Annual Report 2003-2004

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OUTPUT 1.1: Protection and advocacy of Australia’s international interests through the provision of policy advice to ministers and overseas diplomatic activity

Output 1.3 Quality and quantity information

Quality indicators

Quantity indicators

Services to clients

The annual Post Evaluation Report (PER) process is the principal means through which the department obtains feedback on our work on behalf of other government agencies. Combined with other internal evaluation procedures, the PER enabled us to review our reporting priorities in areas of policy interest to other agencies and assess the performance of the posts in meeting whole-of-government objectives.

Thirty-three departments and agencies were formally invited to comment on the performance of posts in meeting government policy objectives. Feedback on our support for other agencies was very positive overall.

We receive written and oral informal feedback through our overseas posts and in Australia. However, the department does not have a formal mechanism for obtaining feedback for services provided to parliamentarians and business. Our high level of support received favourable comments from a number of companies throughout the reporting period. The department was also commended—Including through statements made in parliament—for its briefings, overseas programs and logistics work on behalf of federal and state parliamentarians.

Services to other agencies

Under the Service Level Agreement (SLA), the department provided administrative support to 21 agencies and departments, covering 2453 staff. The SLA covered two new agencies in 2003–04, the Office of National Assessments and the Australian Government Information Management Office, and the Department of Health and Ageing withdrew from the Agreement. In addition, we provided administrative services to Austrade, with 398 overseas staff, in accordance with its arrangement with the department. The main purchasers of services under the SLA were the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, the Department of Defence and AusAID. Overall, feedback from agencies and departments was very positive and clients were pleased with the level of support that was provided.

Quantity information for output 1.3

Indicator 2003–04 2002–03
Scope and composition of administrative services provided to other agencies overseas1 22 21
Number of official programs organised for members of the Commonwealth Parliament (excluding the Prime Minister or ministers) and parliamentary delegations2 132 191
Number of services provided to parliamentary committees3 44 74
Number of overseas visits by representatives of state or territory governments, and by state and territory parliamentarians, supported by the department4 549 541
Number of Australian companies supported by the department with advice on market conditions, access to government and private sector contacts, and through representations directly connected with their particular interests5 6 748 8 123

1. This is the number of agencies serviced under the Service Level Agreement, plus Austrade (which received administrative services under a memorandum of understanding). The services provided under the Service Level Agreement are grouped together in six categories: personnel services (Australia-based staff), personnel services (locally engaged staff), office services, property services, financial services and communications.

2. This figure is based on work undertaken by each post; that is, it reflects the number of programs organised on a country-by-country basis, rather than the number of Members of Parliament and Senators assisted by the department in Canberra.

3. This figure reflects the number of committee hearings before which the department appeared.

4. This figure is based on work undertaken by each post; that is, it reflects the number of programs organised on a country-by-country basis.

5. This information was collected by all areas of the department, including overseas posts, and collated centrally. It reflects the number of companies supported on a country-by-country basis.

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Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Annual Report 2003–2004
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