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Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee - Senate Standing - Examination of annual reports - No. 1 of 2011, dated March 2011


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Australian Senate

Senate Legislation Committees

Reports on the examination of annual reports No . 1 of 2011

March 2011

Australian Senate

Senate Legislation Committees

Reports on the examination of annual reports No. 1 of 2011

March 2011

© Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia 2011

ISSN 1834-4054

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

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Community Affairs Committee

Annua l reports (No . 1 of 2011 ), dated March 2011 .... ... ..... .... ... ..... ...... ... .. . 1

Economics Committee

Annual reports (No. 1 of 2011 ), dated March 2011 .. ... ... ....... ... .. ....... ...... . 27

Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Committee

Annual reports (No. 1 of 2011 ), dated March 2011 .. ..... ....... ... .. .. ........... .. 67

Environment and Communications Committee

Annual reports (No. 1 of 2011 ), dated Ma rch 2011 ... .... .. .... .. ......... ... ....... 97

Finance and Public Administration Committee

Annual reports (No. 1 of 2011 ), dated March 2011 ... .. .. ................ .. ..... .. 125

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee

Annual reports (No. 1 of 2011 ), dated March 2011 ... ...... .. .......... .. ..... .. .. 159

Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee

Annual reports (No. 1 of 2011 ), dated March 2011 ... ..... ... ........ ....... ...... 207

Rural Affairs and Transport Committee

Annual reports (No. 1 of 2011 ), dated March 2011 ...... .... ..... ...... .. ....... .. 241

The Senate

Community Affairs Legislation Committee

Annual reports (No. 1 of 2011)

March 2011

© Commonwealth of Australia 2011

ISBN 978-1-74229-415-5

This document was produced by the Senate Community Affairs Committee Secretariat and printed by the Senate P1inting Unit, Parliament House, CanbeiTa

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Membership of the Committee Members

Senator Claire Moore, Chair ALP, Queensland

Senator Rachel Siewert, Deputy Chair

Senator Judith Adams

AG, Western Australia

LP, Western Australia

Senator Sue Boyce

Senator Carol Brown

Senator Mark Furner

Secretariat Dr Timothy Kendall Ms Sharon Babyack Ms Cassimah Mackay

Suite Sl.59 Parliament House CANBERRA ACT 2600

LP, Queensland

ALP, Tasmania

ALP, Queensland

Acting Committee Secretary Research Officer Research Officer

Telephone: (02) 6277 3515 Fax: (02) 6277 5829

Email: community.affairs.sen@aph.gov.au

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Table of Contents

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

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

Overview .................................................................................................................... !

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

Requirements .. ... ................ ...... .... ..... .. .. .... .. ... .... .. .. ....... ....... ... .. ... ....... .... .. .. .. .......... 2

Timeliness of reports ...... ........ ..... ..... .. ..... .... ..... .. ... .... ... .... .. ... ......... ...... ........ .... ...... 2

General comments ... ... .. ... ...... ............. .. ... .... .. .. .. ................ ...... ................. .. .... ...... .. 3

Chapter 2 ............................................................................................................. 5

Annual reports of departments ............................................................................... 5

Department ofFamilies, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs. S

Department of Health and Ageing ..... .... ........... .... .... ..... ..... ... ...... ...... ... ...... ... ... ... ... 7

Department of Human Services ..... ..... .. ..... ... ..... ............ .... ... ... .. .... ... ........... .... .. .... . 9

Chapter 3 ........................................................................................................... 13

Annual reports of statutory authorities and agencies ......................................... 13

Health and Ageing Portfolio .. .... ...... ....... .. .......... .... ...... ... .. .... ... ... .... ....... .. ... .. ... .... 13

Statutory authorities ..... .. .. .... .... ... ...... ............ .... ..... ...... .. ... .. ... ... ........ .... .... ... ... .. .. .. 13

Famili es, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Portfolio .. ..... . 14

Human Services Portfolio .. .. ... ... ... ...... .... ... .... ... ..... .... .. .... ... ... ..... .. ... ...... .... .. .. ... ... . 15

Prescribed agencies .... ..... ...... ..... .. .. .. .... ...... ..... .... .. ..... .. .. ... ..... ... .. ... .. .. .. ... .... ... .... .. 16

APPENDIX 1 ..........•.......................................................•..............................•... 19

List of Annual Reports examined for report by the Committee ........................ 19

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Chapter 1

Overview

1.1 The committee is responsible for examining the annual reports of departments and agencies of three portfolios:

• Health and Ageing;

• Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs; and

• Human Services.

Terms of Reference

1.2 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

(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.

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Requirements

1.3 This report was prepared pursuant to Standing Order 25(20) relating to the consideration of annual reports by committees. The Senate Order requires that the committee examine the reports referred to it to determine whether they are timely and satisfactory. In forming its assessment the committee has considered whether the reports comply with the relevant legislation and guidelines in preparation of annual reports:

• for departments of state and executive agencies these are: the Public Service Act 1999, subsections 63(2) and 70(2), and the Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies and FMA Act Bodies, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, updated June 2010

and approved by the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit on 23 June 2010;

• for Commonwealth authorities and companies: the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 (the CAC Act), sections 9, 36 and 48 , and the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies (Report of Operations) Orders 2008 (CAC Orders); and

• for non-statutory bodies: the requirements are contained in the Government response to the report of the Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Government Operations on Non-statutory bodies, Senate Hansard, 8 December 1987, pp 2643-45.

1.4 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), which have been referred to the committee for examination, can be found at Appendix 1.

Timeliness of reports

1.5 Under Standing Order 25(20)(c), the committee must also report to the Senate on any lateness in the presentation of annual reports. The Requirements for Annual Reports published in 2009 state that:

A copy of the annual report is to be presented to each House of the Parliament on or before 31 October in the year in which the report is given. 1

Where an agency's own legislation provides a timeframe for its annual report, for example 'within six months' or 'as soon as practicable after 30 June in each year', that timeframe applies.2

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports, June 2009, Part 1, Section 4.

2 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports, June 2009, Part 1, Section 4.

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1.6 The majority of annual reports referred to the committee were tabled within the specified period or shortly thereafter. The committee acknowledges that the following organisations provided notification that their reports would be delayed:

• Anindilyakwa Land Council

• Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

• Northern Land Council

• Tiwi Land Council

1. 7 The committee notes a substantial delay in the tabling of the Anindilyakwa Land Council Annual Report 2008-09. Anindilyakwa Land Council originally submitted this report to the Minister in September 2009, however the report was 'found by officials to be non-compliant in various respects'. 3 Anindilyakwa Land Council attributes the delay to having to address those compliance issues. The report was tabled in the Senate alongside the 2009-10 annual report on 1 March 2011.

1.8 The committee also notes that a number of reports were received by the Minister before the due date, but tabled after the due date. Unless otherwise commented upon, all other reporting requirements were met.

General comments

1. 9 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

1.10 The committee is obliged, under Senate Standing Order 25(20)( d) to consider any remarks made about these reports in the Senate. Where any comments have been made they are referred to in the section below on the evaluation of individual reports.

Bodies not presenting annual reports to the Senate

1.11 The committee is required to report to the Senate on whether there are any bodies which do not present annual reports to the Senate and which should present such reports. The committee considers that there are no bodies within its portfolio areas that do not meet their reporting requirements to the Senate in this regard.

3 Anindilyakwa Land Council, Annual Report 2008-09, addendum to letter of transmittal.

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Chapter 2

Annual reports of departments

Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

2.1 The Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) annual report provides a well-structured and comprehensive review of the Department's functions and operations, including detailed performance reporting against the performance indicators of the 2009-10 Portfolio Budget Statements (PBS) and the 2009-10 Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements (PAES).

2.2 FaHCSIA is a key source of advice to the government on social policy and manages a diverse range of payments and services to support and improve the lives of Australians. Part 1 of the report provides an overview of the portfolio and department as well as a review by the Secretary highlighting the major activities for the financial year. These include: the Paid Parental Leave (PPL) Scheme; the Secure and

Sustainable Pensions reform package; the draft National Disability Strategy; initial stages of the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Service Delivery; and development of the National Compact with the not-for-profit sector. 1

Performance reporting

2.3 Part 2 of the report provides an overview of the performance of the

department as a whole, as well as an examination of performance against each outcome. The performance report for each outcome provides an overview as well as an outlook for coming years. FaHCSIA reported against its new outcome and program structure developed in accordance with Operation Sunlight, the government's reform agenda to improve transparency of public sector financial management. FaHCSIA worked closely with the Department of Finance and Deregulation (Finance) to review the performance framework, with a strong emphasis placed on reporting against program objectives, rather than simply the level of program activity. 2 The department now reports against seven outcomes, rather than four:

A key goal of the framework is to assist programs to set clear performance expectations, assess whether levels of performance have been met, set

Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Annual Report 2009-2010, pp 2-4.

2 Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Annual Report 2009-2010, p. 28.

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benchmarks to monitor trends and offer feedback to servtces on their performance. 3

2.4 FaHCSIA has an Online Funding Management System for mainstream programs and a Grants Management System for Indigenous specific programs. During 2009-10 FaHCSIA implemented new performance indicators primarily in programs funded as special appropriations and will now report on 130 key performance indicators (KPis) and describe 49 deliverables across the seven outcomes. Reviews were conducted for grant programs and changes to performance reporting for those programs will occur in 2010-11. FaHCSIA reports that the new standardised performance framework and KPis reduces the amount of data collection and the costs of collating and analysing performance information. 4

2.5 The key influences on the achievement of outcomes were economic factors including share markets, housing affordability and the effects of the global fmancial crisis on retirement incomes. This contributed to an increase in outlays for the Aged Pension. There has also been a trend increase in new births since 2003 affecting Outcome 1, Families and Children.5

External scrutilly

2.6 As well as a comprehensive list of internal audit practices, the report includes various means of external audit of the department. The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) found no category A orB findings and two category C findings in its audit of the department's financial statements. 6 In addition, the ANAO tabled five audit reports in parliament relevant to the operations of the department, and the former Office of Evaluation and Audit tabled six audit reports involving FaHCSIA's operations. 7

2. 7 The report notes that the Commonwealth Ombudsman received 186 approaches about the department in 2009-10, a decrease of 200 from 2008-09. This year the Commonwealth Ombudsman closed 185 of these matters; seven investigations had fmdings of administrative deficiencies. 8

3 Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Annual Report 2009-2010, p. 31.

4 Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Annual Report 2009-2010, pp 28-31.

5 Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Annual Report 2009-2010, p. 34.

6 Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Annual Report 2009-2010, p. 6.

7 Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Annual Report 2009-2010, pp 162-163.

8 Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Annual Report 2009-2010, p. 163 .

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2.8 FaHCSIA also gave written and oral evidence to 14 inquiries by a number of parliamentary committees including the Senate Community Affairs Committee.9

Consultancies

2.9 During 2009-10 FaHCSIA entered into 271 new contracts with a total expenditure of $12.1 million. In addition, 140 ongoing Consultancy contracts were active with a total expenditure of $11.2 million. 10

Department of Health and Ageing

2.1 0 The Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) annual report provides a well structured and comprehensive review of the Department's functions and operations, including detailed performance reporting against the performance indicators of the 2009-10 Portfolio Budget Statements (PBS) and the 2009-10 Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements (PAES).

2.11 The report begins by highlighting the department's major achievements in 2009-10. This is followed by a section which highlights the projects and activities for the coming year. This format is straight forward and useful for the reader to obtain a broad picture of the department's performance and activities at a glance. These points are further elaborated on in the Secretary's review. Some of these include: the new National Health and Hospitals Network considered the biggest reforms in health since the introduction of Medicare close to 25 years ago; the large scale response to the pandemic influenza 2009 (H1N1); and the development of21 GP Super Clinics. 11

2.12 The Secretary's report is followed by a report from the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and, for the first time, the Chief Financial Officer's (CFO) report. The CMO's comprehensive report provides a medical perspective on the health of the nation as a whole; the current status and future direction of health protection and delivery.

Supporting graphs and tables are included in the overview. Mental disorders ranked as the fourth highest occurring major disease group projected for 2010. The current survey suggests around 17 per cent of the population experience some mental health problem in a year. Those with a mental health condition are more likely to spend days out of work and be unable to carry out regular activities. COAG has identified mental health as a major priority for 2011. 12 The CMO also details the enactment of the Australian Health Management Plan for Pandemic Influenza in response to the pandemic influenza A (H1N1) in the winter of2009. 13

9 Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Annual Rep ort 2009-2010, pp 164-167.

10 Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Annual Report 2009-2010, pp 190- 191.

11 Department of Health and Ageing Annual Report 2009-2010, p. 2.

12 Department of Health and Ageing Annual Report 2009-2010, p. 15.

13 Department of Health and Ageing Annual Report 2009-2010, pp 16- 19.

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2.13 Part 1 of the report follows the overview of the Secretary, CMO and CPO, and provides further information about the department's structure, as well as the executive and ministerial teams.

Performance reporting

2.14 Part 2 of the report discusses the department's performance against the outcome framework including reports on budget estimates and actual expenses for 2009-1 0 against each outcome. The performance report begins with a table summarising the available appropriation compared to the actual payments made for each outcome. 14 The department has 14 outcomes, and a further 18 outcomes specific to portfolio agencies. 15

2.15 The report provides a summary and breakdown of each program administered within an outcome as well as a highlight of major achievements. This includes a table outlining the deliverables and key performance indicators (KPis) and the result against each for the financial year. These tables are a useful gauge of the department's performance and actual results achieved within the year. The performance report for each outcome concludes with a financial resources summary breaking down the appropriated amount for each outcome compared to the actual expenditure, and also includes the budget estimate for the 201 0-11 fmancial year.

Extemal scrutiny

2.16 Part 3 details the department's governance, people and financial management arrangements and ministerial responsibilities. It also includes information on internal and external scrutiny activities. 16

2.17 The ANAO tabled several reports in Parliament relating to the department, one directly pertaining to the department on the protection of residential aged care accommodation bonds and five other cross agency audits where the department was involved. There were an additional three reports where recommendations were targeted at all agencies, including DoHA. 17

2.18 The Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit tabled one report which reviewed reports of the Auditor-General including matters relating to the department. The department also appeared before the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee on three occasions in 2009-10 for estimates, and give evidence to 22 parliamentary inquiries. The department received a combined total of 166 questions

14 Department of Health and Ageing Annual Report 2009-2010, p. 39.

15 Department of Health and Ageing Annual Report 2009-2010, pp 42-48.

16 Department of Health and Ageing Annual Report 2009-2010, pp 362- 390.

17 Depa1iment of Health and Ageing, Annual Report 2009-2010, pp 382-383.

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on notice through both chambers of parliament, and a total of 1,061 from the three . h . 18 estimates earmgs.

2.19 During 2009-10 the Commonwealth Ombudsman investigated 61 complaints against the department's administrative practices, 36 of which were new complaints, 11 remain open as at 30 June 2010. The Ombudsman has advised of two findings of administrative deficiency relating to the department 2009-10. 19

Consultancies

2.20 During 2009-10 the department entered into 429 new consultancy contracts with an expenditure of $29.23 million (GST inclusive). In addition, 178 ongoing consultancy contracts were active during the year with expenditure of $20.4 million (GST inclusive). The committee appreciates the departments clear reporting on consultancies including the selection processes used and a table of consultancy services entered into for sums of $10,000 or more. 20

Department of Human Services

2.21 The Department of Human Services' (DHS) report reflects the move to integration within the portfolio, in line with the implementation of service delivery reform . Whilst legislation requires three separate reports, the DHS report is intended to be read as a companion with those of Centrelink and Medicare Australia.21 The reforms are intended to 'maximise convenience for Australians'.22 DHS undertook much activity this year to position the portfolio to implement the reforms including

setting up a number of co-located offices in existing sites and engaging with customers and the community services sector on service co-design. 23

2.22 DHS includes the Child Support Program (CSP) and CRS Australia. This year CSP customer satisfaction improved and the number of complaints reduced by over 25 per cent. A pilot assessment process produced significantly shorter timeframes for finalising child support applications. The Alignment of Care 2009-10 Budget Measure was successfully implemented allowing mutual customers to contact either CSP or Centrelink to notify care arrangements and determinations are made using consistent rules for each agency. The other agency is then informed of the decision which is then applied to the customer's assessment.

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18 Department of Health and Ageing, Annual R eport 2009-2010, pp 383-385 .

19 Department of Health and Ageing, Annual R eport 2009-2010, p. 385.

20 Department of Health and Ageing, Annual Report 2009-2010, pp 405-422.

21 Department of Human Services, Annual Rep011 2009-2010, p. iv .

22 Department of Human Services, Annual Report 2009-2010, p. 2.

23 Department of Human Services, Annual Report 2009-2010, pp 2 and 6-7.

24 Department of Human Services, Annual Report 2009-2010, pp 3-4.

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2.23 CRS Australia provides disability employment, assessment and injury management services. This year CRS Australia transitioned to the new Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Employment Services Memorandum of Understanding; and saw significantly more job seekers being placed in employment than in previous years. 25 CRS Australia assisted more than 57 000 job seekers. 26

2.24 The Secretary's review concludes with an outlook for 2010-11 including: establishing pilots projects on compliance approaches for social, health and welfare payments; implementing Paid Parental Leave; implementing the initiatives under the Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement; and further service delivery reforms. 27

Performance Reporting

2.25 Chapter 2 discusses the central department's achievements; chapter 3 CSP; and chapter 4 CRS Australia. Each contains performance highlights followed by a more detailed report of results achieved in the year compared to last year as well as summaries of the various activities. The table comparing the KPI results between the years is a useful tool, however the format was better suited to CSP and CRS Australia who had a more simplified table. The central department's table was more complex and the headings were more difficult to follow across pages. Each chapter includes a case study which brings a greater understanding of the work of each area.

External Scrutiny

2.26 The ANAO issued several audit reports that involved the department:

• Report 17 of 2009-10, tabled 17 December 2009 audits of the financial statements of government entities;

• Report 19, tabled 18 December 2009 Child Support Scheme Reforms (CSSR);

• Report 39, tabled 24 May 2010 Medicare Australia's Administration of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme;

• Report 46, tabled 22 June 2010 Child Support Scheme Reforms: Building a Better Child Support Agency (BBCSA);

• Report 50, tabled 24 June 2010 Interim phase of the audit of financial statements of major general government sector agencies; and

• the commencement of a performance audit on the CRS Australia business operations, its governance and responsiveness to client feedback.

25 Department of Human Services, Annual Report 2009-2010, p. 4.

26 Department of Human Services, Annual Report 2009-2010, p. 8.

27 Department of Human Services, Annual Report 2009-2010, p. 4.

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2.27 The audit of financial statements found no issues for the department, and the other reports contained a number of recommendations which the department agreed to. Recommendations for the two audits on the CSSR are being addressed together along with findings of an independent review by David Richmond AO into the appropriateness, design and implementation of current decision-making processes and quality assurance for CSP. 28

2.28 The Commonwealth Ombudsman published the following reports in relation to agencies within DHS:

• Australian Federal Police and the Child Support Agency, Department of Human Services, Caught between two agencies: the case of Mrs X (Report no. 14/2009); and

• Putting things right: compensating for defective administration,

Administration of decision-making under the scheme for compensation for detriment caused by defective administration (Report no. 11/2009).

2.29 Whilst the reports are listed, there is no indication of the department's response to the reports.

2.30 The Social Security Appeals Tribunal (SSAT) is responsible for

independently reviewing C SP objection decisions and refusals of an extension of time to lodge an objection. The SSAT received 2665 applications for review of CSP decisions in 2009-10 and finalised 2777 decisions in relation to appeals. 49 per cent affirmed CSP's objection decision, and 59 per cent set aside or varied the CSP decision. The number of appeals made to the SSAT constituted 15 per cent of the total objection decisions finalised in 2009-10. 29

Consultancies

2.31 The report includes an appendix explaining the principles and selection process used when DHS engages in a consultancy contract, as well as a list of contracts entered into valued at $10,000 or more during the year. 30 The table has a useful column outlining the justification for using the consultancy based on:

• skills currently unavailable within agency;

• need for specialised or professional skills; and

• need for independent research or assessment.

2.32 The committee notes there is no summary of consultancy services outlining the total amount or a means to differentiate between new and ongoing consultancies.

28 Department of Human Services, Annual Report 2009-2010, p. 204.

29 Department of Human Services, Annual Report 2009-2010, p. 71.

30 Department of Human Services, Annual Report 2009-2010, pp 218-220.

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Chapter 3

Annual reports of statutory authorities and agencies

3.1 The committee has selected a number of annual reports for closer

examination. The annual reports selected provide an overview of all portfolios and include specific areas of interest to the committee. The committee will give consideration to annual reports received after 31 October 201 0 in its Report on Annual Reports (No.2) 2011. On this occasion, the reports of the following statutory

authorities and agencies will be examined:

• Australian Institute of Health and Welfare;

• Health Workforce Australia;

• Indigenous Business Australia;

• Australian Hearing;

• Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace; and

• Centrelink.

3.2 A complete list of reports referred to the committee for examination and report can be found at Appendix 1.

Health and Ageing Portfolio

Statutory authorities

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

3.3 The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) produces national information and statistics on health, community services and housing assistance. AIHW published 119 reports throughout the year including Australia's welfare 2009 and Australia's health 2010. 1

3.4 The Institute has taken a leadership role in the development and reporting of data for the national performance indicators required by the COAG reform process. To meet the increased demand in AIHW services, largely due to the COAG reform, staff numbers increased by about a third, from 270 to 372 in the course of the year which necessitated the leasing of a new building (next to the primary one). As a result of these developments, the AIHW's appropriation was more than twice the amount of the previous year, growing from $9.3 million to $20.7 million. 2

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Annual Report 2009-10, p. viii.

2 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Annual Rep ort 2009-10, pp viii- xi.

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3.5 Chapter 2 of the report discusses in further detail AIHW's performance against each strategic direction; key deliverables and performance indicators included in the PBS; as well as a summary of financial results.

Health Workforce Australia

3.6 The committee notes this is Health Workforce Australia's (HW A) first annual report. HWA was established to oversee the COAG Health Workforce national Partnership Agreement which aims to increase the supply of health professionals by providing them with individual support and assisting them to work together, and improve the care people receive.

3.7 Health Workforce Australia was established in early 2010 by the Council of Australian Governments to deliver programs in workforce planning, workforce research, support clinical training and education, support innovation in the health workforce and aid recruitment and retention of health professionals. HW A is a cross­ jurisdictional body operating in both government and non-government sectors.

3.8 The committee encourages HWA to comply with the Printing standards fo r documents presented to Parliament, which specify that all documents to be presented in Parliament must be printed in international B5 size.

Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Portfolio

Indigenous Business Australia (IBA)

3.9 The committee commends the IBA for producing a clear, concise and well constructed annual report. The compliance index greatly assisted the committee in determining whether reporting requirements had been met. The committee found reporting on all legislative requirements to be of a high standard. The committee congratulates IBA on its 20 years of operation.

3.10 The committee found IBA's reporting on performance to be of a high standard, noting the use of tables as a helpful component in establishing whether the PBS targets had been met. The committee notes within Home Ownership - Output Group 1.2, IBA has exceeded the PBS targets. IBA attributes this to an 'increased focus on low-income earners', allowing the percentage of loans to applicants with an adjusted combined gross monthly income of not more than 125 per cent increase from 83 per cent in 2007-08 to 88 per cent in 2009-10, and the percentage of loans to first home buyers from 86 to 92 per cent. 3 IBA regard home ownership as being high on the national agenda and identifies it as one of the priorities in the Council of Australian Governments' Closing the Gap agenda.4

3 Indigenous Business Austral ia, Annual Rep ort 2009-10, pp 16-7 and 39.

4 Indigenous Business Australia, Annual Rep ort 2009-10, pp 4 and 9.

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3.11 For the fmancial year 2009-10, IBA reported a $56.5 million deficit. However the committee notes Mr Bruce Gemmell, Chief Executive Officer, and his explanation that the results are:

... [H]eavily impacted by the non-cash effect of accounting standards (which requires the value of IBA loans to be discounted to reflect the concessional element of interest rates charged) and write-down of the holding value of some investments. Results were also impacted by the transfer of assets. 5

3.12 Taking into account these effects, the results before accounting for the 'one-off or extraordinary items' were a modest surplus. 6

Human Services Portfolio

Australian Hearing

3.13 Australian Hearing Services (AHS) has a national network of hearing centres as well as a research division, the national Acoustic Laboratories. The two key programs administered by AHS are the Community Service Obligation (CSO) program and the commercial Voucher program. The CSO program caters to children under 21 , Indigenous adults over 50 and adults with complex hearing needs. 7 This year the CSO client numbers increased by 7.5 per cent with a significant increase of 25.9 per cent in the Indigenous aided children category and 16.3 per cent for the Indigenous Eligibility clients. 8

3.1 4 AHS fitted 2,035 children and young adults with hearing aids for the first time in the 2009 calendar year, of which 310 were Indigenous clients. 9 In response to the government's Closing the Gap initiative, AHS expanded its services to an additional 400 children across Top End and Central Desert communities. 10

3.15 This year AHS reported a profit of $13.2 million, surpassing the targeted range of $11.4 million and an increase of 15 per cent on the previous financial year. As well as a useful summary on financial performance, the report clearly presents the audited financial statements. 11

5 Indigenou s Business Australia, Annual Report 2009-10, p. 8.

6 Indigenous Business Australia, Annual Report 2009-10, p. 8.

7 Au stralian Hearing, Annual Report 2009-10, pp 1- 3.

8 Australian Hearing, Annual Report 2009-10, p. iii.

9 Australian Hearing, Annual Report 2009-10, p. iii

10 Australian Hearing, Annual Report 2009-10, p. 8.

11 Australian Hearing, Annual Rep ort 2009-10, pp 16- 17 and 76-96.

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3.16 The committee commends AHS on its efforts to comply with the requirements contained in the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies (Report of Operations) Orders 2008, and the inclusion of a compliance index. 12

Prescribed agencies

Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA)

3.17 The committee notes Part III, Subsection 12( 1) of the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Act 1999, which requires EOW A as soon as practicable, and in any event within 6 months, after each 31 May, to submit to the Minister a report on its operations. The committee finds EOW A's annual report 2009-10 to have complied with that requirement, noting the report was received by the Senate on 21 December 2010 (tabled 9 February 2011 ). 13

3.18 The committee notes the annual report does not contain a list of requirements, as set out in the Requirements for Annual Reports and reminds EOW A that the inclusion of this list would greatly assist the committee. 14

3.19 The committee appreciates EO W A's report on performance, provided in a clear format, with the use of tables; however the outcomes could have a clearer indication of whether or not these were achieved. 15

3.20 In accordance with Subsection 19(1), EOWA is required to name organisations that have not complied with Sections 13, 13A, 13B and 13C of the Act. 16 EOW A lists 12 organisations, noting the number of years the organisation has been found to be non-compliant. 17

3.21 The committee notes EOWA has included reporting against the following legislation:

• Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) section 516A;

• Freedom of Information Act 1982 (POI Act) subsection 8(1 ); and

• Occupational Health and Safety (Commonwealth Employment) Act 1991 (OH&S Act) section 74.

12 Australian Hearing, Annual Report 2009-10, p. 102.

13 Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace, Annual Report 2009-10, p. 1.

14 See 'List of Requirements' in Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports for Depw1ments, Executive Agencies and FMA Act Bodies, June 2010, pp 33-35 .

15 Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace, Annual Report 2009-10, pp 14-16.

16 Equal Opportunity for Wom en in th e Workplace Act 1999.

17 Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace, Annual Rep011 2009-10, p. 81.

22

17

3.22 However the committee reminds EOWA that under the Requirements for Annual Reports and section 18 of the CAC Orders, an assessment of an agency's performance in implementing the Commonwealth Disability Strategy (the Strategy) must be provided in accordance with the terms set out in the Guide to Performance Reporting Framework. 18

Centre/ink

3.23 The committee notes the implementation of the Government's service delivery reform agenda, which includes the portfolio integration of the Department of Human Services, Medicare Australia and Centrelink. This includes spreading staff and responsibilities across a number of areas. The committee notes that Centrelink reports that this process went smoothly .19

3.24 The committee finds Centrelink's annual report provides a large amount of information in an effective and clear manner. The committee commends Centrelink on the inclusion and quality of its compliance index, as it greatly assisted the committee in establishing whether all reporting requirements had been met.

3.25 Centrelink highlights measures in place to simplify and automate services as a key achievement. Simplifying and automating services gives customers several options in the method of carrying out a number of tasks, including:

• Self-service printing for income statements;

• Applications for payment and rent certificates;

• Applications for advance payments;

• Reporting income statements; and

• Online registration for Newstart Allowance.

3.26 Centrelink reports that implementing online services has reduced the time customers need to spend filling out forms and the need for staff to process hard copies. Online services also reduce the length of queues in Customer Service Centres?0

3.27 The committee notes that the report on performance is thorough and covers a large range of areas. The report would benefit if the performance reporting data were collated and combined into a central part of the report, however the committee notes the inter-departmental nature of Centrelink's work and understands this can create difficulties in reporting.

18 Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies and FMA Act Bodies, June 2010, p. 14;

19 Centre! ink, Annual Report 2009-10, pp iii and 2.

20 Centre link, Annual Report 2009-10, pp 3 and 26 .

23

18

Senator Claire Moore

Chair

24

"' "'

Responsible Department

FaHCSIA

DoHA

FaHCSIA

DHS

DoHA

DoHA

DoHA

DoHA

FaHCSIA

DHS

FaHCSIA

DoHA

DHS

FaHCSIA

DoHA

DoHA

DoHA

FaHCSIA

FaHCSIA

19

APPENDIX 1- List of Annual Reports examined for report by the Committee

Departments Reporting Date Date tabled Date received Date submitted to/

Statutory Authorities and Agencies Year tabled House of out of session received by

Commonwealth Companies Senate Represent- by President of Minister

atives the Senate

Aboriginal Hostels Limited 2009-10 27.10.10 06.10.10/07.10.10

Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency Ltd 2009-10 16.11 .10 28.10.10 30.09.10/12.10.10

Anindilyakwa Land Council 2009-10 01.03.11 29.11 .10/29.11 .10

Australian Hearing Services 2009-10 16.11.10 28.10.10 28.09.10/01 .10.10

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2009-10 27.10.10 13.10.10/13.10.10

Australian Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation 2009-10 26.10.10 07.10.10/08.10.10

Authority- 1 January to 30 June 2009

'

Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency 2009-10 26.10.10 22.09.10/23.09.10

Cancer Australia 2009-10 15.11 .10 29.10.10

Central Land Council 2009-10 26.10.10 25.10.10 06.10.10/07.10.10 !

Commonwealth Services Delivery Agency (Centrelink) 2009-10 25.10.10 15.10.10

Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and 2009-10 15.11.10 09.11 .10

Indigenous Affairs

Department of Health and Ageing 2009-10 15.11 .10 29.10.10

Department of Human Services 2009-10 25.10.10 15.10.10

Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency 2009-10 09.02.11 21 .10.10

(EOWA)

Food Standards Australia New Zealand 2009-10 15.11 .10 29.10.10

General Practice Education and Training 2009-10 16.11 .10 06.10.10/21 .10.10

Health Workforce Australia 2009-10 16.11.10 28.10.20 13.10.10/27.10.10

Indigenous Business Australia 2009-10 16.11 .10 28.10.10 01.10.10/01 .10.10

Indigenous Land Corporation 2009-10 26.10.10 25.10.10 01 .10.10/01.10.10

-------

"' (J)

20

Responsible Department

DHS

DHS

DoHA

DoHA

DoHA

DoHA

FaHCSIA

DoHA

FaHCSIA

DoHA

DoHA

DoHA

FaHCSIA

FaHCSIA

FaHCSIA

FaHCSIA

Departments Reporting

Statutory Authorities and Agencies Year

Commonwealth Companies

Medibank Private Limited 2009-10

Medicare Australia 2009-10

National Blood Authority 2009-10

National Breast and Ovarian Cancer Centre 2009-10

National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) 2009-10

National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment 2009-10 Scheme

Northern Land Council 2009-10

Office of the Gene Technology Regulator 2009-10

Outback Stores Pty Ltd 2009-10

Private Health Insurance Administration Council 2009-10

Private Health Insurance Ombudsman 2009-10

Professional Services Review 2009-10

Social Security Appeals Tribunal 2009-10

Tiwi Land Council 2009-10

Torres Strait Regional Authority 2009-10

Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community Council 2009-10

Date Date tabled Date received Date submitted to/

tabled House of out of session received by

Senate Represent- by President of Minister atives the Senate

26.11.10 30.09.10 16.09.10/17.09.10

25.10.10 15.10.10

27.10.10 15.10.1 0/18.10.10

15.11.10 29.10.10

15.11 .10 29.10.10

26.11 .10 29.09.10/30.09.10

09.02.11 16.12.10

27.11 .10 16.09.10/21.09.10

16.11.10 01 .10.10/01 .10.10

23.11.10 22.11.10 15.10.10/17.10.10

16.11.10 28.10.10 28.09.10/29.09.10

16.11.10 28.10.10 18.10.10/20.1 0.10

23.11 .10 22.11 .10 24.09.10/14.10.10

24.11 .10 26.10.10/26.10.10

16.11 .10 28.10.10 01 .10.10/01 .10.10

26.10.10 25.10.10 01 .10.10/01.10.10

·--

The Senate

Economics

Legislation Committee

Annual reports (No.1 of2011)

27

March 2011

© Commonwealth of Australia 2011

ISBN 978-1-74229-416-2

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

28

Senate Economics Legislation Committee

Members

Senator Annette Hurley, Chair Senator Alan Eggleston, Deputy Chair Senator David Bush by Senator Doug Cameron Senator Louise Pratt Senator Nick Xenophon

Secretariat

Mr John Hawkins, Secretary Mr CJ Sautelle, Research Officer Ms Morana Kavgic, 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

South Australia, ALP Western Australia, LP Tasmania, LP New South Wales, ALP Western Australia, ALP

South Australia, IND

Internet: http://www .a ph. gov .au/ senate/ committee/ economics ctte/index.htm

111

29

TABLE OF CONTENTS

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

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

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

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

Purpose and requirements of annual reports ... ... ............ ..... ..... ... ..... .. ....... ... ... ... .. .. 2

Reports referred to the committee ..... .. .... ..... .. .. ............ .... .... ..... ...... .................. ..... 2

Timeliness ... .. ..... .. .. ................. ........................... .... ... ................. ...... .... ....... ...... .. .... 4

Remarks made in the Sen ate .. ..... ......... .... ..... .... .. .... .......... .... ... .... ..... ... ...... ....... ... ... 5

Bodies not presenting annual reports to th e Senate ......... ..... ..... .. ... ........... ......... .... 6

Other comments on reports ... .......... .... ... ... ..... .... .... ....... ... .......... ......... ... ....... .... ..... 6

Chapter 2 .............................................................................................................. 9

Individual Reports .................................................................................................... 9

Reports under the Innovati on, Industry, Science and Research portfoli o .. .. .. ...... .. 9

Reports under the Resources, Energy and Touri sm portfolio .... .... .. ............ .. .... .. I I

Reports under the Treasury pmtfoli o .. .. .... .... .. .... ............ .. ........................ .. ...... .. . 12

Appendix ! ......................................................................................................... 19

Abbreviations .......................................................................................................... 19

Appendix 2 ......................................................................................................... 21

Innovation, Industry, Science and Research Portfolio .................. ..................... 21

List of annual reports tabled in the Senate during the period 1 May 2010 to 31 October 2010 ............................................................................. 21

Appendix 3 ......................................................................................................... 23

Resources, Energy and Tourism Portfolio .. ... .. .................................................... 23

List of annual reports tabled in the Senate during the period 1 May 2010 to 31 October 2010 ............................................................................. 23

30

Appendix 4 ......................................................................................................... 25

Treasury Portfolio .................................................................................................. 25

List of annual reports tabled in the Senate during the period 1 May 2010 to 31 October 2010 ............................................................................. 25

Appendix 5 ......................................................................................................... 29

Portfolio structure and outcomes for the Innovation, Industry, Science and Research Portfolio for 2009-10 ......................................................... 29

Appendix 6 ......................................................................................................... 31

Portfolio structure and outcomes for the Resources, Energy and Tourism Portfolio for 2009-10 ....................................................................... 31

Appendix 7 ......................................................................................................... 33

Portfolio structure and outcomes for the Treasury portfolio for 2009-10 ........ 33

31

32

Chapter 1

Overview

Introduction

1.1 Annual reports of departments and agencies are referred to Senate Committees under Senate Standing Order 25(20). The Senate Economics Legislation Committee is responsible for the scrutiny of departments and agencies in the following portfolios:

•

•

•

Innovation, Industry, Science and Research;

Resources, Energy and Tourism; and

Treasury. 1

1.2 The structures and outcomes for each of these portfolios are summarised in Appendices 5, 6 and 7.

1.3 Standing order 25(20) requires the committee to:

• examine each annual report referred to it and report to the Senate whether the report is apparently satisfactory;

• 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;

• investigate and report to the Senate on any lateness in the presentation of annual reports;

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

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

• 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;

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

• 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. 2

Journals of the Senate, No.2, 29 September 2010, pp 88- 89.

2 Standing Order 25(20), Standing Orders and other orders of the Senate, June 2009, p. 28.

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Page2

Purpose and requirements of annual reports

1.4 Annual reports provide information on the success (or otherwise) of departments and agencies in meeting their goals and so assist in ensuring the public accountability of government departments and agencies. Their tabling in the Parliament, and scrutiny by Senate committees, allows Parliament to make informed judgments on the executive's performance in administering government programmes.

1.5 Departments of State and Executive Agencies present their annual reports pursuant to sections 63(2) and 70(2) of the Public Service Act 1999, respectively. 3 Commonwealth authorities and companies present their annual reports pursuant to their own enabling legislation and/or sections 9 and 36 of the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 (CAC Act), respectively.4

The Department of Finance and Deregulation publishes a chart on their website that shows which agencies are subject to various acts. 5 The legislation governing the annual reports of various agencies is shown in Appendices 2, 3 and 4.

1.6 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 requirements imposed under the government's policy, to the extent that the requirements do not conflict.

Reports referred to the committee

1.7 Under Standing Order 25(20)(f), the committee is required to report on the annual reports of departments and agencies tabled in the Senate between 1 May and 31 October each year by the tenth sitting day of the following year. This year that date is 23 March 2011.

1. 8 This report examines the following annual reports for 2009-1 0, which were tabled in the Senate by 31 October 2010, within their required timeframe:

3 They are required to comply with the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet's Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies and FMA Act Bodies, approved by the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit on 18 June 2008. See http://www.dpmc.gov.au/guidelines/docs/annual report requirements.pdf. Section 3(1) of the Requirements states that they also 'apply to prescribed agencies under section 5 of the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997'. The financial statements must be produced in

accordance with the Financial Management and Accountability Orders (Financial Statements for reporting periods ending on or after 1 July 2007).

4 Reports of Commonwealth authorities subject to the CAC Act must be produced in accordance with the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies (Report of Operations) Orders 2008 and the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Orders (Financial Statements for reporting periods ending on or after 1 July 2007). Annual reports of Commonwealth companies are required to be based on the reporting requirements under the Corporations Act 2001 .

5 http://www.fmance.gov.au/financial-framework/fma-l egislation/fma-agencies.html; and http://www.finance.gov.au/financial-framework/cac-legislation/cac-bodies.html.

34

Page3

• Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)

• Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies

(AIATSIS)

• Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS)

• Australian Office of Financial Management (AOFM)

• Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA)

• Australian Reinsurance Pool Corporation (ARPC)

• Australian Solar Institute (ASI)

• Australian Statistics Advisory Council (ASAC)

• Australian Taxation Office (ATO)

• Commonwealth Grants Commission (CGC)

• Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)

• Companies Auditors and Liquidators Disciplinary Board (CALDB)

• Corporations and Markets Advisory Committee (CAMAC)

• Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research (DIISR)

• Financial Reporting Panel (FRP)

• Inspector-General of Taxation (IGT)

• Superannuation Complaints Tribunal (SCT)

• Tax Practitioners Board (TPB)

• Tourism Australia (TA)

• Treasury

1.9 This report also examines two annual reports for 2008-09, which were tabled between 1 May and 31 October 2010. These are the Foreign Investment Review Board's annual report for 2008-09, which was tabled in the Senate on 11 May 2010, and Snowy Hydro Ltd's annual report for 2008-09, tabled in the Senate on 15 June 2010.

1.1 0 Comments on these individual reports are contained in Chapter 2.

35

Page 4

Timeliness

1.11 Standing Order 25(20)( c) requires the committee to report to the Senate on the late presentation of annual reports.

1.12 The legislative requirements for the tabling of annual reports vary between different types of agencies. 6 However, the Government's policy is 'that all annual reports should be tabled by 31 October'. 7

1.13 The Committee notes that there are a significant number of organisations whose annual reports, while prepared and sent to the minister by October, were not tabled in the Senate until November. These are listed in Table 1. In particular, the 2009-10 annual reports for the Anglo-Australian Observatory and Innovation Investment Fund (IIF) Companies are considered late reports.

1.14 The remainder of the reports tabled after 31 October in the Senate were however tabled in the House of Representatives before 31 October 2010, and hence are not considered as late reports. The Committee still believes these reports should have been tabled in the Senate more promptly, and suggests that future reports should be tabled in the Senate by 31 October regardless of their tabling date in the House.

1.15 The Committee notes that the Foreign Investment Review Board only sent its annual report for 2008-09 to the Treasurer on 18 March 2010, after which the report was subsequently tabled in the Senate on 11 May 2010. This report was tabled over five months late, and the committee considers that future annual reports from the Foreign Investment Review Board should be tabled in a timelier manner.

1.16 Snowy Hydro Ltd's report for 2008-09 is considered in this report, having been tabled in the Senate on 15 June 2010. Under the Snowy Hydro Corporatisation Act, Snowy Hydro is required to provide its report prior to its annual general meeting. The Snowy Hydro for 2009-2010 has been published and is available on the Snowy Hydro website, dated 25 August 2010; however at the time of writing it has not yet been tabled in parliament. The committee believes that regardless of the requirement for the annual report to be tabled before the Snowy Hydro annual general meeting, it would be appropriate for the report to be tabled by end-October each year.

6 The various requirements are set out in the Committee's report Annual reports (No . 1 of 2009) , March 2009, p. 4.

7 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reporls f or Departments, Executive Agencies and FMA Act Bodies, 23 June 2010, p. 2; Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Guidelines f or th e Presentation of Government Docum ents to th e Parliament (Including Government Responses to Committee Reports, Ministerial Statements, Annual Reports and Other Instrum ents) , June 2010, paragraph 4.10.

36

PageS

Table 1: Reports tabled in the Senate after 31 October

Agency Transmitted Received by Tabled Tabled

Minister in Senate in HoR

Anglo-Australian Observatory undated 9 Nov 24 Nov N/A

Auditing and Assurance Standards Board 4 Oct 15 Oct 16 Nov 28 Oct

Australian Accounting Standards Board 4 Oct 15 Oct 16 Nov 28 Oct

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (incorporating the Australian 27 Aug 21 Sep 16 Nov 28 Oct

Energy Regulator)

Australian Nuclear Science and Technology 24 Sep 24 Sep 16 Nov 28 Oct

Organisation

Australian Research Council

Australian Securities and Investments Commission

Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism (including Geoscience Australia)

Innovation Investment Fund (IIF) Companies

Financial Reporting Council

National Competition Council

National Offshore Petroleum Safety Authority

Productivity Commission

Reserve Bank of Australia

Royal Australian Mint

Takeovers Panel

Remarks made in the Senate

20 Oct

7 Oct

14 Oct

27 Oct

11 Oct

27 Aug

13 Oct

14 Oct

17 Aug

6 Sep

26Aug

21 Oct 16 Nov 28 Oct

08 Oct 16 Nov 28 Oct

21 Oct 16Nov 28 Oct

28 Oct 24Nov 24Nov

19 Oct 16 Nov 28 Oct

25 Oct 16 Nov 28 Oct

20 Oct 16Nov 28 Oct

19 Oct 16Nov 28 Oct

21 Sep 16Nov 28 Oct

21 Oct 16 Nov 28 Oct

05 Oct 16 Nov 28 Oct

1.17 Senate Standing Order 25(20)( d) directs the committee to take into account remarks made in the Senate when considering annual reports.

1.18 None of the annual reports considered in this report have been the subject of debate in the Senate.

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Page 6

Bodies not presenting annual reports to the Senate

1.19 The committee is required to report to the Senate each year under Standing Order 25 (20)(h) on whether there are any bodies not presenting annual reports to the Senate which should. The committee is satisfied that there are no bodies within the Innovation, Industry, Science and Research; Resources, Energy and Tourism; or Treasury portfolios that are avoiding their obligation.

