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Senate Legislative and General Purpose Standing Committees—Consolidated reports on the examination of annual reports—No. 1 of 2014


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Australian Senate

Senate Legislation Committees

Reports on the examination of annual reports No. 1 of 2014

March 2014

© Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia 2014

ISSN 1834-4054

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

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Community Affairs Committee

Annual reports (No. 1 of 2014), dated March 2014 .................................... 1

Economics Committee

Annual reports (No. 1 of 2014), dated March 2014 .................................. 37

Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Committee

Annual reports (No. 1 of 2014), dated March 2014 .................................. 99

Environment and Communications Committee

Annual reports (No. 1 of 2014), dated March 2014 ................................ 125

Finance and Public Administration Committee

Annual reports (No. 1 of 2014), dated March 2014 ................................ 153

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee

Annual reports (No. 1 of 2014), dated March 2014 ................................ 183

Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee

Annual reports (No. 1 of 2014), dated March 2014 ................................ 227

Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee

Annual reports (No. 1 of 2014), dated March 2014 ................................ 269

The Senate

Community Affairs

Legislation Committee

Annual reports (No. 1 of 2014)

March 2014

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 Commonwealth of Australia 2014

ISBN 978-1-74229-951-8

Secretariat

Mr Matthew Crawshaw (Committee Secretary)

Ms Eloise Menzies (Research Officer until 27 September 2013)

Ms Elise Williamson (Research Officer)

Ms Carol Stewart (Administrative Officer)

PO Box 6100 Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: 02 6277 3515

Fax: 02 6277 5829

E-mail: community.affairs.sen@aph.gov.au Internet: www.aph.gov.au/senate_ca

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

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MEMBERSHIP OF THE COMMITTEE

44th Parliament

Members

Senator Sue Boyce, Chair Queensland, LP

Senator Rachel Siewert, Deputy Chair Western Australia, AG

Senator Carol Brown Tasmania, ALP

Senator Nova Peris OAM Northern Territory, ALP

Senator Zed Seselja Australian Capital Territory, LP

Senator Dean Smith Western Australia, LP

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

MEMBERSHIP OF THE COMMITTEE ...................................................... iii

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

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

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

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

Annual rep

orting requirements ............................................................................... 2

Apparently satisfactory ........................................................................................... 3

Timeliness of reports .............................................................................................. 4

Publishing standards for the Presentation of Documents to Parliament ................ 6

Compliance Index ................................................................................................... 6

Comments made in the Senate ............................................................................... 7

Additional Reports .................................................................................................. 7

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

Annual reports of Commonwealth Departments .................................................. 9

Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs . 9

Department of Health and Ageing ........................................................................ 12

Department of Human Services............................................................................ 15

Chapter 3............................................................................................................ 17

Annual Reports of Commonwealth Authorities, Companies and Agencies ..... 17

Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Portfolio ........ 17

Health and Ageing Portfolio ................................................................................. 17

Hu

man Services Portfolio ..................................................................................... 18

Anindil

yakwa Land Council................................................................................. 18

Northern La

nd Council ......................................................................................... 18

Australian Hearing ................................................................................................ 19

Administrator of the National Health Funding Pool ............................................ 19

Health Workforce Australia ................................................................................. 20

Australian Sports Commission ............................................................................. 20

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

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List of departments, agencies and bodies required to present annual reports to the Senate ................................................................................................................. 21

Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Portfolio ........ 21

Health and Ageing portfolio ................................................................................. 24

Human Services portfolio ..................................................................................... 29

Annual reports from non-Portfolio Agencies ....................................................... 29

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Chapter 1 Overview

1.1 This is the first Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee (the committee) report on annual reports for 2014. It provides an overview of the committee's examination of annual reports for the 2012-13 financial year tabled by 31 October 2013.1

Terms of Reference 1.2 On 29 September 2010, a resolution of the Senate allocated the following three portfolios to this committee:

 Health and Ageing;

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

 Human Services.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Purpose of annual reports 1.4 The primary purpose of annual reports is accountability, in particular to the Parliament.2 The tabling of annual reports places a great deal of information about government departments and agencies on the public record and assists in the effective examination of the performance of departments and agencies and the administration of government grants.

Annual reporting requirements 1.5 Senate Standing Order 25(20) requires that the committee report on annual reports tabled by 31 October 2013 each year by the tenth sitting day of 2014.

1.6 Pursuant to subsections 63(2) and 70(2) of the Public Service Act 1999, departments of state and executive agencies must prepare annual reports in accordance with the Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies and FMA Act Bodies.3

1.7 Amendments to the Requirements for Annual Reports applicable for the 2012-13 reporting period are:

 Spatial reporting — a new requirement has been added for selected portfolio agencies to report on expenditure in relation to the Spatial Reporting Framework.4

1.8 Under section 48 of the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 (the CAC Act), the Minister for Finance outlines the annual reporting requirements for Commonwealth authorities and companies in the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies (Report of Operations) 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.

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

1.10 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

2 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies and FMA Act Bodies, approved by the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit on 24 June 2013, p. 3, http://www.dpmc.gov.au/guidelines/index.cfm (11 March 2014).

3 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports, 2013, p. 1, ss. 3(1).

4 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports, 2013, p. i.

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the Annual Reports of Non-Statutory Bodies. The response was incorporated into the Senate Hansard of 8 December 1987.5

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

Apparently satisfactory 1.12 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.

General comments

1.13 This report considers thirty annual reports received during the period between 1 May 2013 and 31 October 2013. It also considers two annual reports that were received outside of the reporting periods for 2013, and were not included in the committee's Reports on Annual Reports for 2013: the Anindilyakwa Land Council and the

Northern Land Council annual reports, discussed in chapter 3. As the reports were received late, the Community Affairs Committee has considered them as they were referred to the committee before the changes in the Administrative Arrangements Order in September 2013. Future reports from the Anindilyakwa Land Council and the Northern Land Council will be considered by the Senate Finance and Public Administration Committee who examine the Prime Minister and Cabinet Portfolio reports.

1.14 Nine reports have been examined to determine whether or not their contents satisfy the detailed legislative requirements as set out in the CAC Act. Eleven annual reports have been checked to ascertain whether or not their contents satisfy the mandatory criteria for inclusion as set out in the FMA Act. Three Departments of State, three statutory office holders, one independent statutory officer, one independent non-statutory body, one independent expert body, and one regulatory scheme were assessed.

1.15 The report from the Coordinator General for Remote Indigenous Services is incorporated into the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs annual report as appendix L. The report for the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) is incorporated into the Department of Health and Ageing's Annual Report 2012-13 as Appendix 1 and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Pricing

Authority (PBPA) is incorporated into the Department of Health and Ageing's Annual Report 2012-13 as Appendix 2.

1.16 A list of the annual reports of departments, agencies and other bodies tabled in the Senate (or presented out of session to the President of the Senate), and referred to the committee for examination, can be found at Appendix 1. The table shows the

5 Senate Hansard, 8 December 1987, pp. 2643-45.

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legislation under which reports are required to be provided, tabling information, and the reporting period during which the report was provided. Reports tabled on or after 1 November 2013 will be considered in the committee's second Report on Annual Reports.

1.17 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. However, some specific comments about timeliness and adherence to reporting requirements are given below.

Timeliness of reports 1.18 Under Standing Order 25(20)(c), the committee must report to the Senate on any lateness in the presentation of annual reports. The Requirements for Annual Reports 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.

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.

1.19 If a department or agency is unable to meet this deadline, the secretary or agency head 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.

1.20 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.

1.21 Under section 36 of the CAC Act:

(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

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(c) in the case of a wholly-owned Commonwealth company — any additional information or report required by the Finance Minister's Orders.

(1A) 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 Interpretation Act 1901.

1.22 In the absence of any specific provision, subsection 34C(2) of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 requires bodies to present annual reports to ministers within 6 months after the end of the period reported upon, and ministers must table reports within 15 sitting days after receipt.

Annual reports for 2012-13

1.23 The majority of the annual reports referred to the committee were tabled within the specified period or shortly thereafter. The committee acknowledges that the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority and Food Standards Australia New Zealand provided notification that their reports would be delayed.

1.24 On 24 October 2013 the Australian Sports and Anti-Doping Authority wrote to the Minister for Sport requesting an extension until 22 November 2013. The Minister granted the extension and the report was tabled in the Senate on 3 December 2013. The report will be examined in the committee's Report on Annual Reports 2014(2).

1.25 On 28 October 2013 Food Standards Australia New Zealand wrote to the Assistant Minister for Health advising that they would be unable to provide the responsible Minister with a copy of the report before 15 October 2013, outlined in Section 9 of the CAC Act. As the report was received by the Senate after 31 October 2013, it will be considered in the committee's Report on Annual Reports 2014(2).

Compliance with best practice

1.26 The committee commends the following bodies for complying with best practice and tabling their annual reports prior to the Community Affairs supplementary budget estimates that commenced on 20 November 2013:

 Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous

Affairs;

 Department of Health and Ageing;

 Department of Human Services;

 Administrator of the National Health Funding Pool;

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 Aged Care Commissioner;

 Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency Limited;

 Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care;

 Australian Hearing;

 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare;

 Australian National Preventive Health Agency;

 Australian Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation Authority;

 Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency;

 Australian Sports Commission;

 Australian Sports Foundation Limited;

 Cancer Australia;

 Coordinator-General for Remote Indigenous Services;

 Health Workforce Australia;

 Independent Hospital Pricing Authority;

 National Blood Authority;

 National Health Funding Body;

 National Health Performance Authority;

 National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme;

 National Mental Health Commission;

 Office of the Gene Technology Regulator;

 Pharmaceutical Benefits Pricing Authority;

 Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee;

 Private Health Insurance Ombudsman; and

 Professional Services Review.

P

ublishing standards for the Presentation of Documents to Parliament 1.27 The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet has produced Guidelines for the Presentation of Documents to the Parliament. Section 4 covers the Presentation of Government documents (including Department and agency annual reports) to Parliament. Section 4.1, Printing and publishing standards for documents, states that:

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

Compliance Index 1.28 The committee is pleased to note that, in line with new reporting requirements, all annual reports considered for this report included a compliance index.

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Comments made in the Senate 1.29 The committee is obliged, under Senate Standing Order 25(20)(d), to take into account any relevant remarks made about these reports in the Senate. The committee is not aware of any comments made in the Senate regarding the annual reports of departments and agencies within its purview.

Additional Reports In addition to the reports listed in Appendix 1, the following reports were also referred to and received by the committee between the period of 1 July 2013 and 28 February 2014. The committee notes that these reports were referred for information only and the committee is not required by the terms of the Standing Order to report on these:

 Office of the Gene Technology Regulator — Quarterly report for 1 January to 31 March 2013 (tabled in the Senate 12 November 2013)

 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare — 11 th biennial welfare report of

the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2013 (tabled in the Senate 12 November 2013)

 Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency — Quarterly report for 1 April to 30 June 2013 (tabled in the Senate 10 December 2013)

 Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency — Quarterly report for 1 July to 30 September 2013 (tabled in the Senate 11 December 2013)

 National Health and Medical Research Council — Changes to national statement on ethical conduct in human research, 2007, updated December 2013 (tabled in the Senate 11 December 2013)

 Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 and Therapeutic Goods Amendment

(2009 Measures No.2) Act 2009 — Review of arrangements for scheduling substances under part 6-3 — Report by the scheduling review panel, dated September 2013 (tabled in the Senate 10 December 2013)

 Office of the Gene Technology Regulator — Quarterly Report for 1 April to 30 June 2013 (tabled in the Senate 02 December 2013)

 Aged Care Act 1997 — Report for 2012-13 on the operation of the Act (tabled in the Senate 02 December 2013)

 Healthcare Identifiers Act 2010 — Final report on the operation of the Act and the Healthcare Identifiers Service, dated June 2013 (tabled in the Senate 03 December 2013)

 Healthcare Identifiers Act 2010 and the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Records Act 2012 — Activities in relation to eHealth—Australian Information Commissioner—Report for 2012-13 (tabled in the Senate 03 December 2013)

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 Healthcare Identifiers Service operator—Department of Human Services

— Report for 2012-13 (tabled in the Senate December 2013)

 Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record System operator — Department of Health and Ageing—Report for 2012-13 (tabled in the Senate 03 December 2013)

 National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)—NHMRC

Licensing Committee—Report on the operation of the Research Involving Human Embryos Act 2002 for the period 1 March to 31 August 2013 (tabled in the Senate 11 February 2014)

 Gene Technology Regulator—Quarterly report for the period 1 July to 30 September 2013 (tabled in the Senate 11 February 2014)

 The Treasury — Tax Expenditure Statement 2012 — In accordance with procedural order no. 7 of continuing effect (tabled in the Senate 11 February 2014)

 National Health Reform Act 2011—Report for 2012-13 on reports released by the National Health Performance Authority (tabled in the Senate 11 February 2014)

 The Treasury — Mid-year economic and fiscal outlook—2013—14

—Statement by the Treasurer (Mr Hockey) and the Minister for Finance (Senator Cormann) (tabled in the Senate 12 February 2014)

 Department of Finance and Deregulation — Advances provided under the annual Appropriation Acts—Report for2012-13 (tabled in the Senate 13 February 2014)

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Chapter 2

Annual reports of Commonwealth Departments 2.1 For the financial year of 2012-13, the annual reports of the following departments were referred to the committee for examination and report:

 Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous

Affairs;

 Department of Health and Ageing; and

 Department of Human Services.

Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Tabling of the report

2.2 The 2012-13 annual report was received out of session by the President of the Senate on 29 October 2013 which made it available to Senators for examination at the supplementary budget estimates 2013-14 hearings.

Secretary's review

2.3 The secretary, Mr Finn Pratt, noted several significant achievements during 2012-13 including:

 The further development and refinement of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and foundation of DisabilityCare Australia (now the National Disability Insurance Agency1);

 Launching the NDIS from 1 July 2013 in South Australia, Tasmania, the Hunter region in New South Wales and the Barwon area in Victoria, and with seven state and territories signed up for a full ro1l out of the scheme by July 2019;

 Continuing commitment to the Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory package with 2012-13 being the first year into the 10 year commitment;

 Improving community safety in remote communities across the Northern

Territory with the Tackling Alcohol Abuse Implementation Plan and the Community Safety and Justice Implementation Plan;

 Ongoing work with the Parliamentary Joint Select Committee on

Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People to build public awareness and community support for the constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians;

1 After the Federal election on 7 September 2013, the incoming Government discontinued the use of the name ‘DisabilityCare Australia’, reverting to the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

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 Expanding income management into seven new sites and the introduction of

the Essential Medical Equipment Payment and Low Income Supplement as part of the Clean Energy Future package;

 Establishing the National Gambling Regulatory and working with industry

and the Queensland Government to run a trial of dynamic warning technology; and

 The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was established.2

Ministerial responsibilities

2.4 As at 30 June 2013, the ministers and parliamentary secretaries responsible for the portfolio and its agencies were:

 The Hon Jenny Macklin MP, Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, and Minister for Disability Reform;

 The Hon Mark Butler MP, Minister for Housing and Homelessness;

 The Hon Julie Collins MP, Minister for Community Services, Minister for

Indigenous Employment and Economic Development and Minister for the Status of Women;

 The Hon Amanda Rishworth MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Disability and

Carers; and

 The Hon Melissa Park MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Homelessness and

Social Housing.

Performance reporting

2.5 The annual report addresses the key performance indicators (KPIs) as listed in the Portfolio Budget Statements 2012-13. The committee notes that during 2012-13, the Research and Evaluation Committee assessed 36 projects against each of the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) outcomes. They also monitored several large evaluations including evaluations of the Paid Parental Leave scheme, Income Management and the National Disability Insurance Scheme.3

Financial performance

2.6 With the department continuing to manage a range of pressures including the compound effect of efficiency dividends and other targeted savings, their financial performance was regarded as strong.4

2 Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, 'Secretary's Review', Annual Report 2012-13, pp. 2-4

3 Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, 'Our Performance Part Two', Annual Report 2012-13, p. 26.

4 Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, 'Secretary's Review', Annual Report 2012-13, p. 6.

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2.7 Financial management measures taken by the department include finding efficiencies in travel, accommodation, and information and communication technology savings. The department is also looking at adjusting staff profiles, the appropriate use of temporary staffing arrangements, and re-engineering of Corporate Service functions.5

2.8 The department reported a $50.6 million deficit for 2012-13. As in the last financial year, the deficit was attributed to the:

Revised net cash appropriation arrangements, whereby asset replacement is funded through a capital appropriation rather than an operating appropriation.6

2.9 The operating surplus attributable to FaHCSIA was $0.3 million.7

2.10 Income increased for the department from $568.4 million in 2011-12 to $589.4 million in 2012-13. Government measures relating to the launch of DisabilityCare Australia, the National Gambling Regulator and the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse led to the increase.8

2.11 The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) makes audit recommendations to government agencies, and rates its audit findings on a risk scale: Category, A, B and C, corresponding to significant, moderate and low business or financial management risks respectively.9 The committee commends FaHCSIA on continuing to having no category A, B or C findings after the ANAO audit of the FaHCSIA 2012-13 financial statements.10

Transparency and Scrutiny

2.12 As mentioned in the committee's Report on Annual Reports 2013(1), the committee notes the work being undertaken by the Department of Finance and Deregulation and the ANAO in regards to agencies potentially breaching section 83 of the Constitution, whereby 'no money shall be drawn from the Treasury of the Commonwealth except under appropriation made by law'.11

5 Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, 'Secretary's Review', Annual Report 2012-13, p. 6.

6 Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, 'Managing our Finances', Annual Report 2012-1-32, p. 150.

7 Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, 'Managing our Finances', Annual Report 2012-1-32, p. 150.

8 Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, 'Managing our Finances', Annual Report 2012-1-32, p. 150.

9 The Auditor-General, Audit Report No. 51 2011-12 Interim Phase of the Audits of the Financial Statements of Major General Government Sector Agencies for the year ending 30 June 2012, Australian National Audit Office, 2012, p. 17, fn. 4.

10 Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, 'Managing our Finances', Annual Report 2012-13, p. 150.

11 The Constitution of Australia, Chapter IV—Finance and Trade, sec. 83.

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2.13 FaHCSIA continues to monitor its level of compliance across all legislation that it has administrative responsibility in accordance with section 83 of the Constitution.12

Department of Health and Ageing Tabling of the report

2.14 The 2012-13 annual report was received out of session by the President of the Senate on 31 October 2013 which made it available to Senators for examination at the supplementary budget estimates 2013-14 hearings.

Secretary's review

2.15 The secretary, Professor Jane Halton, noted numerous significant achievements including:

 Gains being made to lower smoking rates across the population;

 Tackling obesity through work to develop front of pack labelling to provide consumers with information about making health choices;

 Providing Australians with free treatment as a public patient in public

hospitals through Medicare;

 The Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme (PBS) has subsidised around 750

medicines available in more than 7970 forms;

 Providing a comprehensive immunisation program, with a greater range of

vaccines free to citizens compared to most other countries;

 Implementing change through the Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA)

National Alignment (DNA) to ensure the department is in the best position to implement and manage key priorities and programs;

 Implementation of single-header, multi-year funding agreements and

improved contract management tools and processes to address the administrative burden on government funded non-for-profit organisations; and

 The active contribution the department's staff made in supporting the Hartley Lifecare Boundless Canberra.13

Chief Medical Officer's Report

2.16 Professor Chris Baggoley, Chief Medical Officer, addressed four main issues in his report, namely immunisation, emerging new viruses and diseases, antimicrobial resistance, and early diagnosis and screening for cancer.

2.17 Professor Baggoley noted that Australia's National Immunisation Program is continuing to be successful in contributing to our low infant mortality and high life-expectancy rates. The National Immunisation Program's ongoing success is

12 Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, 'FaHCSIA Financial Statements', Annual Report 2012-1-32, p. 250.

13 Department of Health and Ageing, 'Secretary's Review', Annual Report 2012-2013, pp. 1-2.

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demonstrated through the reduction of many vaccine preventable diseases. He notes that Australia is achieving good results with childhood immunisation coverage, with at or above 90% average coverage for children at one, two, five years old. However, some geographical areas are reporting significant lower coverage which is a significant concern to the Chief Medical Officer.14

2.18 Emerging infectious diseases such as the Avian influenza A (H5N1) identified in China and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), continue to pose threats to the health of Australians. While there have been no cases of either virus in Australia, the department has undertaken planning and response measures in conjunction with the Communicable Diseases Network Australia, with Australia being well placed to respond to new communicable disease threats should they occur in Australia.15

2.19 In February 2013 the Australian Antimicrobial Resistance Prevention and Containment Steering Group was established to look at the critical issue impacting on Australia's health; antimicrobial resistance.16

2.20 BreastScreen Australia, the National Cervical Screening Program and the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program have demonstrated that screening can detect early signs of cancer, increase the chances for successful treatment and reduce mortality for these cancers.17

Changes in administrative arrangements

2.21 The portfolio outcome structure was amended in 2012-13 to include one new portfolio agency, the National Health Funding Body to provide transparent and efficient administration and funding to Australia's public hospital system.18

Ministerial responsibilities

2.22 As at 30 June 2013, the ministers and parliamentary secretaries responsible for the portfolio and its agencies were:

 The Hon Tanya Plibersek MP, Minister for Health;

 The Hon Mark Butler MP, Minister for Mental Health and Ageing;

 The Hon Warren Snowdon MP, Minister for Indigenous Health;

14 Department of Health and Ageing, 'Chief Medical Officer's Report', Annual Report 2012-2013, p. 3.

15 Department of Health and Ageing, 'Chief Medical Officer's Report', Annual Report 2012-2013, pp. 3-5.

16 Department of Health and Ageing, 'Chief Medical Officer's Report', Annual Report 2012-2013, p. 5.

17 Department of Health and Ageing, 'Chief Medical Officer's Report', Annual Report 2012-2013, p. 5.

18 Department of Health and Ageing, 'Overview of the Department', Annual Report 2012-2013, p. 22.

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 The Hon Shayne Neumann MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Health and

Ageing; and

 The Hon Melissa Parke MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Mental Health. 19

Performance reporting

2.23 The annual report addresses KPIs as listed in the Portfolio Budget Statements 2012-13. The committee acknowledges that the vast majority of performance indicators

were met or substantially met.20

2.24 The committee notes the department's achievement in expanding the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program to include people turning 60 from 1 July 2013.21

2.25 The committee also notes the achievement of the department in finalising Australia's first National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Strategy.22

Financial performance

2.26 In 2012-13, the department recorded an operating deficit of $52.1 million under the net cash appropriation model introduced by the Commonwealth in 2010-11.23

2.27 For the 2012-13 reporting period, the total expenses administered on behalf of the department was $51.2 billion, an increase of $1.5 billion from the previous year. Subsidies expenses increased by 4.2%, from $9.1 billion in 2011-12 to $9.4 billion in 2012-13, primarily being administered by the Ageing and Aged Care Division to provide quality and cost-effective care for older people and their carers. Grant expenses also increased by 14.5% to $7.0 billion in line with budget expectations.24

2.28 To meet financial challenges ahead, the department is progressing key reforms and perusing all avenues for productivity and efficiency improvement. Key reforms include improving IT governance, automation of grants procurement and program funding into a single, system and database alignment in the department's Enterprise Data Warehouse.25

19 Department of Health and Ageing, 'Overview of the Department', Annual Report 2012-2013, p. 20.

20 Department of Health and Ageing, 'Performance Reporting', Annual Report 2012-2013, pp. 28-199.

21 Department of Health and Ageing, 'Outcome 1 Population Health', Annual Report 2012-2013, p. 28.

22 Department of Health and Ageing, 'Outcome 11 Mental Health', Annual Report 2012-2013, p. 162.

23 Department of Health and Ageing, 'Financial Performance', Annual Report 2012-2013, p. 278.

24 Department of Health and Ageing, 'Financial Performance', Annual Report 2012-2013, p. 277.

25 Department of Health and Ageing, 'Financial Performance', Annual Report 2012-2013, p. 280.

20

Page 15

Department of Human Services Tabling of the report

2.29 The 2012-13 annual report was presented out of session on 22 October 2013 (and tabled on 12 November 2013). This made it available to Senators for the supplementary budget estimates 2013-14 hearings.

Secretary's review

2.30 The secretary, Ms Kathryn Campbell, noted several achievements of the department including:

 Making payments totalling $149.4 billion on behalf of the government;

 Students, families, seniors and job seekers being able to conduct many

transactions via new apps made for smartphones;

 Streamline of services into new smart centres, taking phone calls and

processing across programs such as Centrelink and Medicare;

 Administering new payments and services including key elements of the

government's aged care package, Living Longer. Living Better; and

 Commitment of staff volunteering to travel to affected areas by cyclones and bushfires to provide support.26

Ministerial Responsibilities

2.31 As at 30 June 2013, the Minister responsible for the Human Services Portfolio was Senator the Hon Jan McLucas.27

Performance reporting

2.32 The annual report addresses the KPIs as listed in the Portfolio Budget Statements 2012-13. The committee acknowledges that the Department of Human Services met 25 of its 28 KPIs.28

2.33 The department notes the continuous improvements in service delivery reform, new business and design processes and expanding research capabilities underpin the department's culture. With the launch of the department's self-service mobile apps, there was significant growth for 2012-13 in the department's online and self-service capabilities. Customers using Apple and Android smartphones were able to access the department's services 'on the go'. During 2012-13, the app was downloaded more than 750 000 times, with self-service use across programs such as Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support.29

26 Department of Human Services, 'Secretary's Review', Annual Report 2012-13, pp. 2-3.

27 Department of Human Services, 'Our Department and our Partnerships', Annual Report 2012-13, p. 7.

28 Department of Human Services, 'Secretary's Review', Annual Report 2012-13, p. 3.

29 Department of Human Services, 'Transforming and Delivering Services', Annual Report 2012-13, p. 29.

21

Page 16

2.34 The department delivers social policy services to families with children, including assistance to separated families through child support services and new programs such as Dad and Partner Pay. Since its beginning in January 2013, 27 000 fathers and partners received the new payment. The department provides assistance to older Australian and 2.3 million Australians were delivered Age Pension payments.30

2.35 The department achieved payment correctness at 98 per cent, higher than their target of 95 per cent, and recovered $1.2 billion of Centrelink payment debts.31

Financial performance

2.36 In 2012-13, the department reported an operating deficit of $7.3 million before unfunded deprecation and revaluation adjustments. This is compared to a $38.6 million deficit in 2011-12.

2.37 In 2012-13, the department changed the method for calculating the operating deficit reported. In the 2011-12 Annual Report the loss of $14.8 million reported included the impact of revaluation adjustments and funded depreciation.

2.38 An estimated $149.4 billion in payments were administered by the department in 2012-13.32

30 Department of Human Services, 'Families, People Looking For Work, Studying or Unable to Work, and Older Australians', Annual Report 2012-13, pp. 68-69.

31 Department of Human Services, 'Ensuring Compliance and Business Integrity', Annual Report 2012-13, p. 188.

32 Department of Human Services, 'Financial Overview and Financial Statements, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 252.

22

Chapter 3

Annual Reports of Commonwealth Authorities, Companies and Agencies 3.1 For the financial year 2012-13, the annual reports of the following statutory bodies were referred to the committee for examination and report during the period 1 May to 31 October 2013:

Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Portfolio  Aged Care Commissioner;

 Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency Limited; and

 Coordinator-General for Remote Indigenous Services.

Health and Ageing Portfolio  Administrator of the National Health Funding Pool;

 Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care;

 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare;

 Australian National Preventive Health Agency;

 Australian Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation Authority;

 Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency;

 Australian Sports Commission;

 Australian Sports Foundation Limited;

 Cancer Australia;

 Health Workforce Australia;

 Independent Hospital Pricing Authority;

 National Blood Authority;

 National Health Funding Body National Health Performance Authority;

 National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme;

 National Mental Health Commission;

 Office of the Gene Technology Regulator;

 Pharmaceutical Benefits Pricing Authority;

 Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee;

 Private Health Insurance Ombudsman; and

 Professional Services Review.

23

Page 18

Human Services Portfolio  Australian Hearing

3.2 The committee chose selected reports on which to make more detailed comment. Examined in more detail are the annual reports of:

 Anindilyakwa Land Council;

 Northern Land Council;

 Australian Hearing;

 Administrator of the National Health Funding Pool;

 Health Workforce Australia; and

 Australian Sports Commission.

Anindilyakwa Land Council 3.1 The Anindilyakwa Land Council (ALC) formally commenced as an Australian Government Statutory Authority in 1991, undertaking the role previously carried out by the Northern Land Council. In the 2011-12 reporting period the ALC celebrated 20 years of operation.

3.2 The committee commends the ALC on a well-presented and informative annual report. The committee is pleased to note that, following recommendations from the committee's Report on Annual Reports 2012(2),1 the ALC has included a compliance index and further information about staff employed in this year's report.

3.3 The committee notes that future reports would benefit from including a general index and glossary, and ensuring that the compliance index is easy to locate, for instance by including its location in the table of contents.

Northern Land Council 3.4 The Northern Land Council was established in 1973, and became a statutory authority in 1976, following the enactment of the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976.2 Achievements noted for this reporting period include the development of a new draft Strategic Plan for 2012-2017, and, alongside the Anindilyakwa Land Council, successfully lobbying the Northern Territory Government to introduce a three-year moratorium on exploration and seabed mining in the Territory's coastal waters.3

3.5 The committee finds the Northern Land Council's Annual Report to be well presented, informative, and easy to navigate. The committee is pleased to note that the

1 Community Affairs Legislation Committee, Report on Annual Reports 2012(2), September 2012, p. 18.

2 Northern Land Council, Annual Report 2011-2012, p. 14.

3 Northern Land Council, Annual Report 2011-2012, p. 24, see also Anindilyakwa Land Council, Annual Report 2011-2012, p. 43.

24

Page 19

2011-2012 report includes a compliance index. Future reports would also benefit from the inclusion of a general index.

Australian Hearing 3.6 Australian Hearing was established by the Australian Government in 1947 to provide hearing services to children affected by a series of rubella epidemics and to assist veterans who suffered hearing damage during World War Two. Australian Hearing is a statutory authority constituted under the

Australian Hearing Services Act 1991.4 Highlights for Australian Hearing for the 2012—13 period included providing a total of 463,497 hearing services with 68,296 services being provided to children and young Australians up to the age of 26. A second Hearing Bus was launched during the year, providing improved access to hearing services in regional areas.5

3.7 The Committee finds Australian Hearing Annual Report to be well presented and easy to navigate and complies with the CAC Act reporting requirements.

Administrator of the National Health Funding Pool 3.8 The National Health Funding Pool and the position of Administrator was established following the signing of the National Health Reform Agreement by all Australian Governments in August 2011. The Pool commenced operations on 1 July 2012 after the passage of the Commonwealth National Health Reform Act 2011 and related national health reform legislation in all state and territory parliaments. The key objectives are providing transparency and sustainability in funding of Australia's health and hospital system.6

3.9 The Administrator of the National Health Funding Pool is an independent statutory office holder and is not subject to the control or direction of any Commonwealth Minister.7

3.10 The committee congratulates the Administrator of the National Health Funding Pool on the presentation of his inaugural report. The committee notes that the Annual Report meets the requirements set out under sections 241 to 243 of the Commonwealth National Health Reform Act 2011.8 The Annual Report is well presented and the committee notes the value of the disclosure index on page 210 that outlines the requirements that must be included in the report.9

4 Australian Hearing, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 4.

5 Australian Hearing, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 3.

6 Administrator National Health Funding Pool, Annual Report 2012-13, p. v.

7 Administrator National Health Funding Pool, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 3.

8 Administrator National Health Funding Pool, Annual Report 2012-13, p. iii.

9 Administrator National Health Funding Pool, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 210.

25

Page 20

Health Workforce Australia 3.11 Health Workforce Australia (HWA) was established as a national health workforce agency by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG). It was established through the 2008 National Partnership Agreement on Hospital and Health Workforce Reform. Operations began in January 2010 with the enactment of the Health Workforce Australia Act 2009.10 HWA is a Commonwealth statutory authority that takes direction from the Standing Council of Health, which comprises of Health Ministers of Commonwealth, territory and state governments. HWA's goal is to build a sustainable health workforce for Australia.11

3.12 The committee notes the index of Annual Report requirements at the end of the report. For future reports the committee would benefit by having the compliance index in a table against the regulatory requirements that are currently laid out in the middle of the report.

Australian Sports Commission 3.13 Under the Administrative Arrangement Order on 18 September 2013, the Australian Sports Commission became a part of the Health Portfolio, moving from the Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport portfolio.12

3.14 The Australian Sports Commission is an Australian Government agency that was established in 1985 and operates under the

Australian Sports Commission Act 1989.13 The agency develops, supports and invests in sport at all levels. The Commission's national leadership is achieved through three operation areas; The Australian Institute of Sport, Participation and Sustainable Sports and Corporate Operations.14

The committee notes that the Australian Sports Foundation's activities, governance and financial statements are included in the Australian Sports Commission's report.15 The committee also notes the well laid out and easy to find information in the Annual Report.

Senator Dean Smith

Interim Chair

10 Health Workforce Australia, Annual Report 2012-13, p.14.

11 Health Workforce Australia, Annual Report 2012-13, p.14.

12 Administrative Arrangement Order, 18 September 2013, (viewed 6 March 2014), http://www.dpmc.gov.au/parliamentary/docs/aao_20130918.pdf

13 Australian Sports Commission, Annual Report 2012-13, front cover.

14 Australian Sports Commission, Annual Report 2012-13, front cover.

15 Australian Sports Foundation, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 130.

26

Appendix 1

List of departments, agencies and bodies required to present annual reports to the Senate Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Portfolio Department/Agency/Body Type Legislation Reporting

Year

Date tabled Senate

Date tabled House of Represent-

atives

Date received out of session by President of the Senate (if applicable)

Date

submitted to/ received by Minister (if available)

Received during period for Report 1

of 2014

Received during period for Report 2

of 2014

Anindilyakwa Land Council1 CAC Act - statutory authority

Section 37 of the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 and section 9 of the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997

2011-12 18/06/13 28/05/13 n/a 15/05/13

15/05/13

Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) FMA Act - Prescribed

agency

Section 114LC of the Family Law Act 1975, section 70 and subsection 70(1) of the Public Service Act 1999

2012-13 03/12/13 02/12/13 n/a 14/10/13

14/10/13

√

Aged Care Commissioner Statutory office holder - Departmental body

Section 95A-12 of the Aged Care Act 1997 2012-13 12/11/13 13/11/13 31/10/13 01/10/13

01/10/13

√

1 Report received outside of the reporting periods for 2013 Reports on Annual Reports; Report considered in Chapter 3

27

Page 22

Department/Agency/Body Type Legislation Reporting

Year

Date tabled Senate

Date tabled House of Represent-

atives

Date received out of session by President of the Senate (if applicable)

Date

submitted to/ received by Minister (if available)

Received during period for Report 1

of 2014

Received during period for Report 2

of 2014

Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency Ltd (ACSAA)

CAC Act - company (limited by guarantee)

Section 9 of the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997

2012-13 12/11/13 13/11/13 29/10/13 01/10/13

01/10/13

√

Coordinator-General for Remote Indigenous Services2 Statutory office holder

Section 28 (1) of the Coordinator-General for Remote Indigenous Services Act 2009

2012-13 12/11/13 13/11/13 29/10/13 04/10/13

04/10/13

√

Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs3

Department of State Section 63 of the Public Service Act 1999 (PS Act)

2012-13 12/11/13 13/11/13 29/10/13 04/10/13

04/10/13

√

National Disability Insurance Agency4 CAC Act- statutory

authority

Section 9 of the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 and section 172 of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013

2013-14

2 The Coordinator-General for Indigenous Services is included in the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs' Annual Report 2012-13 as Appendix L.

3 Name change to Department of Social Services. 4 First annual report will be 2013-14.

28

Page 23

Department/Agency/Body Type Legislation Reporting

Year

Date tabled Senate

Date tabled House of Represent-

atives

Date received out of session by President of the Senate (if applicable)

Date

submitted to/ received by Minister (if available)

Received during period for Report 1

of 2014

Received during period for Report 2

of 2014

Northern Land Council5 CAC Act - statutory authority

Section 37 of the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976, section 9 of the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 and the Native Title Act 1993

2011-12 25/06/13 25/06/13 n/a 30/05/13

30/05/13

Social Security Appeals Tribunal (SSAT) Statutory body Section 25 of the Social Security (Administration) Act 1999

2012-13 12/12/13 03/12/13 n/a 16/10/13

16/10/13

√

5 Report received outside of the reporting periods for 2013 Reports on Annual Reports; Report considered in Chapter 3.

29

Page 24

Health and Ageing portfolio Department/Agency/Body Type Legislation Reporting

Year

Date tabled Senate

Date tabled House of Represent-

atives

Date received out of session by President of the Senate (if applicable)

Date

submitted to/ received by Minister (if available)

Received during period for Report 1

of 2014

Received during period for Report 2 of

2014

Administrator of the National Health Funding Pool Independent Statutory

Officer

Section 241 and 243 of the National Health Reform Act 2011

2012-13 12/11/13 13/11/13 31/10/13 14/10/13

14/10/13

√

Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care

CAC Act - Commonwealth authority

Section 111 of the National Health Reform Act 2011 and Section 9 of the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997

2012-13 12/11/13 13/11/13 15/10/13 1/10/13

4/10/13

√

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) CAC Act - statutory

authority

Section 9 of the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997

2012-13 12/11/13 13/11/13 28/10/13 14/10/13

14/10/13

√

Australian National Preventive Health Agency (ANPHA)

FMA Act - Prescribed agency

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

2012-13 12/11/13 13/11/13 31/10/13 23/10/13

28/10/13

√

Australian Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation Authority

FMA Act - Prescribed agency

Subsection 28(1) of the Australian Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation Authority Act

2012-13 12/11/13 13/11/13 30/10/13 14/10/13

18/10/13

√

30

Page 25

Department/Agency/Body Type Legislation Reporting

Year

Date tabled Senate

Date tabled House of Represent-

atives

Date received out of session by President of the Senate (if applicable)

Date

submitted to/ received by Minister (if available)

Received during period for Report 1

of 2014

Received during period for Report 2 of

2014

Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA)

FMA Act Prescribed agency

Section 60(6) of the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Act 1998

2012-13 12/11/13 13/11/13 31/10/13 08/10/13

09/10/13

√

Australian Sports Anti- Doping Authority (ASADA) FMA Act- Prescribed

agency

Subsection 74(1) of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority Act 2006

2012-13 03/12/13 18/11/13 n/a 24/10/13

24/10/13

√

Australian Sports Commission CAC Act - statutory authority

Section 9 Of the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997

2012-13 12/11/13 13/11/13 30/10/13 03/10/13

04/10/13

√

Australian Sports Foundation Limited CAC Act - company

(limited by guarantee)

Section 9 Of the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997

2012-13 12/11/13 13/11/13 30/10/13 03/10/13

04/10/13

√

Cancer Australia FMA Act -

Prescribed agency

Section 37 of the Cancer Australia Act 2006 and Section 57 of the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997

2012-13 12/11/13 13/11/13 28/10/13 23/09/13

27/09/13

√

Department of Health and Ageing6 Department of the State

Section 63 of the Public Service Act 1999 (PS Act) 2012-13 (2

volumes)

12/11/13 13/11/13 31/10/13 23/10/13

23/10/13

√

6 Name change to Department of Health

31

Page 26

Department/Agency/Body Type Legislation Reporting

Year

Date tabled Senate

Date tabled House of Represent-

atives

Date received out of session by President of the Senate (if applicable)

Date

submitted to/ received by Minister (if available)

Received during period for Report 1

of 2014

Received during period for Report 2 of

2014

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) CAC Act - statutory

authority

Section 152 of the Food Standards Australia New Zealand Act 1991 and Schedule 1of the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997

2012-13 03/12/13 14/11/13 n/a 24/10/13

25/10/13

√

General Practice Education and Training Limited (GPET) CAC Act - company

(limited by guarantee)

Section 36 of the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997

2012-13 03/12/13 03/12/13 n/a 21/10/13

21/10/13

√

Health Workforce Australia (HWA) CAC Act - statutory

authority

Section 9 of the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997

2012-13 12/11/13 13/11/13 23/10/13 04/10/13

09/10/13

√

Independent Hospital Pricing Authority (IHPA) FMA Act - Prescribed

agency

Section 193 of the National Health Reform Amendment (Independent Hospital Pricing Authority) Act 2011 and section 57 of the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997

2012-13 12/11/13 13/11/13 24/10/13 27/09/13

14/10/13

√

Medical Training Review Panel (MTRP)7 Statutory authority

Subsection 3GC(4) of the Health Insurance Act 1973 2012-13

7 Report not yet received

32

Page 27

Department/Agency/Body Type Legislation Reporting

Year

Date tabled Senate

Date tabled House of Represent-

atives

Date received out of session by President of the Senate (if applicable)

Date

submitted to/ received by Minister (if available)

Received during period for Report 1

of 2014

Received during period for Report 2 of

2014

National Blood Authority (NBA) FMA Act - Prescribed

agency

Section 44 of the National Blood Authority Act 2003 2012-13 12/11/13 13/13/13 31/10/13 04/10/13

14/10/13

√

National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) FMA Act - Prescribed

agency

Section 83 of the National Health and Medical Research Council Act 1992 and Section 63 of the Public Service Act 1999

2012-13 12/11/13 13/11/13 11/11/13 04/11/13

04/11/13

√

National Health Funding Body (NHFB) FMA Act- Prescribed

agency

Section 70 of the Public Service Act 1999 and 267 of the

National Health Reform Act 2011

2012-13 12/11/13 13/11/13 31/10/13 14/10/13

15/10/13

√

National Health Performance Authority (NHPA) FMA Act - Prescribed

agency

Section 111 of the National Health Reform Act 2011 and Section 57 of the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997

2012-13 12/11/13 13/11/13 30/10/13 16/10/13

18/10/13

√

National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS)

Regulatory Scheme - Departmental body

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

2012-13 12/11/13 13/11/13 31/10/13 11/10/13

14/10/13

√

National Mental Health Commission FMA Act - Executive

Agency

Section 70 of the Public Service Act 1999

2012-13 12/11/13 13/11/13 31/10/13 23/10/13

29/10/13

√

33

Page 28

Department/Agency/Body Type Legislation Reporting

Year

Date tabled Senate

Date tabled House of Represent-

atives

Date received out of session by President of the Senate (if applicable)

Date

submitted to/ received by Minister (if available)

Received during period for Report 1

of 2014

Received during period for Report 2 of

2014

Office of the Gene Technology Regulator Statutory office holder -

Departmental body

Section 136 of the Gene Technology Act 2000 2012-13 12/11/13 13/11/13 30/10/13 25/09/13

25/09/13

√

Pharmaceutical Benefits Pricing Authority (PBPA)8 Independent non-statutory

body

Sub section 34(3) of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 2012-13 12/11/13 13/11/13 31/10/13 23/10/13

23/10/13

√

Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC)9 Independent expert body

Section 99YBC of the National Health Act 1953 2012-13 12/11/13 13/11/13 31/10/13 23/10/13

23/10/13

√

Private Health Insurance Administration Council (PHIAC)

CAC Act - statutory authority

Section 9 of the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997

2012-13 12/11/13 13/11/13 06/11/13 14/10/13

15/10/13

√

Private Health Insurance Ombudsman (PHIO) FMA Act - Prescribed

agency

Section 253-50 of the Private Health Insurance Act 2007 2012-13 12/11/13 13/11/13 25/10/13 26/09/13

02/10/13

√

Professional Services Review (PSR) FMA Act - Prescribed

agency

Section 106ZQ of the Health Insurance Act 1973 2012-13 12/11/13 13/11/13 31/10/13 16/10/13

18/10/13

√

8 Incorporated into the Department of Health and Ageing's Annual Report 2012-13 as Appendix 2. 9 Incorporated into the Department of Health and Ageing's Annual Report 2012-13 as Appendix 1.

