual Report 2014-15, pp 26, 28, 30-32, 34-36, 42, 44-45, 47, 50 and 52-55. See also Portfolio Budget Statements 2014-15, Attorney-General's Portfolio, pp 13-50, and Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2014-15, Attorney-General's Portfolio, pp 15-57.

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of performance, the greater use of targets would assist to clarify and simplify the process of performance monitoring.8

1.12 The tabular presentation of KPIs now includes the results of the previous year's assessment and assists the reader when comparing this year's results with the previous year. Other details are consistent with the format used in previous annual reports and were accessible and informative. The report assessed the KPIs as being 'achieved', 'substantially achieved', 'partially achieved' or 'not achieved', with a brief explanation supporting each result.9 The use of these categories is particularly helpful when addressing performance against qualitative KPIs: it facilitates direct comparisons of KPI results within and amongst programs.

Financial performance

1.13 The department's overall financial performance was briefly outlined in the Secretary's review. The department reported an operating deficit of $14.687 million for 2014-15. This deficit compares to an operating deficit of $18.213 million in 2013- 14. The department attributes the deficit to unfunded depreciation and amortisation expenses of $23.865 million.10

1.14 The committee notes that administered expenses for 2014-15 were $1275.811 million, compared to $952.795 million in 2013-14. Portfolio agency CAC Act bodies received $471.068 million in payments and royal commissions received $97.684 million. $112.727 million was paid to individuals following the cyclones and floods in 2014-15, as well as Australian Victims of Terrorism Overseas payments.11

Conclusion

1.15 The committee would like to draw attention to its earlier comments on performance reporting and KPIs. The report includes all 'suggested' items in addition to 'mandatory' requirements.12 The committee considers the report to be 'apparently satisfactory'.

Department of Immigration and Border Protection

Tabling of report

1.16 The Department of Immigration and Border Protection's (DIBP) annual report for 2014-15 was received by the Senate on 28 October 2015 and tabled on

8 Australian National Audit Office, Audit Report No. 5 2011-12, Performance Audit, Development and Implementation of Key Performance Indicators to Support the Outcomes and Programs Framework, p. 53.

9 Attorney-General's Department Annual Report 2014-15, pp 24-26, 36-37, 39-40, 4 3-45, 48-51, and 58-62.

10 Attorney-General's Department Annual Report 2014-15, p. 11.

11 Attorney-General's Department Annual Report 2014-15, p. 11.

12 The list of requirements in the annual report conforms to DPMC, Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies, and other Non-Corporate Commonwealth Entities, 25 June 2015, Attachment F.

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9 November 2015. As a result, the report was not available to the committee for examination during the Supplementary Budget Estimates hearing on 19 October 2015.

1.17 The committee emphasises that it is best practice for bodies to table annual reports so they are available to senators for Supplementary Budget Estimates in October each year.

Secretary's review

1.18 The introduction of the Secretary's review focused on the amalgamation of the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS) into DIBP and the subsequent creation of Australian Border Force (ABF). Throughout 2014-15, progressive steps were taken by the department and ACBPS to integrate their corporate, regulatory and policy functions into DIBP. As of 2 March 2015, the staff of both organisations started 'working within an integrated structure in the lead-up to 1 July'.13

1.19 The 2014-15 overview of DIBP's work on matters relating to migration, citizenship and humanitarian protection noted that the Australian government conferred 136 572 people, granted 661 000 visitor visas to Chinese nationals and

7.2 million temporary visas.14

1.20 The Migration Programme issued 189 097 visas, slightly below the 190 000 benchmark, with economic migrants accounting for 67.6 per cent of that total. The Humanitarian Programme granted the 13 756 visas, including 1009 visas issued to vulnerable women and their children as part of the 'Woman at Risk' visa program. Due to the humanitarian crisis in the Middle East, 5011 visas were issued to Syrian and Iraqi citizens across the program's onshore and offshore components.15

1.21 Legislation passed by Parliament, namely the Migration and Maritime Power Legislation Amendment (Resolving the Asylum Legacy Caseload) Act 2014 and the Migration Amendment (Protection and Other Measures) Act 2015 reintroduced Temporary Protection visas (TPVs) and introduced Safe Haven Enterprise visas (SHEVs) for illegal arrivals. It also enabled processing of the legacy caseload comprising 30 000 illegal maritime arrivals (IMA)s.16

1.22 The Secretary reported on the department's use of digital technology to assist with migration services. DIBP continued to expand on the use of ImmiAccount, enabling more users from across the world to submit their visa applications online. Since its creation, there have been over 2.4 million ImmiAccounts created, averaging more than 5000 new applications per day. DIBP was the first government agency to pilot a virtual-assistant technology that will reduce the number of phone enquiries taken by the department and visits to its service counters. DIBP is also developing

13 Department of Immigration and Border Protection Annual Report 2014-15, p. 4.

14 Department of Immigration and Border Protection Annual Report 2014-15, p. 4.

15 Department of Immigration and Border Protection Annual Report 2014-15, p. 5.

16 Department of Immigration and Border Protection Annual Report 2014-15, p. 5.

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web and mobile applications, such as myVEVO, for users to check visa entitlements, such as work rights, study rights, travel conditions and expiry dates.17

1.23 The Secretary's synopsis of DIBP's compliance and border control responsibilities included an overview of Operation Sovereign Borders (OSB). Since July 2014, no people smuggling vessel has reached Australia and there has been no known loss of life at sea for more than 18 months. OSB's operations have facilitated the closure of seven immigration detention facilities during 2014-15, delivering a com

bined saving of $570.1 million over the forward estimates period. As of 30 June 2015, only 127 children remain in immigration detention, down from the 699 children in detention at 30 June 2014.18

1.24 Other matters raised in the secretary's review included: the department's Visa Regulatory Reform Task Force to enhance visa and citizenship decision-making in response to the Martin Place siege; the role of the Research and Innovation Division in providing advice and technological solutions when developing strategic priorities; and DIBP's Integrity Framework that seeks to protect the department and its people from infiltration and corruption.19

Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority

1.25 The department presented the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority's (OMARA) performance results against deliverables and KPIs consistent with those provided in the PBS.20

1.26 The OMARA's program deliverables and KPIs were well presented and easy to read, with a clear description of the results for each program deliverable and KPI. When applicable, historical data is provided. Evidence provided in its results relies on quantitative data, as recommended by the ANAO's Development and Implementation

of Key Performance Indicators to Support the Outcomes and Programs Framework.

1.27 The OMARA met the indicators for all KPIs. Key KPI targets reached included:

 surpassing the target of 95 per cent new registration (97 per cent) or re-registration (98.7 per cent) applications finalised within the services standard of four weeks; and

 96.79 per cent of complaints were completed within the 12 month service standard.21

17 Department of Immigration and Border Protection Annual Report 2014-15, p. 6.

18 Department of Immigration and Border Protection Annual Report 2014-15, p. 6.

19 Department of Immigration and Border Protection Annual Report 2014-15, p. 8.

20 Department of Immigration and Border Protection Annual Report 2014-15, pp 105-108. See also Portfolio Budget Statements 2014-15, Immigration and Citizenship Portfolio, pp 29-31.

21 Department of Immigration and Border Protection Annual Report 2014-15, pp 107-108.

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Performance reporting

1.28 The department's performance information was comprehensive and well-presented, and included outcome strategies, objectives, deliverables, KPIs and performance results at each program level. The annual report's information was arranged logically, and the outcomes and program structure were presented in a straightforward format. This structure allows the reader to easily access and compare the information in the annual report to the PBS and PAES.22 As a result, the performance reporting provided a 'clear read' between the annual report and the relevant PBS and PAES.23

1.29 The report contained a performance review for each program: it provided an assess ment of how far the department has progressed towards achieving its stated

outcomes. Each program review covered major achievements and challenges for the department and included meaningful qualitative and quantitative analysis of migration programs and visa categories, in the form of detailed statistics and supporting discussion. Where possible, historical trends of KPI performance over the last three reporting periods accompanied actual results for 2014-15.24

1.30 The department reported that only two KPIs from Outcome 1 were unmet. In 2014-15, 0.0201 per cent of passenger and crew arrivals were not permitted to enter Australia, which was higher than the KPI target of 0.015 per cent. The department equated this increase with the deployment of the Border Risk Identification System that identifies travellers that are unlikely to comply with their visa conditions.25 The department did not achieve its KPI target of 300 000 site visits to the department's Citizenship Wizard; in 2014-15 there were 294 336 visits, compared to 361 169 site visits in 2013-14. The department noted that the decrease in visits to Citizenship Wizard did not adversely impact on the number of applications for citizenship by conferral; 191 750 applications were received in 2014-15, compared to 185 838 applications in 2013-14.26 All KPIs for Outcome 2 and Outcome 3 were met by the department in 2014-1527.

1.31 In previous annual reports, the department reported on the percentage of onshore protection visa applications decided within 90 days in accordance with the Migration Act 195; however, the Migration Amendment (Resolving the Asylum Legacy Caseload) Act 2014 (RALC Act) repealed this requirement and subsequently

22 Department of Immigration and Border Protection Annual Report 2014-15, pp 48-199. See also Portfolio Budget Statements 2014-15, Immigration and Citizenship portfolio, pp 24-47 and Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2014-15, Immigration and Border Protection portfolio, pp 21-61.

23 Department of Immigration and Border Protection Annual Report 2014-15, pp 48-199.

24 Department of Immigration and Border Protection Annual Report 2014-15, pp 48-199.

25 Department of Immigration and Border Protection Annual Report 2014-15, p. 52.

26 Department of Immigration and Border Protection Annual Report 2014-15, p. 58.

27 Department of Immigration and Border Protection Annual Report 2014-15, pp 125-126, 143, 162-166, 186-187, an d 196.

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the department was only required to report on this requirement between 1 July 2014 and 28 February 2015.28 During this reporting period, the department achieved a result of 8 per cent of 'initial decisions and decision after remittal by the courts or tribunals made within 90 days',29 far below the legislative requirement of 100 per cent.