1.20 The Committee previously suggested in its report Annual reports (No . 1 of 201 0) that the Chief Scientist should release a public annual report to inform the community of her work. 8 The committee is pleased to note that in November 2010 the Chief Scientist published an annual review for 2009-10, which can be found on the Chief Scientist's website, and is considered briefly in Chapter 2 of this report. 9

Other comments on reports

1.21 Taking into account the reporting guidelines specified by the legislation under which departments and agencies present their annual reports, the Committee considers that the reports it has examined are generally 'apparently satisfactory'.

Compliance indices

1.22 While no longer mandatory under the reporting requirements, the Committee recommends the inclusion of a compliance index in the annual reports of the larger and more complex agencies. 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 considerably assists the Committee's task of assessing 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.

1.23 The Committee commends a number of departments and agencies for their inclusion of compliance indices in their 2009-10 annual reports.

External scrutiny and accountability

1.24 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:

8 Senate Economics Legislation Committee, Annual Reports (No. 1 of2010) , February 2010, p. 5

9 The report can be viewed at http://www.chiefscienti st.gov.a u/ab out/publ icati ons/

38

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

(b) reports on the operations of the department by the Auditor-General (other than the report on financial statements), a Parliamentary committee or the Commonwealth Ombudsman. 10

Page 7

1.25 Annual reports should be a primary reference document for parliamentarians and others looking for information about external scrutiny of government agencies. As noted above, 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. It is particularly important that details about parliamentary scrutiny are included in annual reports, including appearances at Senate estimates hearings (which are the subject of bi-annual reports to the Senate).

10 Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies and FMA Act Bodies. Clause 11 of Schedule 1 of the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies (Report of Operations) Orders 2008 states that the same requirements apply to Commonwealth authorities that present their annual reports in accordance with the provisions of section 9 of the CAC Act.

39

40

Chapter 2

Individual Reports

Reports under the Innovation, Industry, Science and Research portfolio

Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research (DIISR) - Annual Report 2009-10

2.1 DIISR's Annual Report emphasised the work of the department in implementing the government's 10-year plan to overhaul Australia's innovation system, Powering ideas: an innovation agenda for the 2r' century, which was released in May 2009. It also emphasised work being done to support Australian businesses during the continuing global economic uncertainty and to undergird Australian industry. The department's contribution to a project on fostering innovation in the public sector was also highlighted, which culminated in May 2010 with the release of the government's final report on the issue, Empowering change: fostering innovation in the Australian Public Service.

2.2 The annual report also described the work of IP Australia, which managed to further reduce its backlog of patent applications over the 2009-10 financial year, having initiated a comprehensive program to try and deal with this problem in the previous year. IP Australia also noted the launch of a package of competency units in IP which are being marketed for inclusion in registered training organisation training packages.

2.3 The report includes compliance indices for both DIISR and IP Australia, and a discussion of external scrutiny of the department. In 2009-10 DIISR was the subject of one investigation by the Commonwealth Ombudsman, into the LPG Vehicle Scheme, and four ANAO performance audits, the recommendations of which are being implemented. The discussion of external scrutiny did not, however, mention DIISR's appearance before parliamentary committees, despite DIISR appearing at Estimates in February 2010 and both DIISR and IP Australia appearing at Estimates in October 2009 and June 2010.

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) -Annual Report 2009-10

2.4 CSIRO's annual report highlights the significant royalties obtained from their wireless technologies, estimating that almost 4 billion devices worldwide will contain the CSIRO technology by the end of 2013. Other highlights included developing Australia's first Zero Emission House, receiving the first signals from space to the

Square Kilometre Array telescope, and completing the development of a new breed of prawn which could more than double the yield of the prawn farming industry in

41

Page 10

Australia. The annual report emphasises CSIRO's strong record of publications and citations in academic journals, pointing to the excellent quality of the science CSIRO undertakes.

2.5 The annual report includes a compliance index and discusses CSIRO's accountability to the government but not to the parliament. CSIRO had appeared at Estimates in October 2009 and February and June 2010.

Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) -Annual Report 2009-10

2.6 AIATSIS is a statutory authority whose goal is to be the world's leading research, collecting and publishing institution in the field of Australian Indigenous studies. Its annual report highlights the inscription of its Indigenous languages collection into Australia's contribution to the UNESCO Memory of the World program, as well as its growing number of research grants awarded, and looks forward to the establishment of a specific languages unit within AIATSIS over the next three years.

2.7 The committee notes that the Institute included a compliance index in its report, and a discussion of its accountability to government and to the parliament.

Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS)- Annual Report 2009-10

2.8 AIMS is a statutory authority established by the AIMS Act 1972. Its mission is research to support the sustainable use and protection of the marine environment.

2.9 Its annual report highlights the successful field work undertaken by the Institute's scientists around Australia, with its five vessels clocking up a total of 668 research days in the field over the year. AIMS also drew attention to the announcement of government support for the construction of an Indian Ocean Marine Research Centre at the University of Western Australia, as well as noting its aquaculture team's achievement of successfully rearing lobster larvae on entirely artificial feed, a world first breakthrough which could potentially pave the way for a commercially viable aquaculture of lobsters.

2.10 The committee commends AIMS for including a compliance index m its report.

Chief Scientist of Australia -Annual Review 2009-10

2.11 The committee is pleased to note that in line with its suggestion in its Annual Reports (No. 1 of 201 0) , the Office of the Chief Scientist published its first Annual Review for the 2009-10 year.

2.12 The annual review highlights the Chief Scientist' s work in developing a foresighting framework to help inform the work of the Prime Minister's Science, Engineering and Innovation Council (PMSEIC), a framework which now may be

42

Page 11

adopted in several countries overseas. Other milestones included the launching of the Chief Scientist's website and presentations by the Chief Scientist at the World Science Forum in Budapest.

Reports under the Resources, Energy and Tourism portfolio

Australian Solar Institute (AS/) -Annual Report 2009-10

2.13 The Australian Solar Institute is a $100 million commitment by the Commonwealth Government to support the development of solar energy technologies, lower the cost of solar power for consumers and promote the uptake of solar as a significant energy source for Australia. After its establishment was announced on 15 January 2009, ASI was incorporated as a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee on 10 August 2009.

2.14 In its first year of operation, ASI undertook significant start-up work establishing the organisation's corporate structures, as well as awarding its first round of R&D grant funding. Ten projects were approved in the first funding round, representing over $29.5 million in investment from the ASI. In June 2010 ASI launched a postdoctoral scholarship program which will provide funding for PhD students to undertake cutting-edge research in solar technologies.

2.15 ASI also noted the development of networking relationships across the Australian solar industry in its first year of operations, as well as the initiation of strategic relationships with like organisations in other countries, with a view to developing these further into the future. The most noteworthy achievement in this regard was the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Germany's Fraunhofer Institute.

2.16 The Committee suggests that ASI include a compliance index in future annual reports.

Tourism Australia- Annual Report 2009-10

2.17 Tourism Australia's Annual Report notes that the tourism industry showed signs of recovery in 2009-2010 after a difficult year in 2008 -09 in the aftermath of the global financial crisis. A core focus for Tourism Australia was the launch in March 2010 of the global 'There's Nothing Like Australia' campaign, which draws on the experiences of individual Australians to help promote Australia. It also highlighted the ongoing progress of the 'No Leave No Life' campaign to promote domestic tourism.

2.18 Additionally, there was a strong focus in 2009-10 on developing Tourism Australia's presence online and in social media. The Australia.com website attracted over 18 million visitors over the year, more than doubling the previous year's total, and the newly launched Facebook page attracted over 700,000 followers by the time the annual report was written.

43

Page 12

2.19 The report includes little discussion of external accountability and lacks a compliance index. There is also no discussion of parliamentary scrutiny, despite Tourism Australia's appearance before Senate estimates throughout the year. The annual report did note that Tourism Australia provides a Compliance Report to its board as well as the Minister for Resources, Energy and Tourism and the Minister for Finance and Deregulation, which includes more extensive information on Touri sm Australia's legislative compliance and financial sustainability.

2.20 The committee suggests that a copy of this Compliance Report be made available to the committee each year so as to enable it to as sess fully Tourism Australia's performance throughout the year.

S1towy Hydro Ltd- Co1tsolidated Fillallcial Report 2008-09

2.21 Snowy Hydro Ltd and its subsidiaries manage and maintain the Snowy Hydro-electric Scheme, generating and marketing renewable electricity and electricity products. The organisation is a company limited by shares, of which the Commonwealth holds a 13 per cent stake, and Snowy Hydro is required to table its annual reports in the federal parliament under the Snowy Hydro Cmporatisation Act 1997. This annual report covers the period 29 June 2008 to 4 July 2009, and outlines the financial performance of Snowy Hydro Ltd over the year, as well as mentioning its compliance with environmental regulations.

2.22 As a company limited by shares, Snowy Hydro is not subject to the requirements for annual reports of government departments and agencies outlined by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. Its annual report, however, does comply with the provisions of the Corporations Act 2001.

Reports under the Treasury portfolio

The Treasury -Ailllual Report 2009-10

2.23 Treasury's annual report highlights numerous achievements for the 2009-10 year. The fmal report of the Australia's Future Tax System review was delivered to the Treasurer in December 2010, making 138 recommendations about potential reform to Australia's taxation system. In consultation with Treasury, the government released the final report and its initial response on 2 May 2010. Treasury assisted the government in the development of the 2010 Intergenerational Report, Australia to 2050: Future Challenges, which was released in February 2010 . Treasury successfully worked to advise on and implement the Government's fiscal strategy, with the 2010-

11 Budget predicting a return to surplus in 2012-13. Treasury also continued its input into the G-20 global reform agenda, undertook significant work on the National Health and Hospitals Network reforms, and oversaw the introduction of 31 taxation or superannuation related bills into the parliament over the year.

44

Page 13

2.24 The committee commends Treasury for the extensive discussion of external accountability in its report, including its appearance before parliamentary committee inquiries. The committee notes that 18 of its appearances were before the Senate Economics Committees and expresses its appreciation to Treasury for this valuable contribution. It also commends Treasury for including a comprehensive compliance index and references to Australian National Audit Office reports relating to its operations in its annual report.

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) -Annual Report 2009-10

2.25 The annual report describes 2009-10 as a tough, but successful year for the ABS. It notes that there was an improved financial outlook for the organisation which allowed it to reinstate many of the work program cuts implemented in 2008-09 and address emerging priorities for the organisation.

2.26 A significant mention is given to the initial work undertaken during the year in preparation for the 2011 Australian Census, including the implementation of a Northern Australia Enumeration Strategy to help improve the data collected from remote areas in Northern Australia. The 2011 Census will mark 100 years since the

first Australian Census in 1911. Other highlights included work on a review of the Consumer Price Index and the continuing provision of timely and accurate economic statistics to the government in the aftermath of the global financial crisis.

2.27 The committee commends the ABS for the inclusion of a compliance index, and notes the discussion of external scrutiny contained in the annual report. In this discussion, however, the committee suggests that the ABS could have included reference to scrutiny by parliamentary committees, in particular its appearances at

Senate Estimates in October 2009 and February and June 2010.

Australian Statistics Advisory Council (ASAC)- Annual Report 2009-10

2.28 ASAC advises the Minister and the Australian Statistician on matters relating to official statistics, and met twice over the 2009-10 financial year. The annual report notes concern about the adequacy of resourcing of the ABS, despite funding increases in the 2009 federal budget, and also noted the need for improved data integration across all levels of government.

Australian Office of Financial Management (AOFM) -Annual Report 2009-10

2.29 The AOFM is a prescribed agency responsible for the management of the government's debt, financial investments and cash balances. Its annual report explains that the global financial crisis and the sovereign debt crisis affecting much of Europe pose many challenges to the work of the AOFM, and that these challenges were effectively met in 2009-10.

2.30 The report notes that gross bond issuance for the year increased by over 40 per cent from 2008-09. Over the year, 81 tenders were conducted for Treasury bonds and 68 for Treasury notes. In September 2009 the AOFM also resumed the issuance of

45

Page 14

Indexed Treasury Bonds, a move which was very favourably received by the market. The AOFM also extended its Residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) program to help provide support for lending to small business as well as for housing.

2.31 The Committee commends the AOFM for including a compliance index in its report. The AOFM appeared before the committee at Senate estimates hearings in October 2009 and February and June 2010. The Committee suggests that references to such appearances before Senate committees should be included in future reports as these appearances are an important aspect of external scrutiny of government agencies.

Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) -Annual Report 2009-10

2.32 APRA describes 2009-10 as a year in which financial institutions began to move back towards a 'business-as-usual' mindset after the shocks of the global financial crisis. Despite this, APRA continued its supervisory activities at the high levels reached during the previous two years. APRA saw this increased scrutiny as essential given the continuing uncertainties in the global economic outlook.

2.33 Notable work conducted in 2009-10 included a stress-test of capital adequacy in the Authorised Deposit-taking Institution (ADI) industry, based on a specified macroeconomic scenario developed with the RBA and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand. APRA also continued its involvement in the Basel Committee on Banking

Supervision, and noted in its annual report that in the context of the Basel Committee and global banking reforms, APRA is cited as an example of good supervision in practice.

2.34 The committee commends APRA for including a compliance index in its annual report, and for noting APRA's appearances before parliamentary committees throughout the year. The annual report details APRA's three appearances at Senate Estimates over 2009-10, as well as appearances before two Economics References Committee inquiries over the same period.

Australian Reinsurance Pool C01poration (APRC)- Annual Report 2009-10

2.35 The ARPC is a statutory authority, established by the Terrorism Insurance Act 2003 in response to a marked reduction in the commercial terrorism insurance market following the events of 11 September 2001. It administers a scheme for providing coverage for commercial property and business interruption.

2.36 Treasury conducted a review in 2009 which concluded that the APRC scheme should continue to operate for a further three years, and made six recommendations for refinements to the scheme, which are now being taken up by APRC.

2.37 The annual report notes the renewal of APRC's retrocession program in December 2009, and highlights the continued work undertaken to enhance the APRC's loss estimation capabilities.

46

Page 15

2.38 The committee suggests that the annual report could be improved by including a specific compliance index. The readability of the report could also be improved by the inclusion of an index and glossary of terms.

Australian Taxation Office (ATO) -Annual Report 2009-10

2.39 2010 was the A TO's centenary year, and its 2009-10 annual report celebrates the growth and evolution of the Tax Office over the last hundred years. It describes 2009-10 as 'a year of consolidation and platform building', and also a year in which the A TO ushered in significant change in its infrastructure, culture and skills. The final phase of the ATO's change program was deployed in 2009-10, completing a process of technology upgrade initiated in 2002. The ATO also released its Strategic Statement 2010-15 outlining the vision of the ATO for the next five years.

2.40 The 2009-10 annual report also highlighted potential areas for improvement, noting that the ATO managed to meet only 15 of its 27 service standards throughout the year, and that customer complaints rose correspondingly in 2009-10.

2.41 The A TO's annual report is clearly set out and includes a thorough discussion of external accountability. The report notes that in addition to its three appearances before Senate Estimates, the A TO additionally appeared before 15 inquiries of parliamentary committees over the year. The report also includes both a compliance

index and a separate list covering its legislative reporting requirements specified in 27 Acts.

Commonwealth Grants Commission (CGC) -Annual Report 2009-10

2.42 The CGC is a statutory authority with the goal of fiscal equalisation (i.e. providing state governments with the financial capacity to provide the same range and quality of services to their residents) through allocation of revenue from the Goods and Services Tax. The annual report describes the commission's major achievement in 2009-10 as the completion of the Report on GST Revenue Sharing Relativities 2010 Review. This report was the final result of a review process initiated

in 2005, and provided recommendations on the methods that should be used to determine the sharing of GST revenue between the States and Territories over the next four to five years.

2.43 The annual report notes 'the Commission is subject to external scrutiny by bodies such as Parliamentary Committees ... '. 1 The committee suggests that the commission's annual report could be improved by including a specific compliance index.

Commonwealth Grants Commission, Annual Report 2009-10, p. 12.

47

Page 16

Companies Auditors and Liquidators Disciplinary Board (CALDB) - Annual Report 2009-10

2.44 The CALDB determines whether a registered auditor or liquidator should be disqualified from practising in Australia. Its annual report notes that in 2009-10 one registration was cancelled and two suspended.

2.45 The annual report notes the appearance of the CALDB Chairman before the Economics References Committee's 2010 inquiry into Liquidators and Administrators, and takes note of the view expressed by the committee in its final report that the CALBD should hold its hearings publically rather than in private session. Whilst not venturing an opinion on these proposed changes to the way the CALDB operates, the annual report notes the Board's willingness to participate appropriately in any future discussions on the issue.

Corporations and Markets Advisory Committee (CAMAC) -Annual Report 2009-10

2.46 CAMAC is a statutory agency under the FMA Act 1997 consisting of part­ time members appointed by the Minister. Its role is to advise the minister about corporate, financial product and financial market matters.

2.47 CAMAC's 2009-10 annual report details the two reports completed by CAMAC over the year, relating to members' schemes of arrangement and guidance for directors. The annual report also highlights work started by CAMAC on a review of executive remuneration practises, which was referred to CAMAC in May 2010.

2.48 The committee commends CAMAC for including a comprehensive compliance index in its annual report, as previously suggested in the committee's report Annual Reports (No.2 o/2010).

Financial Reporting Panel (FRP) -Annual Report 2009-10

2.49 The FRP is the primary adjudicator between ASIC and companies, disclosing entities or registered schemes in relation to the application of accounting standards in financial reports. As in 2008-09, no matters were referred to and resolved by the FRP during 2009-10. Four cases were referred to the panel late in the fmancial year, and the outcome of these referrals will be reported on in the FRP's 2010-11 annual report.

Inspector-General of Taxation (JGT)- Annual Report 2009-10

2.50 The IGT's annual report describes the five reports completed and published in the 2009-10 year, relating to a range of aspects of the work of the ATO. It also notes three further reports which were completed and submitted to the Minister during the year, which have not yet been made publically available, and four IGT reviews that were currently in progress at 30 June 2010.

2.51 The committee commends the IGT for including a compliance index and thorough discussion of external scrutiny in its annual report.

48

Page 17

Superannuation Complaints Tribunal (SCT) -Annual Report 2009-10

2.52 In 2009-10 the number of complaints received by the SCT decreased slightly from the previous year, although still remaining at a high level. The nature of complaints received was again informed by the lingering effects of the global financial crisis. The number of complaints proceeding to review decreased, reflecting a higher proportion of complaints relating to negative investment returns rather than improper behaviour by funds.

2.53 The committee commends the SCT for including a compliance index in its annual report.

Tax Practitioners Board -Annual Report 2009-10

2.54 The TPB commenced its activities on 1 March 2010 as Australia's regulator of tax agents and business activity statement (BAS) agents. Its establishment was provided for in the Tax Agent Services Act 2009, and the TPB replaces six state-based Tax Agents' Boards. The TPB is not an agency for the purposes of the FMA Act, and is resourced through the ATO . The Board's financial operations are reported on in the A TO's annual reports.

2.55 The TPB's first annual report details the key start-up activities of the board. Most of the board members were appointed in October 2009, and work was done developing registration eligibility criteria for tax and BAS agents and articulating professional standards requirements for the industry in the lead-up to the TPB commencing administration of the new registration system for tax agents on 1 March 2010.

2.56 The committee commends the TPB for including a compliance index in its report, and looks forward to monitoring the progress of the TPB in its first full financial year of operations in 2010-11 .

Foreign Investment Review Board (F/RB)- Annual Report 2008-09

2.57 FIRB is a non-statutory body responsible for advising the Treasurer on foreign investment policy and administration. Secretariat services to the board are provided by the Foreign Investment and Trade Policy Di vision of Treasury, and FIRB's financial operations are reported on in Treasury's annual reports.

2.58 In 2008-09, FIRB advised the approval of over 5300 foreign investment proposals, representing $181.4 billion of proposed investment. The number of proposals represents a decrease of 32 per cent in applications from the previous year. During the year three proposals relating to real estate purchases were rejected. In 2009-10 the US represented the largest source country for foreign investment into Australia, followed by China, Japan, the UK and France. By industry, the minerals and resource sector saw the most foreign investment over the year.

49

Page 18

2.59 The committee suggests that a specific compliance index as well as an index of terms may be useful additions to FIRB's future annual reports.

Senator Annette Hurley Chair

50

AASB

AAO

ABS

AIATSIS

AOFM

APRA

ARPC

ASAC

ASI

ATO

AUASB

CAC Act

CALDB

CAMAC

COAG

CGC

CPI

CSIRO

DIISR

FIRB

FMAAct

FRP

Appendix 1

Abbreviations

Australian Accounting Standards Board

Anglo-Australian Observatory

Australian Bureau of Statistics

Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies

Australian Office of Financial Management

Australian Prudential Regulation Authority

Australian Reinsurance Pool Corporation

Australian Statistics Advisory Council

Australian Solar Institute

Australian Taxation Office

Auditing and Assurance Standards Board

Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997

Companies Auditors and Liquidators Disciplinary Board

Corporations and Markets Advisory Committee

Council of Australian Governments

Commonwealth Grants Commission

Consumer Price Index

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation

Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research

Foreign Investment Review Board

Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997

Financial Reporting Panel

51

Page20

G-20 Group of Twenty

GDP gross domestic product

IGT Inspector-General of Taxation

IIF Innovation Investment Fund

PC Productivity Commission

R&D research and development

RAM Royal Australian Mint

RBA Reserve Bank of Australia

SCT Superannuation Complaints Tribunal

TA Tourism Australia

TPB Tax Practitioners Board

52

Appendix 2

Innovation, Industry, Science and Research Portfolio

List of annual reports tabled in the Senate during the period 1 May 2010 to 31 October 2010

Repo rting Body Legislation Date of Date sent Date

transmittal to received

letter Minister by

Minister

Department of Public Service Act 1999- 13110/2010 06/ 10/2010 07/ 10/2010 Innovation, Industry, sections 63(2) and 70(2) Science and Research (including IP Australia)

Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997

Commonwealth Science and Industly 21109/2010 N/A NIA

Scientific and

Research Act 1949

Industrial Research Organisation

Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997-section 9

Australian Institute Australian Institute of September 29/09/2010 30/09/2010 Aboriginal and Aboriginal and Torres 2010

Torres Strait Islander Strait Islander Studies Act Studies 1989 - section 4

Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997-section 9

Australian Institute of Commonwealth 07/09/2010 14/09/2010 14/09/2010 Marine Science Authorities and Companies Act 1997-section 9

53

Date tabled/ presented*

27/ 10/2010

25 / 10/20 10

14/ 10/20 10*

26/ 10/ 10

27110110

54

Appendix 3

Resources, Energy and Tourism Portfolio

List of annual reports tabled in the Senate during the period 1 May 2010 to 31 October 2010

Reporting Legislation Date of Date sent Date Date

Bod y tra nsmittal to received tabled/

letter Minster by presented*

Minister

Australian Solar Commonwealth 11/10/2010 N/A NIA 15/1 1/20 10

Institute Authorities and

29/ 10/2010*

Companies Act 1997 -section 9 Corporations Act 2001

Snowy Hydro Snowy Hydro N/A 30/04/2010 06/05/2010 15/06/2010

Limited (2 008- Corporatisation Act 2009 report) 1997 - section 55

Tourism Tourism Australia 15/ 10/2010 14/10/20 10 14/ 10/2010 27/10/2010 Australia Act 2004- section

39

Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 -section 9

55

56

Appendix 4

Treasury Portfolio

List of annual reports tabled in the Senate during the period 1 May 2010 to 31 October 2010

Reporting Legislation Date of Date sent Date Date

Body transmittal to received tabled/

letter Minister by pres ented*

Minister

Australian Australian Bureau 21109/20 10 23 /09/2010 23 /09/2010 26110/20 10 Bureau of of Statistics Act

Statistics (ABS) 1975 -subsection 24(1)

Public Service Act 1999 - subsection 63(1)

Australian Australian Bureau 28/09/2010 30/09/2010 30/09/2010 26110/2010 Stati stics of Statistics Act

Advisory 19 7 5 -subsection

Council 24(2)

Australian Office Financial 05 / 10/20 10 22/09/20 10 22/09/2010 26/10/20 10

of Financial Management and Management Accountability Act 1997

Australian Australian 12/10/2010 N/A N/A 15/ 11/20 10

Prudential Prudential

Regulation Regulation 29/10/2010*

Authority Authority Act 1998

-section 59

Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997

Australian Commonwealth 20/09/2010 06110/20 10 06/ 10/2010 26110/2010 Reinsurance Pool Authorities and Corporation Companies Act (ARPC) 1997 - section 9

57

Page 26

Reporting Legislation Date of Date sent Date Date

Body transmittal to received tabled/

letter Minister by presented*

Minister

Australian Income Tax 7/ 10/2010 11110/2010 11110/2010 27/ 10/2010

Taxation Office Assessment Act 1936-section 14

Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997

Plus numerous other acts listed on pp 196-7 of its annual report

Commonwealth Public Service Act 28/09/2010 29/09/2010 29/09/2010 26/ 10/2010 Grants 1999 - section 63

Commission

Companies Australian 07/ 10/2010 18/ 10/2010 18/ 10/2010 27/10/2010

Auditors and Securities and Liquidators Investments

Disciplinary Commission Act Board 2001-section 214

Corporations and Australian 24/09/2010 01110/2010 01110/2010 26/ 10/2010 Markets Securities and

Advisory Investments

Committee Commission Act

2001- section 162

Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997

Financial Australian 06110/2010 15/10/2010 15/ 10/2010 27/ 10/2010

Reporting Panel Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001 -section

239AM

Foreign No statutmy 18/03 /2010 N/A N/A

11105/2010

Investment requirements

58

Page 27

Reporting Legislation Date of Date sent Date Date

Body transmittal to received tabled/

letter Minister by presented*

Minister

Review Board

06/05 /2010*

(2008-09 Annual Report)

Inspector- Inspector-General 30/09/2010 NIA NIA 25/10/2010

General of of Taxation Act

Taxation 2003- 22/10/2010*

section 41 Financial Management and Accountability Act

' 1997

Superannuation Superannuation 08/09/2010 N/A NIA 15 /1 1/2010

Complaints (Resolu tion of

Tribunal Complaints) Act 29/10/2010*

1993- section 67

Tax Practitioners Tax Agent Services 13 /1 0/2010 13/10/2010 13/10/2010 26/10/2010 Board Act 2009- sections

60-130

Treasury Public Service Act 14/1 0/2010 24/09/2010 24/09/2010 26/ 10/2010

1999- section 63

Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997

59

60

Appendix 5

Portfolio structure and outcomes for the Innovation, Industry, Science and Research Portfolio for 2009-10 1

Portfolio Minister

for inno¥ation, lndLSry, Science i31'1d Res.,arch Senator the Hon Kim C;orr

Minister for Small Busin<>Ss ,. Independent Contract""' and the SeNioe Eoonomy Miniser Assisting ihe F10anee Minister on Deregulation The Hon Or Craig Emerson MP

Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and RE>Search Portfulio Secretary: Mr Mark ·l P·aterson /lQ

o..noome 1: Enhanced oppcrtunities for business innovatioo and grcM'th through national in converting and id<=as into rP-W

processes. pmducs and marketable- devices: festering business CClO.per ation: delivering advi ce: a ssistance; and .business. measurement

and .ooJine seM<:es.

Outcome 2: T he generation.. Ltilisa:ion and awar-en-=ss ct science and rese.arch kn£M,edge through inves:rnent in r:._se-aroh tralning and infrastructure. seieooe communication. skill developn-em and cdlaboratioo with Jndus.try. unive.rsi'ti;es and re5earch "in.stitut.es. domestically and

in:ema:ionally.

,. ---- ----------- -----

Agen cy - Commorrw..alth Scientific and Industrial R..search Organisation (CSIRO) Chief Executive Officer: Dr Megan Clark

Ot.r:come: lnn:::wa:tive- scientific and technology solt.Jtons to naiicnal challenges and oppc

re:search and cspabilhy de.refopmem, and advice.

Agency - Australian lnsniute of Aboriginal and Torres S·trait lslar>der (AIATSIS)

Chief Executive Officer: 1\11r Russell Ta)lor

Outcome: Furth..- unde.rstanding of Australi.in Indigenous f-i­ cultur">s. pas. and pres...n through undertaking end publi:shjng research. and p!O'.ridi_ rg access to print and audiovtsual

Agency - IP Australia Director General:. M r Philip N C>Onan

Oumome.: inrovation. investfnl:n: and trade in __:_

Au;;.rafl a, and by Australians. tre

administration of tiE registrable in:.efiectual propeny rights syst<>m. proma.ting public awareness. and industry enaapement. and adVisino acvefl'Y!'TEnt

Agency - Au'S1ral ian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO} Chief Ex<>CUtive Officer: Dr Adi Paterson

Outoo111<>: Improved knO\\le<:lge, innovative capacity and

heaf"Jlcare thi'"Ot.JfJh nudear-based tacifi tin., research. ::raining, prodtE:S, serviCes and advice tc Government. indusuy. the edo:.ation .snd the AuSlralian pcpulation.

Agency- Australian RE>search Council (ARC) Chi"f Ex . .,cutive Office<: Prof. Margafft Sheil Outcome: Gro.vJl of and inno.,.abcn through research funding sd-Jernes. measuring rese3rch

exce!le,.,. and pro;iding advice_

Agency -Australian lnsnMe of Marine Science (AJMS) ChiEf Exewtive Officer: Dr lan Poin<>r eutcome: Gro>bth of knawle<:lg= to protection and su::.::ainable deveiopme.nt of Al.ts:lra:!ia.'s marine

ihrough inn ova ti'o'e marine science and

Portfolio Budget Statements 2009-10, Innovation, Industry, Science and Research portfolio, p. 5.

61

62

Appendix 6

Portfolio structure and outcomes for the Resources, Energy and Tourism Portfolio for 2009-10'

. Polifo[io Minister

for Resources and &ergy

Minisier for Tourism

The Han Maron Ferguson AM MP

'

I

I

af Resourres. En ergy .and Touri5m

Port! o Seen:tary

Mr John Pio;rt>E?

Outcome 1: The .mprcved s1Tel191h. competitNeness and

so stainabi of the Resources. Energ't' and Touri sm indl!stries to

enhance Austral .a's prosperny through implementatio cf

go•emment policy and programs.

I

Oeosc ien ce Australia

C hie: 2xecutive Officer

Dr Neil Williams PSM

Outcome 1: l nfo:rrn ed g:we mem.t industty and

carnm decisions oo the econc.mic, social

and enw onmental !llimagem ent of lhe s

-1ural resources through en at:

gaosc ien tifo:: and spatial infcrmal:lcln.

National Offsho re Petroleum Safety

Autho rity

Chie-f E xecutiv;; Offx:er

•;lr J Clegg

Ou tcome 1: An Aust

indli!itry · a1 properly con1rols tho;, health

and safety risks to lhe v•ori

c:Ts hcre petro leum oper<'l1icns.

Tourism Australia

Mimaging

Mr Geoff .S rcl

Outcome 1: Increase demand ' or Australia

as a destination. s!Tenglhen tilP- trav-el

distri!:>U!io system, and contribute to the

development of a tourism

indr.>stry th rough conSilmer mari<.elil'.g, trade

de¥elopm ent and research aaivities.

Portfolio Budget Statements 2009-10, Resources, Energy and Tourism portfolio, p. 5.

63

64

Appendix 7

Portfolio structure and outcomes for the Treasury portfolio for 2009-10 1

Portfolio Minister -Treasurer The Hon Wayne Swan MP

Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Compet ition Policy and Consumer Affairs The Han Cluis Bowen MP Minister for Superannuation and Corporate Law Se nator the Han Nick Sherry

Department of the Treasury Secretary: Dr Ken Henry AC

Informed decisions on the development and implementation of policies to improve the wellbeing of the Australian people, including by achieving strong, sustamable economic growth, through the pro1•ision of advice to oovemment and the efficient administration of federal financial relati ons I

Australian Bureau of Statistics Statisti cian : Mr Brian Pink

Informed decisions, research and discussion within governments and the communit;t by leading the col lection, analysis and provision of high quality , objective and relevant statistical information

l

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Chairperson: Mr Graeme Samuel

Lawful competition, consumer protection, and regulated national infrastructure mar1<.et5 and services throu gh reg ul ation , including enforcement, ed ucation , pri ce monitoring and de!em1ining the te.m1s of acc.ess to services

I

Australian Office of Financial Management Chief Executive Officer Mr Neil Hy

To enhance the Commonwealth's capacity to manage rts nel debt portfolio. offering the prospect of savings in debt servicing costs and an improvement in the net worth of the over time

I

A ustralian Prudential Reg ulation Atrthority Chaimnan: Dr John Laker

Enhanced public confidence in Australia's financial institutions through a framewort of prudential regulatio n which balances financial safety and efficiency, competition, contestabilrty and com petitive neutrality

I

Australian Securities and Investments Commis,sion Chaim>an: Mr Tony D'Aioisio

Outcome 1: Improved confidence in financial market integrity and protection of investore and consumers !hroug,h research , po ficy, education, compliance and deterrence that mitigates emerg ing risks Outcome2: Streamlined and cost-effective interaction and access to information for business and the public, th rough registry, licensing and busine$S facmtation services

I

Australian Taxation Office Commissioner. Mr Michael D'Ascenzo

Confidence in tne administration of aspects of Australia's taxation and superannuation throug h helping people understand their rights and obligations, improving ease of compliance and access to benefrts. and managmg non,.compliance with the taw

I

Commonwealth Grants Commission Secretary: Mr John Spasojevic

lnfom1ed Government decisions on fiscal equalisation netween the States and Territories through advice and recommendations on the distribution or GST revenue and health care grants I

Corporations and Markets Advisory Committee Convenor: Mr Richard St John

Informed decisions by Government on issl!es re lating to corporations regulation and financial products, services and markets throuah independent and expert advice

Portfolio Budget Statements 2009-10, Treasury portfo li o, pp 6-7.

65

Page 34

Inspector-General of Taxation Inspector-General: Mr Ali Noroozi

Improved tax administration through community consultation, review. and im!-ependenl advice to Government

I

National Competition Council President: Mr David Crawford

Competition in mmt.ets that are dependent on access to nationally significant monopo!oy infrastructure, through recommendations and decisions promoti119 the efficieni operation of, use of and investment in infmstructure I

Office of the Auditing and Assurance Standards Board Chairman: Ms Merran Kelsall

The fomlulation and making of aud.iting and asslfrance standards that are used by auditors of Australian

entity 1ii nan cia! reports or for oUter auditing and assurance engagements

I

Office ot the Australian Accounting Standards Board Acting C.haim1an: Mr Bruce Porter

The fommlation and making of accounting standards that are used by Australian entities to prepare fm ancial reports and enable users of th.ese reports to make infomoed decisions

I

Productivity Commission C.haim1an: Mr Gary Bant';s .AO

Well-informed po licy decision-making and public understanding on matters relating to Australia's producli;rily and living standards , based on independent and transparent analysis from a community-wide perspective

I

Royal Australian Mint Chie· Execur e Officer: Ms Janine Murphy

The coinage needs of the Austmlian economy, coll:ectors and fonei!gn countries are met through the manufacture and sate oi circu!atino coins. co!lector coins and mrnted like products

66

The Senate

Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Legislation Committee

Annual reports (No.1 of2011)

March 2011

67

© Commonwealth of Australia 2011

ISBN 978-1-74229-417-9

This document was produced by the Senate Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Secretariat and printed by the Senate Printing Unit, Parliament House, Canberra.

68

Senate Standing Committee on Education, Employment & Workplace Relations

LEGISLATION COMMITTEE

Membership of the Committee

Senator Gavin Marshall, Chair Senator Chris Back, Deputy Chair Senator Michaelia Cash Senator Catryna Bilyk Senator Sarah Hanson-Young Senator Dana Wortley

Participating Members

Victoria, ALP

Western Australia, LP Western Australia, LP Tasmania, ALP South Australia, AG

South Australia, ALP

Senators Abetz, Adams, Barnett, Bernardi, Birmingham, Bishop, Boswell, Boyce, Brandis, Bob Brown, Carol Brown, Bushby, Cameron, Colbeck, Coonan, Cormann, Crossin, Eggleston, Faulkner, Ferguson, Fierravanti-Wells, Fielding, Fifield, Fisher, Forshaw, Furner, Heffernan, Humphries, Hurley, Hutchins, Johnston, Joyce, Kroger, Ludlam, Macdonald, McEwen, McGauran, Mason, Milne, Minchin, Moore, Nash, O'Brien, Parry, Payne, Polley, Pratt, Ronaldson, Ryan, Scullion, Siewert, Stephens, Sterle, Troeth, Trood, Williams and Xenophon.

Secretariat Dr Shona Batge, Secretary Mr Tim Watling, Acting Secretary Ms Bonnie Allan, Principal Research Officer Ms Natasha Rusjakovski, Senior Research Officer Ms Anna Peterson, Research Officer Ms Tegan Gaha, Research Officer Ms Danielle Oldfield, Executive Assistant

PO Box 6100 Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600 Ph: 02 6277 3521 Fax: 02 6277 5706 E-mail: eewr.sen@aph.gov.au Internet: http: //www.aph.gov.au/senate/committee/eet ctte/index.htm

iii

69

70

TABLE OF CONTENTS

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

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

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

Terms ofreference .................................................................................................. 1

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

Annual reports referred ........................................................................................... 2

Method of assessment ... ... ...................................... .. .......................... .... .......... ....... 3

Timeliness in tabling annual reports ................ .......... .. .... .. ............ .. .................. .... 3

General comments on reports .............................................. ................ ... ................ 4

Chapter 2 ............................................................................................................. 5

Review of annual reports ......................................................................................... 5

Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations ....................... 5

The Office of the Australian Building and Construction Commissioner .............. . 8

The Workplace Authority ......................................................... .............. .. .............. 9

Australian Industrial Relations Commission & Australian Industrial Registry ..... 9

The Fair Work Ombudsman ................................ .. ............ .. ................. .. .. ....... .. ... 10

Fair Work Australia ............................................................ .. ................. ............... 11

Air Passenger Ticket Levy (Collection) Act 2001 ............................................... 12

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority ............................. 12

National Report to Parliament on Indigenous Education and Training ........ ....... 13

Comments made in the Senate .......................... ...................... ...... .......... ............. 13

Bodies not presenting annual reports to the Senate .............................................. 13

Appendix 1 ......................................................................................................... 15

Allocation of annual reports to the committee .................................................... 15

v

71

Appendix 2 ......................................................................................................... 17

Compliance table of annual reports referred ...................................................... 17

Appendix 3 ......................................................................................................... 23

Administrative Arrangements Order for the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations ................................................................ 23

VI

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Chapter 1

Introduction

1.1 This is the Senate Education, Employment and Workplace Relations

Legislation Committee's (the committee) first report on annual reports for 2011. It provides an overview of the committee's examination of annual reports for the 2009-10 financial year.

Terms of reference

1.2 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.

(h) Report to the Senate each year whether there are any bodies which do not present annual repmis to the Senate and which should present such reports. 1

Amended 2 4 August 1994, 13 F ebrumy 199 7, 11 November 1998, 3 December 1998, 13 February 2002, 19 November 2002, 14 August 2006: with ejfectji-0111 11 September 2006, 13 May 2009: with effect on 14 May 2009.

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Role of annual reports

1.3 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, assisting in the effective examination of the performance of departments and agencies, and the administration of government programs.

Annual reports referred

1.4 In accordance with Senate Standing Order 25(20)(f) this report examines those annual reports tabled between 1 May 20 1 0 and 31 October 2010. The committee examined the reports of the:

Departmental reports

• Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations

Departmental bodies

• Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission

Prescribed agencies (under FMA Act)

• Australian Industrial Relations Commission and Australian Industrial Registry

• Seafarers Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Authority (Seacare)

• Office of the Australian Building and Construction Commissioner

• Workplace Authority

• Fair Work Ombudsman

• Fair Work Australia

Statutory authorities/bodies

• Remuneration Tribunal

• Skills Australia

Commonwealth authorities (under the CAC Act)

• Australian National University

• Comcare

Commonwea lth companies under th e CAC Act

• Australian Learning and Teaching Council (formerly known as Th e Carrick Institute)

• Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA)

• Defence Force Remuneration Tribunal. (A lso referred to the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade).

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3

Reports on legislation

• Report to the Commonwealth, made under Section 24 of the Air Passenger Ticket Levy (Collection) Act 2001, for the period 1 April 2009 to

31 March2010.

1.5 The tabling dates of these reports are listed at Appendix 2. Details of all annual reports falling within the purview of the committee are set out at Appendix 1.

Method of assessment

1.6 Senate Standing Orders require 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 requirements for the preparation of annual reports of departments and authorities.

1. 7 The requirements are set down in the following instruments:

• for portfolio departments: the Public Service Act 1999, sections 63(2) and 70(2), and the Requirements for Departmental Annual Report, for Departments, Executive Agencies and FMA Act Bodies, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, revised June 2008;

• for Commonwealth authorities and companies: the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997, in particular sections 9, 36 and 48; 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 2643-45.

Timeliness in tabling annual reports

1.8 Standing Order 25(20)(c) requires the committee to report to the Senate on the late presentation of annual reports.

1.9 Annual reports must be tabled in Parliament by 31 October each year, except where an agency's own legislation specifies a timeframe for its annual report. 2 Those agencies reporting under the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 are required to provide their annual reports to the minister by the 15th day of the fourth month after the end of the financial year. Where the financial year ends on 30 June, this deadline translates to 15 October. 3

Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies and FMA Act Bodies, June 2009, p. 1.

Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997, section 9.

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1.10 The committee recognises that some agencies are required to comply with other timeframes stipulated in their enabling legislation, such as 'as soon as practicable after 30 June'. Nonetheless, the committee reminds all agencies that the government considers it best practice for annual reports to be tabled by 31 October each year.

1.11 The committee notes that a number of annual reports under its purview were not received by 31 October in order to be reported on in the committee's Annual Reports (1 of 2011). The reports of the following bodies will be examined in the committee's Annual Reports (2 of 2011):

• Australian Vocational Education and Training System-Report for 2009

• Coal Mining Industry (Long Service Leave Funding) Corporation

• Safe Work Australia

• Teaching Australia - Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership Limited

• Schools Assistance (Learning Together-Achievement Through Choice and Opportunity) Act 2004- Report on financial assistance granted to each state in respect of 2009

• Workplace Relations Act 1996 - Report for the period 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2009 on agreement making under the Act.

General comments on reports

1.12 The committee has found, under the terms of standing order 25(20), that all reports described here are apparently satisfactory. In making this assessment, the committee considers aspects such as the timeliness of presentation and compliance with relevant reporting requirements.

76

Chapter 2

Review of annual reports

2.1 As previously detailed in the committee's Annual Reports (No. 2 of 201 0), the Fair Work Act 2009 replaced six workplace relations agencies with Fair Work Australia and the Fair Work Ombudsman. 1 This chapter examines the final annual reports of three of those agencies, the Workplace Authority, the Australian Industrial Relations Commission and the Australian Industrial Registry.

2.2 In Annual Reports (No. 2 of 201 0) the Committee noted that the two new bodies, Fair Work Australia and the Fair Work Ombudsman, both fall under the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997. One of the requirements for bodies under this Act, if applicable, is to report on their performance against service charter, customer service standards, complaints data, and their response to complaints. 2 The committee encourages the new agencies to include this information, including measures of their effectiveness in providing customer service, in their annual reports.

Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations

2.3 The Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) Annual Report for 2009-10 was tabled in the House of Representatives on 28 October 2010 and in the Senate on 16 November 2010.

Departmental overview

2.4 The Secretary's overview emphasised the work DEEWR has done in response to the economic downturn. The goal was to help Australians recover from the downturn by expanding employment opportunities and increasing skill levels. DEEWR did this in a number of ways, including by supporting the government's commitment to provide 711 ,000 training places over five years, through initiatives like the Productivity Places Program and the Apprentice Kickstart program. The department also implemented programs like the Skills for Sustainable Growth Package and the National Green Jobs Corps to increase skill levels among Australians. 3

Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Legislation Committee, Annual Reports (No. 2 of2010), p. 9.

2 Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies and FMA Act Bodies, June 2009, p. 31.

3 DEEWR, Annual Report 2009-10, pp. 2-3.

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2.5 The overview of the annual report also provides information on a number of achievements made in different policy areas by the department. Some developments for the 2009-10 financial year are listed below:

Workplace Relations:

• The reporting period saw the consolidation of the Fair Work Act, which created the 'legislative and institutional framework for the new workplace relations system'. During 2009-10, the department provided policy advice to the government on the implementation of the new system. 4

Higher Education:

• The government response to the Bradley Review of Higher Education resulted in a number of reforms, including improvements to student income support and a new 'student-centred funding model'. 5

Education Revolution:

• Work on both the Building Education Revolution (BER) and the Digital Education Revolution has continued. DEEWR arranged for more than 300,000 computers to be delivered to schools. 6

Early Childhood:

• DEEWR worked closely with other government agencies to prepare for the government's paid parental leave scheme, which began on 1 January 2011. 7

• The department implemented government reforms to the Child Care Rebate.