34

Page 29

Human Services portfolio Department/Agency/Body Type Legislation Reporting

Year

Date tabled Senate

Date tabled House of Represent-

atives

Date received out of session by President of the Senate (if applicable)

Date

submitted to/ received by Minister (if available)

Received during period for Report 1

of 2014

Received during period for Report 2 of

2014

Australian Hearing CAC Act -

statutory authority

Section 9 of the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997

2012-13 12/11/13 13/11/13 18/10/13 04/10/13

14/10/13

√

Department of Human Services Department of the State

Section 63 of the Public Service Act 1999 (PS Act) 2012-13 12/11/13 13/11/13 22/10/13 10/10/13

11/10/13

√

Annual reports from non-Portfolio Agencies Department/Agency/Body Type Legislation Reporting

Year

Date tabled Senate

Date tabled House of Represent-

atives

Date received out of session by President of the Senate (if applicable)

Date

submitted to/ received by Minister (if available)

Received during period for Report 1

of 2014

Received during period for Report 2 of

2014

Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency10 Statutory Agency

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

2012-13 02/12/13 02/12/13 27/11/2013 06/11/13

14/11/13

√

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

35

36

The Senate

Economics

Legislation Committee

Annual reports (No. 1 of 2014)

March 2014

37

© Commonwealth of Australia 2014

ISBN 978-1-74229-952-5

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

ii

38

Senate Economics Legislation Committee

Members

Senator David Bushby, Chair Tasmania, LP

Senator Mark Bishop, Deputy Chair Western Australia, ALP

Senator Alan Eggleston Western Australia, LP

Senator Louise Pratt Western Australia, ALP

Senator John Williams New South Wales, NATS

Senator Nick Xenophon South Australia, IND

Secretariat

Dr Kathleen Dermody, Secretary Ms Leonie Lam, Research Officer

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

iii

39

40

TABLE OF CONTENTS

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

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

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

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

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

Role of annual reports ............................................................................................ 1

Assessment of annual reports ................................................................................. 2

Reports referred to the committee .......................................................................... 3

Additional reports referred to the committee ......................................................... 6

Organisational and operational changes ................................................................. 8

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

Chapter 1: Annual report of departments .................................................... 13

Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education—[includes IP Australia and the Tuition Protection Service] ............................................................................. 13

Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism [includes Geoscience Australia] ........................................................................... 15

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

Chapter 2: Individual 2012-13 Annual Reports ........................................... 21

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

Reports under the Treasury portfolio ................................................................... 26

Appendix 1 ......................................................................................................... 33

Industry portfolio ................................................................................................... 33

List of annual reports tabled in the Senate in the period 1 May to 31 October 2013, and before report tabling .......................................... 33

41

vi

Appendix 2 ......................................................................................................... 37

Treasury portfolio .................................................................................................. 37

List of annual reports tabled in the Senate in the period 1 May to 31 October 2013, and before report tabling .......................................... 37

Appendix 3 ......................................................................................................... 43

Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education operational structure at 30 June 2013 (previous) ........... 43

Appendix 4 ......................................................................................................... 45

Resources, Energy and Tourism portfolio structure and outcomes (previous) .... 45

Appendix 5 ......................................................................................................... 47

Treasury portfolio structure (previous) ................................................................ 47

Appendix 6 ......................................................................................................... 51

Industry Portfolio Structure (current) ................................................................... 51

Appendix 7 ......................................................................................................... 53

Treasury Portfolio Structure and outcomes (current) ........................................... 53

42

vii

Abbreviations

ABN Australian Business Number

AAO Administrative Arrangements Orders

AGCNCO Australian Government Competitive Neutrality Complaints Office

ANAO Australian National Audit Office

ASIC Act Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001

AER Australian Energy Regulator

ARENA Australian Renewable Energy Agency

AWPA Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency

BREE Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics

CAC Act Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997

CGS Commonwealth Government Securities

CRIS Cost Recovery Impact Statement

DCCEE Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency

DEEWR Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations

DIICCSRTE Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education

DRET Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism

FMA Act Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997

HELP Higher Education Loan Program (HELP)

HoR House of Representatives

IIF Innovation Investment Fund

IP Australia Intellectual Property Australia

KPI key performance indicator

43

viii

LDP Law Design Practice

MYEFO Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook

NOPSA National Offshore Petroleum Safety Authority

NOPSEMA National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority

NOPTA National Offshore Petroleum Titles Administrator

OHS Occupational Health and Safety

JCPAA Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit

PJC Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services

PBS Portfolio Budget Statements

PM&C Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet

PM&C guidelines or Requirements for Annual Reports Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies and FMA Act Bodies, last revised on 24 June 2013

SKA Square Kilometre Array

TFN Tax File Number

VET Vocational education and training

44

Preface

Introduction 1.1 This is the Senate Economics Legislation Committee's (the committee) first report on annual reports in 2014. It provides an overview of the committee's examination of annual reports for the 2012-13 financial reporting period.

Terms of reference 1.2 The Senate allocated departments and agencies to committees on 13 November 2013. In accordance with that resolution, the committee has responsibility for the oversight of the following:

• Industry portfolio; and

• Treasury portfolio.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Role of annual reports 1.4 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, as the information provided in annual reports assists in the effective examination of the performance of departments and agencies, and the administration of government programs.

1.5 Together with Portfolio Budget Statements (PBS) and the Estimates process, annual reports are the principal mechanisms for scrutiny of the operations of

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Government. Indeed, as highlighted in the Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies and FMA Act Bodies (Requirements for Annual Reports) released by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C), and

approved by the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit (JCPAA):

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.1

Annual reports and PB Statements are the principal formal accountability mechanisms between government and departments and from departments through (or on behalf of) government to the Parliament.2

Assessment of annual reports 1.6 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.

1.7 The requirements are set out as follows:

• Departments of State and Executive Agencies present their annual reports pursuant to subsections 63(2) and 70(2) of Public Service Act 1999, and 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 (FMA Act).3

• Commonwealth authorities and companies present their annual reports

pursuant to their own enabling legislation and/or sections 9, 36 and 48 of the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 (CAC Act). Those commonwealth authorities and companies reporting under the CAC Act are required to comply with the Commonwealth Companies (Annual Reporting) Orders 2011 and the Commonwealth Companies (Annual Reporting) Orders 2011, respectively.

• Guidelines for the annual reports of non-statutory bodies are set out in the

Government Response to recommendations of the then Senate Standing

1 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies and FMA Act Bodies (Requirements for Annual Reports), 24 June 2013, paragraph 5(2).

2 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports, 24 June 2013, paragraph 6(1).

3 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports, 24 June 2013, paragraph 3(1).

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Committee on Finance and Public Administration on Non-statutory bodies, Senate Hansard, 8 December 1987, pp 2643-45.

1.8 The legislation governing the annual reports of various agencies and the tabling information is shown in Appendices 1, 2 and 3.

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

Changes to reporting requirements

1.10 The 2012-13 annual reports are prepared in accordance with the Requirements for Annual Reports. These requirements are reviewed annually and the latest version was issued on 24 June 2013.

1.11 Significant amendments to the most recent Requirements for Annual Reports relate to:

• Spatial reporting—a new requirement has been added for selected portfolio

agencies to report on expenditure in relation to the Spatial Reporting Framework.4 This framework was established to improve reporting of regional expenditure.

Reports referred to the committee 1.12 Under Standing Order 25(20)(f), the committee is required to report on the annual reports of departments and agencies tabled by 31 October each year by the tenth sitting day of the following year (and on annual reports tabled by 30 April each year by the tenth sitting day after 30 June of that year). This year that date is 19 March 2014.5 This Report on Annual Reports also examines annual reports that were tabled after 31 October 2013 but before this report's tabling.

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

Departments of State

• Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education [includes IP Australia and the Tuition Protection Service];

• Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism [includes Geoscience Australia (non-statutory agency)]; and

• Department of the Treasury;

4 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports, 24 June 2013, p. i.

5 The committee is also required to report on annual reports tabled in the Senate by 30 April each year by the tenth sitting day after 30 June of that year.

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Prescribed agencies under the FMA Act

• Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (independent statutory agency); 6

• Australian Accounting Standards Board (independent statutory agency); 7

• Australian Bureau of Statistics (statutory agency);

• Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission—Report for the period 3 December 2012 to 30 June 2013;

• Australian Competition and Consumer Commission [includes the Australian Energy Regulator] (independent statutory authority);

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

• Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (statutory agency);

• Australian Securities and Investments Commission (statutory agency); 8

• Australian Skills Quality Authority (independent statutory agency);

• Australian Taxation Office (statutory agency);

• Commonwealth Grants Commission (statutory agency);

• Corporations and Markets Advisory Committee (statutory agency); 9

• Inspector-General of Taxation (statutory agency);

• National Competition Council (statutory agency);

• National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management

Authority (statutory agency);

• Productivity Commission (statutory agency);

• Royal Australian Mint (non-statutory agency);

Statutory bodies/authorities not under the FMA Act

• Australian Statistics Advisory Council;

• Companies Auditors and Liquidators Disciplinary Board (independent statutory body);10

• Financial Reporting Council (statutory body); 11

6 Also stands referred to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services (PJC). 7 Also stands referred to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services (PJC).

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

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

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

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• Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency (AWPA) (independent

statutory body);

• Superannuation Complaints Tribunal;

• Tax Practitioners Board (independent statutory authority);

Non-statutory bodies

• Takeovers Panel;

12

Commonwealth authorities (under the CAC Act)

• Australian Institute of Marine Science (statutory authority);

• Australian National University (statutory authority); 13

• Australian Renewable Energy Agency;

• Australian Reinsurance Pool Corporation;

• Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation;

• Clean Energy Finance Corporation;

• Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation [includes Science and Industry Endowment Fund];

• Reserve Bank of Australia;

Commonwealth companies (under the CAC Act)

• IIF Investments Pty Limited; and

Other companies, limited by shares

• Snowy Hydro Limited (statutory corporation).

1.14 Comments on these individual reports are contained in chapter 1 for departments of state, and chapter 2 for statutory and non-statutory bodies. Reports are listed in alphabetical order under each portfolio.

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

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

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

13 The Australian National University's annual report for 2011-12, which was examined in Annual reports (No. 2 of 2013), was tabled in the Senate on 13 November 2013. Annual Report 2012-13 has not been tabled in the Senate yet.

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(b) to examine each annual report that is prepared by a body established by this Act and of which a copy has been laid before a House, and to report to both Houses on matters that appear in, or arise out of, that annual report and to which, in the Parliamentary Committee's opinion, the Parliament's attention should be directed...

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

• Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (AUASB); 14

• Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB); 15

• Australian Securities and Investments Commission;

• Companies Auditors and Liquidators Disciplinary Board;

• Corporations and Markets Advisory Committee;

• Financial Reporting Council;

• Financial Reporting Panel; 16

• Office of the Australian Accounting Standards Board; 17

• Office of the Auditing and Assurance Standards Board; 18 and

• Takeovers Panel.

1.17 Therefore this committee has determined to consider, but not report on the above mentioned annual reports as the PJC has specific responsibility for overseeing these agencies.

Additional reports referred to the committee 1.18 As the committee is not obliged to report on Acts, statements of corporate intent, surveys, policy papers, budget documents, corporate plans or errata, the following documents were referred to the committee for information only:

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

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

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

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

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

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• Australian Competition & Consumer Commission—Telstra's Structural

Separation Undertaking, Annual Compliance Report 2011-12, Report to the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy;

• Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and

Tertiary Education—Australian Vocational Education and Training System 2011, Section 44 of the Skilling Australia's Workforce Act 2005;

• Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism—Energy use in the Australian Government's Operations, Report 2010-11;

• Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism—Australian Government

response to the Productivity Commission inquiry report into Electricity Network Regulatory Frameworks, dated June 2013;

• Productivity Commission—

• Report No. 61—Compulsory Licensing of Patents, Section 12 of the

Productivity Commission Act 1998;

• Report No. 62—Electricity Network Regulatory Framework, Volume 1

&Volume 2, Section 12 of the Productivity Commission Act 1998;

• Report No. 63—Safeguards inquiry into the import of processed tomato products, dated 18 September 2013;

• Report No. 64—Safeguards inquiry into the import of processed fruit products, dated 18 September 2013;

• Report No. 65—Mineral and energy resource exploration, dated 27 September 2013;

• Report No. 66—National Access Regime, dated 25 October 2013;

• Report No. 67—Safeguards inquiry into the import of processed fruit products, dated 12 December 2013;

• Report No. 68—Safeguards inquiry into the import of processed tomato products, dated 12 December 2013;

• Reserve Bank of Australia—Reports for 2012-13:

• Equity and diversity;

• Payments System Board;

• Australian National Audit Office

• Report No. 4 of 2013-14—Performance audit—Confidentiality in

government contracts: Senate order for departmental and agency contracts (calendar year 2012 compliance) across agencies; and

• Report No. 5 of 2013-14—Performance audit—Administration of the taxation of personal services income;

• Report No. 9 of 2013-14—Performance audit—Determination and

collection of financial industry levies: Australian Prudential Regulation Authority; Department of the Treasury;

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• Final budget outcome 2012-13—Report by the Treasurer (Mr Hockey) and

the Minister for Finance (Senator Cormann);

• Advances provided under the annual Appropriation Acts—Report for 2012-13;

• Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) 2013-14—prepared in accordance with the Charter of Budget Honesty Act 1998;

• Particulars of proposed additional expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2014 [Appropriation Bill (No.3) 2013-14]; and

Particulars of certain proposed additional expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2014 [Appropriation Bill (No.4) 2013-14].

Organisational and operational changes 1.19 In response to the changes in the machinery of government on

18 September 2013, the new Administrative Arrangements Orders resulted in the following changes to Industry:

• Outcome 1, Program 3 (Tourism related initiatives and management) from

the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism (DRET) 2013-14 Portfolio Budget Statements (PBS) was transferred to Austrade;19

• Outcome 2, Program 2.1 (Investment in Higher Education Research) and Outcome 3, programs 3.1 (Higher Education Support), 3.2 (Higher Education Loan Program (HELP)), 3.3 (Tertiary Student Assistance) and 3.6 (International Education Support) from the Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education (DIICCSRTE) 2013-14 PBS were transferred to the Department of Education;20

• Outcome 4

21 from DIICCSRTE 2013-14 PBS was transferred to the Department of Environment.

1.20 As a result of the Administrative Arrangements Orders (AAO) following the election, the small business policy function transferred to the Treasury from the Department of Industry.22

19 Resources, Energy and Tourism Portfolio, Portfolio Budget Statements 2013-14 (RET, PBS 2013-14), p. 45.

20 Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education Portfolio, Portfolio Budget Statements 2013-14 (IICCSRTE, PBS 2013-14), pp 57 and 77-80.

21 IICCSRTE, PBS 2013-14 p. 114. Outcome 4 - Reduction of Australia's greenhouse gas emissions, adaptation to the impacts of climate change, and negotiation of an effective global solution, through the development and implementation of a national response to climate change; and bilateral, regional and multilateral engagement internationally.

22 Treasury Portfolio, Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2013-14 (Treasury, PAES 2013-14), p. 11.

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General comments on the annual reports

'Apparently satisfactory'

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

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

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

parliamentary accountability.

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:

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

(b) reports on the operations of the department, including by the Auditor-General (other than the report on financial statements), a Parliamentary committee, the Commonwealth Ombudsman, or agency capability reviews (once released).23

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

23 Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies and FMA Act Bodies, p. 10. Order 17 of the Commonwealth Authorities (Annual Reporting) Orders 2011 applies the same requirements to Commonwealth authorities that present their annual reports in accordance with the provisions of section 9 and schedule 1 of the CAC Act.

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Timeliness

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

Departments and FMA Act entities

1.27 Subsection 4(1) of Part 1 of the PM&C Requirements for Annual Reports states that annual reports of departments and agencies under the FMA Act framework are to be presented to each House of Parliament on or before 31 October in the year the report is given. Furthermore, if Senate Supplementary Estimates hearings are scheduled to occur prior to 31 October, it is best practice for annual reports to be tabled prior to those hearings. In 2012, hearings for the committee's portfolios commenced on 17 October.

CAC Act entities

1.28 Section 9 of the CAC Act stipulates that the deadline for furnishing the minister with the annual reports of Commonwealth authorities is the 15th day of the 4th month after the end of the financial year; that is, 15 October.

1.29 Section 36 of the CAC Act stipulates that Commonwealth companies must give their annual reports to the responsible minister by the earlier of the following:

• four months after the end of the financial year, or

• 21 days before the next annual general meeting of the company after the end

of the financial year.

Other entities

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

Government policy for all annual reports

1.31 While the legislative requirements for the tabling of annual reports vary between different types of agencies, the Government's policy is 'that all annual reports should be tabled by 31 October'.24

24 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies and FMA Act Bodies, 24 June 2013, p. 2; Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Guidelines for the Presentation of Documents to the Parliament (Including Government Documents, Government Responses to Committee Reports, Ministerial Statements, Annual Reports and Other Instruments), October 2013, paragraph 4.10.

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Requests for an extension

1.32 The committee notes that this report includes the examination of one annual report which was tabled after the 31 October deadline. This is the Royal Australian Mint annual report 2012-13, for which an extension was requested. On 29 October 2013, Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, the Hon Steven Ciobo MP, granted a request for an extension to 15 November 2013 for the tabling of the Royal Australian Mint annual report. The details of the extension were tabled in Parliament in accordance with paragraph 34C of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901.

1.33 Annual reports and other documents tabled in the Senate after 31 October and before the tabling of this report will be discussed in the committee's Annual reports (No. 2 of 2014).

Compliance indices or lists of requirements

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

1.35 The committee commends the great majority of agencies for their inclusion of compliance indices in their 2012-13 annual reports.

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Chapter 1

Annual report of departments Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education—[includes IP Australia and the Tuition Protection Service] 1.1 The Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education's (DISCCSRTE OR 'the department') 2012-13 annual report was tabled in the Senate on 12 November 20131 and in the House of Representatives on 13 November 2013. The 2012-13 annual reports for Intellectual Property Australia (IP Australia), which operates as a non-statutory agency with limited autonomy from the department, and the annual report for the Tuition Protection Service, as required by section Education Services for Overseas Student Act 2000, are also contained in this annual report.

1.2 Following the March 2013 machinery of government changes which resulted in the transfer of a significant portion of the functions of the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (DCCEE), including the Clean Energy Regulator and the Climate Change Authority, to the department's portfolio, the department was renamed the Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education (DIICCSRTE).2

1.3 The Australian Solar Institute, which was established to facilitate collaborative research and development into solar technologies, ceased operation on 31 December 2012 and governance and management of its investment portfolio was transferred to the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

1.4 ARENA was established on 1 July 2012 to increase the supply of renewable energy and improve the competitiveness of renewable energy technologies.3

Review by Departmental Secretary

1.5 In the department's review, the secretary noted that the outlook for 2012-13 was one of transition away from a commodity-focussed economy and adjustments to diversify as the investment phase of the resources sector slowed. Businesses, which previously had to contend with the high Australian dollar, were adjusting again to the currency's depreciation against other major currencies. This adjustment, however, was in the context of a slower jobs growth and decreased company profits as a consequence of increased prices for inputs relative to growth for sales prices. The secretary explained that those businesses that have thrived have been those able to compete internationally in the area of high-value added products and services, even

1 Tabled in the chamber having been presented out of session on 30 October 2013.

2 Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education (DIICCSRTE), Annual Report 2012-13, pp 4-5. 3 Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism (DRET), Annual Report 2012-13, p. 3.

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'against the headwind of the high Australian dollar'. This contrasts with the struggles of companies involved in the labour intensive and low-skilled manufacturing sectors.4

1.6 In 2012-13 the department undertook a realignment of the organisation to better maximise the interactions within the department and to build better linkages between the different parts. This included those parts that were transferred to the department from the machinery of government changes such as skills and tertiary education. To drive this work, the department appointed a Chief Economist and a Small Business Commissioner and sought continued input from the Chief Scientist to explore new opportunities and ideas for the department.

1.7 Some of the highlights for 2012-13 included:5

• In February 2013, the government released the Industry and Innovation

Statement, a plan for a $1 billion investment in Australian jobs The statement, A Plan for Australian Jobs, outlined strategies for the Australian Government to work in partnerships with industry to drive business growth and innovation in areas of competitive advantage.

• A National and Mathematics education and Industry Adviser was appointed in

February 2013 to progress a key focus area of the Chief Scientist's work in developing and providing policy advice to government, to help address the issue of emerging science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills shortages.

• The report of the Review of Higher Education Access and Outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, published in July 2012, found that the current participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people in higher education was still significantly below parity with the population as a whole.

• In June 2013 the department released the Climate Adaptation Outlook: A Proposed National Adaptation Assessment Framework. The report examined how well placed Australia was to manage the impacts of unavoidable climate change. Importantly, it consolidated current understanding of emerging climate adaptation issues that would affect businesses and communities in Australia and presented a systemic framework for thinking about how Australia manages risks from a changing climate.

Operational matters

1.8 For 2012-13, the department reported an operating loss of $36.18 million and reflected the net introduction of the net cash appropriation arrangements where appropriation for depreciation and amortisation expenses ceased ($48.84 million) and entities received a separate capital budget provided through equity appropriations.

4 Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education (DIICCSRTE), Annual Report 2012-13, pp 2-3. 5 Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education (DIICCSRTE), Annual Report 2012-13, pp 6-8.

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1.9 Excluding depreciation and amortisation, the department recorded an operating surplus of $12.66 million in 2012-13. The surplus was the result of a change in the accounting receipts ($19.0 million) relating to the climate change functions that transferred to the department as part of the 25 March administrative arrangement orders. These receipts are now recognised as revenue instead of unearned revenue.6

1.10 The department had budgeted for an approved loss up to $810 million, in part to allow for one-off costs associated with incorporating these functions into the department. The department's operating result also incorporated the full-year impact of the 2011 machinery of government changes when the tertiary education functions transferred from the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations

(DEEWR) as part of the administrative arrangement orders announced in December 2011. There was a revenue and expenses increase which reflected the impact of both the 2011 and 2013 machinery of government changes.

Reporting requirements

1.11 The DIICCSRTE'S 2012-13 annual report is well presented, with easy to locate information and provides a 'clear read' between information contained in the annual report and the Portfolio Budget Statements (PBS). Information in KPIs contains quantitative as well as qualitative information for benchmarking and assessing whether estimates have been achieved over the reporting period. The annual report for DIICCSRTE and IP Australia closely adheres to the compliance index. Furthermore, the integration of a range of real life case studies is a very effective way of presenting complex information. By fleshing out the different issues with each case study, the annual report provides valuable insight into the work undertaken by the DIICCSRTE. The committee considers that DIICCSRTE and IP Australia have met their reporting obligations under the Acts and the annual report is 'apparently satisfactory'.

Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism—[includes Geoscience Australia] 1.12 The Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism's (DRET or 'the

department') annual report for 2012-13 was tabled in the Senate on 12 November 20137 and in the House of Representatives on 13 November 2013. The annual report also includes the 2012-13 annual report for Geoscience Australia, which operates as a non-statutory agency with limited autonomy from the department.

Departmental overview

1.13 During the 2012-13 reporting period there was a machinery of government change and the former Department of Climate Change's energy efficiency functions transferred to the department.

6 Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education (DIICCSRTE), Annual Report 2012-13, pp 8-9. 7 Tabled in the chamber having been presented out of session on 30 October 2013.

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1.14 Some of the department's achievements for 2012-13 included:8

• amendments to the legislation from the Montara Commission of Inquiry 2010 to strengthen the compliance, safety and environmental management aspects of offshore resource development;

• the completion of the 1978 Ranger Mining Agreement to provide to greater social and financial benefit to the traditional owners, as well as the delivery and acceptance of a rehabilitation plan for the Rum Jungle Mine;

• the delivery of a comprehensive energy market reform package endorsed by the Council of Australian Government (COAG) to ensure that consumers pay no more than necessary for electricity and that supply is reliable; and

• the delivery of more than 250 grants to support innovation in the tourism industry.

Operational matters

1.15 For the 2012-13 reporting period, the department reported a net operating deficit of $0.5 million as a result of additional expenses incurred in the transition of energy efficiency functions to the department arising from the machinery of government changes announced in March 2013.

1.16 During 2012-13, the departmental appropriations increased from the preceding period as a result of the creation of the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) and the National Offshore Petroleum Titles Administrator (NOPTA), and additional funding associated with the transfer of energy efficiency functions to the department.

1.17 The government provided the department with $116.7 million in departmental revenue for its operations and a further $363.6 million in administered appropriations for resources, energy and tourism programs administered on behalf of government. The department administered $2.0 billion in revenue collection, including $1.78 billion in royalties for federal, state and territory jurisdictions.

1.18 The department received an unqualified audit report from the Auditor-General for its 2012-13 financial statements.

Reporting requirements

1.19 The committee notes the department did not use the most recent updated list of requirements from the PM&C's Requirements for Annual Reports, consequentially some new requirements have not been included in the annual report. The compliance index also contains some inaccuracies in relation to page reference numbers for several reporting items. It is also recommended that a separate list of reporting requirements be added for Geoscience Australia's annual report to distinguish the parts within the annual report that are relevant to Geoscience Australia and the parts that apply to the DRET. These inaccuracies and oversight notwithstanding, the information

8 Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism (DRET), Annual Report 2012-13, pp 4-5.

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contained in the report is comprehensive and written in accessible language and utilises graphs, tables and charts to enhance information.

1.20 While the committee is pleased the annual report contains key performance indicators, it notes that the actual performance information measured against KPIs does not seem to contain targets. The inclusion of targets is desirable not only for benchmarking of actual results but for enhancing accountability and transparency in reporting.

1.21 The annual report has generally complied with the list of requirements for annual reports. The committee considers the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism has met its reporting obligations under the Acts and its annual report is 'apparently satisfactory'.

Department of the Treasury 1.22 The Department of the Treasury's ('the department' or 'Treasury') 2012-13 annual report was tabled in the Senate on 12 November 20139 and in the House of Representatives on 13 November 2013.

Review by Departmental Secretary

1.23 In his Secretary's Review, Dr Martin Parkinson, the Secretary of the Department summarised the significant issues and developments affecting the work of the Treasury10, and sets out the context in which the Department of Treasury (Treasury) pursues its mission of 'improving the wellbeing of Australians through sound and apolitical policy advice to ministers'11.

1.24 The secretary outlined the difficult global economic context in which the Australian economy has been undergoing structural change, as the mining boom 'shifts from its investment phase and the terms of trade decline from their historic peak'. He drew attention to: subdued growth in advanced economies, volatility in key emerging markets, economic crisis in the Euro area, and the challenges ahead.12 The secretary explained that, presented with such conditions, the task of managing the economy through this difficult environment, as well as forecasting and developing policy solutions becomes difficult.

1.25 In 2012-13, the Treasury reported that its focus was on strengthening its core organisational capabilities, and implementing recommendations from its two organisational reviews. These reviews specifically covered areas of IT and the adaption of new technology, and building capability through better strategic and operational workforce planning. The outlook for Australia's economic fundamentals were sound, but the secretary cautioned the need to lift productivity to balance the terms of declining trade to avoid a sharp drop in the country's living standard growth.

9 Tabled in the chamber having been presented out of session on 31 October 2013.

10 Department of Treasury, Annual Report 2012-13, pp 2-4.

11 Department of Treasury, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 3.

12 Department of Treasury, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 3.

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According to the secretary, this was 'particularly a challenge in the context of international volatility, and structural transitions taking place in the Asia-Pacific and within the Australian economy'.

Operational matters

1.26 The annual report noted that the Treasury received an unqualified audit report on the 2012-2013 financial statements from the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO).

1.27 The department reported a surplus of $3.0 million, which is a turnaround from the preceding 2011-12 period's deficit of 11.6 million. Employee expenses in 2012-13 decreased by $12.7 million from 2011-12, which was associated with the corresponding decrease in operational funding.13 The department's net asset position decreased by $17.9 million in 2012-13, mainly due to the transfer of the Standard Business Reporting software assets to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

1.28 In relation to administered expenses, the Treasury reported a decrease in administered expenses from $86.9 billion in 2011-12 to $81.4 billion for 2012-13.14 Under the Intergovernmental Agreement on Federal Financial Relations, Treasury reported a reduction in grant expenses to the States and Territories. The Treasury's administered net assets increased by $1.4 billion in 2012-13; this is mainly attributed to an increase in the value of financial assets offset by an increase in provisions and payables. The department noted there were sufficient cash reserves to fund liabilities.15

1.29 During the reporting period, Treasury advised Treasury ministers, other ministers of the Government and relevant stakeholders on a range of macroeconomic issues, including:

• an analysis of the Australian and international economic outlook, including

the Australian fiscal outlook, and prepared macroeconomic forecasts;

• monitoring domestic and international economic, financial and policy

developments to assess their implications for macroeconomic policy settings; and

• an analysis on drivers of the Australian economy and factors likely to

influence medium-term economic performance, including productivity and labour force participation rates.16

1.30 For 2012-13 Treasury contributed to public debate and awareness of budget decisions and the fiscal outlook when it reported over 210,270 unique visitors to its website and over 2.6 million pages being viewed.17 Other information Treasury

13 Department of Treasury, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 10.

14 Department of Treasury, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 10.

15 Department of Treasury, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 10.

16 Department of Treasury, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 23.

17 Department of Treasury, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 32.

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prepared and made accessible to the public included non-specialist summary publications such as the Budget Overview, Budget at a Glance, the National Plan for School Improvement, Disability Care Australia, Nation Building Infrastructure and the Tax Reform Road Map.18 Treasury also continued to provide policy advice to portfolio ministers on operational issues relating to the Future Fund and the three Nation-building Funds.19

1.31 Through its Revenue Group, Treasury established a Law Design Practice (LDP) to provide greater focus on the implementation of legislation in the Government's taxation and retirement income reform agenda. In 2012-13, the LDP worked with Revenue Group Policy Divisions, the Office of Parliamentary Counsel and the ATO to progress and manage the preparation of tax and superannuation measures, including on a total of 39 tax bills containing 73 measures introduced into Parliament.20

1.32 The department also provided advice to the government on ways to improve the country's superannuation system, and developed legislation for some of the measures. Some of those changes included:

• better targeting of the tax exemption for investment earnings on assets supporting income streams by capping it to the first $100,000 of future earnings from 1 July 2014;

• simplifying the design of the higher concessional contributions cap from

1 July 2013 by setting a cap of $35,000 to anyone who meets certain age requirements; and

• allowing individuals to withdraw any excess concessional contributions made

from 1 July 2013 from their superannuation fund, and taxing the excess contributions at the individual's marginal tax rate plus an interest charge (rather than at the top marginal rate).21

Reporting requirements

1.33 The Department of Treasury's 2012-13 annual report is comprehensive in its coverage of the department's operations and performance over the reporting period. The layout and format is user-friendly, with graphics, trend information, an introductory guide to the report and visuals that are relevant and which enhances the presentation of information. Furthermore, the list of requirements is closely adhered to, making information easy to locate.

1.34 The committee is pleased to note that Treasury has included the latest report from the ANAO assessing the extent to which the department has improved its management of tax expenditure estimates following its implementation of six

18 Department of Treasury, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 32.

19 Department of Treasury, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 33.

20 Department of Treasury, Annual Report 2012-13, pp 38 and 41.

21 Department of Treasury, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 43.

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recommendations by ANAO in its original 2007-08 report and three recommendations from the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit (JCPAA).22

1.35 The committee considers the Department of Treasury's 2012-13 annual report 'apparently satisfactory'.

1.36 The committee would like to express its appreciation to the Treasury for regularly appearing at estimates and contributing to the committee's inquiries in 2012-13, as well as to other parliamentary inquiries. It does note, however, the significant number of late answers to questions on notice. In particular, the committee is disappointed that Treasury provides some answers a few days before and even the very day that the subsequent round of estimates begins.

22 Department of Treasury, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 45.

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Chapter 2

Individual 2012-13 Annual Reports 1.1 On this occasion, the committee has decided to examine in more detail the annual reports of the following reports tabled by 31 October 2013 and some after that date, but before the tabling of this Report on Annual Report:

1.2 For the Industry portfolio:

• Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS);

• Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO);

• Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA);

• Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO); and

• National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA).

1.3 For the Treasury portfolio:

• Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS);

• Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC);

• Australian Office of Financial Management (AOFM);

• Australian Taxation Office (ATO); and

• Productivity Commission.

Reports under the Industry portfolio

Australian Institute of Marine Science—annual report 2012-13

Operational matters

1.4 The Chair and CEO were pleased to report that with a modest increase in its base funding in the 2013 Australian government budget, the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMs) was able to renew its capability in its key work across northern Australia as well as in neighbouring states. The recent injection of infrastructure funding from the Commonwealth government has helped to expand AIM's research facilities in Townsville, Darwin and Perth.

1.5 As reported in the previous 2011-12 reporting period, in 2012-13 AIMs researchers continued to publish a record number of papers and reports―in 2012 it published a record 203 journal articles, an increase on the 177 journal articles.

Reporting requirements

1.6 The committee considers that Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) has met its reporting requirements under the CAC Act and its annual report is 'apparently satisfactory'.

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1.7 The annual report of AIMs is very accessible, with the information contained in the report relevant and concise. The use of headings, pictures, tables and graphs enhancing the presentation of the report.

1.8 As previously noted, the report identifies the principles and reasons for engaging consultants, but does not show expenditure on consultancy services.1

Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation―annual report 2012-13

Operational matters

1.9 For 2012-13, Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation's (ANSTO) Chairman and CEO, Dr Paul Greenfield and Dr Adrian Paterson, reported a remarkable year for the organisation across several areas, including:

• on 1 January 2013, ANSTO took over the operation of the Melbourne-based Australian Synchrotron—this forms part of several landmark infrastructure modernisation and increased capabilities that will provide platforms for delivering cutting-edge instruments for local and international scientists, researchers and businesses to achieve ground breaking outcomes and benefits to the Australian and international community;

• key science investments in the Bragg Institute and new facilities for the

Centre for Accelerator Science have made great progress and is near ready for operation;

• the ANSTO Nuclear Medicine project announced by the Commonwealth government in September 2012 will contribute significantly to the provision of nuclear medicine around the world; and

• Australia's status as the world's first large-scale manufacturer of Molybdenum-99 sourced from low enriched uranium fuel and targets— this is important for international nuclear non-proliferation and security goals.2

1.10 ANSTO also celebrated its 10th anniversary during the reporting period.

Reporting requirements

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

1.12 ANSTO's report is well presented, easy to reference with useful headings and a good mix of tables, graphs and pictures that are relevant and which enhances the information contained in the report. Its inclusion of a list of acronyms is helpful for non-experts. However, as already previously noted, the annual report could be further enhanced with the inclusion of ANSTO's appearance at Senate estimates or the regular

1 Australian Institute of Marine Science, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 105.

2 Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, Annual Report 2012-13, pp 7-10. Refer also to page 37 of the Annual Report 2012-13 on capital investment.

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examination of its annual report by this committee in the section on reviews by outside bodies3. This information would be a useful addition to the report for the purpose of external scrutiny and accountability.

Australian Skills Quality Authority—annual report 2012-13

Operational matters

1.13 This is the second annual report for Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA), which was established on 1 July 2011 as a national regulator of vocational education and training (VET). It also regulates providers delivering VET and English language education to international students in Australia. During the reporting period ASQA continued to evolve in its role as the national regulator for Australia's vocational education and training (VET) sector and the regulator of providers of English language courses for overseas students. A major highlight of the year has been the launch of ASQA's Strategic Reviews, which forms a more strategic approach to regulation that targets 'hot spots' in the training sector.

1.14 ASQA reported an operating loss for 2012-13 of $1.1 million (three per cent of departmental revenue). The operating loss was due primarily to the effect of unfunded depreciation and amortisation expenses ($2.3 million).

1.15 During the reporting period, ASQA received 8,611 applications, which was almost an 80 per cent increase on the number of applications submitted in the organisation's first year of operations. ASQA completed 8,084 applications, or some 93.9 per cent of the applications received, of which 7,507 (92.9 per cent) of applications were approved. The authority rejected 256 applications (3.2 per cent) because they were assessed as non-compliant with the standards while 321 applications (4.0 per cent) were withdrawn by the applicants. Approximately 80 per cent of all applications received by ASQA were completed within two months.

1.16 A key focus for ASQA's corporate area for 2012-13 was the development of a revised schedule of fees and charges. Following comment and feedback on its Cost Recovery Impact Statement (CRIS)—Exposure Draft, a final CRIS was developed incorporating feedback and the revised schedule of fees and charges will be implemented in the 2013-14 financial year.4

1.17 ASQA obtained approval from the Finance Minister to carry an operational loss in the current and forward years primarily due to unfunded depreciation and amortisation expenses. The approved operating loss for 2012-13 was $4.3 million.5

Reporting requirements

1.18 The committee commends ASQA on the high quality of its annual report: the font and spacing of the text; the presentation of information using a mix of relevant graphs and tables, the annual report's attractive presentation and the general

3 Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 90.

4 Australian Skills Quality Authority, Annual Report 2012-13, pp 1-2. 5 Australian Skills Quality Authority, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 75.

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accessibility of information. The annual report could be further improved with the inclusion of ASQA's appearance at Senate estimates or the regular examination of its annual report by this committee in the section on reviews by outside bodies. The committee considers that ASQA has met its reporting requirements under the Acts and its annual report is 'apparently satisfactory'.

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation [includes Science and Industry Endowment Fund]—annual report 2012-13

Operational matters

1.19 The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) reported record partnerships with over 2,000 industry partners, some of which include the Rural Development Corporations and Cooperative Research Centres, the Bureau of Meteorology and the Gates Foundation.

1.20 For the 2012-13 reporting period, the CSIRO delivered on its budget with $734 million appropriation from the Commonwealth government. This is an increase of $9 million on the previous year. The organisation reported $507 million in external revenue including $38 million in licence revenue and a record $425 million revenue from external partners. It also recorded 254 licences for its innovations.

1.21 In 2012-13, the CSIRO reported a strong performance in its delivery of capital projects: the iVEC Pawsey Centre Supercomputer was completed with a groundwater cooling system; and the new Marine Research Vessel the Investigator reported over 95 per cent complete. The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Pathfinder project installed 36 dishes with 6 phased array feed receivers and, in a world first, the team was able to image radio sources beyond the galaxy. The CSIRO was also able to secure funding for 30 of the antennae to be fitted with the phased array feed receivers that will complete the scope of the SKA project.6

1.22 In 2012, the CSIRO Chairman's medal, which honours the most exceptional research in CSIRO, was awarded to the Ngara Backhaul Project Team for developing the world's fastest ten gigabit per second microwave link. This innovation has the potential to bridge the city-country divide and significantly improve broadband services in rural and regional Australia.7

1.23 The annual report also provided an update on the two-staged CSIRO-initiated independent review into bullying, harassment and unreasonable behaviour. Although the report on Stage 1 of the investigation found there was no widespread issue of bullying, the report flagged areas for concern and provided recommendations, which the CSIRO is following up.

6 Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Annual Report 2012-13, p. xi.

