Annual Report 2004-2005

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OUTPUT 1.3: Services to other agencies in Australia and overseas (including Parliament, state representatives, business and other organisations)

Reporting against effectiveness indicators

On this page: Overview :: Parliament in Australia :: Services to attached agencies :: Services to business :: Services to state governments and other agencies overseas and in Australia






In achieving whole of government objectives, the department, including our overseas posts, provided advice and assistance to parliamentary delegations, Australian government agencies overseas, Australian business and state governments. These outcomes helped advance Australia's national interests, in particular as reported in output 1.1.

Parliament in Australia

The department assisted 89 overseas visits by individual parliamentarians and parliamentary delegations. These visits helped build links between the Australian Parliament and parliaments of other countries and provided opportunities for study and observation of developments in a range of fields relevant to the Australian community.

We made suggestions and provided guidance on in-country travel; identified, and made appointments with, key people in specific fields of interest; and provided written and oral background briefings on foreign and trade policy matters related to the visits.

Members and Senators on many occasions commended the department for the support provided for their visits.

The department also assisted 21 visits to Australia by presiding officers, committees and delegations from parliaments of other countries. We provided written briefs and talking points for the presiding officers and members of the Australian Parliament in their meetings with visiting parliamentarians.

Our work for the Parliament included assistance to parliamentary delegation visits to:

In addition, the department assisted a total of 71 visits by individual parliamentarians to Europe, the Americas, Asia, the Pacific and the Middle East.

We coordinated, on a whole of government basis, briefing on treaties and treaty action prepared for the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties. Our briefings to, and appearances before, a range of parliamentary committees are outlined in Appendix 6.

Services to attached agencies

A new Service Level Agreement (SLA) was signed on 1 September 2004. Under the SLA the department provides management services, on a user-pays basis, to 26 Australian government agencies overseas. These services include human resources, financial and property services for both Australia-based employees and locally engaged staff. The SLA facilitates the efficient administration of Australian government business overseas while avoiding duplication. In consultation with other agencies, revisions to the SLA improved the transparency of the fee structure and provided more clearly defined services and performance indicators.

Information and communication technology services are covered under separate memorandums of understanding with attached agencies. Feedback from our SLA clients has been positive.

Under separate arrangements the department provides payroll services to 11 agencies overseas.

Services to business

The department, in conjunction with Austrade, coordinated the development of a whole of government free trade agreement (FTA) website ( that provides practical information to help businesses understand and take advantage of Australia's implemented FTAs. The website was launched by the Minister for Trade on 27 April 2005.

Market information and analysis

Photo - See caption below for description
From left to right: The Australian Ambassador to the Republic of Korea Colin Heseltine; CEO and President of GM Daewoo Nick Reilly; Hyun-sun Kim, the first Korean buyer of the Daewoo Statesman; Australian Minister for Trade, Mr Mark Vaile; and Lee Dong-ho, CEO of Daewoo Motors Sales Corporation. Mr Vaile launched the new model Statesman in Seoul, Korea, on 31 May 2005. Photo: Courtesy of GM Daewoo
Enlarge image :: Photo gallery

The department continued to offer a consultancy service providing statistical information and advice, on a fee-for-service basis, for Australian businesses and researchers interested in overseas markets. The service specialises in trade and economic data, covering our trading and business relationships with more than 220 countries and wider information about the international trade of more than 100 countries accounting for around 90 per cent of total world trade.


The department continued to deliver benefits to the business community through close consultation with the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). Through regular meetings with Australian ABAC members, the department seeks business input into all relevant aspects of APEC's work program and keeps the business community abreast of important developments in the international trading environment. The department worked with Australian ABAC members to identify and promote ABAC priorities in APEC, particularly in areas such as trade facilitation and domestic measures that simplify the conduct of business. This close liaison resulted in better coordination of Australian positions in advance of international meetings.

The department continued to support amendments to APEC operating procedures to better facilitate business input. APEC senior officials endorsed an Australian proposal to improve APEC's peer reviews of individual economies' progress towards APEC's open markets goals, which will enhance business input into the review process.

Our network

The department's state and territory offices again played an important role in our trade advocacy and outreach work in 2004–05. Their strong links with state governments and local industry and business groups helped spread key trade messages to a wide audience. This proved particularly effective in publicising the benefits of Australia's existing bilateral FTAs, and for input into current FTA negotiations (see sub-output 1.1.5 for more information).

Services to state governments and other agencies overseas and in Australia

The department played a significant role supporting visits overseas by state and territory ministers, parliamentarians and officials, Australian government officials and others. Some examples included visits to:

By promoting business, tourism, education and people-to-people ties, these visits further strengthened Australia's mature and diverse relationship with key regional partners.

We provided briefings, policy advice and other support for a wide range of Australian government agencies on international aspects of their agendas, activities and programs. The department helped arrange visit programs, participated in negotiations on bilateral agreements and understandings, and facilitated and provided representation at international meetings. Some examples include:

The department provides payroll services overseas to the WA Department of Premier and Cabinet and the NSW Department of State and Regional Development.

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Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Annual Report 2004–2005
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