'Closing the Gap':

• A three year partnership between DEEWR and the National Rugby League, 'Learn Earn Legend!' commenced in February 2010.

• The business leaders' forum 'Indigenous Employment, Everyone's Business' led to the creation of the Indigenous Employment and Enterprise Action Group. 8

Report on performance

2.6 The DEEWR Annual Report 2009-10 analyses the performance of the department by outcome. Key achievements of each section are listed, as well as the key priorities of the financial year and an outlook for the year ahead.

4 DEEWR, Annual Report 2009-10, p. 140.

5 DEEWR, Annual Report 2009-10, p. 5.

6 DEEWR, Annual Report 2009-10, p. 5.

7 DEEWR, Annual Report 2009-10, p. 4.

8 DEEWR, Annual Report 2009-10, p. 6.

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7

2.7 Following the collapse of ABC Learning, the government provided funding to the ABC2 centres so they could continue to operate while a court-appointed receiver managed their sale. Towards the end of the bidding process, Goodstart, a group comprised of four non-profit organisations, requested a loan from the government to help cover the cost of buying the centres. The government loaned Goodstart $15 million over seven years, to be paid back in full. Goodstart has committed to provide high quality childcare with an emphasis on supporting children from disadvantaged backgrounds. 9

2.8 One of the key goals for outcome 2 was achieved when DEEWR released The National Strategy for Young Australians in April2010. This provides a framework for government engagement with young people and sets out eight priority areas for action. 10

2.9 During 2009-10, the government aimed to 'increase the number of students participating in tertiary education and receiving qualifications'." Between 2008 and 2009 domestic enrolments (full-time equivalents) increased by 5.8 per cent, which represents higher than anticipated growth. Similarly, domestic post-graduate enrolments grew by 7.5 per cent and undergraduate completions rose by 3.7 per cent. Post-graduate completions increased by 4.1 per cent and indigenous enrolments increased by 9.8 per cent. 12

2.10 A national workplace relations system for the private sector began on 1 January 2010. At the centre of the scheme is a multilateral intergovernmental agreement, signed by the Commonwealth and all state and territory governments except Western Australia. This agreement sets out the governance arrangements for the system. As a result of the new system, 'all private sector employers and employees in referring states now have access to the same workplace laws, tribunals, minimum conditions, rights and entitlements'. 13

External scrutiny and reports by the Auditor-General

2.11 During 2009-10, the Australian National Audit Office tabled two reports relating to the operations of DEEWR: Audit Report No. 12 2009-10, Administration of Youth Allowance; and Audit Report No. 33 2009-10, Building the Education Revolution - Primary Schools for the 21st CentUJy. The latter assessed the

effectiveness of the government's establishment of the Primary Schools of the 21st Century (P21) element of the BER program. The report concluded, 'There are some positive early indicators that the program is making progress toward achieving its

9 DEEWR, Annual Report 2009-10, p. 21 .

10 DEEWR, Annual Report 2009-10, pp 31-32, p. 64.

11 DEEWR, Annual Report 2009-10, p. 73.

12 DEEWR, Annual Report 2009-10, pp. 86-87.

13 DEEWR,AnnualReport 2009-10, p. 150.

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intended outcomes', and recognised that 'many of the issues arising were a function of the compressed timetable for the establishment of the program, given the prevailing economic downtum.' 14

2.12 The committee considers DEEWR's 2009-10 annual report to be well presented and in compliance with the reporting requirements of a Commonwealth department.

The Office of the Australian Building and Construction Commissioner

2.13 The Office of the Australian Building and Construction Commissioner (ABCC) reported that it achieved all three of its key performance indicators (KPI) during 2009-10. 15 The first KPI is the 'level of satisfaction of clients with quality and timeliness of advice and assistance provided by the ABCC' (target: 75 per cent of clients surveyed satisfied or highly satisfied). The second KPI is 'timeliness in bringing actions against contraventions of [Building and Construction Improvement Act 2005], [Fair Work Act 2009], [Workplace Relations Act 1996], [Independent Contractors Act 2006], agreements, awards and orders' (target: 75 per cent of cases commenced within 18 months of complaint). The third KPI is the 'level of satisfaction of a range of industry participants with contact aimed at promoting appropriate standards of conduct' (target: 75 per cent of surveyed industry participants satisfied or highly satisfied). 16

2.14 During the reporting period the ABCC undertook 1344 site visits, fewer visits than in 2008-09, continuing a four year downward trend. The ABCC attributes this to an increased understanding of workplace laws and regulations throughout the industry, and an improved knowledge of the National Code. 17

2.15 The ABCC dealt with 2645 enquiries during 2009-10, an increase of 285 on the figure recorded for 2008-09. The ABCC states this is a result of 'increased funding on federally funded building projects' and the wider application of the National Code across the industry. 18 Most enquiries involved questions about the National Code, right of entry, the ABCC itself, freedom of association and industrial action.

14 Audit Report No. 22 2009-10, Building the Education Revolution - Primary Schools for the 2 1" 1

Centwy, pp. 14-18.

15 Office of the Australian Building and Construction Commissioner, Annual Rep011 2009-10, p. 13.

16 Office of the Australian Building and Construction Commissioner, Annual Report 2009-10, p. 13.

17 Office of the Australian Building and Construction Commissioner, Annual Report 2009-10, p. 21.

18 Office of the Australian Building and Construction Commissioner, Annual Report 2009-10, p. 23.

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2.16 In the Commissioner's Review, it is noted that union representatives have not attended six of the nine Industry Forums held by the ABCC in recent years. 19

2.17 The committee consider the ABCC report to be apparently satisfactory in meeting reporting requirements under the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997.

The Workplace Authority

2.18 The Workplace Authority's Annual Report 2009-10 is the agency's final annual report. From 1 July 2009 the Workplace Authority's general advisory functions, liabilities, assets and the majority of its staff transferred to the Fair Work Ombudsman. From then until 31 January 2010 the Workplace Authority was staffed by an Acting Director and a support staffmember.20

2.19 During this period, the Workplace Authority remained operational to complete the assessment of 'collective agreements made before 1 July 2009 and individual transitional employment agreements made until 31 December 2009'. To fulfil this function, Fair Work Ombudsman staff worked for the Workplace Authority through a Memorandum ofUnderstanding between the two agencies. 21

2.20 At this time, a total of 36,549 workplace agreements subject to the no­ disadvantage test were finalised, as were 903 workplace agreements subject to the fairness test. 22

2.21 The committee consider the Workplace Authority's report to be apparently satisfactory in meeting reporting requirements under the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997.

Australian Industrial Relations Commission & Australian Industrial Registry

2.22 The 2009 reports of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission (AIRC) and the Australian Industrial Registry (AIR) are the two agencies' final annual reports.

2.23 The AIRC's last day of operation was 31 December 2009. This ended a six­ month transition period when, supported by staff of Fair Work Australia, AIRC worked on the modernisation of the award system and uncompleted termination of

19 Office of the Australian Building and Construction Commissioner, Annual Repo11 2009-10, p. 8.

20 Workplace Authority, Annual Report 2009-10, pp . 1-2, pp. 5-6.

21 Workplace Authority, Annual Report 2009-10, p. 1.

22 Workplace Authority, Annual Report 2009-10, p. 4.

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employment matters. 23 1621 termination of employment applications were fmalised during that time, and 78 per cent of those were finalised at or before conciliation. 24

2.24 Similarly, the AIR, between 1 July 2009 and its closure on 31 December 2009, spent six months completing the award modernisation process and finalising matters commenced under the Workplace Relations Act 1996. 25 During that period, the AIR helped the AIRC and Fair Work Australia staff create 78 modem awards, resulting in a total of 122 modem awards. On 1 January 2010, these awards replaced around 15 60 state and federal instruments. 26

2.25 The committee considers the 2009 annual reports of the AIRC and the AIR to be apparently satisfactory in meeting reporting requirements.

The Fair Work Ombudsman

2.26 The Fair Work Ombudsman's (FWO) Annual Report 2009-10 is the agency's first annual report. Established on 1 July 2009, the role of the Ombudsman is to uphold harmonious workplace relations through advice and education, and ensure compliance with workplace laws through investigation and litigation. During the reporting period, central elements of the new national workplace relations system took effect, and the FWO was responsible for explaining the system to employers and employees alike. 27

2.27 During the year the FWO recovered $26,195,656 for 16,088 employees and finalised 98.94 per cent of complaints without resorting to legal action. FWO staff also dealt with 1,108,648 telephone calls and 22 589 written enquiries. 28

2.28 The FWO met only three of its six performance indicators in 2009-10. It did not meet the target for completing 'investigations into complaints about breaches of federal agreements or awards within 90 days'. Only three national campaigns were held, instead of four, and 'no state campaigns were completed in Queensland'. The committee acknowledges that the FWO is a new agency and is taking steps to improve this result. 29

23 Australian Industrial Relations Commission, Annual Report 2009, p. 1.

24 Australian Industrial Relations Commission, Annual Report 2009, p. 8.

25 Australian Industrial Registry, Annual Report 2009, p. 33 , p. 39.

26 Australian Industrial Registry, Annual Report 2009, p. 39.

27 Fair Work Ombudsman, Annual Report 2009-10, p. 6.

28 Fair Work Ombudsman, Annual Report 2009-10, p. vi, p.15.

29 Fair Work Ombudsman, Annual Repm12009-10, p. 13.

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11

External scrutiny

2.29 According to a Commonwealth Ombudsman report published in June 2010, there has been a significant reduction in the number of complaints about both Fair Work Ombudsman and its predecessor, the Workplace Ombudsman, from 665 complaints in 2007-08, to 65 in 2008-09. The report attributes this turnaround to an increased emphasis on best practice and continual improvement. 30

2.30 The committee consider the Fair Work Ombudsman's report to be apparently satisfactory in meeting the reporting requirements under the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997.

Fair Work Australia

2.31 Fair Work Australia's (FWA) Annual RepOii 2009-10 is the agency's first annual report. FW A is an independent body and its only outcome is to achieve 'simple, fair and flexible workplace relations for employees and employers through the exercise of powers to set and vary minimum wages and modem awards, facilitate collective bargaining, approve agreements and deal with disputes'. 31 During its first year, FW A worked to achieve this outcome using three central strategies: setting up systems to meet the objectives of the Fair Work Act; explaining the role and work of FW A to the public and providing timely and effective services to 'users of the workplace relations system'. 32

2.32 There were three key performance indicators (KPI) for FWA in 2009-10: 'improve or maintain the target for the time elapsed from lodging applications to finalising conciliations in unfair dismissal applications'; 'improve or maintain the target for average time taken to list applications relating to industrial action'; and

'improve or maintain the target for the average agreement approval time'. 33 FW A achieved all its targets, especially in regards to the first KPI where the FW A surpassed its target of 34 days, achieving a median time of 24 days. 34

Ecologically sustainable development

2.33 In its report Annual Reports (No. 2 of 201 0) the committee noted the Australian Fair Pay Commission Secretariat annual report did not report against each of the requirements under the Environmental and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, section 516A, and encouraged Fair Work Australia to do so. 35 The committee

30 Fair Work Ombudsman, Annual Report 2009-10, p. 58.

31 Fair Work Australia, Annual Report 2009-10, p. 4.

32 Fair Work Australia, Annual Report 2009-10, p. 4.

33 Fair Work Australia, Annual Report 2009-10, p. 4.

34 Fair Work Australia, Annual Report 2009-10, p. 63.

35 Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Legislation Committee, Annual Reports (No. 2 of 201 0) , p. 12.

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commends Fair Work Australia for its detailed report, which discusses its recycling programs, environmental management requirements for its procurement decisions, green vehicle options and the sensor lighting installed in its Melbourne office. 36

2.34 The committee consider Fair Work Australia's report to be apparently satisfactory in meeting the reporting requirements under the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997.

Air Passenger Ticket Levy (Collection) Act 2001

2.35 The Report to the Commonwealth made under Section 24 of the Air Passenger Ticket Levy (Collection) Act 2001, for the period 1 April2009 to 31 March 2010, was tabled in the Senate on 15 June 2010. It covers payments made under section 22 of the Act and the activities to which they relate. 37 The committee notes the report's statement that 'All eligible former Ansett group employees have now received

100 per cent of the SEES A payments they are entitled to and, as such, the Government does not expect any future claims will be made for payment under SEESA. '38

2.36 The committee also notes the report's statement that 'Under SEESA, former Ansett group employees have now received all of their unpaid wages, annual leave, long service leave, pay in lieu of notice and at least eight weeks of their redundancy entitlement. The payment of further outstanding employee entitlements other than provided for under the Act, namely redundancy pay in excess of eight weeks, remains the responsibility of the Ansett Administrators. '39

2.37 The committee considers the report to be apparently satisfactory in meeting the reporting requirements.

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority

2.38 During 2009-10, the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) continued to develop the Australian Curriculum, publishing the Curriculum Design Paper (version 2) and the Curriculum Development Process (version 4). ACARA also released the draft curricula for years K-10 as well as senior secondary English, mathematics, science and history, for extensive public consultation. Elements of the draft curriculum were also trialled at 150 schools and reviewed by participating teachers through an online survey. During the end of the

36 Fair Work Australia, Annual Report 2009-10, p. 133 .

37 Report to the Commonwealth made under Section 24 of the Air Passenger Ticket Levy (Collection) Act 2001 for the period 1 April 2009 to 31 March 2010, p. 1.

38 Report to the Commonwealth made under Section 24 of the Air Passenger Ticket Levy (Collection) Act 2001 for the period 1 April 2009 to 31 March 2010, p. 3.

39 Report to the Commonwealth made under Section 24 of the Air Passenger Ticket Levy (Collection) Act 2001 for the period 1 April2009 to 31 March 2010, p. 4.

13

reporting period, ACARA was in the process of examining the feedback and making the necessary changes to the curriculum. 40

2.39 In January 2010, ACARA's My School website was launched to considerable public interest, receiving 1,211,000 hits in the first three days. It provides detailed information on more than 9,000 Australian schools. 41

2.40 In 2010, ACARA took responsibility for the administration of the National Assessment Program- Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) and in May, delivered the tests to over one million students across Australia. 42 ACARA also made a submission to the Senate Inquiry into the Administration and Reporting ofNAPLAN.43

2.41 The committee notes that ACARA has changed the size of the annual report from A4 to BS, as recommended in Annual Reports (No. 2 of 201 0). 44

2.42 The committee considers the ACARA annual report to be apparently satisfactory in meeting the reporting requirements under the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997.

National Report to Parliament on Indigenous Education and Training

2.43 The committee notes once again that the National Report to Parliament on Indigenous Education and Training has not been produced since the 2006 edition was published in 2008. The committee strongly encourages DEEWR to complete the outstanding editions as soon as possible.

Comments made in the Senate

2.44 The committee is obliged, under Senate Standing Order 25(20)(d), to consider any remarks made about these reports in the Senate. The committee is satisfied that there were no comments to consider for these reports.

Bodies not presenting annual reports to the Senate

2.45 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.

40 Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority, Annual Report 2009-10, pp. 10-12.

41 Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority, Annual Report 2009-10, p. 2.

42 Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority, Annual Report 2009-10, p. 18.

43 Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority, Annual Report 2009-10, p. 3.

44 Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Legislation Committee, Annual Reports (No. 2 of2010), p. 14.

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Senator Gavin Marshall

Chair

86

Appendix 1

Allocation of annual reports to the committee

Education, Employment and Workplace Relations

• Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations

Education

• Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority

• Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership Ltd [Teaching Australia]

• Australian Learning and Teaching Council Limited [formerly the Carrick Institute]

• Australian National Training Authority National Report [Australian vocational and further education and training system]

• Australian National University (ANU)

• Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations

• Indigenous Education (Targeted Assistance) Act 2000-Indigenous education and training-National report to Parliament

• Schools Assistance (Learning Together-Achievement Through Choice and Opportunity) Act 2004-Report on financial assistance granted to each state in respect of

Employment and Workplace Relations

•

•

•

•

•

•

Air Passenger Ticket Levy (Collection) Act 2001

Australian Building and Construction Commissioner

Australian Industrial Relations Commission and Australian Industrial Registry

Coal Mining Industry (Long Service Leave Funding) Corporation

Comcare Australia

Defence Force Remuneration Tribunal 1

• Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations

• Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations­ Agreement making under the Workplace Relations Act 1996

• Fair Work Australia

• Workplace Authority

Forwarded to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee also.

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•

•

•

•

•

•

Fair Work Ombudsman

Remuneration Tribunal

Safe Work Australia

Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission

Seafarers Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Authority (Seacare)

Skills Australia

88

Appendix 2

Compliance table of annual reports referred

List of annual reports referred by the Senate to the committee during the period 1 May 2010 to 3 1 October 2010

Education, Employment and Workplace Relations portfolio

Body/Report Enabling legislation and Letter of Submitted Presented Tabled Timeliness

timeliness Transmittal to/Received out of session

Date by Minister

Air Passenger Ticket Levy Section 24 of the Air - 06/05/20 10/ Reps: On time

Act 2001 -Report Passenger Ticket Levy 06/05/2010 15/06/2010

for 1 April to 31 March 2010 (Collection) Act 2001

Senate: 15/06/2010

Australian Building and Building and Construction 16/09/20 10 17/09/2010/ Reps: On time

Construction Commissioner- industry improvement Act 27/09/2010 28/10/2010

Report for 2009-1 0 2005

Senate: 1611112010

Australian Curriculum, Commonwealth Authorities 15110/2010 08110/2010/ 29/10/2010 Reps: On time

Assessment and Reporting and Companies Act 1997 11 / 10/2010 15/ll/2010

Authority - Report for 2009-10

Senate: 15/ 11 /20 10

---- - - - ----- -

18

Body/Report Enabling legislation and Letter of Submitted Presented Tabled Timeliness

timeliness Transmittal to/Received out of session

Date by Minister

Australian Industrial Relations Workplace Relations Act 1996 AIRC: 29/09/2010/ Reps: On time

Commission and the Australian and Regulation 5.02A ofthe 4/10/2010 29/09/2010 26/10/20 10

Industrial Registry - Reports for Fair Work (Transitional the period 1 July to 31 December Provisions and Consequential AIR: Senate:

2009 Amendments) Regulations 29/09/2010 26/10/2010

2009

Australian Learning and Commonwealth Authorities - 15/09/2010/ Reps: On time

Teaching Council - Report for and Companies Act 1997 08/10/2010 28/10/2010

2009-1 0 Senate:

16/11 /20 10

Australian National University- Commonwealth Authorities 26/03 /2010 19/04/2010/ Reps: On time

Report for 2009 and Companies Act 1997 20/04/2010 17/06/2010

Senate: 22/06/2010

Comcare - Report for 2009-10 Commonwealth Authorities 2 1/09/2010 22/09/2010/ Reps: On time

and Companies Act 1997 22/09/2010 26/ 10/2010

Senate: 26/ 10/2010

19

Body/Report Enabling legislation and Letter of Submitted Presented Tabled Timeliness

timeliness Transmittal to/Received out of session

Date by Minister

Defence Force Remuneration Defence Act 1903, Part III A, 14/10/2010 14/ 10/2010/ Reps: On time

Tribunal - Report for 2009-1 0* Division 2 14/ 10/2010 28/10/2010

Senate: 16/11 /2010

Department of Education, Public Service Act 1999 07110/2010 24/09/201 0/ Reps: On time

Employment and W orkp1ace 27/09/2010 28/ 10/2010

Relations - Report for 2009-10

Senate:

' D

16/11/2010

Fair Work Australia- Report for Commonwealth Authorities 04/10/2010 29/09/2010/ Reps: On time

2009-10 and Companies Act 1997 29/09/2010 26/ 10/2010

Senate: 26/10/2010

Fair Work Ombudsman- Report Section 686 of the Fair Work 27/09/2010 30/09/2010/ Reps:

for 2009-10 Act 2009 01/10/2010 28/10/2010

Senate: 16/11 /2010

- ' .. . - · - -- ------ - - ·- ..

20

Body/Report Enabling legislation and Letter of Submitted Presented Tabled Timeliness

timeliness Transmittal to/Received out of session

Date by Minister

Remuneration Tribunal -Report Remuneration Tribunal Act 14/10/2010 15110/2010/ Reps: On time

for 2009-10 1973, section 4 15/ 10/2010 28/10/2010

Senate: 16/ 11 /2010

' Safety, Rehabilitation and Safety, Rehabilitation and 21 /09/2010 22/09/20 10/ Reps: On time

Compensation Commission - Compensation Act 1988 22/09/2010 26/10/2010

Report for 2009-1 0

Senate:

26110/2010

Seafarers Safety, Rehabilitation Seafarers Rehabilitation and 21109/2010 22/09/2010/ Reps: On time

and Compensation Authority Compensation Act 1992 23/09/2010 26/10/2010

(Seacare) - Report for 2009-1 0

Senate: 26/10/2010

Skills Australia- Report for Section 27 of the Skills October 12/ 10/2010/ Reps: On time

2009-10 Australia Act 2008 2010 14/10/2010 28/10/2010

Senate: 16/ll/2010

Workplace Authority- Report Workplace Relations Act 1996 27/09/2010 07/ 10/2010/ Reps: On time

for the period 1 Jul y 2009 to 31 and the Public Service Act 07/10/2010 28/10/2010

(()

(,.)

Body/Report Enabling legislation and Letter of

timeliness Transmittal

Date

January 2010 [Final report] 1999

* Also forwarded to the Forei gn Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee.

21

Submitted Presented Tabled Timeliness

to/Received out of session by Minister

Senate: 16/11 /2010

94

Appendix 3

Administrative Arrangements Order for the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations

[Extract from the Administrative Arrangements Order, made on 14 September 2010]

PART 6 THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, EMPLOYMENT AND WORKPLACE RELATIONS

Matters dealt with by the Department

• Education policy and programs including schools, vocational, higher education and Indigenous education, but excluding migrant adult education

• Education and training transitions policy and programs

• Science awareness programs in schools

• Training, including apprenticeships and training services

• Policy, co-ordination and support for education exports and services

• Income support policies and programs for students and apprentices

• Employment policy, including employment services

• Job Services Australia

• Labour market and income support policies and programs for people of working age

• Workplace relations policy development, advocacy and implementation

• Promotion of flexible workplace relations policies and practices

• Co-ordination of labour market research

• Occupational health and safety, rehabilitation and compensation

• Equal employment opportunity

• Work and family programs

• Services to help people with disabilities obtain employment, other than supported employment

• Youth affairs and programs

• Early childhood and childcare policy and programs

• Co-ordination of early childhood development policy and responsibilities, including Indigenous early childhood development

95

96

The Senate

Environment and Communications Legislation Committee

Annual reports (No. 1 of2011)

March 2011

97

©Commonwealth of Australia 2011

ISBN 978-1-74229-418-6

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

98

Membership of the Committee

Members Senator Doug Cameron (ALP, NSW) (Chair) Senator Mary Jo Fisher (LP, SA) (Deputy Chair) Senator Scott Ludlam (AG, W A) Senator Anne McEwen (ALP, SA) Senator the Hon Judith Troeth (LP, VIC) Senator Dana Wortley (ALP, SA)

Committee Secretariat Mr Stephen Palethorpe, Secretary Ms Jacquie Hawkins, Research Officer

Committee Address Senate Standing Committee on Environment and Communications PO Box 6100 Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600

Tel: 02 6277 3526

Fax: 02 6277 5818

Email: ec.sen@aph.gov.au

Internet: www .aph.gov .au/senate/committee/ec _ ctte/index.htm

JJl

99

100

Contents

Membership of the Committee lll

Report to the Senate

Introduction

Annual reporting requirements 2

Apparently satisfactory 2

Purpose of annual reports 2

Changes to portfolio responsibilities 3

Reports referred to the committee 3

Departments and executive and prescribed agencies 3

Statutory authorities 4

Non-statutory body 4

Commonwealth companies/Government business enterprises 4

Reports on the operation of Acts 4

Timeliness 4

Remarks made in the Senate 6

Comments on certain annual reports 6

Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy 6

Australian Broadcasting Corporation 7

Special Broadcasting Service 8

Australian Communications and Media Authority 8

Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency 9

Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (formerly Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts) 11

Bureau of Meteorology 12

v

101

National Water Commission 13

General comments 14

Summary 15

Appendix 1 -Annual reports referred to the committee 17

Appendix 2- Extension of the Period in which to table the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities 2009-10 Annual Report 21

VI

102

Report to the Senate

Introduction

1.1 By virtue of the operations of standing order 25(20) and a Senate order of 29 September 2010, 1

the Senate refers to this committee for examination and report the annual reports of departments and agencies of the following three portfolios:

• Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy;

• Climate Change and Energy Efficiency; and

• Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities.

1.2 Standing order 25(20) requires that the 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.

1.3 This report deals with annual reports tabled in the Senate or presented to the President between 1 May and 31 October 2010 as required by standing order 25(20)(f) and certain other reports tabled during November 2010.

Journals of th e Senate, No.2, 29 September 2010, pp 88- 89.

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2

Annual reporting requirements

1.4 On 23 June 2010 the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit (JCP AA) agreed to revised Requirements for Departmental Annual Reports put forward by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (the Requirements). 2 Under the Requirements, departmental and prescribed agency annual reports are to be tabled by

31 October.

1.5 Under section 48 of the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 (CAC Act), the Minister for Finance and Deregulation outlines the annual reporting requirements for Commonwealth authorities and companies in the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies (Report ofOperations) Orders. Section 9 of the CAC Act

applies to Commonwealth authorities and specifies the deadline for the presentation of an annual report to the responsible Minister. Section 36 of the CAC Act outlines the reporting obligations of Commonwealth companies.

1.6 Some statutory authorities are required to follow the departmental guidelines if their head has the powers of a secretary as defined under the Public Service Act 1999.

1. 7 Requirements for the annual reports of non-statutory bodies are set out in the Government Response to recommendations of the then Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Government Operations in its report entitled, Reporting Requirements for the Annual Reports of Non-Statutory Bodies. The response was incorporated into the Senate Hansard of 8 December 1987.3

Apparently satisfactory

1.8 Standing order 25(20)(a) requires the committee to report to the Senate on whether annual reports are apparently satisfactory. In making this assessment, the committee considers such aspects as timeliness of presentation and compliance with relevant reporting requirements.

Purpose of annual reports

1.9 As stated in the Requirements, the primary purpose of annual reports of departments is accountability, in particular to the Parliament. 4

They inform the

Parliament, other stakeholders, education and research institutions, the media and the

2 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies and FMA Act Bodies, 23 June 2010, www.dpmc.gov.au/guidelines/docs/annual report reguirements.pdf (accessed 16 February 2011). The Requirements are prepared pursuant to subsections 63(2) and

70(2) of the Public Service Act !999.

3 Senate Hansard, 8 December 1987, pp 2643--45. 4 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies and FMA Act Bodies, 23 June 2010, p. 3.

3

general public about departments' performance in providing services. They are a key reference as well as an internal management document and form part of the historical record.

Changes to portfolio responsibilities

1.10 On 14 September 2010, the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (EWHA) portfolio was renamed the Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (SEWPaC) portfolio.

1.11 All arts and cultural related matters were transferred from the SEWPaC portfolio to the Prime Minister and Cabinet portfolio which is overseen by the Senate Finance and Public Administration Committee.

1.12 At the same time, SEWPaC gained housing supply and affordability policy matters from the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and sustainable population matters from the Department of the Treasury.

Reports referred to the committee

1.13 The following annual reports have been referred to the committee:

Departments and executive and prescribed agencies

Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy - Annual Report 2009-2010

Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency - Annual Report 2009-2010

Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts - Annual Report 2009-2010, including reports on the operations of the:

• Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999; • Fuel Quality Standards Act 2000; • Hazardous Waste (Regulation of Exports and Imports) Act 1989; • Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989; • Product Stewardship (Oil) Act 2000; • Protection of Moveable Cultural Heritage Act 1986; • Water Act 2007; and • Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards Act 2005.

Australian Communications and Media Authority- Annual Report 2009-2010

Bureau of Meteorology- Annual Report 2009-2010

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority- Annual Report 2009-2010

National Water Commission- Annual Report 2009-2010

Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator- Report for 2009

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4

Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator - Financial Annual Report 2009-2010

Statutory authorities

Australian Broadcasting Corporation -Annual Report 2009-2010

Director of National Parks- Annual Report 2009-2010

Special Broadcasting Service- Annual Report 2009-2010

Supervising Scientist- Annual Report 2009-2010

Sydney Harbour Federation Trust- Annual Report 2009-2010

Wet Tropics Management Authority- Annual Report 2009-2010

Commonwealth companies/Government business enterprises

Australian Carbon Trust- Annual Report 2009-201 0

Australian Postal Corporation (Australia Post)- Annual Report 2009-2010

NBN Co Limited -Annual Report 2009-2010

Reports on the operation of Acts

Australian Communications and Media Authority:

National Relay Service Performance Report 2008-09

Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy:

Content and Access: The future of program standards and captioning requirements on digital television multi-channels- Report, June 2010

Digital television transmission and reception - Report, May 20 10

Digital television transmission and reception - Report, Septem her 2010

Digital television transmission and reception- Report, October 2010

1.14 Appendix 1 provides a record, by portfolio, of:

• the basis under which the organisation operates, eg department or statutory authority;

• dates indicating the progressive stages in presentation of the annual reports, where available; and

• the date each report was tabled in, or deemed to be presented to, the Senate.

Timeliness

1.15 All 2009-10 annual reports examined in this report were timely in their presentation to the Parliament, with the exception of the then Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts.

5

1.16 Under the Requirements, annual reports of departments and executive and prescribed agencies are to be tabled by 31 October. If a department 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 lnte1pretation Act 1901.5 These provisions provide

for the departmental secretary to advise the responsible minister of the reasons for the delay. The responsible minister is to table this explanation in the Parliament on the next available sitting day.

1.17 Accordingly, on 29 October 2010 an extension to 12 November 2010, was sought and approved for the tabling of the annual report of the Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts due to insufficient time to finalise printing and delivery of the report. Approval was given by the Minister on 29 October 2010 and tabled in the Senate on 15 November 2010 (see Appendix 2).

1.18 The committee notes that the Department's report was presented out of session on 5 November 2010.

1.19 A number of reports examined in this report were tabled in the House of Representatives prior to the deadline of 31 October but were not tabled in the Senate until mid November. These reports were from the following organisations:

Australian Broadcasting Corporation Australian Postal Corporation NBN Co Limited Special Broadcasting Service

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority Supervising Scientist

Australian Carbon Trust

1.20 Two reports tabled in the reporting cycle period cover different reporting periods were the:

• report of the Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator covers the calendar year ending December 2009

• Australian Communications and Media Authority's National Relay Service Performance Report 2008-09.

1.21 The committee notes that the report of the Australian Carbon Trust Limited is the company's first report, having been established on 14 January 2010 and commencing significant operations on 15 March 20 1 0. 6

5 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies and FMA Act Bodies, 23 June 2010, p. 2.

6 Australian Carbon Trust Limited Annual Report 2010, p. 2.

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6

Remarks made in the Senate

1.22 Under standing order 25(20)(d), the committee notes that the following reports dealt with in this report were the subject of comment in the Senate:

• Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy: Report on Digital Television Transmission and Reception, September 2010, Senators Barnett7 and Macdonald8

• Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator, Senator Barnett9

• Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Macdonald. 10

1.23 However, the committee also notes debate on the following annual reports was adjourned on 18 November 2010 and these reports remain on the Notice Paper under Orders of the Day relating to Government Documents:

• Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy

•

•

•

•

Australian Postal Corporation

Office ofthe Ren ewable Energy Regulator-Final report for 2009-10

Wet Tropics Management Authority

NBN Co Limited 11

Comment on certain annual reports

1.24 The committee comments on the annual reports of the three portfolio departments referred to it for examination and on several reports from agencies within each portfolio.

Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Portfolio

Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE)

1.25 The report notes that during the reporting period the department focused on:

• reforms designed to deliver fast broadband services nationwide;

7 Senate Hansard, 29 September 2010, p. 343 . Senator Barnett raised concerns about the delays in launching new digital television channels in Tasmania.

8 Senate Hansard, 30 September 2010, p. 527. Senator Macdonald raised concerns about the National Broadband Network.

9 Senate Hansard, 26 October 2010, p. 817. Senator Barnett expressed hi s support for the $400-plus million Musselroe Bay wind farm in north-east Tasmania.

10 Senate Hansard, 28 October 2010, p. 1063 . Senator Macdonald commented on the absence of a cost-benefit analysis for the National Broadband Network.

11 Notice Paper, No. 23 , 21 March 2011 , pp 789, at http ://www.aph .gov.au/Sen ate/work/noti ce/snpf 023.pdf(accessed 10 March 2011).

7

• restructure of radio spectrum for a wide variety of consumer services;

• introduction of digital television in a staged rollout creating additional spectrum opportunities; and

• improving publicly funded telecommunications services to regional Australia. 12

1.26 The report notes significant progress towards delivering the National Broadband Network, including:

• establishing the NBN Co and selecting a Board and CEO;

• release of the Government's comprehensive Implementation Study;

• drafting and introducing supporting legislation;

• supporting the early rollout of services in Tasmania;

• managing construction of new fibre backhaul transmission links in key regional and rural areas; and

• providing information through a communications program and community forums in locations across Australia. 13

1.27 As part of the switchover to digital television, the report notes that on 30 June 2010 the analog TV signals were switched off in the Mildura region of Victoria, making it the first region in Australia to switch to digital television. This followed a lengthy period of liaising with local community groups and organisations and programs in stores to provide information and advice to consumers. 14

1.28 The report foreshadows ongoing efforts by the department in continuing to implement the National Broadband Network, the switchover to digital television, promoting the digital economy and implementing Web 2.0 technologies within the department. 15

Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)

1.29 The report notes the impact and effects that innovations in digital technology have had on the way in which the ABC provides its services to its audiences, providing access to news, opinion and entertainment through social networks. 16

12 DBCDE, Annual Report 09/ 10, p. 2.

13 DBCDE, Annual Report 09/10, p. 2.

14 DBCDE, Annual Report 09/10, p. 4.

15 DBCDE, Annual Report 09/10, p. 7.

16 ABC, Annual Report 2010, pp 16- 17.

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8

1.30 These technological advances which provide enhanced services such as instantaneous, continuous news services emphasise the need for strong Editorial Policies and suitable staff training to ensure accuracy and editorial quality. 17

1.31 The report notes the success of its ABC3 children's digital television services launched in late 2009, when it offered 40 per cent Australian content with a target of 50 per cent Australian content for 2010.

1.32 At the end of the reporting period 'MediaHub' was launched. This program will enable the ABC to individualise television services for the States and Territories as needed. This flexibility is particularly important, for example, during emergency situations such as floods and fires, providing continuously updated information. MediaHub is also a necessary foundation for the round-the-clock news services to be provided by ABC New 24. 18

Special Broadcasting Service (SBS)

1.33 SBS provides national multilingual and multicultural radio, television and online services. The report notes that SBS ONE broadcast programs in more than 53 languages, representing over 170 cultures from around the world and within Australia, and SBS TWO broadcast programs in more than 47 languages, representing

115 cultures.19 Similarly, SBS Radio broadcasts 70 programs, consisting of 68 language programs. 20

1.34 The report notes that during the reporting year SBS increased its share of audience which rose to 6.4 from 6.2 per cent the previous year. 2 1

1.35 The report also notes that revenue raised through advertising and sales of goods and services increased 35 .5 per cent over the previous financial year, although this figure was less than originally projected.22

Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA)

1.36 The ACMA annual report highlights a number of its activities through the reporting period, including:

• its role in the switchover to digital television, including evaluating digital television coverage across Australia to ensure equivalent coverage before analog television is switched off;

17 ABC, Annual Report 2010, p. 17.

18 ABC, Annual Report 2010, p. 17.

19 SBS , Annual Report 2009- 10, p. 22 .

20 SBS , Annual Report 2009- 10, p. 24.

21 SBS , Annual Report 2009- 10, p. 38.

22 SBS , Annual Report 2008- 09, p. 4.

11

9

• public inquiry into customer service and complaints-handling in the telecommunications industry;

• launch of the Cybersmart website and Cybersmart Online Helpline, providing a one-stop shop for cybersafety information and education resources;

• completion of a review of, and the release of new Children's Television Standards, the main provisions of which took effect on 1 January 2010;

• new commercial television industry code of practice which took effect on 1 January 2010, as well as Commercial Radio Australia Codes of Practice and Guidelines 201 0; and

• monitoring compliance by mobile premium services with the Mobile Premium Services Code. The report notes that during the year the number of complaints fell steadily. 23

1.37 However, the report notes a substantial increase in the number of complaints about online content resulting in investigations into 3828 items of online content, an increase of 68 per cent compared with the previous reporting year. Similarly, the reports notes a 5.4 7 per cent increase from the previous year in the number of complaints associated with the Do Not Call Register, resulting in 13 investigations into individuals or organisations? 4

1.38 ACMA implemented a new organisational structure during the year, designed to bring additional focus to several key tasks such as the digital transition for TV and radio and various telecommunications aspects of the National Broadband Network proposals.25

Climate Cha11ge a11d E11ergy Efficiellcy Portfolio

Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (DCCEE)

1.39 During the reporting period the former Department of Climate Change became a portfolio in its own right when it was combined with energy efficiency parts of the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, to become the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency.26

1.40 The department's responsibilities cover four main areas:

• reducing Australia's greenhouse gas emissions;

23 ACMA, Annual Rep ort 2009- 10, pp 17- 19.

24 ACMA, Annual Rep ort 2009- 10, p. 19.

25 ACMA, Annual Report 2009- 10, p. 27.

26 Prior to this change the Department of Climate Change resided in the Prime Minister and Cabinet portfolio.

111

10

• improving Australia's energy efficiency;

• adapting to climate change; and

• helping to shape a global climate change solution.

1.41 The report notes a number of achievements during the year, including:

• refining the policy design for the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) and its supporting legislation and regulations;

• implementing the Enhanced Renewable Energy Target scheme;

• developing and implementing the EITE (emissions-intensive trade­ exposed) industry assistance program;

• release of the National Carbon Offset Standard;

• continued administration of the mandatory reporting system for greenhouse gas emissions, energy consumption and production by eligible Australian corporations established by the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act 2007.

1.42 During the reporting period the department assumed responsibility for energy efficiency and renewable energy, including such programs as the:

• Home Insulation Program;

• Green Loans Program; and

• National Solar Schools Program, Solar Hot Water Rebate and Solar Homes and Communities Plan.

1.43 The report foreshadows its continued involvement in these program areas, furthering progress in supporting Australia's adaptation to the impacts of climate and continuing its 'focus on broad-based international climate action that can support or lead to global agreement'. 27

1.44 The report notes the establishment of the Australian Carbon Trust Limited whose purpose is to support action by business on climate change. The trust will implement two programs:

• the $100 million Energy Efficiency Trust which will provide a range of financing and advisory services to encourage the use of energy-efficient technologies and practices for cost-effective carbon reductions; and

• the National Carbon Offset Standard Carbon Neutral Program which will enable organisations to gain certification for offsetting some or all of the emissions associated with their operations.28

27 DCCEE, Annual Report 2009- 10, p. 29.

28 DCCEE,Annual Report 2009- 10, p. 17.

11")

11

Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities Portfolio (formerly Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts)

Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA)

1.45 During the reporting period, in March 2010, energy efficiency programs, including the Home Insulation Program and the Green Loans program, were transferred by Administrative Arrangements Order from DEWHA to the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency.

1.46 The report highlights a number of the department's achievements across all its outcomes during the year, including:

• over 590 rangers contracted to manage the natural and cultural values of the Indigenous estate;

• legal action initiated by the Australian government in the International Court of Justice against Japan's so-called 'scientific whaling' in the Southern Ocean;

• progress in identifying Areas for Further Assessment as marine reserves under the marine bioregional planning program;

• purchase of twenty-seven new parks and reserves for the National Reserve System, protecting a diverse range of habitats covering more than 1.1 million hectares;

• approval of 66 proposals under the EPBC Act; three projects were rejected, including the proposed construction of the Traveston Crossing Dam in South-east Queensland;

• agreement of a National Waste Policy which includes the establishment of new national product stewardship legislation to underpin schemes for reducing the environmental, health and safety footprint of manufactured goods and materials;

• continuation of the water purchasing and environmental water release program and development of a water market through the introduction of Water market rules under the Water Act 2007;

• continued support for the collecting institutions, such as the Australian National Museum, the National Gallery of Australia and the National Library;

• providing support for the employment of over 560 Indigenous people in the arts and culture sector;

• introduction of the resale royalty scheme in June 2010;

• continued support for 191 heritage projects which have created more than 2750 jobs around the country; and

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12

• addition of seven places to the national Heritage List which now lists 89 places.29

1.47 A new outcome structure was implemented to better align the department's work with government priorities. The report states that 'The Strategic Plan-Directions to 2014 provided the basis for the [department's] business planning, linking to [its] key outcomes outlined in the Portfolio Budget Statements 2009-2010 . .3°

1.48 The plan outlined a sixth outcome: organisational effectiveness. To this end three major reviews were conducted. Two reviews focussed on corporate matters: one looking at the most sensible corporate arrangements and the other at financial management and reporting systems. The third review looked at information and knowledge management systems to ensure provision of shared access to information and evidence based work. 31

1.49 The report states that a change management team was established in April 2010 to oversee all change management processes underway in the department. 32

Bureau of Meteorology (BaM)

1.50 The report states that:

public surveys show that more than 93 per cent of people are satisfied with the information they get from the Bureau and that many people have been finding Bureau products more useful as our services improve and expand. 33

1.51 A number of key areas addressed through the year are noted in the report, such as:

• extending coverage and currency of the Bureau's warning systems, in particular by providing more localised warnings;

• adoption of a new nationally agreed Fire Danger Rating scale;

• improvements to the tsunami model in the Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Centre, providing more realistic guidance on the likely impact of tsunami on the Australian coast;

• improvements to the Tropical Cyclone Warning Service;

• new seasonal streamflow forecasting methods were developed and trialled at selected sites to support flood forecasting operations; and

29 DEWHA,Annual Report 2009-10, pp 8-11.

30 DEWHA, Annual Report 2009-10, p. 12.

31 DEWHA, Annual Report 2009- 10, p. 12.

32 DEWHA, Annual Report 2009- 10, p. 12.

33 BoM, Annual Report 2009-10, p. 1.

4

13

• increased contribution to community education to improve awareness of the Bureau's warning services.34

1 .52 Throughout the year the Bureau worked towards the production of its first National Water Account to provide information on the status of Australia's water resources. 35

1.53 The report notes that the Bureau's website 'was the leading government website with an overwhelming share of visits', receiving between 1.5 and 2 billion hits a month, year round. 36

1.54 The report flags key priorities for the coming year including the development of a National Plan for Environmental Information. This is a four-year initiative which will eventually ensure that better and more environmental information is available, facilitating better informed decision-making across government, industry and the community. 37 Other priority projects include:

• further rollout of the Next Generation Forecast and Warning System;

• publication of the National Water Account in April2011;

• advancing the Bureau's climate prediction capacity; and

• upgrading the Bureau's corporate systems with the development of an integrated Enterprise Business System. 38

National Water Commission (NWC)

1.55 The report notes that during the year NWC delivered its second biennial as sessment of progress in implementing the National Water Initiative.

1.56 As a result of fmdings of this assessment report, the NWC called for urgent action to accelerate the pace of reform and resolve the overallocation of water resources. It also highlighted the scale of adjustment pressures ahead for water­ dependent industries, communities and individuals.39

1.57 The NWC released a number of other reports during the years, including its:

• fourth report on the performance of urban water utilities;

• third report on the performance of rural water providers; and

34 BoM, Annual Rep ort 2009-10, p. 3.

35 BoM, Annual Report 2009- 10, p. 3.

36 BoM, Annual Report 2009- 10, p. 3.

37 BoM, Annual Report 2009- 10, pp 7- 8.

38 BoM, Annual Report 2009-10, pp 8- 9.

39 NWC, Annual Report 2009- 10, p. 2.

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• a second annual water markets report. 40

1.58 The report foreshadows future challenges in:

• areas of water reform;

• delivering 'transparency reports' to illuminate opaque or poorly understood issues in water management; and

• manage tools to improve water management, such as decision-making tools and good practice guides. 41

1.59 The Commission will also produce its third biennial assessment of progress under the National Water Initiative.42

1.60 Finally, the report notes that National Water Commission Act sets a sunset date of 30 June 2012 for the Commission and that during the coming year there will be a review of the Commission itself to determine whether the Act should be extended beyond its current cessation date. 43

General comments

1.61 The Auditor-General has not qualified any of the financial statements contained in the annual reports under review.

1.62 The committee again commends those agencies that have included both a general index and a compliance index in their annual reports this year. It considers the inclusion of a compliance index to be a very useful tool for accountability purposes.

1.63 The committee reiterates the concerns expressed during the Supplementary Budget Estimates hearings in October 2008, 2009 and 2010, that the majority of annual reports of departments and agencies were not available to senators prior to those hearings, due to the scheduled dates for supplementary estimates.