1.32 During this financial year, the RALC Act and the Migration Amendment (Protection and Other Measures) Act 2015 amended the framework for Protection visas by fast tracking the assessment process and creating two visa options for IMAs by re-introducing TPVs and creating SHEVs.30 Subsequently there was a reduction in the number of Protection visas issued by the department. In 2014-15, 261 IMA Protection visa applications were lodged, compared to 1007 Protection visas in 2013- 14.31 Only one Protection visa was issued in 2014-15, compared to 546 in 2013-14.32

1.33 Non-IMA Protection visas lodged and granted in 2014-15 remained relatively consistent with previous years, with 8587 applications lodged in 2014-15, compared to 9688 in 2013-14. There were 2 746 Protection visas granted to non-IMAs in 2014- 15, compared to 2207 in 2013-14.33

Financial performance

1.34 The department's 2014-15 financial performance reported an operating deficit of $85.3 million compared to $105.7 million in 2013-14.34 The department incurred $109.9 million in depreciation and amortisation expenses. Government funding for depreciation and amortisation expenses ceased in 2010-11: continued funding for these items would have resulted in a $24.6 million surplus in 2014-15.35

1.35 The summary of financial performance stated the principal factors that contributed to the department's operating results were:

 the reduction in the average staffing levels by 497; this reduction resulted in a saving of $33.1 million;

 Increased service fees from translating and interpreting services and recoveries from legal challenges and merchant fees; these fees generated $22.9 million; and

 a reduction of $108.5 million in departmental appropriation revenue from

government which was met by a decrease in the department's expenditure.36

28 Department of Immigration and Border Protection Annual Report 2014-15, p. 126.

29 Department of Immigration and Border Protection Annual Report 2014-15, p. 126.

30 Department of Immigration and Border Protection Annual Report 2014-15, p. 136.

31 Department of Immigration and Border Protection Annual Report 2014-15, p. 136.

32 Department of Immigration and Border Protection Annual Report 2014-15, p. 137.

33 Department of Immigration and Border Protection Annual Report 2014-15, pp 136-137.

34 Department of Immigration and Border Protection Annual Report 2014-15, p. 32.

35 Department of Immigration and Border Protection Annual Report 2014-15, p. 32.

36 Department of Immigration and Border Protection Annual Report 2014-15, p. 32.

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Conclusion

1.36 The annual report closely adheres to the Requirements for Annual Reports and provides a detailed analysis of departmental performance and operations during the year. The committee considers the report to be 'apparently satisfactory'.

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Chapter 2

Annual reports of agencies

2.1 The annual reports of the following agencies were referred to the committee for examination and report during the period 1 May to 31 October 2015:

Attorney-General's Portfolio

Prescribed agencies

 Administrative Appeals Tribunal;

 Australian Financial Security Authority;

 Australian Human Rights Commission; 1

 Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions;

 CrimTrac;

 Federal Circuit Court of Australia;

 Office of the Australian Information Commissioner; and

 Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman. 2

Immigration and Border Protection Portfolio

Statutory bodies

 Australian Customs and Border Protection Service; and

 Migration Review Tribunal and Refugee Review Tribunal.

Consideration of annual reports 2.2 The committee has considered, but not reported on, the annual report of the Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman, as the Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee has specific responsibility for overseeing that agency.

2.3 The list of agencies that did not table their annual reports in the Senate during the period 1 May to 31 October 2015 is provided in the preface of this report. The committee will consider those annual reports in the Report on Annual Reports (No.2 of 2016).

2.4 On this occasion, the committee has examined in more detail the reports of the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, Crimtrac, and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia.

1 The annual report for 2013-14; not for 2014-15.

2 Also forwarded to the Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee.

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Australian Customs and Border Protection Service 2.5 The Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS, the service) was Australia's primary border agency. The responsibilities of the service included assisting legitimate trade and travel; preventing, deterring and detecting illegal movement of people and goods across Australia's borders; and collecting border-related revenue and trade statistics.3

2.6 On 1 July 2015, the Customs and Other Legislation Amendment (Australian Border Force) Act 2015 abolished the ACBPS. In preparation for the abolition the Secretary of DIBP had responsibility for the 2014-15 ACBPS annual report, on the nomination of the Department of Finance. The details of this arrangement are provided in the letter of transmittal from the DIBP Secretary, Mr Michael Pezzullo.4

2.7 The 2014-15 annual report was received by the Senate out of session on 26 October 2015 and tabled on 9 November 2015.5 The annual report was not provided to the committee in time for the Additional Budget Estimates hearing on 19 October 2015.

2.8 The Chief Executive Officer's (CEO) introduction to the annual report provided details on the ACBPS integration with DIBP and the subsequent creation of ABF. Both entities began working under an integrated structure on 2 March 2015 and the full integration occurred on 1 July 2015.6

2.9 The CEO commented on the allocation of an additional $154 million in funding to the ACBPS for its counter terrorism capabilities. These capabilities assisted with the identification and prevention of Australians seeking to travel overseas to participate in terrorist activities and manage those returning from the conflict. The ACBPS also established New Counter Terrorism Units at Australia's international airports.7

2.10 The volume of cargo, and the movement of people, drugs, firearms and tobacco were all noted in the CEO's review. Sea and air cargo in Australia has increased over the past four years, air cargo has increased by 140 per cent and imported sea cargo has increased by 20 per cent.8 The past four years have also seen

an increase in the number of international air and sea passengers, with an increase of 23 per cent over that period. SmartGates have assisted with management of passengers entering and leaving the country, with 38 per cent of all travellers arriving in Australia in 2014-15 processed through the automated system.9 The illegal

3 Australian Customs and Border Protection Annual Report 2014-15, p. 26.

4 Australian Customs and Border Protection Annual Report 2014-15, p. 3.

5 See Appendix 1, p.25.

6 Australian Customs and Border Protection Annual Report 2014-15, p. 16.

7 Australian Customs and Border Protection Annual Report 2014-15, p. 17.

8 Australian Customs and Border Protection Annual Report 2014-15, p. 17.

9 Australian Customs and Border Protection Annual Report 2014-15, p. 18.

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importation of illicit drug detection in 2014-15 marked a record for the ACBPS: two more tonnes were detected by the service compared to 2013-14 and 'higher than the results for any of the past five years'.10

2.11 The financial performance of the ACBPS, outlined in the CEO's review, reported an operating loss of $29.7 million for 2014-15. Excluding unfunded depreciation and amortisation expenses of $120.6 million and $6.9 million for changes in asset revaluations, the service would have reported an operating surplus of $84.0 million. The exclusion of further expenses associated with the receipt of the Australian Defence Vessel (ADV) Ocean Shield from the Department of Defence ($98.9 million) would have resulted in an operating loss of $14.9 million.11

2.12 The ACBPS has produced an annual report that is a 'clear read' between the programs and KPIs presented in the PBS and PAES.12 When applicable, the service has provided end-of-year data results from 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-1513. The outcome and program descriptions reflected the information provided in the budget statements and are set out clearly for the reader. Additionally, KPI tables were set out in a clear format, providing a simple tick, cross or not applicable description. This format allows for quick identification on whether the service successfully met a target. When the ACBPS did not meet a target, a proceeding table was supplied with an explanation for the shortfall.14 The annual report provided a comprehensive analysis of the year's performance results, and the committee commends the ACBPS for its work. However, the committee reminds the agency that annual reports should be received before Supplementary Budget Estimates.

2.13 The committee considers the report of the ACBPS to be 'apparently satisfactory'. As a result of ACBPS's integration into DIBP, this will be the last annual report for the service.

CrimTrac 2.14 CrimTrac provides national information sharing services to federal and state police forces, and other law enforcement and national security agencies, such as:

 an automated fingerprint identification service;

 a criminal investigation DNA database and matching services;

 a child protection service;

 a police reference service;

10 Australian Customs and Border Protection Annual Report 2014-15, p. 18.

11 Australian Customs and Border Protection Annual Report 2014-15, p. 18.

12 Portfolio Budget Statements Immigration and Border Protection portfolio 2014-15, pp 89-131; Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2014-15 Immigration and Border Protection portfolio, pp 85-108.

13 Example available in Australian Customs and Border Protection Annual Report 2014-15, pp 94-95.

14 Australian Customs and Border Protection Service 2014-15, pp 47-48, and 75.

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 a police checking service; and

 a national firearms service. 15

2.15 Its annual report is prepared in accordance with section 70 of the Public Service Act 1999 and the requirements for annual reports detailed under section 46 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2014. CrimTrac was established under an Inter-Governmental Agreement between the Commonwealth and each state and territory.16

2.16 The 2014-15 annual report of CrimTrac was presented to the President of the Senate on 29 October 2015 and tabled in the Senate on 9 November 2015.17 Subsequently, the CrimTrac annual report was not available for senators during the Attorney-General's portfolio Supplementary Budget Estimates hearing on 20 October 2015.

2.17 CrimTrac's new CEO, Ms Nicole Role PSM, wrote about the launch of the CrimTrac Strategic Plan 2015-2020 that will provide guidance to the agency and its Board of Management. The CEO wrote the 'strategic plan reinforces [CrimTrac's] commitment to meeting the information needs of the Australian policing community'.18

2.18 The review provided brief summaries on the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN), the Australian Ballistic Information Network and the National Domestic Violence Order Information Sharing System.

2.19 The CEO's outlook for CrimTrac included the further integration of CrimTrac's services into Australia's policing and law enforcement environment and the strengthening of relationships between Australia's police forces.19

2.20 CrimTrac's performance summary provided a clear and detailed description of its program (objectives and deliverables), key performance indicators and work plan. A table provided a concise breakdown of CrimTrac's work plan for 2014-15, identify

ing its 'ongoing' work and any 'implemented approved initiatives'.20 KPI targets for 2014-15 were listed clearly in a table; CrimTrac achieved and surpassed all KPI targets.21 Further quantitative and qualitative details were provided on each program deliverable, and if possible, historical data was provided for the previous three years.

