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Chapter 5 - Our performance

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Our performance

Performance reports

Part 2 of our 2011-12 Annual Report covers our performance in areas for which activity is measured across the department. This includes:

  • the Attorney-General's Department resource statement for 2011-12 showing available resources to the department reconciled with actual payments made (Table 5.1)
  • services provided to ministers and Parliament.

Chapters 6 to 10 provide detailed performance reports based on the outcome and programs framework and performance information set out in the 2011-12 Portfolio Budget Statements and any Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements.

The department has one outcome against which it reports in the 2011-12 Annual Report:

  • Outcome 1 - a just and secure society through the maintenance and improvement of Australia's law and justice framework and its national security and emergency management system.

Performance reports are structured to demonstrate a clear relationship between the performance standards for each outcome and program, as set out in the Portfolio Budget Statements and Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements, and the actual results achieved for the department in 2011-12.

Chapter 7 and Chapter 8 address, respectively, the departmental and administered programs for the Civil Justice and Legal Services Group. Chapter 9 and Chapter 10 address the departmental and administered programs for the National Security and Criminal Justice Group.

Each chapter provides:

  • a summary of performance and key achievements contributing to the programs
  • results of evaluations or reviews
  • purchaser/provider arrangements, where relevant
  • outlook for the following financial year
  • reporting against the key performance indicators for the program and related administered items.

The report includes a selection of case studies that provide an insight into the people behind some of the department's key achievements.

2011-12 resource statement

Table 5.1: Attorney-General's Department resource statement, 2011-12

 
Actual available appropriations for 2011-12
 ($'000)
Actual Expenses 2011-12
($'000)
Balance remaining
 ($'000)
ORDINARY ANNUAL SERVICES1      
Departmental appropriation      
Prior year departmental appropriation 94,940 57,204 37,736
Departmental appropriation 228,495 227,251 1,244
S 31 relevant agency receipts 37,661 36,540 1,121
Total Departmental appropriation 361,096 320,995 40,101
Administered expenses      
Outcome 1 416,739 413,787 2,952
Total Administered expenses 416,739 413,787 2,952
Total ordinary annual services 777,835 734,783 43,052
OTHER SERVICES2      
Administered expenses      
Specific payments to states, ACT, NT and local government      
Outcome 1 5,709 5,461 248
Total 5,709 5,461 248
Departmental non-operating      
Prior year departmental appropriation 3,006 2,834 172
Equity injections 8,057 6,109 1,948
Total departmental non-operating 11,063 8,943 2,120
Administered non-operating      
Prior year administered appropriation 70,611 - 70,611
Administered assets and liabilities 18,671 13,551 5,120
Total administered non-operating 89,282 13,551 75,731
Total other services 106,054 27,955 78,099
Total available annual appropriations and payments 883,889 762,738 121,151
SPECIAL APPROPRIATIONS      
Special appropriations limited by criteria/entitlement      
Law Officers Act 1964 s 16(13) - former Solicitors-General 450 292 158
National Firearms Program Implementation Act 1996 75 -1,754 1,829
Social Security (Administration) Act 85,500 79,879 5,621
Total special appropriations 86,025 78,417 7,608
Total appropriations excluding special accounts 969,914 8421,155 128,759
SPECIAL ACCOUNTS      
Opening balance 17,208 17,208 -
Appropriation receipts -   -
Appropriation receipts - other agencies -   -
Non-appropriation receipts to special accounts 5,645   5,645
Payments made - 8,097 -8,097
Total special accounts 22,853 25,305 -2,452
Total Resourcing and Payments 992,767 866,460 126,307
Total net resourcing for agency 992,767 866,460 126,307

 

CAC Act = Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997

All figures are GST exclusive

Notes:

1. Appropriation Bill (No 1) 2011-12 and Appropriation Bill (No 3) 2011-12.

2. Appropriation Bill (No 2) 2011-12 and Appropriation Bill (No 4) 2011-12.

Resource summaries

Table 5.2: Resource summary, Outcome 1 - A just and secure society through the maintenance and improvement of Australia's law and justice framework and its national security and emergency management system

 
Actual available appropriations 2011-12
$'000

(a)

Actual Expenses 2011-12
$'000

(b)

Variation
$'000

(a)-(b)