1.64 Annual reports should be tabled by 31 October each year. 44 The committee

notes that Supplementary Budget Estimates are scheduled for the week 17-20 October 2011 and it is concerned that annual reports will again not be available to senators.

40 NWC, Annual Report 2009-10, p. 2.

41 NWC, Annual Report 2009-10, p. 3.

42 NWC, Annual Report 2009-10, p. 3.

43 NWC, Annual Report 2009-10, p. 4.

44 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies and FMA Act Bodies, Canberra, 17 June 2009, p. 3.

15

Summary

1.65 The committee finds that the annual reports referred to it have provided an appropriately comprehensive description of the activities of the reporting bodies and were of a high standard of presentation. They appear to have met the requirements of the various guidelines that apply to them.

1.66 Accordingly, the committee reports its finding that the annual reports referred to it for examination and tabled in the period under examination were apparently satisfactory.

Senator Doug Cameron Chair

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APPENDIX 1

Annual reports referred to the Senate Standing Committee on Environment, Communications and the Arts and the Senate Standing Committee on Environment and

Communications

between 1 May and 31 October 2010

Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy portfolio

Name Type45 Dates40 Tabled4

Australian Broadcasting Corporation Commonwealth A. 05110/ 10 16111110 Annual Report 2009-20 I 0 authority B. 01/10/ 10 (Tabled in

c. 01 /10/ 10 HoR

28/10/ 1 0)

Australian Communications and Media Prescribed A. 30/09/10 25/ 10110

Authority agency B. 13/09/10 (Received

Annual Report 2009-2010 C. 13/09/ 10 13/10/10)

Australian Communications and Media Report on the A. 01 /03/10 11/05/10

Authority operation of an B.- (Received

National Relay Service Performance Report Act C. - 15/4/10)

2008-09 Australian Postal Corporation Government A. 27110110 25/10/10

(Australia Post) Business B. 28/09110 (Received

Annual Report 2009- 2010 Enterprise c. 28/09110 15110110)

Department of Broadband, Communications Department of A. 28/09110 25 / 10/ 10 and the Digital Economy State B. 13 /09/10 (Received

Annual Report 2009-2010 c. 13/09/10 13/10/10)

45 Commonwealth Authority includes statutory office-holders. 46 Dates shown are : A The date shown on a letter of transmittal printed with the annual report (if any) ('-'represents no letter of transmittal, 'undated' indicates no date on Jetter of transmittal)

B Date submitted to the Minister, as recorded in the Senate's Order of Business (if any) C Date received by the Minister, as recorded in the Senate's Order of Business (if any). 47 The date in parenthesis shows the date that the report was received out of session by the President I Deputy President I Temporary Chairman of Committees or was tabled in the House

of Representatives (HoR).

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18

Name Type45 Dates4 D Tabled4 1

Department of Broadband, Communications Reports on the and the Digital Economy operation of an

Report on Digital Television Transmission Act A.- 1110511 0

and Reception, May 2010 B. 06/05 / 10

C. 06/05/ 10

Report on Digital Television Transmission A.- 29/09/ 10

and Reception, September 201 0 B . 14/09/ 10

C. 14/09/ 10

Report on Digital Television Transmission A.- 26/ 10/ 10

and Reception, October 2010 B. 01110/ 10 (HoR

C. 01110/10 18/ 10/ 1 0)

Content and Access: The future of program A.- 15/06/ 10

standards and captioning requirements on B. 10/05/ 10 (HoR

digital television multi-channels - Report C. 10/05/ 10 03 /06/ 10)

June 2010 NBN Co Limited Commonwealth A.- 15/ 11110

Annual Report 2009-10 company/Gover B. 13/ 10/10 (Received

nment Business c. 13 /1 0/ 10 29/ 10/ 1 0) Enterprise

Special Broadcasting Service Commonwealth A. Sept 10 16/ 11110

Annual Report 2009-20 I 0 authority B. 01110/ 10 (HoR

C. 01110/10 28/ 10/ 10)

Climate Change and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Department of Climate Change and Energy Department of A. 13/ 10/ 10 26/ 10110 Efficiency State B. 15110110

Annual Report 2009- 2010 c. 15110/ 10

Australian Carbon Trust Commonwealth A.- 16/11110

Report 2009- 2010 company B. 19/10/10 (HoR

C. 25/ 10110 28110/ 10)

Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator Prescribed A. May 10 22/06/10

Annual Report 2009 agency B. 09/03 / 10 HoR

C. 10/03 / 10 17/06/1 0)

Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator Prescribed A. Sept 10 26/10/ 10

Financial Annual Report 2009-20 I 0 agency B. 24/09/10

c. 28/09/ 10

19

Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities Portfolio Name Type Dates Tabled

Department of the Environment, Water, Department of A. 15110110 15/ 11110 Heritage and the Arts State B. 14/ 10/ 10 (Received

Annual Report 2009-2010, including reports C. 14/ 10110 5/11/10)

on the: Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999; Fuel Quality Standards Act 2000; Hazardous Waste (Regulation of Exports and Imports) Act 1989;

Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989; Product Stewardship (Oil) Act 2000; Protection of Movable Cultural Heritage Act

1986; Water Act 2007; and Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards Act 2005. Bureau ofMeteoro1ogy Prescribed A. 22/09/ 10 27110/ 10

Annual Report 2009-20 I 0 agency B. 28/09110

C. 28/09110

Director of National Parks Commonwealth A.- 26110/ 10

Annual Report 2009-20 I 0 authority B. 11110110 (HoR

C. 11/10110 25 /10110

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority Prescribed A. 29/10/10 16/ 11110 Annual Report 2009-2010 agency B. 08110110 (HoR

C. 15/10/10 28 /10/ 1 0)

National Water Commission Prescribed A. 22/09/ 10 27/10/10

Annual Report 2009-2010 agency B. 12110110

C. 12/10/ 10

Supervising Scientist Report on the A. 18/ 10/ 10 15/11/10

Annual Report 2009-2010 operation of an B. 28 /09110 (Received

Act C. 28/09/ 10 29/ 10/ 10)

Sydney Harbour Federation Trust Commonwealth A. 24/09110 27/ 10/ 10

Annual Report 2009-201 0 authority B. 24/09/10

C. 24/09110

Wet Tropics Management Authority Report on the A. 20/09/ 10 27/ 10/ 10

Annual Report and State of the Wet Tropics operation of an B. 13110/10 Report 2009-20 I 0 Act c. 13/10/10

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Appendix 2

Extension of the Period in which to table the

Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities 2009-10 Annual Report

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The Senate

Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee

Annual reports (No. 1 of2011)

March 2011

125

© Commonwealth of Australia 2011

ISBN 978-1-74229-419-3

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

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

1?<':

Membership of the Committee

Members

Senator Helen Polley (Chair)

Senator Mitch Fifield (Deputy Chair)

Senator the Hon John Faulkner

Senator the Hon Ursula Stephens

Senator Helen Kroger

Senator Rachel Siewert

Participating members

ALP, TAS

LP, VIC

ALP,NSW

ALP,NSW

LP, VIC

AG,WA

Senators Abetz, Adams, Back, Barnett, Bernardi, Bilyk, Birmingham, Bishop, Boswell, Boyce, Brandis, Bob Brown, Carol Brown, Bushby, Cameron, Cash, Colbeck, Coonan, Cormann, Crossin, Eggleston, Ferguson, Fierravanti-Wells, Fielding, Fifield, Fisher, Forshaw, Furner, Hanson-Young, Heffernan, Humphries, Hurley, Hutchins, Johnston, Joyce, Ludlam, Macdonald, McEwen, McGauran, Marshall, Mason, Milne, Minchin, Moore, Nash, O'Brien, Parry, Payne, Pratt, Ronaldson, Ryan, Scullion, Sterle, Troeth, Trood, Williams, Wortley and Xenophon.

Secretariat

Ms Christine McDonald

Ms Kyriaki Mechanicos

Ms Victoria Robinson-Conlon

Mr Hugh Griffin

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127

Committee Secretary

Senior Research Officer

Research Officer

Administrative Officer

iv

TABLE OF CONTENTS

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

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

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

Terms ofreference ... ... ... ......................................................................................... 1

Allocated portfolios ................................................................................................ 2

Method of assessment. ............................................................................................ 3

Reports examined ................................................................................................... 4

Non-reporting bodies ........................................................................... ................... 7

Timeliness ............................................................................................................... 7

Assessment of reports ............................................................................................. 9

Senate debate ...................................................................................... .................... 9

Chapter 2 ........................................................................................................... 11

Selected agencies and reports .......... .. ...... ...................... ....................................... 11

Appendix 1 ......................................................................................................... 25

Dates relating to the timeliness of presentation and debate in the Senate ............ 25

v

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VI

1::1n

Chapter 1

Introduction

1.1 This is the Senate Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee's (the Committee's) first report on annual reports for 2011 . It provides an overview of the Committee's examination of annual reports for the 2009-10 financial year. 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 fua.

Terms of reference

1.2 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.

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Allocated portfolios

1.3 The Senate last amended the continuing order relating to the allocation of departments and agencies on 29 September 2010. 1 In accordance with that resolution, the Committee has responsibility for the oversight of the following:

• Parliament; 2

• Prime Minister and Cabinet portfolio (including the Department of Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government); and

• Finance and Deregulation portfolio.

1.4 As noted in the Committee's second report of 2010 (November 2010), with the release of the Administrative Arrangements Orders of 14 September 2010, the Offices for Sport and Arts were transferred to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet from their respective portfolios. The Department of Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government was also established at this time within the Prime Minister and Cabinet portfolio.3

1.5 The changes to the Administrative Arrangement Orders have resulted in the annual reports of the following agencies coming within the oversight of the Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee:

• the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority, the Australian Sports Commission and the Australian Sports Foundation Ltd, all transferred from the Department of Health and Ageing;

• the Australian Maritime Museum, Australian Television and Radio School, Screen Australia, Australia Council, National Film and Sound Archive, National Gallery of Australia, National Library of Australia, National Museum of Australia, Bundanon Trust and the Australian Arts Business Foundation, transferred from the former Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts; and

• the National Capital Authority was transferred to the newly established Department of Regional Australia, Regional Australia and Local Government from the Attorney-General's portfolio.

1.6 The reports for all the agencies above have been received by the Committee and are discussed below.

Journals of the Senate, 29 September 2010, p. 88 .

2 As a matter of comity between the Houses, 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.

3 For more information please see Senate Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee, Annual Reports (No.2 of2010), p. 2.

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Method of assessment

1.7 Annual reports provide one of the key mechanisms, together with the Estimates process, for scrutiny of the operations of Government. As stated in the Requirements for Annual Reports: for Departments, Executive Agencies and FMA Act Bodies, 'the primary purpose of annual reports of departments is accountability, m particular to the parliament'. 4

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. The principal legislation which apply to departments, statutory agencies and authorities, and Commonwealth companies are:

• Public Service Act 1999;

• Parliamentary Service Act 1999;

• Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (FMA Act); and

• Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 (CAC Act).

1.9 Statutory authorities report under their respective enabling legislation. For example, the Australian National Audit Office reports under section 28 of the Auditor-General Act 1997.

1.10 The Committee also assesses whether reports comply with the Requirements for Annual Reports: for Departments, Executive Agencies and FMA Act Bodies (the PM&C requirements), issued by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) with the approval of the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and

Audit under subsections 63(2) and 70(2) of the Public Service Act 1999. This is the authoritative source outlining the requirements for preparing and presenting annual reports for bodies prescribed under the FMA Act. 5

1.11 Commonwealth authorities and companies reporting under the

Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 (CAC Act) are required to comply with the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies (Report of Operations) Orders 2008.6

1.12 The Finance Minister has a role in the oversight of Commonwealth authorities that are also classified as a government business enterprise (GBE) as set out in the

4 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports: for departments, executive agencies and FMA Act bodies, June 2010, p. 3.

5 These guidelines may be found at: www.pmc.go v. au/guidelines/docs/annual report reguirements.pdf.

6 These orders are available at the following link: http://www.comlaw.gov. au/Details/F2008L02092

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CAC Act. The annual reports of GBEs must provide an assessment of the entity's financial condition, dividends and community service obligations over the financial year.

Reports examined

1.13 As the federal election took place in 2010, the Committee has included reports tabled in the Senate or presented to the President of the Senate, and reports tabled in the House of Representatives between the period of 1 May 2010 and 31 October 201 0 in this report. Thirty-four annual reports were therefore referred to the Committee by 31 October 2010 for examination.

1.14 The reports examined are categorised as follows:

Departments of State

• Department of Finance and Deregulation-Report for 2009-1 0, including Office of Evaluation and Audit (Indigenous Programs) report for the period 1 July to 14 December 2009-pursuant to section 63 of the Public Services Act1999;and

• Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet-Report for 2009-1 0-pursuant to subsection 63 of the Public Service Act 1999.

Departments of Parliament

• Department of Parliamentary Services-Annual Report 2009-1 0-pursuant to paragraph 65(1 )(c) of the Parliamentary Service Act 1999 including the Annual Report of the Parliamentary Library pursuant to subsection 65(3) of the Parliamentmy Services Act 1999; and

• Department of the Senate-Annual Report 2009-1 0-pursuant to section 65 of the Parliamentary Service Act 1999.

Statutory agencies/authorities

• Australian Institute of Family Studies-Annual Report 2009-10- pursuant to section 114LC of the Family Law Act 1975;

• Australian National Audit Office-Annual Report 2009-10-pursuant to section 28 of the Auditor-General Act 1997;

• Australian Reward Investment Alliance (ARlA)-Annual Report 2009-10-pursuant to section 162 of the Superannuation Act 19 7 6, section 28 of the Superannuation Act 1990 and section 26 of the Superannuation Act 2005;

• Commissioner for Superannuation (ComSuper)-Annual Report 2009-10-pursuant to section 162 of the Superannuation Act 197 6 and section 21 of the Papua New Guinea (Staffing Assistance) Act 1973;

• Future Fund Board of Guardians and Future Fund Management Agency­ Annual Rep011 2009-1 0-pursuant to section 81 of the Future Fund Act 2006;

5

• Inspector General of Intelligence and Security-Annual Report 2009-10-pursuant to subsection 35 of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Act I 986;

• National Archives of Australia and National Archives of Australia Advisory Council-Annual Report 2009-1 0-pursuant to subsection 70(1) of the Public Service Act 1999 and subsections 68(1) and 68(2) of the Archives Act 1983;

• Office of the Privacy Commissioner-Operation of the Privacy Act-Annual Report 2009-1 0-pursuant to section 97 of the Privacy Act 1988;

• Official Secretary to the Governor-General-Annual Report 2009-10-pursuant to section 19(1) of the Governor-General Act 197 4;

• Old Parliament House-Annual Report 2009-1 0-pursuant to section 70 of the Public Service Act 1999; and

• Remuneration Tribunal-Annual Report 2009-201 0-pursuant to subsection 12AA(2) of the Remuneration Tribunal Act 1973.

Commonwealth authorities/companies

• Australia Business Arts Foundation Ltd-Financial Statements for the Year Ended 30 June 2010-pursuant to section 36 of the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997;

• Australian Council for the Arts-Annual Report 2009-1 0-pursuant to section 9 of the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997;

• Australian Film, Television and Radio School-Annual Report 2009-10-pursuant to section 9 of the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997;

• Australian Industry Development Corporation-Annual Report 2009-1 0-pursuant to section 36 of the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997;

• Australian National Maritime Museum-Annual Report 2009-10-pursuant to section 9 ofthe Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997;

• Australian River Company Ltd-Annual Report 2008-09-pursuant to section 36 of the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997;

• Australian Sports Commission-Annual Report 2009-1 0-pursuant to section 9 of the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 including the Australian Sports Foundation Ltd-Report for the year ended 30 June 201 0-pursuant to section 36 of the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997;

• Bundanon Trust-Annual Report 2009-1 0-pursuant to section 36 of the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 199 7;

• Medibank Private-Annual Report 2010-pursuant to sections 9 and 36 of the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997;

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• National Australia Day Council Limited-Annual Report 2009-1 0-pursuant to subsection 36(4) of the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997;

• National Film and Sound Archive-Annual Report 2009-1 0-pursuant to section 9 of the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997;

• National Gallery of Australia-Annual Report 2009-1 0-pursuant to section 9 of the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997;

• National Library of Australia-Annual Report 2009-1 0-pursuant to section 9 of the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997;

• National Museum of Australia-Annual Report 2009-1 0-pursuant to section 9 of the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 199 7;

• Parliamentary Service Commissioner-Report for 2009-10-pursuant to subsection 42(1) of the Parliamentary Service Act 1999;

• Screen Australia-Annual Report 2009-1 0-pursuant to section 9 of the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997; and

• Tuggeranong Office Park Pty Ltd-Special Purpose Financial Report for the period ended 25 June 2010.

Non-statutory Authority

• Public Lending Right Committee-Annual Report 2009-10-pursuant to section 19 of the Public Lending Right Act 1985.

Reports not examined

1.15 The Committee is not obliged to report on Acts, statements of corporate intent, surveys, corporate plans or errata. The Department of Finance and Deregulation report Campaign Advertising by Australian Government Departments and Agencies-Full Year Report 2009-10 was referred to the Committee but not examined.

Reports held over

1.16 The following reports were tabled in Parliament after 31 October 2010. These reports will be examined in the Committee's second report on annual reports due to be presented to the Senate in August 2011:

• Albury-W odonga Development Corporation- Annual Report 2009- 10 (presented 17 November 201 0) ;

• ASC Pty Ltd-Annual Report 2009- 10 (tabled 23 November 201 0);

• ASC Pty Ltd- Statement of corporate intent 2010- 13 (tabled 23 November 2010);

• Australian Electoral Commission- Annual 9 February 2011);

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Report 2009-10 (tabled

7

• Australian Public Service Commissioner Report for 2009-1 0, incorporating the annual report of the Merit Protection Commissioner (presented 1 November 2010);

• Australian Public Service Commissioner-State of the Service Report 2009-10 (tabled 9 February 2011);

• Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority-Annual Report 2009-10 (tabled 24 November 2010);

• Commonwealth Ombudsman-Annual Report 2009-10 (presented 1 November 2010);

• Department of Finance and Deregulation-Consolidated financial statements for the year ended 30 June 2010 (presented 14 December 2010);

• Department of Finance and Deregulation-Issues from the advances under the annual appropriations Acts (tabled 17 November 2010);

• Freedom of Information Act 1982 (presented 20 December 2010);

• Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984-Annual Report 2009-10 (tabled 23 November 2010); and

• National Capital Authority-Annual Report 2009-10 (presented

16 November 2010).

Non-reporting bodies

1.17 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.

1.18 The Committee continues to approach this in two ways. First, the Committee examines the Administrative Arrangements Order for the list of legislation administered by portfolio ministers and consequently, departments and agencies. Second, the Committee consults the Department of Finance and Deregulation's listing of Australian Government Bodies. The list identifies the agencies that are required to report and the Acts under which they report. 7

1.19 Based on the above checks, the Committee considers it has received all reports that it is required to receive.

Timeliness

1.20 Most reports are required to be tabled in Parliament by 31 October each year unless another date is specified, for example, in an agency's legislation, charter and/or terms of reference. Commonwealth companies reporting under the CAC Act are

7 This list may be found at: http: //www.finance.gov.au/publications!flipchart/index.html (accessed 4 November 2010).

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required to provide an annual report to the responsible Minister four months after the end of the company's financial year. 8 It appears all annual reports submitted by Commonwealth companies in the Committee's portfolio areas fulfilled this requirement. Ministers are required to table annual reports of companies as soon as practicable.

1.21 In the case of the Australian River Company Ltd, while the annual report was received by the relevant minister on 29 March 201 0, that is within the required period, it was only presented to the President of the Senate on 20 August 2010. This was a delay of five months and the Committee considers that a greater effort should be made to ensure that annual reports received by ministers are provided to the Parliament promptly.

1.22 Where a department or agency cannot meet its deadline for reporting, it must apply to the relevant minister for an extension. 9 Where an extension is granted, the minister must table in Parliament a copy of the application together with a statement specifying the length of the extension and the reasons for granting the extension. On

15 November 2010, a statement from the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority requesting an extension to report was tabled in the Senate. The Authority indicated that the extension had been sought 'due to a delay in the completion of our annual financial statements and audit by the Australian National Audit Office, printing of the report will be completed by the 31 October deadline'. 10 The Committee notes that the report was tabled in the Senate on 24 November and will be examined in report No 2 of 2011.

1.23 For each report referred to it, the Committee recorded the following dates:

• submitted to minister;

• received by the minister;

• tabled in the Senate or presented to the President or a temporary chair of Committees; and

• tabling date in the House of Representatives, where applicable.

1.24 Commonwealth authorities are required to report by the 15 1h day of the fourth month after the end of the financial year, which for authorities reporting on a standard financial year basis would be 15 October. 11

8 Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1999, s. 36.

9 Acts Interpretation Act 1901, s. 34( c).

10 Letter from Ms A Andruska, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority, dated 14 October 2010, to Senator the Hon Mark Arbib, Minister for Sport.

11 Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1999, s. 9.

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Assessment of reports

1.25 The Committee determines whether the report of an agency satisfactorily meets reporting requirements by assessing against the PM&C requirements, in particular, the checklist at Attachment F in the requirements; its respective enabling legislation; and where necessary, the Corporations Act 2001. 12

Senate debate

1.26 Few annual reports are debated in the Senate, but many remain on the Senate Notice Paper for future consideration. There are several reports on the Notice Paper, however the Committee is not aware of any Senate debates relating to the reports examined.

12 Corporations Act 2001, chapter 2M.

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Chapter 2

Selected agencies and reports

2.1 The Committee has selected the following departments and agencies for assessment:

• Department of Finance and Deregulation;

• Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet;

• National Library of Australia; and

• Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Department of Finance and Deregulation

2.2 The Department of Finance and Deregulation's (Finance's) annual report for 2009- 10 provides a clear and detailed review of the operations of the department, including its role in the Government's response to the global financial crisis.

2.3 Issues highlighted in the report included the department's work with ComSuper to make the Government's superannuation scheme more sustainable in the long term, including merging the Australian Reward Investment Alliance, the Military Superannuation and Benefits Board and the Defence Force Retirement and Death Benefits Authority. 1

2.4 In addition, the annual report provided information on the advancement of the Operation Sunlight agenda, the intergovernmental TelePresence system which provides secure video conference facilities in a number of locations throughout Australia, the whole-of-government property management framework2 and

improvements to the transparency of parliamentary entitlements.

2.5 Finance noted that it is examining ways to reduce the cost of its internal operations, as well as undertaking a study with PM&C and Treasury to explore the possibility of the three departments sharing human resources and financial systems. 3

Porifolio structure

2.6 There was one change to the Finance portfolio structure following the end of the financial year: the Tuggeranong Office Park Pty was officially deregistered on 2 September 2010, this process was noted in Finance's annual report.

2.7 There were several changes to the organisational structure of Finance in the 2009-1 0 financial year:

Department ofFinance and Deregulation, Annual Report 2009- 10, p. 24.

2 Further information: Department of Finance and Deregulation, Annual Report 2009- 10, pp 66-67.

3 Department of Finance and Deregulation, Annual Report 2009- 10, pp 2-7.

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• a Service Delivery Reform branch was established within the Deregulation Group to 'supervise implementation of the recommendations made in the APS Reform Blueprint';

• the Budget Review Division in the Budget Group was given wider scope to provide advice and assistance to Finance's Executive Board on whole-of­ government strategic policy issues and was re-named the Strategic Policy Division; and

• a major reorganisation of the way the department manages its corporate activities was undertaken to better adhere to corporate best practice.

Transparency and scrutiny

2.8 Finance discussed its continuing work to improve the transparency of Government finances. The department helped prepare a Coordinated National Security Budget and the first public report on the Certificate of Compliance with the FMA Act.

2.9 As discussed in the Committee's report on annual reports in January 2010, Finance issued the Commonwealth Grant Guidelines with effect from 1 July 2009. This new measure has now been incorporated into the PM&C requirements for annual reports for departments and agencies under the FMA Act and is discussed further below in relation to other departments and agencies. 4

2.10 In response to the Government's Ahead of the Game: Blueprint for the reform of the Australian Government administration, Finance is taking a lead role, implementing 11 of the 28 reforms. 5

2.11 The department's review of performance for the year 2009-10 is broken up into separate chapters for each outcome. The review is comprehensive and easy to compare to the Portfolio Budget Statements (PBS). The performance information for each outcome is provided in a table with deliverables, Key Performance Indicators (KPis) and overall results. This is useful to the reader and makes for easy comparison with each of the three levels of accountability. Furthermore, information on consultancies was provided by outcome and this was very helpful for the Committee.

2.12 In relation to achieving its KPis, Finance included explanations of how the results were achieved or what is being done by the department if they were not achieved. The level of detail provided does not overwhelm the reader but is concise and addresses matters raised appropriately. One KPI not achieved was the compliance by all Commonwealth agencies with the Government's best practice requirements for regulatory impact analysis. The Committee commends the department for including

4 Department of Finance and Deregulation, Annual Report 2009- 10, p. 22 .

5 Department of Finance and Deregulation, Annual Report 2009- 10, p. 30.

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the actual compliance rates and policy measures that have been introduced to ensure the target is met. 6

2.13 In response to recommendations in previous Committee reports, the Department of Finance and Deregulation provides greater detail of spending on Government advertising. 7 In addition, Finance now provides a report on Government advertising to the Parliament. 8 In response to the Hawke review of 201 0; the

Guidelines on Information and Advertising Campaigns were adopted and the Independent Communications Committee (ICC) was also established to ensure advertising campaigns comply with the guidelines. Finance's 2009-10 annual report provides a table of all major advertising campaigns carried out by each Government department. 9

2.14 An achievement by the department over the reporting period was the release of the 2010-11 Budget papers under a Creative Commons license. This license now allows the information in the Budget papers to be used without the need for additional copyright permissions. 10 The Committee recognises that this will make the Budget papers more accessible to the Australian public.

2.15 As noted in the Committee's report last year, the Finance compliance index provided chapter numbers and not individual page numbers. 11 This appears to be due to each requirement being part of the narrative discussion, rather than being separately identified. This has helped the continuity of the report for the reader, however some mandatory requirements are not clearly identified in the report. The Committee encourages consistency across all departments and agencies in relation to the compliance indices.

2.16 In relation to external scrutiny, the Committee noted two investigations listed in Finance's annual report. Information on an incident being investigated by ComCare found that Finance had breached requirements to maintain a safe working environment. In response to the investigation and recommendations by ComCare, Finance has developed an action plan to prevent further incidents.

12 Furthermore, a

Freedom of Information (FOI) request case which was being carried out by the Commonwealth Ombudsman was discussed in the report. However, the relevant legislation had been amended so the case was no longer necessary. The Committee

6 Department of Finance and Deregulation, Annual Report p. 22.

7 See Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Public Administration, Annual reports (No. I of2008), pp 11-12, p. 47.

8 Department of Finance and Deregulation, Campaign Advertising by Australian Departments and Agencies, October 2010.

9 Department of Finance and Deregulation, Annual Report pp 50-53.

10 Department ofFinance and Deregulation, Annual Report p. 58.

11 See paragraph 2.9, Senate Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee, Annual reports (No. I of20IO), p. 10.

12 Department of Finance and Deregulation, Annual Report p. 282.

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commends Finance for clearly stating the rights of the individual in relation to FOI requests and for providing detailed information on the Committees and working groups to be contacted for FOI enquiries. 13

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

2.17 The 2009-10 annual report produced by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) provides an easy to read and well set out explanation of the operations and functions of the department, particularly in its coordination role for the Government. The Committee notes that 2011 is the centenary year for PM&C.

2.18 Significant issues for PM&C during the reporting period included provision of advice to the Government in response to the global financial crisis and assistance with the negotiations between state and territory Governments to progress the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) reform agenda. In addition, the department facilitated the transition to office of the new Prime Minister, the Hon Julia Gillard MP.

2.19 Other initiatives during the period included the Government's long-term social inclusion strategy for a Stronger Fairer Australia, preparation of the White Paper on Counter-Terrorism and a review of cabinet processes. The annual report also highlights some of the major meetings managed by PM&C including the Asia-Pacific Cooperation Forum (APEC), the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) and the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).

Portfolio structure

2.20 The PM&C annual report described the following achievements and changes over the financial year 2009-10 in relation to its portfolio structure: • transfer of the social inclusion functions from other social policy agencies;

• transfer of the information law activities from the Attorney-General's Department;

• expansion of the Government's activities related to the coordination of security arrangements following the Homeland and Border Security Review;

• development of legislation to establish the office of the Independent National Legislation Monitor;

• development of the Australian Government Crisis Management Framework; and

• provision of support for reform of the freedom of information and privacy regimes in preparation for the establishment of the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner. 14

13 Department of Finance and Deregulation, Annual Report 2009- 10, pp 290-296.

14 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Annual Report 2009- 10, p. 183.

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Transparency and scrutiny

2.21 PM&C provides a comprehensive explanation of its outcome and program structures. A broad outline of each sub program which deliver on the outcomes of the department and its two programs-Prime Minister and Cabinet, and Official and Ceremonial Support-is also included. In addition, the annual reports identifies and explains instances where there is a difference between the 2009-10 PBS and the annual report, for example the appropriation for CHOGM was made after the release ofthe 2009-10 PBS.

2.22 PM&C also provides a tabulated diagram of the transition from the 2008-09 structure of Output Groups to the 2009-1 0 departmental structure of Programs. This is particularly helpful for the Committee in relation to questioning at estimates.

2.23 An area of interest for the Committee was the table on 'Trends in Numbers of Senate Estimates Questions on Notice', which showed an increase in the number of questions on notice for Additional Estimates, while questions on notice for Budget Estimates decreased.

2.24 Each sub-program, for example, Sub-program 1.1: Domestic Policy, is an individual chapter in the report. This is helpful for a department such as PM&C as its policy coverage is vast and varied. This approach enables the reader to access information about the separate areas of PM&C while also providing the results of the Key Performance Indicators relevant to that sub-program.

2.25 In relation to KPis, PM&C often included the qualitative indicator 'high level of satisfaction' rather than a quantitative percentage or target number. This often provided results such as 'feedback indicates satisfaction with the quality and timeliness'. If improvement was required, the report noted 'some areas for improving'

followed by 'these issues were addressed and feedback for the year was positive overall'. 15 The Committee considers that the department should aim to provide more specific results on KPis with quantitative, rather than qualitative, indicators. At the same time, this form of reporting allows for a cohesive report and keeps the KPis within the context of the program. Tabulated results can create some disjuncture. The Committee does acknowledge the clear correlation between the deliverables and KPis in the PM&C annual report and the 2009-10 PBS.

2.26 PM&C provides trend information where applicable and obviously where available. The Committee acknowledges this aspect of the report as it provides for easy comparison to previous years' results.

2.27 In relation to external scrutiny, there were no external audits of PM&C specifically, however the department contributed to some Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) reports including the audit on Effective Cross-Agency Agreements. This report stated that, to improve common understandings across agencies,

15 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Annual Report 2009- 10, pp 26-97.

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16

appropriate and accessible guidance material and mechanisms for internal scrutiny of agreements should be developed. 16

2.28 Discussion on the department's staff training and Freedom of Information area is thorough. In relation to discretionary grants, PM&C provided the total amount spent and directs the reader to the website for more specific details, whereas Finance provided only the website. The Committee is happy with both approaches.

2.29 Lastly, PM&C provides a comprehensive compliance index, ensuring explanations of any 'nil' responses to the PM&C requirements for annual reports.

National Library of Australia

2.30 The Committee has decided to comment briefly on this report as it is the Library's 501h annual report. The Library is a statutory body and a Commonwealth authority for reporting purposes. The Library must comply with the reporting requirements set out in the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies (Report of Operations) Orders 2008. The Library has also incorporated some of the PM&C requirements into its report to provide further information and greater transparency.

2.31 Some of the additional information provided in the report includes the Library's Disability Action Plan for 2010-12 which will align with the Commonwealth Disability Strategy. Although not strictly required of CAC Act bodies, information on the Library's assets management, service charter and detailed information on consultancy services are included in the annual report.

2.32 In relation to the review of its performance over the financial year, the Library provides a clear correlation between the outcome and program structure as set out in the 2009-10 PBS. The Library has broken its one outcome into strategies and has ensured the review of its KPis is comparable to the Budget papers. In addition, each strategy includes 'major initiatives', 'issues and developments' and fmally, 'performance' to provide a thorough summary and review of the Library's performance over the financial year. 17

2.33 The annual report is easy to read, free of jargon and easy to navigate due to clear headings and chapter titles. The inclusion of retro magazine and newspaper covers on the first page of each chapter also makes for an aesthetically pleasing report.

2.34 The Library has included a compliance index in relation to the Order of Operations, and notes that some provisions of the PM&C requirements have been included. The only comment from the Committee is that page references could be included in the index and specific PM&C requirements adhered to could be referenced. The Committee encourages CAC Act bodies that include aspects of the PM&C requirements in annual report to provide this information in the compliance index.

16 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Annual Report 2009- 10, pp 115-116.

17 National Library of Australia, Annual Report 2009- 2010, pp 45-60.

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Australian Institute of Family Studies

2.35 The Committee has decided to also comment briefly on the annual report of the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) and notes that AIFS celebrated its 30th anniversary in February 2010. The Institute is a statutory agency and reports according to the requirements of the FMA Act. The Committee also notes that during the reporting period the Institute completed its evaluation of the 2006 reforms to Australia's family law system. AIFS noted that this report was the most comprehensive examination undertaken of the Australian family law and service

system.

2.36 In 2009-1 0, AIFS strove to strengthen ties with Australian Government departments. A key tool in this goal was signing a memorandum of understanding (Mo U) with the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations and the Australian Institute of Criminology, to compliment the MoUs with the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare which have both been renewed.

2.37 In relation to transparency and accountability, the Institute has a clearly set out annual report. The Institute reports the resources necessary for its one outcome, as set out in the PBS for 2009-10. It provides the review of the Institute's performance in relation to deliverables and KPis and the Committee encourages the Institute to continue with this approach.

2.38 A summary of the research activities of AIFS is included. The social justice and equity impacts of the Institute are explained in detail. This is particularly welcome, as much of its research focuses on this subject area and the issues investigated can affect a large part of the population.

2.39 The Committee recognises the work undertaken by the AIFS in finishing the 2009-10 financial year with a small surplus of $1,962, after finishing the year 2008-09 with an operating deficit of$179,494.

2.40 In relation to other requirements, the description of initiatives on health and safety are comprehensive and statistics on staffing include details of non-salary benefits by employment category and classification level. The report provides detailed information on the Institute's Commonwealth Disability Strategy performance using the Government's recommended template.

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General comments

Implementation of Operation Sunlight

2.41 Under the Government's Operation Sunlight initiative to improve the openness and transparency of public sector budgetary and financial management, a number of significant changes were implemented in 2008-09. Agency annual reports are now required to provide appropriations by outcome, details of departmental appropriations expected to be carried over into the new financial year to meet future obligations are to be identified, and agency resource statements were introduced.

2.42 In addition to the departments and agencies reviewed above, the Committee would like to commend the Australian National Archives for providing a clear review of performance during the year in relation to programs and contribution to outcomes.

CAC Act bodies and Operation Sunlight

2.43 With the transfer of the Office for the Arts and the Office for Sport to the PM&C, the Committee now has oversight of a number of additional Commonwealth authorities. This has provided the Committee with the opportunity to examine a wide­ range of CAC Act agencies.

2.44 The Commonwealth Authorities and Companies (Report of Operations) Orders 2008 specify that:

(1) The report of operations must include ...

(a) a review of how the Commonwealth authority has performed during the financial year. ..

(2) The assessment of performance required under paragraph (1) (a) should:

(a) address both the efficiency and effectiveness of the operations of the Commonwealth authority in producing its principal outputs; and

(b) make clear links between outcomes, strategies for achieving those outcomes and the principal outputs ...

Note The presentation of outcome and output information for Commonwealth authorities in the General Government Sector should be consistent with the relevant Portfolio Budget Statements and Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements.

2.45 The Committee would like to commend the following agencies which provided a review of operations in relation to programs, consistent with the agency's 2009-10 PBS:

•

•

•

Australian Sports Commission;

National Film and Sound Archive; and

National Museum of Australia .

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19

2.46 Some CAC Act bodies provided short explanations of the results of KPis and outcomes from the 2009-10 PBS. However, the review of operations was not necessarily consistent with the PBS. Agencies such as the National Gallery of Australia, the National Maritime Museum of Australia and Screen Australia reported on performance by the agency's strategic goals. While this approach can be interesting for the reader, the Committee encourages the use of outcomes and programs to review performance to meet the aims of Operation Sunlight.

External scrutiny and accountability

2.47 The PM&C requirements state that annual reports:

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

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

(b) reports on the operations of the department by the Auditor-General (other than the report on financial statements), a Parliamentary Committee or the Commonwealth Ombudsman. 18

2.48 As 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 and comprehensive manner in annual reports. The Committee commends the National Museum of Australia and the National Film and Sound Archive for providing comprehensive details relating to internal and external scrutiny in the 2009-1 0 annual reports. However, the Committee considers that the Australian Sports Commission and the National Archives of Australia could provide further information on the details of individual inquiries which have been carried out in relation to the agency.

Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines certification

2.49 The Committee's Annual reports (No .1 of 2009) recommended that agency heads certify the Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines in accordance with the PM&C requirements. 19 The Committee notes that some agencies, including the Australian National Audit Office, the Department of the Senate and the Office of the Official Secretary to Governor-General, have complied with the requirements and have included a signed statement certifying their fraud control initiatives. However, there still remain a number of agencies which do not provide the necessary certification.

18 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports: for departments. executive agencies and FMA Act bodies, June 2009, p. 9.

19 Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Public Administration, Annual reports (No. 1 of 2009), p. 12.

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2.50 The Committee commends the response of the Department of Parliamentary Services to a significant incident which took place during 2009-10. The Parliament House website experienced a distributed denial of service attack and DPS implemented a number of measures to reduce the impact of the incident. The report indicates that DPS is investigating a number of other possible countermeasures. In relation to general fraud control, DPS published a number of fraud-related articles in the department's newsletter and revised its Fraud Control Policy and Framework which sets out the responsibilities of all staff and the commitment of the department to control fraud. 20

Grant programs

2.51 To improve the transparency and accountability of Government grant administration, all FMA Act departments and agencies are subject to the Commonwealth Grant Guidelines as discussed above at paragraph 2.9. The Guidelines require departments to publish details of grants on their website within seven working days of the funding agreement taking affect. The Committee commends the National Archives of Australia for providing comprehensive details on grant administration.

2.52 The Committee does note that the PM&C requirements provide only the following sentence to be included in department and agency annual reports: 'Information on grants awarded by the [insert agency name] during the period 1 July 2009 to 30 June 2010 is available at [insert web address]'. As such, the majority of agencies and departments fulfilled this requirement.

Consultancies and contracts

2.53 While it should be acknowledged that many departments and agencies comply with the PM&C requirement to provide information on consultancies, some agencies, such as the Future Fund, provided only reference to the AusTender website. The PM&C requirements specify that a table providing information on consultancy spending is to be included in the annual report or be available on the Internet. At the time of printing there was no table available on the Future Fund's website.

2.54 The Committee would like to acknowledge the detailed consultancy information provided by the National Gallery of Australia and the Australian National Audit Office. Agencies such as ARIA are encouraged to provide information on existing consultancies.

Commonwealth Disability Strategy

2.55 Annual reports must include an assessment of performance in implementing the Commonwealth Disability Strategy (CDS). The PM&C requirements state:

The annual report must include an assessment of the department's performance in implementing the Commonwealth Disability Strategy

20 Department of Parliamentary Services, Annual Report 2009- 10, p. 93.

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(CDS) in the terms set out in the Guide to the Performance Reporting Framework. To assist agencies the Guide includes performance indicators and measures as well as guidance on how to apply the performance reporting framework. A suggested reporting template is also available. 21

21

2.56 The requirements provide comprehensive information on what is required regarding the CDS. Departments and agencies are encouraged to use the template accessible on the FaHCSIA's website to fulfil this reporting requirement. 22

2.57 In the assessment of the 2009-10 annual reports, the Office for the Privacy Commissioner, Old Parliament House and the National Museum of Australia all followed the template as set out on FaHCSIA's website and provided thorough and insightful descriptions of the organisations' disability strategies.

Occupational health and safety

2.58 The PM&C requirements provide the following provisions relating to the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1991 (the OHS Act):

In accordance with sub-section 74(1) of the OHS Act, the annual report is to include details of...initiatives taken during the year to ensure the health, safety and welfare at work of employees and contractors of the department or authority; health and safety outcomes ... achieved as a result of [these] initiatives 23

2.59 The Committee notes that while most departments and agencies comment on their health and safety policies, there is little detail on the specific initiatives that have been taken during the year to ensure the safety of employees. The Committee notes that the Department of the Senate and the Department of Parliamentary Services provide comprehensive detail in this regard. However, the annual report of the Australian Reward Investment Alliance (ARIA) and the Future Fund fail to provide detail of specific initiatives.

Advertising and market research

2.60 FMA Act bodies and CAC Act authorities must comply with section 311A of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918. This requires that the annual report includes a statement of all particulars, including amounts paid to advertising agencies, market research, polling, direct mail and media advertising organisations. The Committee considers that greater detail could be included in the reports of Screen Australia, the Australian Council of the Arts and the Australian Sports Commission to meet these requirements.

21 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports: for departments, executive agencies and FMA Act bodies, June 2009, p. 13.

22 http:/ /fahcsia. go v .au/ sal di sabi li ty/pu bs/po I icy /Documents/ cds/ defaul t.htm

23 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports: for departments, executive agencies and FMA Act bodies, June 2010, p. 21.

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2.61 The Committee acknowledges the high level of detail in relation to advertising and market research provided by the National Gallery of Australia and Old Parliament House. The Committee suggests that agencies which have reported no campaign or recruiting advertising costs provide this information as a standalone paragraph.

Staffing

2.62 The PM&C requirements in relation to Human Resource Management state that:

The discussion must be supported by broad categories of statistics, for example, on the number of APS employees including ongoing and non­ ongoing) as at 30 June for the current and preceding year, by: each classification level; full-time/ part-time status; gender; and location.

Furthermore:

The annual report must include information on performance pay including:

• the number of APS employees at each classification level who received performance pay;

• the aggregated amount of such performance payments at each classification level;

• the average bonus payment and the range of such payments at each classification level; and

• the aggregate bonus payment for the agency as a whole. 24

2.63 In relation to these requirements, several agencies and departments did not provide adequate detail. The Committee encourages agencies (including the Office of the Privacy Commissioner and ARIA) to provide more detailed information to satisfy the PM&C requirements. The Committee acknowledges the detailed information on staffing provided by the Australian National Audit Office.

Compliance index

2.64 Most annual reports reporting on the period 2009-10 included a compliance index, indicating page references for each reporting requirement.

2.65 A compliance index is a useful feature of reports and assists the Committee's task of assessment. 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. For accuracy and completeness, departments and agencies should indicate in the compliance index when matters are not applicable.

24 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements f or Annual Reports: for departments, executive agencies and FMA Act bodies, June 2010, pp 10-11.

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23

2.66 Furthermore, many CAC Act bodies provide a compliance index in relation to the requirements set out in the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies (Report of Operations) Orders 2008. The Committee encourages agencies such as the Australian National Maritime Museum, the Australian Council for the Arts and Screen Australia to include a compliance index in their next annual reports.

Use of PM&C requirements by CAC Act bodies

2.67 The PM&C requirements apply to Government departments, executive agencies and FMA Act bodies. Companies and authorities listed under the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 have different reporting requirements as specified in the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies (Report of Operations) Orders 2008. In previous reports, the Committee has encouraged CAC Act bodies to take into account the PM&C requirements where possible. The National Gallery of Australia and the Australian Sports Commission included select provisions of the PM&C requirements. The Committee found this helpful and suggests that this practice could be adopted by other CAC Act bodies.

Senator Helen Polley Chair

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154

Appendix 1

Dates relating to the timeliness of presentation and debate in the Senate

# In the case where a report is examined in this report and has been tabled in the Senate after 31 October 2010, both the House of Representatives [H] and the Senate [S] tabling dates have been included. Note: there is no provision in the House of Representatives Standing and Sessional Orders for annual reports to be tabled out of session.