7 Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 106.

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Reporting requirements

1.24 The committee is pleased to note that the 2012-13 annual report's compliance index has separate headings relating to different reporting requirements under the CAC Act, Part 2 of the Commonwealth Authorities (Annual Reporting) Orders 2011 and Science and Industry Research Act 1949. It included a reference to the organisation's ethics policy, which is a requirement under the Finance Minister's Reporting Orders.8

1.25 The CSIRO 2012-13 annual report is comprehensive, user friendly with clear headings, an accessible and structured format, with information separated into distinct parts for easy location and reference.

1.26 The annual report does not mention CSIRO's appearance at Senate estimates or the regular examination of its annual reports by this committee in the section on reviews by outside bodies. This information would be a useful addition to the report for the purpose of external scrutiny and accountability.

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

National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority— annual report 2012-13

Operational matters

1.28 The National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) is an independent Commonwealth statutory agency. It is an independent national regulator of health and safety, well integrity and environmental management of offshore petroleum industry activities in Commonwealth waters and designated coastal waters where state and Northern Territory have conferred their regulatory functions.

1.29 The agency went through a period of consolidation of the transition from the National Offshore Petroleum Safety Authority (NOPSA) to NOPSEMA. Under the transitional arrangements provided in legislation, the authority reviewed environmental plans, including oil spill contingency plans, approved by previous state and Northern Territory regulators. In doing this, NOPSEMA identified the need for improvements in the plans so that they meet regulatory requirements and issued formal requests for revision to those affected.

1.30 NOPSEMA conducted 44 topic-based inspections from a total of 163 inspections carried out across a range of facility types and operators. During the reporting period, the authority refined its environmental compliance inspection systems and processes. In relation to its environmental management responsibilities, NOPSEMA reported 199 environmental management incidents during the reporting period and 43 enforcement activities it carried out, including 10 written warnings and

8 Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 210.

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33 requests to revise an environmental plan.9 The authority received 404 notifications relating to reportable occupational health and safety (OHS) matters and conducted 14 new investigations. The most significant investigation was into the accident that claimed the lives of two workers on the Stena Clyde MODU facility. It also continued its investigation into the accident involving subsea high pressure water jetting equipment which resulted in serious injuries to a diver in 2011.10

Reporting requirements

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

1.32 However, in NOPSEMA's report on environmental management, it is not clear how it has increased the number of inspections it has conducted to 16 when its annual target is 18.11

1.33 NOPSEMA's report also comprises the annual report of the NOPSEMA Advisory Board.

Reports under the Treasury portfolio

Australian Bureau of Statistics—annual report 2012-13

Operational matters

1.34 The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reported its successful release of the second and third stages of the 2011 Census of Population and Housing data. It also published the first release of data from the 2011-13 Australian Health Survey—the largest and most complex health survey ever conducted in Australia. The ABS attributed the success of these milestones to the high level of trust and cooperation it enjoys from Australian governments, businesses, non-government organisations and households.12

1.35 The ABS identified some issues of concern which it is seeking to address including: the wide range of ageing and fragile business processes and supporting infrastructure used by the ABS; its difficult capital position, which Mr Brian Pink, the ABS Statistician, described as "barely adequate to 'keep the lights on'"; and the need to reduce the cost of responding to the ABS's collections in the context of increasing demand for statistics.13 The ABS report noted that this situation was exacerbated by additional government-wide efficiency dividends over the past year, which resulted in the cancellation of the Work, Life and Family Survey (WoLFS) and the decision to

9 National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 32.

10 National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 31.

11 National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 31.

12 Australian Bureau of Statistics, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 2.

13 Australian Bureau of Statistics, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 2.

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change the Tourist Accommodation Survey from a quarterly to an annual collection. These external constraints have placed pressures on the ABS' workload and its ability to deliver key official statistics on time and to the quality expected by its users, thus 'compromising its long-term sustainability.'14

Reporting requirements

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

1.37 As previously commented, the committee notes that the section on external scrutiny in the annual report contains no reference to the agency's appearance at Senate estimates or this committee's reviews of the agency's annual reports.15 This information could be included in future annual reports for the purpose of external scrutiny and accountability. Nonetheless, despite this oversight, the report is readily accessible, and user-friendly with the inclusion of tables and graphs, a glossary, a page index and a compliance index for easy reference and location.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the Australian Energy Regulator—annual report 2012-13

Operational matters

1.38 For the 2012-13 reporting period, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) had five high level objectives:

• maximise its use of changes in the Australian Consumer Law (ACL),

including increased collaboration with state fair trading agencies;

• act against widespread consumer detriment, particular those who are

vulnerable;

• maintain and enhance competition in concentrated markets;

• invigorate the debate on the effective regulation of monopolies; and

• increase the ACCC's engagement internationally, particularly in Australia's region.16

1.39 Among some of the outcomes delivered by the ACCC reported in relation to the above objectives included:

• two court enforceable undertakings from Retail Food Group Limited, owner

of Brumby's Bakeries Pty Ltd, and Equipserve Solutions Pty Ltd, for false or misleading representations made about the impact of the carbon price;

• the awareness campaign Knock! Knock! Knock! Who's there? to address unscrupulous door-to-door sales;

14 Australian Bureau of Statistics, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 2.

15 Australian Bureau of Statistics, Annual Report 2012-13, pp 37 and 112.

16 Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 3.

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• EDirect Pty Ltd was ordered by the Federal Court to pay $2.5 million for

selling mobile phone contracts in regional and remote communities that did not have phone coverage; and

• 13 airlines have paid a total of $98.5 million in penalties to date for cartel

conduct.17

1.40 The ACCC received an unqualified audit report from the ANAO for the 2012-13 financial reporting period.

1.41 As the ACCC is a knowledge-based organisation most of its expenditure is employee costs. The ACCC reported an operating loss of $25.98 million, mainly attributed to higher staffing and legal costs associated with the investigation and enforcement of significant matters that the commission was pursuing. Other costs included settlement costs, and unfunded depreciation and amortisation costs of $5.1 million. In addition, income received from government decreased by $1.0 million during the reporting period.18

1.42 The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) is part of the ACCC and regulates the national energy market.

Reporting requirements

1.43 The committee considers that the ACCC and AER have met their reporting requirements under the Acts and compliments them on a well-structured report. The inclusion of case studies to highlight the range of work activities and its relevance to the community is very useful.19

1.44 As noted previously, the committee suggests that the ACCC add a reference to its annual report being scrutinised by this committee, to be incorporated in the section on external scrutiny.20

Australian Office of Financial Management—annual report 2012-13

Operational matters

1.45 The Australian Office of Financial Management (AOFM) is responsible for the management of Australian government debt, cash balances and investment in financial assets. This financial year a strong interest in Commonwealth Government Securities (CGS) continued. Yields rose over the latter half of the year, with the increase most pronounced during May, when announcements by the US Federal Reserve signalled an intention to adjust its accommodative monetary policy stance.21

17 Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Annual Report 2012-13, pp 4-5.

18 Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Annual Report 2012-13, pp 10-11.

19 See for example the case study on product safety ban on high powered magnets, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 95.

20 Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 209.

21 Australian Office of Financial Management, Annual Report 2012-13, p. xiii.

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1.46 The AOFM notes the strength of the Australian dollar compared to the Japanese yen in early 2013 resulted in some profit taking divestment of CGS by Japanese investors and making new investment by Japanese investors more expensive. This activity slowed by the end of the year.22

1.47 According to AOFM's assessment, Australia is well placed to benefit from an expected underlying medium to longer term-growth trend in Asia since outlook for trade links between Australia and the high-growth region of Asia continues to be positive for CGS investors. This is despite its exposure to volatility in the performance of its largest trading partners in the short-term.23

Reporting requirements

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

1.49 Several issues identified by the committee in its previous Report on Annual Reports (No. 1 of 2013) remained unresolved, including:

• the report not containing a statement on whether the AOFM has historically

met each of its KPIs; and

• the report containing no reference to the agency's appearance at Senate estimates or this committee's reviews of AOFM's annual reports.

Australian Taxation Office—annual report 2012-13

Operational matters

1.50 During the reporting period, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) began with an operating budget for 2012-13 of $3.45 billion. During the year, the ATO's funding changed as a result of government decisions, which included an additional $34.1 million from the measures announced as part of mid-year economic and fiscal outlook (MYEFO) and $5.6 million to commence implementing reforms in superannuation associated with the transfer of lost member accounts to the ATO. There was a reduction of $14.8 million related to the government's targeted public sector efficiency savings. From this, the ATO reported an operating surplus of $10.0 million, which represented 0.3 per cent of the budget. The surplus comprised $9.2 million from the ATO and $0.8 million from the Australian Valuation Office (AVO).24

1.51 For 2012-13, the ATO received a decrease of 30.5 per cent in the number of formal complaints compared to the preceding period in 2011-12. It reported resolving complaints in a more timely manner. The main types of complaints comprised: timeliness of processing ABN applications, TFN applications and income tax returns; failed escalation of issues; and people disagreeing with the ATO's decisions.25

22 Australian Office of Financial Management, Annual Report 2012-13, p. xiii.

23 Australian Office of Financial Management, Annual Report 2012-13, p. xiv.

24 Australian Taxation Office, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 88.

25 Australian Taxation Office, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 76.

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1.52 In his review, the Commissioner of Taxation, Mr Chris Jordan AO, announced that the ATO would soon release its vision mission values statement that would take the ATO through to 2020, 'to refresh and modernise the organisation, its operations and services'. He stated:

Armed with information and feedback from the community and the independent Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) capability review, we are re-inventing the ATO with a new attitude, new products and services, a drive for productivity improvements and an openness and willingness to change.26

1.53 During the reporting period, the Australian National Audit Office undertook an assessment of the ATO's complaints and other feedback management systems in supporting service delivery in its report Management of Complaints and Other Feedback (No. 19 of 2013-14). The following is an extract of the report's overall conclusion:

The ATO's complaints handling framework is well-designed and its management arrangements are generally sound. […] [O]pportunities remain to more fully address the principles of fairness, accessibility, responsiveness, integration and efficiency outlined in the Commonwealth Ombudsman's Better Practice Guide to Complaint Handling. There are also

opportunities to improve complaints handling practices, including better understanding of issues which were the subject of complaints and the needs of complainants. In addition, there is scope for the ATO to:

- improve reporting against complaints handling timeliness measures, and to develop other performance measures;

- implement a more coherent agency-wide quality assurance framework for complaints and other feedback; and

- limit sensitive information about named officer complaints from being included in records on the ATO's client relationship management computer system, and implement measures to periodically check that ATO officers have not accessed these records inappropriately.

In addition, while there have been instances where the ATO has used complaints intelligence to address systemic issues that give rise to complaints, there is scope for it to better use intelligence from client feedback to more actively inform service delivery and improve efficiency. This includes developing strategies to minimise complaints occurring in the first place and better managing taxpayer's expectations by keeping them informed throughout their dealings with the ATO.27

1.54 The ANAO made three recommendations to address the issues identified, all of which the ATO agreed to adopt.

26 Australian Taxation Office, Annual Report 2012-13, p. v.

27 Australian National Audit Office, Management of Complaints and Other Feedback—Australian Taxation Office (No. 19) 2013-13, p. 14.

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Reporting requirements

1.55 The committee commends the ATO for the continued high quality of its annual report. The report is comprehensive and informative, and also includes information on the operations of the AVO, the ATO's only commercial business line providing independent valuation services to government organisations.

1.56 The report includes corrections to annual reports from the previous year.28 The corrections are considerable and relate to a number of matters, including a PBS key performance indicator, a corrected table relating to use of pre-filling service, collecting debt, compliance collections and AVO operating profit.

1.57 The committee considers the ATO has met its reporting requirements under the Acts and its report is 'apparently satisfactory'.

Productivity Commission—annual report 2012-13

Operational matters

1.58 The Productivity Commission is Australia's independent research and advisory body on a range of economic, social and environmental issues affecting the welfare of Australians and its remit covers all sectors of the economy. This annual report is the first report with Mr Peter Harris as Chair of the Productivity Commission. In 2012-13 the Productivity Commission undertook a number of internal reforms to ensure they continued to provide high quality advice within the context of a reduced resource base.

1.59 This report opens with an overview of the importance of using administrative data to achieve better policy outcomes. The assessment found, however, that Australia, unlike many other countries, does not utilise its public data resources

effectively despite the initial costs of making data available being relatively low compared to the future flow of benefits. The exception has been Western Australia at the state level, where it has been an early adopter of making available its state-based administrative data, and has provided Western Australia with a significant data linkage and access to Commonwealth data.

1.60 The report contains references to the Commission's inquiry, research, advisory and other associated activities. Some of the topics that the Commission looked at included mineral and energy resource exploration, the national access regime, access to civil justice, processed fruit import safeguards and processed tomato import safeguards.29

1.61 The Australian Government Competitive Neutrality Complaints Office (AGCNCO), which is an autonomous office within the Commission, received one formal written complaint in 2012-13 in relation to Australia Post's Rockhampton Mail

Centre. The complaint was not formally investigated.30

28 Australian Taxation Office, Annual Report 2012-13, pp 136-137.

29 Productivity Commission, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 87.

30 Productivity Commission, Annual Report 2012-13, pp 111 and 121.

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Reporting requirements

1.62 Information contained in the annual report of the Productivity Commissions is concise and presented in easily accessible language. The inclusion of case studies in the annual report is both informative and useful as they provide a very helpful insight

into the practical relevance of the commission's work to everyday life.31

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

Senator David Bushby

Chair

31 For an example, see its case studies on the power of data linkage. Productivity Commission, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 9.

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Appendix 1

Industry portfolio1

List of annual reports tabled in the Senate in the period

1 May to 31 October 2013, and before report tabling

Reporting body

Legislation Date of

transmittal letter

Date sent to/ Date received by Minister

Date tabled/ presented*

IIF Investments Pty Limited Section 36 of the Commonwealth

Authorities and

Companies Act

1997

Corporations Act 2001

28.10.13 30.10.13/30.10.13 Senate 10.12.13

HoR 5.12.13

Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA)

Section 215 of the National Vocational Education and

Training Regulator Act 2011

Public Service Act 1999

Financial Management Act 1997

25.9.13 27.9.13/1.10.13 Senate

12.11.13 (31.10.2013)

HoR 13.11.13

1 Following the machinery of government (MoG) changes, the former Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education portfolio became the Industry portfolio, and Resources and Energy functions from the former Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism (RET) transferred to the Industry portfolio.

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Commonwealth Scientific and

Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)

Section 9 of the

Commonwealth Authorities and

Companies Act 1997

Science and

Industry Research Act 1949

2.10.13 2.10.13/2.10.13 Senate

12.11.13 (31.10.13)

HoR 13.11.13

National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA)

Section 690 of the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse

Gas Storage Act

2006

Section 49 of the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997

Section 70 of the Public Service Act 1999

18.10.13 22.10.13/23.10.13 Senate 12.11.13 (31.10.13)

HoR 13.11.13

Snowy Hydro Limited— Financial report for the period 1 July 2012 to 29 June 2013

Section 55 of the Snowy Hydro

Corporatisation Act 1997

Corporations Act 2001

No transmittal letter 18.10.13/21.10.13 Senate (31.10.13)

HoR 3.12.13

Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency

Section 27 of the Australian Workforce and

Productivity Agency Act 2008

October 2013 11.10.13/11.10.13 Senate 12.11.13 (30.10.13)

HoR 13.11.13

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Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education— [includes IP Australia and the Tuition Protection Service]

Section 63 of the Public Service

Act 1999

Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997

15.10.13 18.10.13/18.10.13 Senate 12.11.13 (30.10.13)

HoR 13.11.13

Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism— [includes Geoscience Australia]

Section 63 of the Public Service Act 1999

Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006

Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997

21.10.13 21.10.13/21.10.13 Senate 12.11.13 (30.10.13)

HoR 13.11.13

Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS)

Section 9 of the

Commonwealth Authorities and

Companies Act

1997

Australian Institute of Marine Science Act 1972

1.10.13 2.10.13/4.10.13 Senate

12.11.13 (29.10.13)

HoR 13.11.13

Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO)

Section 9 of the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997

Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation Act 1987

17.9.13 11.10.13/14.10.13 Senate

12.11.13 (29.10.13)

HoR 13.11.13

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Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA)

Section 9 of the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997

Australian Renewable Energy Agency Act 2011

25.9.13 11.10.13/11.10.13 Senate

12.11.13 (25.10.13)

HoR 13.11.13

Australian National University— Report for 2011-12

Australian National University Act 1991

Section 9 of the

Commonwealth Authorities and

Companies Act

1997

22.3.13 12.4.13 /8.5.13 Senate

13.11.13

HoR 27.6.13

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Appendix 2

Treasury portfolio

List of annual reports tabled in the Senate in the period

1 May to 31 October 2013, and before report tabling

Reporting body

Legislation Date of

transmittal letter

Date sent to / Date received by Minister

Date tabled/ (presented)

Royal Australian Mint Section 63 of the

Public Service Act

1999 (Category E)

Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997

25.10.13 7.11.13/7/11.13

(Corrigendum 6.12.13/ 6.12.13)

Senate 12.11.13 (Acts Interpretation Act

1901-

Sub section 34C(6) -Extension request granted.)

(Corrigendum 11.2.14— Replacement page 64)

HoR 13.11.13

(Corrigendum 12.12.13)

Australian Bureau of Statistics

Section 63 of the

Public Service Act

1999

Australian Bureau of Statistics Act 1975

Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997

9.10.13 16.10.13/16.10.1 3

Senate 12.11.13 (31.10.13)

HoR 13.11.13

Australian Statistics Advisory Council

Section 24 of the

Australian Bureau of Statistics Act 1975

Public Service Act

9.10.13 16.10.13/16.10.1 3

Senate 12.11.13 (31.10.13)

HoR 13.11.13

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Reporting body

Legislation Date of

transmittal letter

Date sent to / Date received by Minister

Date tabled/ (presented)

1999

Auditing and Assurance Standards Board

236DG of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001

Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997

3.10.13 17.10.13/17.10.1 3

Senate 12.11.13 (31.10.13)

HoR 13.11.13

Australian Accounting Standards Board

235J of the Australian Securities and

Investments Commission Act 2001

Financial Management and

Accountability Act

1997

3.10.13 17.10.13/17.10.1 3

Senate 12.11.13 (31.10.13)

HoR 13.11.13

Australian Office of

Financial Management (AOFM)

Section 63 of the Public Service Act 1999 (Category E)

Financial Management and Accountability Act 199

2.10.13 2.10.13/2.10.13 Senate 12.11.13 (31.10.13)

HoR 13.11.13

Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA)

Section 59 of the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority Act 1998

Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997

14.10.13 18.10.13/18.10.1 3

Senate 12.11.13 (31.10.13)

(Corrigendum replacement page 14—3.12.13)

HoR 13.11.13

Australian Reinsurance Pool Corporation (ARPC)

Section 9 of the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997

17.9.13 18.10.13/18.10.1 3

Senate 12.11.13 (31.10.13)

HoR 13.11.13

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Reporting body

Legislation Date of

transmittal letter

Date sent to / Date received by Minister

Date tabled/ (presented)

Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC)— Report for the period 3 August 2012 to 30 June 2013

Section 9 of the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997

26.9.13 17.10.13/17.10.1 3

Senate 12.11.13 (31.10.13)

HoR 13.11.13

Clean Energy Regulator Section 40 of the Clean Energy

Regulator Act 2011

10.10.13 9.10.13/9.10.13 Senate

(31.10.13)

Department of the Treasury Section 63 of the Public Service Act

1999

Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997

3.10.13 4.10.13/4.10.13 Senate

12.11.13 (31.10.13)

HoR 13.11.13

Financial Reporting Council— Report for 2012-13 on auditor independence

Section 235 of the Australian Securities and Investment Commission Act 2001

18.10.13 17.10.13/17.10.1 3

Senate 12.11.13 (31.10.13)

HoR 13.11.13

Takeovers Panel

Section 183 of the

Australian Securities and Investments

Commission Act 2001

Corporations Act

2001

17.10.13 17.10.13/17.10.1 3

12.11.13 (31.10.13)

HoR 13.11.13

Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)

Section 136 of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001

Financial

10.10.13 17.10.13/17.10.1 3

12.11.13 (30.10.13)

HoR 13.11.13

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Reporting body

Legislation Date of

transmittal letter

Date sent to / Date received by Minister

Date tabled/ (presented)

Management and Accountability Act 1997

National Competition Council

Section 29 of the

Trade Practices Act 1974

Competition and Consumer Act 2010

Financial Management and Accountability Act

1997

27.8.13 15.10.13/15.10.1 3

Senate 12.11.13 (30.10.13)

HoR 13.11.13

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission [includes Australian Energy Regulator (AER)]

Section 63 of the Public Service Act 1999

Competition and Consumer Act 2010

Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997

28.8.13 11.10.13/11.10.1 3

Senate 12.11.13 (29.10.13)

HoR 13.11.13

Companies Auditors and Liquidators Disciplinary Board (CALDB)

Section 214 of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001

2.10.13 17.10.13/17.10.1 3

Senate 12.11.13 (29.10.13)

HoR 13.11.13

Corporations and Markets Advisory Committee (CAMAC)

Section 162 of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001

Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997

Public Service Act

2.10.13 17.10.13/17.10.1 3

Senate 12.11.13 (29.10.13)

HoR 13.11.13

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Reporting body

Legislation Date of

transmittal letter

Date sent to / Date received by Minister

Date tabled/ (presented)

1999

Productivity Commission Section 10 of the

Productivity Commission Act 1998

Financial Management and

Accountability Act

1997

28.9.13 17.10.13/17.10.1 3

Senate 12.11.13 (29.10.13)

HoR 13.11.13

Australian Charities and

Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC)— Report for the period 3 December 2012 to 30 June 2013

Division 130 of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Act 2012

20.9.13 17.10.13/17.10.1 3

Senate 12.11.13 (28.10.13)

HoR 13.11.13

Australian Taxation Office (ATO)— Report of the

Commissioner of Taxation

Section 63 of the Public Service Act 1999

Taxation Administration Act 1953

Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997

3.10.13 14.10.13/14.10.1 3

Senate 12.11.13 (28.10.13)

HoR 13.11.13

Tax Practitioners Board

Section 60-130 of the Tax Agent Services Act 2009

2.10.13 14.10.13/14.10.1 3

Senate 12.11.13 (28.10.13)

HoR 13.11.13

Inspector-General of Taxation

Section 41 of the

Inspector-General of Taxation Act 2003

Financial

30.9.13 16.10.13/16.10.1 3

Senate 12.11.13 (25.10.13)

HoR 13.11.13

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Reporting body

Legislation Date of

transmittal letter

Date sent to / Date received by Minister

Date tabled/ (presented)

Management and

Accountability Act

1997

Superannuation Complaints Tribunal

Section 67 of the

Superannuation (Resolution of

Complaints) Act 1993

25.9.13 9.10.13/9.10.13 Senate 12.11.13 (25.10.13)

HoR 13.11.13

Reserve Bank of Australia Section 9 of the Commonwealth

Authorities and Companies Act 1997

2.10.13 3.10.13/3.10.13 Senate 12.11.13 (24.10.13)

HoR 13.11.13

Commonwealth Grants Commission

Section 63 of the Public Service Act 1999

Commonwealth Grants Commission Act 1973

Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997

2.10.13 3.10.13/3.10.13 Senate 12.11.13 (22.10.13)

HoR 13.11.13

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Appendix 3

Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education operational structure at 30 June 2013 (previous)

Source: Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 22.

87

88

Appendix 4

Resources, Energy and Tourism portfolio structure and outcomes (previous)

Source: Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 2.

89

90

Appendix 5

Treasury portfolio structure (previous)

91

Page 48

92

Page 49

Source: Department of Treasury, Annual Report 2012-13, pp 13-15.

93

94

Appendix 6

Industry Portfolio Structure (current)

Minister for Industry The Hon Ian Macfarlane MP

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry The Hon Bob Baldwin MP

Department of Industry Secretary: Ms Glenys Beauchamp PSM

Agency - Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO)

Chief Executive Officer: Dr Adi Paterson

Agency - IP Australia

Director General: Ms Patricia Kelly

Agency - Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)

Chief Executive Officer: Dr Megan Clark

Agency - Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA)

Chief Commissioner: Mr Chris Robinson

Agency - Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS)

Chief Executive Officer: Mr John Gunn

Agency - Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA)

Chief Executive Officer: Mr Ivor Frischknecht

Agency - Geoscience Australia

Chief Executive Officer: Dr Chris Pigram

Agency - National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA)

Chief Executive Officer: Ms Jane Cutler

Source: Industry portfolio, Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2013-14, p. 4.

95

96

Appendix 7

Treasury Portfolio Structure and outcomes (current)

Portfolio Minister — Treasurer The Hon Joe Hockey MP Assistant Treasurer Senator the Hon Arthur Sinodinos AO

Minister for Small Business The Hon Bruce Billson MP Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer The Hon Steven Ciobo MP

Department of the Treasury Secretary: Dr Martin Parkinson

Informed decisions on the development and implementation of policies to improve the wellbeing of the Australian people, including by achieving strong, sustainable economic growth, through the provision of advice to government and the efficient administration of federal financial relations

Australian Bureau of Statistics Acting Statistician: Mr Ian Ewing

Informed decisions, research and discussion within governments and the community by leading the collection, analysis and provision of high quality, objective and relevant statistical information

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Chairman: Mr Rod Sims

Lawful competition, consumer protection, and regulated national infrastructure markets and services through regulation, including enforcement, education, price monitoring and determining the terms of access to infrastructure services

Australian Office of Financial Management Chief Executive Officer: Mr Rob Nicholl

The advancement of macroeconomic growth and stability, and the effective operation of financial markets, through issuing debt, investing in financial assets and managing debt, investments and cash for the Australian Government

Australian Prudential Regulation Authority Chairman: Dr John Laker AO

Enhanced public confidence in Australia's financial institutions through a framework of prudential regulation which balances financial safety and efficiency, competition, contestability and competitive neutrality

Australian Securities and Investments Commission Chairman: Mr Greg Medcraft

Improved confidence in Australia’s financial markets through promoting informed investors and financial consumers, facilitating fair and efficient markets and delivering efficient registry systems

Australian Taxation Office Commissioner: Mr Chris Jordan AO

Confidence in the administration of aspects of Australia's taxation and superannuation systems through helping people understand their rights and obligations, improving ease of compliance and access to benefits, and managing non-compliance with the law

Clean Energy Finance Corporation Chief Executive Officer: Mr Oliver Yates

Facilitate increased flows of finance into Australia's clean energy sector, applying commercial rigour to investing in renewable energy, low-emissions and energy efficiency technologies, building industry capacity, and disseminating information to industry stakeholders

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Page 54

Treasury Portfolio Structure and outcomes (continued)

Source: Treasury portfolio, Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2013-14, pp 4-5.

Commonwealth Grants Commission Secretary: Mr John Spasojevic

Informed Government decisions on fiscal equalisation between the States and Territories through advice and recommendations on the distribution of GST revenue and health care grants

Corporations and Markets Advisory Committee Convenor: Ms Joanne Rees

Informed decisions by Government on issues relating to corporations regulation and financial products, services and markets through independent and expert advice

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

Improved tax administration through community consultation, review and independent advice to Government

National Competition Council President: Mr David Crawford

Competition in markets that are dependent on access to nationally significant monopoly infrastructure, through recommendations and decisions promoting the efficient operation of, use of and investment in infrastructure

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

The formulation and making of auditing and assurance standards that are used by auditors of Australian entity financial reports or for other auditing and assurance engagements

Office of the Australian Accounting Standards Board Chairman: Mr Kevin Stevenson

The formulation and making of accounting standards that are used by Australian entities to prepare financial reports and enable users of these reports to make informed decisions

Productivity Commission Chairman: Mr Peter Harris

Well-informed policy decision-making and public understanding on matters relating to Australia’s productivity and living standards, based on independent and transparent analysis from a community-wide perspective

Royal Australian Mint Chief Executive Officer: Mr Ross MacDiarmid

The coinage needs of the Australian economy, collectors and foreign countries are met through the manufacture and sale of circulating coins, collector coins and other minted like products

98

The Senate

Education and Employment

Legislation Committee

Annual reports (No. 1 of 2014)

March 2014

99

© Commonwealth of Australia 2014

ISBN 978-1-74229-953-2

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

ii

100

MEMBERSHIP OF THE COMMITTEE

Members

Senator Chris Back, Chair, LP, WA

Senator Sue Lines, Deputy Chair, ALP, WA

Senator Helen Kroger, LP, Vic.

Senator Bridget McKenzie, Nat, Vic.

Senator Lee Rhiannon, AG, NSW

Senator Mehmet Tillem, ALP, Vic.

Secretariat

Ms Julia Agostino, Secretary

Mr Gerry McInally, Principal Research Officer

Mr Josh See, Senior Research Officer

Mr Tim Hillman, Research Officer

Ms Sarah Brasser, Acting Administration Officer

PO Box 6100 Ph:02 6277 3521

Parliament House Fax: 02 6277 5706

Canberra ACT 2600 E-mail: eec.sen@aph.gov.au

iii

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102

Table of Contents

MEMBERSHIP OF THE COMMITTEE ...................................................... iii

CHAPTER 1

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

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

Role of annual reports ............................................................................................ 1

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

Reports not examined ............................................................................................. 2

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

General comments on reports ................................................................................. 3

CHAPTER 2

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

Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency ................................................ 5

Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission & Comcare ..................... 7

Comments made in the Senate ............................................................................. 11

Bodies not presenting annual reports to the Senate .............................................. 11

APPENDIX 1

Allocation of annual reports to the committee .................................................... 13

APPENDIX 2

Compliance table of annual reports referred ...................................................... 15

APPENDIX 3

Administrative Arrangements Order for the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations ................................................................ 17

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v

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CHAPTER 1 Introduction

1.1 This is the Senate Education and Employment Legislation Committee's (the committee) first report on annual reports for 2014. It provides an overview of the committee's examination of annual reports for the 2012-13 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 reports to the Senate and which should present such reports.1

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

1 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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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 2013 and 1 November 2013. The committee examined the following reports:

Statutory authorities/bodies

• Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency - Annual Report 2012-13

• Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission - Annual Report 2012-13

• Fair Work Ombudsman - Annual Report 2012-13

• Seafarers Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Authority - Annual Report 2012-13

• Australian Research Council - Annual Report 2012-13

• Fair Work Building and Construction - Report for 2012-13

Commonwealth companies under the CAC Act

• Comcare - Annual Report 2013-13

• Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority - Annual Report

2012-13

• Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership - Annual Report

2012-13

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

Reports not examined 1.6 The committee is not obliged to report on Acts, statements of corporate intent, surveys, corporate plans or errata. The following documents were referred to the committee but not examined:

• Remuneration Tribunal - Annual Report 2012-13

• Education and Care Services Ombudsman, National Education and Care

Services FOI & Privacy Commissioners

• Submission Report on ILO Instrument Social Protection Floors

Recommendation, 2012 (No. 202)

1.7 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.

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1.8 The requirements are set down in the following instruments:

• for portfolio departments: the Public Service Act 1999, sub 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 2013;

• for Commonwealth authorities and companies: the Commonwealth

Authorities and Companies Act 1997, in particular sections 9, 36 and 48, the Commonwealth Companies (Annual Reporting) Orders 2011, and the Corporations Act 2001; 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 1.9 Standing Order 25(20)(c) requires the committee to report to the Senate on the late presentation of annual reports.

1.10 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

1.11 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.

General comments on reports 1.12 The committee has found, under the terms of standing order 25(20), that the 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.

2 Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies and FMA Act Bodies, June 2012, p. 2.

3 Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997, section 9.

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CHAPTER 2 Review of annual reports

2.1 This chapter examines selected annual reports in greater detail, and provides the Senate with information that may be of particular interest. The following reports are discussed in this chapter:

• Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency;

• Fair Work Building and Construction;

• Fair Work Ombudsman;

• Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission;

• Comcare;

• Seafarers Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission;

• Australian Research Council;

• Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority; and

• Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership.

Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency 2.2 The Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) is a national regulator intended to ensure consistency in higher education regulatory requirements. Its role is to administer the registration of higher education providers, the accreditation of higher education courses, and to manage quality assurance in higher education standards and performance. The 2012-13 financial year was the first financial year in which TEQSA operated with full responsibilities in its capacity as national regulator.

2.3 As a result of the Government's focus on expanding Australia's portion of the international higher education market, the agency noted an increased spotlight on the quality of offshore course delivery. In response to this, TEQSA has been developing cooperative agreements with quality assurance agencies overseas in sectors where Australian providers are most prominent.1

2.4 TEQSA noted that in the past year it has observed an increasing interest amongst stakeholders with regards to e-learning for course delivery. Due to this, TEQSA co-hosted a forum on this topic with the Office for Learning and Teaching.2

2.5 TEQSA also highlighted its Regulatory Risk Framework, which is informed by Australia's long record of international education provision, and includes an emphasis on offshore delivery. This incorporates TEQSA's international strategy of

1 Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 27. 2 Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 27.

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developing 'a rigorous approach to offshore provision…and developing cooperative relationships with overseas quality assurance agencies'.3

2.6 With the establishment of the National Advisory Group of Higher Education Data and Information (NAGHEDI), TEQSA was able to participate in a project to achieve consensus on approaches to data collection and reporting in the higher education sector, with the goal of developing a single information collection. NAGHEDI also included representatives from the Australian Research Council, higher education providers, and other Government departments.4

2.7 This annual report is well presented and easily navigated and the committee considers that this report has fulfilled all requirements.

Fair Work Building and Construction

2.8 The Office of the Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate (operating as Fair Work Building and Construction (FWBC)) is an independent statutory agency established to regulate workplace relations laws in the building and construction industry. Activities that are undertaken by FWBC in this role include public education, providence advice and ensuring compliance with workplace relations laws by industry in the sector. This is the FWBC's first full-year annual report as it began operation on 1 June 2012.5

2.9 During the 2012-13 year, FWBC released a range of new education and compliance initiatives aimed at providing key information and advice to building industry participants and to promote the compliance of worker and employers with workplace laws.6 These included:

• a national targeted audit of record keeping, payslips and base wages;

• raising the awareness of workplace rights for culturally and linguistically diverse workers;

• a relaunch of the FWBC website; and

• the 'know your worth' campaign that targeted apprentices. 7

2.10 The report noted that following a joint financial review with the Fair Work Ombudsman which identified savings for both organisations by developing a single finance services team. FWBC outsourced its finance function to the Fair Work

Ombudsman in September 2012.8

2.11 This annual report is well presented and easily navigated and the committee considers that this report has fulfilled all requirements.

3 Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 55 4 Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 34. 5 Fair Work Building & Construction, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 10. 6 Fair Work Building & Construction, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 21. 7 Fair Work Building & Construction, Annual Report 2012-13, pp 40-46. 8 Fair Work Building & Construction, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 57.

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Fair Work Ombudsman

2.12 The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) is an independent statutory agency that seeks to promote fairness and ensure justice in Australian Workplaces. In 2012-13 FWO met all key performance indicator targets and focused particularly on encouraging a greater emphasis on voluntary resolution of disputes in the workplace. Self-help technologies and provision online services proved to be very useful to this end.9 The FWO also underwent a change in leadership in July 2013 with the appointment of the new Fair Work Ombudsman, Ms Natalie James.

2.13 The report states that equipping individuals and workplaces with tools to manage workplace relationships will continue to be an important focus for FWO in the year to come. Simplified online resources and additional self-help tools will be a significant way in which the FWO achieves this objective.10

2.14 This annual report is well presented and easily navigated and the committee considers that this report has fulfilled all requirements.

Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission & Comcare 2.15 The Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission (the Commission) and Comcare are both established under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 and jointly oversee the Comcare scheme. The Comcare scheme works with federal workers and employers across Australia to prevent workplace injury, regulate compensation claims and provide support for managing the impact of injuries on the workplace and individuals. The Commission does not have staff or budget so financial statements are only prepared and reported for Comcare.

2.16 The 2012-13 financial year saw a change in work, health safety legislation with the introduction of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011. Under the legislation, the role of the Commission has changed from co-regulator with Comcare to being an oversight body that supports Comcare in the development of work, health and safety strategies. Both the Commission and Comcare also considered recommendations from the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act Review conducted by Mr Peter Hanks QC and Mr Allan Hawke AC. Mr Cameron Dick was appointed Chairperson of the Commission following the expiration in December 2012 of Mr Peter Henneken AM's appointment.11

2.17 The report states that Comcare updated its Service Delivery Plan with the aim of promoting mental health and preventing psychological harm in work, while effectively targeting known and emerging work health and safety risks, and reducing unnecessary impact from workplace harm.12

9 Fair Work Ombudsman, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 6. 10 Fair Work Ombudsman, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 7. 11 Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission and Comcare, Annual Report 2012-13, pp 12-13.

12 Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission and Comcare, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 15.

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2.18 Comcare specifically stated its focus on the impact of mental harm, which can affect individual's lives as well as the surrounding community. To address this, Comcare has advocated the importance of other employees as 'first responders' and has recognised that an individual's workplace has an impact on an individual's mental health and concept of self. Ensuring that an individual workers' mental health is maintained, while in an understanding and satisfying workplace, increases productivity and participation.13

2.19 Comcare acknowledged in its Annual Report that it has reported an operating loss for the second year in a row. Mr Paul O'Connor, Chief Executive Officer of Comcare stated:

Comcare has posted an operating loss for the second consecutive year, once again impacted by increases in the value of the outstanding claim liabilities that we underwrite.14

2.20 The operating deficit of Comcare for the 2012-13 year was $98.3 million in comparison to an operation deficit of $687.3 million the previous year. Comcare has forecast an operating surplus of $58.7 million in its Portfolio Budget Statements 2012-13.15

2.21 This annual report is well presented and easily navigated. The committee notes that the inclusion of a list of publications during the reporting period would be beneficial.

Seafarers Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission

2.22 The Seafarers Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Authority (Seacare) was established under the Seafarers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1992 and regulates occupational health and safety, workers' compensation and rehabilitation for seafarers for particular sections of the Australian maritime industry. The Committee notes that Seacare receives support from Comcare (as outlined in the Annual Report) and that certain of its reporting obligations are thus addressed in the Comcare Annual Report.

2.23 The reporting period covered in the Seacare's Annual Report was very busy for the organisation. As well as managing the Seafarers Safety Net Fund (a fund providing compensation to injured seafarers with no extant employers from whom to claim) and conducting an awards and conference event in October 2012, Seacare participated in a review of the Seacare scheme. The review focused on best practice for compensation arrangements in the sector and ensuring that worker's compensation premiums do not impose an undue burden on employers in the industry.16

13 Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission and Comcare, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 16. 14 Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission and Comcare, Annual Report 2012-13, p 19. 15 Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission and Comcare, Annual Report 2012-13,

p. 33.

16 Seafarers Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Authority, Annual Report 2012-13, p. vi.

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2.24 In July 2012, the Tax Laws Amendment (Shipping Reform) Act 2012 came into effect. In addition, the Navigation Act 2012 was assented to commence from July 2013. The implementation of these Acts presented significant reforms to the Australian maritime industry.17

2.25 Seacare noted in its Annual Report that there had been a decrease in the number workplace incidents compared to recent years. To maintain this reduction, Seacare approved a joint occupational health and safety plan between the Seacare Authority and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.18

2.26 This annual report is well presented and easily navigated and the committee considers that this report has fulfilled all requirements.

Australian Research Council

2.27 The Australian Research Council (ARC) is established under the Australian Research Council Act 2001. The ARC aims to deliver policy and programs that develop research both domestically and internationally. This is achieved through making recommendations regarding funding for research programs, administering the funding for these programs and by providing advice related to research.19

2.28 The Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) program assesses the quality of research conducted at universities in all areas. In the Excellence in Research for Australia 2012 National report, ERA categorises the specific strengths of universities for different areas of research, while emphasising areas that could be further developed.20

2.29 A total funding of $528.8 million was awarded in 1168 new grants under the Discovery Program for 2012-13. This funding included:

• $46.7 over five years for the Australian Laureate Fellowships scheme;

• $72.3 million over three years for the Discovery Early Career Researcher

Award;

• $4.3 million over three years for the Discovery Indigenous scheme;

• $254.0 million over three years for the Discovery Projects scheme; and

• $151.6 million over four years for the Future Fellowships scheme. 21

2.30 The ARC noted a decline in the amount of funding awarded in 2012-13 under the Discovery Program and attributed this to the fall in number of Discovery Early Career Researcher Awards in addition to the completion of selection rounds under the Super Science Fellowships scheme.22

17 Seafarers Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Authority, Annual Report 2012-13, p. vi. 18 Seafarers Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Authority, Annual Report 2012-13, p. vi. 19 Australian Research Council, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 11.

20 Australian Research Council, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 7. 21 Australian Research Council, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 52. 22 Australian Research Council, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 52.

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2.31 This annual report is well presented and easily navigated and the committee considers that this report has fulfilled all requirements.

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority

2.32 The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) was established in December 2008 to administer a national school curriculum and assessments and collecting, managing and analysing data on school education and performance for publishing.

2.33 Some of ACARA's achievements for the 2012-13 financial year included:

• Continued development of the Australian Curriculum with milestones

achieved in the disciplines of geography, economics and business, technologies, and health and physical education;

• Delivery of NAPLAN

23 tests to around one million school students and reporting on the previous year's assessments for about 9 500 schools; and

• Progressing with moving national assessments onto an online environment.

2.34 The Committee thanks ACARA for presentation of its Annual Report, but recommends that ACARA include staffing statistics and a list of publications in future reports — according to best practice guidelines.

Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership

2.35 The Committee recognises the ongoing work of the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) in providing national leadership in the promotion of excellence in the teaching profession. During the 2012-13 financial year, the final two of AITSL's seven key educational policies were established through the endorsement of all Education Ministers. These seven policies are:

• Australian Professional Standards for Teachers;

• Australian Professional Standards for Principals;

• Accreditation of Initial Teacher Education Programs in Australia;

• Nationally Consistent Registration of Teachers in Australia;

• Certification of Highly Accomplished and Lead Teachers in Australia;

• Australian Charter for the Professional Learning of Teachers and School

Teachers; and

• Australian Teacher Performance and Development Framework.

2.36 Following the establishment of these policy platforms, AITSL has also been focusing on implementing them in consultation and collaboration with the profession, jurisdictions and systems across Australia.

2.37 While the committee approves of AITSL's Annual Report, and welcomes the progress recorded in it, the committee would also like to bring to AITSL's attention

23 The National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy.

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certain reporting requirements that it would like to see in its next Annual Report. These requirements include:

• Systems and policies in place in regard to Freedom of Information;

• Information on AITSL's Occupational Health and Safety policy and related

statistics;

• Reporting on staff statistics, including SES statistics, full-time/part-time staff,

gender, location and ongoing/non-ongoing;

• An appendix including an agency resource statement; and

• Information on collective agreements with staff.

2.38 In addition, the committee believes that the inclusion of a compliance index in AITSL's next annual report would be of benefit to the committee.

Comments made in the Senate 2.39 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 such comments to include.

Bodies not presenting annual reports to the Senate 2.40 The committee is required to report to the Senate each year on whether there are any bodies not presenting annual reports to the Senate which should. The committee is satisfied that there are no such bodies at this time.

Senator Chris Back Chair

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APPENDIX 1

Allocation of annual reports to the committee Annuals reports from the following agencies were allocated to the committee during the reporting period.

Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Portfolio • 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 Research Council

• 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 2010 • Schools Assistance Act 2008 - Report on financial assistance granted to each state in respect of 2010

• Tertiary Education Quality an Standards Agency

Employment and Workplace Relations

• Air Passenger Ticket Levy (Collection) Act 2001

• Coal Mining Industry (Long Service Leave Funding) Corporation

• Comcare Australia

• Defence Force Remuneration Tribunal 1

• Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations

• Fair Work Australia

• Fair Work Ombudsman

• Fair Work Building and Construction

• Remuneration Tribunal

• Safe Work Australia

• Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission

1 Forwarded to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee as well.

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• Seafarers Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Authority (Seacare)

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APPENDIX 2

Compliance table of annual reports referred

List of annual reports referred by the Senate to the committee during the period 1 May 2013 to 31 October 2013

Education, Employment and Workplace Relations portfolio

Body Enabling legislation and

timeliness

Letter of Transmittal Date

Submitted to/Received by Minister

Presented out of session Tabled Timeliness

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority

Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 10.10.2013 8.10.2013 29.10.2013 Reps: 13.11.2013

Senate: 12.11.2013

On time

Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership Limited Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997

15.09.2013 30.10.2013 Reps:

13.11.2013

Senate: 12.11.2013

On time

Australian Research Council Australian Research Council Act 2001 4.10.2013 04.10.2013 24.10.2013 Reps: 13.11.2013

Senate: 12.11.2013

On time

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Body Enabling legislation and

timeliness

Letter of Transmittal Date

Submitted to/Received by Minister

Presented out of session Tabled Timeliness

Fair Work Building and Construction Fair Work (Building Industry) Act 2012

10.10.2013 14.10.2013

30.10.2013 Reps: 13.11.2013

Senate: 12.11.2013

On time

Fair Work Ombudsman

Fair Work Australia Act 2009 14.10.2013 9.10.2013 31.10.2013 Reps: 13.11.2013

Senate: 12.11.2013

On time

Remuneration Tribunal Remuneration Tribunal Act 1973 10.10.2013 23.10.2013 31.10.2013 Reps: 13.11.2013

Senate: 12.11.2013

On time

Seafarers Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Authority Seafarers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1992

14.10.2013 15.10.2013 31.10.2013 Reps: 13.11.2013

Senate: 12.11.2013

On time

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Body Enabling legislation and

timeliness

Letter of Transmittal Date

Submitted to/Received by Minister

Presented out of session Tabled Timeliness

Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission and Comcare

Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 14.10.2013 15.10.2013 31.10.2013 Reps: 13.11.2013

Senate: 12.11.2013

On time

Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act

2011

17.09.2013 2.10.2013 22.10.2013 Reps: 13.11.2013

Senate: 12.11.2013

On time

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APPENDIX 3

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

Extract from the Administrative Arrangements Order, made on 16 May 2013. These orders were in place during the reporting period covered.

PART 6 THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, EMPLOYMENT AND WORKPLACE RELATIONS

Matters dealt with by the Department

• Schools education policy and programs, including vocational education and training in schools, Indigenous school education, but excluding migrant adult education

• Schooling transitions policy and programs including career pathways

• Education and training transitions policy and programs

• 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, including

workplace productivity

• 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, including youth transitions

• Early childhood and childcare policy and programs

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

including Indigenous early childhood development

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The Senate

Environment and Communications

Legislation Committee

Annual reports (No. 1 of 2014)

March 2014

125

© Commonwealth of Australia 2013

ISBN 978-1-74229-954-9

Secretariat

Ms Christine McDonald, Secretary

Ms Sarah Bainbridge, Research Officer

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

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

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

This document was produced by the Senate Standing Committee on Environment and

Communications and printed by the Senate Printing Unit, Parliament House, Canberra.

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126

Membership of the Committee

Members

Senator John Williams, Chair NATS, New South Wales

Senator Anne Urquhart, Deputy Chair ALP, Tasmania Senator David Fawcett LP, South Australia

Senator Louise Pratt ALP, Western Australia

Senator Anne Ruston LP, South Australia

Senator Larissa Waters AG, Queensland

Committee address PO Box 6100 Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600 Tel: 02 6277 3526 Fax: 02 6277 5818 Email: ec.sen@aph.gov.au Internet: http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Environment_and_Co mmunications

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Table of Contents

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

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

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

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

Allocated portfolios ................................................................................................ 2

Annual reporting requirements ............................................................................... 2

Reports referred to the committee .......................................................................... 3

Reports not examined ............................................................................................. 4

Apparently satisfactory ........................................................................................... 5

Timeliness ............................................................................................................... 5

Remarks made in the Senate................................................................................... 6

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

Review of departments and selected agencies ........................................................ 7

Communications portfolio ...................................................................................... 7

Environment portfolio .......................................................................................... 13

General comments ................................................................................................ 18

Appendix 1 ......................................................................................................... 19

Dates relating to the presentation of reports between 1 May to 31 October 2013 ..................................................................................... 19

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Chapter 1

Introduction

1.1 This is the Senate Environment and Communication Legislation Committee's (the committee) first report on annual reports for 2014. It examines annual reports tabled in the Senate or presented to the President between 1 May and 31 October 2013 for the departments and agencies within the relevant portfolios.

1.2 Annual reports are an important mechanism for accountability to the Parliament. They also inform other stakeholders, education and research institutions, the media and the general public about the performance of departments and agencies in providing services and implementing government policy. Annual reports are a key reference source as well as an internal management document and form part of the historical record of the Commonwealth.

Terms of reference

1.3 Under Standing Order 25(20), the annual reports of certain departments and agencies are referred to the committee for examination and assessment. The committee is required to:

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

(b) Consider in more detail, and report to the Senate on, each annual report which is not apparently satisfactory, and on the other annual 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.

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Allocated portfolios

1.4 As at 31 October 2013, the portfolios allocated to the committee were:

• Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy;

• Climate Change; and

• Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities. 1

1.5 The committee notes that due to the machinery of government changes of March 2013 and the subsequent amendment of the Administrative Arrangements Order, the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (DCCEE) was abolished and the Climate Change functions transferred to the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education (DIISRTE).2

1.6 On 15 May 2013, the Senate resolved that responsibility for climate change would stay with the Senate Environment and Communications Committee.3 The Energy Efficiency portfolio was also transferred to the Economics Committee for oversight.

Annual reporting requirements

1.7 Departments and agencies must comply with relevant reporting requirements. The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet issues the Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies and FMA Act Bodies (the Requirements). This is updated annually and approved by the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit (JCPAA).

1.8 The latest version of the Requirements was issued on 24 June 2013 and will apply to annual reports for 2012-13.4 There was one significant amendment to the Requirements in 2013 relating to spatial reporting for selected portfolio agencies. It is stated that this requirement will improve reporting of regional expenditure.5 The committee notes that both the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy and the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities are required to provide spatial reports in their 2012-13 Annual Reports.

1 Journals of the Senate, No. 145, 15 May 2013, p. 3929.

2 Economics Legislation Committee, Budget Estimates Report 2013-14, June 2013, p. 2.

3 Journals of the Senate, No. 145, 15 May 2013, p. 3929.

4 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies and FMA Act Bodies, 24 June 2013, The Requirements are prepared pursuant to subsections 63(2) and 70(2) of the Public Service Act 1999.

5 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies and FMA Act Bodies, 24 June 2013, p. 27.

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1.9 Commonwealth authorities and companies report under the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 (CAC Act). 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. Under section 48 of the CAC Act, the Minister for Finance and Deregulation may make Orders on certain matters identified in the Act. Currently, there are three Orders relating to annual reporting matters:

• Commonwealth Authorities (Annual Reporting) Orders 2011 - this contains

the requirements for the content of the report of operations of a Commonwealth authority for financial years ending on or after 30 June 2005;

• Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Orders (Financial Statements) -

this outlines the requirements for the preparation of annual financial statements by Authorities; and

• Commonwealth Companies (Annual Reporting) Orders 2011. 6

1.10 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. Statutory authorities also report under their respective enabling legislation.

1.11 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 1987.7

Reports referred to the committee

1.12 During the period 1 May to 31 October 2013, the following reports were tabled in the Senate or presented 'out of session' to the President of the Senate and referred to the committee:

Departments of State

• Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy,

Annual Report 2012-13; and

• Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Annual Report 2012-2013, including reports on the operations of the:

• Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999;

• Natural Heritage Trust of Australia Act 1997;

6 Available on the Department of Finance website, http://www.finance.gov.au/financial-framework/cac-legislation/cac-finance-ministers-orders.html

7 Senate Hansard, 8 December 1987, pp 2643-45.

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• Product Stewardship Act 2011;

• Product Stewardship (Oil) Act 2000;

• Fuel Quality Standards Act 2000;

• Hazardous Waste (Regulation of Exports and Imports) Act 1989;

• Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989;

• Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards Act 2005;

• Water Act 2007; and

• Commonwealth Environmental Water Annual Report 2012-13.

Statutory agencies/authorities

• Australian Broadcasting Corporation - Annual Report 2012-13;

• Australian Communications and Media Authority - Annual Report 2012-13;

• Bureau of Meteorology - Annual Report 2012-13;

• Clean Energy Regulator - Annual Report 2012-13;

• Director of National Parks - Annual Report 2012-13;

• Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority - Annual Report 2012-13;

• National Water Commission - Annual Report 2012-13;

• Special Broadcasting Service - Annual Report 2012-13;

• Supervising Scientist - Annual Report 2012-13; and

• Telecommunications Universal Service Management Agency - Annual

Report 2012-13.

Commonwealth companies/government business enterprises

• Australian Postal Corporation (Australia Post) - Annual Report 2012-13;

• NBN Co Limited - Annual Report 2012-2013; and

• Sydney Harbour Federation Trust - Annual Report 2012-13.

Reports not examined

1.13 The committee was also referred a range of reports relating to Acts, statements of corporate intent, policy papers, and corporate plans. The committee is not obliged to report these documents. The following were referred to the committee during the period 1 May to 31 October 2013, but are not examined in this report:

• Australian Postal Corporation (Australia Post) - Diversity and inclusion

2012-13;

• Australian Postal Corporation (Australia Post) - Statement of Corporate Intent

2013/14-2016/17;

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• Water Act 2007 - Murray-Darling Basin Plan implementation: Initial report -

Report No. 1, dated 1 March 2013;

• National Environment Protection Council, Third review of the National Environment Protection Council Acts (Commonwealth, State and Territory), dated December 2012 and response to the report of the third review, dated April 2013;

• Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Telstra's Structural Separation Undertaking, Annual Compliance Report 2011-12;

• Climate Change Authority, Renewable Energy Target Review, Final report,

dated December 2012;

• Climate Change Authority, Australian Government response to the

Renewable Energy Target Review Final Report, dated March 2013; and

• Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Digital

television transmission and reception, Report, May 2013.

Apparently satisfactory

1.14 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.

1.15 The committee found all reports examined in this report 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'. Chapter 2 provides a more detailed examination of a number of reports referred to the committee.

Timeliness

1.16 Under the Requirements, annual reports of departments and executive and prescribed agencies are to be tabled by 31 October each year unless another date is specified in an agency's legislation. Where a body is unable to meet this deadline, an extension of time to report can be sought under the provisions of subsections 34C(4)- (7) of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901.8 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.

8 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies and FMA Act Bodies, 28 June 2012, p. 2.

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1.17 Organisations reporting under the CAC Act are required to provide an annual report to the responsible minister by the fifteenth day of the fourth month after the end of the financial year. For the standard financial year, this is 15 October.

1.18 Appendix 1 provides a table showing the annual reports tabled (or presented) in the Senate and the House of Representatives between 1 May to 31 October 2013, and referred to the committee, with relevant tabling dates.

1.19 All 2012-13 annual reports examined in this report were provided within the appropriate timeframes.

Remarks made in the Senate

1.20 In accordance with Standing Order 25(20)(d), the committee is required to take into account any relevant remarks about the reports made in debate in the Senate. In consideration of the Director of National Parks annual report for 2012-13, Senator Birmingham took the opportunity to thank the Director of National Parks, Mr Peter Cochrane:

He was appointed by former environment minister Senator Robert Hill and served through the entire duration of the previous government and into the new government. Peter Cochrane did a remarkable job during that time of managing Australia's National Parks estate—in particular, the terrestrial national parks owned and maintained by the Commonwealth, for which he had responsibility. Mr Cochrane oversaw the continued development, preservation and successful maintenance of sites such as Kakadu in the Northern Territory; Uluru in the Northern Territory; the national parks on Christmas Island, Norfolk Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands; Booderee National Park at Jervis Bay; and the Australian National Botanical Gardens here in the ACT. He also assumed responsibilities in that time for our marine reserves and, in doing so, was obviously crucial to the initial work and management as the Commonwealth took steps in that space.9

9 Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham, Senate Hansard, 13 February 2014, p. 91.

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Chapter 2

Review of departments and selected agencies

2.1 The Committee provides the following comments on the annual reports of the two portfolio departments referred to it as well as reports from four agencies within the portfolios as follows:

• Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy;

• Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and

Communities;

• Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC);

• NBN Co Limited;

• Bureau of Meteorology (BOM); and

• Director of National Parks.

Communications portfolio

Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy

2.2 The Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Annual Report 2012-13 was received on 6 September 2013 and tabled in the Senate on 18 October 2013.

2.3 This is the first report presented by the new Secretary of the Department, Mr Drew Clarke. In the Secretary's review, Mr Clarke acknowledged the contribution of the former Secretary, Mr Peter Harris. Mr Clarke particularly acknowledged Mr Harris's contribution to micro-economic reform and congratulated him on his appointment to Chair of the Productivity Commission.1

2.4 The Secretary's review outlined the completion of a number of programs including the switchover to digital television. As a consequence of the completion of these programs, structural changes were required to the department. Mr Clarke thanked staff for their professional approach to the proposed changes:

In April 2013, I announced the need to rebalance our staff profile to prepare us for a future where we are smaller but need to maintain the skills required for a stronger focus on policy work. The need to reduce the size of the Department is due to two factors: the impending completion of the digital switchover program, which has been a major program and focus for us for the past five years, and the winding down of some other digital services

1 Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 2.

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programs. To manage these changes we have taken an approach I believe will align skills and experience with priorities, and allow us to effectively manage our staffing into the future. I know these processes are not easy for staff and I thank everyone who has been involved or affected for their patience and professionalism.2

2.5 The report provides information on the activities undertaken during the reporting period across its three program areas:

• Program 1.1 - Broadband and Communications Infrastructure;

• Program 1.2 - Telecommunications, Online and Postal services; and

• Program 1.3 - Broadcasting and Digital Television.

2.6 In relation to program 1.1, the report canvased matters related to the National Broadband Network including the rollout, the activities of the Joint Committee on the National Broadband Network and policy and regulatory issues. The discussion on program 1.2 highlighted the department's efforts to promote the digital economy. In particular, the committee notes that the department has been working with other Australian Government agencies to provide technical advice and project support to implement pilot programs designed to stimulate and drive digital activity.3 Other programs discussed in the report include improving services in regional, rural and remote Australia.

2.7 Program 1.3 covers the switchover to digital television and to 'support access to high-quality, innovative and diverse broadcasting services that deliver content consistent with Australia's diverse community expectations'.4 The committee notes that community awareness of the digital switchover remained high in 2012-13 and that the negative attitude towards the switchover has steadily declined to five per cent. At the November 2013 supplementary estimates hearings, the former minister and the minister representing the Minister for Communications both congratulated departmental officials for the successful completion of the program.5

Performance reporting

2.8 Performance reporting on the department's three outcomes is clearly presented and provides adequate assessment of how the department has progressed in meeting the Key Performance Indicators and Deliverables.

2 Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 4.

3 Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 19.

4 Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 44.

5 Senate Environment and Communications Legislation Committee, Supplementary Estimates 2013-14, Committee Hansard, 19 November 2014, p. 154.

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Financial reporting

2.9 In the Secretary's review it was noted that:

…the Department reported an operating surplus of $1.5 million (excluding depreciation) in 2012-13, up from $1.4 million (excluding depreciation) in 2011-12, with a net cost of services of $118.8 million.6

2.10 However, in the discussion on departmental finances an operating deficit of $5.6 million was reported.7 The committee considers that further clarification on the use of financial performance information which includes or excludes depreciation would have been helpful.

Spatial report

2.11 As required, the report includes a spatial reporting table. The table presents the spatial accounting information that has been captured, and presented in the required format as outlined under the Spatial Reporting Framework.8

Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)

2.12 The Australian Broadcasting Corporation Annual Report 2012-13 was received on 18 October 2013 and tabled in the Senate on 12 November 2013.

2.13 The ABC Annual Report provides a detailed record of the ABC's activities which included:

• receipt of additional funding from the Government to support its activities;

• announcement of the triennial funding agreement for 2013-16 in May;

• approval of a $90 million loan to enable the ABC to collocate its Melbourne

operations in a new building consolidated with the existing ABC Centre at Southbank; and

• amendment of the ABC's Charter to include digital media services as a core function, and to prohibit advertising on those services.9

2.14 The report also provides details of programs to be undertaken in the coming year which include:

• translating funds into new and improved services for Australians;

6 Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 4.

7 Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 58.

8 Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 156.

9 Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 16.

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• completion of the second stage of its Newsgathering initiative;

• completion of the recruiting and training process in July 2014, as well as open

new offices in Parramatta, Geelong and Ipswich;

• increasing the level of original local journalism from each region, including

delivering stories for hourly state and national radio news bulletins, radio current affairs programs, television news and ABC News Online;

• applying the additional news funding provided in the Budget to deliver more state-based current affairs, extend the seasons of its flagship current affairs programs and create more cross-platform news content for audiences;

• focusing on projects that appeal to younger audiences aged 25-49 as part of the Newsgathering project;

• extending the benefits of its digital services, running projects to explore new streaming options and to improve the quality of iView;

• finalising the detailed design of the new premises in Southbank in 2013, allowing demolition of the adjacent building and construction to commence early in the first quarter of 2014;

• undertaking several pilot projects to explore and respond to the porous nature of online news media and the ways in which audiences use it;

• developing a linking service for its websites; and

• trialling a locally-focused smartphone application that showcases ABC local,

national and international content.10

Performance reporting

2.15 The ABC is required by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation Act to prepare corporate plans which outline the overall strategies and policies that the Corporation will follow to achieve its objectives and fulfil its functions.11 The annual report provides details of performance against the ABC Strategic Plan 2010-13. The committee notes that the report provides this at two levels: what is described as a 'dash-board' summary of the ABC's performance in relation to its six strategic objectives; and results against specific measures.

2.16 In the first level of reporting, the performance against all six major objectives was reported as being 'achieves or exceeds' or 'within acceptable range'. The second level performance reporting is through a table providing a comprehensive indication of performance against specific measures with details of the 2012-13 results. The table is easy to use and laid out in a manner that identifies clearly the measures where performance was achieved or exceeded or fell within the acceptable range. Two areas were identified as requiring improvement:

10 Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 22.

11 Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 135.

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• Achieve the target set in the ABC's Reconciliation Action Plan for the

indigenous employment; and

• Increase the contribution ABC Commercial makes to ABC net revenue. 12

2.17 The committee notes that the annual report provides an adequate discussion of the two measures requiring improvement and the action taken by the ABC to improve performance.

Financial reporting

2.18 The annual report provides a comprehensive financial summary including the budget strategy for the coming financial year. This includes information on the change in the performance of ABC Commercial which has continued to decline - the net result for 2012-13 was $1.1 million, down from $5.5 million in 2011-12.13 The report notes that as a consequence, further pressure has been placed on the ABC's financial resources.14

NBN Co Limited (NBN Co)

2.19 The NBN Co Limited Annual Report 2012-13 was received on 29 October 2013 and tabled in the Senate on 12 November 2013.

2.20 NBN Co was established on 9 April 2009 to design, build and operate the NBN. NBN Co is a Government Business Enterprise (GBE) and operates as a commercial entity with the long term objective of earning a commercial return for its shareholder, the Commonwealth of Australia.15

2.21 The Chairman, Ms Siobhan McKenna, noted that NBN Co made significant progress over the past year towards satisfying its main objectives of establishing a national wholesale-only, open access communications network. These objectives propose to foster competition in retail telecommunications and deliver high speed broadband connectivity to all Australians by 2021.16

2.22 The Chief Executive Officer's message outlines some of the key activities that NBN Co has achieved over the past year. A significant accomplishment was the signing of a $300 million contract with Arianespace to deliver NBN Co's two purpose-built communications satellites into orbit in 2015.17

12 Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Annual Report 2012-13, pp 140, 141.

13 Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 69.

14 Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 160.

15 NBN Co Limited, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 4.

16 NBN Co Limited, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 8.

17 NBN Co Limited, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 10.

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2.23 NBN Co announced a doubling of wholesale speeds of up to 25 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 5 Mbps. These speeds became available in Fixed Wireless coverage areas in June 2013 and will be available to users of the long-term satellite service after its launch in 2015.18

2.24 During the reporting period NBN Co also:

• submitted operational and financial metrics to the Joint Committee on the

National Broadband Network which set out detailed information about the cost of the rollout per premise;

• submitted a draft 2013-16 Corporate Plan to Shareholder Ministers;

• executed additional contracts for the design and construction of the Fibre Access, Fixed Wireless, Satellite and Transit Networks;

• signed a contract with ViaStat worth up to $280 million, for delivery of Satellite ground systems equipment;

• put in place measures to address challenges in construction, including the training and employment of additional specialist telecom workers;

• assumed direct management of the fibre rollout in the Northern Territory;

• continued to engage constructively with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and access seekers in relation to its proposed Special Access Undertaking (SAU); and

• transferred the task of handling and removing asbestos in pit and pipe from its

major contractors to specialist asbestos removal firms.19

2.25 The Chief Executive Officer also stated in the report that the number of premises/lots being connected per day by Fibre to the Transit Network was 290 in the June quarter of 2012. In addition, the CEO stated that:

This rose to more than 1000 premises in the June 2013 quarter. NBN Co plans to lift this rate to more than 4000 premises per day over the following 12 months on the way to maintaining a rate of more than 6000 premises per day at the peak of the rollout.20

2.26 The Chief Executive Officer went on to note:

At the end of the fiscal year 2013, 1,115,000 premises had reached construction commenced or completed and the number of Fibre premises passed in the period was 207,500.21

18 NBN Co Limited, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 10.

19 NBN Co Limited, Annual Report 2012-13, pp 10-11.

20 NBN Co Limited, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 11.

21 NBN Co Limited, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 11.

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2.27 The total number of families and businesses with NBN services rose to 70,100. Of these, 33,600 were connected to the Fibre Access Network across brownfields and greenfield locations.22

2.28 In relation to funding, the Directors' Report noted that:

Consistent with the 2012-2015 Corporate Plan, the Commonwealth has committed to providing total funding of $30.4 billion. Under the Equity Funding Agreement, the Commonwealth has also committed to meet the termination and other costs of NBN Co in the event the project is terminated or significantly reduced in scope.23

2.29 The committee notes that the annual report includes a discussion of business risks faced by NBN Co.24 This is a helpful inclusion in the report.

Environment portfolio

Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population, and Communities

2.30 The Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities Annual Report 2012-13 was received on 28 October 2013 and tabled in the Senate on 12 December 2013.

2.31 The Secretary's Review provides a detailed overview of the department's six outcomes. During the reporting period the department:

• supported the delivery of several major government policy initiatives to

promote the conservation and sustainable use of Australia's natural resources;

• saw the passage into law of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan on 22 November 2012;

• finalised four marine bioregional plans under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act);

• supported substantial government investments in Australia's unique biodiversity through the Caring for our Country and the Biodiversity Fund programs;

• worked with state government agencies, local government and industry to implement the National Waste Policy;

• hosted a conference in Darwin to establish the World Indigenous Network for land and sea managers;

• released the first Sustainable Australia Report in May 2013;

22 NBN Co Limited, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 11.

23 NBN Co Limited, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 68.

24 NBN Co Limited, Annual Report 2012-13, pp 41-43.

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• coordinated the Australian Government's negotiations for the Minamata

Convention on Mercury; and

• continued to lead the Southern Ocean Research Partnership and to promote non-lethal whale research in the Southern Ocean.25

Performance reporting

2.32 In the detailed discussion of each outcome, key achievements are provided as well as strategies that underpin those achievements. The report also provides an evaluation and conclusion for each outcome. For each program, key performance indicators are provided with the 2012-13 results. The deliverables for each program are also listed with both the 2012-13 budget targets and results. Where the 2012-13 budget target has not been met, an explanation of reasons is included. For example, in Program 3.1 the number of international institutions collaborating in the Australian Antarctic program was less than the budget target. It was noted that 'this number represents a significant shift in emphasis for the science program towards supporting projects that have a stronger focus on relevance for end users'.26

2.33 The annual report also includes reports on seven Acts.

Financial reporting

2.34 The department's annual report noted that its total liabilities exceeded total assets by $31.5 million. The notes to the financial statements indicate that this was primarily due to the provisions for restoration obligations (make good) relating to Antarctic and sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island. It was also noted that 'the existence of total liabilities in excess of total assets of the Department in the balance sheet did not make the Department insolvent and has no bearing on whether the Department's debts will be met'.27

Spatial reporting

2.35 As required, the report includes a spatial reporting table. The table presents the spatial accounting information that has been captured, and presented in the required format as outlined under the Spatial Reporting Framework.28

25 Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Annual Report 2012-2013, pp 4-5.

26 Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Annual Report 2012-2013, p. 68.

27 Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Annual Report 2012-2013, p. 347.

28 Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Annual Report 2012-2013, pp 206-07.

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Bureau of Meteorology (BOM)

2.36 The Bureau of Meteorology Annual Report 2012-13 was received on 29 October 2013 and tabled in the Senate on 12 November 2013.

2.37 The Director's review provides a comprehensive summary of the key achievements and challenges of the BOM for 2012-13. In particular, the Director, Dr Rob Vertessy, drew attention to the record-breaking weather events for the year and the timely manner in which BOM were able to provide accurate forecasts and warnings. The Director noted that the Government has provided additional funding in the 2013-14 Budget which will allow the BOM to 'increase the number of frontline forecasting staff and modernise its storm surge and flood forecasting systems'.29

2.38 The Director noted rapid evolution of the Bureau's business and the changing requirements of its customers:

…I took the opportunity to review our high-level structure and decided it was necessary to realign the organisation to improve our overall efficiency and effectiveness. In June, I announced a new high-level structure for the Bureau, moving us from four to five divisions and placing a greater emphasis on our observing, Information Technology (IT), and information management functions. There are areas where significant modernisation has been occurring and needs to continue if we are to keep pace with emerging technologies and changing customer preferences.30

2.39 Other activities outlined in the Director's review included:

• the deployment of the Next Generation Forecast and Warning System (NexGenFWS);

• the release of MetEye;

• the progression of the Indigenous Careers Program and Indigenous Weather

Knowledge project;

• improvements to the quality and accessibility of Australia's environmental information through the National Plan for Environmental Information (NPEI) initiative; and

• the establishment of a Business Development (BD) unit within the Bureau. 31

Performance reporting

2.40 The annual report provides a performance overview table which summarises deliverables and key performance indicators, whether the target was achieved and the

29 The Bureau of Meteorology, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 3.

30 The Bureau of Meteorology, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 4.

31 The Bureau of Meteorology, Annual Report 2012-13, pp 4-5.

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details or evidence which support the achievement.32 The table is clear and easy to read and includes page references to assist the reader in accessing more detailed information. The committee notes that the subsequent discussion of the elements making up the deliverables and KPIs provides information on individual elements where the target has not been met. For example, a decrease of 52 per cent in the number of drifting buoys in the ocean and sea-level observing fleet was reported. This was a result of a manufacturing fault and the BOM is now transitioning to a new model of drifting buoy.33

2.41 The committee also notes the BOM's outstanding performance in implementing systems to improve forecasting, particularly the Next Generation Forecast and Warning Systems, and improvements to the BOM's website to allow customers to take greater advantage of easy-to-use online climate discovery tools.34

Financial performance

2.42 The BOM reported an operating deficit of $69.4 million for the financial year 2012-13. This compared to the prior year operating deficit of $69.1 million.35

Director of National Parks (DNP)

2.43 The Director of National Parks Annual Report 2012-13 was received on 31 October 2013 and tabled in the Senate on 12 November 2013.

2.44 The Director of National Parks is the statutory agency responsible for the Australian Government's terrestrial and marine protected area estates. The Director is assisted by Parks Australia, a division of the Department of Environment, in managing terrestrial and marine reserves. The department's Australian Antarctic Division is responsible for one marine reserve.36

2.45 The report notes a number of activities undertaken during the 2012-13 reporting period which included:

• the management of seven terrestrial reserves comprising six national parks and the Australian National Botanic Gardens;

• the management of 59 marine reserves and one conservation zone;

• the management of Calperum and Taylorville Stations through a contract with

Austland Services Pty Ltd;

32 The Bureau of Meteorology, Annual Report 2012-13, pp 18-20.

33 The Bureau of Meteorology, Annual Report 2012-13, pp 31-32.

34 The Bureau of Meteorology, Annual Report 2012-13, pp 48-49, 66.

35 The Bureau of Meteorology, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 6.

36 Director of National Parks, Annual Report 2012-13, p. vi.

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• the incorporation of Koongarra into Kakadu National Park in February 2013;

and

• the addition of three new premier ecotourism destinations to Australia's National Landscapes collection - the Wet Tropics, Tasmania's Island Heritage and Sydney Harbour.37

2.46 In the Director's review, Mr Peter Cochrane, drew attention to the declaration of 40 new Commonwealth marine reserves in November 2012, which protects more than 2.8 million square kilometres of ocean environment.38 The report foreshadowed:

• tackling the biodiversity challenges in parks and reserves;

• improving training and employment opportunities for Indigenous staff;

• helping to provide unique and sustainable nature-based visitor experiences

through stronger partnerships with the tourism industry; and

• the planning and preparation for the upcoming IUCN World Parks Congress

in Sydney in November 2014.

2.47 The committee notes that this will be Mr Cochrane's last annual report, as he has decided not to seek reappointment to the position he has held since 1999. Mr Cochrane stated:

I will leave with treasured memories and a great pride in our many achievements. I thank all my colleagues, traditional owners and our partners in industry, government and the non-government sector who over many years have made this position so remarkable, unique, important and rewarding.39

Performance report

2.48 The performance outcomes for 2012-13 use key result areas, outcomes and indicators identified in the Parks Australia Divisional Plan and key performance indicators and deliverables identified in the 2012-13 Portfolio Budget Statements. The discussion for the seven key result areas is comprehensive and provides a useful overview of 2012-13 results.

Financial performance

2.49 The annual report noted a loss for the 2012-13 financial year:

The Minister for Finance and Deregulation approved an operating loss of $9.80 million for the 2012-13 financial year, which had arisen primarily as

37 Director of National Parks, Annual Report 2012-13, p. vi.

38 Director of National Parks, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 6.

39 Director of National Parks, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 8.

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a result of our asset revaluation in 2010-11. The actual operating loss for 2012-13 was $9.69 million.40

General comments

2.50 The Auditor-General has not qualified any of the financial statements contained in the annual reports under review.

2.51 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.

2.52 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 John Williams Chair

40 Director of National Parks, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 6.

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Appendix 1

Dates relating to the presentation of reports between 1 May to 31 October 2013

Reporting Body Date shown

on a letter of transmittal

Submitted to Minister Received by Minister

Tabled in the Senate or presented out sitting

BROADBAND, COMMUNICATIONS AND THE DIGITAL ECONOMY Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Annual Report 2012-13

Digital television transmission and reception, Report, May 2013

26.08.13

-

8.08.13

23.04.13

14.08.13

23.04.13

12.11.13 (Received 06.09.13)

14.05.13

Australian Broadcasting Corporation Annual Report 2012-13

Audio description trial report

29.08.13

-

10.10.13

08.10.13

14.10.13

15.10.13

12.11.13 (Received 18.10.13)

12.11.13 (Received 18.10.13)

Australian Communications and Media Authority Annual Report 2012-13

30.09.13 04.10.13 14.10.13 12.11.13 (Received

31.10.13)

Australian Competition & Consumer Commission

Telstra's Structural Separation Undertaking, Report for the period 6 March to 30 June 2012

-

-

-

25.06.13

Australian Postal Corporation Annual Report 2012-13

Diversity and inclusion 2012-13

Statement of Corporate Intent 2013/14-2016/17

29.09.13

-

-

04.10.13

04.10.13

04.10.13

15.10.13

15.10.13

15.10.13

12.11.13 (Received 18.10.13)

12.11.13 (Received 18.10.13)

12.11.13 (Received 18.10.13)

NBN Co Limited Annual Report 2012-13

13.08.13

08.10.13 15.10.13 12.11.13 (Received

29.10.13)

Special Broadcasting Service Corporation Annual Report 2012-13

21.09.13 10.10.13 14.10.13 12.11.13 (Received

18.10.13)

Telecommunications Universal Service Management Agency Annual Report 2012-13

18.10.13 09.10.13 18.10.13 12.11.13 (Received

29.10.13)

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20

Reporting Body Date shown

on a letter of transmittal

Submitted to Minister Received by Minister

Tabled in the Senate or presented out sitting

CLIMATE CHANGE Clean Energy Regulator Annual Report 2012-2013

10.10.13 09.10.13 09.10.13 12.11.13 (Received

31.10.13)

Climate Change Authority

Renewable Energy Target Review, Final report, dated December 2012

Australian Government response to the Renewable Energy Target Review Final Report, dated March 2013

-

-

-

-

-

-

14.05.13 (Received 25.03.13)

14.05.13 (Received 25.03.13)

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21

Reporting Body Date shown

on a letter of transmittal

Submitted to Minister Received by Minister

Tabled in the Senate or presented out sitting

SUSTAINABILITY, ENVIRONMENT, WATER, POPULATION AND COMMUNITIES Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities Annual Report 2012-13

10.10.13 27.09.13 27.09.13

12.11.13 (Received 28.10.13)

Bureau of Meteorology Annual Report 2012-2013

10.10.13 18.10.13 18.10.13 12.11.13 (Received

29.10.13

Director of National Parks Annual Report 2012-2013

03.10.13 11.10.13 11.10.13 12.11.13 (Received

31.10.13)

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority Annual Report 2012-13

01.10.13 03.10.13 03.10.13 12.11.13 (Received

31.10.13)

National Environment Protection Council

Third review of the National Environment Protection Council Acts (Commonwealth, State and Territory), dated December 2012 and response to the report of the third review, dated April 2013

-

23.05.13

24.05.13

12.11.13 (Received 01.07.13)

National Water Commission Annual Report 2012-13

Murray Darling Basin Plan implementation: initial report, Report no 1, Part 3 of the Water Act 2007 (Cwth), 1 March 2013

04.10.13

01.03.13

04.10.13

-

04.10.13

-

12.11.13 (Received 24.10.13)

14.05.13 (Received 25.03.13)

Supervising Scientist

Annual Report for 2012-13 on the operation of the Environment Protection (Alligator Rivers Region) Act 1978

16.10.13 04.10.13 04.10.13 12.11.13 (Received

30.10.13)

Sydney Harbour Federation Trust Annual Report 2012-13 30.09.13

03.10.13 03.10.13 12.11.13 (Received

31.10.13)

151

152

The Senate

Finance and Public Administration

Legislation Committee

Annual reports (No. 1 of 2014)

March 2014

153

ii

© Commonwealth of Australia 2014

ISBN 978-1-74229-955-6

Senate Finance and Public Administration Committee Secretariat:

Ms Lyn Beverley (Secretary)

Ms Margaret Cahill (Research Officer)

The Senate PO Box 6100 Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600 Ph: 02 6277 3530 Fax: 02 6277 5809 E-mail: fpa.sen@aph.gov.au Internet: www.aph.gov.au/senate_fpa

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

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Membership of the Committee

Members

Senator Cory Bernardi (Chair) LP, SA

Senator the Hon Kate Lundy (Deputy Chair) ALP, ACT Senator Bridget McKenzie NAT, VIC

Senator Lee Rhiannon AG, NSW

Senator Dean Smith LP, WA

Senator Mehmet Tillem ALP, VIC

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156

Table of contents

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reports examined ................................................................................................... 2

Reports not examined ............................................................................................. 3

Method of assessment ............................................................................................. 4

Non-reporting bodies ............................................................................................. 5

Timeliness ............................................................................................................... 5

Senate debate .......................................................................................................... 6

Assessment of reports ............................................................................................. 6

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

Review of annual reports ......................................................................................... 7

Department of Parliamentary Services ................................................................... 7

Department of Finance and Deregulation ............................................................ 13

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet .................................................... 15

Australian Public Service Commission ................................................................ 16

Australian National Audit Office ......................................................................... 19

ComSuper ............................................................................................................. 21

Appendix 1 ......................................................................................................... 23

Dates relating to the presentation of reports between

1 May - 31 October 2013 ....................................................................................... 23

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Chapter 1

Introduction 1.1 The Senate Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee (the committee) is responsible for examining the annual reports of the parliamentary departments1 and the departments and agencies of the Prime Minister and Cabinet Portfolio and the Finance Portfolio.

1.2 This is the first report on annual reports for 2014 and provides an overview of selected annual reports presented to the Parliament between 1 May and 31 October 2013. Copies of this and other committee reports can be obtained from the Senate Table Office, the committee secretariat or online at the committee's web page.

Terms of reference 1.3 Under Senate Standing Order 25(20) the annual reports of certain departments and agencies stand referred to committees for examination and assessment. Each committee is required to:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1 As a matter of comity between the Houses of Parliament, neither House inquires into the operations of the other House. For this reason, neither the annual report of, nor the proposed expenditure for, the Department of the House of Representatives is referred to a Senate committee for review.

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2

Allocated portfolios and changes to portfolios 1.4 The Senate allocated departments and agencies to committees on 13 November 2013.2 In accordance with that resolution, the committee has responsibility for the oversight of the following:

• Parliament;

• Prime Minister and Cabinet Portfolio (PM&C Portfolio); and

• Finance Portfolio.

1.5 There were a number changes to the committee's allocated portfolios following amendments to the Administrative Arrangements Order (AAO) of 18 September, 3 October and 12 December 2013.3 The PM&C Portfolio gained responsibility for most Indigenous policies, programs and service delivery. Indigenous primary healthcare largely remains with the Department of Health and Native title policy remains with the Attorney-General's Portfolio. The National Mental Health Commission transferred from the PM&C Portfolio to the Health Portfolio. The deregulation function of the Department of Finance was transferred to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

1.6 The committee notes that the reports for the 2012-13 financial year relate to the period prior to the most recent AAO changes.

Role of annual reports 1.7 Annual reports place a great deal of information about government departments and agencies on the public record in relation to the performance, activities, management and financial position of the reporting body. However, as noted in the Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies and FMA Act Bodies (PM&C Requirements), '[t]he primary purpose of annual reports of departments is accountability, particularly to the Parliament.'4 Annual reports assist the Parliament in the effective examination of the performance of departments and agencies, and the administration of government programs.

Reports examined 1.8 During the period of 1 May to 31 October 2013, 19 annual reports of bodies were presented to the Parliament and referred to the committee. The reports examined are categorised as follows:

Parliamentary departments

• Department of the Senate - Report for 2012-13

• Parliamentary Service Commissioner - Report for 2012-13

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

3 Available from: www.dpmc.gov.au/parliamentary/index.cfm (accessed 14 February 2014)

4 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies and FMA Act Bodies, 24 June 2013, p. 3.