Program 1.1: Attorney-General's Department Operating Expenses - Civil Justice and Legal Services      
Departmental expenses      
Ordinary annual services (Appropriation Bill No. 1) 88,662 87,395 1,267
Revenues from independent sources (Section 31) 10,530 11,703 -1,173
Expenses not requiring appropriation in the Budget year 15,383 53,850 -38,467
Total for Program 1.1 114,575 152,948 -38,373
Program 1.2: Attorney-General's Department Operating Expenses - National Security and Criminal Justice      
Departmental expenses      
Ordinary annual services (Appropriation Bill No. 1) 117,414 118,260 -846
Revenues from independent sources (Section 31) 27,131 24,837 2,294
Expenses not requiring appropriation in the Budget year 18,420 24,347 -5,927
Total for Program 1.2 162,965 167,444 -4,479
Program 1.3: Justice Services      
Administered expenses      
Ordinary annual services (Appropriation Bill No. 1) 78,741 78,685 56
Special appropriations 450 292 158
Total for Program 1.3 79,191 78,977 214
Program 1.4: Family Relationships      
Administered expenses      
Ordinary annual services (Appropriation Bill No. 1) 164,992 164,875 117
Expenses not requiring appropriation in the Budget year      
Total for Program 1.4 164,992 164,875 117
Program 1.5: Indigenous Law and Justice      
Administered expenses      
Ordinary annual services (Appropriation Bill No. 1) 124,272 124,271 1
Total for Program 1.5 124,272 124,271 1
Program 1.6: National Security and Criminal Justice      
Administered expenses      
Ordinary annual services (Appropriation Bill No. 1) 47,693 45,776 1,917
Other services (Appropriation Bill No. 2) 5,709 5,461 248
Special appropriations 75 -1,754 1,829
Special accounts 15,584 8,097 7,487
Expenses not requiring appropriation in the Budget year 6,230 4,455 1,775
Total for Program 1.6 75,291 62,034 13,257
Program 1.7: Australian Government Disaster Financial
Support Payments
     
Administered expenses      
Ordinary annual services (Appropriation Bill No. 1) 150 181 -31
Special appropriations 85,500 79,879 5,621
Total for Program 1.7 85,650 80,060 5,590
Outcome 1 totals by appropriation type      
Administered expenses      
Ordinary annual services (Appropriation Bill No. 1) 415,848 413,787 2,061
Other services (Appropriation Bill No. 2) 5,709 5,461 248
Special appropriations 86,025 78,417 7,608
Special accounts 15,584 8,097 7,487
Expenses not requiring appropriation in the Budget year 6,230 4,479 1,751
Departmental expenses      
Ordinary annual services (Appropriation Bill No. 1) 206,076 205,655 421
Revenues from independent sources (Section 31) 37,661 36,540 1,121
Expenses not requiring appropriation in the Budget year 33,803 78,196 -44,393
Total expenses for Outcome 1 806,936 830,633 -23,697
Average Staffing level (number) 1,482 1,430  

 

Services to ministers and Parliament

Ministerial correspondence

During the reporting period, the department processed approximately 28,122 items of correspondence addressed to the Attorney-General or the Minister for Home Affairs and Justice - an average of about 108 items a day. This is an increase of approximately 35 per cent from the previous financial year.

The department's Parliamentary Workflow Solution, ExecCorro for Government, has driven a reduction in key performance timeframes for closing ministerial correspondence items as well as providing a platform for the introduction of paperless processing of ministerial correspondence within the department.

Common topics and issues arising in ministerial correspondence included same-sex marriage and the Marriage Act, cluster munitions, deaths in custody, convoy of no confidence, carbon pricing, live animal exports, Wikileaks, copyright, classification, the Family Court and family law, Family Violence Bill, and Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians.

Parliamentary questions on notice

The statistics in Table 5.3 are provided for the department only. They do not include submissions, correspondence, briefs, questions on notice, or speeches prepared by portfolio agencies.

 

Table 5.3: Services to ministers and Parliament, 2011-12

Outcome/Output Submissions to Ministers Cabinet submissions lodged Responses provided to ministerial correspondence Responses to questions
on notice
Briefs * Speeches
Outcome 1 - A just and secure society through the maintenance and improvement of Australia' law and justice framework and its national security and emergency management system 1,022 20 4,936 49 653 98

 

* Approximate number of meeting briefs, possible parliamentary question and ministers' office briefs (does not include updated briefs or briefs provided by portfolio agencies)

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 (IPS). 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. The department displays on its website (www.ag.gov.au) a plan showing the information it publishes in accordance with the IPS requirements.


 

Our people

The department strengthens its international presence

developing close cooperation with our counterpart agencies in Indonesia

In a major development, the Attorney-General's Department posted its first officer to the Australian Embassy in Jakarta in 2012. As the only Attorney-General's Department representative in Indonesia, Sam Wade is very busy. While his primary responsibility is managing the department's program of cooperation with Indonesia on counter-terrorism (the Strengthening Legal Frameworks to Counter-Terrorism program) he also represents the department's broader portfolio interests in Indonesia. But Sam believes the long hours are worth it.

'The counter-terrorism program facilitates close cooperation between the department and our counterpart agencies in Indonesia. We work together to enhance counter-terrorism legislation, train officials and prosecutors and improve people-to-people links between Indonesia and Australia', Sam explained.

'The program allows officials from both countries to share their expertise and discuss common challenges. It is a learning experience for everyone involved', Sam added.

The department's decision to post its first officer to Indonesia reflects the importance that Australia places on the bilateral legal relationship with Indonesia.

'Australia and Indonesia have shared interests across a wide range of sectors; both countries gain significantly through closer cooperation. Posting an officer to the Embassy in Jakarta presents opportunities for greater understanding and engagement that would not otherwise be possible', said Sam.

For example, Australia and Indonesia have a shared goal of fighting corruption and the department is working with Indonesia's Corruption Eradication Commission to recover the proceeds of corruption.

Sam is enjoying his time in Indonesia, but the posting is not without its challenges. 'I have been described on more than one occasion as tone deaf. While this is not necessarily an inaccurate description, in my defence, our Indonesian colleagues set the karaoke bar fairly high.'

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