Reporting Body Sent to Minister Received by Tabled in the Senate Consideration

Minister or presented out of in the Senate-

sitting(*) debate

PARLIAMENT

Department of Parliamentary - - 14 October 2010* -

Services-Report for 2009-10

Department of the Senate- - - 14 October 201 0* -

Report for 2009- 1 0

Parli amentary Service - - 25 October 2010 -

Commissioner- Report for 2009-10

PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET PORTFOLIO

Australia Business Arts 18 October 2010 18 October 20 I 0 H: 28 Oct 2010 -

Foundation Ltd-Report for 2009-10 S: 16 Nov 2010

Australian Counci l for the Arts- 13 October 2010 140ctober2010 27 October 2010 -

Report for 2009-1 0

Australian Film, Television and 8 October 2010 8 October 2010 26 October 2010 -

Radio School- Report for 2009-10

Australi an Institute of Family 9 September 2010 9 September 20 I 0 15 October 20 I 0* -

Studies-Report for 2009-10

Australian National Audit - - 29 September 201 0 -

Office-Report for 2009- 1 0

Australian National Maritime 13 October 201 0 13 October 2010 H: 28 Oct 201 0 -

Museum-Report for 2009-10

S: 16Nov2010

Australian Public Service 5 October 2010 5 October 20 10 I November 20 I 0* -

Commissioner- Report for 2009-10

Australian Public Service 8 November 2010 8 November 20 I 0 9 February 2011 -

Commissioner-State of the Service Report for 2009-10

155

26

Reporting Body Sent to Minister Received by Tabled in the Senate Consideration

Minister or presented out of in the Senate-

sitting(*) debate

Australian Sports Anti-Doping 20 October 20 I 0 20 October 2010 24 November 2010 -

Authority-Report for 2009-10

Australian Sports Commission, 8 October 2010 8 October 2010 29 October 20 I 0* -

including Australian Sports Foundation Ltd-Report for 2009-10

Bundanon Trust- Report for I October 2010 5 October 20I 0 26 October 20 I 0 -

2009-10

Commonwealth Ombudsman- 26 October 2010 26 October 20I 0 I November 201 0* -

Report for 2009-1 0

Department of the Prime 22 October 2010 22 October 20I 0 27 October 2010 -

Minister and Cabinet-Report for 2009-10

Freedom of Information Act 27 October 2010 27 October 2010 20 December 2010* -

1982-Report for 2009-IO

Inspector General of 7 October 2010 7 October 20 10 13 October 2010* -

Intelligence and Security-Report for 2009-1 0

National Archives of Australia, 21 October 2010 21 October 20 I 0 H: 28 Oct2010 -

including National Archives of Australia Advisory Council- S: 16Nov2010

Report for 2009-1 0

National Australia Day Council 19 October 20 I 0 19 October 20 I 0 H: 28 Oct2010 -

Ltd-Report for 2009-I 0

S: 16 Nov 2010

National Capital Authority- 19 October 2010 25 October 20 I 0 16 November 2010 -

Report for 2009-1 0

National Film and Sound 8 October 2010 8 October 2010 26 October 2010 -

Archive-Report for 2009-10

National Gallery of Australia- I October 20 I 0 5 October 2010 26 October 2010 -

Report for 2009-1 0

National Library of Australia- I October 20 I 0 5 October 2010 27 October 20IO -

Report for 2009- I 0

National Museum of Australia- 6 October 2010 6 October 20 I 0 26 October 20 I 0 -

Report for 2009-1 0

Office of the Official Secretary 14 October 2010 18 October 2010 27 October 2010 -

to the Governor-General- Report for 2009-IO

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27

Reportin g Body Sent to Min ister Received by Tabled in the Senate Consid era tion

Minister or presented out of in th e Senate -

sitting(*) debate

Office of the Privacy 23 September 20 I 0 21 October2010 27 October 2010 -

Co mmi ssioner- Report for 2009-10

Old Parliament House-Report 4 October 201 0 4 October 2010 H: 28 Oct2010 -

for 2009-10

S: 16 Nov 2010

Publi c Lending Ri ght 6 October 20 I 0 6 October 2010 29 October 201 0* -

Committee-Report for 2009- 10

Remuneration Tribunal- Report 15 October 2010 15 October 20 I 0 H: 28 Oct 2010 -

for 2009-10

S: 16 No v 20 10

Screen Australia-Report for 8 October 201 0 8 October 2010 26 October 201 0 -

2009-10

FJNANCE AN D DEREGULATION PORTFOLIO

Albury Wodonga Development 5 October 20 I 0 7 October 20 I 0 17 November 2010 -

Co rporation- Report fo r 2009- 10

Australi an El ectoral 18 November2010 19 November 2010 9 February 201 1 -

Co mmi ss ion- Report for 2009-10

Au stral ian Indu stry 24 September 20 I 0 30 September 2010 H: 28 Oct 20 10 -

Development Co rporation-Report fo r 2009-1 0 S: 16 Nov 20 10

Australian Reward In vestment 24 September 201 0 25 September 2010 26 October 201 0 -

All iance- Report for 2009-1 0

Australian Ri ver Co. Ltd- 29 March 2010 I Apri l 2010 20 Au gust 201 0* -

Report for 2008-09

ASC Pty Ltd-Report for 30 September 20 I 0 I October 2010 23 November 2010 -

2009-10

ASC Pty Ltd - Statement of 19 July 2010 23 Ju ly 2010 23 November 2010 -

Corporate Intent- Statement of Co rporate Intent 2009-2012

Commiss ioner for 24 September 2010 25 September 20 10 26 October 201 0 -

Superannuation (ComSuper)-Report for 2009- 1 0

Department of finance and 28 September 20 I 0 6 October 2010 14 October 201 0* -

Deregulation- including the Office of Evaluati on and Audit (Indigenous Programs) - Report for 2009-10

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28

Reporting Body Sent to Minister Received by Tabled in the Senate Consideration

Minister or presented out of in the Senate-

sitting(*) debate

Department of Finance and 7 October 2010 7 October 2010 26 October 2010 -

Deregulation-Campaign Advertising by Australian Government Departments and Agencies-Full year report 20 I 0

Department of Finance and 120ctober2010 12 October 20 I 0 17 November 2010 -

Deregulation-Issues from the Advances Under th e Annual Appropriations Act-Report fo r 2009- 10

Future Fund Board of Guardians 26 October 20 I 0 26 October 2010 29 October 20 I 0* -

and Future Fund Management Agency- Report for 2009-1 0

Medibank Private-Report for 16 September 2010 17 September 20 10 17 September 201 0* -2009-1 0

Members of Parliament (Staff) 28 October 20 I 0 28 October 20 I 0 23 November 201 0* -

Act 1984- Report for 2009-10

Tuggeranong Office Park Ltd- I October 20 I 0 I October 2010 26 October 20 I 0 -

Special Purpose Financial Report for the period ended 25 June 2010

158

The Senate

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee

Annual reports (No. 1 of2011)

March 2011

159

@ Commonwealth of Australia

ISBN 978-1-74229-420-9

This document is produced from camera- ready copy prepared by the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade secretariat, and printed by the Senate Printing Unit, Parli ament House, Canberra.

ii

160

Secretariat

The committee

Senator Mark Bishop. ALP, WA (Chair) Senator Russell Trood, LP, Qld (Deputy Chair) Senator Michael Forshaw, ALP, NSW Senator Steve Hutchins, ALP, NSW Senator Helen Kroger, LP, Vic Senator Scott Ludlam, GRN, W A

Dr Kathleen Dermody, Secretary Ms Pamela Corrigan, Research Officer

Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600 Phone: (02) 6277 3535 Fax: (02) 6277 5818 e-mail: fadt. sen@aph.gov.au

Internet: http://www .aph.gov .au/senate_ fadt

lll

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Contents

The committee ................................................................................................... iii

Preface

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

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

Assessment of annual reports ...... ..... ....... ..... .... ....... ...... ... ...... ..... ....... ......... .... ....... 2

Annual reports considered .... .. ....... ..... .. ........... ................ ............................. .... ... ... 3

General comments on the annual reports .. ..... .. .... ..... .. ... .. ...... ... .... .... ...... ... .... .... ... .4

Timeliness in tabling reports .......... .. .. .. .... .... ..... ..... .... ... .. .... ....... .. ....... .. .. ... .. .... ... 4

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

Matters of significance .. ... .... .. ......... .... .. ..... .......... ....... ...... ......... .. ... .... ............ .... 4

Bodies not presenting annual reports to the Senate .. ... ..... ....... .. ..... ... .... ... .... .. .... . 4

Standard of reports ...... .... .. .... .. .... ..... .......... .... .... .. .. .... .. .. ..... ........ .. ............... .. ... .. 4

Chapter 1

Annual reports of departments ............................................................................... 5

Department of Defence ..... .... .... ....... ... ........ ..... ... ..... ....... ....... ........ .. .. ............ ...... ... 5

Military justice system ...... .............. .. ........ ... ..... ... .. .. ... .. .. ..... ....... .... ............ ... ..... 5

HMAS Success inquiry ... ... ... ....... .. .... ..... ...... ... .. .... ........ ... ....... ..... ..... ... ... ... ...... ... 5

Matters relating to the operations and performance of the department.. .......... ... 6 Department of Foreign Affairs ......... .... ............... .. ........ ... .. .. .. ... ... ..... ...... .... ..... ... . 1 0

Department of Veterans' Affairs .... .... ..... .. .. .. .... .. .......... ....... ... .... .. .... ..... .. ..... ... .. ... 12

Chapter 2

Annual reports of statutory and non-statutory authorities and government companies ........................................................................................... IS

Defence porifolio ..... .... ........ ............ .... ..... .. ... .. ... .. ...... .. ... .... ..... .... .. .... ........ ... .... ... 15

Defence Materiel Organisation ... ... ...... .... ... ...... .. ... .. ..... ... ... ... ... ...... ......... ... .. .... . 15

Australian War Memorial .... ....... .... ... ... ... ..... .. .... .. .... ... .... .. ....... ... .... .... .. ..... .. .. ... 17

Judge Advocate General ... .... .. ... ..... .... ... .. .. ...... ..... .. ..... .. .... .. .. ... .. ...... ... .. ..... .. ... .. 18

Other reports ..... .... ..... ... ..... .......... .. ......... ..... ... ....... ... ... ......... .. ....... .. ... ... .. .......... 20

v

163

Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio ....................................................... .. ............ 20

Australian Agency for International Development ............................. .............. 20

Australian Trade Commission ............ ................. .............................................. 23

Other reports .. ...... ........................ ................ .. .. .. ......... .................. .................. ... 25

Appendix 1

Annual reports referred to the committee ........................................................... 25

Defence portfolio ............. ............... ...................................................... ....... ..... .... 25

Departments ....................................................................................................... 25

Statutory authorities .................................. ................. ................................. ....... 25

Non-statutory authorities and government companies ..... ........ ...... .................. 26

Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio ....................................... ....... ....................... 26

Department ............ ..... ... ....... .. .............................. ............................................. 26

Statutory authorities ........................................... .... .................... ...... ...... ...... ...... 26

Non-statutory authorities and government companies ..................................... 26

Appendix 2

Compliance table of the annual reports referred to the committee for scrutiny for the period 2009-2010 .................................................................. 27

Appendix 3

Reporting requirements and guidelines ............................................................... 35

Departmental reports .. ........ ............ ...................... ................... ..... ........ ...... .. ...... .. 3 5

Authority for requirements .... ............... ... ..... ................ ..... ...... ..... ...... .. .......... ... 35

Commencement and reporting period .............. .... ... ..... .. .. ...... ... .. ...... .. .. .... ..... .. . 35

Timetable ...... ........ ... .. ...... ...... ...... .... ....... .... .. .. .......... ... ...... .. .. ..... .... ...... .... .... ... .. 36

Commonwealth authorities and companies .......... .. .. ........ ...... ... ..... .... .... .. ..... ...... . 3 6

Non-statutory bodies .... ....... ... ... .... .... .. ............. ... ..... ... .............. ............... ... .. ....... 3 7

VI

164

Preface

Introduction

1. The committee is responsible for examining annual reports of departments and agencies within two portfolios: Defence (including the Department of Veterans' Affairs), and Foreign Affairs and Trade. 1

2. Under Standing Order 25(20), the committee is required to report on annual reports tabled by 31 October each year by the tenth sitting day of the following year, and on reports tabled by 30 April each year by the tenth sitting day after 30 June of that year.

3. 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.

See Appendix 1 for a li st of all departments and agencies under these portfolios.

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2 Preface

Role of annual reports

4. Annual reports place a great deal of information about government departments and agencies on the public record. Accordingly, the tabling of annual reports continues to be an important element of accountability to Parliament. The information provided in annual reports assists Parliament in the effective examination of the performance of departments and agencies and the administration of government programs. Indeed, as noted in the Requirements for Annual Reports:

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.

Annual reports and Portfolio Budget Statements (PBSs) are the principal formal accountability mechanisms between government and departments and from departments through (or on behalf of) government to the Parliament. 2

Assessment of annual reports

5. The annual reports are examined by the committee to determine whether they are timely and 'apparently satisfactory'. 3 The committee considers whether the reports comply with the relevant requirements for the preparation of annual reports of departments and authorities.

6. The requirements are set down in the following instruments:

• for portfolio departments: Public Service Act 1999, subsections 63(2) and 70(2), and the Requirements for annual reports for departments, executive agencies and FMA Act bodies, Department ofPrime Minister and Cabinet, 23 June 2010;

• for Commonwealth authorities and companies: the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997; in particular, the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies (Report of Operations) Orders 2002; and

• for non-statutory bodies: the guidelines are contained in the government response to the report of the Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Government Operations on Non-statutory Bodies, Senate Hansard, 8 December 1987, vol s124, pp. 2643-45 (requirements were modified in 1987).

2 Requirements for annual reports for departments, executive agencies and FMA Act bodies, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, 23 June 2010, p. 2. Also at www .dpmc.gov .au/ guide] ines/index .cfm

3 See Appendix 2 for a compliance table of the reports referred to the committee for scrutiny.

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Preface 3

Excerpts of the reporting requirements are at Appendix 3.

Annual reports considered

7. The annual reports of the following organisations have been examined by the committee:

Defence portfolio

Army and Air Force Canteen Service (trading as Frontline Defence Services) ASC Pty Ltd Australian Military Forces Relief Trust Fund Australian Strategic Policy Institute Limited Australian War Memorial Defence, Department of Defence Force Remuneration Tribunal Defence Force Retirement and Death Benefits Authority Defence Housing Australia Defence Materiel Organisation Judge Advocate General Military Superannuation and Benefits Board Repatriation Medical Authority Royal Australian Air Force Veterans' Residences Trust Fund Royal Australian Air Force Welfare Trust Fund Royal Australian Navy Central Canteens Board Royal Australian Navy Relief Trust Fund Veterans' Affairs, Department of Veterans' Review Board.

Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio

Australian Agency for International Development Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office Australian Trade Commission Export Finance and Insurance Corporation Foreign Affairs and Trade, Department of.

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4

General comments on the annual reports

Timeliness in tabling reports

Preface

8. It should be noted that on 19 July 2010, the Governor-General prorogued the 42"d Parliament and dissolved the House of Representatives. An election was held on 24 August 2010 and the 43rd Parliament sat for the first time on 28 September 2010. As a result, the Department of Defence and a number of statutory agencies did not table their reports until November 2010 after the due date of 31 October. The

Secretary of the Department of Defence, Dr Ian Watt AO, provided an explanation for the delay in tabling Defence's annual report (see paragraph 1.1). A table detailing the dates relating to the timeliness of presentation is at Appendix 2.

Comments made in the Senate

9. The committee is obliged, under Senate 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.

Matters of significance

10. In accordance with S025, the committee is to note any significant matters relating to the operations and performance of the bodies presenting their annual report. The committee found no matters of significance relating to the operations and performance of the bodies presenting their report. It draws attention, however, to

findings contained in the Audits of the Financial Statements of Australian Government Entities for the Period Ended 30June 2010.

11. Last year the committee commented on the fmancial statements of the Department of Defence. It expressed an interest in seeing progress on outstanding matters identified by ANAO. The audit found that the Department of Defence had resolved six moderate audit risk issues previously identified. At the conclusion of the 2009-2010 audit, one significant and 17 moderate risk issues remained outstanding.

4

These matters are mentioned in detail in the relevant sections of this report.

Bodies 1wt presenting annual reports to the Senate

12. 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, which do not meet their reporting requirements to the Senate.

4 Australian National Audit Office, Audits of the Financial Statements of Australian Government Entities for th e P eriod Ended 30 June 2009, Audit Report No. 17, 2009-2010, p. 88 .

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Preface 5

Standard of reports

13 . 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 finds all of the annual reports to be 'apparently satisfactory'.

169

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Chapter 1

Annual reports of departments Department of Defence

1.1 The Defence Annual Report 2009-201 0 was tabled m the Senate on

24 November 2010.

1.2 At the recent estimates hearing on 23 February 2011, the Secretary of the Department of Defence explained to the committee the reasons for the lateness of report:

.. . this was a case of competing demands on the Defence organisation in the lead-up to final drafting, including on the CDF and me . These commitments were influenced by the timing of the election, the lengthy caretaker period and incoming government requirements. All of this meant that we could not meet the usual deadlines for production and tabling, which should have seen the report tabled on 31 October 201 0, consistent with appropriate processes. We sought, however, and were granted, again consistent with appropriate processes, an extension of time by the Minister for Defence on 22 and 27 October 2010, respectively. As required by section 34C(6)(a) of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 , both documents were laid before each house of parliament on 27 October 2010. 1

Military justice system

1.3 In August 2009, the High Court of Australia in Lane v Morrison unanimously found that the part of the Def ence Force Discipline Act 1982 that created the Australian Military Court was invalid. As an interim measure, legislation was passed by Parliament which reinstated the former system of courts martial and Defence Force magistrates, which continues to hear serious offences.

1.4 On 24 June 2010, the Military Court of Australia Bill 2010 was introduced into the Parliament. This bill proposed the creation of a Military Court of Australia within the federal courts system to try all serious Service offences. Following the prorogation of the Parliament on 19 July 2010, the bill lapsed. At the time of printing the annual report, the bill had not been introduced.

2

HMAS Success i11quiry

1.5 On 24 February, 2010, the Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, announced the appointment of the Hon Roger Gyles, AO, QC to conduct a CDF's Commission oflnquiry into a range of matters arising from a number of issues on board HMAS Success.

Proof Committee Hansard, 23 February 2011 , p. 7.

2 Department of Defence, Annual Report 2009-2010, p. 9.

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8 Chapter !- Annual reports of departments

1.6 In their 2009-2010 report overview, the Secretary of Defence and the Chief of the Defence Force stated that 'it was extremely disappointing that Defence's inquiry processes up to this point in relation to this matter were found wanting'. They noted that the independent inquiry conducted by Mr Gyles

... has been comprehensive and will identify the areas in which our current procedures may have been deficient. This incident reinforced that there are aspects of the administrative inquiry system that require significant improvement.

The first hearing of the Commission oflnquiry was held on 12 March 2010. Due, among other things, to the volume of documents and the requirements to call additional witnesses, the final report and findings are expected to be received by the end of 2010. The focus must be to ensure that procedural fairness and privacy is afforded to all individuals involved, including the complainants and those responding to allegations. 3

1. 7 The Secretary and CDF concluded their remarks by stating that they continue to work with the Senate References Committee on the matter and have committed to provide the final report to the Senate inquiry when completed. They stated:

It is critically important that inquiry processes followed by Defence are beyond reproach and meet the highest legal standards. 4

Matters relating to the operations and performance of the department

Defence's financial statements

1.8 The committee is required to note any significant matters relating to the operations and performance of the bodies presenting their annual reports. The committee draws attention to the department's fmancial statements.

1.9 It is mandatory under section 57 of the Financial Management and

Accountability Act 1997 for the annual report to include a copy of the audited financial statements and the Auditor-General's report thereon.

1.10 In their 2009-2010 overview, Secretary and CDF, stated that 'media scrutiny on the legitimacy and appropriateness of certain Defence expenditure has drawn attention to the substance and consequence of some of Defence's past financial decisions. 5 Secretary and CDF stated that:

3 Department ofDefence, Annual Report 2009-2010, p. 8.

4 Department of Defence, Annual Report 2009-2010, p. 9.

5 Department ofDefence, Annual Report 2009- 2010, p. 9.

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Accordingly, we have renewed our focus on establishing a more disciplined and cost-effective culture to underpin every-day operations and decision­ making in the organisation. A cost-conscious culture encourages paying greater attention to the accuracy of financial information, to the clarity of request for tender, and the maintenance and accessibility of comprehensive records for future reference. Defence business is now conducted more effectively and efficiently, and our spending and procurement processes are more robust.

9

1.11 They concluded on this topic by stating that continued improvements in this area are a fundamental factor in the success of the Strategic Reform Program (SRP). 6

ANAO audit

1.12 The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) performed financial statement audits on all agencies for the period 2009-2010. The audit report for the Department of Defence states:

The results of the 2009- 20 I 0 financial statements audit reflect Defence's ongoing focus on improving its financial management and reporting, and the remediation of issues. As a consequence, the number of significant and moderate audit issues continues to trend downwards .

An unqualified audit report was issues on 14 September 2010.

During the final phase of the 2009- 2010 audit, the ANAO confirmed that Defence had resolved six moderate audit issues previously identified. At the conclusion of the 2009- 2010 audit, one significant and 17 moderate audit issues remained outstanding. The majority of these audit issues relate to Defence's inventory and asset management. 7

1.13 The areas where significant or moderate risks remain outstanding, are:

• Financial Management Framework (see below)

• Logistics Management General Stores Inventory and Specialist Military Equipment

• Asset Management (general and SME)

• Financial Management Information System

• Purchase to Pay systems and processes

6 Department of Defence, Annual Report 2009- 2010, p. 9.

7 Australi an National Audit Office, Audit of the financial statements of Australian Government Entities for the p eriod ended 30June 2010, Audit Report no 22 , 2010-2011 , p. 99.

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10 Chapter 1-Annual reports of departments

• Human Resource Management, and

• Information Technology Governance. 8

Financial management framework

1.14 In its last report on Defence's Annual Report 2009-20 I 0, the committee expressed an interest in seeing progress on the outstanding matter of management and oversight of service bureau arrangements between Defence and the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO).

1.15 ANAO noted in its Audit Report no 22, 20 I 0-2011, that the business and operational model between Defence and the DMO includes arrangements that involve DMO managing and processing financial transactions and business processes, on behalf of Defence.

These arrangements require Defence to have in place structured monitoring and oversight activities to provide assurance that controls over purchasing, logistics, and the acquisition of specialised military equipment are effective. Weaknesses in these controls increase the risk of inaccurate balances being reported in Defence's financial statements.

The ANAO continues to identify and report weaknesses in the internal control of each agency that is not addressed with the bureau of service arrangements or other formal arrangements. At the completion of the 2008-2009 audit, the issue in relation to the management and oversight of service bureau arrangement between DMO and Defence remained outstanding.

1.16 ANAO reported that Defence is undertaking a review of the financial management framework which is expected to be finalised in 2010-2011. 9

Strategic Reform Program

1.17 The committee noted in its 2010 report, that Defence stated that the roll out of the Strategic Reform Program, 2008-2009 was 'the start of significant, deep and holistic reform in every part of Defence' 10 . The Secretary and CDF stated in their 2009-2010 overview:

After support to operations the Strategic Reform Program (SRP) was Defence's highest priority activity in 2009- 2010. Throughout 2009-2010

8 Australian National Audit Office, Audit of the financial statements of Australian Government Entities for the period ended 30 June 2010, Audit Report no 22, 2010- 2011 , pp. 99- 103.

9 Australian National Audit Office, Audit of the financial statements of Australian Government Entities for the period ended 30 June 2010, Audit Report no 22, 2010-2011, p. 99. See also in the same report, DMO-Areas of audit focus (relating to service bureau arrangements), paragraphs 5.223 to 5.225, p. 108.

10 Department of Defence, Annual Report 2008- 2009, p. 3.

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Chapter !- Annual reports of departments

Defence has been building a solid foundation to ensure that the SRP reforms are sensibly targeted, achievable and can be sustained into the future. The SRP is a decade-long 'campaign of reform' which will enable Defence to position itself to fund and operate Force 2030. This deliberate and managed approach to reform draws on lesson learned from previous organisation-wide reform efforts designed to deliver substantial cost

reductions for reinvestment. 11

11

1.18 The committee notes that the SRP was agreed by the Government as part of the 2009 Defence White paper. During the period July 2009 to February 2010, detailed plans were developed for the implementation of the SRP.

These plans detailed over 300 separate reform initiatives which will be managed across 15 individual 'reform streams'. This detailed planning work culminated in the development of a SRP portfolio-wide Implementation Plan which was considered by Government in March 2010. The Government endorsed the Plan and implementation of the SRP began in earnest soon thereafter. 12

1.19 The Secretary and CDF stated that to ensure reform is sustainable and

genuine, Defence has built a strong governance and assurance regime around the SRP.

At the top of this framework is regular reporting to the Government and the newly-established Defence Strategic Reform Advisory Board (DSRAB), which will scrutinise the implementation of the SRP and provide independent advice to the Government.

This structure will provide the 'eyes and ears' on the ground to ensure that the SRP is making sustainable and genuine reform, without impacting negatively on capability or safety. 13

Summary

1.20 The committee finds Defence's 2009-2010 annual report to be both an informative and a well-produced account of the department's activities over the past year and that it meets all the requirements for departmental annual reports.

11 Department of Defence, Annual Report 2009-2010, p. 5.

12 Department ofDefence, Annual Report 2009-2010, p. 5.

13 Department of Defence, Annual Report 2009- 2010, p. 7.

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12 Chapter ]-Annual reports of departments

Department of Foreign Affairs

1.21 The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Annual Report 2009-2010 was tabled in the Senate on 27 October 2010.

1.22 The Secretary of the department, Mr Dennis Richardson, stated that 'a fragile global economy and contractions in the gross domestic products of seven of Australia's top 10 trading partners provides a critical context for the Government's foreign and trade policy agenda over the last year':

The changing strategic landscape in East Asia, shaped by the rise of China, was a further important context for our work.

We pushed strongly through the G20, the World Trade Organization (WTO) and bilaterally for a coordinated global response to the economic crisis, to resist protectionist forces and to extend trade liberalisation. We continued to engage within multilateral forums on key issues, including counter-terrorism, non-proliferation, climate change and people smuggling. We engaged with partners on regional economic integration and regional architecture. We strengthened bilateral relations with regional partners and worked to enhance our engagement with Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. 14

Promoting trade and investment

1.23 The Secretary stated that DF AT 'advanced Australian trade policy priorities through facilitating ministerial participation in key multilateral economic forums, including the G20, the WTO, the APEC forum and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)':

To improve market access for Australian exporters, the department continued to work towards concluding the WTO Doha Development Round negotiations. We supported Mr Crean in his efforts, during a gathering of trade ministers in France and at the Cairns Group meeting in Uruguay, to build political will to resume negotiations.

The department coordinated an active schedule of bilateral and regional free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations, including with China, Japan, the Republic of Korea and Malaysia. Australia hosted the first negotiation round of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (a joint FT A with seven of our Asia­ Pacific partners) ... We fmalised a study with India on the feasibility of a bilateral FTA and oversaw the entry into force of the Agreement Establishing the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area. 15

1.24 The committee notes that the department worked to advance Australia's export competiveness, which included working with Austrade to assist Australian

14 Department ofForeign Affairs and Trade, Annual Report 2009- 2010, p. 3.

15 Department ofForeign Affairs and Trade, Annual Report 2009- 2010, p. 6.

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Chapter !- Annual reports of departments 13

businesses access foreign markets and by working with the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (EPIC) to facilitate access to trade finance for Australian exporters. 16

Enhancing national security

1.25 The secretary recorded the department's continued close cooperation with NATO in Afghanistan, including working with other departments and agencies to provide additional diplomatic personnel to civil-military stabilisation efforts. He noted the work of the department in facilitating the participation of the Minister for Foreign Affairs, as well as that of Australia's Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, at

international meetings on Afghanistan. Mr Richardson added that:

With the aim of strengthening regional stability, we worked with other agencies to assist Pakistan with its defence, law enforcement and counter­ terrorism capabilities and participated in Friends of Democratic Pakistan group. 17

1.26 The department also worked with regional partners in its effort to combat people smuggling:

We coordinated a senior officials' meeting of the Bali Process Ad Hoc Group (aimed at developing regional responses to irregular migration in the Asia-Pacific) and assisted with the organisation of the Bali Process Workshop on Protection, Resettlement and Repatriation.

1.27 The secretary concluded his remarks on the subject by stating that the department 'continued to advance the Government's national security agenda and worked cooperatively with other departments on cyber, maritime and aviation ' I 18

secunty.

Summary

1.28 The committee finds the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's annual report to be both an informative and a well-produced account of the department's activities over the past year and that it meets all the requirements for departmental annual reports.

16 Department of foreign Affairs and Trade, Annual Report 2009-2010, pp. 6-7.

17 Department of foreign Affairs and Trade, Annual Report 2009-2010, p. 7.

18 Department of foreign Affairs and Trade, Annual Report 2009-2010, p. 8.

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Department of Veterans' Affairs

1.29 The Department of Veterans' Affairs Annual Report 2009-2010 was presented in the Senate on 16 November 2010. A reprinted version of the report was tabled on 23 November 2010.

1.30 The annual report was originally tabled in both Houses of Parliament on 28 October 2010. It was reprinted in November 2010 due to a production error that caused some figure and table captions to be omitted from the original document. There were no changes to the original document content and reprinting was at no extra cost to the Commonwealth. 19

1.31 The annual report for Department of Veterans' Affairs (DV A) also includes the annual reports of the Repatriation Commission, the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission (MRCC), and the National Treatment Monitoring Committee (NTMC). The Secretary of the department is also the President of the Repatriation Commission and Chair of both the MRCC and the NTMC. 20

1.32 In the President/Secretary's overview, Mr Ian Campbell, PSM, stated that 2009-2010 was another busy year for the Repatriation Commission, the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission and the Department of Veterans' Affairs:

The May budget delivered good news for the veteran and defence communities. Our total budget increased for the coming year by more than $300 million, to a total of $12 billion. This funding will enable us to continue to provide substantial support to members of the veteran community. We still, however, face the challenge of delivering the same high level of service in an environment of lower operating budgets in the coming years. I am confident that the structural changes we introduced last year will continue to shape the Department as it gradually reduces in size. 21

1.33 Mr Campbell reported that in 2009-2010, the two commissions and the department 'achieved a number of significant outcomes of benefit to the veteran and defence communities and to the way the department does business'.

1.34 Some of these major achievements included:

• implementing revisited recommendations of the Clarke review;

19 Department ofVeterans' Affairs, Annual Report 2009- 2010, reprint insert

20 Department of Veterans' Affairs, Annual Report 2009-2010; see pp . 22- 24, for the entities covered by this portfolio, a summary of their roles, and, where applicable, their enabling legislation.

21 Department of Veterans' Affairs, Annual Report 2009- 2010, p. 11.

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Chapter !- Annual reports of departments 15

• establishing case coordinators to manage clients with complex needs as recommended by the Dunt review;

• successfully implementing secure and sustainable pension reforms arising from the Harmer review, with 320,000 veterans, war widows and widowers benefitting from the changes, and

• enhancing security features of DVA health cards for reissue, including issue to veterans living overseas making it easier for them to access treatment when in Australia. 22

Clarke review

1.35 The committee notes the ongoing work by the department to implement revisited recommendations of the Clark review. Mr Campbell explained:

During the year, 470 submissions were received from the public as part of a 2007 election commitment to revisit the unimplemented recommendations of the 2003 Clarke Review of Veterans' Entitlements. In May 2010, the Minister announced the government's response to the revisitation. Of the 45 original recommendations revisited, three have been accepted and already acted upon and a further 22 have been referred for consideration under the current review of military compensation arrangements.

As part of the government's response, the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 (YEA) was amended, through a 20 I 0- 2011 Budget initiative, to add a new category of service titled 'British Nuclear Test Defence Service'. Effective from 1 July 20 I 0, defence personnel who participated in the British nuclear test program in Australia will be able to access compensation and health care treatment under the YEA for conditions accepted as related to this service. Widows and dependent children of deceased defence pariicipants will also have access to pensions and health care treatment as a result of this measure 23

1.36 The secretary concluded his remarks by saying that prior to 1 July 2010, Defence British nuclear test participants could only access compensation under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 and non-liability health care treatment for malignant cancers under the Australian Participants in the British Nuclear Tests (Treat) Act 2006. 24

1.37 The committee finds that the Department of Veterans' Affairs has submitted a comprehensive and well designed annual report that meets all the reporting requirements for a Commonwealth department.

22 Department of Veterans' Affairs, Annual Report 2009- 2010, p. 11.

23 Department of Veterans' Affairs , Annual Report 2009- 2010, p. 12.

24 Department of Veterans' Affairs, Annual Report 2009-2010, p. 12.

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Annual reports of statutory and non-statutory authorities and government companies Defence portfolio

Defence Materiel Organisation

2.1 The annual report of the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) is contained in volume 2 of Defence's Annual Report 2009-201 0. It was tabled in the Senate on 24 November 2010.

2.2 On 1 July 2005, the organisation became a prescribed agency under the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997. It has a CEO with statutory responsibilities and authority under the Act. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) DMO also has joint responsibilities to the Secretary and the Chief of the Defence Force under section 9 A of the Defence Act 1903 and is delegated significant powers from the

Secretary to manage and allocate staff resources under the Public Service Act 1999'. The majority of its funding comes from Defence under agency agreements. 1

2.3 DMO is one of Australia's largest project management organisations. Its business 'is complex and involves purchasing, upgrading and maintaining a range of specialist military and other equipment. It is typified by high-end technology and highly complex project and systems integration, and demands a mature approach to risk management'. 2

2.4 In his year in review, the CEO, Dr Stephen Gumley, noted that the DMO had again made a major contribution to overseas deployments and to providing and supporting equipment needed urgently overseas:

Responding to emerging operational demands within very tight timeframes is challenging. The reprioritisation of work is often a test of the adaptability of our people and processes, and the capacity and responsiveness of our suppliers. It can also, on occasion, leave us vulnerable to criticism for delays with lower-priority tasks, but there is no more important task for the DMO than to ensure the provision of safe, fit-for-purpose and high quality equipment to the men and women of the ADF.

From the supply and maintenance of front-line warfighting equipment in the Middle East to the modification of commercial vehicles to be used as patient transports for wounded soldiers on their return to Australia, the DMO continues to respond well to the operational requirements of the

ADF. 3

Defence Annual Report 2009- 2010, Volume two, Defence Materiel Organi sation, p.17.

2 Defence Annual Report 2009- 2010, Volume two, Defence Materiel Organisation, p.17.

3 Defence Annual Report 2009-2010, Volume two , Defence Materiel Organisation, p. 2.

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18 Chapter 2- Annual reports of statutory and non-statutory authorities and government companies

2.5 Dr Gumley said that DMO 'is witnessing the tangible results of the continued hard work of hundreds of DMO staff as carefully laid plans-each many years in the making-are now coming to fruition'. 4

Financial statements

2.6 The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) performed financial statement audits on all agencies for the period 2009-20 I 0. The audit report for the DMO states:

At the conclusion of the 2009-20 I 0 audit, three moderate audit issues remained outstanding. These issues relate to the DMO's financial reporting framework, the reporting of the commitments in the financial statements, and the need to improve bureau service arrangements between Defence and the DMO.

The DMO has been proactive in actioning issues identified by the ANAO. This is reflected in the decrease in the number of audit issues and as a result four moderate audit issues have been resolved.

An unqualified audit report was issued on I 0 September 2010.5

2. 7 The committee notes that the Australian National Audit Office has again provided an unqualified opinion on the DMO's 2009-20 I 0 Financial Statements. Dr Gumley stated that:

Additional assurance activities were undertaken to support the 2009- 2010 Financial Statements. These activities highlighted that our financial processes and records are of a satisfactory standards, but there is still room for improvements.'

I am very proud of our financial management performance, it reflects well on the whole of the DMO as a key measure of our professional

management and our credibility with Defence, the central agencies and with Government. 6

2.8 The committee looks forward to reviewing these results against next year's audit of financial statements.

2.9 The committee finds that DMO's annual report provides a comprehensive coverage of the organisation's activities during 2009-2010. The committee considers that DMO fully met its respective reporting requirements.

4 Defence Annual Report 2009- 20 I 0, Volume two, Defence Materiel Organisation, p. 2.

5 Australian National Audit Office, Audit of the financial statements of Australian Government Entities for the period ended 30 June 2010, Audit Report no 22, 2010-201 I, p. 109. See also in the same report, Defence- Financial management framework (relating to service bureau arrangements), paragraph s 5.184 to 5.186, p. 99.

6 Defence Annual Report 2009-20 I 0, Volume two, Defence Materiel Organisation, p. 4.

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Chapter 2- Annual reports of statutory and non-statutory authorities and government companies 19

Australia11 War Memorial

2.10 The Australian War Memorial Annual Report 2009-2010 was tabled in the Senate on 26 October 2010.

2.11 The Australian War Memorial (A WM) is a statutory authority within the Veterans' Affairs portfolio and functions in accordance with the requirements of the Australian War Memorial Act 1980 and the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies (CAC) Act 1997.

7

2.12 The purpose of the A WM 1s 'to commemorate the sacrifice of those

Australians who have died in war'. 8

2.13 The Council Chair, General Peter Cosgrove AC MC (Ret'd), stated that 'at the end of yet another year ... the Australian War Memorial has achieved much, reached many milestones, and overcome various challenges'. 9 General Cosgrove stated further that:

In the broader Australian community there has been a certain dynamism, with an evolving political and economic landscape, including, thankfully, the steady recovery from the global financial crisis. The Memorial cannot operate in isolation from the state of the national economy which impacts on appropriations. Our present circumstances reflect this and the corporate

sector's ability to provide substantial funding to cultural institutions.

This year has seen a further reduction in the operational budget for the Memorial, and for other federal cultural agencies, through the ongoing application of the efficiency dividend. The challenge for the Memorial is to do more with less, but there are limits to how far this approach can be taken. In response, the Memorial has continued to review the ways activities and events are provided to the public. Cuts have been unavoidable in these areas. 10

2.14 General Cosgrove stated that the continuing reduction in the operating budget of the Memorial means that further rationalisation of staff positions and program has had to occur during this financial year, and will continue in the next. 11

Major projects

2.15 The committee notes that the Memorial has completed the Eastern precinct, which opened in April2010. The Chair explained:

This has altered the previously undeveloped eastern side of the Memorial's grounds by providing a new cafe facility, a large underground carpark, and

7 Australian War Memorial, Annual Report 2009-20 I 0, pp. 3, 45-53.

8 Australian War Memorial, Annual Report 2009-2010, p. 9.

9 Australian War Memorial, Annual Report 2009- 2010, p. 1.

I 0 Australian War Memorial, Annual Report 2009- 20 I 0, p. 1.

11 Australian War Memorial, Annual Report 2009-2010, p. 1.

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20 Chapter 2-Annual reports of statutory and non-statutory authorities and government companies

the long-awaited National Service memorial that sits beautifully amid the enhanced landscaping. We are looking forward to the dedication of the National Service memorial in September later this year. 12

Council was also pleased to see this year the continued dedication of management and staff to progress the Enterprise Content Management project. This project is scheduled for implementation in late 2010, and will improve the Memorial's information systems by the introduction of three integrated IT components

2.16 The Chair concluded on this topic by stating that the remaining major project for this past year has been the half-life refurbishment of the Second World War galleries, and the redevelopment of the Hall of Valour ... both projects are ongoing and due for completion in 2010. 13

2.17 The committee finds that the A WM's annual report provides a comprehensive coverage of the organisation's activities during 2009-2010. It is an informative and well-produced document, which allows the reader to access information easily. The committee is of the view that this report complies with all reporting requirements for statutory authorities.

Judge Advocate General

2.18 The Judge Advocate General report for the period 1 January to 31 December 2009 was tabled in the Senate on 29 September 2010.

2.19 The Office of Judge Advocate General of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) is a statutory body created under the Defence Force Discipline Act 1982 (DFDA). The Judge Advocate General (JAG) must be, or have been, a Federal Court or a Supreme Court judge. 14

2.20 The functions of the JAG are prescribed by the DFDA. It should be noted that legislation subsequent to the High Court ruling in Lane v Morrison have effectively restored to the JAG the roles and responsibilities that existed prior to the legislation that created the Australian Military Court. The JAG is responsible for the following functions:

• reporting annually to Parliament on the operation of DFDA the regulations, the Rules of Procedures, and, the operation of any other law of the Commonwealth or of the ACT insofar as that law relates to the discipline of the Defence Force;

• making Procedural Rules for Service tribunals, being Court Martial and Defence Force Magistrate Rules, and Summary Authority Rules;

12 Australian War Memorial , Annual Report 2009-2010, p. 2.

13 Australian War Memorial , Annual Report 2009-2010 , p. I.

14 Judge Advocate General , Annual Report for 2009, p. 1.

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Chapter 2- Annual reports of statutory and non- statutory authorities and government companies 21

• nominating the judge advocate (JA) for a court martial and Defence Force magistrates (DFMs);

• nominating to a Service Chief, officers to be members of the judge advocate's panel;

• appointing DFMs from officers appointed as members of the JA's panel;

• nominating to a Service Chief, legal officers for the purposes of DFDA

s.l54(1)(a); and

• if requested, providing a final and binding legal report in connection with the internal review of proceedings before Service tribunals. 15

2.21 The current Judge Advocate General, Major General the Honourable Justice Tracey, was re-appointed on 10 February 2010, for a term of four years. He is also President of the Defence Force Discipline Appeals Tribunal (DFDAT).

2.22 On 26 August 2009, the High Court of Australia handed down its decision in Lane v Morrison, declaring invalid, Division 3 of the Part VII of the DFDA. Following that decision, the Military Justice (Interim Measures) Acts (Nos 1 and 2) 2009 were enacted. 16 The JAG commented that:

The legislation concerned was struck down for non-compliance with the Constitution. There was no criticism of the work of the AMC or of the standards of justice dispensed. Tangible evidence of the quality of the work of the AMC is provided by the very small number of appeals taken to the DFDAT, and by the independent review of the military justice system, which then included the AMC, conducted by Sir Laurence Street AC, KCMG, QC and Air Marshal Les Fisher AO FRAeS, MAP (Ret'd) (the Street/ Fisher Review).

So far as appeals to the DFDA T are concerned, there were four appeals taken from the AMC during its twenty months of operation. Of these, only one was successful. 17

2.23 The JAG acknowledged the work of Defence Legal Office, stating that the High Court decision striking down the legislation creating the AMC had the immediate result of rendering the disciplinary system inoperable:

The fact that this hiatus was restricted to a period of weeks is a testament to the extreme hard work, forethought and planning of all those involved in instituting the interim measures . . . this process was, to a large extent, managed by Defence Legal. 18

15 Judge Advocate General , Annual Report for 2008, p. 3.

16 Judge Advocate General , Annual Report for 2009, p. 2.

17 Judge Advocate General, Annual Report for 2009, p. 6.

18 Judge Advocate General , Annual Report for 2009, p. 8.

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22 Chapter 2-Annual reports of statutory and non-statutory authorities and government companies

Following the decision in Lane v Morrison, it was necessary for the two volumes of the DLM to be substantially re-written to reflect the reinstatement of the proceedings before courts-martial and DFM. While the volumes have not been re-issued in hard copy, the Defence Legal Office is to be commended on the extent of the material that was made available in electronic form . 19

2.24 In conclusion, the JAG stated that it is disappointing that the significant effort that had gone into reforming the military justice system in recent years should have been found constitutionally wanting:

The interim arrangements appear to be operating satisfactorily. However, the number of matters proceeding to court martial (as opposed to DFM) is placing a burden on the available administrative support out of proportion with the demands in recent years. 20

2.25 The JAG's 2009 annual report again demonstrates the value of having such a strong independent civilian judicial oversight of the operation of the DFDA and related legislation.

2.26 The committee finds that the report adequately complies with all reporting requirements for statutory authorities.

Other reports

2.27 Other Defence portfolio authorities; agencies and/or companies which had their annual reports examined by the committee, but were not otherwise commented upon in this edition, include:

Army and Air Force Canteen Service (trading as Frontline Defence Services)

Australian Military Forces Relief Trust Fund Australian Strategic Policy Institute Defence Force Remuneration Tribunal Defence Force Retirement and Death Benefits Scheme

Defence Housing Australia

Military Superannuation and Benefits Scheme Repatriation Medical Authority Royal Australian Air Force Welfare Trust Fund Royal Australian Navy Central Canteens Board Royal Australian Navy Relief Trust Fund

Veterans' Review Board.

2.28 The committee considers that all the annual reports of the above-mentioned organisations fully met their respective reporting requirements.

19 Judge Advocate General , Annual Report for 2009, p. 13.

20 Judge Advocate General, Annual Report for 2009, p. 17.

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Chapter 2- Annual reports of statutory and non-statutory authorities and government companies 23

Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio

Australian Agency for lntemational Development

2.29 The Australian Agency for International Development Annual Report 2009-2010 was tabled in the Senate on 27 October 2010.