15 Portfolio Budget Statements 2014-15 Attorney-General's portfolio, p. 295.

16 CrimTrac Annual Report 2014-15, p. 6.

17 See Appendix 1, p.25.

18 CrimTrac Annual Report 2014-15, p. 2.

19 CrimTrac Annual Report 2014-15, p. 3.

20 CrimTrac Annual Report 2014-15, p. 14.

21 CrimTrac Annual Report 2014-15, p. 15.

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2.21 CrimTrac's financial overview noted an operating surplus22 of $0.627 million in 2014-15, compared to a surplus of $3.162 million in 2013-14. Total revenue for 2014-15 was $74.858 million compared with $67.754 million in 2013-14. CrimTrac highlighted the National Police Checking Service and the growth in number of chargeable criminal history checks conducted by CrimTrac. The increase in revenue from between 2013-14 and 2014-15 was $4.381 million.23

2.22 Expenses for 2014-15 increased by $9.639 million, from $67.754 million in 2013-14 to $74.231 million in 2014-15. Supplier expenses were noted in the overview: this expense increased by $10.765 million due to increased project costs. Project activities for CrimTrac in 2014-15 accounted for $16.539 million compared with $12.830 million for 2013-14.24 Note 3: Expenses showed a substantial increase in the costs relating to information technology, consultants, marketing and communication.25

2.23 The performance summary provided in CrimTrac's annual report is a 'clear read' when cross-checked with the PBS.26 The committee congratulates CrimTrac on successfully achieving all of its KPI targets. The committee considers the report of CrimTrac to be 'apparently satisfactory'.

The Federal Circuit Court of Australia 2.24 The Federal Circuit Court of Australia (the Court) is a national independent statutory body, subject to annual reporting requirements under section 117 of its enabling legislation, the Federal Circuit Court of Australia Act 1999. Furthermore, as a prescribed agency under the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (FMA Act) the Court is also obliged to prepare annual reports according to the criteria in the Requirements for Annual Reports.27 The Federal Circuit Court of Australia is a single entity for the purposes of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013.

2.25 The 2014-15 annual report of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia was received by the Senate on 26 October 2015 and tabled in the Senate on 9 November 2015;28 it was not available for senators during the relevant Supplementary Budget Estimates hearing on 20 October 2015.

2.26 Chief Justice John Pascoe AO CVO provided an informative review of the Court's activities during 2014-15. The court had a significant number of judges retire

22 Figures exclude asset revaluation adjustments.

23 CrimTrac Annual Report 2014-15, p. 76.

24 CrimTrac Annual Report 2014-15, p. 76.

25 CrimTrac Annual Report 2014-15, p. 97.

26 Portfolio Budget Statements 2014-15 Attorney-General's portfolio, pp 297-309.

27 DPMC, Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies, and other Non-Corporate Commonwealth Entities, 25 June 2015, Part 1, subsection 3(1).

28 See Appendix 1, p.25.

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in 2014-15. Over the past twelve months, nine judges left office or 15 per cent of the Court's judiciary.29 A consequence of these retirements and delays in those judges being replaced had a 'significant effect on the Court's capability to deal with matters expeditiously, and waiting times for trials have increased significantly'.30

2.27 The Chief Justice reported that the Court's caseload in migration matters has continually grown over the past five years and the number of filings has grown nearly four-fold, with a total of almost 3900 filings in 2014-15.31 The Chief Justice wrote 'the Court [is] facing an unprecedented volume of work in this jurisdiction. This workload cannot be met with the current judicial resourcing'.32

2.28 The review finished with comments regarding the merger of the corporate services of all three federal courts. This change will result in a single budget appropriation for all three courts and the government intends to commence this arrangement on 1 July 2016. The Chief Justice noted that the Court's primary concern regarding this change is 'to ensure that the integrity of its work remains unaffected' and 'the effectiveness of the Court's work should be enhanced through this process'.33

2.29 The annual report's review of the Court's performance provided very clear quantitative and qualitative results for 2014-15.34 The report was unable to compare historical KPI data due to changes to its KPIs in 2014-15. The Court achieved two out

of three of its KPI targets. The first KPI required the court to complete 90 per cent of final order applications (family law) within 12 months; the court completed 73 per

cent. The annual report attributed this shortfall to the number of judges that left the Court during this reporting period.35

2.30 KPIs shared with the Family Court of Australia indicated that only one of the four KPIs was not met. Only 34 per cent of telephone enquiries were answered within 90 seconds; the KPI target was for 80 per cent of telephone enquiries to be answered within that timeframe.36

2.31 In addition to deliverables and KPI targets, the annual report provided a comprehensive analysis of the year's workload relating to final order applications,

29 Federal Circuit Court of Australia Annual Report 2014-15, p. 4.

30 Federal Circuit Court of Australia Annual Report 2014-15, p. 4.

31 Federal Circuit Court of Australia Annual Report 2014-15, p. 4.

32 Federal Circuit Court of Australia Annual Report 2014-15, p. 4.

33 Federal Circuit Court of Australia Annual Report 2014-15, p. 4.

34 The Family Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit Court were merged into a single FMA Act from 1 July 2013. The Federal Circuit Court of Australia remains a single entity for the purposes of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013. It is a separate Chapter III Court under the Australian Constitution and the deliverables and KPI to the Court are shown on page 46 of the annual report. KPIs shared by both the Family Court and Federal Circuit Court are shown on page 47 of the annual report.

35 Federal Circuit Court of Australia Annual Report 2014-15, p. 46.

36 Federal Circuit Court of Australia Annual Report 2014-15, p. 47.

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divorce applications, bankruptcy applications and migration applications. Data was also provided on judgments, appeals and complaints. When possible, historical data was provided for 2010-11 to 2014-15.37

2.32 The presentation of deliverables and KPI information gives a 'clear read' between the PBS and the annual report. The committee praises the Federal Circuit Court of Australia for the clear and thorough presentation of its performance results.

2.33 The committee considers the report of the Family Court of Australia to be 'apparently satisfactory'.

37 Federal Circuit Court of Australia Annual Report 2014-15, pp 48-87.

253

Page 16

254

Chapter 3

Reports on the operation of acts and programs 3.1 Standing Order 25(20) does not provide for the consideration of reports on the implementation or operation of acts or programs. The committee is not required to include them in its report on the examination of annual reports; however, as on previous occasions, the committee has chosen to examine such reports, specifically the:

 Surveillance Devices Act 2004 Annual Report 2014-15; and

 Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979 Annual Report

2014-15.

Report on the operation of the Surveillance Devices Act 2004 3.2 The annual report on the operation of the Surveillance Devices Act 2004 (SD Act) was tabled in the Senate on 15 June 2015.1 The report relates to the period from 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2015.

3.3 The report noted that during the 2014-15 reporting period, there were no significant policy developments or amendments to the SD Act. Furthermore, there were no significant judicial decisions.2 In 2014-15, there was an increase of 2 per cent in warrants being issued under the SD Act. This was a modest increase compared to the 16 per cent increase in the previous reporting period (2013-14).3

3.4 The executive summary of the SD Act annual report highlighted the role of the SD Act had played in securing convictions. In 2014-15, information obtained under the SD Act contributed to convictions in 76 cases. This number of convictions was an increase over 50 per cent from 2013-14. Historical data was provided from 2004-05 and indicated a mostly upward trend in the number of convictions.4

Applications for surveillance device warrants

3.5 Only eligible judges from the Family Court of Australia, the Federal Court and the Federal Circuit Court, or a nominated AAT member, are able to issue a surveillance device warrant. The total number of judges and AAT members available to issue a SD warrant in 2014-15 was 79, with 32 of those being Federal Circuit Court judges. Ov

erall, this total continued a downward trend from 96 in 2012-13 and 84 in 2013-14.5

1 See Appendix 1, p.25.

2 AGD, Surveillance Devices Act 2004 Report for the year ending 30 June 2015, p. 9.

3 AGD, Surveillance Devices Act 2004 Report for the year ending 30 June 2015, p. 9.

4 AGD, Surveillance Devices Act 2004 Report for the year ending 30 June 2015, p. 2.

5 AGD, Surveillance Devices Act 2004 Report for the year ending 30 June 2015, p. 5.

255

Page 18

3.6 Not all of the data in relation to the number of warrants obtained at the state and territory level was available. State and territory law enforcement agencies generally rely on their own legislative regimes for the use of surveillance devices, although they are able to make use of the SD Act when dealing with a Commonwealth matter or during a joint operation.6

3.7 Pursuant to paragraph 50(1)(a) of the SD Act, the annual report must provide information on the number of applications for warrants made and the number of warrants issued for the reporting period. Under subsection 50(2), the SD Act also requires the report to provide a breakdown of these numbers in respect of each different kind of surveillance device.7

3.8 For 2014-15, law enforcement agencies made applications for 876 warrants, and 875 warrants were issued by an eligible judge or nominated AAT member. One warrant was not issued due to insufficient information being provided to the judge or AAT member.8

3.9 Table 3.1 provides a breakdown of the warrants issued by agency for 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15.9

6 AGD, Surveillance Devices Act 2004 Report for the year ending 30 June 2015, p. 9.

7 AGD, Surveillance Devices Act 2004 Report for the year ending 30 June 2015, p. 11.

8 AGD, Surveillance Devices Act 2004 Report for the year ending 30 June 2015, p. 11.

9 Adapted from: AGD, Surveillance Devices Act 2004 Report for the year ending 30 June 2015, p. 12.

256

Page 19

Table 3.1

Agency 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15

Australian Crime Commission (ACC) 166 211 266

Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity (ACLEI)

6 14 2

Australian Federal Police (AFP) 557 622 606

CCC (QLD) 2 7 -

WA Police - 2 1

SA Police 4 - -

VIC Police 2 - -

Total 737 856 875

3.10 Section 15 of the SD Act provides for remote application for a warrant. A remote warrant could be made by telephone, fax, email or other means of communication if it is impracticable for the law enforcement agency to apply in person. In 2014-15, the AFP applied remotely for and was issued two surveillance device warrants.10

