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Management and human resources

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A capable, engaged and agile workforce that can perform and excel in a complex and ever-changing environment is central to the department's ability to achieve its objectives. By working innovatively and investing in the development of our people, we aim to deliver results that will improve our productivity and enhance our ability to deliver high-quality, responsive support and advice to our ministers.

Human resources

Learning and development

The department supports a culture of learning. This year we concluded implementation of the Learning and Development Plan 2012–15. We continue to implement programmes to ensure our people have the right capabilities, knowledge and behaviours to achieve our goals.

Strengthening manager capability and building change capability has been a focus this year with the development and delivery of the Manager Essentials programme, Managers' Network and the implementation of a range of change capability tools, resources and programmes. The development and delivery of the Professional Supervision and Leadership programme is also strengthening capability and awareness to support legal supervision within the legal practising environment.

The department offered more than 270 programmes as part of our learning calendar, including compliance training, new starter inductions and core skills training. We implemented e-learning programmes to support our compliance obligations for security awareness, and fraud and risk awareness. We continued to support our smaller portfolio agencies to offer training to their staff. Our programmes are regularly evaluated to ensure that objectives are meeting the development needs of employees. Our leader-led activities, leadership forums and programmes build internal leadership capability.

We support employees through our study assistance and scholarship programmes. These provide employees with the opportunity to complete studies and gain formal qualifications with departmental support in the form of financial reimbursement or study leave.

Employment programs

The Graduate Development Programme is a major workforce strategy with an aim to equip the department with future leadership and technical capability. In January 2016, 50 graduates completed the 2015 programme. In February 2016, 47 graduates commenced the 2016 programme. The 2016 graduate cohort includes four Indigenous graduates recruited through the APSC's Pathways Programme.

The programme focuses on three stages of learning: gaining confidence in the department and the APS, building capability and developing our future technical capability and leaders. It ensures that graduates are equipped with the capabilities to transition to practising lawyers and well-rounded policy, legal and project officer roles by the end of their graduate year. The programme is reinforced by additional support for graduate supervisors, recognising the vital role they play in coaching and developing graduates.

We are participating in the APSC's Pathway Trainee Programme with four Indigenous trainees commencing their 12-month programme in January 2016. The Trainee Programme  comprises on-the-job learning through a range of activities and work placements and study to gain a Certificate Iv qualification.

We are also participating in the Australian Government ICT Apprenticeship Program, with two ICT apprentices and one ICT cadet  continuing their three-year development programme with the department.

In 2015–16, we conducted a Summer Intern Programme, which saw 19 university students complete a 12-week programme from November 2015 to February 2016. In addition, we engaged two students with a disability as part of the Stepping Into… Programme, facilitated by the Australian Network on Disability for university students with disability.

Performance management

The department's performance frameworks support managers to participate in a meaningful performance process, ensuring individuals are responsible and accountable for their own performance and are engaged in their work.

The Programme for Performance Improvement (PPI) framework, which applies to all non-AGS staff, incorporates quarterly check-ins, ensuring at least four dedicated performance conversations a year, shifting the focus to regular and ongoing performance conversations supported by a range of resources and tools.

AGS employees participate in commencement, mid-cycle and end-of-cycle reviews to assess and appraise progress against performance. End-of-cycle performance ratings determine whether an employee is eligible to have their remuneration reviewed and/or to receive a performance-based bonus.

The department provides support to managers through a performance management tool kit, a Manager's Network and via Manager's Essentials – a suite of sessions aimed to equip managers with the skills and knowledge across a broad range of people management topics, including performance management.

We continue to review and refine the performance management process to support a culture where performance management is viewed by staff as a positive, relevant and valuable activity.

A diverse workforce

We recognise that a diverse workforce makes us more innovative and productive, enriches our organisational culture and delivers better organisational outcomes. Maintaining a diverse workforce and encouraging a safe and inclusive work environment where all staff are respected, valued and supported is a key priority for the department.

We support employee networks across a number of diversity groups including: Indigenous, women's, disability, culturally and linguistically diverse, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex. These groups raise awareness about diversity issues across the department and provide support to employees from diverse backgrounds.