2.30 AusAID provides advice to the government on development policy and manages the implementation of Australia's overseas aid program. AusAID plans, leads and coordinates Australia's poverty reduction activities and its response to humanitarian disasters. It evaluates and improves Australia's overseas aid program as well as analyses and publishes data relating to development. 21

2.31 Its objective is 'to assist developing countries reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development, in line with Australia's national interest. The focus of Australia's development assistance on poverty 'is guided by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the internationally agreed targets for poverty reduction'. 22

2.32 AusAID is an administratively autonomous agency within the Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio. The Director General reports directly to the Minister for Foreign Affairs on all aspects of aid policy and operations and is responsible for the agency's financial and personnel management. 23

2.33 The Director General, Mr Peter Baxter, stated in his review that the impact of the global recession continued to be felt by many developing countries throughout 2009-2010:

While a global recovery is now underway, with growth strongest in the major developing economies, uncertainties remain and many smaller developing countries continue to struggle. The World Bank has estimates that there will be 64 million more people in developing countries living in extreme poverty by the end of 2010 than would have been the case without the crisis.

Having followed a prolonged period of volatility in food and fuel prices, the global recession exacerbated hardship and suffering for many people in developing countries. Falling revenues also made it increasingly difficult for some governments to provide essential services. In this context, meeting the Millennium Development Goals remains a challenge for many

developing countries, including those in our immediate area. 24

2.34 Mr Baxter said that Australia responded effectively to the crisis by building partner country resilience and implementing targeted assistance programs:

21 A usA I D, Annual Report 2009-201 0, p. iii.

22 AusAID, Annual Report 2009-2010, p. iii.

23 AusAID, Annual Report 2009- 2010, pp. iii, 16.

24 AusAID, Annual Report 2009- 2010, p. 2.

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24 Chapter 2-Annual reports of statutory and non-statutory authorities and government companies

We gave priority to generating employment and restoring growth, supporting delivery of basic services, such as health care and education, and protecting the vulnerable.

Against this backdrop the Australian Government provided an estimated $3.818 billion in official development assistance (ODA) in 2009-2010, and the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Smith, reaffirmed the government's commitment to increase ODA to 0.5 per cent of gross national income by 2015- 2016 to address poverty in the Asia Pacific region and globally. 25

2.35 The committee notes that this is in keeping with the objectives of the AusAID 2010 Director General's blueprint 2007:

... AusAID's overseas presence, which is primarily in the Asia Pacific region, has grown to meet the increased need for effective management and implementation of our expanding development program. Best practice networks for staff working on similar development topics in different program areas, known as thematic networks, and the Office of Development Effectiveness exist to enhance AusAID's analytical capacity and the quality and performance of its programs. These are further supported by a responsive and connected management framework which incorporates stronger business systems and processes and controls. 26

ANAO p elformance audit

2.36 In its report on annual reports last year, the committee drew attention to the ANAO's audit report on AusAID's management of Australia's aid program. It identified program running costs as an important area of the aid program's funding that 'is not yet transparent'. The audit suggested that over the last decade AusAID has 'increasingly funded staff and other administration costs using the administered appropriation, on the basis of their proximity to aid'. This practice was based on AusAID's interpretation of government guidelines. The audit found that:

AusAID's approach to classifying expenses is not in line with conventional practices, and the extent of use of aid funds in this matter is not transparent. It is, therefore, difficult for external stakeholders to hold AusAID to account on the costs that it controls. 27

2.37 It concluded:

25 AusAID, Annual Report 2009-2010, p. 2.

26 AusAJD, Annual Report 2009-2010, p. 10 .

27 Australian National Audit Office, AusAID's Management of the Expanding Australian Aid Program, 17ze A ustralian Agency for International Development (A usAID), The Auditor­ General, Audit Report No. 15, 2009-2010, Performance Audit, p. 22.

188

Chapter 2- Annua l reports of statutory and non- statutory authorities and government companies 25

Clarifying the classification of AusAID's expenses would improve transparency and accountability of aid program expenditure, in a way that maintains the integrity of the budget system. 28

2.38 To improve transparency and accountability for aid program expenditure, the ANAO recommended that AusAID:

• obtain clarification from the Department of Finance and Deregulation on its use of administered expenses for departmental purposes; and

• if the current approach to classifying administered expenses is to be

continued, disclose, in its annual report, details of the program, role and cost of Australian Public service and locally engaged staff funded from the administered appropriation, as well as travel, accommodation, information technology and other administration costs paid from this source. 29

2.39 AusAID agreed with this recommendation and the Department ofFinance and Deregulation supported it. In this regard, the committee looks forward to a change in practice consistent with the ANAO's recommendation.

Areas of audit focus

2.40 The ANAO's audit approach identified the following areas that were significant in terms of their potential impact on the 2009-2010 financial statements:

• valuation, accounting and reporting disclosures associated with Australia Indonesia Partnership for Reconstruction and Development (AIPRD) loan agreements;

•

•

•

•

•

28

29

30

accounting, reporting and disclosures relating to international payments and subscriptions, primarily International Development Association/ Asian Development Fund (IDA/ADF), and multi-lateralliabilities and grant funding;

appropriation accounting and disclosures;

administered and departmental classification of items;

IT general and application controls as they relate to the financial statements; and

financial statement preparation processes. 30

Australian National Audit Office, AusAID's Management of the Expanding Australian Aid Program, The Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), The Auditor­ General, Audit Report No. 15 , 2009-20 I 0, Performance Audit, p. 22.

Australian National Audit Office, AusAID's Management of the Expanding Australian Aid Program, The Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) , The Auditor­ General, Audit Report No. 15, 2009- 2010, Performance Audit, p. 24.

Australian National Audit Office, Audit of the financial statements of Australian Government Entities for the p eriod ended 30 Jun e 2010, Audit Report no 22, 2010-2011, pp. 167-168.

189

26 Chapter 2-Annual reports of statutory and non-statutory authorities and government compan ies

2.41 The committee notes that audit coverage of these matters was finalised during the 2009-20 I 0 final audit. The ANAO concluded the matter by stating that there were no significant or moderate audit issues identified during the 2009-20 I 0 audit. 3 1

2.42 The committee finds that AusAID's annual report provides a comprehensive coverage of the organisation's activities during 2009-20 I 0. As usual the committee considers it to be generally of high quality; it is informative and well produced. The committee concludes that this report complies with all reporting requirements for non-statutory authorities.

Australian Trade Commission

2.43 The Australian Trade Commission Annual Report 2009-20 I 0 was tabled in the Senate on 16 November 20IO.

2.44 The Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) is a statutory authority established by the Australian Trade Commission Act 1985 and is responsible to the Minister for Trade and the Australian Government. On 1 July 2006, following amendments to the Australian Trade Commission Act 1985 and the Exp ort Market Development Grants Act 1997, Austrade became an agency under the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 and the Public Service Act 1999 and is

managed by a Chief Executive Officer. 32

2.45 The annual report states that 'Austrade is the Australian Government's trade and investment development agency helping businesses of all sizes across all sectors to success in international trade and investment'.33

2.46 The Chief Executive Officer, Mr Peter Grey, in his first 'year in review', noted that a 12.2 per cent contraction in the volume of global trade in 2009 has provided a challenging backdrop for Australian exporters.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) flows have been impacted to an even greater extent during this period, with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) reporting a 37 per cent decline in global FDI inflows in 2009.

Australian exports have nevertheless shown notabl e resi lience, with the Treasury reporting that export growth for Australia in 2009 was among the hi ghest in the world. 34

3 1 Australi an Nati onal Audit Office, Audit of the fina ncial statements of Australian Government Entities for the p eriod ended 30 June 2010, Audit Report no 22, 20 10- 20 11 , p. 168.

32 Australian Trade Commi ss ion, Annual Report 2006- 2007, p. 6; an d Australi an Trade Commi ssion , Annual Report 2009- 20 10, p. 5.

33 Australian Trade Co mmi ss ion, Annu al Report 2009- 2010, p. 5.

34 Australian Trade Commissi on, Annu al Report 2009- 20 I 0, p. 2.

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Chapter 2-Annual reports of statutory and non-statutory authoriti es and go vernm ent companies 27

2.47 The committee notes that Austrade's operating environment is expected to remain dynamic and complex and will continue to be impacted by changes in the global economy. Mr Grey stated:

However, according to the Treasury, Australian export volumes are forecast to increase by approximately 5 per cent and the terms of trade are forecast to grow by more than 14 per cent in 2010-2011 to their highest level in 60 years. 35

2.48 The committee notes that during the course of the year, Austrade took responsibility for a number of significant new projects:

• The Government's Brand Australia program, with the launch of Australia Unlimited in Australia and internationally;

• Preparing for the 1 July 2010 transfer of responsibility for the

international marketing of education to Austrade from the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations;

• Extending Austrade's network in India to support the Government's commitment to enhance Australia's relationship with India; and

• Working with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) to promote two-way trade and investment, and strengthen institutional and people-to-people links through the Shanghai World Expo. 36

2.49 In addition, with the conclusion of the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement, Austrade has worked closely with DF AT and other parties to help Australian businesses leverage opportunities made possible through the agreement. 37

2.50 The committee finds that Austrade's annual report provides a comprehensive coverage of the organisation's activities during 2009-2010. The committee concludes that this report complies with all reporting requirements for statutory authorities.

Other reports

2.51 Other Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio authorities and/or agencies which had their annual reports examined by the committee but were otherwise not commented upon in this edition, include:

Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research

Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office

Export Finance and Insurance Corporation.

35 Australian Trade Commiss ion, Annual Report 2009- 2010, p. 3.

36 Australian Trade Commiss ion, Annual Report 2009- 2010, p. 2

37 Australian Trade Commission, Annual Report 2009- 2010, p. 2.

191

28 Chapter 2- Annual reports of statutory and non-statutory authoriti es and government companies

2.52 The committee considers that all the annual reports of the abovementioned organisations fully met their respective reporting requirements.

Senator Mark Bishop

Chair

192

Appendix 1

Annual reports referred to the committee Defence portfolio

Departments

Department ofDefence

Department ofVeterans' Affairs, Repatriation Commission and the National Treatment Monitoring Committee (NA TMOC)

Statutory authorities

Army and Air Force Canteen Service Board of Management

Australian Military Court

Australian Military Forces Relief Trust Fund

Australian Strategic Policy Institute Limited

Australian War Memorial

Commonwealth Ombudsman and Defence Force Ombudsman

Defence Force Remuneration Tribunal

Defence Force Retirement and Death Benefits Authority

Defence Housing Authority

Defence Materiel Organisation

Director of Military Prosecutions

Judge Advocate General

Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Office of the (not tabled)

Military Superannuation and Benefits Board of Trustees No 1

Repatriation Medical Authority

Royal Australian Air Force Veterans' Residences Trust Fund

Royal Australian Navy Central Canteens Fund

Royal Australian Navy Relief Trust Fund

Veterans' Review Board

193

30 Appendix ]-Annual reports referred to the Committee

Non-statutory authorities and government companies

ASC Pty Ltd, formerly known as Australian Submarine Corporation Pty Limited

Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio

Department

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Statutory authorities

Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research

Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office

Australian Trade Commission (Austrade)

Export Finance and Insurance Corporation

Non-statutory authorities and government companies

Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID)

194

Appendix 2

Compliance table of the annual reports referred to the committee for scrutiny for the period 2009-2010

Scrutiny of reports tabled by 31 October 2010

@ Date report * Date report

Enab ling legislation

submitted to presented to

Date on letter minister (if Presid ent

Department/agency and of transmittal known)

timelin ess % Date report

# Date tabled in

received by

the Senate

minister (if A Date tabled in kn own) H/Representatives

Departments

Defence Public Service Act 1999, 19 Nov 10 @ 10 Nov 10 #24Nov10

[Vol 1]

s63 (1 ). % 10 Nov 10 1\24 Nov 10

To be tabled by 31 October.

Defence Materiel Prescribed agency 1

19 Nov 10 #24Nov10

Organisation under the Financial 1\ 24 Nov 10

[Vol 2]

Management and Accountability Act 1997, and the Public Service Act 1999, s63 (1).

To be tabled by 31 October.

Foreign Affairs and Public Service Act 1999, 23 Sep 10 @ 14 Sep 10 # 27 Oct 10

Trade

[Vol 1]

s63 (1). % 14 Sep 10 A270ctl0

To be tabled by 31 October.

A prescribed agency is an agency established by regulation under the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997. It provides financial management authority to, and required accountability by, the Ch ief Executive of an agency. An agency can be prescribed but not be an independent entity under

the Public Service Act 1999. This is the case for the DMO, which is prescribed and so independent under the FMA Act but is part of the Department of Defence for the purposes of the Public Service Act 1999, Defence Materiel Organisation Annual Report, 2005- 2006, p. 186.

195

32 Append ix 2-Scrutiny of re ports tabled by 31 October 2010

Scrutiny of reports tabled by 31 October 2010

@ Date report * Date report

Enabling legislation

subm itted to presented to

Date on letter minister (if Presid ent

Department/ agency and of transmittal known)

% Date report # Date tabled in

timeliness the Senate received by

minister (if " Date tabled in

known) H/Representatives

Departments

Veterans' Affairs Public Service Act 1999, 13 Oct 10 @ 15 Oct 10 " 280ct10

s63 (1) and (2); % 15 Oct 10 # 16 Nov 10

Financial Management and Accountability Act 1\ 18 Nov 10

1997, s45 and s57(7); A reprint was

Defence Service Homes tabled on

Act 1918, s50B; War #23 Nov 10

Graves Act 1980, s13(1)

To be tabled by

Incorporating the 3 1 October.

repmts of .. .

Repatriation Veterans ' Entitlement 14 Oct 10

Commission Act 1986, s215

and

The National Veterans' Entitlement Treatment Act 1986, s90A

Monitoring [Both reports to be

Committee tabled by 31 October. ]

(NATMOC)

196

Appendix 2-Scrutiny of reports tabled by 31 October 2010 33

Scrutiny of reports tabled by 31 October 2010

@ Date report * Date report

Enabling legislation

submitted to presented to

Department/ agency

Date on letter minister (if President

and of transmittal known)

% Date report # Date tabled in the

timeliness Senate received by

minister (if A Date tabled in

known) H/Representatives

Defence-statutory authorities

Army and Air Established by 15 Sep 10 @ 19 Oct 10 # 26 Oct 10

Force Canteen regulations under the % 19 Oct 10 1\26 Oct 10 Service, trading as Defence Force Act Frontline Defence 1903; and, Services Commonwealth

Authorities and Companies Act 1997, s9. Minister to table within 15 days of receiving report (by 31 Oct).

Australian Military Services Trust Funds Report of @ 28 Oct 10 # 16 Nov 10

Forces ReliefTrust Act 1947; and, operations %28 Oct 10 1\ 16 Nov 10

Fund Commonwealth dated

Authorities and 14 Sep 10

Companies Act 1997, s9. Minister to table within 15 days of receiving report (by 31 Oct).

Australian Strategic Commonwealth 07 Oct 10 @ 19 Oct 10 1\ 28 Oct 10

Policy Institute Authorities and % 19 Oct 10 # 16Nov 10

Limited Companies Act 1997,

s36. Minister to table within 15 days of receiving report (by 31 Oct).

Australian War Common wealth 11Aug10 # 26 Oct 10

Memorial Authorities and

Companies Act 1997, s9. Minister to table within 15 days of receiving report (by 31 Oct).

197

34 Appendix 2-Scrutiny of reports tabled by 31 October 2010

Scrutiny of reports tabled by 31 October 2010 @ Date report * Date report

Enabling legislation

submitted to presented to

Department/agency

Date on letter minister (if President

and of transmittal known)

timeliness % Date report

# Date tabled in the

received by

Senate

minister (if A Date tabled in known) H/Representatives

Defence Force 14 Oct 10 @ 14 Oct 10 A280ct10

Remuneration % 14 Oct 10 # 16Nov 10

Tribunal

Defence Force Defence Force 21 Sep 10 @ 28 Sep 10 # 26 Oct 10

Retirement and Retirement and Death %28 Sep 10 A260ct10

Death Benefits Benefits Act 1973, Authority s16(2). To be tabled by

minister as soon as practicable (by 31 Oct).

Defence Housing Defence Housing 15 Oct 10 @ 15 Oct 10 A280ct10

Australia Authority Act 1987; and, % 15 Oct 10 # 16Nov 10

the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997, s9. Minister to table within

15 days ofreceiving report (by 31 Oct).

Judge Advocate Defence Force Report for #29Sep10

General Discipline Act 1982, 2009

section 196A(l). As 10 May 10

soon as practicable after 31 December each year. JAG reports for the period 1 January to

31 December each year.

Military Military Superannuation Letter of @ 13 Oct 10 # 260ct 10

Superannuation and and Benefits Act 1991, transmission % 13 Oct 10 A 26 Oct 10 Benefits Board of s26(3). Minister to table not dated Trustees 15 days after receiving

report (by 31 Oct).

Repatriation Veterans' Entitlement 17 Sep 10 @21Sep10 * 14 Oct 10

Medical Authority Act 1986, s196B %23 Sep 10 # 25 Oct 10

(RMA) To be tabled by

31 October.

198

Appendix 2- Scrutiny of reports tabled by 31 October 2010 35

Scrutiny of reports tabled by 31 October 2010 @ Date report * Date report

Enabling legislation

submitted to presented to

Department/agency

Date on letter minister (if President

and of transmittal known)

timeliness % Date report

# Date tabled in the

received by Senate

minister (if A Date tabled in

known) H/Representatives

Royal Australian Services Trust Funds @ 18 Nov 10 1\25 Nov 10

Air Force Veterans' Act 1947; and, % 18 Nov 10 # 09 Feb11

Residences Trust Commonwealth Fund Authorities and

Companies Act 1997, s9. Minister to table within 15 days of receiving report (by 31 Oct).

Royal Australian Services Trust Funds Report of @280ct10 # 16Nov 10

Air Force Welfare Act 1947; and, operations %280ct10 1\ 16 Nov 10

Trust Fund Commonwealth dated

Authorities and 27 Aug 10

Companies Act 1997, s9. Minister to table within 15 days of receiving report (by 31 Oct).

Royal Australian Navy (Canteens) Report of @ 18 Oct 10 1\ 28 Oct 10

Navy Central Regulations 1954 under operations % 18 Oct 10 # 16 Nov 10

Canteens Fund the Defence Act 1910. dated

Commonwealth 23 Sep 10

Authorities and Companies Act 1997.

Ro yal Australian Services Trust Funds Report of @ 28 Oct 10 # 16Nov 10

Navy ReliefTrust Act 1947; and, operations %28 Oct 10 1\ 16 Nov 10

Fund Commonwealth dated

Authorities and 23 Sep 10

Companies Act 1997, s9 . Minister to table within 15 days of receiving report (by 31 Oct).

Veterans' Review Veterans' Entitlement 01 Oct 10 @ 18 Oct 10 # 27 Oct 10

Board Act 1986, subsection % 19 Oct 10 1\ 27 Oct 10

215(4). To be tabled by 31 October.

199

36 Appendix 2-Scrutiny of reports tabled by 31 October 2010

Scrutiny of reports tabled by 31 October 2010

@ Date report * Date report

Enabling legislation

submitted to presented to

Department/agency

Date on letter minister (if President

and of transmittal known)

% Date report # Date tabled in the

timeliness Senate received by

minister (if A Date tabled in known) H/Representatives

Foreign Affairs & Trade-statutory authorities

Australian Centre Australian Centre for October 201 0 @ 05 Oct 10 A280ctl0 for International International Agriculture Agriculture Research

% 05 Oct 10 # 16Nov 10

Research (ACIAR) Act 1982, s39. To be tabled by 31 October.

Australian Nuclear Non- 28 Oct 10 @ 22 Oct 10 # 270ctl0

Safeguards and Proliferation %22 Oct 10 1\ 27 Oct 10

Non- Proliferation (Safeguards) Act 1987, Office s51 ; Chemical Weapons

(Prohibition) Act 1994, s96; Comprehensive Nuclear-Test- Ban Treaty Act 1998, s71.

To be tabled by 31 October.

Australian Trade Australian Trade 18 Sep 10 @ 15 Sep 10 A280ctl0

Commission Commission Act 1985, % 15 Sep 10 # 16Nov 10

(Austrade) s92; the Financial

Management and Accountability Act 1997, and the Public Service Act 1999

To be tabled by 31 October.

Export Finance and Commonwealth No letter of @ 07 Oct 10 # 26 Oct 10

Insurance Authorities and transmittal. %08 Oct 10 A260ctl0

Corporation (EFIC) Companies Act 1997, s9. Summary and Minister to table within statement by the 15 days of receiving Board dated report (by 31 Oct). 20 Aug 10

200

Appendix 2- Scrutiny of reports tabled by 31 October 2010 37

Scrutiny of reports tabled by 31 October 2010

@ Date report * Date report

Enabling legislation

submitted to presented to

Department/agency

Date on letter minister (if President

and of transmittal known)

% Date report # Date tabled in the

timeliness Senate received by

minister (if 1\ Date tabled in

known) H/Representatives

Defence and FA& T - Non- statutory authorities and government companies

ASC Pty Ltd ASC Pty Ltd is a 15 Sep 10 # 23Novl0

proprietary company limited by shares registered under the Corporations Act and is subject to the

Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997.

Australian Agency Public Service Act 23 Sep 10 @14Sepl0 # 27 Oct 10

for International 1999, s63. %14Sepl0 /\ 270ctl0

Development To be tabled by

(AusAID) 31 October.

[FA&T Vol2]

201

202

Appendix 3

Reporting requirements and guidelines Departmental reports 1

Authority for requirements

These annual report requirements are prepared pursuant to subsections 63(2) and 70(2) of the Public Service Act 1999 and were approved by the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit on 23 June 2010.

Commencement and reporting period

The requirements apply for annual reports for financial years ending on or after 30 June 2010.

Application

(1) The requirements apply to annual reports for departments of state pursuant to subsection 63(2) and for executive agencies pursuant to subsection 70(2) of the Public Service Act 1999. As a matter of policy, they also apply to prescribed agencies under section 5 of the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (FMA Act).

In respect of Commonwealth authorities and companies, section 9 of the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 (CAC Act) provides that the directors of Commonwealth authorities must prepare an annual report for the responsible Minister who must, in tum, table the annual report in both houses of the Parliament 'as soon as practicable'. Part 1 of

Schedule 1 to the CAC Act details content that must be included in annual reports. Under section 36 of the CAC Act, the content of annual reports for Commonwealth companies is based on reporting requirements under the Corporations Act 2001.

(2) In most cases the term 'department' is used in these requirements to refer to all departments and agencies that will be preparing annual reports under these requirements. Similarly, 'secretary' is used to refer to a departmental secretary or to an agency head of one of those other bodies.

(3) In the case of an agency (including an executive agency established under section 61 of the Public Service Act 1999) that is neither prescribed under

Excerpt from the Requirements for annual reports for departments, executive agencies and FMA Act bodies, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, 23 June 2010, pp. 1 and 2.

203

40 Appendix 3- Reporting requirements and guidelines

the FMA Act nor comes with the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 (CAC Act), these requirements may be used to the extent that they are consistent with any reporting requirements contained in the agency's own legislation (if any).

(4) In cases of machinery of government change during the reporting period, where functions or offices are gained or lost, the established practice is that the gaining department must report on that function or office for the entirety of the reporting period, whether or not the losing department continues to exist. However, in relation to financial statements, the general rules is that each Chief Executive who had responsibility for a function must sign off on financial statements relating to the period of their individual responsibility and include them in their own annual reports. If, for any reason, the losing department does not produce an annual report that covers the period it had the function, the financial statements from the earlier period must be published in the gaining department's annual report.

Timetable

A copy of the annual report is to be laid before each House of the Parliament on or before 31 October in the year in which the report is given.

The provisions of subsections 34C(4)-(7) of the Acts Inte1pretation Act 1901 apply in relation to an application for extension of the period.

Where an agency's own legislation provides a timeframe for its annual report, for example 'within six months' or 'as soon as practicable after 30 June in each year', that timeframe applies. An extension under the Acts Interpretation Act would need to 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.

Commonwealth authorities and companies

The Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 (th e CAC Act) contains detailed rules about reporting and accountability for commonwealth authorities and commonwealth companies. Commonwealth companies also must meet other reporting requirements as set out in Corporations Law .

The Commonwealth Authorities and Companies (R eport of Operations) Orders 2002, made under section 48 of the CAC Act, enables organisations to comply with the specific requirements for tabling reports.

The notes from the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies (R eport of Operations) Orders 2002 are set out below.

204

Appendix 3- Reporting requirements and guidelines 41

• Basis for annual report: Section 9 of the CAC Act requires directors of a Commonwealth authority to prepare an annual report in accordance with Schedule 1 of the CAC Act.

• Report of operations requirement: The annual report must include a report of operations prepared by the directors in accordance with Finance Minister's Orders (clause 1 of Schedule 1 ofthe CAC Act).

• Financial statements requirement: The annual report must include financial statements prepared by the directors (clause 2 of Schedule 1 of the CA C Act) and the Auditor-General's report on those financial statements.

• Tabling requirements: Section 9 of the CAC Act provides that the directors must give the annual report to the responsible Minister by the 15 1h day of the 41h month after the end of the Commonwealth authority's financial year. Where a Commonwealth authority's financial year ends on 30 June, this means that the annual report must be given to the responsible Minister by 15 October. The responsible Minister must in tum table the annual report in both Houses of the Parliament 'as as soon as practicable'. Under subsection 34C(3) of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901, this means within 15 sitting days.

Non-statutory bodies

The annual report of a non-statutory body shall contain the following information (after Senate Hansard, 8 December 1987, pp. 2643-2645):

• The annual report shall show the date of establishment of each new non­ statutory body (NSB) and, in relation to each existing NSB, information regarding the date if its establishment in as much detail as is available.

• The annual report shall contain a statement of each NSB's objectives and functions .

• The annual report shall contain an account of each NSB's significant activities during the year.

• The annual report shall contain an indication that the creation or continued existence of each NSB, its functions and its organisation have received Ministerial approval.

• The annual report shall show the date in which each NSB will cease to exist or before which it will be reviewed (whichever is the earlier).

• In the case of any NSB whose continued existence, functions and organisation have been reviewed and whose continued existence has been approved by the Minister, the annual report shall show a summary of the outcome of the review.

• The annual report will contain a list of any positions provided for ex-officio government members on each NSB and of any positions provided for representatives nominated by particular non-government organisations.

205

42 Appendix 3-Reporting requirements and guidel ines

• The annual report shall show the maximum term of appointment of each on an NSB.

• Except in cases where there may be little or no continuity of membership from one meeting to the next, the annual report will show the names of individual members of each NSB , and their terms of appointment.

• The report will show the manner in which the level of remuneration paid (if any) to members of each NSB is determined.

• The report will show the manner in which each NSB is funded.

• The report will show a summary of any other financial arrangements such as the kinds of expenditure that can be made from the funds provided, and the nature of secretariat services provided and the way in which these are funded.

• In respect of each NSB, the annual report shall indicate whether one of its functions is to distribute funds to other organisations or individuals.

• AN NSB with its own accounting system shall provide an audited financial statement.

• When an NSB operates through its parent body accounts, the NSB shall provide an account of receipts and expenditure on a program basis. It will also show :

• the NSB's work reflected in the parent body's published program structure,

• perfonnance related to objectives and measured in terms of stated criteria, in accordance with standard program budgeting techniques, and

• the amounts of any grants made by each NSB.

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The Senate

Legal and Constitutional Affairs

Legislation Committee

Annual reports (No. 1 of2011)

March 2011

207

© Commonwealth of Australia

ISBN: 978-1-74229-421-6

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

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MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE Members

Senator Patricia Crossin, Chair, ALP, NT

Senator Guy Barnett, Deputy Chair, LP, TAS

Senator Mark Furner, ALP, QLD

Senator Scott Ludlam, AG, W A

Senator Stephen Parry, LP, VIC

Senator Louise Pratt, ALP, W A

Secretariat

Ms Julie Dennett

Ms Margaret Cahill

Ms Kate Middleton

Suite S1.61

Parliament House

Committee Secretary

Research Officer

Administrative Officer

Telephone: (02) 6277 3560

Fax: (02) 6277 5794

CANBERRA ACT 2600 Email: legcon.sen@aph.gov.au

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE ............................................................. .iv

PREFACE ......................................................................................................... vii

Terms ofreference .. ........ ...... .. .... .. .................. .... ....... ... ... ....................... .... .......... vii

Role of annual reports .. ..... .. ....... ................................................... ... .................. . viii

Annual reporting requirements ........... .. .......... ............. ...... .... .. ................ ... ......... viii

'Apparently satisfactory' ...................................................................................... viii

Timeliness .... .. ... ..... ..................... .. ............ .. ...... .. ................. ............................. ..... ix

CHAPTER 1 ........................................................................................................ 1

ANNUAL REPORTS OF DEPARTMENTS ......................................................... I

Department oflmmigration and Citizenship .......................................................... 1

Attorney-General's Department .... ...... ..... .... ............ ........... ... ....................... ... ....... 4

CHAPTER 2 ........................................................................................................ 7

ANNUAL REPORTS OF STATUTORY BODIES .............................................. 7

Attorney-General's Portfolio ............. ................ ..... .. .. .. ............ .. ... .......... ...... .... ... .. 7

Immigration and Citizenship Portfolio ........... ..... ........................ .............. .. ........... 7

Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) ...................... 8

High Court of Australia .......................................................................................... 9

Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA) ....................... 11

CHAPTER 3 ...................................................................................................... 13

REPORTS ON THE OPERATION OF ACTS AND PROGRAMS ................. 13

Report under the Surveillance Devices Act 2004 ................................................. 13

Protection visa processing taking more than 90 days ........................................... 15

Refugee Review Tribunal reviews not completed within 90 days ....................... 16

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APPENDIX 1 ..................................................................................................... 19

Reports tabled during the period 1 May 2010 to 31 October 2010 and referred to the committee ...................................................................................................... 19

Annual reports of departments and statutory bodies .... ............... ... ...... ..... ... ... ..... 19

Reports on the operation of an act or program ... .. ...... ..... ... ... .. ... ..... ..... .... .... .. ...... 21

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PREFACE

Terms of reference

On 29 September 2010, 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 Citizenship 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.

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Role of annual reports

Annual reports place a great deal of information about government dep artments and agencies on the public record. Accordingly, the tabling of annual reports is an important element of accountability to 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.

Annual reporting requirements

Standing Order 25(20)(±) requires that committees 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.

Pursuant to subsections 63(2) and 70(2) of the Public Service Act 1999, departments of state and executives agencies must prepare annual reports in accordance with the Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies and FMA Act Bodies, (the Requirements for Annual Reports). As a matter of policy, the Requirements for Annual Reports also apply to prescribed agencies under section 5 of the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997. 1

Orders made by the Minister under section 48 of the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 (CAC Act) set out guidelines for the annual reports of Commonwealth authorities. The content of annual reports of Commonwealth companies is based on the reporting requirements under the Corporations Act 2001, in accordance with section 36 of the CAC Act.

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

Guidelines for the annual reports of non-statutory bodies are set out in the Government Response to recommendations of the then Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Government Operations, in its report entitled Reporting Requirements for the Annual Reports of Non-Statut01y Bodies. The Government Response was incorporated into the Senate Hansard of 8 December 1987.

2

'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.

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Rep orts, 23 June 2010, Part 1, subsection 3(1).

2 Official Senate Hansard, 8 December 1987, pp 2643-2645.

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The 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 all submitted annual reports to be 'apparently satisfactory'.

Timeliness

Under Standing Order 25(20)(c), the committee must also report to the Senate on any lateness in the presentation of annual reports.

In accordance with the Requirements for Annual Reports published in June 2010, agencies are required to present:

A copy of the annual report...to each House of the Parliament on or before 31 October in the year in which the report is given. If Senate Estimates is scheduled to occur prior to 31 October, it is best practice for annual reports to be tabled prior to those hearings.

Where an agency's own legislation provides a timeframe for its annual report, for example "within six months" or "as soon as practicable after 30 June in each year", that time frame applies. 3

If a department is unable to meet this deadline, the secretary of that department is to advise the responsible Minister of the reasons for the delay and the expected tabling date. The responsible Minister is to table this explanation in the Parliament on the next available sitting day. 4

Subsection 9(1) of the CAC Act requires the director of a Commonwealth authority to: (a) prepare an annual report in accordance with Schedule 1 for each financial year; and

(b) give it to the responsible Minister by the deadline for the financial year for presentation to the Parliament.

(2) The deadline is : (a) the 15th day of the 4th month after the end of the financial year; or (b) the end of such further period granted under subsection 34C( 5) of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901.

Under section 36 of the CAC Act:

3 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports, 23 June 2010, Part 1, section 4.

4 Department ofthe Prime Minister and Cabinet, Guidelines for the Presentation of Government Documents to the Parliament, Canberra, July 2008 , p. 5.

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(1) A Commonwealth company must give the responsible Minister: (a) a copy of the company's financial report, directors' report and auditor's report that the company is required by the Corporations Act 2001 to have for the financial year (or would be required by that Act to have if the company were a public company); and (b) any additional report under subsection (2); and (c) in the case of a wholly-owned Commonwealth company- any additional information or report required by the Finance Minister's Orders.

(lA) The Commonwealth company must give the reports and information by: (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 financial year; (ii) 4 months after the end of the financial year; and (b) in any other case--4 months after the end of the financial year; or the end of such further period granted under subsection 34C(5) of the Acts Inte1pretation Act 1901 .

In the absence of any specific provision, the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 requires bodies to present annual reports to ministers within 6 months after the end of the period reported upon (subsection 34C(2)), and ministers must table reports within 15 sitting days after receipt.

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 2010 and 31 October 2010, and which have been referred to the committee for examination, can be found at Appendix 1. 5 All annual reports examined in this report were tabled in a timely manner.

The committee was pleased to note that a number of agencies tabled or presented their annual reports prior to the supplementary budget estimates hearings on 18 and 19 October 2010. Sixteen agencies tabled (or presented) their 2009-10 annual reports in the Senate prior to the hearings, compared to only two agencies presenting their 2008-09 annual reports prior to the hearings in the previous year.

The committee had previously expressed its frustration at the lack of annual reports available for examination at the supplementary budget estimates hearings, and welcomed the amendment to the June 2010 Requirements for Annual Reports which included guidance that it is 'best practice' for annual reports to be tabled prior to these

5 This table also includes the reports on the operation of acts or programs which have been referred to the committee.

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hearings. 6 The committee commends those agencies which were able to meet this timeframe.

Requirement for non-reporting bodies to report

In accordance with Standing Order 25(21)(h) the committee is required to report on bodies which do not present an annual report to the Senate and which should present such a report.

On this occasion, the committee makes no recommendation for any organisation not presenting an annual report to do so.

6 Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee, Annual reports (No.2 of2010), November 2010, pp ix-x .

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CHAPTER!

ANNUAL REPORTS OF DEPARTMENTS

1.1 The annual reports for the financial year 2009-10 of the following

departments were referred to the committee for examination and report:

• Department of hnmigration and Citizenship

• Attorney-General's Department

Department of Immigration and Citizenship

1.2 The Department of Immigration and Citizenship has again presented a report that provides a good account of its activities and performance for the year under review. Performance information is clearly presented along with a range of statistics covering broad timeframes to provide trend information. The committee welcomes the inclusion of a number of items in the report which are suggested but not mandatory under the annual reporting guidelines, for example, the overview of the department's performance and financial results 1 and the outlook for 20 1 0-11 2 •

1.3 The report outlined reforms in a range of policy areas implemented by the department in 2009-1 0. These included a number of reforms to the Migration Program.

1.4 A significant undertaking was reform of the Skilled Migration Program to make it more responsive to the needs of the Australian economy and to meet relevant labour market requirements. Changes included:

• revoking the Migration Occupations Demand List;

• development of a new Skilled Occupation List; and

• a review of the points test to ensure it focuses on applicants with high-value skills that will meet Australia's medium-to-long-term economic needs. 3

1.5 The committee noted that the department reported an operating surplus of $5 .5 million for 2009-10, which compares with a $47.6 million operating loss in the previous financial year. 4 In the discussion and analysis of fmancial performance for 2009-10, the report noted that the surplus was achieved in a challenging operating environment where the main contributing factors included:

• the department's strong focus on financial management and performance;

Department of Immigration and Citizenship Annual R eport 2009-10, pp 34-39.

2 Department of Immigration and Citizenship Annual R eport 2009-10, pp 13-14.

3 Department of Immigration and Citizenship Annual Report 2009-10, p. 5.

4 Department of Immigration and Citizenship Annual Report 2009-10, p. 34.

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• efficiencies achieved throughout the financial year, including a reduction in overhead expenditure; and

• improved business planning and budget reporting activities. 5

1.6 In his review, the Secretary discussed the significant increase in the number of asylum seekers arriving by boat in Australia during 2009-10. The impact on programs of the department and management of resources in response to this challenge has been a focus of Senators during recent estimates hearings of this committee.

1. 7 The Secretary outlined how the department was responding in managing the rise in the number of arrivals and people in immigration detention, advising that:

To support the department's response to the increasing number of boat arrivals, there have been significant efforts in recruitment and training of staff to provide enhanced case management and detention review, as well as enhancements to decision-making on asylum claims, independent merits review and the department's capacity to remove those who have no lawful basis to remain in Australia. There were also strong efforts to ensure that the department maintained, and improved upon, client service in our other areas of operations.

Despite the scale of the challenges we are facing, the department and our service providers have shown a strong commitment to the government's detention values and continue to work very hard to provide fair and reasonable service to people required by law to be in immigration detention. 6

1.8 In regard to the impact on the department's Humanitarian Program, it was reported that the challenges were met through careful management of resources to achieve 39 per cent more protection visa decisions and 2,697 more Refugee Status Assessments compared to the previous financial year.

7

It was explained that:

The combined impact of irregular maritime arrivals on the overall available places in the Humanitarian Program and responding to their needs to be reunited with their families, presented a challenge to the program. 8

1.9 From 1 July 2009, the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA) commenced operations as a discrete office attached to the department. The Secretary of the department reported that the Office has achieved a seamless transition. 9 The committee was advised at the supplementary budget estimates hearings in October 201 0 that, as a result of the new arrangements, the Office will

5 Department of Immigration and Citizenship Annual Report 2009-10, p. 34.

6 Department of Immigration and Citizenship Annual Report 2009-10, p. 7.

7 Department of Immigration and Citizenship Annual Report 2009-10, p. 99.

8 Department of Immigration and Citizenship Annual Report 2009-10, p. 99.

9 Department of Immigration and Citizenship Annual Report 2009-10, p. 6.

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provide annual report information in both the department's annual report and in a separate report of the Office:

What we are doing this year is we are providing the annual report information that is required under the act through the department's own report. We have also decided to produce a separate report for the Office of the MARA under our own regulations and that will provide more operation detail. 10

1 .1 0 The department presented the Office of the MARA's results against deliverables and key performance indicators. The committee notes that the Office failed to meet the target of 50% for the key performance indicator (KPI) concerning the percentage of relevant recommendations appropriately implemented from the 2007-08 Review of Statutory Self-regulation of the Migration Advice Profession. The report noted, however, that there had been action on all recommendations and they were at various stages of implementation. 11

1.11 The online version of the annual report was readily located on the website and provided both HTML and PDF versions. As in recent years, this year's online report included an introductory video message from the Secretary which highlighted the major challenges and achievements during 2009-10. It also included short videos for a number of the 12 case studies presented in this year's report. A helpful online search facility for the annual report was also available.

1.12 The report provided an overview of the new budgetary reporting framework which is based on outcomes and programs from 2009-10, and included a useful transition table for the new framework at Appendix 7. 12

1.13 A focus of the 2009-1 0 annual report was the celebration of the department's 65 1h anniversary. The report features articles on Australian immigration history over the past 65 years, accompanied by a range of photographs. While the Secretary highlighted the many achievements and contributions the department has made to the

nation, the committee appreciates his candour in also acknowledging the mistakes that have occurred over the years and a commitment to continually improve services in the future. 13

1.14 The committee considers the annual report of the Department oflmmigration and Citizenship to be 'apparently satisfactory'.

10 Committee Hansard, 19 October 2010, p. 17-18.

11 Department of Immigration and Citizenship Annual Report 2009-10, p. 92.

12 Department of Immigration and Citizenship Annual Report 2009-10, p. 435

13 Department of Immigration and Citizenship Annual Report 2009-10, p. 14.

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Attorney-General's Department

1.15 The annual report of the Attorney-General's Department was presented out of session in the Senate on 13 October 2010. The committee commends the department for presenting its report in a timely manner, which made it available to Senators prior to the supplementary budget estimates hearings on 18 and 19 October 201 0.

1.16 The report provides a good account of the activities that have contributed to the achievement of the departmental outcomes. It also provides a good review of how the department has performed during the year in relation to its KPis. Performance information is presented in table format and is clear and accessible. The committee notes that the KPis were mostly achieved or partially/substantially achieved for 2009-

10.

1.17 In the summary of financial management, the department reported an operating deficit of $0.244 million for 2009-10, which was less than 1 per cent of total revenues. This compares to a deficit of $1.749 million for 2008-09. 14

1.18 Among the range of activities and initiatives undertaken by the department during the year and highlighted in the report, the committee notes some major achievements. The department implemented and promoted the strategic framework for access to justice, which was a central recommendation of the September 2009 report of the Access to Justice Taskforce and adopted by the government. The annual report explained that:

The framework emphasises providing better and more accessible sources of information and assistance at an earlier stage to meet legal needs , better use of non-legal gateways and increased coordination. 15

1.19 The department advised that it will use the framework to guide decisions and develop initiatives to improve access to justice for all Australians in the future. 16

1.20 The committee also noted with interest the development of the Disability (Access to Premises- Buildings) Standards 2010. According to the annual report, the Premises Standards:

... are part of a wider scheme, led by the Australian Government, to provide improved, updated and, for the first time, nationally uniform rules for appropriate and dignified access to public buildings and offices for people with disability.

The Premises Standards impose obligations on building certifiers, developers and managers to ensure compliance with those matters in the

14 Attorney-General's Department Annual Report 2009-10, p. 185 .

15 Attorney-General's Department Annual Report 2009-10, p. 43.

16 Attorney-General's Department Annual Report 2009-10, p. 43-44.

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Premises Standards for which they are responsible or will have control over. 17

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1 .21 The report outlined the department's role in the development of these standards: namely, providing advice to the Attorney-General on their preparation, and involvement in the government's response to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee's report, Access All Areas. The department also worked with a number of relevant stakeholders. 18

1.22 During the year under review, the department was also involved in the development and implementation of Australia's Human Rights Framework. The Attorney-General released this policy in April 2010 in response to the report of the National Human Rights Consultation Committee. The framework outlines a range of key measures to further protect and promote human rights in Australia.

19

1.23 The department has begun implementing a number of measures under this policy initiative, including preparation and presentation of bills to establish a parliamentary joint committee on human rights and to require that statements of compatibility with human rights accompany new legislation and legislative instruments. 20 The committee will continue to monitor with interest a number of key projects the department will progress under this policy in the coming year which are outlined in the report, including the consolidation of Commonwealth Anti­ Discrimination Laws and the development of the Human Rights National Action Plan. 21

1.24 The report provided detail on the most significant developments in external scrutiny from the Australian National Audit Office, the courts, parliamentary committees, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner, the Australian Human Rights Commission, Royal Commissions and the Coordinator General for Remote Indigenous Services. However, the committee notes that two reports of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs were incorrectly attributed to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee.

22

1.25 The online version of the report is easily accessible on the department's website and is available in PDF and HTML formats.

17 Attorney-General's Department Annual Report 2009-10, p. 48 .

18 Attorney-General's Department Annual Report 2009-10, p. 48.

19 Attorney-General's Department Annual Report 2009-10, p. 47.

20 Attorney-General's Department Annual Report 2009-10, pp 47-48.

21 Attorney-General's Department Annual Report 2009-10, p. 60.

22 The reports on Older People and the Law and Access All Areas were listed under the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee: see Attorney-General's Department Annual Report 2009-10, pp 177-178.

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1.26 The report closely adheres to the annual reports requirements and includes suggested as well as mandatory information, including a compliance index. The committee considers the report of the Attorney-General's Department to be 'apparently satisfactory'.

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CHAPTER2

ANNUAL REPORTS OF STATUTORY BODIES

2.1 The following reports of statutory bodies for the fmancial year 2009-10 were referred to the committee for examination and report:

Attorney-General's Portfolio

•

•

•

•

•

•

•

•

•

•

•

•

•

•

•

•

•

•

Administrative Appeals Tribunal

Administrative Review Council

Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity 1

Australian Federal Police 2

Australian Government Solicitor

Australian Institute of Criminology and Criminology Research Council

Australian Law Reform Commission

Australian Security Intelligence Organisation

Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC)

Classification Board and Classification Review Board

CrimTrac Agency

Family Court of Australia

Family Law Council

Federal Court of Australia

Federal Magistrates Court of Australia

High Court of Australia

National Native Title Tribunal

Office of Parliamentary Counsel

Immigration and Citizenship Portfolio

• Office of Migration Agents Registration Authority

2.2 On this occasion, the committee has decided to examine in more detail the reports of AUSTRAC, the High Court of Australia and the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority.