3.11 Section 19 of the SD Act allows for a law enforcement officer to apply for an extension for a 'warrant for a period not exceeding 90 days after the warrant's original expiry date'.11 In 2014-15, no applications were refused and 152 applications were submitted, 23 more than 2013-14.12

3.12 The Annual Report stated that there were 11 emergency authorisations issued to the AFP in 2014-15; no authorisations of this type have been issued in the past two years.13 Emergency authorisations can be issued 'in cases of serious risk to person or property…urgent circumstances relating to a child recovery order…or where there is a risk of loss of evidence'.14

10 AGD, Surveillance Devices Act 2004 Report for the year ending 30 June 2015, p. 14.

11 AGD, Surveillance Devices Act 2004 Report for the year ending 30 June 2015, p. 14.

12 AGD, Surveillance Devices Act 2004 Report for the year ending 30 June 2015, p. 14.

13 AGD, Surveillance Devices Act 2004 Report for the year ending 30 June 2015, p. 15.

14 AGD, Surveillance Devices Act 2004 Report for the year ending 30 June 2015, p. 15.

257

Page 20

3.13 The SD Act requires that the annual report must provide data on the number of applications for tracking device authorisations and the number of tracking device authorisations given. The table below is extracted from the report15:

Table 3.2

Agency 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15

Australian Crime Commission (ACC) Applications 10 12 21

Authorised 10 12 21

Australian Federal Police (AFP) Applications 56 58 56

Authorised 56 58 58

Total 66 70 77

3.14 Section 50 requires the inclusion of information which is, for the committee's purpose, indicative of the SD Act's effective use, such as: the number of arrests; prosecutions and convictions; as well as 'the number of locations and safe recoveries of children', based on information obtained using surveillance devices.16

3.15 The following table shows the number of arrests, prosecutions and convictions for 2014-15. The figures in brackets refer to the preceding reporting period 2013-14.17

Table 3.3

AGENCY Arrests Safe Recovery Prosecutions Convictions

ACC (49) 38 - (12) 1 (-) 1

AFP (154) 123 - (128) 135 (35) 71

CCC (QLD) (1) 3 - - -

Victoria Police (-) - - (-) 4 (-) 4

Total (204) 164 - (140) 140 (35) 76

3.16 The report noted that information regarding arrests, prosecutions (inclusive of committal proceedings) and convictions should be interpreted with caution, especially

15 AGD, Surveillance Devices Act 2004 Report for the year ending 30 June 2015, p. 16.

16 AGD, Surveillance Devices Act 2004 Report for the year ending 30 June 2015, p. 16.

17 Adapted from: AGD, Surveillance Devices Act 2004 Report for the year ending 30 June 2014, p. 18.

258

Page 21

in presuming a relationship between them. An arrest in one reporting period might not lead to a prosecution in a later reporting period, likewise a conviction in one reporting period could be recorded in another period. Further, there is no correlation between the number of charges and arrests as an arrest could lead to conviction for multiple offences. Also, in situations where the weight of evidence obtained from surveillance devices is sufficient for defendants to enter guilty pleas, it may not be necessary for surveillance information to be introduced as evidence.18

Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979 3.17 The annual report for 2014-15 on the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979 (TIA Act) was tabled in the Senate on 17 June 2015.19

3.18 Section 104 of the TIA Act sets out the provisions for annual reports, specifically:

The Minister shall cause a copy of a report under section 93 or Division 2 to be laid before each House of the Parliament within 15 sitting days of that House after the Minister receives the report, or the report is prepared, as the case may be.20

3.19 The committee notes that the report was tabled before the required date in both Houses of Parliament.

3.20 The TIA Act has the primary goal of protecting the privacy of individuals who use the Australian telecommunications network. Communications cannot be intercepted unless authorised by specific circumstances set out in the TIA Act. Law enforcement agencies have the option to access several separate warrants to intercept a communication. These include warrants for real-time content and for stored communications.21

3.21 From 13 October 2015, the TIA Act limited the number of agencies that are able to access stored communications. This restriction allows for only criminal-law enforcement agencies and the Commonwealth Ombudsman to access this information via the TIA Act. This change was a product of the passing of the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Amendment (Data Retention) Act 2015 (Data Retention Act). The Data Retention Act obliges carriers to retain specific information for a period of two years. In addition to the retention of data and the reduction in the number of agencies that have access to this information, the Data Retention Act also imposes additional record keeping and reporting obligations for those law enforcement agencies that wish to access telecommunications data.22

18 AGD, Surveillance Devices Act 2004 Report for the year ending 30 June 2015, p. 17.

19 See Appendix 1, p.25.

20 Telecommunication (Interception and Access) Act, s. 104(1).

21 AGD, Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act annual report 2014-15, p. V.

22 AGD, Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act annual report 2014-15, p. V.

259

Page 22

3.22 This annual report does not include those additional reporting requirements implemented by recent changes to the TIA Act; these reporting requirements will be in place in the 2015-16 annual report.23

3.23 In 2014-15 interception warrants were available to 17 Commonwealth and state and territory agencies including the ACC, ACLEI, AFP, state and territory police and state anti-corruption agencies.24 In order to use an interception warrant an

authority must be satisfied that the agency is investigating a serious offence. A serious offence is generally a crime committed that carries a penalty of at least seven years' imprisonment.25

3.24 The report noted that an interception warrant may only be issued by an eligible judge or a nominated AAT member. Eligible judges in 2014-15 included members of the Federal Court of Australia, the Family Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit Court. Judges have to be declared eligible by the Attorney-General and formally consent in writing to be an eligible judge.26

3.25 During the reporting period a total of 3926 telecommunications interceptions warrants were issued by judges and nominated AAT members (see table 3.4).27

Table 3.4

Issuing Authority Family Court

Judges

Federal Court Judges

Federal Circuit Court Judges

Nominated AAT members

Total

Number of warrants issued

204 241 258 3223 3926

3.26 Table 3.5 shows the number of applications for warrants, telephone applications for warrants and renewal applications that were made, withdrawn and issued. The figures in brackets refer to the preceding reporting period 2013-14.28

23 AGD, Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act annual report 2014-15, p. V.

24 AGD, Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act annual report 2014-15, p. 1.

25 AGD, Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act annual report 2014-15, p. 2.

26 AGD, Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act annual report 2014-15, p. 4.

27 Adapted from: AGD, Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act annual report 2014-15, p. 5.

28 Adapted from: AGD, Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act annual report 2014-15, p. 7.

260

Page 23

Table 3.5

Applications

for warrants Telephone Applications for Warrants Renewal

applications

Made (4025) 3935 (75) 45 (603) 750

Refused/withdrawn (18) 9 (-) - (-) -

Issued (4007) 3926 (75) 45 (603) 750

3.27 The report's key findings noted the information obtained under these warrants led to 3100 arrests, 4686 prosecutions and 1912 convictions.29

Stored communications

3.28 The TIA Act enables law enforcement agencies to apply for stored communications warrants to assist investigations. These warrants may apply to email, SMS or voice message communications.30

3.29 Table 3.6 shows the number of applications for warrants, telephone applications for warrants and renewal applications that were made, withdrawn and issued. The figures in brackets refer to the preceding reporting period 2014-15.31

Table 3.6

Applications for stored

communications warrants

Telephone Applications for stored communication warrants

Made (572) 697 (1) 0

Refused/withdrawn (1) 1 (0) 0

Issued (571) 696 (1) 0

3.30 During the reporting period, law enforcement agencies made 377 arrests, undertook 335 proceedings and made 198 convictions based on evidence obtained under stored communications warrants.32

29 AGD, Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act annual report 2014-15, pp VII-VIII.

30 AGD, Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act annual report 2014-15, p. 31.

31 Adapted from: AGD, Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act annual report 2014-15, p. 33.

32 AGD, Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act annual report 2014-15, p. 34.

261

Page 24

Telecommunications data

3.31 Chapter four of the TIA Act allows enforcement agencies to access 'telecommunications data where that information is reasonably necessary for the enforcement of the criminal law, a law imposing a pecuniary penalty, or the protection of the public revenue'.33

3.32 The report noted that 83 enforcement agencies made historical data authorisations34 and 354 841 data authorisation to enforce the criminal law.35 The number of authorisations has increased by 30 581 compared to 2013-14 (324 260 authorisations).36

Senator the Hon Ian Macdonald Chair

33 AGD, Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act annual report 2014-15, p. 41.

34 AGD, Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act annual report 2014-15, p. 41.

35 AGD, Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act annual report 2014-15, p. 42.

36 AGD, Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act annual report 2014-15, p. 44.

262

Appendix 1

Reports tabled during the period 1 May 2015 and 31 October 2015 and referred to the committee

Department/authority/

operation of an act or program

Date

submitted to minister/date received by minister

Date tabled in Senate (received in Senate out

of session)

Date tabled in the House of Reps

Attorney-General's Portfolio

Department/authority - Report

Attorney-General's Department

- Commonwealth Ombudsman - Report to the Commonwealth Attorney- General on the results of inspections of records under s 55 of the Surveillance Devices Act 2004 -Australian

Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity 1 July to 31 December 2013; Australian Crime Commission 1 July to 31 December 2013; Australian Federal Police 1 July to 31 December 2013 - Section 61 of the Surveillance Devices Act 2004

1.5.15/

1.5.15

15.6.15 25.5.15

Attorney-General's Department

- Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse - Report of Case Study No.9 - The responses of the Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide, and the South Australian Police, to allegations of child sexual abuse at St Ann’s Special School - May 2015

No legislative requirement to table the report

25.5.15/

25.5.15

15.6.15 4.6.15

Australian Human Rights Commission

- Annual Report 2013-2014 - Section 45 of the Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986

21.4.15/

21.4.15

15.6.15 4.6.15

263

Page 26

Department/authority/

operation of an act or program

Date

submitted to minister/date received by minister

Date tabled in Senate (received in Senate out

of session)

Date tabled in the House of Reps

Australian Law Reform Commission

- ALRC Report 126 - Connection to

Country: Review of the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) - Final Report and Summary Report April 2015 - Section 23 of the Australian Law Reform Commission Act 1996