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3

• Department of Parliamentary Services - Report for 2012-13

Departments of state

• Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet - Report for 2012-13

• Department of Finance and Deregulation - Report for 2012-13

Statutory agencies/authorities

• Independent National Security Legislation Monitor Declassified Annual

report 2011-12

• Australian National Audit Office - Report for 2012-13

• Office of the Official Secretary to the Governor-General - Report for 2012-

13

• Australian Public Service Commission - Report of the Australian Public

Service Commissioner for 2012-13, including the report of the Merit Protection Commissioner

• Commonwealth Ombudsman - Report for 2012-13

• Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security - Report for 2012-13

• Remuneration Tribunal - Report for 2012-13

• Australian Electoral Commission - Report for 2012-13

• ComSuper - Report for 2012-13

• Future Fund Board of Guardians and Future Fund Management Agency - Report for 2012-13

Commonwealth authorities/companies

• National Australia Day Council - Report for 2012-13

• Australian River Co. Limited - Report for 2012

• Medibank Private Limited - Report for 2012-13

• NBN Co Limited - Report for 2012-13

Reports not examined 1.9 The committee is not obliged to examine reports on the operation of Acts, statements of corporate intent, surveys, policy papers, budget documents, corporate plans or errata. The following four documents were also referred to the committee but not examined in this report:

• Department of Finance and Deregulation - Campaign advertising by

Australian government departments and agencies - Report for the period 1 July to 31 December 2012

• ASC Pty Ltd - Statement of Corporate Intent - 2012-15 - Section 9 of the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997

• Medibank Private Limited Statement of Corporate Intent 2013-2014

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4

• NBN Co Limited Letter to the Chairman of NBN Co Limited from the

Minister for Communications and the Minister for Finance, dated 24 October 2013

Method of assessment 1.10 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.

1.11 The requirements are set down in the following instruments:

• for portfolio departments and agencies and the parliamentary departments: the

Public Service Act 1999, sections 63(2) and 70(2), and the Parliamentary Service Act 1999, section 65; or other relevant enabling legislation for statutory bodies which are also prescribed agencies under the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (FMA Act); and the PM&C Requirements;

• for Commonwealth authorities and companies: the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 (CAC Act), in particular, sections 9, 36 and 48; and the Commonwealth Authorities (Annual Reporting) Orders 2011 and the Commonwealth Companies (Annual Reporting) Orders 2011; and

• for non-statutory bodies: the guidelines are contained in the government response to the Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Public Administration Report on Non-Statutory bodies, Senate Hansard, 8 December 1987, pp 2632-45.

Changes to PM&C Requirements for 2012-13

1.12 The PM&C Requirements are reviewed annually and if required, are updated to take into account any changes to reporting requirements in legislation, arising from new policy, or recommendations in Parliamentary, Australian National Audit Office or other reports. The most significant amendment noted in the current version, dated 24 June 2013, relates to the new requirement for selected agencies to report on expenditure in relation to the Spatial Reporting Framework. 5 Spatial reporting is described as:

…reporting actual expenditure, broken down by program between regional and non-regional Australia, for expenditure that is a grant or transfer, or expenditure that is not a grant or transfer payment but is relevant to what the Government is doing in regional Australia.6

1.13 The two portfolio departments under the committee's oversight were not required to include spatial reporting in the annual reports for the 2012-13 financial

5 PM&C Requirements, p. i.

6 PM&C Requirements, p. 27.

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5

year, but this requirement may apply to future annual reports following the recent AAO changes noted earlier.

Non-reporting bodies 1.14 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.

1.15 On this occasion, the committee makes no recommendation for any organisations not presenting an annual report to do so.

Timeliness 1.16 Annual reports for departments and agencies are required to be tabled in Parliament by 31 October each year unless another date is specified in an agency's legislation, charter and/or terms of reference. The PM&C Requirements state that 'it remains the Government's policy that all annual reports should be tabled by 31 October'.7 The committee considers timeliness in annual reporting an important element in accountability and continues to encourage FMA Act bodies to follow this policy.

1.17 Commonwealth authorities reporting under the CAC Act are required to provide an annual report to the responsible minister by the fifteenth day of the fourth month after the end of the financial year. For the standard financial year, this is 15 October. The Minister is required to present the report to the Parliament within 15 sitting days of that House after the day on which the report was received.

1.18 Commonwealth companies are required under the CAC Act to provide a report to the Minister four months after the end of the financial year, which is usually 31 October.8 The Minister is required to table the report in the Parliament as soon as practicable after receiving it, or in the case of a company required to hold an annual general meeting, as soon as practicable after the meeting.

1.19 Appendix 1 lists the annual reports tabled (or presented) in Parliament between 1 May and 31 October 2013, and referred to the committee, with relevant tabling dates. Reports covering the 2012-13 financial year and examined in this report were presented in a timely manner, that is, by 31 October 2013.

1.20 The report of the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor, entitled Declassified Annual Report 20th December 2012, covers the period 1 July 2011 to 30 June 2012 and was tabled on 14 May 2013. Although the letter of transmittal is undated, the Senate tabling notice indicates that the report was submitted to, and

7 PM&C Requirements, p. 2.

8 If a company is required by the Corporations Act 2001 to hold an annual general meeting, the company must give the report to the Minister on whichever is the earlier date of the following:

• 21 days before the next annual general meeting after the end of the financial year; or

• four months after the end of the financial year. (see subsection 36(1A) of the CAC Act)

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received by, the Prime Minister on 1 March 2013.9 The tabling of the report on 14 May 2013 meets the requirements under Subsection 29(5) of the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor Act 2010, that is, within 15 sitting days after receipt of the report by the Prime Minister. However, Subsection 29(2) of the Act which requires the annual report to be given to the Prime Minister as soon as practicable after 30 June in each financial year and, in any event, by the following 31 December, appears not to have been met on this occasion.

1.21 The report of the Australian River Co. Limited covers the period 1 December 2011 to 30 November 2012. The report was submitted to the Minister on 26 March 2013 and tabled on 14 May 2013, meeting the tabling requirements for a Commonwealth company.

1.22 A number of 2012-13 annual reports within the portfolios oversighted by the committee were tabled after 31 October and will be examined in the committee's next report on annual reports which is due to be tabled in September 2014. The committee notes that correspondence from three agencies10 notifying a delay in the presentation of the 2012-13 annual reports, together with the relevant Minister's responses were tabled in the Senate on 2 December 2013, in accordance with Section 34C of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901.

Senate debate 1.23 In accordance with Standing Order 25(20)(d) the committee is required to take into account any relevant remarks about the reports made in debate in the Senate. The committee notes that none of the annual reports examined in this report have been the subject of comments or debate in the Senate.

Assessment of reports 1.24 Under Standing Order 25(20)(a), the committee is required to examine the annual reports of departments and agencies and report to the Senate on whether they are 'apparently satisfactory'. In its examination of the annual reports referred, the committee found them to be of a satisfactory standard and adhere to relevant guidelines. The committee considers the reports examined to be 'apparently satisfactory'.

9 Senate Order of Business, 14 May 2013, p.8.

10 Northern Land Council, Tiwi Land Council and Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community Council.

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Chapter 2

Review of annual reports

2.1 The committee has selected the annual reports of the following departments and agencies for closer examination:

• Department of Parliamentary Services

• Department of Finance and Deregulation

• Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

• Australian Public Service Commission

• Australian National Audit Office

• ComSuper

Department of Parliamentary Services

Inquiry into the performance of the Department of Parliamentary Services

2.2 During its recent inquiry into the performance of Department of Parliamentary Services (DPS), the committee examined in detail the annual reports of the department, focusing on the 2010-11 financial year. The committee identified a number of deficiencies in the annual reports examined, particularly in regard to the adequacy of the performance information and their usefulness as an accountability mechanism for the Parliament.

2.3 In regard to performance information, the committee found:

• insufficient supporting commentary for performance measures;

• errors in the calculations of data and changes to data from that provided in

earlier reports without explanation; and

• information did not correspond to that provided in the Portfolio Budget

Statements (PBS).

2.4 The committee identified improvement to performance information as a priority and stated that:

…since DPS was established, the quantity and quality of information provided in annual reports has declined to such an extent that the 2010-11 Annual Report is notable only by its level of opacity and the extent of use of abstract data which is of no assistance in judging performance.1

2.5 Other issues identified by the committee in the examination of DPS annual reports included:

1 Senate Finance and Public Administration Legislation, The performance of the Department of Parliamentary Services - Final report, November 2012, p. 201.

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• the Secretary's review focusing on successes and not addressing areas of

difficulty;

• lack of detail for major capital works projects undertaken; and

• lack of discussion and analysis of the department's financial performance.

2.6 In its response to the committee's final report, DPS supported

Recommendation 16 dealing with annual report content:

The committee recommends that the Department of Parliamentary Services provide more accurate, meaningful and transparent information, including information about costs and construction projects undertaken in Parliament House, in its annual report.2

2.7 DPS further advised in its response that two related reviews were to be undertaken in response to the committee's findings to look at:

• the form and content of the annual report, including specific consideration of

issues raised by the committee; and

• the department's key performance indicators (KPIs). 3

2.8 The secretary of DPS, Ms Carol Mills, updated the committee on the reviews at the supplementary budget estimates 2013-14 hearings in November 2013:

We reviewed our annual report and key performance indicators to enable us to provide more accurate and meaningful information. The first phase of these changes is reflected in the latest annual report. However, more significant improvements will occur in the 2013-14 annual report, based on the new structure introduced to our DPS portfolio budget statement for 2013-14.4

Examination of the DPS Annual Report 2012-13

2.9 The committee notes that some issues identified above have been addressed in the most recent annual report of DPS, while others continue to require attention. The committee notes that the final phase for implementation of changes to the annual report structure is expected to be implemented for the 2013-14 annual report.

Secretary's and Parliamentary Librarian's reviews

2.10 The secretary's review in the 2012-13 annual report addresses, in broad terms, the department's response to the committee's findings from its inquiry into the performance of DPS and the processes in train to address the issues raised.

2.11 Of particular note, the secretary highlighted the completion of reviews into the annual report and KPIs, which will aim to facilitate more accurate and meaningful

2 Senate Finance and Public Administration Legislation, The performance of the Department of Parliamentary Services - Final report, November 2012, p. 217.

3 DPS Response to the Senate Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee report: The performance of the Department of Parliamentary Services, p. 13.

4 Official Committee Hansard, 18 November 2013, pp 24-25.

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information in the annual report. She further advised that the first phase of these changes is reflected in the 2012-13 report and more significant improvements will be implemented in the next report and flow on from the new structure introduced in the PBS for 2013-14.5

2.12 The secretary again remarked upon the 'tight financial situation' that the department was operating under and noted that the operational budget has not increased significantly since 2004-05, and in real terms, has reduced by more than

22 per cent.6 As a result, she further noted that the department would face major challenges in the forthcoming financial year and that 'DPS will need to make substantial changes to its programs and services to manage within its operating budget.'7

2.13 The committee expects the secretary's overview to be a candid account of significant issues and developments throughout the year, which includes not only achievements, but also difficulties and challenges facing the organisation. The committee was pleased to see a more balanced account in this year's report, compared to recent reports.

2.14 The Parliamentary Librarian in her review of the year also noted the difficulties faced by a tight budgetary situation and the impact on operations of the Parliamentary Library. Other areas of note included accommodation projects and the Library's response to changes to the application of Freedom of Information to parliamentary departments.8

Performance information

2.15 Performance information for the Parliamentary Library was presented separately from that of the department within the annual report. Part three of the report presented performance information for the department (with performance tables

provided in Appendix C), and Part four included the Parliamentary Library's performance tables and discussion.

2.16 Performance tables for DPS, as set out in Appendix C of the report, reflect the deliverables and KPIs in the PBS for 2012-13. Performance information is set out in tabular format with three years of trend information. Unfortunately, the placement of the performance tables at the back of the report as an appendix and not in the body of the report with the relevant discussion of performance did not assist the reader.

2.17 While the performance review made some references to performance data in Appendix C, a more comprehensive discussion of actual results against targets would be a useful inclusion, particularly those for targets not achieved or where there is a significant variation from recent results.

5 Department of Parliamentary Services Annual Report for 2012-13, pp 1-2.

6 Department of Parliamentary Services Annual Report 2012-13, p. 3.

7 Department of Parliamentary Services Annual Report 2012-13, p. 3.

8 Department of Parliamentary Services Annual Report 2012-13, pp 31-32.

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2.18 For example, the committee noted that a deliverable for subprogram 1.3.1 relating to the cost of energy was reported as follows9:

Indicator Measure 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13

Energy Target: Energy

cost reduced by 1.25% from

previous year

$3,947,066

(+9.7%)

$3,387,794

(-14.17%)

$4,549,684

(+34.37%)

2.19 The 2012-13 result was significantly outside the target measure; however an explanation for the large increase in energy cost for Parliament House for the year could not be located. The discussion on energy use in the report only noted that energy consumption had increased by 2 per cent in 2012-13 and that energy consumption has been gradually increasing over recent years due to building operational requirements, pressures on space and competing priorities within the budget to effect new improvements.10 The committee reminds agencies that the PM&C Requirements advise that for those KPIs that have not been achieved, a brief explanation is to be included.11

2.20 Similarly, when performance results significantly exceed targets or recent results, an accompanying explanation is a useful inclusion. The committee observed the notable result for the measure for the accuracy of Hansard transcription services as below:12

Indicator Measure 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13

Accuracy of transcription Error rate as notified by customers (target: maximum of 5 errors per 100 pages transcribed):

a) chambers 3.9 errors 2.9 errors 0.1 errors

b) committees 6.2 errors 11.0 errors 0.1 errors

2.21 The 2012-13 result, particularly for committee transcripts, represents a significant turnaround from the previous year and far exceeds the target. An explanation for this significant variation in the performance discussion would be useful.

2.22 The committee again notes corrections to data in this year's performance tables from that listed in previous reports, but with no explanation for the error. For

9 Department of Parliamentary Services Annual Report 2012-13, p. 176.

10 Department of Parliamentary Services Annual Report 2012-13, pp 86-87.

11 PM&C Requirements, p. 7.

12 Department of Parliamentary Services Annual Report 2012-13, p. 182.

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example, the cost of facilities services for catering contractors was corrected from $451,245 to $1,138,618 for 2010-11; and from $525,140 to $1,005,015 for 2011- 12.13 These are significant errors in data, approximately double the original figure, and the inclusion of a brief explanation would be useful.14

2.23 The committee found the presentation of performance information for the Parliamentary Library was clear and accessible. Deliverables and KPIs, as presented in the PBS covering quality, quantity and prices, were provided in tabular form and included trend information for the last three years. Performance tables were followed by brief commentary on the results.15

Capital works

2.24 This year's report provided a brief overview of capital investment and cost of construction projects. It was reported that timeliness in the delivery of projects remains a problem. Of the 14 projects completed during 2012-13, 93 per cent were delivered within allocated budget; however, only 57 per cent were completed within allocated timeframes. It was noted that timeliness in the completion of construction projects was a difficult issue for the department and was impacted by the operational needs of Parliament when sitting.16 In addressing this issue it was stated that:

DPS is focusing on development of robust systems to deliver projects on budget and on time, reflecting a shift towards a more thorough investigation at the concept design phase, leading to better estimates of cost and performance plans.17

2.25 The committee looks forward to future updates on the implementation of the new system for the delivery of construction projects and comprehensive information available in the annual report.

Building maintenance

2.26 The committee notes that the planned maintenance tasks for plant and building fabric were not met in 2012-13. The department completed 12,927 of the 14,333 planned tasks, achieving a completion rate of 87.3 per cent which exceeded the target of 85 per cent across all trades.18 It was further noted that '[B]udgetary constraints limited the amount of maintenance that DPS could undertake.'19 A fuller discussion on whether the failure to carry out planned maintenance tasks is impacting on the building's condition in the long term would be a useful inclusion. The report noted that the overall building condition index score for 2012-13 was 88.3 per cent,

13 Department of Parliamentary Services Annual Report 2012-13, p. 173.

14 Department of Parliamentary Services Annual Report 2012-13, p. 173.

15 Department of Parliamentary Services Annual Report 2012-13, pp 52-58.

16 Department of Parliamentary Services Annual Report 2012-13, p. 19.

17 Department of Parliamentary Services Annual Report 2012-13, p. 19.

18 Department of Parliamentary Services Annual Report 2012-13, p. 24.

19 Department of Parliamentary Services Annual Report 2012-13, p. 26.

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which was just outside the target range of 89-92 per cent optimum balance of condition and cost.20

2.27 In response to concern about the availability and transparency of information regarding the condition of the building during its inquiry into the performance of DPS, the committee recommended:

…that the Presiding Officers table in both Houses, on a biennial basis, a report devoted specifically to the building and its contents including information on the condition of the building and its contents, costs of upkeep of the building, heritage concerns and any other related matter so as to fully inform the Parliament and the public about the building.21

2.28 DPS supported this recommendation and further noted:

DPS acknowledges the concerns of the Committee about the completeness, accuracy and transparency of information it provides, in addition to its overall capacity to effectively manage the building. It is important that the Parliament and the Australian public are provided with full and frank information about the condition of Parliament House as one of the most iconic working and public buildings in the country. Current planning and reporting practices do not provide an adequate basis from which to assess the ongoing needs of the building and its contents. 22

2.29 While noting DPS's support for the above recommendation, the committee nevertheless expects to see sufficient coverage of building maintenance in the department's annual report, in addition to the biennial report to the Parliament.

Financial performance

2.30 In its previous examination of DPS reports, the committee commented on the department's failure to provide adequate, or in some cases, any analysis and discussion of financial performance for the year under review. This year's report's compliance index refers to the Secretary's and Librarian's reviews for meeting this mandatory requirement. These very brief references to financial performance within the reviews,

as noted earlier, remarked on the tight budgetary situation and expected impact on programs and services, but did not refer to the operating result for the year under review.23 Discussion of financial performance is a mandatory requirement under the PM&C Requirements, which requires agencies to include:

…an overview discussion of any significant changes in financial results from the previous reported financial year, within the reported financial year (including changes since the corresponding PB Statements/Portfolio

20 Department of Parliamentary Services Annual Report 2012-13, p. 26.

21 Senate Finance and Public Administration Legislation, The performance of the Department of Parliamentary Services - Final report, November 2012, Recommendation 13, p. 215.

22 Response to the Senate Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee report: The performance of the Department of Parliamentary Services, Recommendation 13, p. 10.

23 Department of Parliamentary Services Annual Report 2012-13, pp 3 and 31-32.

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Additional Estimates Statements) and from the end of the reported financial year, in relation to:

(a) the cause(s) of an operating loss (where approved by the Finance Minister) and its implications, including how an agency has responded and the results, if applicable, of that response; and

(b) any matter or circumstance, if they can reasonably be anticipated to have a significant impact on the agency's future operations or financial results.24

2.31 The committee expects to see a more comprehensive discussion of financial performance in future annual reports.

Index

2.32 The committee again suggests that the report would be improved with a more comprehensive index to provide for greater accessibility. It is noted, however, that the full report is available as a single PDF on the DPS website which does allow for electronic searching of the report.

Conclusion

2.33 While the committee notes improvement in some areas of the 2012-13 annual report, it still sees further scope for improvement to provide for greater transparency and accountability. The committee looks forward to the 2013-14 annual report following the full implementation to the new report structure, particularly in regard to revised performance information.

Department of Finance and Deregulation 2.34 The Secretary of the Department of Finance and Deregulation (Finance) began his review of the year by stating that the department met 36 of its 44 KPIs and met all of its deliverables. Of the KPIs not met, it was noted that seven were partially met and one was not met.25

2.35 Performance information for Finance was again well presented. In accordance with the PM&C Requirements, performance information was presented in tabular format with the KPI and result listed, that is, achieved, substantially or partially achieved, or not achieved. The inclusion of some commentary for many results, particularly for partially or not achieved outcomes was useful. The department's deliverables as presented in the PBS and portfolio additional estimates statements were also listed, providing a 'clear read' from the budget documents to the annual report. A discussion summarising performance for each outcome was also included.

24 PM&C Requirements, p. 8.

25 Department of Finance and Deregulation Annual Report 2012-13, p. 3. The KPI not achieved was under Program 2.1, Australian Government Business and ICT, and related to special claims and land policy which required 70 per cent of act of grace cases to be completed within 35 days. The 2012-13 result was 44 per cent of acts of grace cases completed within 35 days. See p. 59.

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2.36 The report provides a useful discussion of the financial performance for 2012-13. The department recorded an operating surplus of $62.6 million, exceeding the revised surplus estimate of $27.9 million, as published in the 2013-14 PBS, by

$34.7 million. This was attributed to higher than expected revaluation increments on investment properties and land and buildings in the Property Special Account.26

2.37 The secretary's review of the year noted the delivery of the 2013-14 budget as a significant achievement. This required the provision of analysis and advice to government on major policy initiatives, including school funding and DisabilityCare Australia.27

2.38 The release of the position paper Sharpening the focus: a framework for improving Commonwealth performance, as part of the ongoing Commonwealth Financial Accountability Review, was also focus of the department during the year. This paper provided proposals for a future financial framework for consideration by stakeholders leading to the development of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act). The report noted details of the consultation processes facilitated in developing the legislation:

The PGPA Act is the outcome of extensive consultation by Finance with Commonwealth agencies, state and territory governments, the private sector and academia. Between 2011 and 2013, feedback and discussions in response to the release of 13 issues papers, a discussion paper and a position paper helped develop the recommendations presented to the government.28

2.39 Finance noted that it will continue to consult with various stakeholders in the development of the rules, guidance and training materials to support the operation of the PGPA Act which commences on 1 July 2014.29

2.40 The report also notes that Finance was responsible for the management and construction of the new Australian Security Intelligence Organisation building in Canberra. Finance did not meet the timely delivery of this project noting that the project was 96 per cent complete at the end of June 2013.30 The report notes that the reasons for the delay were:

…due to the complex security and commissioning requirements of the building and the performance of associated subcontractors. Additional time was also required to engage replacement subcontractors to complete the remaining works following the insolvency of the Hastie Group of companies and Urban Contractors.31

26 Department of Finance and Deregulation Annual Report 2012-13, p. 106.

27 Department of Finance and Deregulation Annual Report 2012-13, p. 3.

28 Department of Finance and Deregulation Annual Report 2012-13, p. 26.

29 Department of Finance and Deregulation Annual Report 2012-13, p. 26.

30 Department of Finance and Deregulation Annual Report 2012-13, p. 60.

31 Department of Finance and Deregulation Annual Report 2012-13, p. 55.

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2.41 Finance also reported on its participation in APS-wide capability review program. It was noted that the review identified areas where Finance can improve practices to be better placed to meet challenges and that an action plan is being implemented to address these issues. The annual report noted that the review report

would be released in November 2013.32

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet 2.42 The overview by the Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) provided a summary of significant achievements in the department’s work over the year in both domestic and international spheres. Some of the highlights included:

• a leadership and coordination role in the finalisation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme with the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs;33

• participation, with the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace

Relations34, in the development of national schools funding reforms and the National Plan for School Improvement;

• involvement in the establishment of the Royal Commission into Institutional

Responses to Child Sexual Abuse;

• establishment of the Australian Cyber Security Centre;

• support in the successful bid to secure a seat for Australia on the United Nations Security Council; and

• hosting the Taskforce which prepared the Government’s White Paper Australia

in the Asian Century.35

2.43 The performance report advises that all program deliverables and KPIs were achieved in 2012-13.36 The report does not list all deliverables as presented in the PBS, but all KPIs were listed with the 'tick' indicating the measure had been met. The KPIs for the department are again mostly qualitative and do not include targets or provide information on the methodology for assessment of the measure. The committee continues to encourage agencies to develop, where appropriate, a mix of quantitative and qualitative performance measures with targets, to provide a wide-ranging basis for assessing performance and progress in achieving program objectives.

32 Department of Finance and Deregulation Annual Report 2012-13, pp 8 and 86. The Committee notes that the review report was released in December 2013 and is available on the APSC website.

33 Now Department of Social Services.

34 Now Department of Education and Department of Employment.

35 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet Annual Report 2012-13, p. 5.

36 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet Annual Report 2012-13, p. 11.

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2.44 The report included an update on implementation of strategies to address areas for improvement identified by the department’s 2011-12 capability review which were highlighted in last year’s annual report, and noted by the committee.37 In response to the review, the department’s Capability Action Plan was released in October 2012 and identified 11 key areas. In addition, a Capability Review Implementation Committee was established to monitor implementation of the plan. Some measures carried out in 2012-13 included:

• a focus on induction training;

• promoting coach and mentoring training to all EL and SES staff; and

• incorporating PM&C key skills in the department’s business planning arrangements.38

2.45 A mandatory requirement for annual reporting involves the provision of significant developments in external scrutiny of the department and the department’s response. The committee notes that the department was subject to a cross portfolio audit by the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) on control of credit card use in a selection of agencies. The ANAO report found that all agencies generally had satisfactory arrangements in place to control the use of credit cards for official purposes. However, in relation to the results for PM&C, the ANAO’s report identified nearly 30 per cent of transactions were acquitted outside the department's required timeframe. The annual report addresses this finding:

The Chief Financial Officer is actively managing late acquittal which has results in an improvement in time acquittals. The Department has also enhanced its controls in the areas highlighted by the ANAO, including through the additional of an explicit reference to reporting obligations on disputed or fraudulent transactions on the acknowledgement form signed by new cardholders.39

2.46 The department's 2012-13 financial statements received an unqualified audit report. A brief overview of departmental finances was provided in the report, which noted a $7.6 million deficit result for 2012-13. However, it was further explained that '[a]fter removing the $7.9 million impact on non-appropriated depreciation and amortisation expense, the Department ended the year with a $0.3 million surplus.'40

Australian Public Service Commission

2.47 The report of the Australian Public Service Commissioner (the Commissioner) incorporates the annual report of the Merit Protection Commissioner (MPC). The Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) makes staff available to assist with the functions of the MPC. The Commission also provides secretariat

37 Senate Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee, Annual reports (No. 1 of 2013), pp 14-15.

38 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet Annual Report 2012-13, p. 59.

39 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet Annual Report 2012-13, p. 53.

40 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet Annual Report 2012-13, p. 71.

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support services to the Remuneration Tribunal and Defence Force Remuneration Tribunal. The Commissioner's financial statements include the activities of the MPC and the tribunals.41 However, the annual report notes that in accordance with the Remuneration Tribunal Act 1973, the Remuneration Tribunal prepares its own annual report for the Minister with details of its work; and the Defence Force Remuneration Tribunal, while not required under legislation, reports on its annual activities on its website.42 The committee notes the Remuneration Tribunal report for 2012-13 was presented to the Parliament on 30 October 2013; and that, at the time of writing, the Defence Force Remuneration Tribunal's annual report for 2012-13 did not appear to be available on its website.43

2.48 It is noted that the letters of transmittal from the Commissioner and the MPC are dated 'October 2013' only. Agencies are reminded that it is a requirement that the letter of transmittal is to be dated on the day the signatory approves the final text of the report for printing.44

2.49 The Commissioner noted that the Commission is heavily reliant on the goodwill of agencies and thanked agencies for the continued support of agencies to assist in its work:

Their willingness to assist the Commission with resources and facilities and their preparedness to collaborate on initiatives and share their information and experiences substantially underpinned the successes of 2012-13. More than half of the Commission’s funding is provided by agencies…45

2.50 The passage of the Public Service Amendment Bill 2013 through the Parliament in February 2013, which amended the Public Service Act 1999 (PS Act), was a focus for the Commission during 2012-13. The report notes that the amendments implement recommendations of the report Ahead of the Game: Blueprint for the reform of Australian Government administration (Blueprint report) and aim to improve the operation of the PS Act which has been in operation for 13 years.46

2.51 In addition to providing support to the Minister in the passage of the Bill through the Parliament, the APSC also assisted agencies to implement the subsequent legislative changes which commenced on 1 July 2013. Prior to the commencement of the new provisions, the APSC assisted agencies to prepare by publishing detailed advice on action required by agencies, providing information sessions and creating new website content. The Commission has also developed resources to assist agencies increase awareness of the revised APS Values and Employment Principles.47

41 Australian Public Service Commissioner Annual Report 2012-13, p. 7.

42 See Australian Public Service Commission Annual Report 2012-13, pp 74-75.

43 See http://www.dfrt.gov.au/annual-reports: accessed 3 February 2014.

44 PM&C Requirements, p. 18.

45 Australian Public Service Commissioner's Annual Report 2012-13, p. 5.

46 Australian Public Service Commission Annual Report 2012-13, p. 22.

47 Australian Public Service Commission Annual Report 2012-13, pp 2 and 22-25.

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2.52 The annual report provided an update on the Capability Review Program. This program came out of the Blueprint report which recommended 'regular and systemic reviews to promote improved capability in key agencies and to assess the institutional capability of the service as a whole'.48

2.53 Following their reviews, agencies are expected to implement a range of measures to improve leadership, strategy and delivery across the whole APS. The Commission completed eight capability reviews and published four reports during 2012-13 that are available on the Commission's website. The committee notes that both Finance and PM&C have participated in this program and their annual reports have provided some detail on their involvement and responses.49

2.54 The report noted the introduction of the APS employee census in 2012. The census gathers data on the views of employees on wide-ranging issues related to the APS work environment and is used to inform the State of the Service Report. This initial census achieved a response rate of 55 per cent from 159,917 employees.50

2.55 The report includes a discussion of financial performance which notes an operating surplus of $0.43 million in 2012-13 compared with a deficit of $0.73 million from the previous year. This was mainly attributed to the close management of the commission’s budget.51

2.56 The report’s performance review provides assessment of performance against the agency's two programs and includes the work of the MPC. However, the MPC discusses performance results in the MPC annual report.

2.57 The performance review for the APSC was clearly presented with results against the KPIs and deliverables as set out in the PBS providing a 'clear read'52 between the documents. Performance information over three years was a helpful inclusion for comparative purposes. The committee considered this section would be improved with more specific discussion of the results, particularly for those targets that were not met. A brief explanation and detail of action taken to address any issues would assist the reader.

48 www.apsc.gov.au/aps-reform/current-projects/capability-reviews/dofd (accessed 3 February 2014).

49 Australian Public Service Commissioner's Annual Report 2012-13, pp 4 and 38.

50 Australian Public Service Commissioner's Annual Report 2012-13, pp 2 and 4.

51 Australian Public Service Commissioner's Annual Report 2012-13, pp 93-95.

52 The PM&C Requirements note the importance of the link between the PBS and the annual report in providing the Parliament with detailed information about an agency's performance. It notes that a 'clear read' between the documents 'is an essential part of the accountability system that places a strong emphasis on compatibility between the two documents regarding budget and performance information'. See PM&C Requirements, p. 3.

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2.58 For example, one KPI for program component 1.1.3 Australian Government Employment Workplace Relations, was as follows53:

Table 14: Summary of performance under program component 1.1.3 against key performance indicators, 2010-11 to 2012-13

Key performance indicator

2010-11 2011-12 2012-13

Actual Actual Target Actual

Level of satisfaction of the President of the Defence Force Remuneration Tribunal with the quality and timeliness of the services provided by the secretariat

High High Very good

or above Not met

2.59 An explanation in the report for the significant reversal in the most recent result was not found and would be of assistance.

2.60 The MPC's review provided a comprehensive discussion of performance in relation to review of action, promotion reviews, whistleblower inquiries and independent selection advisory committees and fee-for-service activity.54

2.61 In relation to performance against timeliness indicators for reviews (excluding promotion reviews), the MPC noted that the 2012-13 result of 69.5 per cent, was very close to the target of 70 per cent; and well above the result for the previous two years of 18 per cent for 2011-12 and 40 per cent for 2010-11. The MPC attributed this improvement to a number of factors including a decline in the number of reviews handled, in addition to work undertaken to streamline processes and staff development.55

Australian National Audit Office 2.62 The committee notes the early presentation of this year's annual report of the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) to the Parliament on 24 September 2013, well before the required date of 31 October. The committee commends the ANAO for consistent early presentation/tabling of the annual report in the Parliament in recent years.56

2.63 The Auditor-General notes that in 2012-13 the office commenced its first 'follow-the-money audit'. This type of audit permits the Auditor-General to examine the performance of state or territory bodies, or contractors to Commonwealth entities that receive money for Commonwealth purposes. This follows amendments to the Auditor-General Act 1997 in 2011-12, where the Auditor-General was given authority to audit Commonwealth partners when requested to do so by the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit.57

53 Australian Public Service Commissioner's Annual Report 2012-13, p. 69.

54 Australian Public Service Commissioner's Annual Report 2012-13, pp 184-187.

55 Australian Public Service Commissioner's Annual Report 2012-13, pp 184-185.

56 For example, 2011-12 Annual Report on 20 September 2012; 2010-11 Annual Report on 22 September 2011; and 2009-2010 Annual Report on 29 September 2010.

57 Australian National Audit Office Annual Report 2012-13, p. 2.

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2.64 Also noteworthy during 2012-13 was ANAO's participation in the first 'concurrent audit' with the Auditors-General of most states and territories and looked at the implementation of the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness. Following agreement on audit objectives and criteria, each jurisdiction conducted an audit of aspects of the implementation of the agreement and whether relevant government agencies were meeting their obligations under the agreement.58

2.65 The report advised that the pilot of a citizen's input facility on the ANAO website during 2012-13 proved successful and will now be made a feature of all future performance audits. The pilot involved allowing the public to contribute information for consideration during the evidence collection stages of selected performance audits.59

2.66 The agency reported a positive financial performance for 2012-13. An operating surplus of $3.395 million for 2012-13 was reported and compared to a surplus of $0.406 million for the previous year. This was attributed mainly as a result of a four per cent decrease in total expenses.60

2.67 The Auditor-General remarked on the challenges facing the organisation in managing to the budgets reflected in the forward estimates. He further noted that the tight fiscal outlook is likely to have an impact on the operations of the ANAO:

While we expect to deliver similar audit coverage through the work program in 2013-14, the outlook over forward years is very challenging as we seek to maintain the structural integrity of the ANAO budget. In the absence of additional funding in forward years we will need to consider a reduction in the numbers of audits and other activities undertaken.61

2.68 The ANAO is commended for voluntarily implementing a number of requirements under the Corporations Legislation Amendment (Audit Enhancement) Act 2012. The report notes that this Act only applies to private sector audit firms and introduced a range of measures aimed at improving the quality and transparency of auditing processes to ensure that Australian audit practice maintains a standard in line with international best practice. The ANAO has adopted a number of the requirements under the Act and will pursue opportunities for improvements in the quality and transparency of its work.62 The annual report provides an index to transparency reporting of requirements under the Act indicating where relevant information can be located in the report.63

2.69 Performance results for the ANAO show that most targets for deliverables and KPIs were met, or were close to being met. Performance information was clearly

58 Australian National Audit Office Annual Report 2012-13, p. 3.

59 Australian National Audit Office Annual Report 2012-13, p. 3.

60 Australian National Audit Office Annual Report 2012-13, p. 74.

61 Australian National Audit Office Annual Report 2012-13, p. 4.

62 Australian National Audit Office Annual Report 2012-13, p. 3.

63 Australian National Audit Office Annual Report 2012-13, pp 52-53.

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presented and accurately reflected performance information set out in the PBS. The supporting discussion was relevant and addressed the results provided.

ComSuper 2.70 ComSuper provides superannuation administration services to the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation which is responsible for the Commonwealth public sector and military superannuation schemes.

2.71 The 2012-13 annual report of ComSuper is an informative and concise document which closely adheres to the PM&C Requirements. Performance information for the agency is clearly presented and includes results for ComSuper and Pillar Administration (which is contracted to provide most administration services for the Public Sector Superannuation accumulation plan (PSSap) Scheme). Results are presented against the KPIs and deliverables as set out in the PBS. ComSuper performed well against all KPI targets for 2012-13. Footnotes to the performance tables and the accompanying discussion provide useful explanatory comments.

2.72 The report also indicates that ComSuper performed well against service level agreements with the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation and the Department of Defence. In relation to performance against service level agreements, the percentage of monthly service standards met in 2012-13 across all schemes was 87 per cent. Pillar Administration was significantly below this result in relation to the PSSap scheme with a figure of 62 per cent. However, it was noted that as Pillar commenced administration services for PSSap in February 2012, the outcome for 2012-13 reflects a continuing transition to delivering high service standards:

There has been an improvement over the course of the year against relatively high standards in place under contractual arrangements for the scheme. With support from ComSuper, Pillar has continued to refine and improve its internal processes and build its knowledge of the PSSap scheme.64

2.73 The report included an adequate discussion of financial management for the year. ComSuper reported an operating surplus of $11.349 million for 2012-13 compared to $7.113 million for the previous year. It was further noted that this result includes a required return to the Government of $8.9 million and technical accounting adjustments resulting from consolidation of accommodation arrangements.65

Senator Cory Bernardi

Chair

64 ComSuper Annual Report 2012-13, p. 22.

65 ComSuper Annual Report 2012-13, p. 65.

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Appendix 1

Dates relating to the presentation of reports between 1 May - 31 October 2013 Reporting Body Submitted to

Minister

Received by Minister Tabled in the Senate or

presented out of sitting (*)

Tabled in the House of Representatives

PARLIAMENT

Department of the Senate - Report for 2012-13 - - 29/10/13* -

Parliamentary Service Commissioner - Report for 2012-13 - - 30/10/13* 14/11/13

Department of Parliamentary Services - Report for 2012-13

Corrigendum

- - 31/10/13*

14/11/13

14/11/13

PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET PORTFOLIO

Independent National Security Legislation Monitor Declassified Annual report 2011-12 1/3/13 1/3/13 14/5/13 14/05/13

Australian National Audit Office - Report for 2012-13 - - 24/09/13* 13/11/13

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet - Report for 2012-13 15/10/13 21/10/13 24/10/13* 13/11/13

Office of the Official Secretary to the Governor-General - Report for 2012-13 24/10/13 24/10/13 30/10/13* 13/11/13

Australian Public Service Commission - Report of the Australian Public Service Commissioner for 2012-13, including the report of the Merit Protection Commissioner

03/10/13 09/10/13 30/10/13* 13/11/13

Commonwealth Ombudsman - Report for 2012-13 (also referred to Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee)

15/10/13 23/10/13 30/10/13* 13/11/13

Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security - Report for 2012-13 17/10/13 30/10/13 31/10/13* 13/11/13

National Australia Day Council - Report for 2012-13 25/10/13 25/10/13 31/10/13* 13/11/13

Remuneration Tribunal - Report for 2012-13 11/10/13 14/10/13 30/10/13* 13/11/13

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FINANCE AND DEREGULATION PORTFOLIO

Department of Finance and Deregulation - Campaign advertising by Australian government departments and agencies - Report for the period 1 July to 31 December 2012

09/04/13 09/04/13 10/05/13* 14/05/13

ASC Pty Ltd - Statement of Corporate Intent - 2012-15 (also referred to Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee)

12/10/12 16/10/12 14/05/13 21/03/13

Australian River Co. Limited - Report for 2012 (also referred to Senate Rural, Regional and Transport Committee)

26/3/13 27/3/13 14/5/13 14/05/13

Medibank Private Limited -

Report for 2012-13

Statement of Corporate Intent 2013-2014

27/09/13 01/10/13 08/10/13* 13/11/13

Department of Finance and Deregulation - Report for 2012-13 11/10/13 11/10/13 29/10/13* 13/11/13

NBN Co Limited -

Report for 2012-13

Letter to the Chairman of NBN Co Limited from the Minister for Communications and the Minister for Finance, dated 24 October 2013

(Also forwarded to Senate Environment and Communciations Committee)

08/10/13 15/10/13 29/10/13* 13/11/13

Australian Electoral Commission - Report for 2012-13 04/10/13 09/10/13 30/10/13* 13/11/13

ComSuper - Report for 2012-13 02/10/13 03/10/13 30/10/13* 13/11/13

Future Fund Board of Guardians and Future Fund Management Agency - Report for 2012-13 25/10/13 30/10/13 31/10/13* 13/11/13

182

The Senate

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade

Legislation Committee

Annual reports (No. 1 of 2014)

March 2014

183

© Commonwealth of Australia ISBN 978-1-74229-956-3

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

184

Membership of the Committee Members

Senator Alan Eggleston, LP, WA (Chair) Senator the Hon Ursula Stephens, ALP, NSW (Deputy Chair) Senator Sean Edwards, LP, SA Senator David Fawcett, LP, SA Senator Anne McEwen, ALP, SA Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, AG, TAS

Secretariat

Mr David Sullivan, Secretary Mr Owen Griffiths, Principal Research Officer Miss Jedidiah Reardon, Senior Research Officer Ms Penny Bear, Research Officer Ms Ophelia Tynan, Administrative Officer

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee Department of the Senate PO Box 6100 Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600 Australia

Phone: + 61 2 6277 3535 Fax: + 61 2 6277 5818 Email: fadt.sen@aph.gov.au Internet: http://www.aph.gov.au/senate_fadt

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Table of Contents

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

Preface

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

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

Assessment of annual reports ................................................................................. 2

Annual reports considered ...................................................................................... 3

General comments on the annual reports ............................................................... 4

Chapter 1

Annual reports of departments

Department of Defence ........................................................................................... 7

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade ............................................................ 10

Department of Veterans' Affairs ........................................................................... 12

Chapter 2

Annual reports of non-statutory authorities and government companies

Defence portfolio ................................................................................................. 19

Defence Materiel Organisation ....................................................................... 19

Australian War Memorial ................................................................................ 21

Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio .................................................................... 22

Australian Agency for International Development ......................................... 22

Tourism Australia ............................................................................................ 24

Other reports ........................................................................................................ 25

Appendix 1

Compliance table of the annual reports referred to the committee for scrutiny for the period 2012-2013 ............................................................................. 29

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Preface

Terms of reference

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.