Diversity Strategy

The department's Diversity Strategy, launched in June 2016, demonstrates our commitment to maintaining a culture that builds respect and fosters inclusiveness, promotes diversity and embraces the unique skills and qualities of all of our staff.

Our diversity strategy has five key objectives:

  • ensure all staff can fully and equally participate in and contribute to the work of the department
  • ensure all staff have access to inclusive and flexible work practices
  • harness and celebrate our diversity
  • prevent and eliminate harassment and discrimination
  • leverage our unique policy position  to show leadership in the community and broader APS.

Disability Action Plan

The department's Disability Action Plan (DAP) outlines our commitment to providing a supportive, confident and inclusive work environment to attract, retain, support and develop the career aspirations of employees with disability and for carers of people with disability.

The DAP has particular significance because creating an accessible and inclusive workplace is central to our mission of achieving a just and secure society. Beyond our mission, we play a critical leadership role as the Australian Government agency responsible for human rights, including the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The four focus areas of the plan are a culture of inclusion; accessibility; recruitment, retention and development; and leadership for people with disability. Further information is available on the Attorney-General's Department website.

Changes to disability reporting in annual reports

Since 1994, Australian Government departments and agencies have reported on their performance as policy adviser, purchaser, employer, regulator and provider under the Commonwealth Disability Strategy. In 2007–08, reporting on the employer role was transferred to the APSC's State of the service report and the APS Statistical bulletin. These reports are available at the Australian Public Service Commission website. Since 2010–11, departments and agencies have no longer been required to report on these functions.

The Commonwealth Disability Strategy has been superseded by the National Disability Strategy 2010–20, which sets out a 10-year national policy framework to improve the lives of people with disability, promote participation and create a more inclusive society. A high-level, two-yearly report will track progress against each of the six outcome areas of the strategy and portray how people with a disability are faring. These reports can be found at the Department of Social Services website.

Reconciliation Action Plan

The department's Reconciliation Action Plan outlines our commitment to fostering an environment in which everyone has the same opportunities and may be included in the workforce. The plan includes the commitments, actions and targets that combine to ensure we accept and are actively engaged in supporting Indigenous employees. Further information is available on the Attorney-General's Department website.

Agency Multicultural Plan

Of the total department's workforce, 5.9 per cent comes from a non-English-speaking background. We are committed to understanding Australia's culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) population in order to appropriately reflect the needs of these communities in all of our work, including the development and delivery of policy, programmes and services. Further information is available on the Attorney-General's Department website.

Workplace agreements

The Attorney-General's Department Enterprise Agreement 2011 (AGD  EA) commenced on 28 September 2011 and nominally expired on 30 June 2014. It provided for the remuneration and employment conditions for all non-SES employees of the department (not including AGS). The Australian Government Solicitor Enterprise Agreement 2012 (AGS EA) commenced on 6 July 2012 and nominally expired on 1 December 2014. It provided for the remuneration and employment conditions for all employees within AGS. The expired agreements continued to operate for the duration of 2015–16 while bargaining for a new single enterprise agreement occurred.

The two enterprise agreements allow for individual flexibility arrangements (IFAs) to apply for individual employees to enable working hours, leave, allowances, overtime rates, penalty rates and remuneration arrangements to be tailored to individual circumstances. In addition, the AGS EA allows for IFAs to apply in redundancy, the AGS performance programme and career development, the Lawyer Development Program and dispute resolution procedures. At 30 June 2016, 1,300 non-AGS employees were covered by the AGD EA, with 28 employees covered by IFAs. At 30 June 2016, 645 AGS employees were covered by the AGS EA, with 2 employees covered by IFAs.

Negotiations for a new single enterprise agreement occurred throughout 2015–16, with a proposed agreement put to vote in May 2016. The proposed enterprise agreement was not accepted by staff and negotiations will continue in 2016–17 in line with the Workplace Bargaining Policy 2015 (or replacement policy).