23.5.15/

23.5.15

15.6.15 4.6.15

Australian Human Rights Commission

- Report 91 - inquiry into the complaint: Tapara v Commonwealth of Australia (DIBP) - Section 46 of the Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986

31.3.15/

31.3.15

22.6.15 18.6.15

Australian Human Rights Commission

- Australian Human Rights Commission - Report 92 - inquiry into the complaint: Immigration detainees with adverse security assessments v Commonwealth of Australia (DIBP) - Section 46 of the Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986

31.3.15/

31.3.15

22.6.15 18.6.15

Australian Human Rights Commission

- Australian Human Rights Commission - Report 93 - inquiry into the complaint: AN v ANZ Banking Group Limited - Section 46 of the Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986

15.6.15/

15.6.15

10.8.15 10.8.15

Attorney-General's Department

- Defence Abuse Response Taskforce - Report on progress, operations and future structure, dated 30 June 20151

13.7.15/

13.7.15

10.8.15

(30.7.15)

11.8.15

1 Forwarded to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee.

264

Page 27

Department/authority/

operation of an act or program

Date

submitted to minister/date received by minister

Date tabled in Senate (received in Senate out

of session)

Date tabled in the House of Reps

Attorney-General's Department

- Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse—Royal Commission—Report of case study no. 10—The Salvation Army’s handling of claims of child sexual abuse 1989 to 2014, dated June 2015

No legislative requirement to table the report

24.6.15/

24.6.15

10.8.15

(3.8.15)

11.8.15

Australian National Maritime Museum

- Corporate plan 2015 to 2019

18.6.15/

16.6.15

10.8.15

(28.7.15)

11.8.15

Attorney-General's Department

- Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse—Royal Commission—Report of case study no. 12—The response of an independent school in Perth to concerns raised about the conduct of a teacher between 1999 and 2009, dated June 2015

No legislative requirement to table the report

10.7.15/

10.7.15

10.8.15

(4.8.15)

11.8.15

Attorney-General's Department

- Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse - Working with Children Checks - Report

No legislative requirement to table the report

3.8.15/

3.8.15

17.8.15 17.8.15

265

Page 28

Department/authority/

operation of an act or program

Date

submitted to minister/date received by minister

Date tabled in Senate (received in Senate out

of session)

Date tabled in the House of Reps

Attorney-General's Department

- Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse - Report of Case Study No.17 - The response of the Australian Indigenous Ministries, the Australian and Northern Territory governments and the Northern Territory police force and prosecuting authorities to allegations of child sexual abuse which occurred at the Retta Dixon Home - July 20152

No legislative requirement to table the report

27.7.15/

27.7.15

19.8.15 19.8.15

Attorney-General's Department

- Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse - Report of Case Study No.16 - The Melbourne Response - July 2015

No legislative requirement to table the report

1.9.15/

1.9.15

14.9.15 14.9.15

Attorney-General's Department

- Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse - Redress and Civil Litigation Report

No legislative requirement to table the report

1.9.15/

1.9.15

14.9.15 14.9.15

Attorney-General's Department

- Annual Report 2014-15 - Section 63 of the Public Service Act 1999

16.9.15/

16.9.15

12.10.15 12.10.15

2 Forwarded to the Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee

266

Page 29

Department/authority/

operation of an act or program

Date

submitted to minister/date received by minister

Date tabled in Senate (received in Senate out

of session)

Date tabled in the House of Reps

Administrative Appeals Tribunal

- Administrative Appeals Tribunal - Annual Report 2014-15 - Section 24 of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975

14.10.15/

14.10.15

9.11.15

(26.10.15) 9.11.15

Office of the Australian Information Commission

- Office of the Australian Information Commissioner - Annual Report 2014- 15 - Section 30 of the Australian Information Commissioner Act 2010

14.10.15/

14.10.15

9.11.15

(26.10.15) 9.11.15

Commonwealth Director of Public

Prosecutions

- Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP) - Annual Report 2014-15 - Section 46 of the Public Governance, Performance and

Accountability Act 2013

30.9.15/

1.10.15

9.11.15

(26.10.15) 9.11.15

Federal Circuit Court of Australia

- Federal Circuit Court of Australia - Annual Report 2014-15 - Section 177 of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia Act 1999

14.10.15/

14.10.15

9.11.15

(26.10.15) 9.11.15

Social Security Appeals Tribunal

- Social Security Appeals Tribunal - Annual Report 2014-15 - Section 24 of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975

14.10.15/

14.10.15

9.11.15

(26.10.15) 9.11.15

267

Page 30

Department/authority/

operation of an act or program

Date

submitted to minister/date received by minister

Date tabled in Senate (received in Senate out

of session)

Date tabled in the House of Reps

Australian Financial Security Authority

- Australian Financial Security Authority (AFSA)—Report for 2014-15, including reports on the operation of the Bankruptcy Act 1966 and Personal Property Securities Act 2009

6.10.15/

6.10.15

9.11.15

(29.10.15) 9.11.15

CrimTrac

- CrimTrac - Annual Report 2014-15 - Section 70 of the Public Service Act 1999

2.10.15/

2.10.15

9.11.15

(29.10.15) 9.11.15

Operation of an act/program

Attorney-General's Department - Surveillance Devices Act 2004 - Annual Report 2013-14 - Section 50 of the Surveillance Devices Act 2004

8.5.15/

8.5.15

17.6.15

17.6.15

Attorney-General's Department

- Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979 - Annual Report 2013-14 - Section 104 of the

Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979

8.5.15/

8.5.15

17.6.15

17.6.15

268

Page 31

Department/authority/

operation of an act or program

Date

submitted to minister/date received by minister

Date tabled in Senate (received in Senate out

of session)

Date tabled in the House of Reps

Immigration and Border Protection Portfolio

Department/authority - Report

Migration Review Tribunal and Refugee Review Tribunal

- Migration Review Tribunal and Refugee Review Tribunal - Annual Report 2014-15 - Section 24 of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975

14.10.15/

14.10.15

9.11.15

(26.10.15) 9.11.15

Australian Customs and Border Protection Service

- Australian Customs and Border Protection Service - Annual Report 2014-15 - Section 63 of the Public Service Act 1999

21.9.15/

29.9.15

9.11.15

(28.10.15) 9.11.15

Department of Immigration and Border Protection

- Annual Report 2014-15 - Section 63 of the Public Service Act 1999

23.9.15/

6.10.15

9.11.15

(28.10.15) 9.11.15

269

Page 32

Department/authority/

operation of an act or program

Date

submitted to minister/date received by minister

Date tabled in Senate (received in Senate out

of session)

Date tabled in the House of Reps

Migration Act 1958

Department of Immigration and

Border Protection

- Reports by the Commonwealth and Immigration Ombudsman - Section 486O of the Migration Act 1958 [Personal identifier: 1001437, 1001443, 1001470, 1001479, 1001511, 1001571, 1001584, 1001593, 1001598, 1001601, 1001603, 1001610, 1001626, 1001629, 1001638, 1001649, 1001650, 1001680, 1001681, 1001707, 1001715, 1001717, 1001718, 1001729, 1001780, 1001783, 1001784, 1001789, 1001790, 1001830, 1001831, 1001848, 1001874, 1001877, 1001890, 1001897, 1001902, 1001905, 1001909, 1001914, 1001917, 1001940, 1001942, 1001945, 1001947, 1001951, 1001953, 1001955, 1001967, 1001996, 1002004, 1002090, 1002097, 1002099, 1002100, 1002157, 1002167.] - Section 486O of the

Migration Act 1958

6.5.15/

6.5.15

13.5.15 13.5.15

Department of Immigration and Border Protection

- Response to Ombudsman’s Statements made under section 486O of the Migration Act 1958 - Statement to Parliament - Section 486P of the Migration Act 1958

6.5.15/

6.5.15

13.5.15

13.5.15

270

Page 33

Department/authority/

operation of an act or program

Date

submitted to minister/date received by minister

Date tabled in Senate (received in Senate out

of session)

Date tabled in the House of Reps

Department of Immigration and

Border Protection

- Reports by the Commonwealth and Immigration Ombudsman - Section 486O of the Migration Act 1958 [Personal identifier: 1001078, 1001450, 1001572, 1001665, 1001705, 1001708, 1001722, 1001740, 1001742, 1001744, 1001745, 1001806, 1001822, 1001827, 1001900, 1001913, 1001925, 1001928, 1001932, 1001937, 1001939, 1001946, 1001949, 1001952, 1001957, 1001961, 1001962, 1001965, 1001968, 1001974, 1001982, 1001990, 1001994, 1002019, 1002020, 1002041, 1002042, 1002051, 1002087, 1002092, 1002096, 1002098, 1002124, 1002143, 1002165, 1002191, 1002194, 1002244.] - Section 486O of the Migration Act 1958

8.5.15/

11.5.15

15.6.15 27.5.15

? Department of Immigration and Border Protection

- Response to Ombudsman’s Statements made under section 486O of the Migration Act 1958 - Statement to Parliament - Section 486P of the Migration Act 1958

8.5.15/

11.5.15

15.6.15 27.5.15

271

Page 34

Department/authority/

operation of an act or program

Date

submitted to minister/date received by minister

Date tabled in Senate (received in Senate out

of session)

Date tabled in the House of Reps

Department of Immigration and Border Protection

- Reports by the Commonwealth and Immigration Ombudsman - Section 486O of the Migration Act 1958 [Personal identifier: 1001502, 1001619, 1001630, 1001677, 1001678, 1001720, 1001725, 1001726, 1001736, 1001737, 1001797, 1001814, 1001817, 1001846, 1001867, 1001871, 1001878, 1001936, 1001964, 1001971, 1001972, 1001987, 1001989, 1001991, 1002001, 1002011, 1002025, 1002026, 1002028, 1002030, 1002035, 1002043, 1002053, 1002056, 1002078, 1002084, 1002088, 1002089, 1002112, 1002121, 1002145, 1002177, 1002213, 1002226, 1002241, 1002261, 1002294, 1002303.] - Section 486O of the Migration Act 1958