Also referred to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity.

2 Al so referred to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Law Enforcement.

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Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC)

2.3 The committee commends AUSTRAC on the timely presentation of the annual report on 14 October 2010, which made it available to Senators prior to the supplementary budget estimates hearings on 18 and 19 October 2010.

2.4 The report was the subject of detailed questioning during examination of AUSTRAC's estimates on 18 October 2010. Questioning focussed on:

• the budget and expenditure for the development of the organisation's intelligence systems;

• clarification of figures presented in the annual report of applications for relief from the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006;

• dissemination of suspect transaction and suspicious matter reports;

• the Criminal Intelligence Fusion Centre within the Australian Crime Commission; and

• submission of declaration of financial interests and personal circumstances for senior executive service level staff. 3

2.5 The Chief Executive Officer noted an increase in transaction reporting to AUSTRAC during the year. AUSTRAC received more than 21 million reports from industry, which represented a nine per cent increase from the previous year and was attributed to a rise in reports of international funds transfer instructions. 4

2.6 The report features nine case studies which draw on real-life cases in which partner agencies have used AUSTRAC information to assist in their investigations into money laundering and other serious crimes. The case studies were taken from the AUSTRAC typologies and case studies report 2010. 5 The committee welcomes the prudent use of case studies in annual reports to illuminate the work of an agency. In this case, their inclusion is a very useful feature (without being overly lengthy and taking up an excessive amount of space). During the supplementary estimates hearings, Senator Parry complimented AUSTRAC on the use of case studies throughout the report. 6

2.7 AUSTRAC reported an operating result of $0.7 million surplus, compared to a deficit of $2.4 million for the previous year. The surplus has contributed to an increase in total equity to $11.8 million for 2009-10. 7

3 Committee Hansard, 18 October 2010, pp 72-76.

4 AUSTRAC Annual Report 2009-10, p. 7.

5 AUSTRAC Annual Report 2009-10, p. 10.

6 Committee Hansard, 18 October 2010, p. 73.

7 AUSTRAC Annual Report 2009-10, p. 83.

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2.8 The committee congratulates AUSTRAC on preparing a report of high standard which features a clear and concise style and an attractive design. The report is informative and adheres to the Requirements for Annual Reports, and the inclusion of a compliance index assisted the committee in its examination of the report. 8 Under the agency overview, the outcome-program structure is clearly articulated and includes a description of the transition to the new reporting structure for the 2009-10

reporting year. 9 The committee is impressed with the clear presentation of performance information in a table format which included results against program deliverables and key performance indicators.

2.9 The committee considers AUSTRAC's annual report to be 'apparently satisfactory'.

High Court of Australia

2.10 The committee notes the prompt tabling of this year's annual report of the High Court of Australia, which was presented on 14 October 2010. In the committee's previous report on annual reports it had commented on the court's delayed tabling times in recent years, and the presentation of this year's report marks a significant

. 10

Improvement.

2.11 The committee takes a keen interest in the operations of the court and notes that the funding of the court and the maintenance of the building and surrounds continue to be ongoing issues. The report indicates that the court has commissioned the preparation of a management plan covering these issues. 11

2.12 The court again reported an operating loss. The operating loss for the 2009-1 0 financial year was $0.574 million, compared to $1,493,850 for the previous year. The Chief Justice noted in his overview:

The Comi has informed the Attorney-General that marginal operating losses are likely to continue in future years. Much of this was related to increased building repairs and maintenance costs. 12

2.13 The report further advised that the court has again sought approval of the Attorney-General for a further operating loss in 201 0-11 and that:

Action to ensure the adequacy of the Court's future funding continued during 2009-10, with the involvement of the Attorney-General's and Finance and Deregulation portfolios. 13

8 AUSTRAC Annual Report 2009-10, pp 148-149.

9 AUSTRAC Annual Report 2009-10, pp 12-13.

10 Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee, Annual reports (No. 2 of 2010), November 2010, p. 6.

11 High Court of Australia Annual Report 2009-2010, p. 10.

12 High Court of Australia Annual Report 2009-2010, p. 10.

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2.14 The committee will continue to monitor this issue closely.

2.15 The annual report also notes that repair and maintenance work on elements of the court's roof and windows continued throughout 2009-10 and will continue into the next year. Similarly, the rectification of the forecourt and cascade waterfall defects is also scheduled to be completed in 2010-11. 14

2.16 The Portfolio Budget Statement 2009-10 (PBS) for the court outlines the transition to the new program reporting framework, that is, from outcomes and outputs to outcomes and programs. 15 However, the annual report still includes a reference to the court's 'outputs and outcomes' for 2009-10. 16

2.17 In that context, the committee notes that the court's outcome is not actually identified in the report until the section entitled 'Notes to and forming part of the Financial Statements for the High Court of Australia' at page 55.

2.18 The PBS for the court includes a program deliverable for Program 1.1 -The High Court decides cases arising in its original and appellate jurisdictions. 17 While the annual report does include details of activity of the court during the year, including judicial workload, it does not appear to explicitly report against the 'program

deliverable' as listed in the PBS.

2.19 The PBS for the court does not include key performance indicators to be reported against in its annual report. The committee notes that the other courts within the Attorney-General's Portfolio do provide key performance indicators in their PBS which are reported on in their annual reports. 18

2.20 The committee considers performance reporting in annual reports to be a crucial element of the accountability framework and closely monitors agencies' approaches in their annual reports. Although the Requirements for Annual Reports do not apply to the High Court, the committee notes that:

The 'clear read' between PB Statements and annual reports is an essential part of the accountability system that compares budgeted targets and figures to those actually achieved, and places a strong emphasis on compatibility

13 High Court of Australia Annual Report 2009-2010, p. 14.

14 High Court of Australia Annual Report 2009-2010, p. 15 .

15 Budget Portfolio Budget Statem ents 2009-10, Attorney-General's Portfolio, p. 367.

16 High Court of Australia Annual Report 2009-2010, p. 37.

17 Budget Portfolio Budget Statements 2009-10, Attorney-General's Portfolio, p. 369.

18 See, for example, Budget Portfolio Budget Statements 2009-10, Attorney-General's Portfolio, Family Court of Australia p . 325; Federal Court of Australia p. 341 ; Federal Magistrates Court of Australia p. 355

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between the two documents regarding budget and performance information. 19

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2.21 The committee considers the report of the High Court of Australia to be 'apparently satisfactory'.

Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA)

2.22 The 2009-10 annual report of the Office of the MARA was presented on 29 October 2010.

2.23 This is the first report of the Office smce it was incorporated into the Department of Immigration and Citizenship on 1 July 2009 as a discrete office. As noted earlier in this report, the Office of the MARA now presents annual reporting information in two places, as part of the DIAC annual report and as a discrete report of the Office.

2.24 This report is prepared in accordance with section 322 of the

Migration Act 1958. The Office states in its letter of transmittal that this report provides additional information to that contained in the DIAC Annual Report 2009-10 (which was examined earlier in the committee's report).

2.25 In accordance with the recommendations of the 2007-08 Review of Statutory Self-Regulation of the Migration Advice Profession (the review), an advisory board was established during the reporting period. The board replaces the regulatory system previously administered by the Migration Institute of Australia. 20 The Chairman of the Office of the MARA, Mr Robert Cornall AO, explained that:

The diverse skills and experience of advisory board members provide the CEO with the opportunity to test and evaluate policy ideas and options in a way that cannot be achieved solely with the Office of the MARA stafr.Z 1

2.26 The Chief Executive Officer, Ms Christine Sykes, reported a smooth transition to an independent office attached to the DIAC, and a successful first year of • 22

operation.

2.27 The report provided good coverage of the status of the implementation of 57 recommendations for reform that came out of the review. It was reported that 21 recommendations were finalised or substantially completed, 20 were in progress and

19 Department ofthe Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports, 23 June 2010, p. 3.

20 Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority Annual Report 2009- 10, p. 2.

21 Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority Annual Report 2009-10, p. 2.

22 Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority Annual Report 2009-10, p. 3 and pp 15-19.

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16 were unable to be progressed as they depended on legislative change or needed further research. 23

2.28 One reform that has been implemented was the raising of English language standards for the migration agents profession from an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of six to seven. This higher standard of English proficiency was introduced for initial registration applicants on 1 January 2010. It was reported that this new requirement has been introduced 'fairly and flex ibly', but that the Office is aware that there is concern from some sectors in the profession about the recommendation to extend the higher English language standards to existing registered agents. The report further noted that an impact study will be undertaken to assist with transition arrangements. 24

2.29 The operational reports in the annual report contain useful details on activities of the Office, including results against performance standards. The annual report also presented results against performance targets for registration processing, managing complaints, and professional development.

2.30 The committee notes that some of the Office's performance targets for time periods for the processing of applications for completion of initial and repeat registrations were not consistently met during the reporting period. The Office indicated that this was 'due to a number of factors including an increased number of applications received, staff turnover and resolution of old cases. '25 It was further noted that the Office has introduced processes to manage the registration applications of agents both efficiently and with integrity.26

2.31 Results of performance relating to time periods for the completion of complaint processes were also not met. It was advised that this was the result of the Office focussing on finalising older and more complex complaints in 2009-10. 27

The

committee will continue to monitor the Office's performance standards for complaints processing in future reports.

2.32 The committee is of the view that the annual report of the Office of the MARA is of a high standard and, accordingly, considers it to be 'apparently satisfactory'.

23 Office of the Migration Agents Registratio n Authority Annual Report 2009-10, p. 10.

24 Office of the Migration Agents Registration A uthority Annual Report 2009-10, p. 15.

25 Office of th e Migration Agents Registration A uthority Annual Rep011 2009-10, p. 21 .

26 Office of th e Migration Agents Registration Authority Annual Report 2009-10, p. 27.

27 Office of th e Migration Agents Registration Auth ority Annual Report 2009-10, p. 29.

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CHAPTER3

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 therefore required to include them in its report on the examination of annual reports. However, as on previous occasions, the committee has chosen to examine the following reports:

• Report to the Attorney-General on the results of inspection of surveillance device records for 2008 under section 55 of the Surveillance Devices Act 2004, March 2010 (published by the Commonwealth Ombudsman);

• Report pursuant to section 91 Y of the Migration Act on Protection visa processing taking more than 90 days for the period 1 November 2009 to 28 February 2010 (published by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship); and

• 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 2009 to 28 February 2010 (published by the Refugee Review Tribunal).

Report under the Surveillance Devices Act 2004

3.2 The Surveillance Devices Act 2004 (the Act) regulates the use of surveillance devices by law enforcement agencies. 1 Subsection 55(1) of the Act requires the Commonwealth Ombudsman to inspect the records of each law enforcement agency to determine the extent of compliance with the Act by the agency and its law enforcement officers. Under section 61 of the Act, the Ombudsman is required to report to the Minister at six-monthly intervals on the results of each inspection. 2

3.3 The inspections conducted by the Ombudsman were limited to those warrants and authorisations that had expired or been revoked during the inspection periods. 3

Under subsection 6(1), the term 'law enforcement agency' includes the Australian Crime Commission, the Australian Federal Police, the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity, and specified state and territory law enforcement agencies. If any of these agencies utilise the provisions of the Act, the Ombudsman is required to inspect records relating to th at use. See further Commonwealth Ombudsman, Report to the Attorney-General on the results of inspections of records under s 55 of the Surveillance Devices Act 2004, March 2010, p. 1.

2 Commonwealth Ombudsman, Report to the Attorney -General on the results of inspections of records under s 55 of th e Surveillance Devices Act 2004, March 2010, p. 1.

3 Commonwealth Ombudsman, Report to the Attorney-General on the results of inspections of reco rds under s 55 of the Surveillance Devices Act 2004, March 2010, p. 2.

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3.4 This report relates to inspections of records for the following agencies for the time period indicated:

• Australian Crime Commission (ACC) (1 January 2008 to 31 December 2008);

• Australian Federal Police (AFP) (1 January 2008 to 31 December 2008); and

• New South Wales (NSW) Police (1 July 2007 to 31 December 200).

3.5 The committee is pleased to note that the Ombudsman reported 'continued improvement in agency compliance with requirements of the Act'. 4 The ACC and the NSW Police were assessed as compliant with the Act, and the AFP was considered to be generally compliant with the requirements of the Act. 5

3.6 The Ombudsman summarised the inspections as follows :

The majority of issues were relatively minor and generally able to be remedied through training and better recordkeeping practices. The agencies have willingly accepted our recommendations and have continued to improve administration of their surveillance device regimes . 6

3.7 The committee has previously noted the ACC's training initiatives to improve compliance with the Act 7 and is pleased to see that, on this occasion, the Ombudsman reported significant improvements as a result of the ACC's Excellence in Compliance Strategy. The two areas of note were the increase in compliance by the agency in relation to the content, accuracy and timeliness of the section 49 report to the Minister; and a more proactive approach to revocation of warrants under sections 20 and 21 of the Act. 8

3.8 The committee notes that concerns in relation to privacy issues and the application of paragraph 16(2)( c) of the Act continued to be issues for both the ACC and the NSW Police Service. Paragraph 16(2)( c) of the Act states that an issuing officer (an eligible judge or the Administrative Appeals Tribunal member) must have regard to 'the extent to which the privacy of any person is likely to be affected' in determining whether to issue a surveillance device warrant.

3.9 The committee notes that the report indicated that the ACC has adopted strategies to address the privacy concerns raised by the Ombudsman which included

4 Commonwealth Ombudsman, Report to the Attorney-General on the res ults of inspections of records under s 55 of th e Surveillance Devices Act 2004, March 2010, p. 2.

5 Commonwealth Ombudsman, Report to th e Attorney-General on the results of inspectio ns of records under s 55 of the Surveillance Devices Act 2004, March 2010, see pp 3, 8 and 14.

6 Commonwealth Ombudsman, Report to th e Attorney-General on the results of inspections of records under s 55 of the Surveillance Devices Act 2004, March 2010, see p. 3.

7 Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee, Annual reports (No. I of2009), March 2009, p. 12 .

8 Commonwealth Ombudsman, Report to th e Attorney-General on the results of inspections of records under s 55 of th e Surveillance Devices Act 2004, March 2010, seep. 3.

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'reviewing internal guidelines, emphasising particular issues raised in training sessions and focusing on privacy requirements during internal audits'. 9

3.10 The committee is pleased to note that the Ombudsman remarked on the co nsiderable improvement that the AFP has made in the area of privacy since the last inspections and therefore made no recommendation on this occasion.

3. 11 The committee notes that the report was easily located on the Commonwealth Ombudsman's website, along with other 'inspection reports'.

Protection visa processing taking more than 90 days

3.12 Section 65A of the Migration Act imposes a requirement for the Minister to make a decision on a protection visa application within 90 days of the lodgement of the application. If this target is exceeded, under section 91 Y of the Act, the Secretary of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship is required to report on protection visa applications for which decision making has taken over 90 days. The department is required to report every four months.

3.13 The report reviewed by the committee covers the period 1 November 2009 to 28 February 2010.

3.14 The table below compares protection visa processing by the department taking more than 90 days for the three previous reporting periods:

1 March 2009 to 1 July 2009 to 1 November 2009 30 June 2009 31 October 2009 to 28 February 2010

Total number 480 524 789

undecided outside of 90 day period

Total number 488 582 623

decided outside of 90 day period

Total number 968 1106 1412

processed outside of 90 day period

Percentage of total 25% 25 % 24%

applications processed outside of 90 day period

9 Commonwealth Ombudsman, Report to the Attorney-General on th e results of inspections of records under s 55 of th e Surveillance Devices Act 2004, March 2010, seep. 5.

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3.15 While the percentage of total applications processed outside the 90-day period remains steady, the committee notes that the number of delays in processing attributable to the department has risen significantly since the last report. There were 400 visa applications in this category, compared to 308 in the previous report. The

Secretary of the department indicated in the report that:

Most of these are applications where sound reasons exist for decision deferral, such as applications requiring DIAC exploration of complex character issues which might warrant visa refusal, and applications where it is prudent to await the outcome of serious criminal charges. 10

3.16 The committee was unable to locate this report on the department's website and would encourage the department to publish these reports on-line, enabling them to be widely accessed and enhancing the openness and accountability of departmental processes.

Refugee Review Tribunal reviews not completed within 90 days

3.17 Section 440A of the Migration Act requires the Refugee Review Tribunal (RRT) to report on reviews not completed within 90 days.

3.18 The RRT is required to report every four months. The report reviewed by the committee covers the period 1 November 2009 to 28 February 2010.

3.19 The table below outlines the number ofRRT reviews not completed within 90 days for the previous three reporting periods:

1 March 2009 to 1 July 2009 to 1 November 2009 30 June 2009 31 October 2009 to 28 February 2010

Reviews completed 287 (31%) 247 (36%) 219 (32%)

outside of 90 days

Reviews completed 634 (69%) 448 (64%) 468 (68%)

within 90 days

Total 921 695 687

10 Protection visa processing taking more than 90 days for the reporting p eriod 1 November 2009 to 28 February 2010, Letter of transmittal, p. 2.

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3.20 The following reasons for reviews taking longer than 90 days were provided:

• compliance with statutory procedural requirements;

• applicant or adviser related;

• tribunal responsibility; and

• third party responsibility. 11

3.21 The section 440 report was readily located on the Migration Review Tribunal-Refugee Review Tribunal website.

Senator Trish Crossin Chair

11 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 2009 to 28 February 2010, Letter of transmittal.

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Pagel8

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APPENDIX 1

Reports tabled during the period 1 May 2010 to 31 October 2010 and referred to the committee

Annual reports of departments and statutory bodies Department/authority Date Date Date tabled in

submitted received by Senate

to Minister Minister (if (Received out (if known) known) of session)

Attorney-General's Portfolio

Administrative Appeals Tribunal - 25110/2010

Report for 2009-10 (13 / 10/2010)

Administrative Review Council - 25110/2010

Report for 2009-1 0 (6/ 10/2010)

Attorney-General's Department - 25 / 10/2010

Report for 2009-10 (13 / 10/2010)

Australian Commission for Law 18/ 10/2010 18110/2010 27/ 10/2010 Enforcement Integrity - Report for 2009-10 1

Australian Federal Police - Report for 25110/2010

2009-10 2 (15/ 10/2010)

Australian Government Solicitor - 25 / 10/2010

Report for 2009-10 (15110/2010)

Australian Institute of Criminology and 15/ 11 /2010

Criminology Research Council - (2911 0/20 I 0)

Reports 2009-10

Australian Law Reform Commission - 25 / 10/2010

Report for 2009-10 (14/ 10/2010)

Australian Security Intelligence 24/9/2010 24/9/2010 26/ 10/2010

Organisation - Report for 2009-1 0

Also referred to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity.

2 Also referred to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Law Enforcement.

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Australian Transaction Reports and 25 /1 0/2010

Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) - Report (14/ 1 0/201 0)

for 2009-1 0

Classification Board and Classification 25/ 10/2010

Review Board - Reports for 2009-10 (6/10/2010)

Cri mTrac Agency - Report for 2009- 10 25/10/2010

(13/ 10/2010)

Family Court of Australia- Report for 25 / 10/2010

2009-1 0 (14/ 10/2020)

Family Law Council- Report for 2009- 25/ 10/2010

10 (6/ 10/2010)

Federal Court of Australia - Report for 25 / 10/2010

2009-10 (14/10/2010)

Federal Magistrates Court of Australia 25/10/2010

- Report for 2009-1 0 (14/ 1 0/201 0)

High Court of Australia - Report for 25/10/2010

2009-10 (14/ 10/2010)

National Native Title Tribunal - Report 25/ 10/2010

for 2009-1 0 (13/10/2010)

Office of Parliamentary Counsel - 25 / 10/2010

Report for 2009-10 (12/ 10/2010)

Immigration and Citizenship Portfolio

Department of Immigration and 15/ 11120 10

Citizenship -Report for 2009-1 0 (29/ 1 0/201 0)

Office of M igration Agents 15/ 1112010

Registration Authority - Report fo r (29/10/2010)

2009-10

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Reports on the operation of an act or program

Act Date Date Date tabled in

submitted received by Senate

to Minister Minister (if (Received out (if known) known) of session)

Attorney-General's Portfolio

Crimes Act 1914 - Authorisation for 28/09/2010

the acquisition and use of assumed (13 /09/2010)

identities - Australian Federal Police -Report for 2009-10

Crimes Act 1914 - Authorisations for 25110/2010

the acquisitions and use of assumed ( 13/ 10/201 0)

identities - Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity - Report for 2009-10

Crimes Act 1914 - Witness identity 25 / 10/2010

protection certificates - Australian (13110/2010)

Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity - Report for 2009-1 0

Crimes Act 1914 - Controlled 5110/2010 5110/2010 26110/2010

operations- Australian Federal Police -Report for 2009-10

Customs Act 1901 - Conduct of 25110/2010

Customs officers [Managed deliveries] (14110/2010)

- Report by Minister for Home Affairs for 2009-10

Surveillance Devices Act 2004 - 16/6/2010 16/6/2010 22/06/2010

Commonwealth Ombudsman's report on inspection of surveillance device records for 2008

Witness Protection Act 1994 - Report 28/09/2010

for 2009-10 on the operation of the (23/09/20 1 0)

National Witness Protection Program

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Immigration and Citizenship Portfolio- Migration Act 1958

Section 91Y - Protection visa 14/4/2010 14/4/2010 16/06/2010

processing taking more than 90 days -Report for the period 1 November 2009 to 28 February 2010

Section 440A - Refugee Review 14/4/2010 14/4/2010 16/06/2 010

Tribunal reviews not completed within 90 days - Report for the period

1 November 2009 to 28 February 2010

Section 4860 - Ombudsman's report on 10/6/2010 10/6/2010 16/06/2010 appropriateness of detention

arrangements - Personal identifier: 590110 to 594/ 10

Section 4860 - Government response 10/6/2010 10/6/2010 16/06/2010 to Ombudsman' s report on

appropriateness of detention

arrangements - Personal identifier: 590/ 10 to 594/ 10

Section 4860 - Ombudsman's report on 6/5/2010 7/5/2010 12/05 /2010 appropriateness of detention

arrangements - Personal identifier: 581 / 10 to 589/ 10

Section 4860 - Government response 6/5/2010 7/5/2010 12/05/2010 to Ombudsman's report on

appropriateness of detention

arrangements - Personal identifier: 581/10 to 589/ 10

Section 4860 - Ombudsman's report on 111 0/2010 5/10/2010 2611 0/2010 the assessment of detention

arrangements - Personal identifiers 595/ 10 to 599/ 10

Section 4860 - Government response 1/10/2010 5/ 10/2010 2611 0/2010 to Ombudsman's report on assessment of detention arrangements - Personal identifiers 595110 to 599/ 10

240

The Senate

Rural Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee

Annual reports (No. 1 of 2011)

March 2011

241

© Commonwealth of Australia

ISBN 978-1-74229-422-3

This document was produced from camera-ready copy prepared by the Senate Rural Affairs and Transp01i Legislation Committee, and printed by the Senate Printing Unit, Department of the Sen ate, Parliament House, Canberra.

II

242

Membership of the Committee

Members

Senator Glenn Sterle ALP, Western Australia Chair

Senator the Hon. Bill Heffernan LP, New South Wales Deputy Chair

Senator Steve Hutchins

Senator Fiona Nash

Senator Kerry O'Brien

Senator Rachel Siewert

ALP, New South Wales

NPA, New South Wales

ALP, Tasmania

AG, Western Australia

Senator Crossin replaced Senator O'Brien as a member of the committee between 30 September 20 10 and 9 February 2011.

Participating Members

Senator Abetz Senator Cash

Senator Adams Senator Colbeck Senator Back Senator Coonan

Senator Barnett Senator Cormann Senator Bernardi Senator Crossin Senator Bilyk Senator Eggleston Senator Senator Faulkner

Birmingham Senator Ferguson Senator Bishop Senator Fielding Senator Boswell Senator Senator Boyce Fierravanti-Wells Senator Brandis Senator Fifield Senator B Brown Senator Fisher Senator C Brown Senator F orshaw Senator Bushby Senator Furner Senator Cameron Senator Hanson-

Young

Senator Humphries Senator Hurley Senator Johnston Senator Joyce Senator Kroger Senator Ludlam Senator Macdonald Senator McEwen Senator McGauran Senator Marshall Senator Mason Senator Milne Senator Minchin Senator Moore Senator Parry Senator Payne

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243

Senator Polley Senator Pratt Senator Ronaldson Senator Ryan Senator Scullion Senator Stephens Senator Troeth Senator Trood Senator Williams Senator Wortley Senator Xenophon

Committee Secretariat

Ms Jeanette Radcliffe, Secretary Ms Jenene James, Research Officer Ms Cassimah Mackay, Research Officer

PO Box 6100 Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600

phone: (02) 6277 3511 fax : (02) 6277 5811 e-mail: rat.sen@aph.gov.au internet: www.aph.gov.au/senate rat

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Table of Contents

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

List of Abbreviations ....................................................................................... vii

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

Overview .................................................................................................................... !

Terms ofreference .................................................................................................. 1

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

Requirements ..... ....... .. .......... ................ .. ...... .... ..... ........... ......... ... .. ... .. .. ........ ...... ... 2

Reports referred to the committee .......................................................................... 2

Reports not examined ............................................................................................. 3

Timeliness ............................................................................................................... 3

Comments on reports .............................................................................................. 4

Senate remarks on annual reports ................. ..... ................... .. .................... ..... ....... 9

Comment on significant matters ....................................... ......... .... ........ .. ........ .. ..... 9

Chapter 2 ........................................................................................................... 11

Annual reports of departments ............................................................................. 11

Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry ......................... .. ................... 11

Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Govenunent .......................................................................................................... 17

Chapter 3 ........................................................................................................... 25

Annual reports of agencies .................................................................................... 25

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio ....................................................... 25

Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Govenunent portfolio ........... ..... ........ .... ... ................ ........ .... ... ..... .......... .. ... .... ... ............. .......... 26

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245

Appendix 1 ......................................................................................................... 33

List of annual reports referred to the committee during the period 1 May 2010 to 31 October 2010 .................................................................................................. 33

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio .... ........... .............. ............... ....... .... 33

Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government portfolio ... ... .. ........................ ............ ...... ................................. .................... .. ....... 34

Appendix 2 ......................................................................................................... 37

List of annual reports tabled after 31 October 2010 ........................................... 37

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio ............ ..... ... .... ... ...... .......... ...... ...... 37

Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government portfolio ................................. ............. .... .............................................................. 39

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246

ABARE

AMSA

ANAO

AQIS

ARTC

ATSB

AWBC

BITRE

BRS

CAC Act

CAC Orders

CCSBT

CEO

CIU

COAG

DAFF

EC

EPBC Act

FMAAct

FOI Act

ICT

List of Abbreviations

Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics

Australian Maritime Safety Authority

Australian National Audit Office

Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service

Australian Rail Track Corporation Ltd

Australian Transport Safety Bureau

Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation

Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics

Bureau ofRural Sciences

Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997

Commonwealth Authorities and Companies (R eport of Operations) Orders 2005

Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna

Chief Executive Officer

Compliance and Investigation Unit (AQIS)

Council of Australian Governments

Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

Exceptional Circumstances

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999

Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997

Freedom of Information Act 1982

Information and Communication Technology

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247

IMG Irrigation Management Grant

Infrastructure Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government

KPis Key Performance Indicators

LGA Local Government Authority

LWA Land and Water Australia

NRM Natural Resource Management

NTC National Transport Commission

OH&S Act Occupational Health & Safety (Commonwealth Employment) Act 1991

PAES Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements

PBS Portfolio Budget Statements

PIERD Act Primary Industries and Energy Research and D evelopment Act 1989

R2R Roads to Recovery program

R&D Research and development

RD&E Research, development and extension

RDA Regional Development Australia

Requirements for Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Annual Reports Agencies and FMA Act Bodies

RIRDC Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation

Strategy Commonwealth Disability Strategy

viii 248

Chapter 1

Overview

1.1 The committee is responsible for examining the annual reports of departments and agencies within two portfolios:

• Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry; and

• Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government (from 14 September 2010, Infrastructure and Transport).

Terms of reference

1.2 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

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2

(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

Purpose of annual reports

1.3 The tabling and scrutiny of annual reports by Senate committees, under Standing Order 25(20), is an important element in the process of 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.

Requirements

1.4 Annual reports are examined by the committee 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:

• for departments of state and executive agencies these are: the Public Service Act 1999, subsections 63(2) and 70(2), and the Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies and FMA Act Bodies, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, updated June 201 0 and approved by the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit on

23 June 2010;

• for Commonwealth authorities and companies: the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 (the CAC Act), sections 9, 36 and 48, and the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies (Report of Operations) Orders 2008 (CAC Orders); and

• for non-statutory bodies: the requirements are contained in the Government response to the report of the Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Government Operations on Non-statutory bodies, Senate Hansard, 8 December 1987, pp 2643-45.

Reports referred to the committee

1.5 Standing Order 25(20)(f) requires the committee to report on annual reports tabled by 31 October each year by the tenth sitting day of the following year. This year, that date is 23 March 2011. The committee is also required to report on annual reports tabled by 30 April each year by the tenth sitting day after 30 June of that year.

Standing orders and other orders of the Senate, June 2009, p. 28 . (This Standing Order was amended 24 August 1994, 13 February 1997, 11 November 1998, 3 December 1998, 13 February 2002, 19 November 2002, 14 August 2006: with effect from 11 September 2006, 13 May 2009: with effect on 14 May 2009).

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3

1.6 This report considers annual reports which were tabled in the Senate or presented to the President of the Senate between 1 May 201 0 and 31 October 2010.

1.7 The committee examined three annual reports of agencies within the Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio and seven annual reports of agencies within the Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government portfolio, as follows:

• Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry-Report for 2009-1 0;

• Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation-Report for 2009-10;

• Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation-Rep01t for 2009-10;

• Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government-Report for 2009-1 0;

• Australian Maritime Safety Authority-Report for 2009- 1 0;

• Australian Transport Safety Bureau-Report for 2009-1 0;

• National Transport Commission-Report for 2009-1 0;

• Australian Rail Track Corporation Ltd-Report for 2009-1 0;

• Australian River Co. Limited-Report for 1 December 2008 to 30 November 2009; and

• International Air Services Comm ission-Rep01t for 2009-1 0.

1.8 A complete list of reports referred to the committee (including those not examined) appears at Appendix 1.

Reports not examined

1.9 The committee is not obliged to report on Acts, statements of corporate intent, surveys, corporate plans or errata. The following three documents were referred to the committee but have not been examined:

• Civil Aviation Safety Authority-Corporate Plan 2009-10 to 2011-12;

• Local Government (Financial Assistance) Act 1995-Report for 2007-08 on the operation ofthe Act; and

• Sydney Airport Demand Management Act 1997-quarterly report on the maximum movement limit for the period 1 January to 31 March 20 10.

Timeliness

1.10 Standing Order 25(20)( c) requires the committee to report to the Senate on the late presentation of annual reports.

1.11 As stated in the Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies and FMA Act Bodies (Requirements for Annual Reports), annual reports

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4

must be tabled in Parliament by 31 October each year, except where an agency's own legislation specifies a timeframe for its annual report. 2 Those agencies reporting under the CAC Act are required to provide their annual reports to the Minister by the 15th day of the fourth month after the end of the financial year. 3 Where the financial year ends on 30 June, this deadline translates to 15 October.

1.12 A number of annual reports were tabled in the Senate after the appropriate deadlines, beyond the date that they may be considered in this report. Annual reports which were tabled late will be examined in the committee's next report on annual reports. A list of those reports appears at Appendix 2.

1.13 Although not subject to the timeframes in the CAC Act or the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (FMA Act), the committee notes a significant delay in the tabling of the follo wing report:

• Local Government (Finan cial Assistance) Act 1995-Report for 2007-08 on the operation of the Act.

1.14 The committee notes that while the Wheat Exports Australia-Report for 2009-10 met the reporting timeframes under the Wh eat Export Marketing Act 2008, it was tabled in the Senate on 9 February 2011. The committee recognises that some bodies are required to comply with the timeframes stipulated in their enabling legislation, and appreciates that the relevant deadlines are adhered to by those agencies. Nonetheless, the committee reminds all bodies that, as stated in the Requirements for Annual Reports, the government maintains its policy that all annual reports are to be tabled by 31 October. 4

Comments on reports

1.15 Under Standing Order 25(20)(a) the committee is required to scrutinise annual reports and inform the Senate as to whether they are 'apparently satisfactory'. To form this assessment the committee examines whether annual reports comply with the statutory reporting guidelines relevant to each particular report.

1.16 The committee considers that the reports examined are generally 'apparently satisfactory', although some do not comprehensively address all of their legislative requirements. While any divergence from these requirements is mostly minor in nature, the committee encourages agencies to pay particular attention to the matters discussed below.

2 Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports f or Departments, Executive Agencies and FMA Act Bodies, June 2010, p. 2.

3 Commonwealth Authorities and Comp anies Act 1997, s. 9.

4 Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for A nnual Reports for Dep artments, Executive Agencies and FMA Act Bodies, June 2010, p. 2.

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5

Aids to Access: Indexes

Alphabetical index

1.17 Under subsection 8(2) of the Requirements for Annual Reports, all annual reports are required to incorporate aids to access, including alphabetical indexes. 5 The committee notes the importance of an alphabetical index in assisting readers to navigate annual reports. While most reports did include alphabetical indexes, some were quite brief and did not effectively aid readers. The committee again notes that the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) would benefit from including an alphabetical index.

Compliance index/List of requirements

1.18 In the committee's previous reports on annual reports, the committee noted that while compliance indexes were no longer mandatory, the committee recommended their inclusion in annual reports. 6

1.19 The committee is pleased to observe that a 'List of Requirements' is a mandatory inclusion specified in the Requirements for Annual Reports for this reporting year:

The List of Requirements must be included as an appendix to the annual report. If an item specified in the checklist is not applicable to an agency, it should be reported as not applicable rather than omitted from the list. 7

1.20 This checklist fulfils the same function as a compliance index and greatly facilitates the committee's task of ensuring adherence to reporting requirements, as well as assisting agencies to clearly demonstrate that all legislative obligations have been met. The committee considers that as a matter of best practice, CAC Act bodies should provide equivalent information in the form of a compliance index based on the requirements in the CAC Act and their own governing legislation.

1.21 The committee found that some checklists/compliance indexes were more useful than others. A number of them did not address all of the reporting requirements and, in some cases, the page references given were incorrect or too broad to be useful.

1.22 The committee commends those agencies which included indexes for each piece of legislation they are required to report under. Further, the committee is pleased that a number of agencies have now adopted the recommended practice of including a nil, n/a or"-" entry where the body has nothing to report under an item.

5 Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies and FMA Act Bodies, June 2010, pp 5 and 17.

6 See for example, Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee, Annual reports (No.1 of2010), p. 6.

7 Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies and FMA Act Bodies, June 2010, pp 17 and 33.

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1.23 The committee is disappointed that despite comments made in its previous reports, the AR TC again failed to include a compliance index in its annual report. 8 Consequently the committee found it difficult to determine whether this report complied with a number of relevant requirements.

Report on performance

1.24 The committee considers that most annual reports would benefit from an explanation (textual or visual) which clearly defines and links, where applicable, statutory objectives, annual operational plan or corporate plan objectives, research and development objectives and outcomes/programs. This would assist in demonstrating how agencies have performed in relation to each of these requirements, as required under the CAC Orders, and whether they have achieved their objectives.9

Legislative requirements for Commonwealth authorities

1.25 The committee draws attention to section 17 of the CAC Orders which notes that the annual reports of Commonwealth authorities must include certain matters required by the relevant sections of the following legislation: 10

• Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) section 516A;

• Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) subsection 8(1) ; and

• Occupational Health and Safety (Commonwealth Employment) Act 1991 (OH&S Act) section 74.

1.26 The committee encourages agencies to look carefully at the reporting requirements under these pieces of legislation when compiling upcoming reports. These requirements also apply to departments, executive agencies and FMA Act bodies, as specified in the Requirements for Annual Reports. 11

1.27 The committee reminds agencies that they are required to report on all five requirements under subsection 516A( 6) of the EPBC Act, as exemplified in the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) and the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government (Infrastructure) reports. Several agencies failed to include information required under

8 Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee, Annual reports (No. 2 of 2006), p. 5; Annual reports (No. 2 of 2007), p. 6; Annual reports (No. 2 of 2008), pp 6-7; Annual reports (No. 2 of 2009), p. 6; and Senate Rural Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee Annual reports (No.2 of2010), p. 6.

9 Commonwealth Authorities and Companies (Report of Op erations) Orders 2005, para. 10(1)(a).

10 Commonwealth Authorities and Companies (Report of Operations) Orders 2005, s. 17.

11 Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies and FMA Act Bodies, June 2010, pp 15 and 21-25.

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paragraphs 516( 6)( c) and (e) of the EPBC Act, in relation to documenting the effect of activities on the environment and mechanisms for reviewing and improving these measures. The committee encourages agencies to address these requirements in more detail in future.

1.28 The committee notes that several agencies did not adequately address all requirements under subsection 8(1) of the FOI Act. In particular, the committee observes that a number of bodies omitted to provide information on arrangements that exist for others to participate in the agency's policy formulation process. The committee notes that the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) addressed the FOI requirements comprehensively.

1.29 Omissions were again noted in most agencies' attempts to report against the OH&S Act, particularly in relation to information about health and safety management arrangements under paragraph 74(1)(c). The committee considers that the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), RIRDC and DAFF annual reports provide good examples of how OH&S requirements should be addressed.

Commonwealth Disability Strategy

1.30 Under the Requirements for Annual Reports an d section 18 of the CAC Orders, an assessment of an agency's performance in implementing the

Commonwealth Disability Strategy (the Strategy) must be provided in accordance with the terms set out in the Guide to the Performance Reporting Framework . 12 The committee again observed significant variation in the level of detail provided regarding compliance with the Strategy. The committee strongly encourages agencies to assess compli ance in accordance with the recommended guide in future reports. The committee considers that Infrastructure has addressed thi s requirement to a hi gh standard.

Consultancy contracts and competitive tendering and contracting

1.31 The committee notes that under the Requirements fo r Annual Reports, agencies are required to provide inform ation about consultancy contracts and any competitive tendering and contracting undertaken. 13 The committee reminds agencies that the method of presentation for this information is specified in detail in the Requirements for Annual Reports. While a majority of agencies provided ba ic

information about consultancies, some of it was not in the required format and did not provide an adequate le vel of detail. In several annual reports, however the committee was unable to locate any information about consultancies.

12 Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requiremellls for Annual Reports for Depa nmellls, Executive Agencies and FMA Act Bodies, June 2010. p. I 4: and Commonwealth Authorities and Companies (Report of Operations) Orders 2005. s. I 8. This Guide can be acce sed on the Commonwealth Di sab ili ty Strategy web ite at http://www.fac .!!ov.au/cds .

13 Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. Requirements for Annual Rep011s for Depamnellls, Executive Agencies and FMA Act Bodies, June 2010. pp 12- 14 and 26-28.

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1.32 Consequently, the committee emphasises that, as a matter of best practice, CAC Act bodies should comply with the Requirements for Annual Reports, and provide all relevant detail in accordance with the required proforma. Further, the committee suggests that agencies list consultancy and contract services in the compliance index/list of requirements or at the very least in the alphabetical index of their annual reports.

1.33 The committee commends the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (A TSB), DAFF, and Infrastructure for fully complying with this requirement and providing information on consultancy services in accordance with the mandatory proforma.

Fraud Control Certification

1.34 While most agencies provided varying degrees of information about their fraud control plans, the committee draws attention to the Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines 2002. Under these guidelines:

CEOs of agencies covered by the Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines are to certify to their Minister or Presiding Officer in their agency's annual report that they are satisfied that their agency has prepared fraud risk assessments and fraud control plans, and has in place appropriate fraud prevention, detection, investigation, reporting and data collection procedures and processes that meet the specific needs of the agency and

comply with the Guidelines. 14

1.35 The committee encourages agency heads to make a specific certification in keeping with the guidelines. The committee notes the suggestion in the Requirements for Annual Reports that 'agencies may wish to include this certification in the letter of transmittal'. 15 The committee highlights the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation (A WBC), ATSB, DAFF and Infrastructure annual reports as examples of how to fully comply with this requirement.

Consistency of reporting documents

1.36 The committee also took account of the Senate Finance and Public Administration Committee report, Transparency and accountability of Commonwealth public funding and expenditure, in its examination of annual reports. The committee took particular note of the following comment:

It would be useful therefore if Legislative and General Purpose Committees in their reports on annual reports checked that the reports accurately reflect the performance indicators in the PBSs and PAES . It would also be useful if

14 Attorney-General's Department, Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines 2002, May 2002, p. 2. See also Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies and FMA Act Bodies, June 2010, p. 8.

15 Depaiiment of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies and FMA Act Bodies, June 2010, p. 8.

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they reported on comparisons of the final expenditure on outputs (or programs) with the estimates. 16

9

1.37 The committee notes that in several cases, performance indicators differed between budget documents and agencies' annual reports. The committee also found that estimates expenditure figures in budget documents and actual expenditure figures in annual reports were often not easily comparable.

1.38 The committee encourages agencies to ensure that outcome/program information, deliverables and Key Performance Indicators (KPis) remain consistent between budget documents and annual reports. Further, where there is variation between these documents, the accountability process would be enhanced if both the

former and the new performance information were provided, as well as the reasons for the revisions.

1.39 The committee notes that under the Requirements for Annual Reports, the provision of such information is a mandatory requirement, and as a matter of best practice, CAC Act bodies should also provide this information. 17 In addition, agencies are encouraged to provide information on expenditure by outcome/program in a form that is comparable with budget documentation.

1 .40 The committee notes that the report on performance must also include a statement noting if the department has historically met each KPI, a new mandatory inclusion in the Requirements for Annual Reports. It is suggested that KPI performance over three years be provided, unless the KPI did not exist during that time.18

Senate remarks on annual reports

1.41 In accordance with Senate Standing Order 25(20)(d), the committee is required to take into account remarks made in the Senate which are relevant to the annual reports under consideration. No substantive debate on annual reports within the committee's portfolios took place in the Senate.

Comment on significant matters

1.42 Finally, Senate Standing Order 25(20)(g) directs the committee to comment on significant matters raised in annual reports relating to the operations and performance of reporting bodies.

16 Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Public Administration, Transparency and accountability of Commonwealth public funding and expenditure, March 2007, p. 64.

17 Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies and FMA Act Bodies, June 2010, p. 6.

18 Department ofPrime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies and FMA Act Bodies, June 2010, p. 7.

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1.43 In Chapter 2, the committee has considered the following annual reports:

• Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry; and

• Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government.

1.44 In Chapter 3, the committee has considered the annual reports of the following agencies:

• Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation;

• Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation;

• Australian Maritime Safety Authority;

• Australian Transport Safety Bureau;

• National Transport Commission; and

• Australian Rail Track Corporation Ltd.

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Chapter 2

Annual reports of departments

Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

2.1 The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) Annual Report 2009-1 0 was prepared in accordance with section 63 of the Public Service Act 1999. The report was received by the Senate on 15 October 201 0 and tabled on 25 October 2010.

2.2 The report is presented in accordance with the list of requirements specified in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet's Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies and FMA Act Bodies, June 2010 (Requirements for Annual Reports).

2.3 DAFF's Annual Report 2009-1 0 contains the following infonnation:

• the secretary's yearly review highlighting the achievements of the department;

• a departmental overview outlining DAFF's operations and organisational structure;

• report on performance as measured against deliverables and key performance indicators (KPis) specified in the Portfolio Budget Statements (PBS);

• an overview of the department's management and accountability arrangements, including corporate governance practices, people management, systems and administrative processes, external scrutiny, reviews and evaluations, and external service provid ers;

• appendices detailing workforce statistics, occup ational health and safety, compliance with the Commonwealth Di sability Strategy, environmental performance, reporting under the FOI Act, grant programs, advertising and market research, purchaser-provid er arrangements, and agency resource and outcome resource statements; and

• financial statements.

2.4 Also included are the financial statements for Land and Water Austra li a (LWA) for the peri od I July 2009 to 31 December 2009, when LWA ceased to ex ist. The committee notes that DAFF assumed responsibility for any remaining obligations on behalf of the government after that date.

1

Department of Agriculture, Fi heries an d Forestry, Annual Report 2009-10, pp 398-435.

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2.5 Following comments made in a previous report, the committee is pleased to note that DAFF has fully complied with the requirements relating to consultancy contracts. When the DAFF website was accessed in January 2011, up-to-date information on individual consultancies to the value of $10,000 or more was available for 2009-10.2

2.6 The committee considers that DAFF has met all of the mandatory reporting requirements and provided a comprehensive review of its performance for 2009-10. Its report is clear, well presented and easy to navigate.