Non-salary benefits provided to employees

Through its industrial arrangements, the department permits employees to flexibly package their remuneration to combine both monetary and non-monetary benefits. The main non-salary benefits for which an employee can choose to sacrifice salary include a motor vehicle acquired through novated lease arrangements, additional employer superannuation contributions and personal mobile devices, such as laptop computers, tablet devices and smart phones, where they are used primarily in the employee's employment.

The AGS EA provides for access to the Executive Vehicle Scheme, cash in lieu of a vehicle, spouse travel and car parking for employees who were eligible for these Senior Executive benefits immediately before the commencement of the enterprise agreement.

Performance pay

No performance pay arrangements apply in the department (not including AGS).

AGS employees are awarded performance pay in accordance with the AGS EA. The enterprise agreement provides for four types of performance-based bonuses.

Net production bonus

Paralegals with a net production target, Lawyers, Senior Lawyers and Senior Executive Lawyers receive a net production bonus equivalent to 20 per cent of the employee's net production above their net production target. The bonus is only paid where the employee's overall performance is assessed as 'met requirements' or 'exceeded requirements' under the AGS performance programme.

Discretionary bonus

AGS has a pool of funds amounting to $150,000 a year available to award to eligible employees, at the Australian Government Solicitor's discretion, having regard to any other bonuses the employee may be entitled to receive, the employee's responsibilities and their overall contribution. An eligible employee is an employee who is eligible for a net production bonus.

Percentage-of-salary bonus

Outposted lawyers, Law Graduates and other roles, as determined by the Australian Government Solicitor, are eligible to earn up to 10 per cent of their salary in a percentage-of-salary bonus. The bonus is only paid where the employee's overall performance is assessed as 'exceeded requirements' under the AGS performance program.

AGS profitability bonus

Annually, AGS pays eligible employees a profitability bonus of:

  • 10 per cent of that part of AGS's gross legal services trading profit that exceeds $2.5 million, plus
  • an additional 10 per cent of that part, if any, of AGS's gross legal services trading profit that exceeds the dollar value of 8.5 per cent of AGS's revenue  from legal service trading in that year.

The bonus is paid to all employees where their overall performance is assessed as 'met requirements' or 'exceeded requirements' under the AGS performance programme and who are employed by AGS at the time the bonus is paid.

Table 4: Performance payments made in 2015–16 to AGS staff

Classification Number of employees who received performance pay Aggregate amount of performance pay Average amount of performance pay Range of performance payments
SES Band 3 3 $90,991 $30,330 $1,144 – $48,704
SES Band 2 17 $461,691 $27,158 $1,144 – $80,848
SES Band 1 104 $1,054,852 $10,143 $246 – $55,912
Executive Level 2 108 $739,149 $6,844 $21 – $36,261
Executive Level 1 91 $435,429 $4,785 $88 – $45,193
APS 6 57 $149,280 $2,619 $40 – $16,083
APS 5 124 $213,636 $1,723 $145 – $10,924
APS 4 89 $86,029 $967 $13 – $3,998
APS 3 19 $16,007 $842 $277 – $1,144
Graduate 15 $20,279 $1,352 $909 – $1,939
APS 2 12 $5,153 $429 $13 – $1,144
AGS 639 $3,272,496 $5,121 $13 – $80,848

Notes: AGS performance bonuses are typically paid in August and September of each year, based on performance in the previous financial year. The data in the table above reflects payments made in 2015–16 for performance in 2014–15. This includes payments for individuals who commenced with or left AGS during the financial year. The average amount of performance pay is the average for those who received a bonus. The range of performance pay is the range for those who received a bonus. The table reflects the substantive APS classifications that were allocated to AGS employees on 1 July 2015.​

SES remuneration

Remuneration for the department (not including AGS) SES employees is established in accordance with the AGD SES Remuneration Policy and given effect through determinations made under section 24(1) of the Public Service Act 1999.

Salary levels for SES employees are generally set at rates within a salary band applicable to each SES classification – however no salary band exists for the SES Band 3 classification. Remuneration for SES Band 3 employees is established having regard to the Executive Remuneration Policy developed by the APSC.

Remuneration for AGS SES employees is provided for in accordance with the AGS EA.