18.5.15/

25.5.15

15.6.15 3.6.15

Department of Immigration and Border Protection

- Response to Ombudsman’s Statements made under section 486O of the Migration Act 1958 - Statement to Parliament - Section 486P of the Migration Act 1958

18.5.15/

25.5.15

15.6.15 3.6.15

Department of Immigration and Border Protection

- Protection Visa Processing Taking More than 90 Days for the Reporting Period 1 November 2014 to 28 February 2015 - Section 91 of the Migration Act 1958

15.4.15/

15.4.15

16.6.15 16.6.15

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Department/authority/

operation of an act or program

Date

submitted to minister/date received by minister

Date tabled in Senate (received in Senate out

of session)

Date tabled in the House of Reps

Department of Immigration and Border Protection

- Refugee Review Tribunal - Report pursuant to section 440A of the Migration Act on the Conduct of Refugee Review Tribunal Reviews Not Completed Within 90 Days For The Period 1 November 2014 to 28 February 2015 - Section 440A of the Migration Act 1958

1.4.15/

1.4.15

16.6.15 16.6.15

Department of Immigration and Border Protection

- Reports by the Commonwealth and Immigration Ombudsman - Section 486O of the Migration Act 1958 [Personal identifier: 1001469, 1001637, 1001640, 1001683, 1001685, 1001686, 1001786, 1001809, 1001815, 1001816, 1001818, 1001834, 1001835, 1001842, 1001849, 1001858, 1001859, 1001875, 1001883, 1001891, 1001922, 1001923, 1001938, 1001943, 1001956, 1001958, 1001959, 1001963, 1001970, 1001993, 1002009, 1002013, 1002015, 1002027, 1002029, 1002032, 1002080, 1002131, 1002132, 1002175, 1002205, 1002216, 1002218, 1002225, 1002243, 1002248, 1002256, 1002258, 1002259, 1002264, 1002293, 1002295, 1002342.] - Section 486O of the Migration Act 1958

1.6.15/

1.6.15

17.6.15 17.6.15

Department of Immigration and Border Protection

- Response to Ombudsman’s Statements made under section 486O of the Migration Act 1958 - Statement to Parliament - Section 486P of the Migration Act 1958

1.6.15/

1.6.15

17.6.15 17.6.15

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Department/authority/

operation of an act or program

Date

submitted to minister/date received by minister

Date tabled in Senate (received in Senate out

of session)

Date tabled in the House of Reps

Department of Immigration and Border Protection

- Reports by the Commonwealth and Immigration Ombudsman - Section 486O of the Migration Act 1958 [Personal identifier: 1001825, 1001828, 1001850, 1001870, 1001887, 1001899, 1001901, 1001907, 1001918, 1001919, 1001930, 1001941, 1001944, 1001954, 1001960, 1001976, 1001977, 1001979, 1001983, 1001984, 1001985, 1001986, 1002008, 1002017, 1002046, 1002050, 1002058, 1002079, 1002085, 1002086, 1002102, 1002103, 1002104, 1002106, 1002109, 1002113, 1002147, 1002178, 1002190, 1002206, 1002224, 1002242, 1002260, 1002267, 1002268, 1002321, 1002345, 1002347.] - Section 486O of the Migration Act 1958

27.7.15/

27.7.15

12.8.15 12.8.15

Department of Immigration and Border Protection

- Response to Ombudsman’s Statements made under section 486O of the Migration Act 1958 - Statement to Parliament - Section 486P of the Migration Act 1958

27.7.15/

27.7.15

12.8.15 12.8.15

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Department/authority/

operation of an act or program

Date

submitted to minister/date received by minister

Date tabled in Senate (received in Senate out

of session)

Date tabled in the House of Reps

Department of Immigration and Border Protection

- Reports by the Commonwealth and Immigration Ombudsman - Volume 1 - Section 486O of the Migration Act 1958 [Personal identifier: 1001585, 1001836, 1001880, 1001898, 1001904, 1001927, 1001950, 1001966, 1001975, 1001981, 1001995, 1001997, 1002012, 1002014, 1002016, 1002021, 1002024, 1002034, 1002044, 1002049, 1002054, 1002057, 1002069, 1002070, 1002081, 1002083, 1002108, 1002110, 1002125, 1002137, 1002141, 1002153, 1002168, 1002176, 1002192, 1002201, 1002203, 1002229, 1002271, 1002278, 1002299, 1002369, 1002419, 1002422, 1002434, 1002436, 1002437, 1002438, 1002439, 1002440, 1002441, 1002442, 1002445, 1002446.] - Section 486O of the Migration Act 1958

27.8.15/

27.8.15

9.9.15 9.9.15

Department of Immigration and Border Protection

- Response to Ombudsman’s Statements made under section 486O of the Migration Act 1958 - Statement to Parliament - Section 486P of the Migration Act 1958

27.8.15/

27.8.15

9.9.15 9.9.15

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Page 38

Department/authority/

operation of an act or program

Date

submitted to minister/date received by minister

Date tabled in Senate (received in Senate out

of session)

Date tabled in the House of Reps

Department of Immigration and Border Protection

- Reports by the Commonwealth and Immigration Ombudsman - Volume 2 - Section 486O of the Migration Act 1958 [Personal identifier: 1001829, 1001908, 1001911, 1001948, 1001973, 1001998, 1002003, 1002033, 1002039, 1002045, 1002072, 1002126, 1002127, 1002144, 1002182, 1002199, 1002212, 1002239, 1002240, 1002250, 1002254, 1002257, 1002265, 1002281, 1002319, 1002349, 1002360, 1002404, 1002416, 1002429, 1002435, 1002463, 1002478, 1002479, 1002502, 1002526, 1002537, 1002551, 1002570, 1002571, 1002607, 1002621, 1002622, 1002623, 1002624, 1002625, 1002662.] - Section 486O of the Migration Act 1958

27.8.15/

27.8.15

9.9.15 9.9.15

Department of Immigration and Border Protection

- Response to Ombudsman’s Statements made under section 486O of the Migration Act 1958 - Statement to Parliament - Section 486P of the Migration Act 1958

27.8.15/

27.8.15

9.9.15 9.9.15

276

Page 39

Department/authority/

operation of an act or program

Date

submitted to minister/date received by minister

Date tabled in Senate (received in Senate out

of session)

Date tabled in the House of Reps

Department of Immigration and Border Protection

- Reports by the Commonwealth and Immigration Ombudsman - Section 486O of the Migration Act 1958 [Personal identifier: 1000761, 1001978, 1002002, 1002055, 1002075, 1002082, 1002111, 1002135, 1002195, 1002215, 1002341, 1002367, 1002387, 1002403, 1002405, 1002407, 1002408, 1002418, 1002423, 1002431, 1002444, 1002447, 1002481, 1002514, 1002515, 1002527, 1002531, 1002552, 1002572, 1002573, 1002580, 1002583, 1002585, 1002588, 1002596, 1002597, 1002598, 1002599, 1002608, 1002609, 1002611, 1002617, 1002663, 1002664, 1002665, 1002666, 1002667, 1002668, 1002669, 1002670, 1002743, 1002765, 1002821.] - Section 486O of the Migration

Act 1958

8.9.15/

8.9.15

14.9.15 14.9.15

Department of Immigration and Border Protection

- Response to Ombudsman’s Statements made under section 486O of the Migration Act 1958 - Statement to Parliament - Section 486P of the Migration Act 1958

8.9.15/

8.9.15

14.9.15 14.9.15

277

Page 40

Department/authority/

operation of an act or program

Date

submitted to minister/date received by minister

Date tabled in Senate (received in Senate out

of session)

Date tabled in the House of Reps

Department of Immigration and Border Protection

- Reports by the Commonwealth and Immigration Ombudsman - Section 486O of the Migration Act 1958 [Personal identifier: 1001988, 1001999, 1002115, 1002117, 1002118,

1002129,1002138, 1002150, 1002156, 1002220, 1002305, 1002402, 1002426, 1002427,1002443, 1002462, 1002476, 1002528, 1002549, 1002563, 1002564, 1002568,1002576, 1002581, 1002584, 1002593, 1002606, 1002610, 1002613, 1002614,1002615, 1002616, 1002626, 1002638, 1002643, 1002644, 1002645, 1002649,1002657, 1002697, 1002699, 1002703, 1002704, 1002705, 1002710. 1002715,1002745, 1002746, 1002752, 1002758, 1002759, 1002762, 1002763, 1002764,1002766, 1002769, 1002847, 1002869, 1002893, 1002897, 1002936, 1002938,1002942, 1002943, 1002947.] - Section 486O of the Migration Act 1958

28.9.15/

28.9.15

14.10.15 14.10.15

Department of Immigration and Border Protection

- Response to Ombudsman’s Statements made under section 486O of the Migration Act 1958 - Statement to Parliament - Section 486P of the Migration Act 1958

28.9.15/

28.9.15

14.10.15 14.10.15

278

The Senate

Rural and Regional Affairs

and Transport

Legislation Committee

Annual reports (No. 1 of 2016)

Ma

rch 2016

279

© Commonwealth of Australia 2016

ISBN 978

-1-76010-355-2

This docum

ent was prepared by the Senate Standing Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport and printed by the Senate Printing Unit, Department of the Senate, Parliament House, Canberra.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License.

The details of this licence are available on the Creative Commons website:

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/au/.