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. This report also examines annual reports that were tabled after 31 October 2013.

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.

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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 and more broadly to the Australian people. 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 (PB Statements) are the principal formal accountability mechanisms between government and departments and from departments through (or on behalf of) government to the Parliament.1

Assessment of annual reports

5. The committee examines annual reports to determine whether they are timely and 'apparently satisfactory' and whether they comply with the relevant requirements for the preparation of annual reports of departments and authorities.2 The requirements are set down in the following instruments:

• for portfolio departments and bodies prescribed under the FMA Act: 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, 24 June 2013;

• for Commonwealth authorities and companies: the Commonwealth Authorities

and Companies Act 1997 (CAC Act); Commonwealth authorities and companies reporting under the CAC Act are required to comply with the Commonwealth Authorities (Annual Reporting) Orders 2011 and the Commonwealth Companies (Annual Reporting) Orders 2011, respectively;

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

response to the report of the Senate Standing Committee on Finance and

1 Requirements for annual reports for departments, executive agencies and FMA Act bodies, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, 24 June 2013, p. 3. www.dpmc.gov.au/guidelines/index.cfm

2 Refer to Appendix 1 for a table of the reports referred to the committee for scrutiny.

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Government Operations on Non-statutory Bodies, Senate Hansard, 8 December 1987, vol s124, pp. 2643-45 (requirements were modified in 1987).

6. For FMA Act bodies, significant amendments in the Requirements for Annual Reports for the 2012-13 period relate to:

• Spatial reporting—a new requirement has been added for selected portfolio agencies to report on expenditure in relation to the Spatial Reporting Framework.3

7. For Commonwealth authorities and companies, the annual reports for the 2011-12 financial year were the first annual reports to be prepared under the new orders with the exception of clauses dealing with related entity transactions, which apply to annual reports for each financial year ending on or after 30 June 2013.

Annual reports considered

8. The annual reports of the following organisations have been examined by the committee:

Defence portfolio

Department of Defence and Defence Materiel Organisation

AAF Company

ASC Pty Ltd

Army and Air Force Canteen Service (AAFCANS)

Australian Strategic Policy Institute

Defence Housing Australia

Royal Australian Air Force Welfare Recreational Company

Royal Australian Air Force Veterans' Residences Trust Fund

Royal Australian Navy Central Canteens Board

Services Trust Funds

Foreign Affairs portfolio

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID)

Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research

Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office

3 The committee notes that this requirement was not applicable to any of the FMA Act bodies under its portfolio coverage.

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Trade portfolio

Australian Trade Commission

Export Finance and Insurance Corporation

Tourism Australia

Veterans' Affairs

Department of Veterans' Affairs, Repatriation Commission and Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission

Australian War Memorial

Repatriation Medical Authority

Veterans' Review Board

General comments on the annual reports

Timeliness in tabling reports

9. Under Senate Standing Order 25(20)(c), the committee must report to the Senate any lateness in the presentation of annual reports.

10. In accordance with the Requirements for Annual Reports published in June 2013, agencies are required to present:

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

Supplementary Budget Estimates hearings are scheduled to occur prior to 31 October, it is best practice for annual reports to be tabled prior to those hearings.4

11. A number of annual reports were tabled late. On 31 October 2013, the Secretary of the Department of Defence wrote to Senator the Hon David Johnston, Minister for Defence, noting the finalisation of the annual report had been delayed due to significant demands on the time of both the Secretary and the Chief of the Defence Force as a result of unavoidable official travel and continuing operational requirements. The Secretary requested approval from the minister for an extension of the due date for tabling the report to 13 November 2013.5 The report was tabled in the Senate and the House of Representatives on 13 November 2013.

12. The Chair of AAF Company wrote to the Minister for Defence seeking an extension for the tabling of AAF Company's 2012-2013 Annual Report to

4 Requirements for annual reports for departments, executive agencies and FMA Act bodies, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, 24 June 2013, Part 1, section 4.

5 Mr Dennis Richardson, Secretary of Defence to the Hon David Johnston, Minister for Defence, dated 31 October 2013.

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30 November 2013 due to the delayed receipt of the ANAO's audit report.6 The report was presented out of sitting on 22 November 2013 and tabled in both houses of Parliament on 2 December 2013.

13. The Chairman of the Royal Australian Navy Central Canteens Board (RANCCB) likewise wrote to the Minister for Defence, seeking an extension of the tabling date to 29 November 2013 due to the late completion of the ANAO's audit report.7 The report was tabled in the House of Representatives on 12 December 2013 and in the Senate on 11 February 2014.

14. A table detailing the dates relating to the timeliness of presentation is at Appendix 1. It should be noted that, apart from those referred to above, the following annual reports were also tabled after 31 October 2013:

• ASC Pty Ltd— report tabled in both houses of Parliament on 13 November 2013;

• Australian Strategic Policy Institute Limited—report presented out of sitting on 6 November 2013 and tabled in the Senate on 12 November 2013;

• Defence Housing Australia—report presented out of sitting on 6 November

2013 and tabled in the Senate on 12 November 2013;

• Royal Australian Air Force Welfare Recreational Company—report tabled in

the House of Representatives on 2 December 2013 and in the Senate on 3 December 2013;

• Royal Australian Air Force Veterans’ Residences Trust Fund—report presented out of sitting on 7 November 2013 and tabled in the Senate on 12 November 2013; and

• Services Trust Funds—report presented out of sitting on 6 November 2013 and tabled in the Senate on 12 November 2013.

Matters of significance

15. In accordance with Senate Standing Order 25, the committee is to note any significant matters relating to the operations and performance of the bodies presenting their annual reports. The committee notes that on 18 September 2013, the Prime Minister, the Hon Tony Abbott MP, announced Machinery of Government changes and released revised Administrative Arrangement Orders. The changes included the integration of AusAID into the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

6 Brigadier P. Northard AM CSC, Chair, AAF Company to the Minister for Defence, dated 10 October 2013.

7 Rear Admiral C.W. Thomas AM CSC, Chairman, RANCCB to the Minister for Defence, dated 4 October 2013.

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and the inclusion of tourism in the Trade portfolio.8 As such, the 2012-13 annual report will be last from AusAID and for the first time, Tourism Australia falls under this committee's portfolio coverage.

Comments made in the Senate

16. In accordance with Standing Order 25(20)(d), the committee notes that the annual report of AusAID was the subject of comment in the Senate.

17. Senator Faulkner remarked that the AusAID annual report provided:

…a valuable insight into the management of Australia's foreign aid program for the 2012-13 financial year. I think that recent events in the Philippines in the wake of Supertyphoon Haiyan are a very stark reminder of the importance of our aid program in lending a hand to some of the world's most vulnerable people. Australia's aid program also serves our national interests, of course, by promoting stability and prosperity in our region and around the world.9

18. Senator Faulkner commended the AusAID annual report and credited ''the former AusAID, now merged with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and other participating government agencies for their excellent work'.10

Bodies not presenting annual reports to the Senate

19. The committee is required to report to the Senate each year on whether there are any bodies that do not present annual reports to the Senate and which should present such reports. The committee is satisfied that there are no bodies within these portfolios that do not meet their reporting requirements to the Senate.

Standard of reports

20. The committee found all reports to be generally of a high standard. They effectively described the function, activities and financial positions of the various departments and agencies. The committee therefore found all of the annual reports to be 'apparently satisfactory'.

8 'The Coalition will restore strong, stable and accountable government', Media Release, the Prime Minister, the Hon Tony Abbott MP, 18 September 2013.

9 Senator Faulkner, Senate Hansard, 12 December 2013, p. 1711.

10 Senator Faulkner, Senate Hansard, 12 December 2013, p. 1711.

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Chapter 1

Annual reports of departments Department of Defence 1.1 The Department of Defence annual report 2012-13 was tabled in the House of Representatives and in the Senate on 13 November 2013.

Reviews by the Secretary and the Chief of the Defence Force

1.2 Mr Dennis Richardson AO, the Secretary, stated in his review:

Some hard financial choices were made in order to meet the Government’s expectations of the department during the last financial year. We pursued a strategy designed to protect ADF personnel and Defence operations, and to minimise impacts on core capabilities. The department prioritised investments and reduced administration costs. Budget volatility made all of this difficult.1

1.3 Looking forward, the Secretary noted:

The single biggest challenge for the next 12 months will be the department’s ability to continue to deliver agreed strategic objectives should budget volatility continue. There will be a need for continued APS downsizing to ensure we live within our means.2

Operations

1.4 General David Hurley, AC, DSC, Chief of the Defence Force (CDF) noted that the Australian Defence Force (ADF) had concluded two overseas operations during the reporting period—Timor-Leste and the Solomon Islands.3

1.5 The process of transition of security responsibility from the International Security Assistance Force to the Afghan National Security Forces started formally in July 2011. The CDF noted that a key milestone was achieved in October 2012 when:

...four Australian-mentored Afghan National Army (ANA) infantry Kandaks assumed the lead for independent operations in Uruzgan. Australian Force elements handed over Uruzgan’s Patrol Bases and Forward Operating Bases to the ANA and the resulting change in posture allowed the ADF to move from a Mentoring Task Force to a smaller Advisory Task Force.4

1.6 Other operations in 2012-13, included deployments of ADF personnel to five peacekeeping operations throughout the Middle East and North Africa, four Royal

1 Defence Annual Report 2012-2013, Department of Defence, p. 2.

2 Defence Annual Report 2012-2013, Department of Defence, p. 4.

3 Defence Annual Report 2012-2013, Department of Defence, p. 7; see also pp. 85-100.

4 Defence Annual Report 2012-2013, Department of Defence, p. 7; see also pp. 85-100.

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Australian Navy frigates patrolling the Middle East Area of Operations, and the ADF's contribution to Australia's maritime security and border protection.5

1.7 The ADF provided disaster relief and assistance in Fiji, Samoa and the Solomon Islands, as well as Queensland, New South Wales, Tasmania and Western Australia.6

Cultural reform

1.8 Both the Secretary and the CDF commented on the progress of cultural reform in Defence. The CDF noted:

In addition to our operational commitments, Defence has continued to make progress on our cultural reform program, known as Pathway to Change. On 26 November 2012, I apologised publicly to those who have suffered

sexual, physical or mental abuse while serving in the ADF. This was a significant step in acknowledging past actions and a statement of support for reform actions. Throughout 2013, Defence has worked with the Honourable Len Roberts-Smith and the Defence Abuse Response Taskforce

as they have undertaken their important work.

In keeping with my commitment to ensure we provide a fair, just and inclusive work environment for all our members, women already serving in the ADF have, since January, been able to apply to become mine warfare and clearance diving officers in the Navy; airfield defence guards and ground defence officers in the Air Force; and to join the infantry and armoured corps, explosive ordnance disposal and combat engineer squadrons in the Army. Giving women the opportunity to take on these positions complements our commitment to cultural reform under the Pathway to Change strategy.7

1.9 The Secretary also noted:

Our efforts on cultural reform will continue. The Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Office was opened in July 2013 to offer services to those in the Australian Defence Force affected by sexual misconduct. Restricted reporting guidelines have been adopted and policy will be rewritten to support it.8

Matters relating to the operations and performance of the department

Defence's financial statements

1.10 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 financial statements.

5 Defence Annual Report 2012-2013, Department of Defence, p. 7; see also pp. 85-100.

6 Defence Annual Report 2012-2013, Department of Defence, p. 7; see also pp. 85-100.

7 Defence Annual Report 2012-2013, Department of Defence, p. 9; see also Chapter 4.

8 Defence Annual Report 2012-2013, Department of Defence, p. 4; see also pp. 106-107.

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1.11 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.

Australian National Audit Office audit

1.12 The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) report for the Department of Defence stated:

During the 2012-13 final audit phase, Defence resolved six moderate audit issues previously reported. The resolved issues relate to asset reporting, revaluation and disposal processes; processes over Navy inventory returns; accounting for special public monies and the Defence Fraud Control Plan.

Five moderate audit issues were identified during the 2012-13 final audit phase. These moderate audit issues relate to special account management, the inconsistent application of policy requirements for assessing specialist military equipment asset values, accounting for goods and services received as a result of settlements for asset construction contract disputes, civilian employee leave recording and management of termination payments, and the recording and reporting processes associated with Military Support Items (MSI).9

1.13 The areas where moderate audit issues remain outstanding in the 2012-13 audit include:

• Military information logistics information system (MILIS);

• General assets management; and

• Financial management information system (ROMAN) [Resource and Output

Management and Accounting Network].10

1.14 New audit issues were identified in the following areas during the 2012-13 audit:

• Internal control and financial reporting;

• Inventory and assets management; and

• Human resource management. 11

9 Australian National Audit Office, ANAO Audit Report No.13 2013-14: Audits of the financial statements of Australian Government Entities for the period ended 30 June 2013, pp. 128-129. 10 Australian National Audit Office, ANAO Audit Report No.13 2013-14: Audits of the financial statements of Australian Government Entities for the period ended 30 June 2013, pp. 130-131.

11 Australian National Audit Office, ANAO Audit Report No.13 2013-14: Audits of the financial statements of Australian Government Entities for the period ended 30 June 2013, pp. 131-134.

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Summary

1.15 The committee finds the annual report of the Department of Defence to be 'apparently satisfactory' in complying with the relevant requirements for the preparation of annual reports.

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade 1.16 The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) annual report 2012-2013 was presented out of sitting on 30 October 2013 and tabled in the Senate on 12 November 2013.

Secretary's Review

1.17 Mr Peter Varghese AO, the Secretary of the Department, took the opportunity in his first Secretary's Review to thank his predecessor Mr Dennis Richardson for 'leaving the department in such fine shape'.12

1.18 The secretary noted the department's role in advancing Australia's national interests abroad. He noted that:

It is our 95 overseas posts that do much of the heavy lifting in building networks of influence for Australia, advocating Australian interests abroad, supporting official visits, providing analysis, and assisting Australians in distress. The role of the department in Canberra and our offices across Australia is to provide policy advice to ministers and the government, negotiate bilateral and regional trade agreements, lead whole-of-government engagement in regional organisations such as APEC and the East Asia Summit (EAS), engage with business and community groups, deliver passports and consular services to Australians and provide corporate services for the organisation, both at home and abroad.13

Significant issues and developments

1.19 The Secretary noted that during the reporting period:

The department dedicated considerable resources and diplomatic attention to our six core bilateral relationships—the United States, China, Japan, Indonesia, India and the Republic of Korea, recognising that Australia's prosperity is tied to that of our key partners.14

1.20 The Secretary reported on the department's ongoing focus on our immediate neighbourhood, with the engagement centred on a desire for security, stability and prosperity shared through the region. He also noted the importance of regional institutions for Australia, with the department focusing its diplomatic efforts on ASEAN and the East Asia Summit.15

12 Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Annual Report 2012-2013, p. 9.

13 Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Annual Report 2012-2013, p. 9.

14 Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Annual Report 2012-2013, p. 10.

15 Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Annual Report 2012-2013, pp. 10-11.

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1.21 Globally, the department led a whole-of-government effort to secure Australia's election to the UN Security Council as a non-permanent member for 2013 and 2014. The Secretary stated:

In the first six months we have established ourselves as a constructive and capable council member, contributing to international sanctions work, and playing an important role in the council's approach to Afghanistan, the debate on Syria, as well as counter-terrorism.16

1.22 The Secretary recognised the importance of trade policy in maximising economic opportunity. He stated:

We are pursuing Australia's objectives of free trade through complementary routes. Both bilateral FTAs and regional agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) underpin Australia's interest in expanding global free trade.17

1.23 In regards to trade, the secretary also discussed the importance of Australia's membership of APEC and the G20. In particular, he noted:

In preparation for Australia's G20 presidency from December 2013, the department contributed policy advice on trade, development, food security and energy issues. We escalated our advocacy efforts with G20 countries and a range of international organisations to build support for the G20 forum and its forward agenda.18

Delivering services to Australians

1.24 The Secretary noted that a significant dimension of the department's work is to provide Australians with high-quality consular and passport services. The department is working to develop the next generation of passports, the P-series, scheduled to be issued in August 2014, to ensure the ongoing security of Australian passports.

1.25 The Secretary noted that Australians are travelling abroad in ever greater numbers. He stated:

With 8.8 million departures by Australian citizens and permanent residents over the past year, we issued just over 1.7 million passports and assisted 11 927 Australians in difficulty overseas. Many of those consular cases were in remote places and under challenging circumstances. Over the year, a number of high-profile cases involving detention and legal proceedings required substantial resources.19

16 Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Annual Report 2012-2013, p. 11.

17 Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Annual Report 2012-2013, p. 11.

18 Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Annual Report 2012-2013, pp. 11-12.

19 Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Annual Report 2012-2013, p. 12.

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Corporate governance and management

1.26 The Secretary commented that:

The past year has been challenging, requiring careful reflection on Australia's current and future interests and allocation of resources.20

Outlook

1.27 In his discussion of the outlook for the department, the Secretary stated:

The world is becoming more complex and our strategic environment more crowded. Australia cannot assume that our interests and values, or the international rules which we helped shape and continue to adopt, will remain unchallenged. As China and India assume great power status, we must adapt to a changing strategic arena. Our priority interests are better considered now in the multipolar context of the Indo-Pacific, including the security of maritime passages so vital to our increasingly globalised trade.21

1.28 The Secretary acknowledged that the department's greatest assets remain its people and its work overseas. He noted that:

In the tight fiscal environment, the corporate challenge for the department will be to maintain an effective overseas network and adequately staffed Canberra-based operation.22

External Scrutiny

1.29 The annual report provided information on the significant developments in external scrutiny of the department and the department's response.

1.30 In 2012-13, the Auditor-General tabled in parliament two reports by the ANAO relating to the department's operations:

• Report No. 16: Audits of the Financial Statements of Australian Government Entities for the period ended 30 June 2012; and

• Report No. 51: The Interim Phase of the Audit of Financial Statements of Major General Government Sector Agencies for the year ending 30 June 2013.23

Summary

1.31 The committee finds that the DFAT annual report adequately complies with all reporting requirements for a department.

Department of Veterans' Affairs 1.32 The Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) is the primary service delivery agency that develops and implements programs to assist the veteran and defence force

20 Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Annual Report 2012-2013, p. 12.

21 Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Annual Report 2012-2013, p. 13.

22 Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Annual Report 2012-2013, p. 13.

23 Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Annual Report 2012-2013, p. 164.

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communities. It provides administrative support to the Repatriation Commission and the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission. The Repatriation Commission administers the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986, and is responsible for granting pensions, allowances and other benefits, providing treatment and other services. The Military and Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission is responsible for the administration of benefits and arrangements under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004.

1.33 DVA's annual report 2011-2012 was presented out of sitting on 29 October 2013 and tabled in the Senate on 12 November 2013. The report also included separate reports of both the Repatriation Commission and the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission. They described how each commission interrelates with DVA, its membership and the main activities for the reporting period.

The reports do not include performance reporting, which is covered in DVA's report.

Secretary's year in review

1.34 In the Secretary's year in review, Mr Simon Lewis observed that:

The Repatriation Commission, the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission (MRCC) and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) continued to witness significant demographic changes in the veteran and ex-service community and the consequent altering of service delivery expectations placed upon the Department.24

1.35 The Secretary acknowledged the outgoing Secretary, Mr Ian Campbell PSM, who retired in July 2013 after more than 10 years of service in DVA and 42 years in the Australian Public Service. The Secretary stated:

Under [Mr Campbell's] leadership the Department acknowledged and acted upon the need to change its service delivery capabilities. In a time of diminishing budgets, he ensured that resources continued to allow staff to carry out their roles to a high standard. He has left the Department well placed to deal with challenges in the years ahead. I would like to thank him on behalf of staff and the veteran community for his vision and leadership.25

Review of military compensation arrangements

1.36 The Government response to the Review of Military Compensation Arrangements was announced in the 2012-13 Budget. As part of that response, the Government accepted 96 of the 108 recommendations made in the review and

allocated $17.4 million over four years for the implementation of these recommendations. A further three recommendations were deferred for further consideration.

24 Repatriation Commission, Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission, Department of Veterans' Affairs, Annual Reports 2012-2013, p. 2.

25 Repatriation Commission, Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission, Department of Veterans' Affairs, Annual Reports 2012-2013, p. 2.

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1.37 The Secretary noted that during the reporting period, significant work has occurred in order for the implementation of the accepted recommendations to begin from 1 July 2013. Some of the significant changes which will be implemented in 2013-14 include:

• an increased rate of weekly compensation for dependent children of deceased members;

• increased compensation for advice - including legal advice in addition to financial advice;

• earlier payment of compensation for permanent impairment (PI) claimants

with more than one accepted condition;

• greater use of interim PI compensation;

• a new method for calculating transitional PI compensation;

• the issuing of treatment cards to clients under the Safety, Rehabilitation and

Compensation Act 1988 (SRCA); and

• the extension of non-liability health care for psychiatric conditions to those

with ADF peacetime service from April 1994 and to include treatment for alcohol and drug dependence.26

Mental health strategy

1.38 The Secretary noted that a new Veteran Mental Health Strategy was launched in May 2013. The new strategy provides a 10-year framework for the provision of mental health care in the veteran and ex-service community. The strategy:

• sets the context for the provision of mental health services in the veteran and

ex-service community and for addressing mental health needs;

• identifies strategic objectives and priority actions to guide mental health policy and programs; and

• ensures the best possible outcomes for individual mental health and wellbeing.27

Access to mental health support and advice online

1.39 The Secretary outlined a number of online applications which were launched during the reporting period. The applications are designed to provide help to veterans and their families, as well as service providers, who require information and advice regarding mental health conditions, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These include:

26 Repatriation Commission, Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission, Department of Veterans' Affairs, Annual Reports 2012-2013, p. 3.

27 Repatriation Commission, Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission, Department of Veterans' Affairs, Annual Reports 2012-2013, p. 4.

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• the redevelopment and expansion of the main DVA mental health website, the

At Ease Mental Health Portal to include discreet sections to provide tailored advice, tools, information and downloadable resources;

• two online training programs were developed and released to assist health

practitioners—Understanding the Military Experience and vetAWARE: Assist Wisely and Refer Effectively;

• PTSD Coach Australia, a smartphone application aimed at helping current and former serving members identify and manage mental health issues was released in February 2013;

• ON TRACK with the Right Mix, a second smartphone application to help people manage their alcohol consumption and learn about the health impacts of alcohol on their wellbeing and lifestyle was released in March 2013.28

In-home telemonitoring for veterans trial

1.40 DVA’s in-home telemonitoring for veterans trial began in June 2013 in Armidale, NSW. Through use of telemonitoring equipment, veterans and war widow/ers with chronic conditions and complex care needs are able to have their health monitored by health professionals from their home. The Secretary reported that positive results have already been achieved with the first participants. The trial will continue until June 2015 with up to 300 veterans and war widow/ers being recruited.29

Anzac centenary

1.41 On 21 April 2013, the Government released the Anzac Centenary Advisory Board’s report and the Government’s response. The Government accepted all of the Board’s recommendations—22 in full and three in principle—and provided $25 million towards the Anzac Centenary program. This was in addition to the $83.5 million over seven years allocated to the Anzac Centenary program in 2012. The Secretary noted that the funding will support initiatives such as:

• an Anzac Centenary travelling exhibition;

• an Albany Convoy commemorative event;

• the protection and preservation of, and the education campaign for, the

submarine AE2;

• development and screening of 10 hours of documentary programming related to the Anzac Centenary by ABC television and Screen Australia;

• the digitisation of a sample of the First World War repatriation records of those who survived both Gallipoli and the Western Front;

28 Repatriation Commission, Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission, Department of Veterans' Affairs, Annual Reports 2012-2013, p. 5.

29 Repatriation Commission, Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission, Department of Veterans' Affairs, Annual Reports 2012-2013, p. 4.

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• a history grants scheme provided to encourage academic and non-academic

research into Australian involvement in the First World War; and

• and the development of publicly accessible material from the 2000 interviews of the Australians at War film archive.30

The year ahead

1.42 The Secretary noted:

The coming year will be another busy one for the Department as the official commencement of the Anzac Centenary Program draws ever closer and the Department works to implement the suite of policies and programs designed to enhance access to mental health services and support funded from the 2013-14 Budget.31

1.43 In particular, the Secretary discussed the strengthening of the relationship with Defence, which will be supported by the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Defence and DVA in February 2013. He stated:

The MoU pledges closer cooperation between the two departments in order to provide improved support services for current and former ADF members. It sets out the key principles which will govern the cooperative delivery of care and support and establishes effective governance arrangements designed to ensure that the support arrangements remain effective.32

Data-matching program

1.44 The Department of Veterans' Affairs Data-matching Program Report on Progress 2011 to 2013 is included in the annual report at Appendix C.

1.45 In the 1990-91 Budget, the then government announced new measures to detect incorrect payments in the income support system. This involved a program of computer matching of identity and income data held by a limited number of government agencies, including the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

1.46 Under sections 12 of the Data-matching Program (Assistance and Tax) Act 1990, DVA is required to table in parliament a standard report every year and a comprehensive report every three years. A comprehensive report was last submitted by DVA in 2010.33

30 Repatriation Commission, Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission, Department of Veterans' Affairs, Annual Reports 2012-2013, pp. 6-7.

31 Repatriation Commission, Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission, Department of Veterans' Affairs, Annual Reports 2012-2013, p. 8.

32 Repatriation Commission, Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission, Department of Veterans' Affairs, Annual Reports 2012-2013, p. 8.

33 Repatriation Commission, Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission, Department of Veterans' Affairs, Annual Reports 2012-2013, pp. 320-324.

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Summary

1.47 The committee finds that the DVA annual report complies adequately with all reporting requirements for a department.

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Chapter 2

Annual reports of non-statutory authorities and government companies Defence portfolio

Defence Materiel Organisation

2.2 The annual report of the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) is contained in Defence's annual report. It was tabled in the House of Representatives and in the Senate on 13 November 2013.

2.3 The DMO is a prescribed agency under the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997. This means that although the DMO remains inextricably linked to Defence, it is required to account directly to the Minister for Defence on its financial management. The annual report noted:

As a prescribed agency, the DMO uses a purchaser-provider model, underpinned by service agreements, to deliver commercial, engineering, logistics and project management services in an accountable, outcome-

focused and business-like manner.1

Review by the Chief Executive Officer

2.4 Mr Warren King, Chief Executive Officer, DMO, drew attention to the DMO's 2013-15 Strategic Framework released in February 2013. Mr King explained that, as part of the continued drive to reform all elements of the DMO’s operations, the framework better positions the DMO to deliver customer requirements and become more accountable to the Government for its performance.2

2.5 In his review of the year, Mr King stated:

Given the size and complexity of the DMO’s business, as well as its challenging responsibilities, a key priority throughout 2012-13 has been ensuring that DMO employees are empowered with the skills they need and supported by an organisational structure that enables them to deliver critical outcomes both now and into the future. Although it is still early days, and

organisational changes are still being implemented, I am very proud of the progress that has been made so far.3

1 Defence Annual Report 2011-2012: Part 4 Defence Materiel, p. 177.

2 Defence Annual Report 2011-2012: Part 4 Defence Materiel, p. 175.

3 Defence Annual Report 2011-2012: Part 4 Defence Materiel, p. 175.

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List of requirements

2.6 The committee notes that the Requirements for annual reports for departments, executive agencies and FMA Act bodies states:

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. Agencies should include a column indicating the location of the information in the annual report.4

2.7 As the committee noted in last year's report on annual reports, prior to the 2011-12 annual report, the Defence and DMO annual reports have been produced as two separate volumes. The reports have now been combined in a single volume. This has meant that the list of requirements has also been combined. The committee notes that combining the Defence and DMO lists creates ambiguity as the entries for Defence and DMO have not been clearly distinguished.

External Scrutiny

2.8 The Requirements for annual reports for departments, executive agencies and FMA Act bodies also states:

The annual report must provide information on the most significant developments in external scrutiny of the department and the department’s response, including particulars of:

(a) judicial decisions 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.5

2.9 As the committee noted in last year's report on annual reports, the DMO annual report does not appear to provide information on external scrutiny. As noted above, the Defence and DMO annual reports have now been combined in the same volume. DMO's completion of this mandatory reporting requirement is unclear. External scrutiny is only covered in the Department of Defence section of the annual report and it is unclear if this is intended to also cover external scrutiny of the DMO.6

4 Requirements for annual reports for departments, executive agencies and FMA Act bodies, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, 24 June 2013, p. 32. www.dpmc.gov.au/guidelines/index.cfm

5 Requirements for annual reports for departments, executive agencies and FMA Act bodies, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, 24 June 2013, p. 9. www.dpmc.gov.au/guidelines/index.cfm

6 Defence Annual Report 2012-2013, p. 118-122.

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Summary

2.10 The committee finds that the DMO annual report adequately complies with the relevant requirements for the preparation of annual reports.

Australian War Memorial

2.11 The Australian War Memorial was established as a statutory authority under the Australian War Memorial Act 1980. The performance of the Memorial and the accountability of its council and management are subject to the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997. The Memorial is also subject to other legislation that bears on its operation, and is accountable to the government through the Minister for Veterans' Affairs. The Council of the Australian War Memorial is responsible for the conduct and control of the activities of the Memorial. Its numerous functions and responsibilities include:

• establishing the Memorial's strategic direction and vision;

• approving the Memorial's goals and key objectives;

• approving the annual budget and monitoring expenditure and reporting; and

• ensuring that the Memorial has adequate financial resources to meet known

and planned future resources.7

2.12 The Australian War Memorial's annual report 2012-2013 was presented out of sitting on 25 October 2013 and tabled in the Senate on 12 November 2013.

2.13 Rear Admiral Ken Doolan AO RAN (Ret’d), Chairman, commented that the redevelopment of the Memorial's First World War galleries has been a particular focus in the lead-up to the centenary of ANZAC. The Chairman also noted another centenary project, the ANZAC Centenary Touring Exhibition, with which the Memorial is involved in conjunction with the ANZAC Centenary Advisory Board. In particular, he noted that the Government recently announced an allocation of $10 million in seed funding to the Memorial to allow work on this project to commence.8

2.14 On behalf of the Council, the Chairman commended the outstanding service rendered by the Director, the Honourable Dr Brendan Nelson, his distinguished predecessor, Major General Steve Gower AO AO(Mil) (Ret’d), and the Ms Nola Anderson, Acting Director for much of 2012. The Chairman also noted that:

We are deeply appreciative of all that has been and is being done by the many dedicated Australians whose efforts are directed at ensuring the Memorial remains the pre-eminent national commemorative icon.9

7 Australian War Memorial Annual Report 2012-2013, pp. 4-5.

8 Australian War Memorial Annual Report 2012-2013, pp. 2-3.

9 Australian War Memorial Annual Report 2012-2013, p. 2.

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Index of annual report requirements

2.15 The committee notes that the Commonwealth Authorities (Annual Reporting) Orders 2011 states:

To assist readers to locate the information required by the CAC Act (including these Orders) or other applicable legislation, the Annual Report of Operations must provide an index of annual report requirements, identifying where relevant information can be found in the annual report.10

2.16 The committee notes that while the Australian War Memorial has included a compliance index, it has been prepared in compliance with Commonwealth Authorities and Companies (Reports of Operations) Orders 2008, and not the current reporting orders. As such it is unclear whether new reporting requirements such as those in clause 15 relating to 'related entity transactions' have been met or if they are not applicable to the Australian War Memorial.

Summary

2.17 The committee finds that the Australian War Memorial's annual report to be 'apparently satisfactory' in complying with the relevant requirements for the preparation of annual reports.

Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio

Australian Agency for International Development

2.18 The annual report of the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) for the financial year 2012-2013 was presented out of sitting on 30 October 2013 and tabled in the Senate on 12 November 2013.

2.19 AusAID was the Australian government agency responsible for managing Australia’s overseas aid program. AusAID was an executive agency within the Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio, reporting to the Minister for Foreign Affairs. As noted in the preface of this report, on 18 September 2013 it was announced that AusAID will be integrated into the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. As such this will be AusAID's final annual report.

Director General's review

2.20 The Director General of AusAID, Mr Peter Baxter, noted that the first Annual Review of Aid Effectiveness was released in January 2013.The review found that Australia's aid program:

• made a major contribution towards the achievement of the Millennium

Development Goals in our region and across the world;

10 Commonwealth Authorities (Annual Reporting) Orders 2011, clause 21.

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• achieved strong results against each of its five strategic goals: saving lives,

promoting opportunities for all, sustainable economic development, effective governance, and humanitarian and disaster preparedness and response; and

• is effective, efficiently delivered and in good repair. 11

Program highlights during the year

2.21 The Director General outlined some of the highlights of the reporting period:

• Announcing the Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development initiative on 30 August 2012;

• Responding to multiple disasters across the Pacific, providing life-saving

assistance to more than 50 000 affected people. These disasters included Cyclone Evan in Fiji and Samoa in December, an earthquake and tsunami in the Solomon Islands in February and a subsequent dengue fever outbreak, and severe drought in the Marshall Islands in April;

• Australia also continued to help alleviate the suffering arising from the humanitarian crisis in Syria;

• Growing development engagement in Myanmar as the Myanmar Government

continued important political and economic reforms;

• Moving our relationship with China to a new phase by signing a development

cooperation partnership memorandum of understanding in Beijing on 9 April.

• Hosting the second Mining for Development Conference in May 2013,

alongside the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative Global Conference.

• Confirming Australia’s leadership role internationally, and in the Pacific, in

promoting and supporting disability-inclusive development through the 2012 mid-term review of AusAID’s strategy Development for all: towards a disability-inclusive Australian aid program 2009-2014.12

Australian National Audit Office audit

2.22 The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) report for AusAID stated that matters giving rise to the legislative breach relating to section 83 of the Constitution, which had been noted in the committee's previous report, have been resolved. The

audit report stated:

The notes to AusAID’s 2011-12 financial statements referred to 13 breaches of section 83 of the Constitution totalling $29 000 in relation to various payments made by ComSuper on behalf of AusAID under the Papua New Guinea (Staffing Assistance) Act 1973 (PNG Super Act).

11 AusAID Annual Report 2012-2013, p. 2.

12 AusAID Annual Report 2012-2013, p. 6.

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In 2012—13 the Financial Framework Legislation Amendment Act (No.1) 2013 was passed. The amendment took effect from 14 March 2013 and was enacted to reduce the risk of non‐compliance in relation the PNG Super Act. The amendment allows Comsuper to continue making payments under the PNG Super Act until ComSuper is notified of a benefit recipient’s death, without resulting in a section 83 breach.

During 2012-13, AusAID reported six breaches of section 83 of the Constitution totalling $6 000. As at 30 June 2013, $4 000 of the overpaid amounts had been recovered. All breaches occurred prior to the effective date of the amendment referred to above.13

Summary

2.23 The committee finds that the AusAID annual report adequately complies with all reporting requirements for an executive agency.

Tourism Australia

2.24 Tourism Australia's annual report for 2012-2013 was presented out of sitting on 31 October 2013 and tabled in the Senate on 12 November 2013.

2.25 As noted in the preface of this report, following the Prime Minister's announcement on 18 September 2013, tourism is now part of the Trade portfolio. As such, this is the first time Tourism Australia's report has been examined by this committee. Tourism Australia is a Commonwealth authority established under the Tourism Australia Act 2004 and is subject to the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997. Tourism Australia is Australia's national tourism organisation. It aims to increase international and domestic leisure tourism, international business events, and promote Australia as a compelling visitor destination.14

Operational matters

2.26 In the Chairman's report, Mr Geoff Dixon observed that during the reporting period there were 6.3 million international arrivals, an increase of nearly 5 per cent, spending $28 billion, an increase of almost 6 per cent from the previous financial year.15

2.27 In his report, the Managing Director, Mr Andrew McEvoy highlighted Tourism Australia's role in encouraging the tourism industry to harness the potential of social media. The Managing director also remarked on the importance of

13 Australian National Audit Office, ANAO Audit Report No.13 2013-14: Audits of the financial statements of Australian Government Entities for the period ended 30 June 2013, p. 195.

14 Tourism Australia Annual Report 2012-13, p. 2.

15 Tourism Australia Annual Report 2012-13, p. 10.

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partnership marketing, noting Tourism Australia works best when commercial and state territory partners help leverage its message There's nothing like Australia.16

Reporting requirements

2.28 Previous annual reports from Tourism Australia have been examined by the Senate Economics Legislation Committee.17 The committee notes that a number concerns raised by the Economics Committee have not been resolved in the 2012-13 annual report. The committees notes that:

• The report provides list of requirements contained in the Requirements for

annual reports for departments, executive agencies and FMA Act bodies, but not a Commonwealth Authorities (Annual Reporting) Orders 2011 compliance index. The reporting requirements for Commonwealth authorities differ from the requirements for FMA Act bodies.

• The letter of transmittal should include details of when and how the report

was adopted, and state that directors are responsible for the preparation of contents of the report, as prescribed by the Commonwealth Authorities (Annual Reporting) Orders 2011.

• The report does not contain a reference to any ministerial directions, which is a requirement under the Commonwealth Authorities (Annual Reporting) Orders.

2.29 The committee notes that as Tourism Australia has not included an index of annual report requirements relating to the Commonwealth Authorities (Annual Reporting) Orders 2011, it is unclear whether new reporting requirements such as those in clause 15 relating to 'related entity transactions' have been met or if they are not applicable to the Tourism Australia.

Summary

2.30 The committee finds that Tourism Australia's annual report to be 'apparently satisfactory' in complying with the relevant requirements for the preparation of annual reports.

Other reports

2.31 The committee noted that Commonwealth authorities and companies reporting under the CAC Act are required to comply with the Commonwealth Authorities (Annual Reporting) Orders 2011 and the Commonwealth Companies (Annual Reporting) Orders 2011, respectively. The committee draws these reporting orders to the attention of the following agencies:

16 Tourism Australia Annual Report 2012-13, p. 12.

17 Senate Economics Legislation Committee, Annual Reports (No 1 of 2013), 14 March 2013.

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Defence portfolio

• AAF Company (tabled 2 December 2013, received out of session

22 November 2013);

• ASC Pty Ltd (tabled 13 November 2013);

• Australian Strategic Policy Institute (tabled 12 November 2013, received out of session 6 November 2013);

• Royal Australian Air Force Welfare Recreational Company (tabled 2 December 2013);

• Royal Australian Air Force Veterans' Residences Trust Fund (tabled

12 November 2013, received out of session 7 November 2013);

• Royal Australian Navy Central Canteens Board (tabled 12 December 2013);

and

• Services Trust Funds (tabled 12 November 2013, received out of session

6 November 2013).

2.32 Other portfolio authorities, agencies and/or companies which had their annual reports examined by the committee, but were not otherwise commented upon in this report, include:

Defence portfolio

• Army and Air Force Canteen Service (AAFCANS) (tabled

12 November 2013, received out of session 28 October 2013); and

• Defence Housing Australia (tabled 12 November 2013, received out of

session 6 November 2013).

Foreign Affairs portfolio

• Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office (tabled

12 November 2013, received out of session 18 October 2013); and

• Australian Centre for International Agriculture Research (tabled

23 October 2013, erratum received 21 January 2014).

Trade portfolio

• Australian Trade Commission (tabled 12 November 2013, received out of

session 28 October 2013); and

• Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (tabled 12 November 2013,

received out of session 28 October 2013).

Veterans' Affairs

• Repatriation Medical Authority (tabled 12 November 2013, received out of

session 31 October 2013); and

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• Veterans' Review Board (tabled 12 November 2013, received out of session

29 October 2013).

2.33 The committee considers that all the annual reports of the above-mentioned organisations adequately met their respective reporting requirements.

Senator Alan Eggleston Chair

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Appendix 1

Compliance table of the annual reports referred to the committee for scrutiny for the period 2012-2013 Scrutiny of reports due to be tabled by 31 October 2013

Department/agency

Enabling legislation

and

timeliness

Date on letter of transmittal

@ Date report submitted to minister (if known) % Date report received by minister (if known)

* Date report presented to President

# Date tabled in the Senate

^ Date tabled in H/Representatives

Defence Portfolio

Department of Defence

Incorporating the report of…

Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) and;

Australian Constitution and Administrative Arrangements Order. The Department may engage members of the Australian Defence Force under the Defence Act 1903, the Naval Defence Act 1910 and the Air Force Act 1923.

Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (FMA Act) To be tabled by 31 October.

Prescribed agency FMA Act. To be tabled by 31 October.

31 Oct 2013 @31 Oct 2013

%31 Oct 2013

#13 Nov 2013

^13 Nov 2013

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28

Scrutiny of reports due to be tabled by 31 October 2013

Department/agency

Enabling legislation

and

timeliness

Date on letter of transmittal

@ Date report submitted to minister (if known) % Date report received by minister (if known)

* Date report presented to President

# Date tabled in the Senate

^ Date tabled in H/Representatives

Defence Portfolio

Department of Veterans' Affairs

Incorporating the reports of …

Repatriation Commission and

Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission

Australian Constitution and Administrative Arrangements Order

FMA Act To be tabled by 31 October.

Veterans' Entitlement Act 1986, s215. Minister to table within 15 days of receiving report.

Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004, s385 and Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988, s161.