On 9 May 2016, the majority of departmental (not including AGS) SES employees moved from being covered by individual determinations to a collective determination. It is the department's intention to move AGS SES onto a collective section 24(1) determination at the commencement of a new enterprise agreement.

At 30 June 2016, there were 51 SES employees covered by the collective section 24(1) determinations. There were 119 AGS SES employees covered by the AGS EA.

Staff profile

Table 5: Staffing trends (headcount) from 2010–11 to 2015–16

2010–11 2011–12 2012–13 2013–14 2014–15 2015–16
TOTAL STAFF 1,640 1,527 1,491 1,713 1,787 1,992
Ongoing 1,480 1,420 1,295 1,366 1,328 1,639
Non-ongoing 129 83 170 318 411 301
Irregular/intermittent/casual 31 24 26 29 48 52
Average age (years) 38 38 38 37 37 38
Average length of AGD service (years) 4.4 4.9 4.8 4.3 4.5 3.9
Proportion female (%) 62.3 62.5 62.7 65.8 66.7 67.1
Proportion male (%) 37.7 37.5 37.3 34.2 33.3 32.9
Proportion part time (%) 10.4 10 13 13.3 13.3 16.4
Proportion Indigenous (%) 1.5 1.8 1.9 2.3 2.2 1.1*
Proportion with a disability (%) 1.4 1.3 1.9 1.8 1.6 1.0*
Proportion from a non-English-speaking background (%) 5.7 6.3 6.2 6.1 5.9 3.9*
SES 77 78 64 65 69 169
EL1 and 2 equivalent 658 657 633 667 657 758
APS 1–6 equivalent 905 792 768 981 1,061 1,065
Total excluding casuals 1,609 1,503 1,465 1,684 1,739 1,940

* Diversity calculations are based on total headcount including AGS. As AGS had not fully implemented its diversity collection process by 30 June 2016 any AGS staff members who shared diversity information have not been captured here.

Staffing trends

The major differences in staffing trends between 2014–15 and 2015–16 have resulted from AGS becoming part of the department. Consistent with the independent work value assessments that were carried out on consolidation and acceptance by the Australian Public Service Commission of the need for AGS to maintain a significant cohort of Senior Executive Service legal advisers to meet client demand, a significant proportion of the department's SES employees are AGS lawyers.

Notes: Figures at 30 June of each year. Classifications are based on substantive positions.

Staff turnover and retention

During 2015–16, the department's ongoing separation rate was 12.5 per cent. The rate includes all separations for ongoing staff and consists of terminations, redundancies, resignations and retirements. It does not include movement of ongoing staff to other agencies or machinery-of- government transfers.

Staff remuneration

Table 6: Salary ranges as at 30 June 2016

Classification Salary range under the Attorney-General's Department Enterprise Agreement 2011 Section 24(1) determinations AGS salary ranges
by classification
SES Band 3 n/a $346,450 $249,703 – $317,752
SES Band 2 n/a $253,647 – $322,875 $193,440 – $284,371
SES Band 1 n/a $206,696 – $230,290 $140,867 – $255,315
Executive Level 2 $115,778 – $186,869 n/a $108,025 – $370,412*
Principal Legal Officer $115,778 – $151,869 n/a n/a
Executive Level 1 $95,154 – $128,583 n/a $89,526 – $152,068
Senior Legal Officer $95,154 – $115,778 n/a n/a
APS Level 5–6 $69,056 – $97,601 n/a $61,003 – $122,675
APS Level 4 $61,910 – $72,489 n/a $50,000 – $81,955
Legal Officer $55,550 – $87,601 n/a n/a
APS Level 3 $55,550 – $60,737 n/a $47,000 – $69,647
Graduate APS $55,139 – $56,515 n/a $57,290 – $60,380
APS Level 1–2 $43,957 – $55,164 n/a $43,040 – $61,026
Cadet APS (practical training) $43,095 – $47,626 n/a n/a
Cadet APS (full-time study) $23,511 – $23,511 n/a n/a

Note: Where a salary level for a particular classification appearing in column two above exceeds the maximum salary applicable to a classification set out in Schedule 1 of the AGD Enterprise Agreement 2011, this is the result of an employee in receipt of supplementary salary under an IFA under clause 3.54 of the enterprise agreement or through their salary being maintained on movement from another agency under clause 3.12 of the enterprise agreement. Salary for AGS employees is awarded under the AGS Enterprise Agreement 2012. As the enterprise agreement does not provide for salary ranges by APS classification, the actual salary ranges at each AGS classification are reported above. The AGD Enterprise Agreement 2011 does  not cover SES employees. Non-SES employees are not covered by a determination made under section 24(1) of the Public Service Act 1999.

