Annual Report 2005-2006

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Your location: Performance > Outcome 1 > Output 1.2 > Quality and quantity information

OUTPUT 1.2: Secure government communications and security of overseas missions

Output 1.2 Quality and quantity information

Quality indicators

Quantity indicators

Client satisfaction—secure communications network and telecommunications infrastructure

In October 2005 the department undertook a post-implementation review of its new cable system, the Official Diplomatic Information Network (ODIN). As part of the review we conducted extensive consultations with external clients (other Australian government users of the cable system) and internal clients (divisions, state and territory offices and overseas posts). We used their feedback to improve ODIN, making it easier for users to validate the accuracy of cable distributions and to highlight cable action requirements. To ensure users understood how to use the enhanced system, we conducted user training programs in Canberra, state and territory offices and at overseas posts.

Departmental committees, such as the Information Technology Strategy Committee, the Technical Advisors' Group and the Consultative Committee on Information Management, were effective mechanisms for internal feedback.

The department's Information Technology Global Support Centre help desk continued to provide 24-hour first-level telephone user support on issues related to our secure and non-secure information and communications systems, in Australia and overseas. During the year it provided services to 8282 departmental and other Australian government agency users in Australia and overseas and in ministers' parliamentary and electoral offices. It received 91 691 inquiries, mostly relating to minor hardware or software faults. Seventy-two per cent of inquiries were resolved to the client's satisfaction without the need for escalation to higher-level support teams. The balance of inquiries was referred to second or third-level support teams for resolution. The majority of problems were resolved within 48 hours.

Availability and reliability of communications

The department continued to improve its ability to maintain continuity of communications with Australia's overseas missions. We increased bandwidth at 28 posts and installed dual satellite systems at 8 posts to improve the redundancy (or resilience) of satellite communications links. We bolstered our capacity to support posts during a crisis by upgrading the emergency radio network which is used for communication by posts when local networks fail.

During the deployments of Government officials to Solomon Islands and East Timor following civil unrest the department ensured continuity of communications for relevant agencies following the failure of local communications networks. In East Timor we installed additional emergency communications equipment to ensure that communications were maintained throughout the crisis. We provided contingency communications equipment to departmental staff based in Melbourne during the 2006 Commonwealth Games.

Client satisfaction—security of overseas missions

Our services to posts included the provision of rapid advice on evolving security situations, special security assessments and inspection advisory visits at short notice, and enhancements to physical security. We ensured strict consistency between the advice we gave to posts and to the Australian public through consular travel advisories. We kept partner agencies informed of key developing security situations and our response to them. Agencies expressed support for our consultative approach and implementation of measures to mitigate security threats, including enhanced training.

Quantity information for output 1.2
Indicators 2005–06 2004–05
Number of posts and Commonwealth entities with access to the secure communications network and secure telecommunications infrastructure 134 119
Number of clients1 134 119
Types of services:
Number of cables2 173 092 157 035
cables to posts 73 505 70 567
cables from posts 99 587 86 468
Cable pages printed 839 879 658 294
Number of overseas missions for which security services are provided, including security review services3 88 88
Number of security clearances and reviews processed 1043 859
  1. This figure reflects the number of agencies and other external work units, including ministerial and parliamentary offices that receive paper or electronic copies of cables.
  2. This figure reflects the total number of cables sent via the new messaging system, ODIN, which automatically analyses and distributes cables electronically to clients.
  3. This figure includes our overseas posts and other permanent overseas locations—see Appendix 12: Summary of the overseas network. It also includes an Australian Administrative Centre in Nauru set up to coordinate the activity of Australian officials working with the Nauru Government.

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