280

iii

Membership of the committee

Members

Senator the Hon. Bill Heffernan, Chair New South Wales, LP

Senator Glenn Sterle, Deputy Chair Western Australia, ALP

Senator Joe Bullock Western Australia, ALP

Senator Sean Edwards South Australia, LP

Senator Rachel Siewert Western Australia, AG

Senator John Williams New South Wales, NATS

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iv

Secretariat

Mr Tim Watling, Secretary Ms Kate Campbell, Research Officer Mr Michael Fisher, Administrative Officer

PO Box 6100 Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600 Ph: 02 6277 3511 Fax: 02 6277 5811 E-mail: rrat.sen@aph.gov.au Internet: www.aph.gov.au/senate_rrat

282

v

Table of contents

Membership of the Committee ........................................................................ iii

Chapter 1: Overview ........................................................................................... 1

Terms of reference .................................................................................................. 1

Purpose of annual reports ....................................................................................... 2

Reports referred to the committee .......................................................................... 2

Reports not examined ............................................................................................. 3

Method of assessment ............................................................................................. 3

Notes on future methods of assessment ................................................................. 4

Timeliness in tabling of annual reports .................................................................. 4

Comments on reports .............................................................................................. 5

Chapter 2: Annual reports of agencies ............................................................. 7

Agriculture and Water Resources Portfolio ........................................................... 7

Infrastructure and Regional Development Portfolio .............................................. 8

Appendix 1: Annual reports referred during the period 1 May to 31 October 2015 ................................................................................................. 11

Agriculture and Water Resources portfolio .......................................................... 11

Infrastructure and Regional Development portfolio ............................................ 12

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284

Chapter 1

Overview

1.1 The Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee's (the committee) report on annual reports provides an overview of the committee's examination of annual reports for the 2014-15 financial year tabled between 1 May 2015 and 31 October 2015. The committee is responsible for examining the annual reports of departments and agencies within the portfolios of:

• Agriculture and Water Resources 1 ; and

• Infrastructure and Regional Development. 2

1.2 This is the first of two reports on annual reports that the committee is required to produce in 2016.

Terms of reference

1.3 Under Senate Standing Order 25(20), annual reports of departments and agencies shall stand referred to the legislation committees in accordance with an allocation of departments and agencies in a resolution of the Senate. Each committee shall:

(a) Examine each annual report referred to it and report to the Senate whether the report is apparently satisfactory.

(b) Consider in more detail, and report to the Senate on, each annual report which is not apparently satisfactory, and on other annual reports which it selects for more detailed consideration.

(c) Investigate and report to the Senate on any lateness in the presentation of annual reports.

(d) In considering an annual report, take into account any relevant remarks about the report made in debate in the Senate.

(e) If the committee so determines, consider annual reports of departments and budget-related agencies in conjunction with examination of estimates.

1 Following machinery-of-government changes in September 2015, amendments to the Administrative Arrangements Orders gave responsibility for water policy and resources to the Department of the Agriculture, creating the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources. As such, the committee became responsible for examining the Agriculture and Water Resources portfolio. In practical terms, this means the committee is now responsible for examining the annual reports of the Murray-Darling Basin Authority, a task previously undertaken by the Senate Environment and Communications Legislation Committee.

2 Journals of the Senate, No. 2, 13 November 2013, pp 88-89.

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(f) Report on annual reports tabled by 31 October each year by the tenth sitting day of the following year, and on annual reports tabled by 30 April each year by the tenth sitting day after 30 June of that year.

(g) Draw to the attention of the Senate any significant matters relating to the operations and performance of the bodies furnishing the annual reports.

(h) Report to the Senate each year whether there are any bodies which do not present annual reports to the Senate and which should present such reports.

Purpose of annual reports

1.4 The tabling and scrutiny of annual reports by Senate committees under Standing Order 25(20) is an important element in the process of government accountability to Parliament. The information provided in annual reports is placed on the public record and assists Parliament in its examination of the performance of departments and agencies and the administration of government programs.

Reports referred to the committee

1.5 In accordance with Standing Order 25(20) (f), this report examines annual reports tabled between 1 May and 31 October 2015. The committee examined the following reports:

Agriculture and Water Resources Portfolio

• Department of Agriculture - Annual Report 2014-15;

• Australian Fisheries Management Authority - Annual Report 2014-15; and

• National Rural Advisory Council - Annual Report 2014-15.

Infrastructure and Regional Development Portfolio

• Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development -Annual Report

2014-15;

• Australian Transport Safety Bureau -Annual Report 2014-15;

• Civil Aviation Safety Authority -Annual Report 2014-15;

• National Transport Commission - Report for 2015;

• Australian Rail Track Corporation - Report for 2015;

• International Air Services Commission - Report for 2014-15; and

• Moorebank Intermodal Company - Report for 2015.

Reports not examined

1.6 The committee is not obliged to report on Acts, statements of corporate intent, surveys, corporate plans or errata. The following documents were referred to the committee but have not been examined:

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• Report to Parliament on Live-stock Mortalities During Exports By Sea for

the Reporting Period 1 January to 30 June 2015;

• Local Government National Report for 2013-14;

• Airservices Australia Corporate Plan 2015-2020;

• Civil Aviation Safety Authority Corporate Plan 2015-16 to 2018-19;

• Airservices Australia - Report on Movement Cap for Sydney Airport -

Quarterly report on the maximum movement limit for the period 1 January to 31 March 2015; and

• Airservices Australia - Report on Movement Cap for Sydney Airport -

Quarterly report on the maximum movement limit for the period 1 April to 30 June 2015.

1.7 Appendix 1 sets out a complete list of documents referred to the committee during the period 1 May 2015 and 31 October 2015 (including those not examined). This appendix includes references to the relevant legislation, the letter of transmittal dates, the dates on which the annual reports were sent to, and received by, the relevant minister, and the dates on which the annual reports were tabled in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Method of assessment

1.8 Senate Standing Orders require the committee to examine the annual reports referred to it to determine whether they are timely and 'apparently satisfactory'. In forming its assessment, the committee considers whether the reports comply with the relevant legislation and guidelines for the preparation of annual reports.

1.9 The annual reports of 2014-15 mark the first time departments and agencies are required to report under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act), which commenced on 1 July 2014.

1.10 The PGPA Act consolidates the governance, performance and accountability requirements contained in the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (FMA Act) and the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 (CAC Act). It also establishes a performance reporting framework for all Commonwealth entities and companies.

1.11 Taking into account these changes, the 2014-15 annual reports were prepared and assessed under the following arrangements:

• for non-corporate Commonwealth entities (departments, executive agencies

and statutory agencies): the Public Service Act 1999, sections 63(2) and 70(2), and the Parliamentary Service Act 1999, section 65; other relevant enabling legislation for statutory bodies; and the Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies and Other Non-Corporate Commonwealth Entities (Requirements for Annual Reports) issued by the Department of

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Prime Minister and Cabinet on 25 June 2015 and approved by the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit (JCPPA);

• for corporate Commonwealth entities: the Commonwealth Authorities (Annual Reporting) Orders 2011 prescribe material that must be included in corporate entities' annual reports. These Orders continue to apply to 2014-15 annual reports under the PGPA (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Rule;

• for Commonwealth companies: the Commonwealth Companies (Annual

Reporting) Orders 2011 prescribe material that must be included in corporate companies' annual reports. These Orders continue to apply to 2014-15 annual reports under the PGPA (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Rule; and

• for non-statutory bodies: the guidelines are contained in the government

response to the Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Public Administration Report on Non-Statutory bodies.3

Notes on future methods of assessment

1.12 In its report on the development of the Commonwealth performance framework, JCPAA indicated that in future years the annual report requirements 'will be replaced through the consolidation of all mandatory requirements into a rule made for the purposes of section 46 of the PGPA Act'.4

1.13 While the Requirements for Annual Reports issued on 25 June 2015 apply to annual reports for 2014-15, it was noted that:

Significant revisions to the Requirements are anticipated for the 2015-16 financial year with the commencement of the performance reporting model under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act).5

Timeliness in tabling of annual reports

1.14 Standing Order 25(20)(c) requires the committee to report to the Senate on the late presentation of annual reports.

1.15 To ensure compliance with the PGPA Act, annual reports must be tabled in Parliament by 31 October each year. In addition, annual reports must be provided to the responsible minister by the 15th day of the fourth month after the end of the

3 Senate Hansard, 8 December 1987, pp 2632-45.

4 Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit, Report 452 Development of the Commonwealth Performance Framework, December 2015, p. 12.

5 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies, and other Non-Corporate Commonwealth Entities, 25 June 2015, p. i.

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reporting period. If Senate Supplementary Budget Estimates hearings are scheduled to occur prior to 31 October, it is best practice for annual reports to be tabled prior to these hearings.6

1.16 The committee observes that while many agencies and other relevant entities sent their report within the specified timeframes, a considerable number were not tabled by 31 October 2015. The committee will continue to monitor the matter of timeliness in future reports on annual reports.

Comments on reports

1.17 On 15 December 2014, the government announced that the National Rural Advisory Council (NRAC) would be merged with the Agricultural Industry Advisory Council. As such, the committee notes that the 2014-15 annual report of NRAC is the

final report for the body.

1.18 The committee considers that all reports received were 'apparently satisfactory'. The following chapter of this report examines selected annual reports in further detail.

6 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies, and other Non-Corporate Commonwealth Entities, 25 June 2015, p. 2.

289

290

Chapter 2

Annual reports of agencies

2.1 This chapter examines selected annual reports received during the period 1 May to 31 October 2015.

Agriculture and Water Resources Portfolio

Department of Agriculture - Annual Report 2014-15

2.2 The Secretary's review outlined the core activities of the Department of Agriculture (the department) over the 2014-15 period. A small sample of these activities include the implementation of the agriculture elements of new free trade agreements, continued regulatory reform (particularly in regard to agricultural and veterinary chemicals access) and the delivery of the Drought Concessional Loans Scheme.1

2.3 In terms of financial performance, the department ender the year with a $19.6 million operating surplus, compared to the budgeted deficit of $13.3 million as forecast in the Portfolio Budget Statements 2014-15, before allowing for net cash appropriation arrangements. The report noted that departmental revenue increased by $25.0 million from 2013-14 to $406.4 million, largely as a result of high levels of activity in cost-recovery arrangements. The report also reiterated the department's focus on ensuring the cost-recovered services remained efficient, transparent and sustainably funded.2

2.4 The report noted the new biosecurity legislation passed in May 2015 and the work done by the department over the previous 6 years in support of it. The Biosecurity Act 2015 will come into effect in June 2016, and the department has been working on an implementation program to ensure staff and external stakeholders are familiar with the new legislation.3

2.5 The committee notes that the department achieved 100 out of its 114 key performance indicators (KPI) across the two outcomes and 15 programs outlined in the Portfolio Budget Statements.4 Of the remaining 14 indicators, eight were 'partially met', two were 'not met', two were not applicable, and one was unable to be reported on. The department provided detailed explanations under the relevant program sections for these 14 KPI that were not achieved, and the committee commends the department for providing comprehensive accounts of these issues.5

2.6 The committee considers the department's 2014-15 annual report to be compliant with the reporting requirements and completed to a high standard.