*Salary range includes annualised salary of employees engaged on an intermittent, casual hourly basis.

Work health and safety

We are committed to providing and maintaining a safe and healthy workplace for all employees, and to meeting obligations under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act) and the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988.

Health and Safety Committee

The department's Health and Safety Committee (HSC) expanded with the amalgamation of AGS and is now comprised of representatives from all states and territories. The HSC remained focused on minimising and eliminating hazards and risks, as well as promoting work health and safety. The committee met four times during 2015–16. A key initiative during the reporting period was to review all WHS policies and procedures to accommodate the integration of departmental and AGS WHS practises and maintaining a Work Health and Safety Management System (WHSMS). Minutes of meetings were published on the department's intranet.

WHS management framework

Our WHS management framework comprises a suite of policies, procedures and guidelines, including the WHS Management System (WHSMS), based on the Australian Standard. The WHSMS is being developed to support the department in meeting its obligations under the WHS Act and is underpinned by risk management principles to minimise hazards and injury.

The Workplace Discrimination, Harassment and Bullying Policy was also revised and updated after extensive consultation.

Reporting of incidents and enforcement measures under the WHS Act

Table 7: Reporting of incidents and enforcement measures under the WHS Act

Incidents and enforcement measures Number
Section 38: Notifiable Incidents One incident was reported under section 38 of the WHS Act.
Part 10: Enforcement Measures (Improvement Notices, Prohibition Notices, Non-disturbance Notices, Remedial Action and Injunctions) No enforcement measures or improvement notices were issued.
Part 11: Enforceable Undertakings No Enforceable Undertakings under Part 11 of the WHS Act applied to the department’s operations.

Other initiatives

Engagement strategies supporting a culture free from discrimination, harassment and bullying were implemented during the year. These included expanding the Harassment Contact Officer Network, promoting the revised Workplace Discrimination, Harassment and Bullying Policy, and delivering Inappropriate Workplace Conduct training.

We conducted regular workplace inspections during 2015–16. Inspections conducted by Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs) assisted with identifying hazards and potential risks in the workplace and provided opportunities to improve safe work practices. Trained HSRs continued to conduct basic ergonomic workstation assessments for employees, while more complex workstation and workplace assessments were facilitated by a panel of external providers. During 2015–16, 254 workstation assessments were conducted for staff, with 38 conducted internally by HSRs.

Under our Health and Wellbeing Programme, influenza vaccination was conducted during April 2016 with 880 employees electing to receive vaccinations. Financial reimbursement options for eye-sight testing, quit-smoking solutions, health and wellbeing activities and related equipment also contribute to the health and wellbeing of employees under the programme. In addition, a series of events were promoted and held during Mental Health Week in October 2015.

We have continued to maintain an Employee Assistance Programme for all employees. The programme provides free, confidential and professional counselling  services and trauma/critical incident debriefing and a range of other services to help resolve work and other issues that may affect an employee's work performance and/or wellbeing.

Workers' compensation performance

AGD remained committed to ongoing premium reduction initiatives and improving performance through:

  • tighter contract management and monitoring of rehabilitation service providers
  • engagement and upskilling of line managers through Manager essentials Training and targeted support and advice.

Particular focus in 2015–16 was to ensure psychological injury claims were prevented by implementing early-intervention strategies. Targeted support and advice was offered to managers through the roll-out of the Managers' Essential Training which included practical tools to help managers understand how to recognise and manage potential mental health issues, especially as they relate to performance management.

Our workers' compensation premium for 2015–16 was 0.83% of payroll costs. This performance compares favourably to other similar-sized agencies.