Departmental overview

2.7 The committee notes the following items of significance for DAFF during 2009-10:

• continued provision of assistance to drought-affected farmers through Exceptional Circumstances (EC) income support;

• provision of support for the government's National Review of Drought Policy, in recognition that the current EC arrangements may no longer be the most appropriate in the context of a changing climate;

• announcement of a pilot of drought policy reform measures in parts of Western Australia for 12 months from 1 July 2010;

• implementation of the second year of Australia's Farming Future, a four-year initiative to equip primary producers to respond to the physical, social and economic impacts of climate change;

• contribution to the Productivity Commission's review of the current research and development corporations' model. DAFF's submission reinforced the need for well-targeted government spending on research and development;

• agreement by the Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna (CCSBT) to significant reductions in allowable catch of southern bluefin tuna for the 2010 and 2011 fishing seasons;

• announcement in the 2010-11 Budget of a down payment on the major reforms outlined in the 84 recommendations of the Beale review into Australia's biosecurity arrangements;

• restructuring of the work of the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS), Biosecurity Australia and other areas of the department into a single Biosecurity Services Group, in response to the Beale review;

2 See Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legi sl ation Committee, Annual reports (No. I of2010), March 2010, pp 11 - 12 .

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• roll out of new fees and charges as part of the Export Certification Reform Package on 1 December 2009;

• streamlining of the delivery of the department's corporate functions, such as finance, communications and human resources, in order to allocate resources to priority areas, in view of the tight 2009-10 portfolio budget;

• implementation of a new internal budget system and process; and

• finalisation of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Strategic Plan for 2010-15 and development of a supporting governance framework.3

2.8 From 1 July 2010, the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE) and the Bureau of Rural Sciences (BRS) merged to form a single bureau.4

Report mt performance

2.9 DAFF has measured its performance against the deliverables and key performance indicators (KPis) specified in the 2009-10 PBS. A helpful overview of DAFF's performance framework is provided at the beginning of the report on performance. A summary of performance showing whether targets have been met is

included in the section covering the year in review. The committee notes that in 2009-10 the department exceeded, fully met or substantially met 95 percent of the performance targets set for its 15 programs.5

2.10 This is a comprehensive section of the report containing detailed and useful information. The committee noted the following items:

• The Caring for our Country 2010-2011 Business Plan was released in January 2010. It reflects extensive stakeholder feedback on the previous year's business plan and incorporates a range of investment approaches better tailored to the needs of stakeholders. A new fully automated

online application process has been developed for most Caring for our Country components. The 2008-09 Annual Report Card for Caring for our Country, which reports on progress towards achieving outcomes, is being prepared for release in the 201 0-11 financial year. 6

• As part of the 2009-10 Budget, the government ceased annual

appropriation funding to Land and Water Australia (L W A) and directed

3 Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Annual Report 2009-10, pp 2-Q , 34, 115 and 171.

4 Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Annual Report 2009-10, p. 6.

5 Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Annual Report 2009-10, pp 9-11 and 32- 33.

6 Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Annual Report 2009-10, p. 46.

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the board to wind up the organisation by 31 December 2009. The department worked closely with L W A in the development of a wind-up plan to make sure that the government's priorities were met and the intent of the savings measure was preserved. 7

• All rounds of the Securing our Fishing Future structural adjustment package have now finished. During 2009-10, the last 140 projects under the Fishing Community Assistance and Onshore Business Development Assistance programs were finalised. 8

• The department began implementing the government's response to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Primary Industries and Resources report, More than Honey: the future of the Australian honey bee and pollination industries. A draft Honey Bee Industry and Pollination Continuation Strategy was developed to help prepare industry and government agencies in the event that the Varroa mite, the most significant honey bee pest, becomes established in Australia. A comprehensive consultation process is planned for 2010-11.9

• Under program 1.3, forestry industry, the targets for four out of six KPis were met; the remaining two were substantially met:

Under the Asia-Pacific Forestry Skills and Capacity Building Program, grants have been approved subject to successful negotiation of contracts with applicants; and

89% (8 out of 9) of the Regional Forest Agreements reviews were completed, except for Western Australia. 10

• Under program 1.4, fishing industry:

The target for the number of annual reports published for program partners was substantially met, with three out of five annual reports published. Reports for the Western Australia Fisheries Joint Authority and the Queensland Fisheries Joint Authority are being reviewed with the relevant state authorities; and

Five fisheries harvest strategies were evaluated through the Fisheries Research Program, partially meeting the target of ten. 11

• Under program 2.2, plant and animal health, the target for one out of four KPis was not met. Two additional industry groups were required to

7 Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Annual Report 2009-10, pp 47-48.

8 Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Annual Report 2009-10, p. 59.

9 Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Annual Report 2009-10, pp 66--67.

10 Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Annual Report 2009-10, p. 56.

11 Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Annual Report 2009-10, pp 62--63.

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be covered by national cost-sharing agreements relating to national plant and animal health arrangements, but this was not achieved. 12

2.11 The committee observes that the report on performance must include a statement noting if the department has historically met each KPI. 13 DAFF indicated that this information has not been included in its current report as its KPis were significantly revised and reduced during the transition from an output to a program

structure. This made it difficult to compare across years, however, DAFF is 'set to provide trend information in future years' .14

Management and accountability

2.12 One major ANAO performance audit relating to DAFF's activities and two cross-portfolio audits involving DAFF were tabled during 2009-10. In addition, the Commonwealth Ombudsman published two reports on the department's operations. Those reports of particular interest are discussed below.

2.13 The ANAO Audit Report No. 47 of 2009-10, Management of Live Animal Imports, found that DAFF has established a sound framework for managing quarantine risks in relation to the importation of live animals. However, the audit highlighted that the documentation of examinations and quarantine decisions was

deficient for the majority of the 207 consignments reviewed by the ANAO. In addition, the audit identified a need to improve the effectiveness of compliance monitoring of quarantine approved premises. The ANAO made two recommendations aimed at providing DAFF with greater assurance that import conditions are being met and quarantine approved premises are being effectively audited for compliance with relevant criteria. DAFF has accepted the recommendations and is implementing them. 15

2.14 The Commonwealth Ombudsman's report no. 13/2009, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forest1y: Compliance and Investigations Activities of the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service (AQIS), Report 1, was released in August 2009. The ombudsman's investigation implemented a recommendation by the Senate

Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee in its 2006 report on the inquiry into the outbreak of citrus canker in Queensland in 2004:

Recommendation 4

The committee recommends that twice a year, the Commonwealth Ombudsman review all investigations carried out by AQIS to assess

12 Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Annual Report 2009-10, p. 143.

13 Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies and FMA Act Bodies, June 2010, p. 7.

14 Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Annual Report 2009-10, p. 33.

15 Australian National Audit Office (ANAO), Management of Live Animal Imports, Audit Report No. 47, 2009-10 , pp 17-18,26-27, 60 and 79-81.

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whether they have been conducted by appropriately trained staff, in a timely manner, in accordance with all the relevant legislation and according to the rules adopted by AQIS' executive. 16

2.15 The ombudsman's report, the first in a series of investigations into the work of the AQIS Compliance and Investigation Unit (CIU), reviews CIU policies, procedures, case management systems and quality assurance processes. The primary issues identified during the investigation included: ambiguities and inconsistencies in the legislative framework; limitations on available sanctions and the ability to prosecute offences; lack of internal regulatory and coordination mechanisms; and an overly broad and subjective matrix for assessing risk as part of the case prioritisation process. The ombudsman made 13 recommendations which DAFF has accepted. 17

2.16 The Commonwealth Ombudsman's report no. 19/2009, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry: Administration of Various Grant Schemes, followed the investigation of complaints received about the administration of three executive grant schemes developed by DAFF and administered by Centrelink: the Murray-Darling Basin Irrigation Management Grant (IMG), the Tobacco Grower Adjustment Assistance Package 2006 and the Exceptional Circumstances Exit Grant Package 2007. The ombudsman identified a number of recurring problems including DAFF's failure to make executive grant scheme guidelines publicly available and to update the public about changes to the grants in a timely manner. 18

2.17 The ombudsman recommended that the department revise its procedures to ensure that grant scheme guidelines are carefully drafted, promptly published and not applied retrospectively when amended. He also recommended that the department play a more active role in reviewing the decisions made under its grant schemes and in monitoring complaints relating to their administration. DAFF has accepted and addressed these recommendations. 19

2.18 However, DAFF rejected the ombudsman's draft recommendation that applications lodged by complainants under the IMG be reconsidered under the policy guidelines in place at the date of lodgement of the application. While DAFF agreed with the general principle that changes to policy guidelines should be applied prospectively rather than retrospectively, DAFF described the changes as

16 Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee, The administration by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry of the citrus canker outbreak, June 2006, pp 50-51.

17 Commonwealth Ombudsman, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry: Compliance and Investigations Activities of the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service (AQIS), Report 1: Audit of Policies, Procedures, Systems and Processes, Report no. 13 /2009, August 2009, pp 1-3 and 18-22.

18 Commonwealth Ombudsman, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry: Administration of Various Grant Schemes, Report no . 19/2009, December 2009, pp 1 and 15 .

19 Commonwealth Ombudsman, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry: Administration of Various Grant Schemes, Report no. 19/2009, December 2009, pp 17-18.

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'clarifications' rather than 'changes' of policy. As the underlying policy intent had not changed, DAFF considered it appropriate that the amendments were applied . 1 20 retrospective y.

2.19 The committee notes that DAFF's net cost of services was $21.2 million compared to the budgeted break-even figures in the Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements (P AES). This increase was due to a government decision, after publication of the P AES, to provide additional funds to implement reforms in export certification totalling $49.9 million. This has been offset by an unbudgeted surplus of

$28.9 million, mainly due to a change in accounting policy for recognition of income equalisation accounts. 21

Conclusion

2.20 The committee considers that DAFF's Annual Report 2009-10 complies with the reporting requirements of a Commonwealth department.

Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government

2.21 The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government (Infrastructure) Annual Report 2009-10 was prepared in accordance with section 63 of the Public Service Act 1999 and other relevant legislation. The report was tabled in the Senate on 27 October 2010.

2.22 The report is presented in accordance with the list of requirements specified in the Requirements for Annual Reports.

2.23 Infrastructure has provided a comprehensive review of its performance for 2009-10. Its report is clearly presented and includes a detailed and easy to follow list of requirements.

2.24 Once again, Infrastructure has provided information on the grant programs it administers, referring readers to its web pages for information. Following comments

20 Commonwealth Ombudsman, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry: Administration of Various Grant Schemes, Report no. 19/2009, December 2009, pp 5-6, 7- 9, and 17-18.

21 Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Annual Report 2009-10, p. 8. See also Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2009-10, Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Portfolio, pp 42 and 43.

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made in previous reports, the committee is pleased to note that Infrastructure has improved the internet links provided, facilitating access to this information. 22

2.25 The Infrastructure Annual Report for 2009-10 contains the following information:

• the secretary's yearly review highlighting the achievements of the department and a summary of the financial performance for the year;

• a departmental overview outlining Infrastructure's outcome, program and organisational structure;

• report on performance as measured against deliverables and key performance indicators (KPis) specified in the Portfolio Budget Statements (PBS);

• report on Infrastructure Australia's performance as measured against deliverables and KPis specified in the PBS;

• an overview of the department's management and accountability arrangements, including corporate governance framework, external scrutiny, and management of human resources;

• appendices detailing agency resource statements, resources for outcomes, procurement practices, compliance with the Commonwealth Disability Strategy, environmental performance, reporting under the FOI and OH&S Acts, grants programs, additional human resource statistics, and list of requirements; and

• financial statements.

Departmental overview

2.26 The committee notes that newly appointed secretary, Mr Mike Mrdak, commissioned a strategic audit to:

assess the Department's capability and capacity to respond to the Australian Government's priorities and to deliver the Australian Government's agenda across the portfolio. 23

2.27 Two of the initial outcomes of this audit saw the establishment of the Major Infrastructure Projects Office and the Policy and Research Division. The Major Infrastructure Projects Office will provide 'governance, information, training, tools and value-adding services for major infrastructure project delivery'. 24 The Policy and

22 Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee, Annual Reports (No . 1 of 2008), March 2008, p. 15-16; Annual Reports (No. 1 of 2009), March 2009, p. 11 ; and Annual Reports (No.1 of2010), March 2010, p. 16.

23 Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, Annual Report 2009-10, p. 2.

24 Department oflnfrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, Annual Report 2009-10, p. 3.

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Research division will strengthen the department's strategic policy capabilities in areas such as infrastructure, cities, transport reform, local government and regional development. The new division includes the existing Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE)?5

2.28 The committee notes the following items of significance for Infrastructure during 2009-10:

• administration of programs providing over $6 .5 billion in direct and indirect grants for the construction and maintenance of land transport infrastructure, as part of the government's Nation Building-Economic Stimulus Plan;

• implementation of the Council of Australian Governments' (COAG) decisions to implement reform proposals to introduce single national regulatory systems for heavy vehicles, maritime safety and rail safety. This included development of National Partnership Agreements with state and territory governments to underpin the national regulatory systems;

• introduction of a range of aviation security measures, including passenger screening and cargo security measures based on the national aviation policy statement, to continue strengthening aviation security;

• establishment of the seven-member National Road Safety Council, to advise the Australian Transport Council on the implementation of road safety measures;

• release of the Aviation White Paper in December 2009, setting out a range of policies and initiatives for the Australian aviation industry over the next 20 years;

• appointment of Regional Development Australia (RDA) committees in all states and territories, with the first RDA National Forum being held in March 2010;

• implementation of the East Kimberley Development Package, with 29 project plans approved in 2009-10 to deliver social and common use infrastructure in the region;

• hosting of the third meeting of the Australian Council of Local Government in June 2010, under the theme 'Sustainable Communities';

• contracting of a total of 167 projects under the $40 million Jobs Fund­ Bike Paths program. The program is expected to generate approximately 1,860 long-term and short-term jobs in communities across Australia;

25 Department oflnfrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, Annual Rep011 2009-10, p. 4.

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• administration of the Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program providing over $329.5 million for community infrastructure projects identified as priority investments by local communities; and

• release of the final report of the Northern Australia Land and Water Taskforce, Sustainable Development of Northern Australia, in February 2010.26

2.29 Infrastructure reported an operating deficit of $0.2 million for 2009-10. This was within the department's approved operating deficit of $2.4 million.27

Report 011 performance

2.30 Infrastructure has measured its performance against the deliverables and key performance indicators (KPis) specified in the 2009-10 PBS. A useful summary of performance is provided at the beginning of each program section. The committee is pleased to note that, following comments in a previous report, Infrastructure has reinstated its rating scale of 'achieved', 'substantially achieved', 'partially achieved' and 'not achieved' to indicate whether KPI targets in the PBS have been met. The committee notes that in 2009-10 all of the department's KPI targets were 'achieved'.28

2.31 Under Program 1, the committee notes that:

• works commenced on 57 land transport infrastructure projects in 2009-10, including projects under the investment and off-network programs, the Nation Building Plan for the Future and the Australian Rail Track Corporation (AR TC) equity injection. A total of 46 land transport infrastructure projects were completed, as well as 33 road projects and

13 rail projects; 29 and

• a total of $113 .6 million was provided for Nation Building Black Spot Projects, to improve road safety at identified crash sites. This included additional funding of $60 million provided under the Nation Building­ Economic Stimulus Plan. During 2009-10, 655 Black Spot projects were completed, with a further 209 underway as at 30 June 2010.

30

26 Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, Annual Report 2009-10, pp 3-4, 35 , 39, 59, 87 and 92.

27 Department oflnfrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, Annual Report 2009-10, p. 5.

28 Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, Annual Report 2009-10, pp 21 , 36-38, 46,60, 69, 88- 89, 98 and 109. See also Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee, Annual reports (No. 1 of 2010), March 2010, p. 18 .

29 Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, Annual Report 2009-10, pp 21 and 25-26.

30 Department oflnfrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, Annual Report 2009-10, pp 19, 21 , 23 and 27.

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2.32 Under Program 2, the committee notes that:

• the department worked with Centrelink to address the issue of low claims processing performance under the Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme. As a result, there were significant improvements from November 2009 onwards, with claims processing levels returning to normal by the end of June 2010. 40 per cent of claims were lodged through the online claim lodgement facility, which was launched in the previous year. Infrastructure reported that the number of claims continued to increase from 10,751 in 2008-09 to 14,473 in 2009-10;31 and

• the Aviation White Paper, Flight Path to the Future, was launched in December 2009, identifying more than 130 initiatives for the long term direction of the Australian aviation industry. Many of these initiatives were implemented in the six months following its release, including legislative amendments to give effect to initiatives to improve planning at Australia's major airports. New funding of $200 million over four years was provided in the 2010-11 Budget to invest in new and

improved security technologies for passenger and luggage screening, increased policing at airports, and enhanced security procedures.32

2.33 Under Program 3, the committee notes that:

• the department worked with the Western Australian Government, the Shire of Wyndham-East Kimberley, and two Indigenous organisations to develop plans for delivering 29 infrastructure projects as part of the East Kimberley Development Package. Of the $87.1 million allocated in 2009-10, $82.9 million was expended, with the remaining $4.3 million 'rephased' for payments occurring in 2010-11. The projects will continue to 2011-12?3

2.34 The committee observes that the report on performance must include a statement noting if the department has historically met each KPI, a new mandatory inclusion in the Requirements for Annual Reports. 34

As the committee was unable to

locate any reference to this information in Infrastructure's report for 2009-10, the department is encouraged to address this in future reports.

31 Department oflnfrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, Annual Report 2009-10, p. 51.

32 Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, Annual Rep ort 2009-10, pp 68 , 69- 70 and 72-73 .

33 Department oflnfrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, Annual Report 2009-10, pp 92 and 95.

34 Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies and FMA Act Bodies, June 2010, p. 7.

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Management and accountability

2.35 Three major ANAO performance audits of Infrastructure activities and four cross-portfolio audits involving Infrastructure were tabled during 2009-10.

2.36 The ANAO Audit Report No. 31 of 2009-10, Management of th e AusLink Roads to Recovery Program, assessed the effectiveness of the management of the second (standard) and third (supplementary) Roads to Recovery (R2R) Programs, including the extent to which additional, rather than substitute, funding was provided

for local roads.

2.37 The ANAO found that the distribution of funding under these programs had been effectively administered, with more than $1.5 billion paid to local government authorities (LGAs) for more than 16,500 projects to construct and maintain local roads. Almost all LGAs received their full allocation under the Standard Program and all LGAs received their Supplementary Program allocations. 35

2.38 However, the ANAO found that LGA compliance with a range of important funding conditions had been less than satisfactory. The ANAO recommended that the program would benefit from adopting a range of cost-effective strategies aimed at improving the understanding of, and adherence to, program funding conditions and administrative arrangements by LGAs and their auditors. 36

2.39 In addition, the ANAO recommended that the department review key elements of the program design to assess their continuing appropriateness. In particular:

• the formula used to allocate funding to individual LGAs in view of capacity constraints that affect the ability of some LGAs to spend their R2R funds as well as maintain their own source expenditure on roads, a fundamental principle underpinning the program; and

• whether to pay LGAs in arrears rather than in advance, given that a significant proportion of advance payments remained unspent by LGAs for considerable periods of time and that many LGAs did not require advance payments.37

2.40 The ANAO made two further recommendations to enhance program accountability arrangements and strengthen program governance. Infrastructure has accepted all four recommendations.

35 ANAO, Management of th e AusLink Roads to Recovery Program, Audit Report No. 31 , 2009-10, p. 16 .

36 ANAO, Management of the Roads to Recovery Program, Audit Report No. 31 , 2009-10, p. 17 .

37 ANAO,ManagementoftheAusLinkRoads to Recovery Program , Audit Report No. 31 , 2009-10, pp 17- 18.

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2.41 The ANAO Audit Report No. 30 of 2009-10, Management of the Strategic Regional Program/Off Network Program, examined five funding rounds of this grant program to see whether it had been effectively administered. The Strategic Regional Program ended in June 2009, when it was replaced by the Nation Building Off­ Network Program.

2.42 The ANAO observed that a common feature of several funding rounds was that funding decisions were not demonstrably focused on approving those projects assessed as best meeting published eligibility and assessment criteria. The ANAO found that 65 per cent of projects approved for funding in those rounds had either:

• not been assessed against the published program guidelines;

• had been assessed as being ineligible under the guidelines; or

• had not been assessed as meeting the relevant criteria to a high degree. 38

2.43 Further, the department did not make any formal recommendations about which projects should be funded, based on its assessment process, and reasons for approving grants were not documented by the then Minister. 39

2.44 In addition, the ANAO observed that the administration of the program had been affected by decisions of both the former and current governments to use the available funding to meet the cost of election commitments. While this is a relatively common approach, in this case it meant that stakeholder expectations of funding being competitively allocated based on applications received from Local Government Authorities were unlikely to be met. 40

2.45 The audit also took into account changes to the legislative and policy framework applying to grants administration from 1 July 2009, with the amendment of the FMA Act and the promulgation of the Commonwealth Grant Guidelines. Decision makers are now required to record the substantive reasons for approving grant funding (and the basis on which the proposed grant satisfies the statutory requirements for approving the expenditure of public money). The ANAO considers that the enhanced framework promotes greater transparency and accountability for fu do d • • 41 n mg ec1s10ns.

2.46 The ANAO made seven recommendations aimed at promoting transparent and accountable decision-making in a way that is consistent with the principles of the

38 ANAO, Management of the Strategic Regional Program/Off-Network Program, Audit Report No. 30, 2009-10, p. 22.

39 ANAO, Management of the Strategic Regional Program/Off-Network Program, Audit Report No. 30, 2009-10, p. 22.

40 ANAO, Management of the Strategic Regional Program/Off-Network Program, Audit Report No. 30, 2009-10, p. 21.

41 ANAO, Management of the Strategic Regional Program/Off-Network Program, Audit Report No. 30,2009-10, pp 19,23 and 26.

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new grants policy framework. Infrastructure has accepted five of the seven recommendations. It has agreed in principle to the remaining two but noted that they were not applicable to the Off-Network Program, so will not be implemented.42

2.47 The ANAO Audit Report No. 9 of 2009-10, Airservices Australia's Upp er Airspace Management Contracts with th e Solomon Islands Government, follows up on the ANAO's previous report of the same name, Audit Report No. 8 of 2006-07. The previous report found that Airservices Australia's commercial interests had overshadowed its responsibilities as a Commonwealth statutory authority. This report assesses the extent to which Airservices Australia and, where relevant, Infrastructure, have implemented the four previous ANAO recommendations. 43

2.48 The ANAO found that Airservices Australia has changed its strategic direction to focus on its core business and, as a result, no longer aims to pursue new commercial revenue opportunities such as this. The ANAO indicated that while the likelihood of administrative irregularities reoccurring is reduced in these circumstances, Airservices Australia and Infrastructure have substantially implemented the four recommendations from the previous audit report. The follow-up audit did not make any further recommendations.44

Conclusion

2.49 The committee considers that Infrastructure's Annual Report 2009-10 complies with the reporting requirements of a Commonwealth department.

42 ANAO, Management of th e Strategic Regional Program/Off-Network Program, Audit Report No. 30, 2009-10, pp 24 and 38-43.

43 ANAO, Airs ervices Australia's Upp er Airspace Management Contracts with th e Solomon Islands Government, Audit Report No. 9, 2009-10, pp 12- 13 .

44 ANAO, Airservices Australia 's Upp er Airspace Management Co ntracts with th e Solomon Islands Government, Audit Report No.9, 2009-10, p. 13 .

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Chapter 3

Annual reports of agencies

3.1 The committee considered all of the following reports to be 'apparently satisfactory'.

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio

Commonwealth authorities

A ustralian Wine and B randy Co rporation

3.2 Once again, the committee commends the A WBC for certifying its compliance with the Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines in the prescribed manner, as outlined in paragraphs 1.34 and 1.35.

3.3 The A WBC reported that it had achieved an operating surplus of $3 55 ,000 for 2009-10, compared to the budgeted break-even figures in the PBS. This was due to income being $ 11 7,000 above budget and expenses below budget by $238,000. 1

3.4 The committee notes that a new Chairman and a new CEO were appointed during the year. The A WBC carried out an organisational restructure which reduced its staff members by four. The resulting savings in operating costs are being redirected towards 'increasing the demand for Australian wine and improving Australia's image in key markets in Asia, Australia and North America. In addition, the A WBC has received approval to spend in the next three-year period, $1.5 million of accrued cash reserves in support of these marketing priorities'. 2

3.5 The A WBC reported that a comprehensive review of the export approval process for wine from Australia was conducted during the year. While several alternative regulatory structures were proposed, 'the A WBC intends to retain the existing arrangements with some notable enhancements, including the recruitment of wine inspectors from states other than South Australia, improving traceability of bulk wine shipments, and closer sc rutiny of overseas facilities packaging Australian wine'. 3

Rural Industries R esearch and Development Corporation

3.6 The committee commends the RIRDC for providing a comprehensive review of its functions, activities and outcomes in its annual report for 2009-10. Overall, it s

Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation, Annual Report 2009-10, p. 24.

2 Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation, Annual Report 2009-10, pp 4, 5 and 25 .

3 Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation, Annual Report 2009-10, pp 6 and 21 .

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26

report was well structured and easy to read. The RIRDC's reporting against the EPBC and OH&S Acts was particularly thorough.

3.7 The committee reminds the RIRDC that its reporting under the FOI Act is required to contain information about arrangements for others to participate in its policy formulation process. The committee was disappointed to fmd that the RIRDC's reporting on the Commonwealth Disability Strategy no longer contains information about its implementation of the Strategy, only a general statement. The committee encourages the RIRDC to include this information in upcoming reports.

3.8 In a previous report, the committee noted that the RIRDC had implemented a new Evaluation Framework for reviewing each of its programs in the final year of its five-year plan.4 The Framework contains two major components-a performance review and an impact assessment. In its 2009-1 0 report, the RIRDC indicated that it carried out evaluations on three projects within the Tea Tree Oil Program and three projects under the Global Challenges Program. The RIRDC has provided a detailed description of the methodology used, the potential benefits (economic, environmental and social) identified, and the key results from the performance assessment. The analysis found that the projects provide positive returns with individual benefit-cost ratios ranging from 3:1 to 75:1 for the Tea Tree Oil R&D projects, and 2:1 to 4:1 for the Global Challenges Program projects. 5

3.9 The committee notes that the RIRDC's income and expenditure for the year were both higher than forecast in the PBS. Total income for 2009-10 was $26.7 million, $7.6 million higher than expected, while expenditure was $21.96 million, $2.8 million higher than planned.6

Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government portfolio

Commonwealth authorities

Australian Maritime Safety Authority

3.10 Overall the committee found AMSA's report to be informative, well presented and easy to read. It provides a comprehensive review of AMSA's activities, including the challenges faced during 2009-10.

4 Senate Rural Affairs and Transport Legi slation Committee, Annual Reports (No. 2 of2010) , November 2010, p. 16.

5 Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation, Annual Rep ort 2009-10, pp 8 and I7- 20.

6 Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation, Annual Rep ort 2009-10, pp I4 and I 8 I- I 82; and Portfolio Budget Statements 2009-10, Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Portfolio, pp 2IO and 215 .

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3.11 The committee is pleased to note that following comments made in the committee's previous reports, AMSA has included information about indemnities and insurance premiums in place for officers, as specified under section 16 of the CAC Orders.

3.12 However, the committee found the compliance index in this report to be incomplete and difficult to follow once again. 7 In many cases it did not reflect the wording of the requirements in the CAC Act and the CAC Orders. In particular, a number of items were not clearly identified in the compliance index, even though they

were addressed in the body of the report. These included:

• certification by the directors (there was only a reference to 'Letter of Authority');

• Auditor-General's report;

• location of major activities and facilities;

• factors, events and trends influencing performance over the financial year;

• significant events referred to in section 15 of the CAC Act (only significant changes in the authorities state of affairs were included in the compliance index); and

• developments since the end of the financial year.

3.13 The committee notes that while ministerial directions under AMSA's enabling act were addressed, there was no reference in the text to ministerial directions under section 28 of the CAC Act.

3.14 Once again, the committee commends AMSA for its thorough reporting under the OH&S Act. AMSA's reporting under the FOI Act was also comprehensive, however, as mentioned in the committee's previous reports, details of arrangements for outside bodies to participate in policy formulation were provided in a separate

section under 'Our Stakeholders'. The committee encourages AMSA to provide a cross-reference to this section in future reports. 8

3.15 The committee notes that AMSA recorded a net deficit of $7.238 million compared to a budgeted deficit of $11.8 million in 2009-10. Both expenditure and revenue were higher than originally expected. Revenue increased by $10.386 million or 7.5 percent over the previous year, due to stronger than expected levy collections.

7 See the committee's comments in previous reports: Senate Standing Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport, Annual Reports (No. 1 of 2009) , March 2009, p. 26; and Senate Rural Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee, Annual Reports (No.2 of2010), November 2010, p. 18.

8 Senate Standing Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport, Annual reports (No. 1 of2009), March 2009, p. 27; and Senate Rural Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee, Annual Reports (No.2 of2010), November 2010, p. 19.

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Levy revenue is expected to continue to increase in 20 1 0-11 driven by continued strong demand for commodities. Expenditure increased by $10.566 million or 7.3 percent and was driven by clean up costs from three major pollution response operations:

• finalising the clean-up of the Pacific Adventurer oil spill which occurred in April 2009;

• dealing with the Montara Wellhead Plaiform gas and oil leak. AMSA reported that this was the greatest challenge faced since the National Plan was established in 1973. It was AMSA's first involvement in a pollution incident from a wellhead and the difficulties were compounded by the lengthy time frame of the incident, the distance from shore, isolation, weather conditions and the volume of the spill; and

• assisting in the Queensland Government's response to the grounding of the Chinese-registered bulk carrier Shen Neng 1 in the Great Barrier Reef and the subsequent oil spill due to hull damage. 9

Prescribed agencies

Australian Transport Safety Bureau

3.16 The committee notes that this is the first report of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB). The ATSB was established as an independent statutory agency under the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003 on 1 July 2009. Previously, the ATSB was an operational division of the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government. The A TSB was established financially through a transfer of assets and liabilities from the Department under the FMA Act. The A TSB reported an operating surplus of $0.3 million for its first year of

0

10

operatiOns.

3.17 The committee considers that the ATSB has fulfilled its reporting requirements under the FMA Act and its own governing legislation very well. The ATSB's report is clear, well structured and easy to read.

3.18 The committee commends the ATSB for fully complying with the requirements relating to certification of fraud control compliance, consultancies, agency resource statements and resources for outcomes. The ATSB's compliance index was detailed and accurate and its reporting under the POI Act was also thorough.

3.19 The committee notes that the ATSB's reporting under the Commonwealth Disability Strategy was clearly laid out. However, under the Requirements for Annual

9 Australian Maritime Safety Authority, Annual Report 2009-10, pp I, 5, 11 - 12, 33- 34 and 147-149.

10 Austral ian Transport Safety Bureau, Annual Report 2009-10, pp 3, 28 and 122.

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Reports an assessment of an agency's performance in implementing the

Commonwealth Disability Strategy must be provided in accordance with the terms set out in the Guide to the Performance Reporting Framework. The committee encourages the ATSB to include this information in future report . 11

3.20 The ATSB has measured its performance against key performance indicators, deliverables and targets, as specified in the 2009-10 PBS. 12 A helpful table is

provided, with descriptive summaries of the result , however, there is no clear rating scale to assess whether results have been fully achieved.

3.2 1 The committee notes the following items of significance for the ATSB:

• a total of 90 investigation (aviation, marin and rail) were completed for 2009-1 0, with 103 investigations active as at 30 June 20 I 0; 13

• 13 safety recommendations were issued in 2009-10, with II accepted , one partially accepted, and the remaining recommendation still awaiting 14 a response;

• there bas been a notable decline in reported rai l level crossin g coll isions, particularly those involving heavy vehicles. The A TSB observed that it ha focused significant resources on the investigation of the e accident in recent year , and this work, combined with the action of regulatory bodies, may have contributed to a trend of improved afety in this area;

15

• from it trend ana ly i of general aviation safety, the AT B ob erved

that the fatality rate ha not igni ficantly varied over the Ia t ten year , nor have the major contributors to tho e fatali ti e : 'fuel management controlled fli ght into terrain wire trike and visual fli ght in in trument conditions'. The T B indicated that a detailed inve tigation i adding

little safety value, a hift of empha i to greater afety education

neces ary; 16

a new in ve ti gation team wa e tabli hed in December 2009. The Le el 5 team produce hort ummary report on a larger number f afety

occurrence . Thi complement the work of thee ta li h d inve tigati n

II Department of Prime M ini er and abinet. Requirements for Annual Reports for Department .f. Executil'e Agencies and FMA Act Bodies. June 2010. p. 14.

12 Portfolio Budget Statem ents 2009-10. lnfrastroc/IJre. Transport. Regional Development and Local Government Portfolio. pp 186-188.

13 u ralian Transport afety Bureau, Annual Report 2009-10. pp 31-32.

14 Australian Transport afety Bureau, Annual Report 2009-10. p. 59.

15 ustralian Transport afety Bureau. Annual Report 2009-10. pp 31 and 43.

16 Australian Transport afety Bureau. Annual Report 2009-10. p. 6.

30

teams which will now focus on a slightly smaller number of more significant and complex investigations; 17 and

• under the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003, the Chief

Commissioner is required to report on the investigations that have raised significant issues in transport safety. 18 One investigation highlighted for this reason was the collision of the yacht Ella's Pink Lady and the bulk carrier Silver Yang. The investigation found that:

neither the yacht's skipper nor the ship's watch keepers were keeping a proper lookout, nor were they appropriately using navigational aids to manage the risk of collision; and that

following the collision, the ship's watch keeper did not adequately offer to assist the yacht's skipper.

The A TSB highlighted this failure to stop and render assistance after a collision as an ongoing concern in marine investigations. The ATSB regards this as a global problem, and is continuing to raise its concerns through the International Maritime Organization. 19

Statutory corporations

Natio11al Tra11sport Commissio11

3.22 In its previous reports the committee noted that the NTC is not a

Commonwealth authority for the purposes of the CAC Act. However, the NTC's enabling legislation states that certain sections of the CAC Act apply to it, including section 9 relating to annual reporting requirements. Under Schedule 1 of the CAC Act, an agency's annual report must include a report of operations prepared in accordance with the CAC Orders.20

3.23 The committee is pleased to note that the NTC has made a number of improvements to its Annual Report for 2009-10. In particular, the NTC has included both a compliance index and an alphabetical index listing some of the requirements contained in the CAC Orders. However, a number of reporting requirements have still not been addressed in the index or the body of the report. The committee encourages the NTC to address the requirements more fully in future reports. Where the NTC has

17 Australi an Transport Safety Bureau, Annual Report 2009-I 0, pp 7 and 31.

18 Australian Transport Safety Bureau, Annual Report 2009-IO, pp 3-4.

19 Australian Transport Safety Bureau, Annual Report 2009-I 0, pp 4 and 31.

20 Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee, Annual reports (No. I of 2006), p. 4; Annual reports (No. I of 2007), pp 8-9; Annual reports (No. 2 of 2008), p. 16; Annual reports (No. 2 of2009), p. 26; and Annual reports (No. I of 2010), p . 27.

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nothing to report against an item, it would be useful to record a nil entry or 'not applicable'. 2 1

3.24 The NTC reported that in December 2009, COAG agreed to establish a National Rail Safety Regulator to modernise Australia's rail safety regulatory system. The regulator will administer a single national Act, covering all aspects of rail safety including operations, equipment standards, hours of work, fatigue and worker health.

The NTC indicated that a national regulator will work to deliver more effective, consistent and responsive rail safety outcomes. In addition, a single national regulator will also cut unnecessary red tape, as Australia currently has seven different rail safety regulators operating across eight states and territories, which adds to operators'

I . 22

comp 1ance costs.

Commonwealth companies

Australian Rail Track Corporation Ltd

3.25 The committee notes that following a $544 million net loss in 2008 -09, the AR TC reported a net profit of $94 million after interest, tax and impairment. The ARTC also reported an increase in total revenue, from $565 million in 2008-09 to $605 million in 2009-10.23

3.26 In previous reports the committee noted that the ARTC's annual report did not contain either an alphabetical or a compliance index. The committee reminds the ARTC that while not mandatory, its annual report would benefit from the inclusion of both types of index.

3.27 The committee again encourages the ARTC to comply with the Printing standards for documents presented to Parliament, which specify that all documents to be presented in Parliament must be printed in international B5 size. 24

Senator Glenn Sterle Chair

21 See Commonwealth Authorities and Companies (Report of Operations) Orders 2008.

22 National Transport Commission, Annual Report 2009-10, p. 23.

23 Australian Rail Track Corporation Ltd, Annual Report 2009-10, p. 3.

24 This document can be accessed at http://www.aph.gov.au/house/committee/publ/printing standards.htm .

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280

Appendix 1

List of annual reports referred to the committee during the period 1 May 2010 to 31 October 2010

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio

Legislation Letter of Date Sent Date Tabling

transmittal to r eceived by date*

date Minis ter Minister

Departments of State

Department of Agricu lture, Public Service Act 1999 19/09/10 17/09110 17/09110 2511011 0* Fisheries and Forestry-Report for 2009 -1 0 Financial Management (received

and Accountability Act 1511 0110)

1997

Common wealth authorities

Australi an Wine and Brandy Australian Win e and 1/10110 1511011 0 15110110 27/1011 0

Corporation-Report for Brandy C01poration 2009-10 Act 1980

CAC Act 1997

Ru ral Industries Research PIERDAct 1989 30/09/1 0 30/09/10 1110/10 26/10110

and Development Corporation-Report for CAC Act 1997 2009-10

* An asterisk denotes reports presented to the President out-of-session.

281

34

Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government portfolio

Legislation Letter of Date Date Tabling

transmittal Sent to received by date*

date Minister Minister

Department of State

Department of Infrastructure, Public Service Act 1999 9/10/10 12/10/ 10 12110110 27/ 10110

Transport, Regional

Airports (Environment

Development and Local Government-Report for Protection) Regulations 2009-10

197

Air Navigation Act 1920

Aircraft Noise levy Collection Act 1995

FMAAct 1997

Commonwealth authorities

Australian Maritime Safety Australian Maritime 22/09/10 8/10/10 11/10110 26/10110

Authority-Report for 2009- Safety Authority Act 10 1990

CAC Act 1997

Prescribed agencies

Australian Transport Safety Transport Safety 13/10/10 19/ 10110 19/ 10110 27/10110

Bureau- Report for 2009-10 Investigation Act 2003

FMAAct 1997

Statutory corporations

National Transport National Transport 7110110 6/10/10 15/10/10 27/10110

Commission-Report for Commission Act 2003 2009 -1 0 CAC Act 1997 (sections 9, 18, 20 and Schedule

1)

Commonwealth companies

Australian Rail Track Corporations Act 2001 1110110 6/10/10 26/10110

Corporation Ltd-Report for 2009 -1 0

282

35

Legislation Letter of Date Date Tabling

transmittal Sent to received by date*

date Minister Minister

Australian River Co. Corporations Act 2001 29/03110 1/04/10 28/09/10*

Limited-Report for l December 2008 to CAC Act 1997 (received

30 November 2009 20/08110)

Other

Civil Aviation Safety Civil Aviation Act 1988 n/a 21112/09 21 / 12/09 11 /05/ 10

Authority- Corporate Plan 2009-10 to 2011-12

International Air Services International Air 16/09/10 21109/ 10 21 /09110 15111 110*

Co mmission- Report for Services Commission 2009-10 Act 1992 (received

29/1011 0)

Local Government Local Government n/a 20/05110 20/05110 15/06/10

(Financial Assistance) Act (Financial Assistance) 1995-report on the Act 1995

operation of the Act for 2007-08

Sydney Ailport Demand Sy dn ey Ailport n/a 3/05/10 5/05/10 28/09110*

Management Act 1997- Demand Management quarterly report on the Act 1997 (received

maximum movement limit 15/0711 0)

for the period 1 January to 31 March 2010

*An asterisk denotes reports presented to the President out-of-session.

283

36

284

Appendix 2

List of annual reports tabled after 31 October 2010

Agriculture, Fisheries and For estry portfolio

Legislation Letter of Date Sent Date Tabling

transmittal to r eceived by date*

da te Minister Minister

Co mmonwealth authorities

Cotton Research and PIERD Act 1989 1110/10 15/10/10 25/10/10 24111110

Development Corporation-Report for 2009-10 CAC Act 1997

Fi sheries Research and PIERD Act 1989 21 /08/10 21110110 3111 11 0 9/02111 *

Development Corporation-Report for 2009 -10 CACAct 1997 (received

1/12110)

Grains Research and PIERD Act 1989 15110/10 1511 0/10 1511 0/10 16/11110

Development Corporation-Report for 2009-10 CAC Act 1997

Grape and Wine Research PIERD Act 1989 27/0911 0 13/10110 1311 0/1 0 16/11 /10

and Development Corporation-Report for CACAct 1997 2009-10

Sugar Research and PIERD Act 1989 30/09/10 21110/1 0 8/1 1110 9/02111 *

Development Corporation-Report for 2009-10 CACAct 1997 (received

1112110)

Prescribed agencies

Australian Fisheries Fisheries 5/10/10 5110/10 6110/10 16111110

Management Authority- Administration Act Report for 2009-10 1991

FMAAct 1997

Australian Pesticides and Agricultural and 5110/10 22/09/10 23/09/10 16111110

Veterinary Medicines Veterinmy Ch emicals Authority-Report for 2009- (Administration) Act 10 1992

FMAAct 1997

285

38

Legislation Letter of Date Sent Date Tabling

transmittal to received by date*

date Minister Minister

Wheat Exports Australia- Wh eat Export 31/10110 3 1110/10 3/11110 9/0211 1

Report for 2009-10 Marketing Act 2008

FMAAct 1997

Other

Australian Meat and Australian Meat and n/a 23 /0911 0 23/09/10 161111 10

Live-stock Indus fly Act Live-stock lndust1y Act 1997-Report to Parliament 1997 on Live-stock Mortalities for Exports by Sea for the Reporting Period 1 January to 30 June 2010

Australian Landcare Natural Resources Nov 2010 5/ 11 11 0 25 /1 1/1 0 9/0211 1 *

Council-Report for 2009- Management 10 (Financial Assistance) (recei ved

Act 1992 15/1 211 0)

Australian Livestock Export Australian Meat and 1911 011 0 19/1 0/ 10 1711 111 0

Corporation (LiveCorp)- Live-stock Indust1y A ct Report for 2009-10 1997

Cmporations Act 2001

Dairy Australia Limited- Dairy Pro duce Act 2211 011 0 1711 111 0 23 11 111 0

Report for 2009-10 1986

Corporations Act 2001

National Residue Survey- National Residue 91111 10 10/ 11 /10 9/0211 1 *

Report for 2009-10 Survey Administration

Act 1992 (received

30/ 11110)

National Rural Advisory Rural Adjustment A ct 14/1 0/1 0 18/ 1011 0 1911 011 0 9/0211 1 * Council- Report for 2009- 1992 10 (received 2 1112/10) *An asterisk denotes reports presented to the President out-of-session.

286

39

Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government portfolio

Legislation Letter of Date Date Tabling

transmittal Sent to received by date*

date Minister Minister

Co mmonwealth authorities

Airservices Australia- Air Services Act 1995 15110/ 10 15110110 15/ 10/10 16111 /10

Report for 2009-10

CAC Act 1997

Civil Aviation Safety Civil Aviation Act 1988 24/09110 28/09110 28/09/ 10 15/ 11 110*

Authority- Report for 2009-10 CAC Act 1997 (received

111 111 0)

Other

Airservices Australia Equal Employment n/a 30/09110 30/09110 2311 1110

National Equity and Opportunity

Di versity Program 2007- (Commonwealth 20 I 0- Progress Report Authorities) Act 1987 2009- 10

Airservices Australia- Air Services Act 1995 18111110 13/09/ 10 13 /09110 9/02111

Corporate Plan 1 Ju ly 20 10 to 30 June 2015 CAC Act 1997

Australian Rai l Track C01porations Act 2001 n/a 17/06/ 10 23 /06/ 10 23 /11110

Corporation Ltd- Statement of corporate intent 2010- 11

Sydney Airport Demand Sydney Ailport n/a 28/7/10 2/08/ 10 23111110

Management Act 1997- Demand Management quarterly report on the Act 1997

maximum movement limit for the period 1 Apri l to 30 June 2010

Sydney Abport Demand Sy dn ey Ai1port n/a 28/10/ 10 1111110 23111110

Management Act 1997- Demand Management quarterly report on the Act 1997

maximum movement limit for the period 1 July to 30 September 2010

* An asterisk denotes reports presented to the President out-of-session.

287

288

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

PARLIAMENTARY PAPER No. 72 of 2011 ORDERED TO BE PRINTED

ISSN 0727-4181