[As soon as possible after 30 June]

15 Oct 2013 @10 Oct 2013

%14 Oct 2013

*29 Oct 2013

#12 Nov 2013

^13 Nov2013

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29

Scrutiny of reports tabled by 31 October 2012

Department/agency

Enabling legislation

and

timeliness

Date on letter of transmittal

@ Date report submitted to minister (if known) % Date report received by minister (if known)

* Date report presented to President

# Date tabled in the Senate

^ Date tabled in H/Representatives

Defence Portfolio

AAF Company

Commonwealth company, limited by guarantee Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 (CAC Act) To be tabled by 31 October.

16 Oct 2013 @10 Oct 2013

%30 Oct 2013

*22 Nov 2013

#2 Dec 2013

^2 Dec 2013

ASC Pty Ltd

ASC Pty Ltd is a proprietary company limited by shares registered under the Corporations Act and is subject to the CAC Act To be tabled by 31 October.

*Forwarded to the Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee

4 Oct 2013 @4 Oct 2013

%9 Oct 2013

#13 Nov 2013

^13 Nov 2013

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30

Scrutiny of reports tabled by 31 October 2012

Department/agency

Enabling legislation

and

timeliness

Date on letter of transmittal

@ Date report submitted to minister (if known) % Date report received by minister (if known)

* Date report presented to President

# Date tabled in the Senate

^ Date tabled in H/Representatives

Defence Portfolio

Army and Air Force Canteen Service (AAFCANS)

Established by regulations under the Defence Act 1903

Commonwealth authority CAC Act To be tabled by 31 October.

20 Sept 2013 @19 Sept 2013

%20 Sept 2013

*28 Oct 2013

#12 Nov 2013

^13 Nov 2013

Australian Strategic Policy Institute Limited

Commonwealth company, limited by guarantee CAC Act To be tabled by 31 October.

9 Oct 2013 @22 Oct 2013

%28 Oct 2013

*6 Nov 2013

#12 Nov 2013

^13 Nov 2013

Australian War Memorial

Australian War Memorial Act 1980, s4

Commonwealth authority CAC Act To be tabled by 31 October.

14 Aug 2013 @19 Sept 2013

%23 Sept 2013

*25 Oct 2013

#12 Nov 2013

^13 Nov 2013

Defence Housing Australia

Defence Housing Authority Act 1987, s4 Statutory Agency

Commonwealth authority CAC Act To be tabled by 31 October.

15 Oct 2013 @22 Oct 2013

%29 Oct 2013

*6 Nov 2013

#12 Nov 2013

^13 Nov 2013

Repatriation Medical Authority (RMA)

Veterans' Entitlement Act 1986, s196B No statutory reporting requirement

8 Oct 2013 @9 Oct 2013

%10 Oct 2013

*31 Oct 2013

#12 Nov 2013

^13 Nov 2013

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31

Scrutiny of reports tabled by 31 October 2012

Department/agency

Enabling legislation

and

timeliness

Date on letter of transmittal

@ Date report submitted to minister (if known) % Date report received by minister (if known)

* Date report presented to President

# Date tabled in the Senate

^ Date tabled in H/Representatives

Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Welfare Recreational Company

Commonwealth company, limited by guarantee CAC Act To be tabled by 31 October.

16 Oct 2013 @28 Oct 2013

%22 Nov 2013

#3 Dec 2013

^2 Dec 2013

Royal Australian Air Force Veterans’ Residences Trust Fund

Royal Australian Air Force Veterans’ Residences Act 1953, s3

Commonwealth company, limited by guarantee CAC Act To be tabled by 31 October.

19 Sept 2013 @27 Sept 2013

%21 Oct 2013

*7 Nov 2013

#12 Nov 2013

^13 Nov 2013

Royal Australian Navy Central Canteens Board (RANCCB)

Established by regulations under the Defence Act 1910.

Commonwealth authority CAC Act To be tabled by 31 October.

5 Oct 2012 @28 Nov 2013

%6 Dec 2013

#11 Feb 2014

^12 Dec 2013

Services Trust Funds—Royal Australian Navy Relief Trust Fund, Australian Military Forces Relief Trust Fund; and Royal Australian Air Force Welfare Trust Fund

Services Trust Funds Act 1947

Commonwealth authorities CAC Act To be tabled by 31 October.

3 Oct 2013

4 Sept 2013

29 Aug 2013

respectively

@22 Oct 2013

%29 Oct 2013

*6 Nov 2013

#12 Nov 2013

^13 Nov 2013

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32

Scrutiny of reports tabled by 31 October 2012

Department/agency

Enabling legislation

and

timeliness

Date on letter of transmittal

@ Date report submitted to minister (if known) % Date report received by minister (if known)

* Date report presented to President

# Date tabled in the Senate

^ Date tabled in H/Representatives

Veterans' Review Board Veterans' Entitlement Act 1986, s215(4).

Report to be submitted to the Minister as soon as practicable after 30 June. Minister to table within 15 sitting days of receiving report.

17 Sept 2013 @9 Oct 2013

%9 Oct 2013

*29 Oct 2013

#12 Nov 2013

^13 Nov 2013

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33

Scrutiny of reports tabled by 31 October 2012

Department/agency

Enabling legislation

and

timeliness

Date on letter of transmittal

@ Date report submitted to minister (if known) % Date report received by minister (if known)

* Date report presented to President

# Date tabled in the Senate

^ Date tabled in H/Representatives

Foreign Affairs and Trade Portfolio

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Australian Constitution and Administrative Arrangements Order

FMA Act To be tabled by 31 October.

19 Sept 2013 @10 Oct 2013

%10 Oct 2013

*30 Oct 2013

#12 Nov 2013

^13 Nov 2013

Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID)

Financial Management and Accountability Regulations 1997 Executive Agency

Prescribed Agency FMA Act To be tabled by 31 October.

4 Oct 2013 @10 Oct 2013

%10 Oct 2013

*30 Oct 2013

#12 Nov 2013

^13 Nov 2013

Australian Centre for International Agriculture Research (ACIAR)

Australian Centre for International Agriculture Research Act 1982, s4 Statutory Agency.

Prescribed Agency FMA Act To be tabled by 31 October.

Oct 2013 (letter not dated)

@25 Sept 2013

%25 Sept 2013

*23 Oct 2013

[Erratum received 21 January 2014]

#12 Nov 2013

^13 Nov 2013

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34

Scrutiny of reports tabled by 31 October 2012

Department/agency

Enabling legislation

and

timeliness

Date on letter of transmittal

@ Date report submitted to minister (if known) % Date report received by minister (if known)

* Date report presented to President

# Date tabled in the Senate

^ Date tabled in H/Representatives

Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office

Nuclear Non- Proliferation (Safeguards) Act 1987, s51; Chemical Weapons (Prohibition) Act 1994, s96; Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Act 1998, s71. Minister to table within 15 sitting days of receiving report.

Prescribed Agency FMA Act To be tabled by 31 October.

7 Oct 2013 @8 Oct 2013

%8 Oct 2013

*18 Oct 2013

#12 Nov 2013

^13 Nov 2013

Australian Trade Commission (Austrade)

Australian Trade Commission Act 1985, s92. Minister to table within 15 sitting days of receiving report.

Prescribed Agency FMA Act To be tabled by 31 October.

23 Sept 2013 @23 Sept 2013

%23 Sept 2013

*28 Oct 2013

#12 Nov 2013

^13 Nov 2013

Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (EFIC)

Export Finance and Insurance Corporation Act 1991, s 6

Commonwealth authority CAC Act To be tabled by 31 October.

- @15 Oct 2013

%15 Oct 2013

*28 Oct 2013

#12 Nov 2013

^13 Nov2013

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35

Scrutiny of reports tabled by 31 October 2012

Department/agency

Enabling legislation

and

timeliness

Date on letter of transmittal

@ Date report submitted to minister (if known) % Date report received by minister (if known)

* Date report presented to President

# Date tabled in the Senate

^ Date tabled in H/Representatives

Tourism Australia Tourism Australia Act 2004 s 5

Commonwealth authority CAC Act To be tabled by 31 October.

15 Oct 2013 @15 Oct 2013

%15 Oct 2013

*31 Oct 2013

#12 Nov 2013

^13 Nov2013

225

226

The Senate

Legal and Constitutional Affairs

Legislation Committee

Annual reports (No. 1 of 2014)

March 2014

227

© Commonwealth of Australia

ISBN 978-1-74229-957-0

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

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

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

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

228

iii

MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE

44th Parliament

Members Senator the Hon Ian Macdonald (LP, QLD) (Chair) Senator Gavin Marshall (ALP, VIC) (Deputy Chair until 24.02.2014) Senator the Hon Lisa Singh (ALP, TAS) (Deputy Chair from 24.02.2014) Senator Sue Boyce (LP, QLD) Senator Zed Seselja (LP, ACT) Senator Penny Wright (AG, SA)

Secretariat Ms Sophie Dunstone Committee Secretary Ms Marina Katic Research Officer

Suite S1.61 Telephone: (02) 6277 3560

Parliament House Fax: (02) 6277 5794

CANBERRA ACT 2600 Email: legcon.sen@aph.gov.au

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE ............................................................. iii

PREFACE ..........................................................................................................vii

Terms of reference ................................................................................................ vii

Role of annual reports .........................................................................................viii

Annual reporting requirements ............................................................................viii

'Apparently satisfactory' ........................................................................................ ix

Timeliness .............................................................................................................. ix

Requirement for non-reporting bodies to report .................................................... xi

C

HAPTER 1 ........................................................................................................ 1

ANNUAL REPORTS OF DEPARTMENTS ......................................................... 1

Attorney-General's Department .............................................................................. 1

Depart

ment of Immigration and Citizenship .......................................................... 4

CHAPTER 2 ........................................................................................................ 9

ANNUAL REPORTS OF AGENCIES ................................................................... 9

Attorney-General's Portfolio .................................................................................. 9

Immigration and Citizenship Portfolio ................................................................. 10

Consideration of annual reports............................................................................ 10

Copyright Agency Limited ................................................................................... 11

National Library of Australia ............................................................................... 12

Australian Human Rights Commission ................................................................ 14

CHAPTER 3 ...................................................................................................... 17

REPORTS ON THE OPERATION OF ACTS AND PROGRAMS ................. 17

Report to the Attorney-General on the results of inspections of records under section 55 of the Surveillance Devices Act 2004 ................................................. 17

Report pursuant to Section 440A of the Migration Act on the conduct of Refugee Review Tribunal reviews not completed within 90 days ..................................... 19

APPENDIX 1 ..................................................................................................... 23

Reports tabled during the period 1 May 2013 and 31 October 2013 and referred to the committee ...................................................................................... 23

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232

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. 1

This report was prepared pursuant to Standing Order 25(20) relating to the consideration of annual reports by committees. The Standing Order states:

Annual reports of departments and agencies shall stand referred to the committees in accordance with an allocation of departments and agencies in a resolution of the Senate. Each committee shall:

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

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

(c) Investigate and report to the Senate on any lateness in the

presentation of annual reports;

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

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

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

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

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

This report examines annual reports tabled in the Senate or presented to the President between 1 May and 31 October 2013. It includes the reports of bodies that were allocated to the committee's portfolios following a Senate resolution on 13 November 2013.

1 Following a resolution of the Senate on 13 November 2013, the Immigration and Citizenship portfolio was renamed the Immigration and Border Protection portfolio.

233

Role of annual reports Annual reports place a great deal of information about government departments and agencies on the public record. Accordingly, the tabling of annual reports is an important element of accountability to Parliament, 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)(f) 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 executive agencies must prepare annual reports in accordance with the Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies and FMA Act Bodies (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 (FMA Act).2

The 2012-13 annual reports are prepared in accordance with the Requirements for Annual Reports issued on 24 June 2013. Amendments to the latest issue of the Requirements for Annual Reports are:

• Spatial reporting - a new requirement has been added for selected portfolio agencies to report on expenditure in relation to the Spatial Reporting Framework.3

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-Statutory Bodies. The government response was incorporated into the Senate Hansard of 8 December 1987.4

2 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC), Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies and FMA Act Bodies (Requirements for Annual Reports), 24 June 2013, Part 1, subsection 3(1).

3 DPMC, Requirements for Annual Reports, 24 June 2013, p. i.

4 Official Senate Hansard, 8 December 1987, pp 2643-2645.

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234

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

The committee found all of the reports submitted to be 'apparently satisfactory', describing the functions, activities, performance and financial positions of the departments and agencies. In considering the reports, the committee did not identify any relevant remarks about the reports made in debate in the Senate.

Timeliness Under Standing Order 25(20)(c), the committee must also report to the Senate on any lateness in the presentation of annual reports.

In accordance with the Requirements for Annual Reports, 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

Supplementary Budget Estimates hearings are scheduled to occur prior to 31 October, it is best practice for annual reports to be tabled prior to those hearings.

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.5

If a department or agency is unable to meet this deadline, the secretary or agency head 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.6

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.

5 DPMC, Requirements for Annual Reports, 24 June 2013, Part 1, section 4.

6 DPMC, Guidelines for the Presentation of Documents to the Parliament (including government documents, government responses to committee reports, ministerial statements, annual reports and other instruments), October 2013, p. 5. Provisions for seeking an extension to the reporting period can be found in subsections 34C(4) to (7) of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901.

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235

Under section 36 of the CAC Act:

(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.

(1A) 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 Interpretation Act 1901.

In the absence of any specific provision, the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 requires bodies to present annual reports to ministers within six 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 2013 and 31 October 2013, and which have been referred to the committee for examination, can be found at Appendix 1.7 Also included in this table is the date each report was tabled in the House of Representatives.

The annual reports included and examined in this report met the reporting deadline of 31 October 2014. The Migration Review Tribunal and Refugee Review Tribunal missed the deadline in the Senate, tabling their report on 12 November 2013.

Two Commonwealth authorities provided annual reports to the responsible minister one day after the reporting deadline under Subsection 9(1) of the CAC Act that requires reports of Commonwealth authorities to be given to the responsible minister for presentation to parliament by the 15th day of the 4th month after the end of the financial year.8 The following bodies presented their annual reports on the 16 October 2013:

• Australian National Maritime Museum; and

• National Library of Australia.

7 The table also includes reports on the operation of acts or programs which have been referred to the committee.

8 Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997, subsection 9(1).

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236

The committee is pleased that the majority of reports presented to Parliament were available for examination prior to the Supplementary Budget Estimates hearings on 18 and 19 November 2013, noting that this may have been due to the scheduling of hearings after the tabling deadline for the reporting period. Even so, the committee acknowledges the timely presentation of the reports and continues to encourage bodies to table annual reports before the Supplementary Budget Estimates hearings in October each year, in accordance with best practice, as outlined in the Requirements for Annual Reports.9

Requirement for non-reporting bodies to report In accordance with Standing Order 25(20)(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 has no bodies to report which failed to present an annual report.

9 DPMC, Requirements for Annual Reports, 24 June 2013, Part 1, section 4.

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237

238

CHAPTER 1

ANNUAL REPORTS OF DEPARTMENTS 1.1 The annual reports of the following departments for the financial year 2012-13, were referred to the committee for examination and report:

 Attorney-General's Department; and

 Department of Immigration and Citizenship. 1

Attorney-General's Department

Tabling of report

1.2 The 2012-13 annual report was presented out of session to the President of the Senate on 30 October 2013 and tabled in the Senate on 12 November 2013. The report was available to senators for the Supplementary Budget Estimates 2013-14 hearings.

Secretary's review

1.3 The secretary's highlights for 2012-13 included supporting the operations of the Defence Abuse Response Taskforce, established in November 2012, and the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, established in January 2013.2 Additionally, the department assisted in the development of a National Plan to Combat Cybercrime to unify and align current and future efforts across jurisdictions.3

Changes to the portfolio structure

1.4 The report outlines changes made to the portfolio in early 2013, which included the Federal Magistrates Court of Australia being renamed the Federal Circuit Court of Australia in April 2013; and institutional reforms in relation to the operations of the National Native Title Tribunal and the Federal Court of Australia coming into effect in March 2013. As a result of the reforms, the Tribunal is no longer considered a Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (FMA Act) agency.4

1.5 The committee is aware of machinery of government changes of late 2013, following the federal election, and looks forward to the addition of the cultural affairs and arts agencies in the department's 2013-14 annual report.

1 Following a resolution of the Senate in November 2013, the department was renamed the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

2 Attorney-General's Department Annual Report 2012-13, p. 4.

3 Attorney-General's Department Annual Report 2012-13, p. 6.

4 Attorney-General's Department Annual Report 2012-13, p. 9.

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Performance reporting

1.6 The annual report's performance review addressed the key performance indicators (KPIs) of each of the department's programs, as listed in the Portfolio Budget Statements (PBS) and Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements (PAES).5

The report included a comprehensive account of the department's achievements and work progress within each program. However, discussion and analysis of departmental performance against KPI targets within individual programs was limited and did not adequately consider the department's effectiveness in achieving its stated outcomes.6 The committee draws the department's attention to the Requirements for Annual Reports which state that '[d]escriptions of processes and activities should be avoided. Rather, reporting should be aimed at providing an assessment of how far the agency has progressed towards the achievement of its stated outcomes'.7

1.7 The committee notes that the performance information provided in the department's annual report did not include specific program objectives or deliverables contained in the PBS and PAES.8 The committee suggests including program objectives, where possible immediately before a narrative report of the major achievements within each program, to provide context of how these achievements contributed to the program's objective. The inclusion of such information would contribute to achieving a 'clear read' of the PBS and PAES.

1.8 The tabular presentation of KPIs was consistent with the format used in the 2011-12 and 2010-11 annual reports, and was accessible and generally informative. The report assessed the KPIs as being 'achieved', 'substantially achieved', 'partially achieved' or 'not achieved', with a brief explanation supporting each result.9 The use of categories such as these to assess the department's effectiveness in achieving each KPI is particularly helpful when addressing performance against qualitative KPIs, as it facilitates direct comparisons of KPI results within and amongst programs.

1.9 However, the report lacked quantitative KPI targets. The committee notes these were also missing from the 2011-12 and 2010-11 reports. The committee acknowledges the difficulty in assessing the effective operations of departmental programs that involve policy development using quantitative KPI targets. However, in some instances, where KPIs address timeliness, it would be helpful to include a

5 Attorney-General's Department Annual Report 2012-13, pp 34-35, 47-49, 52, 55, 59, 64, 69 and 71. See also Portfolio Budget Statements 2012-13, Attorney-General's Portfolio, pp 13-52, and Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2012-13, Attorney-General's Portfolio, pp 11-39.

6 Attorney-General's Department Annual Report 2012-13, pp 23-71.

7 DPMC, Requirements for Annual Reports, 24 June 2013, Part 3, subsection 11(1).

8 Portfolio Budget Statements 2012-13 Attorney-General's Portfolio, pp 25-36. Also, for performance information on Program 1.8 see Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2012-13 Attorney-General's Portfolio, p. 24.

9 Attorney-General's Department Annual Report 2012-13, pp 34-35, 47-49, 52, 55, 59, 64, 69 and 71.

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quantitative performance target. For example, in Program 1.7 - Australian Government Disaster Financial Support Payments (Program 1.7), one of the KPIs was '[t]imeliness of receipt of assistance'.10 The use of a quantitative performance target in this instance would provide a more accurate assessment as to whether the intended KPI result was achieved and more evidence to support whether the program accomplished its objectives.

1.10 Furthermore, upon closer examination of KPI results for Program 1.7, the committee notes the supporting commentary included quantitative values to report the KPI results, and stated that the KPIs were achieved despite there being no indication of what the intended results or performance targets were for each KPI.11 The

committee suggests that where quantitative figures are provided to present KPI results, they should be assessed against definitive performance standards determined by the department as well as compared to results from previous years.

1.11 The committee reminds the department of best practice for the development of KPIs, which is outlined in the Australian National Audit Office's (ANAO) Development and Implementation of Key Performance Indicators to Support the Outcomes and Programs Framework:

The tendency for entities to rely on qualitative KPIs reduces their ability to measure the results of program activities over time. A mix of effectiveness KPIs, that place greater emphasis on quantitative KPIs and targets, would provide a more measureable basis for performance assessment. Targets, in particular, should be used more often to express quantifiable performance levels to be attained at a future date. By enabling a more direct assessment of performance, the greater use of targets would assist to clarify and simplify the process of performance monitoring.12

Social justice agenda

1.12 The annual report described the department's social justice agenda as being 'founded on the principles of access and equity and the rights of all citizens to live in a just and secure society that accords with the Charter of Public Service in a Culturally

Diverse Society'.13 The department has continued to administer programs and partake in initiatives that contribute to the social justice agenda, and the department progressed work on:

 the development and implementation of an external merits review model for

the DisabilityCare scheme through collaboration with the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) taskforce;14

10 Attorney-General's Department Annual Report 2012-13, p. 69.

11 Attorney-General's Department Annual Report 2012-13, p. 69.

12 Australian National Audit Office, Audit Report No. 5 2011-12, Performance Audit, Development and Implementation of Key Performance Indicators to Support the Outcomes and Programs Framework, p. 53.

13 Attorney-General's Department Annual Report 2012-13, p. 72.

14 Attorney-General's Department Annual Report 2012-13, p. 75.

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 reductions in community and family violence by facilitating the Family

Violence Prevention Legal Services Program, where 14 service providers are funded to provide culturally safe services to 31 identified high-need geographic areas;15 and

 projects to improve Indigenous community safety and reduce Indigenous offending and re-offending. This included 40 projects in the areas of prison throughcare, youth prevention and diversion, restorative justice and community patrols.16

Financial performance

1.13 The department's overall financial performance was briefly outlined in the 2012-13 annual report. The department reported an operating deficit of $19,779 million for 2012-13. This compares to an operating deficit of $78,181 million in 2011-12. The report's discussion and analysis of financial performance did not provide an explanation for the significant difference in operating deficits over the 2012-13 and 2011-12 reporting periods. The operating deficit for the 2012-13 financial period was reported to be primarily attributable to non-appropriated depreciation and amortisation expenses of $21,020 million.17

1.14 The committee notes that administered expenses were $620,018 million, compared to $510,241 million in 2011-12. The 2012-13 expenses included $175,351 million in personal benefits payments to individuals following the floods and bushfire events that occurred early in 2013.18

Conclusion

1.15 The committee draws attention to its earlier comments on performance reporting and KPIs. The report includes most 'suggested' items in addition to 'mandatory' requirements.19 The committee considers the report to be 'apparently satisfactory'.

Department of Immigration and Citizenship

Tabling of report

1.16 The department's annual report for 2012-13 was presented out of session on 29 October 2013 and tabled in the Senate on the 12 November 2013. As a result, the report was available to the committee for examination during the Supplementary Budget Estimates hearings on 18 and 19 November 2013.

15 Attorney-General's Department Annual Report 2012-13, p. 74.

16 Attorney-General's Department Annual Report 2012-13, p. 73.

17 Attorney-General's Department Annual Report 2012-13, p. 15.

18 Attorney-General's Department Annual Report 2012-13, p. 15.

19 The list of requirements in the annual report conforms to DPMC, Requirements for Annual Reports, 24 June 2013, Attachment F.

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Secretary's review

1.17 The secretary's review described the department's development and progress in 2012-13, highlighting major initiatives and challenges. The 2012-13 Migration Program resulted in a total of 190 000 places, which was an increase of 5000 places from the previous year's program. Additionally, a total of 20 019 visas were granted through the 2012-13 Humanitarian Program, making it the largest Humanitarian Program in almost 30 years.20

1.18 The department's first ImmiCards were issued to bridging e visa and protection visa holders, the result of a two year project that streamlined processes across the department, consequently replacing the visa evidence card with a more secure document.21

1.19 Reforms to the subclass 457 visa program were introduced from 1 July 2013 in order to 'strengthen the department's capacity to prevent misuse' of the 457 visa program,22 and the visa simplification and deregulation project was established to enable clients to better understand and navigate the visa framework. The project has seen a reduction in the number of visa subclasses from 149 at the start of the project in 2009, to 99 by July 2013.23

1.20 One of the significant highlights in 2012-13 for the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA) included the introduction of a streamlined approach to complaints handling to improve professional standards and consumer protection, resulting in 'shorter timeframes for resolving complaints and a substantial reduction of outstanding complaint numbers'.24

Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority

1.21 The department presented the Office of the MARA's performance results against deliverables and KPIs that were consistent with those provided in the PBS and PAES.25 The department reported that the Office of the MARA met or exceeded its targets in four of the five KPIs.26

1.22 For example, in relation to the 'percentage of complete registration applications finalised within service standards', the Office of the MARA exceeded its

20 Department of Immigration and Citizenship Annual Report 2012-13, p. 5.

21 Department of Immigration and Citizenship Annual Report 2012-13, p. 5.

22 Department of Immigration and Citizenship Annual Report 2012-13, p. 6.

23 Department of Immigration and Citizenship Annual Report 2012-13, p. 6.

24 Department of Immigration and Citizenship Annual Report 2012-13, p. 7.

25 Department of Immigration and Citizenship Annual Report 2012-13, pp 99-104. See also Portfolio Budget Statements 2012-13, Immigration and Citizenship Portfolio, pp 20-28 and Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2012-13, Immigration and Citizenship Portfolio, pp 24-33.

26 Department of Immigration and Citizenship Annual Report 2012-13, p. 104.

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KPI target of 95 per cent with a result of 97.4 per cent.27 Additionally, the KPI target for the 'percentage of registered migration agents who participated in continuing professional development activities and found them useful' was met with an actual result of greater than 65 per cent.28 The KPI target measuring the 'percentage of complete complaints finalised within service standards' was not met: a 75.8 per cent result was achieved in 2012-13 as opposed to the KPI target of 100 per cent, despite demonstrating an improvement from the 2011-12 result of 70 per cent.29

1.23 Nevertheless, the committee notes improvements in the performance of complaints handling by the Office of the MARA in comparison to 2011-12 outcomes. The committee is aware of the independent review by The Navigator Company that recommended:

 development of a risk model to improve the prioritisation of complaints; and

 further streamlining the existing investigation process for less serious

professional conduct matters.30

1.24 The Office of the MARA implemented the recommendations of the complaints handling review to resolve complaints involving minor issues in a more timely manner with an educative focus, resulting in a continued reduction of on-hand complaint numbers.31 More specifically, the volume of complaints has reportedly decreased by 15.4 per cent from 2011-12.32

Social inclusion agenda

1.25 The annual report provided a brief statement describing the activities and programs administered by the department to promote the social inclusion of new arrivals.33 The department provided settlement services to assist new arrivals to establish themselves in the Australian community, such as the humanitarian settlement services program, the complex case support program, and the settlement grants program.34 Programs such as these enabled access to local services such as health, housing, employment, community and family programs.35 The department also supported other departments and agencies in the development of their first biennial

27 Department of Immigration and Citizenship Annual Report 2012-13, p. 104.

28 Department of Immigration and Citizenship Annual Report 2012-13, p. 104

29 Department of Immigration and Citizenship Annual Report 2012-13, p. 104. See also Committee Hansard, 19 November 2013, p. 20.

30 Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority Annual Report 2011-12, p. 17.

31 Department of Immigration and Citizenship Annual Report 2012-13, p. 104.

32 Committee Hansard, 19 November 2013, p. 20.

33 Department of Immigration and Citizenship Annual Report 2012-13, p. 328.

34 Department of Immigration and Citizenship Annual Report 2012-13, p. 328.

35 Department of Immigration and Citizenship Annual Report 2012-13, p. 328.

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Agency Multicultural Plans, significantly contributing to the implementation of the strengthened multicultural access and equity policy across Australian government.36

Performance reporting

1.26 The department's performance information was comprehensive and well-presented, and included outcome strategies, objectives, deliverables, KPIs and performance results at each program level. The information was arranged logically, and the outcomes and programs structure was presented in a straightforward format that allowed the reader to easily access and compare the information in the annual report to the PBS and PAES.37 As a result, the performance reporting provided a 'clear read' between the annual report and the relevant PBS and PAES.38

1.27 The report contained a performance review of each program, providing an assessment of how far the department has progressed towards achievement of its stated outcomes. Each program review covered major achievements and challenges for the department and included meaningful qualitative and quantitative analysis of migration programs and visa categories, in the form of detailed statistics and supporting discussion. Where possible, historical trends of KPI performance over the last three reporting periods accompanied actual results for 2012-13.39

1.28 In 2012-13, the department reported that the percentage of onshore protection visa applications decided within 90 days in accordance with legislation40 was 51 per cent, falling well below the target of 100 per cent.41 The median number of days taken to decide primary cases rose drastically from 44 days in 2011-12 to 89 days in 2012-13.42 The department identified factors that contributed to KPIs not being met. For example, 86 per cent of decisions not made within the required timeframe were due to department-related delays caused by the 'increased number of arrivals, arrangements for allowing people to apply, the complexity of certain cases that required additional investigation, and resource-related issues'.43

1.29 There were 26 427 protection visa applications and refugee status determination requests from people seeking asylum in Australia during 2012-13,

36 Department of Immigration and Citizenship Annual Report 2012-13, p. 328.

37 Department of Immigration and Citizenship Annual Report 2012-13, pp 26-28. See also Portfolio Budget Statements 2012-13, Immigration and Citizenship Portfolio, pp 13-102 and Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2012-13, Immigration and Citizenship Portfolio, pp 9-108.

38 Department of Immigration and Citizenship Annual Report 2012-13, pp 38-272.

39 Department of Immigration and Citizenship Annual Report 2012-13, pp 38-272.

40 Provisions for protection visa decision-making can be found in subsection 65A of the Migration Act 1958.

41 Department of Immigration and Citizenship Annual Report 2012-13, p. 115.

42 Department of Immigration and Citizenship Annual Report 2012-13, p. 129.

43 Department of Immigration and Citizenship Annual Report 2012-13, p. 129.

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compared to 14 436 in 2011-12,44 (an increase of 83 per cent on the previous year). The difference was predominantly in the number of Irregular Maritime Arrival (IMA) refugee status determination requests received between the two reporting periods, while a similar number of non-IMA protection visa applications were lodged in 2011-12 compared to 2012-13.45 The number of protection visas granted to Irregular Maritime Arrivals (IMAs) and non-IMAs in 2012-13 was similar to the previous reporting period, with 7,504 granted in 2012-13 compared to 7,041 in 2011-12.46

Financial performance

1.30 The department's 2012-13 financial performance was reported as 'strong despite the challenges posed by increased activity and complex operational demands'.47

1.31 An operating deficit of $87.7 million was reported in 2012-13 compared to $98.5 million in 2011-12.48 The department incurred $98.4 million in depreciation and amortisation expenses. Government funding for depreciation and amortisation expenses ceased in 2010-11: continued funding for these items would have resulted in a $7.2 million surplus in 2012-13.49 Factors contributing to the department's financial performance in 2012-13 included:

 a strong focus on performance and associated financial management;

 a continued focus on improving business planning and monthly financial reporting activities; and

 an increase in the government long-term bond rate that reduced the department's employee expenses by approximately $6 million.50

Conclusion

1.32 The annual report closely adheres to the Requirements for Annual Reports and provides a detailed analysis of departmental performance and operations during the year. The committee considers the report to be 'apparently satisfactory'.

44 Department of Immigration and Citizenship Annual Report 2012-13, pp 126-127.

45 Department of Immigration and Citizenship Annual Report 2012-13, p. 127.

46 Department of Immigration and Citizenship Annual Report 2012-13, pp 126-127.

47 Department of Immigration and Citizenship Annual Report 2012-13, p. 30.

48 Department of Immigration and Citizenship Annual Report 2012-13, p. 30.

49 Department of Immigration and Citizenship Annual Report 2012-13, p. 30.

50 Department of Immigration and Citizenship Annual Report 2012-13, p. 30.

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CHAPTER 2

ANNUAL REPORTS OF AGENCIES 2.1 The annual reports of the following agencies were referred to the committee for examination and report during the period 1 May to 31 October 2013:

Attorney-General's Portfolio

Prescribed agencies

 Administrative Appeals Tribunal

 Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity 1

 Australian Crime Commission 2

 Australian Federal Police 3

 Australian Human Rights Commission

 Office of the Australian Information Commissioner

 Australian Institute of Criminology

 Australian Law Reform Commission

 Australian Security Intelligence Organisation

 Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre

 Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions

 Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman 4

 CrimTrac Agency

 Family Court of Australia

 Family Law Council

 Federal Circuit Court of Australia

 Federal Court of Australia

 Insolvency and Trustee Service Australia 5

1 Also stands referred to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity, under the Law Enforcement Integrity Commissioner Act 2006.

2 Also stands referred to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Law Enforcement under the Australian Crime Commission Act 2002.

3 Also stands referred to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Law Enforcement under the Australian Federal Police Act 1979.

4 Also forwarded to the Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee.

5 On 15 August 2013 the Insolvency & Trustee Service Australia was renamed the Australian Financial Security Authority.

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 National Archives of Australia and National Archives of Australia Advisory

Council

 Office of Parliamentary Counsel

Commonwealth authorities

 Australian Government Solicitor

 Australia Council

 Australian Film, Television and Radio School

 Australian National Maritime Museum

 National Film and Sound Archive of Australia

 National Gallery of Australia

 National Library of Australia

 National Museum of Australia

 Screen Australia

Commonwealth companies

 Bundanon Trust Limited

Other bodies

 Classification Board and Classification Review Board

 Copyright Agency Limited

Immigration and Citizenship Portfolio6

Statutory bodies

 Australian Customs and Border Protection Service

 Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority

Consideration of annual reports 2.2 The committee considered, but has not reported on, the annual reports of the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity and the Australian Crime Commission, as the Parliamentary Joint Committee on the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity and the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Law Enforcement have specific responsibility for overseeing these agencies.

2.3 Similarly, the committee has considered, but not reported on, the annual reports of the Australian Federal Police and the Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman, as the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Law Enforcement and the Senate Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee have specific responsibility for overseeing these agencies.

6 Following a resolution of the Senate in November 2013, the portfolio was renamed the Immigration and Border Protection portfolio.

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2.4 On this occasion, the committee has examined in more detail the reports of the Copyright Agency Limited, the National Library of Australia and the Australian Human Rights Commission.

Copyright Agency Limited 2.5 The committee understands that the Copyright Agency Limited (CAL) is a not-for-profit rights management organisation or 'declared collecting society' and operates in accordance with the Corporations Act 2001 as a public company, limited by guarantee.7

2.6 The agency is appointed by the Australian government to manage the statutory licences in the Copyright Act 1968 (Copyright Act).8 The licences regulate the use of text, images and print music, by educational institutions and people with disabilities, and for reproduction by Commonwealth, state and territory governments.9 CAL assists in reproducing, storing and sharing copyright material whilst delivering fair payment to the rights owners of content and managing the resale royalty schemes of artists.10

2.7 The committee corresponded with the agency in 2003 to identify CAL's annual reporting requirements and it was noted that the agency observes obligatory reporting requirements as a declared collecting society, submitting its annual report and accounts of operations for each financial year to the Attorney-General in accordance with section 135ZZD of the Copyright Act. The agency also complies with the requirements in the Attorney-General's Guidelines for Declared Collecting Societies.11

2.8 The 2011-12 annual report of CAL was tabled in the Senate on 25 June 2013, almost one year after the end of the 2011-12 financial year, but during the reporting period for this report on annual reports. Despite this, the report was tabled in accordance with its respective legislative requirements, which provide that:

(1) A collecting society shall, as soon as practicable after the end of each financial year, prepare a report of its operations during that financial year and send a copy of the report to the Minister.

(2) The Minister shall cause a copy of the report sent to the Minister under subsection (1) to be laid before each House of Parliament within 15 sitting days of that House after the receipt of the report by the Minister.12

7 Copyright Agency Limited Annual Report 2011-12, pp 32-33 and 36. See also Copyright Agency Limited Annual Report 2012-13, p. 24.

8 Copyright Agency Limited Annual Report 2011-12, pp 32 and 35.

9 Copyright Agency Limited Annual Report 2011-12, pp 32 and 35.

10 Copyright Agency Limited 2011-12 Annual Report, p. 6.

11 Copyright Agency Limited Annual Report 2011-12, pp 35-36.

12 Copyright Act 1968, subsections 135ZZD(1) and (2).

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2.9 The committee is satisfied that the annual report of CAL met all of its reporting requirements under section 135ZZD of the Copyright Act. Furthermore, as a public company limited by guarantee,13 the agency adequately addressed its reporting responsibilities towards its members. Useful information was included in the report, such as a description of the licences CAL offers to its members in order to licence certain uses of their material, as well as the statutory licences CAL is required to manage as a consequence of its appointment as a collecting society by the Australian government.14 The report also included informative statistics relating to the collection of licence fees and payments to content creators.15

2.10 Some possible areas for improvement were identified by the committee. For example, the report is separated into three parts, each with its own table of contents. The committee suggests integrating the information into a single table of contents at the beginning of the report to ensure information can be easily located. Similarly, the addition of an index would be a useful reference tool. Further, the report lists the legislation and guidelines that outline the agency's governance and accountability obligations.16 The committee suggests supplementing this information with the specific provisions in the legislation that are applicable to the preparation of the annual report. This would be particularly instructive, as the committee understands it has not been general practice for the agency to include a copy of the letter of transmittal in the annual report for some years.

2.11 The agency reported an increase in membership of 4515 members in 2011-12, representing the largest number recorded in a year, and an eighty per cent increase from the last two reporting periods, bringing total membership in 2011-12 to 24 342 members.17 The agency saw an increase in revenue from the previous year of 2.6 per

cent, reporting total revenue of $126.1 million in 2011-12.18 Amongst the company activities outlined in the Chair's report was the achievement during the 2011-12 reporting period of the distribution of a total of one billion dollars to their membership since the establishment of the agency, a significant milestone.19

2.12 The committee considers the report of the CAL to be 'apparently satisfactory'.

National Library of Australia 2.13 The National Library of Australia is a statutory body established under section 5 of the National Library Act 1960. It is also a Commonwealth authority under the CAC Act for annual reporting purposes and is therefore required to comply with

13 Copyright Agency Limited Annual Report 2011-12, p. 35.

14 Copyright Agency Limited Annual Report 2011-12, pp 43-55.

15 Copyright Agency Limited Annual Report 2011-12, pp 56-72.

16 Copyright Agency Limited Annual Report 2011-12, p. 35.

17 Copyright Agency Limited Annual Report 2011-12, p. 12.

18 Copyright Agency Limited Annual Report 2011-12, p. 18.

19 Copyright Agency Limited Annual Report 2011-12, p. 4.

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ministerial orders under section 48 of the CAC Act, which are provided in the Commonwealth Authorities (Annual Reporting) Orders 2011.

2.14 The 2012-13 annual report of the National Library of Australia was submitted to the minister on 16 October 2013 and presented out of session on 31 October 2013. The agency just missed the deadline under subsection 9(1) of the CAC Act, which requires the report to be provided to the responsible minister by the 15th day of the 4th month after the end of the financial year. The committee is not aware of any extensions granted by the minister under subsection 34C(5) of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901.

2.15 The committee is pleased to note that the annual report of the National Library of Australia 2012-13 was well-presented, and the content included in the report was relevant, coherent and concise.

2.16 The Director-General's review highlighted significant developments throughout the reporting period. Among them were the recent advances in the Library's ongoing transition from a print-based collecting model to a digital library model.20 The report's performance information summarised the agency's involvement in major initiatives over the reporting period in response to the changing digital environment.

2.17 For example, the Annual Report on Operations included the agency's progress in redeveloping its digital infrastructure to enable more effective digitisation and storage of its collections through the Digital Library Infrastructure Replacement Project. The first phase of the project's implementation began in early 2013, with commencement of digitisation scheduled for 2013-14.21

2.18 Of particular interest to the committee was the Library's engagement in consultations for the extension of legal deposit provisions to include material published in digital form.22 The realisation of the need for a legislative framework, enabling the preservation of material published in digital form was realised through a variety of contributing factors including the significant decline in the number of Australian print publications received through legal deposit in recent years, with a notable decrease in 2012-13.23

2.19 In conclusion, the committee considers the annual report of the National Library of Australia to be 'apparently satisfactory', with close adherence to the reporting requirements.

20 National Library of Australia Annual Report 2012-13, p. 5.

21 National Library of Australia Annual Report 2012-13, pp 5-6 and 54.

22 National Library of Australia Annual Report 2012-13, pp 5-6 and 54.

23 National Library of Australia Annual Report 2012-13, p. 55.

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Australian Human Rights Commission 2.20 The 2012-13 annual report of the Australian Human Rights Commission (the commission) was presented out of session in a timely manner on the 29 October 2013 and tabled in the Senate on the 12 November 2013.

2.21 The commission is a national independent statutory body, subject to annual reporting requirements under section 45 of its enabling legislation, the Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986 (AHRC Act).24 Furthermore, as a prescribed agency under the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (FMA Act) the commission is also obliged to prepare annual reports according to the criteria in the Requirements for Annual Reports.25 The committee finds that generally, the information included in the annual report gave a fair overview of the commission's role, functions, and work throughout the year. The report included material that is largely effective in meeting the Requirements for Annual Reports to report on performance, management and accountability and the financial position of the commission throughout the 2012-13 reporting period.

2.22 However, the committee expresses its concern at the commission's apparent disregard for some of the reporting obligations in the Requirements for Annual Reports, as demonstrated by the repeated omission of a mandatory and integral reporting requirement from the commission's annual report in recent years; namely the compliance index, set out in Attachment F of the Annual Reporting Requirements.26

2.23 The inclusion of a compliance index in the commission's annual report would vastly improve the report's clarity by increasing the accessibility of the information. Making the reporting criteria more available for examination would also enhance the transparency with which the commission reports on its yearly activities, by ensuring the annual report fulfils its main function of appropriately providing information on organisational administration and performance for parliamentary scrutiny.