Table 8: Premium rates comparison, 2012–13 to 2015–16

Premium rate (%) 2012–13 2013–14 2014–15 2015–16
Attorney-General's Department 0.64 0.68 0.62 0.83
All agencies (average) 1.77 1.81 2.12 1.72

Compliance with the agency's obligations under the Carer Recognition Act 2010

The department promotes an awareness and understanding of the Statement for Australia's Carers through inclusion of the statement on the department's intranet, thus making it available to all employees. The department is cognisant of, and has regard to, the statement in reviewing internal human resources policies. The department's human resources policies overall are consistent with the statement.

Asset management, purchasing and grants

Asset management

Management of the department's assets is governed by the Secretary's Instructions on asset management and aligns with government best practice. The department has documented asset management policies. A three-year rolling stocktake is carried out to verify their accuracy. The department's fixed assets include office fit-outs, purchased and internally developed software, computer equipment, infrastructure and centrally held library materials.

Purchasing

Our procurement policies and practices reflect the principles set out in the Commonwealth Procurement Rules (CPRs). We focus on:

  • value for money
  • encouraging competition
  • the efficient, effective, economical and ethical use of government resources
  • accountability and transparency
  • compliance with other australian government policies.

A central procurement advisory unit within the department provides advice to staff involved in procurement activities. The unit undertakes quality assurance testing of procurement activities across the department. The unit periodically reviews all procurement-related documentation and training material to ensure consistency with the CPRs and other policies that interact with procurement. The department uses a procurement module within our financial management information system to enhance administrative workflows and procurement compliance.

Small-to-medium enterprises

The department supports small business participation in the Commonwealth Government procurement market. Small and medium enterprises (SME) and small enterprise participation statistics are available on the Department of Finance's website.

The department recognises the importance of ensuring that small businesses are paid on time. The results of the Survey of Australian Government Payments to Small Business are available on the Treasury's website. The department supports the use of SMEs through various means, including:

  • an electronic invoice processing system used to facilitate on-time payment performance
  • use of template contracts for both low-risk and higher-risk procurements
  • compliance with the government's Supplier Pay on Time or Pay Interest Policy
  • SMes being able to request payment by credit card for procurements valued at $10,000 or less.

Consultants

The department engages consultants where it lacks specialist expertise or when independent research, review or assessment is required. Consultants are typically engaged to investigate or diagnose a defined issue or problem, carry out defined reviews or evaluations or provide independent advice, information and/or develop creative solutions to assist in the department's decision-making. Prior to engaging consultants, the department takes into account the skills and resources required for the task, the skills available internally, and the cost-effectiveness of engaging external expertise. The decision to engage a consultant is made in accordance with the PGPA Act and related regulations, including the CPRs and relevant internal policies.

During 2015–16, 24 new consultancy contracts were entered into, involving total expenditure of $2.501 million. In addition, ten ongoing consultancy contracts were active during the 2015–16 year involving total expenditure of $1.255 million. Annual reports contain information about expenditure on contracts for consultancies. Information on the value of contracts and consultancies is available on the AusTender website.

Table 9: Expenditure on consultancy

Financial year 2013–14 2014–15 2015–16
Expenditure ($m) 3.991 3.331 3.756

 

Contracts—ANAO access clauses

During 2015–16, the department had 1 contract over the value of $100,000 that did not provide for the Auditor-General to have access to the contractor's premises.

Table 10: Contracts

Name Purpose Value ($) Reason
Energy Australia Pty Ltd Electricity supply $325,000 Supplier contract

Note: The department has not included in the table above other arrangements that were in the nature of non-statutory appointments and/or employment contracts.

ContractsAusTender exempt

Departments are required to advise if any contract in excess of $10,000 (inclusive of GST) or a standing offer has been exempted by the Secretary from being published on AusTender on the basis that it would disclose exempt matters under the FOI Act. The fact that the contract has been exempted and the value of the contract or standing offer must be reported to the extent that doing so does not in itself disclose the exempt matters. During 2015–16, the department had no contracts which were exempt from being published on AusTender on the basis that to do so would disclose exempt matters under the FOI Act.

