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Our purpose

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Our Corporate Plan 2016–17 outlines how our strategic priorities help achieve the department's purpose, which is to support government in achieving a just and secure society.

The strategic priorities align with the objectives of the 2016–17 Portfolio Budget Statements (see Table 1). Our performance statement reports against those strategic priorities and outlines results from key activities in the corporate plan.

Table 1: Corporate Plan 2016–17 strategic priorities mapped to 2016–17 Portfolio Budget Statements objectives

Strategic priority Description Portfolio Budget Statements programs Responsible program delivery channel within the department
Legal
STRATEGIC PRIORITY 1
Support the Attorney-General as First Law Officer, including by providing high-quality legal services to the Commonwealth Program 1.1
Program 1.2

Program 1.3

Program 1.9
Civil Justice and Legal Services
National Security and Criminal Justice
Australian Government Solicitor
Royal Commissions
Security
STRATEGIC PRIORITY 2
Protect Australia by delivering effective national security policies, legislation and programs Programs 1.2 and 1.7 National Security and Criminal Justice
Justice
STRATEGIC PRIORITY 3
Maintain an efficient and effective Commonwealth justice system Program 1.1
Program 1.4
Program 1.5
Program 1.6

Program 1.9
Civil Justice and Legal Services
Justice Services
Family Relationships
Indigenous Legal and Native Title Assistance
Royal Commissions
Crime
STRATEGIC PRIORITY 4
Pursue national responses to serious and organised crime, and improve community safety Programs 1.2 and 1.7 National Security and Criminal Justice
Rights
STRATEGIC PRIORITY 5
Enable a free society with balanced rights, freedoms and responsibilities Program 1.1
Program 1.4
Program 1.6
Civil Justice and Legal Services
Justice Services
Indigenous Legal and Native Title Assistance
Emergencies
STRATEGIC PRIORITY 6
Provide national leadership in emergency management Program 1.7

Program 1.8
National Security and Criminal Justice
Australian Government Disaster Financial Support Payments

Adapted from: Attorney-General's Department Corporate Plan 2016–17, page 10.

Measuring our performance

A key objective of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (Cth) (PGPA Act) is the implementation of an enhanced Commonwealth government performance framework. 

The performance framework requires that the annual report include an annual performance statement. The annual performance statement reflects the results achieved against the performance criteria set out in the Corporate Plan and Portfolio Budget Statements for this reporting period.

Strategic Priorities

Our priorities for 2016–17 were to:

  • support the Attorney-General as First Law Officer, including by providing high-quality legal services to the Commonwealth (see Strategic Priority 1)
  • protect Australia by delivering effective national security policies, legislation and programs (see Strategic Priority 2)
  • maintain an efficient and effective Commonwealth justice system (see Strategic Priority 3)
  • pursue national responses to serious and organised crime, and improve community safety (see Strategic Priority 4)
  • enable a free society with balanced rights, freedoms and responsibilities (see Strategic Priority 5)
  • provide national leadership in emergency management (see Strategic Priority 6).

Measuring achievement

The Corporate Plan 2016–17 (page 12) outlines the four key performance indicators used to measure achievement of the strategic priorities. External data and evaluation of our performance (as assessed via stakeholder survey) form the basis for measuring achievements.
The key performance indicators are:

  • our community impact
  • our effectiveness in achieving objectives
  • our efficiency in meeting goals
  • our professionalism, skills and commitment.

2017 stakeholder survey

A stakeholder survey was conducted in May–June 2017. The results help to evaluate the levels of satisfaction our partners and external stakeholders have when working with us.

The survey sought stakeholder views on:

  • overall performance – effectiveness and efficiency in achieving government objectives and the professionalism, skills and commitment of departmental staff
  • effectiveness – timeliness, quality and consistency of information and advice, focus on the priority issues for government and commitment to problem-solving
  • relationship with the organisation – how well the department understands, collaborates with, listens to and supports stakeholder organisations
  • staffing – the levels of skill and expertise of departmental staff and their accessibility
  • leadership – the quality of the department’s leadership, vision and clarity of purpose
  • results and delivery – whether the department is results-oriented, committed to continuous improvement, makes evidence-based decisions, is an active contributor to whole-of-government initiatives, achieves outcomes and manages risk appropriately.

The 2017 survey again indicated very high levels of stakeholder satisfaction.

Other measures

We also referred to the World Justice Project Rule of Law Index, which measures the rule of law based on the experiences and perceptions of the general public and in-country experts worldwide. We note that some of these methods might not directly measure all aspects of the department’s activities and the community impact. However, they are considered meaningful as over time they will be indicators of the broad health of Australia’s justice and security systems (which will be influenced by the activities of the department, albeit only in part), and the matters that the community regards as important.

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