Annual Report 2006-2007

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Your location: Performance > Outcome 3 > Output 3.1 > Quality and quantity information

OUTPUT 3.1: Public information services and public diplomacy

Output 3.1 Quality and quantity information

Quality indicators

Quantity indicators

Satisfaction with public diplomacy

Ministers’ offices commended the department for its strategic media advice and support, including the efficient provision of accurate information to the media in response to requests for information on consular cases and key foreign and trade policy issues.

Our timely advice to posts on emerging issues (in the form of talking points, speech notes, the Key Messages Brief, op-ed pieces and letters to the editor) enabled the department to influence and, when necessary, correct international media reporting. Portfolio ministers appreciated the department’s role in providing accurate and positive messages to international audiences on key topics.

Feedback from both public and private sector stakeholders in other major promotions organised by the department, such as G’day USA (in Los Angeles and New York), the Lorient Festival in France and major AICC events was positive. Austrade, Tourism Australia, Invest Australia and the Department of Education, Science and Training commended posts’ support for staging various high profile events.

A well-targeted International Media Visits program produced extensive and constructive reporting on foreign and trade policy issues such as our relations with ASEAN and with Africa, our scientific innovation, Islam in Australia and our economic credentials. Feedback from participants, our overseas posts and external clients was uniformly positive. Senior media representatives from ASEAN, China and Africa commented favourably on the program.

The department’s International Cultural Visitors provided enthusiastic feedback on their programs in Australia and their visits have led to concrete outcomes such as the programming of Australian artists into international events.

Positive feedback from users of the department’s websites (such as smartraveller and sites on Australia’s trade policies) underscored the department’s successful use of developing technologies to support its broad public information agenda.


The department produced a diverse range of publications providing general information about Australia and specialised resources on Australia’s foreign and trade policy and the economic and political climate of other countries. We publish these in hard copy, online and CD format or as downloadable PDF files. Ministers commended the department on the quality of our publications and posts have received consistently positive feedback from the audiences to whom they distribute departmental publications.

The department’s historical publications were positively received in Australia and overseas. The struggle for trade liberalisation in agriculture: Australia and the Cairns Group in the Uruguay Round was launched by Mr Vaile at the 20th anniversary ministerial meeting of the Cairns Group in Cairns and circulated in all Cairns Group countries, and in the United States and Europe. The publication Australia and Papua New Guinea 1966–1969 was launched in Canberra in December and promoted extensively in Papua New Guinea, particularly at a one-day seminar in February hosted by the High Commission in Port Moresby. Women with a mission: personal perspectives was launched by Mr Truss on International Women’s Day on 8 March and circulated widely overseas where it received favourable comments at high levels from a range of countries including the United Kingdom, New Zealand and France.

Economic publications again attracted very good media coverage, and we were involved in a range of follow-up activities.

Freedom of information requests

Of the 97 access decisions made under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the FOI Act), the applicant chose to exercise his or her rights under section 54 of the FOI Act to request an internal review or under section 55 of the FOI Act to make an application to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal on seven decisions.

Quantity information for output 3.1
Number of Australian performing groups, artists, exhibitors and other cultural visitors supported
1 840
1 821
Number of public briefings given by departmental staff in Australia and overseas
3 259
3 744
Number of other public diplomacy/cultural activities organised
1 681
1 632
Number of media-related inquiries handled by the media liaison section
9 395
10 648
Number of visits organised under the:
International Media Visits Program
Special Visits Program
International Cultural Visits Program
Number of publications produced and number of copies distributed1
Number of statistical services provided to external clients
       11 137
       15 113
Number of treaties maintained on, and added to, the international treaties database2
2 602
2 570
Number of Freedom of Information requests processed
Number of records assessed for international relations sensitivities before release under the Archives Act 1983 and number of completed requests for archival information
1 426
  1. The department continues to distribute a substantial number of publications in hard copy form. However, given our increasing use of the website to disseminate publications—including to our overseas posts—the quantity of hard copy documents distributed has become a less meaningful indicator.
  2. For information on treaties, see the Australian Treaties Database at

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