2.24 The committee finds the agency's performance reporting to provide a fair evaluation of most of the commission's KPIs set out in the Portfolio Budget Statements (PBS);27 however, the committee could not locate any information in the annual report describing the commission's performance against the first and last KPIs listed in the PBS, specifically:

 customer/stakeholder survey to rate the effectiveness of major educational and promotional activity; and

 extent of contact with government, community and industry groups. 28

24 Australian Human Rights Commission Annual Report 2012-13, p. 1.

25 DPMC, Requirements for Annual Reports, 24 June 2013, Part 1, subsection 3(1).

26 DPMC, Requirements for Annual Reports, 24 June 2013, Attachment F.

27 Portfolio Budget Statements 2012-13, Attorney-General's Portfolio, pp 185-202.

28 Portfolio Budget Statements 2012-13, Attorney-General's Portfolio, p. 191.

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2.25 Furthermore, a 'clear read' between the PBS and annual report was not achieved, as much of the information included in the PBS that gives context to the commission's outcome and stated performance targets was not included in the annual report (such as the objectives and deliverables of the agency's program). The commission's stated outcome and program were not referred to in performance reporting, although they were included in other areas of the report, in the context of the departmental overview and financial reporting.29

2.26 The committee suggests including the commission's planned outcomes and objectives from the PBS in the annual report, to accompany the actual results against KPIs for the reporting period. This would provide valuable background to the commission's own evaluation of its effectiveness in achieving planned outcomes.

2.27 Conversely, the report provided a comprehensive analysis of the agency's performance against the three KPIs that address the commission's complaints handling in 2012-13.30 The committee understands a large component of the commission's work is attributed to resolving discrimination and human rights complaints,31 and is pleased to note that the commission exceeded all of the KPI targets associated with complaint handling.32 The report also included a useful breakdown and analysis of complaint statistics.33 The committee notes there was a 35 per cent decrease in complaints received under the AHRC Act, which the report attributed to a decrease in the number of complaints about immigration detention.34

2.28 The committee considers the Australian Human Rights Commission annual report 2012-13 to be 'apparently satisfactory', but expresses some concern about its overall quality due to the absence of some reporting requirements. The committee is hopeful there will be improvements in the reporting standards of annual reports from the commission in the future.

29 Australian Human Rights Commission Annual Report 2012-13, pp 2, 81, 116-119 and 122- 123.

30 Australian Human Rights Commission Annual Report 2012-13, pp 61 and 124-147.

31 Australian Human Rights Commission Annual Report 2012-13, p. 3.

32 Australian Human Rights Commission Annual Report 2012-13, p. 61.

33 Australian Human Rights Commission Annual Report 2012-13, pp 124-147.

34 Australian Human Rights Commission Annual Report 2012-13, p. 124.

253

254

CHAPTER 3

REPORTS ON THE OPERATION OF ACTS AND PROGRAMS 3.1 Standing Order 25(20) does not require that consideration of reports include 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 inspections of records under section 55 of the Surveillance Devices Act 2004 (inspections finalised between 1 July - 31 December 2012); 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 2012 to 28 February 2013 (published by the Refugee Review Tribunal).

Report to the Attorney-General on the results of inspections of records under section 55 of the Surveillance Devices Act 2004 3.2 Subsection 55(1) of the Surveillance Devices Act 2004 (SD Act) requires the Commonwealth Ombudsman (Ombudsman) to inspect the records of each law enforcement agency to determine the extent of their compliance with the SD Act. Under subsection 6(1) of the SD Act, 'law enforcement agency' is defined as including the Australian Crime Commission (ACC), the Australian Federal Police (AFP), the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity (ACLEI), state and territory police forces, and other specified state and territory law enforcement agencies.1 Section 61 of the SD Act requires the Ombudsman to report to the relevant minister (the Commonwealth Attorney-General) at six-monthly intervals on the results of each inspection. Each report covers inspections that are finalised within the reporting period and inspection results are considered finalised once the Ombudsman's internal report to the agency is completed and the agency has been provided the opportunity to comment on findings.2

3.3 The report reviewed by the committee covers the inspections finalised between 1 July and 31 December 2012, and examines the ACC, the AFP and the Victoria Police. The report is informative and well-presented. It includes the objective and scope of the inspections3 in addition to detailed inspection results outlining the

1 Report to the Attorney-General on the results of inspections of records under s 55 of the Surveillance Devices Act 2004, March 2013, p. 1.

2 Report to the Attorney-General on the results of inspections of records under s 55 of the Surveillance Devices Act 2004, March 2013, p. 1.

3 Report to the Attorney-General on the results of inspections of records under s 55 of the Surveillance Devices Act 2004, March 2013, p. 2.

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progress made since the previous report and the issues that arose from the inspection, for each law enforcement agency examined during the reporting period.

3.4 The objective of the inspection is to determine the extent of compliance with the Act by agencies and their law enforcement officers, using the following criteria to asses compliance:

1. Were applications for warrants and authorisations properly made?

2. Were warrants and authorisations properly issued?

3. Where surveillance devices used lawfully?

4. Were revocations or warrants properly made?

5. Were records properly kept and used by the agency?

6. Were reports properly made by the agency? 4

3.5 Based on the criteria provided, the inspection found the ACC to be compliant with the SD Act. However, four instances of non-compliance were identified. These instances concerned occasions where a requirement to specify the nature of the

authorisation sought in relation to verbal applications for tracking device authorisations was not met during the inspection, and the agency did not meet the destruction requirements under subsection 46(1)(b).5

3.6 The Ombudsman's report to the ACC suggested that measures be taken to ensure sufficient information is recorded when making verbal applications for tracking device authorisations to meet the requirements of the SD Act. The ACC subsequently advised that it has updated its templates to include a prompt for applicants to detail the nature of the authorisation sought.6 The ACC self-disclosed that protected information obtained under 15 warrants was retained longer than the authorised timeframe without the chief officer's certification and as a result the ACC did not meet the requirements under section 46(1)(b)(ii) of the SD Act in these instances.7

3.7 The AFP was assessed as compliant with the SD Act. There were two exceptions: where the AFP did not notify the Attorney-General of extraterritorial surveillance activities, and the AFP did not meet the destruction requirements under subsection 46(1)(b).8

4 Report to the Attorney-General on the results of inspections of records under s 55 of the Surveillance Devices Act 2004, March 2013, p. 2.

5 Report to the Attorney-General on the results of inspections of records under s 55 of the Surveillance Devices Act 2004, March 2013, p. 4.

6 Report to the Attorney-General on the results of inspections of records under s 55 of the Surveillance Devices Act 2004, March 2013, p. 5.

7 Report to the Attorney-General on the results of inspections of records under s 55 of the Surveillance Devices Act 2004, March 2013, p. 6.

8 Report to the Attorney-General on the results of inspections of records under s 55 of the Surveillance Devices Act 2004, March 2013, p. 3.

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3.8 The AFP has advised that it will update existing procedures to address the issues resulting in non-compliance to ensure that in future, the Attorney-General is notified of extraterritorial surveillance in a timely manner under section 42(6) of the SD Act.9 Additionally, the Ombudsman identified 32 instances of retaining protected information longer then the authorised timeframe without the required certification from the Commissioner of the AFP.10 Further to this, on the 27 June 2012 the AFP advised that the protected information pertaining to the 32 records had been destroyed or retained with the Commissioner's certification and that retention and destruction procedures have been updated to ensure they meet the requirements under the SD Act.11

3.9 No recommendations were made to the law enforcement agencies examined in the report as a result of the inspections carried out by the Ombudsman.

Report pursuant to Section 440A of the Migration Act on the conduct of Refugee Review Tribunal reviews not completed within 90 days 3.10 Section 440A of the Migration Act 1958 (Migration Act) requires the Refugee Review Tribunal (RRT) to report on the conduct of reviews not completed within 90 days. The RRT is required to report every four months. The report reviewed by the committee covers the period 1 November 2012 to 28 February 2013.

3.11 The table below sets out the number of RRT reviews completed within various timeframes (for example, within or outside of the reporting period, and if within the reporting period, within or outside of the 90 day decision-making period),

as well as the corresponding statistics that were recorded for the previous two reporting periods.12

3.12 The average processing time for reviews completed during the reporting period (either within or outside the 90 day decision period) was 155 days for the

9 Report to the Attorney-General on the results of inspections of records under s 55 of the Surveillance Devices Act 2004, March 2013, p. 8.

10 Report to the Attorney-General on the results of inspections of records under s 55 of the Surveillance Devices Act 2004, March 2013, p. 8.

11 Report to the Attorney-General on the results of inspections of records under s 55 of the Surveillance Devices Act 2004, March 2013, p. 8.

12 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 2012 to 28 February 2013, p. 1; 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 July 2012 to 31 October 2012, p. 1; 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 March 2012 to 30 June 2012, p. 1.

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period 1 November 2012 to 28 February 2013 compared to a similar result of 148 days for the previous reporting period of 1 July 2012 to 31 October 2012. 13

1 March 2012 to

30 June 2012 1 July 2012 to 31 October 2012

1 November 2012 to 28 February 2013

Number of RRT reviews decided outside of the 90 day decision-making period

847

(or 74% of 1,147 reviews)

720

(or 66% of 1,083 reviews)

838

(or 66% of 1,265 reviews)

Number of RRT reviews decided within the 90 day decision-making period (or RRT had no jurisdiction)

300

(or 26% of 1,147 reviews)

363

(or 34% of 1,083 reviews)

427

(or 34% of 1,265 reviews)

Total number of RRT reviews completed during the reporting period

1,147 1,083 1,265

Total number of RRT reviews incomplete after the 90 day decision-making period and at the end of the reporting period

642

(or 43% of 1,501 active reviews on hand at 30.06.12)

816

(or 36% of 2,279 active reviews on hand at

21.10.12)

1,416

(or 53% of 2,664 active reviews on hand at 28.02.13)

Total number of RRT reviews on hand at the end of the reporting period.

1,501 2,279 2,664

3.13 The Migration Review Tribunal (MRT) and Refugee Review Tribunal (RRT) has maintained a KPI target of 70 per cent of RRT cases decided within 90 calendar days during the last three reporting periods.14

13 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 2012 to 28 February 2013, p. 1; 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 July 2012 to 31 October 2012, p. 1.

14 Migration Review Tribunal - Refugee Review Tribunal Annual Report 2012-13, p. 15.

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3.14 The committee notes that the percentage of RRT reviews completed within the decision period of 90 days has increased to 34 per cent for the two most recent reporting periods, compared to 26 per cent for the period 1 March to 30 June 2012, yet remains below the MRT-RRT's KPI target of 70 per cent.

3.15 Common reasons attributed to reviews completed within the reporting period but not within the 90 day decision-making period for the report covering 1 November 2012 to 28 February 2013 were: applicant/adviser related; compliance with statutory procedural requirements; third party responsibility; and tribunal responsibility.15

3.16 The committee notes that the total number of RRT reviews that remain on hand at the end of the reporting period has significantly increased over the course of time from the period 1 March 2012 to 28 February 2013. Comparatively, the percentage of RRT reviews not completed at the end of the reporting period has fluctuated, and in the most recent report, comprised 53 per cent of the active reviews on hand at 28 February 2013. Reasons attributed to the delays were similar to those provided earlier, for reviews completed within the reporting period but not within the 90 day decision-making period.

3.17 RRT reviews involving applicants in detention and irregular maritime arrivals (IMAs) are given highest priority. Approximately 69 per cent of reviews of applicants in detention and 59 per cent of IMA reviews were decided within 90 days during the reporting period 1 November 2012 to 28 February 2013.16

3.18 The report identified the challenge for the tribunals in balancing priorities across the RRT and MRT caseloads, both of which have grown significantly from previous years.17

Senator the Hon Ian Macdonald Chair

15 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 2012 to 28 February 2013.

16 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 2012 to 28 February 2013. p. 1.

17 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 2012 to 28 February 2013. p. 1.

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260

APPENDIX 1

Reports tabled during the period 1 May 2013 and 31 October 2013 and referred to the committee

Department/authority/

operation of an act or program

Date

submitted to minister/date received by minister

Date tabled in Senate (received in Senate out

of session)

Date tabled in the House of Reps

Attorney-General's Portfolio

Department/authority - Report

Australian Human Rights Commission

- Report for 2011-12 - Corrigendum

15.4.13/

15.4.13

14.5.13 (30.4.13)

14.5.13

Australian Human Rights Commission

- Report No.59 - DA v Commonwealth of Australia (Australian Federal Police)

11.2.13/ 11.2.13

14.5.13 (11.4.13)

14.5.13

Australian Human Rights Framework

- National Human Rights Action Plan Report for 2012.

No legislative requirement to table the report

4.3.13/ 4.3.13

14.5.13 (9.5.13)

14.5.13

Australian Law Reform Commission - Report No.114 - Family violence: a national legal response - Government response, dated June 2013.

No legislative requirement to table the report.

30.5.13/ 30.5.13

25.6.13 25.6.13

Australian Law Reform Commission - Report No.120 - Access all ages: Older workers and Commonwealth laws:

- Final report, dated March 2013.

- Summary report, dated March 2013.

10.4.13/

10.4.13

18.6.13 30.5.13

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Council of Australian Governments - Review of counter-terrorism legislation. 1.3.13/ 1.3.13

14.5.13 14.5.13

Copyright Agency Limited

- Annual Report for 2011-12.

27.5.13/ 27.5.13 (Attorney- General)

24.4.13/ 24.4.13 (Minister for the Arts)

25.6.13 20.6.13

United Nations - Convention on the Rights of the Child - Committee on the Rights of the Child - Consideration of reports submitted by State parties - Concluding observations: Australia - Sixtieth session, 29 May to 15 June 2012.

No legislative requirement to table the report.

29.4.13/ 29.4.13

18.6.13 30.5.13

Administrative Appeals Tribunal

- Report for 2012-13

14.10.13/

14.10.13

12.11.13

(17.10.13) 13.11.13

Attorney-General’s Department

- Report for 2012-13

27.9.13/

27.9.13

12.11.13

(30.10.13) 13.11.13

Defence Abuse Response Taskforce - Third Interim Report to the Attorney-General and Minister for Defence, dated September 2013

26.9.13/

26.9.13

12.11.13

(4.10.13) 13.11.13

Australia Council - Report for 2012-13 14.10.13/

14.10.13

12.11.2013

(30.10.13) 13.11.13

Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity - Report of the Integrity

Commissioner for 2012-131

3.10.13/

3.10.13

12.11.13

(29.10.13) 13.11.13

Australian Crime Commission

- Report for 2012-132

1.10.13/

1.10.13

12.11.13

(30.10.13) 13.11.13

1 Also stands referred to the Joint Committee on the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity, under the Law Enforcement Integrity Commissioner Act 2006.

2 Also stands referred to the Joint Committee on Law Enforcement, under the Australian Crime Commission Act 2002.

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Australian Federal Police

- Report for 2012-133

26.9.13/

26.9.13

12.11.13

(17.10.13) 13.11.13

Australian Film, Television and Radio School

- Report for 2012-13

14.10.13/

14.10.13

12.11.13

(23.10.13) 13.11.13

Australian Government Solicitor

- Report for 2012-13

11.10.13/

11.10.13

12.11.13

(24.10.13) 13.11.13

Australian Human Rights Commission

- Report for 2012-13

17.10.13/

17.10.13

12.11.13

(29.10.13) 13.11.13

Australian Human Rights Commission - Audit report - Review into the treatment of women at the Australian Defence Force Academy, dated July 2013

18.7.13/

18.7.13

12.11.13

(23.7.13) 13.11.13

Australian Information Commissioner

- Report for 2012-13

22.10.13/

22.10.13

12.11.13

(30.10.13) 13.11.13

Australian Institute of Criminology

- Report for 2012-13

27.9.13/

27.9.13

12.11.13

(29.10.13) 13.11.13

Australian Law Reform Commission - Report No. 121 - Report for 2012-13 15.10.13/ 15.10.13

12.11.13

(23.10.13) 13.11.13

Australian National Maritime Museum

- Report for 2012-13

16.10.13/

16.10.13

12.11.13

(30.10.13) 13.11.13

Australian Security Intelligence Organisation

- Report for 2012-13

15.10.13/

15.10.13

12.11.13

(31.10.13) 13.11.13

Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre - Report for 2012-13 16.10.13/ 16.10.13

12.11.13

(29.10.13) 13.11.13

Bundanon Trust Limited - Report for 2012-13 15.10.13/

15.10.13

12.11.13

(31.10.13) 13.11.13

3 Also stands referred to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Law Enforcement, under the Australian Federal Police Act 1979.

263

Page 26

Classification Board and Classification Review Board - Reports for 2012-13 11.10.13/ 11.10.13

12.11.13

(18.10.13) 13.11.13

Commonwealth Director of Public

Prosecutions - Report for 2012-13 2.10.13/ 2.10.13

12.11.13

(31.10.13) 13.11.13

Commonwealth Ombudsman

- Report for 2012-134

15.10.13/

23.10.13

12.11.13

(30.10.13) 13.11.13

CrimTrac Agency - Report for 2012-13 26.9.13/

26.9.13

12.11.13

(29.10.13) 13.11.13

Family Court of Australia

- Report for 2012-13

14.10.13/

14.10.13

12.11.13

(23.10.13) 13.11.13

Family Law Council - Report for 2012-13 9.10.13/

9.10.13

12.11.13

(23.10.13) 13.11.13

Federal Circuit Court of Australia

- Report for 2012-13

15.10.13/

15.10.13

12.11.13

(24.10.13) 13.11.13

Federal Court of Australia

- Report for 2012-13 including the National Native Title Tribunal report for 2012-13.

22.10.13/

22.10.13

12.11.13

(24.10.13) 13.11.13

Insolvency and Trustee Service Australia5 - Report for 2012-13, including reports on the operation of the Bankruptcy Act 1966 and Personal Property Securities Act 2009

9.10.13/

9.10.13

12.11.13

(30.10.13) 13.11.13

National Archives of Australia and National Archives of Australia Advisory Council

- Report for 2012-13

16.10.13/

16.10.13

12.11.13

(31.10.13) 13.11.13

National Film and Sound Archive

- Report for 2012-13

11.10.13/

11.10.13

12.11.13

(30.10.13) 13.11.13

4 Also forwarded to the Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee.

5 On 15 August 2013 the Insolvency & Trustee Service Australia was renamed the Australian Financial Security Authority.

264

Page 27

National Gallery of Australia

- Report for 2012-13

11.10.13/

11.10.13

12.11.13

(23.10.13) 13.11.13

National Library of Australia

- Report for 2012-13

16.10.13/

16.10.13

12.11.13

(31.10.13) 13.11.13

National Museum of Australia

- Report for 2012-13

11.10.13/

11.10.13

12.11.13

(31.10.13) 13.11.13

Office of Parliamentary Counsel

- Report for 2012-13

18.10.13/

18.10.13

12.11.13

(30.10.13) 13.11.13

Public Lending Right Committee

- Report for 2012-13

11.10.13/

11.10.13

12.11.13

(30.10.13) 13.11.13

Screen Australia - Report for 2012-13 14.10.13/

14.10.13

12.11.13

(24.10.13) 13.11.13

Operation of an act/program

Surveillance Devices Act 2004 -

Commonwealth Ombudsman's reports on inspections of surveillance device records for the period 1 July to 31 December 2012 - Australian Crime Commission and Australian Federal Police for the period 1 July to

31 December 2011 - Victoria Police for the period 1 July 2011 to 30 June 2012.

22.4.13/

22.4.13

14.5.13

(9.5.13)

14.5.13

War Crimes Act 1945 - Annual report for 2011-12 on the operation of the Act. 12.2.13/ 12.2.13

18.6.13 29.5.13

Australian Federal Police Act 1979 - Annual report for 2012-13 on the Commonwealth Ombudsman's activities under Part V of the Australian Federal Police Act 1979

No

ministerial approval required to table the

report.

12.11.13

(1.10.13)

13.11.13

Crimes Act 1914 - Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity - Reports 2012-13

- Authorisations for the acquisition and use of assumed identities

- Witness identity protection certificates

4.10.13/

4.10.13

12.11.13

(29.10.13)

13.11.13

265

Page 28

Crimes Act 1914

Authorisations for the acquisition and use of assumed identities - Australian Federal Police - Report for 2012-13

26.9.13/

26.9.13

12.11.13

(17.10.13)

13.11.13

Crimes Act 1914

Controlled operations - Report for 2012-13

26.9.13/

26.9.13

12.11.13

(17.10.13)

13.11.13

Freedom of Information Act 1982 and Australian Information Commissioner Act 2010 — Review on the operation of the Acts — Report by Mr Allan Hawke AC, dated 1 July 2013

3.7.13/

3.7.13

12.11.13

(2.8.13)

13.11.13

Witness Protection Act 1994 - Report for 2012-13 on the operation of the National Witness Protection Program.

26.9.13/

26.9.13

12.11.13

(17.10.13)

13.11.13

Immigration and Citizenship Portfolio

Department/authority - Report

Department of Immigration and Citizenship

- Report for 2012-13

24.9.13/

25.9.13

12.11.13

(29.10.13) 13.11.13

Department of Immigration and Citizenship - Access and equity in government services

- Report for 2010-12

31.5.13/

5.6.13

No

legislative requirement to table the report.

12.11.13

(26.7.13)

13.11.13

Migration Agents Registration Authority

- Report for 2012-13

26.9.13/

30.9.13

12.11.13

(29.10.13) 13.11.13

Australian Customs and Border Protection Service - Report for 2012-13 2.10.13/ 2.10.13

12.11.13

(31.10.13) 13.11.13

266

Page 29

Migration Act 1958

Section 486O - Assessment of detention arrangements - Personal identifiers: 741/12, 745/12, 815/12, 818/12, 822/12, 826-7/12, 835/12, 837/12, 839-841/12, 845/12, 848/12, 852/12, 865-6/12, 868/12, 871/12, 877-8/12, 949/12, 961-963/12, 965-6/12, 974-978/12, 980-1/12, 986-988/12, 1027/12, 1044/12, 1046-1049/12, 1060-1/12, 1063/12, 1065- 1072/12, 1101-1103/12, 1105/12, 1107/12, 1109-10/12, 1114/12, 1117/12, 1119/12, 1121- 1126/12, 1132/13, 1135/13, 1139-1141/13, 1148/13, 1152/13, 1154-1157/13, 1159- 1165/13, 1168-1197/13, 1201-1213/13, 1215- 1220/13, 1222-1262/13, 1264-1298/13, 1300- 1335/13, 1337-1357/13, 1359-1366/13, 1369- 70/13, 1372/13, 1374-5/13, 1377/13, 1379/13, 1381/13, 1384-1392/13, 1394-5/13, 1407- 1421/13, 1423/13, 1425-6/13, 1428-1437/13, 1458-1466/13, 1469-1476/13, 1478--1480/13, 1482/13

- Commonwealth Ombudsman's reports.

- Government response to Ombudsman's reports, dated 21 June 2013.

06.06.13/ 06.06.13 26.06.2013 26.6.13

Reports for the period 1 November 2012 to 28 February 2013

- Section 440A - Conduct of Refugee Review Tribunal reviews not

completed within 90 days.

11.4.13/ 11.4.13

19.6.13 19.6.13

Reports for the period 1 November 2012 to 28 February 2013

- Section 91Y - Protection visa

processing taking more than 90 days.

22.4.13/ 24.4.13

19.6.13 19.6.13

267

268

The Senate

Rural and Regional Affairs

and Transport

Legislation Committee

Annual reports (No. 1 of 2014)

March 2014

269

 Commonwealth of Australia 2014

ISBN 978-1-74229-958-7

This document was produced from camera-ready copy prepared by the Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee, and printed by the Senate Printing Unit, Department of the Senate, Parliament House, Canberra.

ii

270

Membership of the Committee Members

Senator the Hon Bill Heffernan LP, New South Wales Chair

Senator Glenn Sterle ALP, Western

Australia

Deputy Chair

Senator the Hon Ronald Boswell (to 3 March 2014) NATS, Queensland

Senator Sean Edwards LP, South Australia

Senator Sue Lines

Senator Barry O'Sullivan (from 3 March 2014)

ALP, Western Australia

NATS, Queensland

Senator Rachel Siewert AG, Western Australia

iii

271

Committee Secretariat

Mr Tim Watling, Secretary Ms Kirsty Cattanach, Research Officer (until 31 January 2014) Ms Elise Williamson, Research Officer Ms Lauren Carnevale, Administration Officer

PO Box 6100 Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600

phone: (02) 6277 3511 fax: (02) 6277 5811 e-mail: rrat.sen@aph.gov.au internet:http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Rural_an d_Regional_Affairs_and_Transport/Annual_Reports

iv

272

Table of contents

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

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

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

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

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

Changes to the Administrative Arrangements Orders ............................................ 2

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

Reports not examined ............................................................................................. 3

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

Timeliness in tabling annual reports ...................................................................... 4

Comments on reports .............................................................................................. 4

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

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

Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry ................................................ 5

Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority ................................... 6

Department of Infrastructure and Transport ........................................................... 6

Civil Aviation Safety Authority ............................................................................. 7

Appendix 1 ......................................................................................................... 11

Annual reports referred during the period 1 May to 31 October 2013 ........... 11

Agriculture portfolio ............................................................................................. 11

Infrastructure and Regional Development Portfolio ............................................ 12

273

vi

274

Chapter 1

Overview

1.1 This is the Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee's (the Committee) first report on annual reports for 2014. The committee is responsible for examining the annual reports of departments and agencies within the portfolios of:

• Agriculture; and

• Infrastructure and Regional Development. 1

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

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2

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 the government's 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.

Changes to the Administrative Arrangements Orders

1.4 The committee notes the following changes were made to the Administrative Arrangements Orders on 18 September 2013:

• the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry is now known as the Department of Agriculture;

• functions of the former Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport were transferred to the Department of Infrastructure and Transport, now known as the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development; and

• the Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport

(Regional Australia) was abolished2 and its functions transferred to the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, the Department of Health and the Attorney-Generals' Department.3

Reports referred to the committee

1.5 In accordance with Standing Order 25(20)(f) this report examines those annual reports tabled between 1 May 2013 and 31 October 2013. The committee examined the following reports:

Agriculture Portfolio

• Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—Report for 2012-13;

• Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority—Report for

2012-13;

• Wine Australia Corporation—Report for 2012-13

Infrastructure and Regional Development Portfolio

• Department of Infrastructure and Transport—Report for 2012-13;

2 The Hon. Tony Abbott, MP, Prime Minister of Australia, 'The Coalition will restore strong, stable and accountable government', media release, 18 September 2013. For more information see http://www.pm.gov.au/media/2013-09-18/coalition-will-restore-strong-stable-and-accountable-government

3 Commonwealth of Australia, Administrative Arrangements Orders, 18 September 2013, pp 4-8, 22-24 and 30-32. For more information see http://www.dpmc.gov.au/parliamentary

276

3

• Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and

Sport—Report for 2012-13;

• Australian Maritime Safety Authority—Report for 2012-13;

• Australian River Co. Limited—Annual Report for 2012;

• Australian Transport Safety Bureau—Report for 2012-13;

• Civil Aviation Safety Authority—Report for 2012-13;

• International Air Services Commission—Report for 2012-13; and

• Moorebank Intermodal Company—Report for 2013.

1.6 A complete list of reports referred to the committee during the period 1 May to 31 October 2013 (including those not examined) appears at Appendix 1.

Reports not examined

1.7 The committee is not obliged to report on Acts, statements of corporate intent, surveys, corporate plans or errata. The following five documents were referred to the committee but have not been examined:

• Air Services Act 1995—Airservices Australia Corporate Plan 2013-2018;

• Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry Act 1997—Live-stock mortalities during exports by sea—Report for the reporting period 1 January to 30 June 2013;

• Civil Aviation Act 1988—Civil Aviation Safety Authority Corporate Plan

2013-14 to 2015-16;

• Moorebank Intermodal Company—Statement of Corporate Intent

2013-2014; and

• Sydney Airport Demand Management Act 1997—Quarterly report on the maximum movement limit for Sydney Airport for the period 1 April to 30 June 2013.

Method of assessment

1.8 Senate Standing Orders require the committee to examine the annual reports referred to it to determine whether they are timely and ‘apparently satisfactory’. In forming its assessment, the committee considers whether the reports comply with the relevant legislation and guidelines for the preparation of annual reports:

• 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 (Requirements for Annual Reports), Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C), approved by the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit and updated by PM&C on 24 June 2013;

277

4

• for Commonwealth authorities and companies: the Commonwealth

Authorities and Companies Act 1997 (the CAC Act), sections 9, 36 and 48, the Commonwealth Authorities (Annual Reporting) Orders 2011, the Commonwealth Companies (Annual Reporting) Orders 2011 (CAC Orders) and the requirements of the Corporations Act 2001; 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.

Timeliness in tabling annual reports

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

1.10 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.4 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.5 Where the financial year ends on 30 June, this deadline translates to 15 October.

1.11 Where an agency's own legislation provides a timeframe for its annual report, an alternative timeframe applies. However, the committee reminds such bodies that it is the Government's policy that all annual reports should be tabled in Parliament by 31 October. 6

Comments on reports

1.12 The committee considers that the Department of Infrastructure and Transport and the Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport have fulfilled the reporting requirements to a high standard.

4 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports, Executive Agencies and FMA Act Bodies, 28 June 2012, p. 2.

5 Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997, s. 9.

6 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies and FMA Act Bodies, 28 June 2012, p. 2.

278

Chapter 2

Review of annual reports

2.1 This chapter examines, in greater detail, selected annual reports received during the period 1 May to 31 October 2013, and provides the Senate with information that may be of particular interest. The reports of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry; Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority; Department of Infrastructure and Transport; Civil Aviation Safety Authority; and the Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport are discussed in this chapter.

Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry 2.2 The secretary's review highlighted the Department's major activities including the release of the national food plan, which outlined a strategic approach to food policy across the supply chain; the implementation across all markets of the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS); continued work on the biosecurity reform agenda with progress made on the construction of the new post-entry quarantine facility in Victoria; and the completion of the review of the Commonwealth's fisheries arrangements.1

2.3 The department developed and launched the Rural Research and Development Policy Statement (the statement) in response to the Productivity Commission's inquiry into rural research and development corporations. The statement is structured around four key themes:

(i) increased transparency and accountability in the Research and Development Corporations Model;

(ii) improved coordination and priority setting across the whole research and development system;

(iii) an increased range of ways to pursue productivity growth; and

(iv) increased operational efficiencies and value for money on research and development investment.2

2.4 The committee notes that the department achieved 107 of its 125 key performance indicators. Of the remaining 18 key performance indicators, ten were 'partially met', four were 'not met' while another four were not applicable.3

2.5 The committee considers the department's Annual Report 2012-13 to be well presented and compliant with the reporting requirements.

1 Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF), Annual Report 2012-13, pp 2-3.

2 DAFF, Annual Report 2012-13, pp 3 and 74.

3 DAFF, Annual Report 2012-13, pp 28-107.

279

6

Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority 2.6 The committee notes that the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) celebrated its 20th anniversary in June 2013. APVMA's achievements over the past 20 years have included: the introduction of the Adverse Experience Reporting programs for veterinary medicines and agricultural chemicals; the establishment of a 'low regulatory' scheme for the management of low-risk agricultural and veterinary chemicals; and the release of a mobile phone application that provides users with access to the APVMA's Public Chemicals Registration Information System database.4

2.7 The committee notes that a number of APVMA's targets and initiatives within Strategy One were marked as 'deferred' or 'in progress' as they were related to the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Legislation Amendment Act 2013, which was passed by Parliament in June 2013.5

2.8 In June 2013, APVMA participated for the first time in the

Interpol-coordinated Operation Pangea VI, which is an annual week of global enforcement action targeting the online sale of unregistered and counterfeit medicines. APVMA's involvement in the operation resulted in two compliance inspections being conducted and information was obtained regarding two additional online retailers.6

2.9 The committee is pleased to note, following comments in its previous report, that APVMA's Annual Report 2012-13 has been prepared in accordance with the current Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies and FMA Act Bodies (reporting requirements).

Department of Infrastructure and Transport 2.10 The Secretary's overview highlighted the Department of Infrastructure and Transport's (Infrastructure) major activities for 2012-13 including the administration of $3.8 billion of direct and indirect grants for the construction and maintenance of land transport infrastructure; the implementation of body scanners under the Strengthening Aviation Security Initiative; continued work on the implementation of the national transport regulation reforms; and the finalisation of initiatives from the Aviation White Paper.7

2.11 During 2012-13, 44 road and rail projects were completed, including the Barton Highway-Gounyan Curves realignment; Section 4B of the Geelong Ring Road; Section B of the Bruce Highway upgrade between Cooroy and Curra; and the widening and upgrade of the Great Eastern Highway, which was completed nine months ahead of schedule. Work commenced on an additional 40 projects including upgrades to the Devils Pulpit and the Tintenbar to Ewingsdale sections of the Pacific

4 Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA), Annual Report 2012-13, pp viii-ix.

5 APVMA, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 15.

6 APVMA, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 38.

7 Department of Infrastructure and Transport, Annual Report 2012-13, pp 2-5.

280

7

Highway; the Northern Sydney Freight Corridor Program; and the Majura Parkway project.8

2.12 Under the Black Spot Project, $63.8 million was spent in 2012-13 to improve the safety of 123 road sites which have been identified as high-risk areas for serious crashes. A further 213 Black Spot projects were underway at the end of the financial year.9

2.13 In 2012, Australia's eight major international airports commenced using body scanners at departure and transit screening points. The Department states that the introduction of body scanners, under the Strengthening Aviation Security Initiative, aim to make air travel safer and more secure for all passengers. Changes were made to

the Aviation Transport Security Act 2004 and the Aviation Transport Security Regulations 2005 to prepare for the use of body scanners, which included introducing a 'no opt-out' clause for passengers and strict privacy measures.10

2.14 The Department implemented the Accredited Air Cargo Agent Scheme (the Scheme) in June 2012. The Scheme's purpose is to enhance the security arrangements and procedures for the road transportation of cargo destined for carriage by air.11

2.15 The Department worked with state and territory governments to establish the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator and the National Rail Safety Regulator. The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator is Australia's first national regulator for all vehicles over 4.5 tonnes gross. Currently, the National Rail Safety Regulator has oversight of rail safety in South Australia, New South Wales, Northern Territory and Tasmania.12 It is expected, subject to the passage of mirror legislation, that Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory will come under the National Rail Safety Regulator within the next twelve months.13

2.16 The committee considers Infrastructure's Annual Report 2012-13 to be of a high standard and is compliant with the reporting requirements.

Civil Aviation Safety Authority 2.17 The Civil Aviation Safety Authority's (CASA) annual report outlines key activities for 2012-13 including the implementation of key aspects of the new aviation regulations covering maintenance, flight crew licensing, training, and fatigue; and the introduction of a risk-based surveillance system.14

8 Department of Infrastructure and Transport, Annual Report 2012-13, pp 21-22, 30-31.

9 Department of Infrastructure and Transport, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 35.

10 Department of Infrastructure and Transport, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 45.

11 Department of Infrastructure and Transport, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 52.

12 Department of Infrastructure and Transport, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 66.

13 Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator (ONRSR), Corporate Plan 2013-16, p. 2. For more information on the ONRSR see http://www.onrsr.com.au

14 Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), Annual Report 2012-13, pp 16-17.

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8

2.18 CASA, in conjunction with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), is developing guidance material for the use of remotely piloted aircraft, commonly referred to as 'unmanned aircraft systems'. This sector has experienced major growth in the past 12 months as small, off-the-shelf types are able to provide advanced capability for a range of applications.15

2.19 In December 2012, CASA released advisory materials and standards to support the use of IT tablet devices as electronic flight bags. An electronic flight bag is an electronic storage and display system for items, such as maps and charts to support flight operations and replaces the use of traditional paper documents in the cockpit.16

2.20 The committee is pleased to note that, following comments in its previous reports, CASA has included page numbers in its compliance index. The inclusion of page numbers greatly assists the committee to assess CASA's compliance with the reporting requirements.

2.21 The committee considers CASA's Annual Report 2012-13 to be compliant with the reporting requirements.

Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport

2.22 The Secretary's review outlines the former Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport's (Regional Australia) key achievements during 2012-13, including, the announcement of successful projects under rounds three and four of the Regional Australia Development Fund; the release of the national cultural policy; the completion of phase one of the Christmas Island New Housing Program; and the establishment of the National Integrity of Sport Unit to address doping and match-fixing matters in sport.17

2.23 During 2012-13, the East Kimberley Development Package was completed, which has delivered $195.17 million across 28 projects covering health, education, housing, transport and community sectors since it was launched in 2009. Key projects have included: a primary health care centre in Kununurra; a 16-bed short-stay patient accommodation facility to support patients travelling to Kununurra for health treatment; and improved facilities at the Kununurra Education Precinct.18

2.24 In June 2013, the department organised the Regional Development Australia 2013 National Forum (the forum). The forum is held annually and community representatives from across Australia come together and discuss the regional development challenges and opportunities. The forum's agenda in 2013 focused on

15 CASA, Annual Report 2012-13, pp 17-18.

16 CASA, Annual Report 2012-13, p. 116.

17 Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport (Regional Australia), Annual Report 2012-13, pp 2-3.

18 Regional Australia, Annual Report 2012-13,p. 20.

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9

human capital, sustainable communities, population change, integrated regional planning and business competitiveness.19

2.25 The committee commends Regional Australia for a well presented annual report, which is of high standard and compliant with the reporting requirements.

Senator Bill Heffernan

Chair

19 Regional Australia, Annual Report 2012-13,p. 32.

283

284

Appendix 1

Annual reports referred during the period 1 May to 31 October 2013 Agriculture portfolio

Legislation Letter of

transmittal date

Date Sent to Minister

Date

received by Minister

Tabling date*

Department of State

Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry— Report for 2012-13

Public Service Act 1999

FMA Act 1997

11/10/13 14/10/13 14/10/13 12/11/13

(received 25/10/13*)

Commonwealth authorities

Wine Australia Corporation—Report for 2012-13

CAC Act 1997

Wine Australia Corporation Act 1980

n/a 9/10/13 9/10/13 12/11/13

(received 31/10/13*)

Prescribed agencies

Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority—Report for 2012-13

Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Administration) Act 1992

FMA Act 1997

23/09/13 14/10/13 14/10/13 12/11/13

(received 24/10/13*)

Other

Report to the Parliament on Live-stock Mortalities During Exports by Sea for the Reporting Period 1 January to 30 June 2013

Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry Act 1997

n/a 31/07/13 31/07/13 12/11/13

(received 13/09/13*)

* An asterisk denotes reports presented to the President out-of-session.

285

12

Infrastructure and Regional Development Portfolio

Legislation Letter of

transmittal date

Date Sent to Minister

Date

received by Minister

Tabling date*

Departments of State

Department of Infrastructure and Transport—Report for 2012-13

Public Service Act 1999

FMA Act 1997

11/10/13 14/10/13 14/10/13 12/11/13

(received 30/10/13*)

Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport—Report for 2012-13

Public Service Act 1999

FMA Act 1997

11/10/13 14/10/13 14/10/13 12/11/13

(received 30/10/13*)

Commonwealth authorities

Airservices Australia— Report for 2012-13 CAC Act 1997 Airservices Act 1995

26/10/13 11/10/13 14/10/13 12/11/13

(received 30/10/13*)

Australian Maritime Safety Authority—Report for 2012-13

CAC Act 1997

Australian Maritime Safety Authority Act 1990

19/09/13 8/10/13 9/10/13 12/11/13

(received 24/10/13*)

Civil Aviation Safety Authority—Report for 2012-13

CAC Act 1997

Civil Aviation Act 1988

14/10/13 24/09/13 24/09/13 12/11/13

(received 31/10/13*)

Commonwealth companies

Australian River Co. Limited—Report for 2012 Corporations Act 2001 CAC Act 1997 (section

36)

n/a 26/03/13 27/03/13 14/05/13

Moorebank Intermodal Company—Report for 2012-13

Corporations Act 2001

CAC Act 1997

n/a 22/10/13 23/10/13 12/11/13

(received 30/10/13*)

Prescribed agencies

286

13

Legislation Letter of

transmittal date

Date Sent to Minister

Date

received by Minister

Tabling date*

Australian Transport Safety Bureau—Report for 2012-13 FMA Act 1997 Transport Safety

Investigation Act 2003

21/10/13 18/10/13 18/10/13 12/11/13

(received 28/10/13*)

Other

Airservices Act 1995— Airservices Australia Corporate Plan 2013-2018

Airservices Act 1995 n/a 6/06/13 11/06/13 12/11/13

(received 31/07/13*)

Civil Aviation Act 1988— Civil Aviation Safety Authority Corporate Plan 2013-14 to 2015-16

Civil Aviation Act 1988 n/a 2/05/13 2/05/13 12/11/13

(received 16/08/13*)

International Air Services Commission—Report for 2012-13

International Air Services Commission Act 1992

19/09/13 19/09/13 19/09/13 12/11/13

(received 30/10/13*)

Moorebank Intermodal Company—Statement of Corporate Intent 2013-14

Corporations Act 2001

CAC Act 1997

n/a 18/06/13 26/06/13 6/09/13

Sydney Airport Demand Management Act 1997— quarterly report on the maximum movement limit for the period 1 April to 30 June 2013

Sydney Airport Demand Management Act 1997

n/a 25/07/13 26/17/13 12/11/13

(received 2/09/13*)

* An asterisk denotes reports presented to the President out-of-session.

287

288