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Annual Report 1999-2000Annual Report 1999-2000 home page

ContentsContents > Overviews > Outcome 1: National Interests > Outcome 2: Consular & Passports > Outcome 3: Public Diplomacy > Management > Financial Statements > Appendixes > Glossaries

YOU ARE CURRENTLY AT: Outcome 1 > Output 1.4 > Quality and quantity information


OUTCOME 1: Australia's national interests protected and advanced through contributions to international security, national economic and trade performance and global cooperation

Output 1.4:
International services to other agencies in Australia and overseas (including Parliament, State representatives, business and other organisations)

Output 1.4 QUALITY AND QUANTITY INFORMATION

Quality indicators

  • Satisfaction of Members of Parliament, state representatives, business and other organisations with services provided.
  • Client satisfaction with the provision of administrative support overseas.

Quantity indicators

  • Number of official programs organised for members of the Commonwealth Parliament (excluding the Prime Minister or ministers) and parliamentary delegations.
  • Number of submissions and briefings to parliamentary inquiries, committees and individuals.
  • Scope and composition of administrative services provided to other agencies overseas and number of clients serviced.
  • 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 interests.
  • Number of official programs organised for State Government ministers and officials, and other organisations including universities.

Services to clients

Through our whole-of-government role, the department provides many services to parliamentarians, other agencies and business. This work includes market access advocacy, and tactical and other policy advice.

Feedback on the department’s work for other agencies was obtained through our internal evaluation processes, particularly the annual post evaluation report (see Internal Evaluation and Planning Processes). The department does not have formal mechanisms for receiving feedback on the work done on behalf of parliamentarians or business, although we receive informal feedback at both overseas posts and in Australia.

The department, including our overseas posts, was commended for our work during the year on behalf of Commonwealth parliamentarians. Feedback from parliamentarians indicated that posts provided valuable assistance on substantive aspects of their programs overseas, as well as on logistical and other practical matters.

Feedback on our support for other agencies received through the post evaluation review process was highly positive. Twenty-five agencies and departments took the opportunity to comment on posts’ performance in meeting their reporting requirements and on the service they were receiving under the Common Administrative Service Agreement (see following section). Post evaluation review feedback allowed us to review and make adjustments, as appropriate, to our reporting priorities in areas of policy interest to other agencies.

We received informal feedback on a daily basis from business and other public clients. This feedback—received by the department’s Canberra-based divisions, our offices in State and Territory capitals, and at overseas posts—was very positive. Business clients noted that the services provided by posts in particular often included practical, logistical assistance that was crucial to the success of their overseas visits.

Common Administrative Services

The department provides common administrative services to Australian Government agencies overseas under the Common Administrative Services (CAS) agreement.

The CAS agreement provides administrative support in personnel services (for Australia-based staff and locally engaged staff), office services, property services, financial services and communications.

Twenty-nine government agencies and departments are signatories to the CAS agreement, with more than 2 500 Australia-based and locally engaged staff overseas covered by it. The main purchasers of services under the agreement are the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, Department of Defence and Austrade.

Overall our clients expressed satisfaction with the level of administrative support provided during the year, with a number of agencies commenting that common services had been delivered to a high standard. Nevertheless, through regular evaluations and client feedback sessions, we are committed to improving the efficiency and effectiveness of our services.

The current CAS agreement commenced in 1998 and will terminate at the end of the 2000–01 financial year. We expect negotiations on a new CAS agreement to begin towards the end of 2000.

Financial Management Information System

The department implemented globally a new Financial Management Information System (FMIS) during the year. The new system enabled us to meet reporting and accountability obligations arising from accrual budgeting, and improved our ability to manage the cash requirements for different posts and to provide central support to remote sites.

For further information on FMIS see Management of Financial Resources.

During the year we provided accounting services for 41 attached agencies. The transition phase was not without its problems—some agencies complained of slow processing of accounts—but these issues were rectified with the completion of implementation.

Quantity information

Number of official programs organised for members of the Commonwealth Parliament (excluding the Prime Minister or ministers) and parliamentary delegations.1

75

Number of submissions and briefings to parliamentary inquiries, committees and individuals.2

122

Scope and composition of administrative services provided to other agencies overseas and number of clients serviced.3

29

Number of Australian companies supported by the department with advice onmarket conditions, access to government and private sector contacts, and through representations directly connected with their particular interests.4

5 189

Number of official programs organised for State Government ministers, officials, and other organisations including universities.5

4 110

1 This figure is based on the number of MPs/Senators assisted with overseas visits (for example, assistance with appointments and/or provision of briefs). This includes work undertaken by multiple posts in the organisation and support of one visit to a number of countries.

2 This includes 14 formal submissions to parliamentary committees, 37 appearances by departmental officers, assistance to 18 committees and sub-committees, 14 private briefings of committees, 13 written country briefs to parliamentary delegations and 26 oral briefings and debriefings of out-going parliamentary delegations.

3 Chart indicates number of agencies serviced under the Common Administrative Services Agreement (see Appendix 15). The services provided under the Common Administrative Services Agreement are grouped together in six bundles which include: personnel services (Australia-based staff), personnel services (locally engaged staff), office services, property services, financial services and communications.

4 Figure obtained from numbers compiled by divisions in Canberra.

5 This figure reflects work undertaken by individual posts. No centralised statistics are maintained of this assistance.


YOU ARE CURRENTLY AT: Outcome 1 > Output 1.4 > Quality and quantity information

Annual Report 1999-2000Annual Report 1999-2000 home page

ContentsContents > Overviews > Outcome 1: National Interests > Outcome 2: Consular & Passports > Outcome 3: Public Diplomacy > Management > Financial Statements > Appendixes > Glossaries

 

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