1 Department of Agriculture, Annual Report 2014-15, pp 2-5.

2 Department of Agriculture, Annual Report 2014-15, pp 11-15.

3 Department of Agriculture, Annual Report 2014-15, pp 80-91.

4 Department of Agriculture, Annual Report 2014-15, pp 6-10.

5 Department of Agriculture, Annual Report 2014-15, pp 27-92.

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Australian Fisheries Management Authority - Annual Report 2014-15

2.7 The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) 2014-15 report provides details of the performance and operations of the agency. The Chairman's and Chief Executive Officer's review noted key achievements such as the introduction of camera-based electronic monitoring in a number of fisheries, the re-opening of the eastern orange roughy fishery off eastern Tasmania, and improved results in the domestic compliance and enforcement programs aimed at deterring illegal fishing in Commonwealth fisheries.6

2.8 The report provided an update on the work being undertaken by AFMA to prevent unacceptable impacts of Commonwealth fisheries on marine ecosystems and organisms, including further development of the Ecological Risk Assessment and Risk Management framework.7

2.9 AFMA also set out achievements related to KPI for managing illegal foreign fishing activity, giving a 67 percent disposal rate of apprehended forfeited vessels. The report explained this statistic, noting that of the six foreign fishing vessels apprehended, only three were received by AFMA. Two of these vessels were disposed of on land, and at the time of writing the third remained in AFMA custody on Thursday Island awaiting disposal. The three further vessels apprehended but not received by AFMA were unseaworthy and sank before reaching port. 8

2.10 The committee considers the 2014-15 report to be comprehensive and compliant with the reporting requirements.

Infrastructure and Regional Development Portfolio

Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development - Annual Report 2014-15

2.11 The annual report of the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development (the department) provided details on the broad scope of work the department had undertaken over the 2014-15 period. This work included activities related to infrastructure planning, investment, financing and coordination, maritime transport (including shipping), land transport, transport security, transport safety, civil aviation and airports, territories reform and service delivery, and local government and reconstruction initiatives. In particular, the Secretary's report illustrated how the spectrum of infrastructure-related work ranged from high-profile projects such as WestConnex in Sydney, to programs such as Roads to Recovery, an initiative accessed by over 490 local councils during the financial year.9

2.12 In regard to departmental finances, the report noted a surplus on continuing operations of $9.9 million in 2014-15. Total expenses increased by $30.2 million,

6 Australian Fisheries Management Authority, Annual Report 2014-15, pp 6-15.

7 Australian Fisheries Management Authority, Annual Report 2014-15, pp 30-35.

8 Australian Fisheries Management Authority, Annual Report 2014-15, pp 66, 69.

9 Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, Annual Report 2014-15, pp 4, 10-15, 22-25.

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largely due to the establishment of the Western Sydney Unit, the full year effects of machinery-of-government changes as a result of the abolition of the former Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport, and the write-down of assets associated with the novation of a property lease to another government entity on 1 July 2015. The total administered expenditure in 2014-15 was $8.9 billion, and of this $5.2 billion was appropriated directly to the department for grants, subsidies and other administered expenses. The report notes that major expense items during the year included the Infrastructure Investment Program, the Local Government Financial Assistant Grants, payments to corporate Commonwealth entities, and the Infrastructure Growth Package. 10

2.13 The report noted the department had 34 KPI spread over eight programs across four outcomes. Of these, 32 were listed as 'achieved', meaning all targets for 2014-15 were met or exceeded, and two were listed as 'substantially achieved',

meaning targets were mostly met and any issues were being managed. The two KPI not fully achieved related to Outcome 2, Program 2.2 Surface Transport.11

2.14 The committee considers the 2014-15 annual report to be well-presented and compliant with the reporting requirements.

Civil Aviation Safety Authority - Annual Report 2014-15

2.15 Priorities for the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) during 2014-15 centered on a resetting of direction for the organisation, in large part due to the December 2014 release of the government response to recommendations arising from the June 2014 Aviation Safety Regulation Review (ASRR) and a statement of expectations for CASA released in April 2015 by the Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development.12

2.16 The report contained a comprehensive assessment of CASA's performance against corporate goals, as well as a progress update on the implementation of the 32 ASSR recommendations relating to the functions and performance of CASA. Of the performance measures set for the three corporate goals, 82 percent were met, with the remaining 18 percent substantially completed, delayed or affected by external factors.

Where performance measures were not fully met, CASA provided thorough accounts of the issues at play, and the committee appreciates this level of transparency, as well as the additional statistics on CASA's operations provided in the appendices.13

2.17 In terms of corporate governance and management, the report noted CASA underwent significant senior leadership changes during 2014-15, with the appointment of a new Director of Aviation Safety and a change to the composition and size of the board.14

10 Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, Annual Report 2014-15, pp 5-8.

11 Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, Annual Report 2014-15, pp 17-84.

12 Civil Aviation Safety Authority, Annual Report 2014-15, pp 12-15.

13 Civil Aviation Safety Authority, Annual Report 2014-15, pp 25-82, 202-211.

14 Civil Aviation Safety Authority, Annual Report 2014-15, pp 84-100.

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2.18 The committee considers the 2014-15 annual report of CASA to be a detailed account of the organisation's performance and compliant with reporting requirements.

Senator the Hon.

Bill Heffernan

Chair

294

Appendix 1

Annual reports referred during the period 1 May to 31 October 2015

Agriculture and Water Resources portfolio

Document Legislation Date of

transmittal letter

Date sent to minister Date received by minister

Date tabled in Senate Date tabled in House of

Representatives

Department of Agriculture - Annual Report 2014-15

Section 63 of the Public Service Act 1999

Section 46 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act

2013

18/09/2015 21/09/2015 21/09/2015

09/11/2015 15/10/2015

Australian Fisheries Management Authority - Annual Report 2014-15

Sections 63 of the Public Service Act 1999

Section 46 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act

2013

23/09/2015 24/09/2015 24/09/2015 23/10/2015* 09/11/2015

National Rural Advisory Council - Annual Report 2014-15

Section 20 of the Rural Adjustment Act 1992

30/06/2015 12/10/2015 12/10/2015 23/10/2015* 09/11/2015

Report to Parliament on Live-stock Mortalities During Exports By Sea for the Reporting Period

1 January to 30 June 2015

Section 57 of the Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry Act 1997

n/a 31/08/2015 31/08/215 09/11/2015 15/10/2015

* An asterisk denotes reports presented to the President out-of-session.

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Infrastructure and Regional Development portfolio

Document Legislation Date of

transmittal letter

Date sent to minister Date received by minister

Date tabled in Senate Date tabled in House of

Representatives

Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development - Annual Report 2014-15

Section 63 of the Public Service Act 1999

Section 46 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act

2013

19/09/2015 01/10/2015 01/10/2015 30/10/2015* 09/11/2015

Australian Transport Safety Bureau - Annual Report 2014-15

Section 63A of the Transport Safety Investigation Act

12/10/2015 13/10/2015 13/10/2015 29/10/2015* 09/11/2015

Civil Aviation Safety Authority -Annual Report 2014-15

Section 49 of the Civil Aviation Act 1988

Section 46 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act

2013

01/10/2015 14/09/2015 14/09/2015 09/11/2015 22/10/2015

National Transport Commission - Report for 2015

Section 38 of the National Transport Commission Act 2003

Section 46 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act

2013

15/09/2015 13/10/2015 21/10/2015 26/10/2015* 09/11/2015

Australian Rail Track Corporation - Report for 2015

Section 97 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act

2013

n/a 15/09/2015 12/10/2015 27/10/2015* 09/11/2015

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Document Legislation Date of

transmittal letter

Date sent to minister Date received by minister

Date tabled in Senate Date tabled in House of

Representatives

International Air Services Commission - Report for 2014-15

Section 53 of the International Air Services Commission Act

1992

07/08/2015 18/08/2015 18/08/2015 09/11/2015 15/10/2015

Moorebank Intermodal Company - Report for 2015

Section 97 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act

2013

n/a 29/09/2015 08/10/2015 27/10/2015* 09/11/2015

Local Government National Report for 2013-14

Section 16 of the Local Government (Financial Assistance)Act

1995

n/a 22/06/2015

22/06/2015 21/07/2015* 11/08/2015

Airservices Australia Corporate Plan 2015-2020

Section 15 of the Air Services Act 1995

Section 35 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act

2013

16/07/2015 07/07/2015 07/07/2015 28/08/2015* 07/09/2015

Civil Aviation Safety Authority Corporate Plan 2015-16 to 2018-19

Section 44 of the Civil Aviation Act 1988

Section 35 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act

2013

15/05/2015 15/05/2015 15/05/2015 31/07/2015* 11/08/2015

297

Page 14

Document Legislation Date of

transmittal letter

Date sent to minister Date received by minister

Date tabled in Senate Date tabled in House of

Representatives

Airservices Australia - Report on Movement Cap for Sydney Airport - Quarterly report on the

maximum movement limit for the period 1 January to 31 March 2015

Section 9 of Sydney Airport Demand Management Act 1997

22/01/2015 22/04/215

29/04/215 15/06/2015 15/06/2015

Airservices Australia - Report on Movement Cap for Sydney Airport - Quarterly report on the

maximum movement limit for the period 1 April to 30 June 2015

Section 9 of Sydney Airport Demand Management Act 1997

20/07/2015 20/07/2015 23/07/2015 09/09/2015 09/09/2015

298