Advertising and market research

Under section 311A of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 the department is required to disclose payments of $12,565 or more (inclusive of GST) to specific types of organisations. These organisations are advertising agencies, market research organisations, polling organisations, media advertising organisations and direct mail organisations. During 2015–16, the department conducted two advertising campaigns. There were no payments to direct mail or polling organisations. Details of payments to the other categories of organisations are in Table 8.

Table 11: Payments to advertising, market research and other designated organisations

Name of organisation Payment ($) Purpose Key
Dentsu Mitchell 488,490 Non-campaign government advertising C
Dentsu Mitchell 6,110,863 National Security Campaign advertising C
BMF Advertising Pty 767,731 National Security Campaign advertising A
Colmar Brunton Pty Ltd 70,000 Tracking evaluation research for the National Security Campaign B
Trustee for Essence Communication 161,625 Concept testing for the National Security Campaign B
Trustee for Essence Communication 99,100 Developmental research for the National Security Campaign B
Dentsu Mitchell 208,264 Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN) Campaign advertising C

Key
A: Paid to a creative advertising agency to develop advertising campaign.
B: Paid to a market research organisation.
C: Paid to a media advertising organisation for placing government advertising (both campaign and non-campaign) in the media.

Grant programmes

The department manages its grants programmes in accordance with the Australian Government's legislative framework, the Commonwealth Grant Rules and Guidelines and the department's grant management procedures. Information on grants awarded by the department is available at the Attorney-General's Department website. In 2015–16, the department published information on the grants register for 17 departmental grant programmes:

  • Australia–New Zealand Counter-Terrorism Committee
  • Community Legal Services Programme
  • Disaster Resilience Australia Package
  • Ex gratia assistance – New Zealand citizens
  • Expensive Commonwealth Criminal Cases Fund
  • Family Relationships Services Programme
  • Financial assistance towards legal costs and related expenses
  • Financial assistance towards legal costs and related expenses – Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse
  • Financial assistance towards legal costs and related expenses – Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption
  • Grants to Australian Organisations Programme
  • Indigenous Legal Assistance Programme
  • Native Title Respondents Scheme
  • One-off grant to support community initiatives to counter the influence of violent extremist ideologies
  • Payments for membership of international bodies
  • Proceeds of Crime Act 2002
  • Safer Streets Programme Round Two
  • Schools Security Programme.

Ecologically sustainable development

Our organisation is committed to each of the five principles of sustainable development (integration, precaution, intergeneration, biodiversity and valuation) identified in the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act), where they apply to our operations. In 2015–16 we continued to mitigate the effects of our impact on the environment by:

  • electronic document management systems and web-based information-sharing tools that reduce or eliminate the need to print and retain paper copies of documents
  • videoconferencing to reduce the need for local, interstate and international travel
  • reviewing leased buildings and encouraging building owners to improve energy performance
  • ensuring that new leases entered into comply with the Australian Government's energy policy
  • procuring energy-efficient equipment and lighting solutions, including a smart lighting system that activates only when areas are occupied
  • recycling facilities in all work areas.

The department has established the Green group to champion environmentally friendly work practices and initiatives. The Green group works to provide the leadership, motivation and information needed to raise awareness and increase participation in environmentally friendly work practices and initiatives, including:

  • promoting and encouraging environmentally sustainable work practices
  • raising awareness and understanding of environmental issues for the department
  • providing information to the department about environmental initiatives
  • providing a forum for staff to discuss environmentally sustainable work practices.

The integration of energy-efficiency practices into our organisation and planning processes allows us to reduce our energy costs and decrease consumption of valuable resources. The department reports under section 516A of the EPBC Act on how our activities accord with and our outcomes contribute to the principles of ecologically sustainable development, as well as the effect of our activities on the environment. Further information on the environmentally sustainable development principles can be found at the Department of the Environment and Energy website.

Freedom of information

Information publication scheme

Agencies subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) are required to publish information to the public as part of the Information Publication Scheme. This requirement is in Part II of the FOI Act and has replaced the former requirement to publish a section 8 statement in an annual report. Our website displays a plan showing the information we publish in accordance with the scheme requirements.

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