To undertake our role and responsibilities to a high
standard, we are going to need sufficient resources - resources
that are structured appropriately and managed with an emphasis
on organisational performance. Presently there are not enough of
us … I also believe that there has been insufficient attention
given to the importance of supporting, recognising and rewarding
people within the department.
Dr Shergold in his address to staff on 14 May 2003
The department continued to produce regular staffing reports during
the year, including monthly staffing figures and detailed commencement
and cessation profiles. Reports were provided monthly to the Secretary
as part of the comprehensive Corporate Report.
The staff age profile analysis for the year indicated that the
department continued to maintain a relatively youthful workforce. Approximately
33 per cent of staff employed were in the 25 to 34 years age group
and 30 per cent were in the 35 to 44 years age group. Staff in
the 45 to 65 years age group accounted for 32 per cent of total
In 2002-03, the department took steps to address staff attraction
and retention issues. These included ensuring closer attention
was paid to individual development needs and introducing initiatives
such as the rewards and recognition scheme which will come into
effect in 2003-04.
As at 30 June 2003, a total of 347 staff were employed by the
department under the Public Service Act 1999. The figure
was close to our 30 June 2002 figure of 345. The total staffing
figure includes all ongoing and non-ongoing employees working either
full-time or part-time as at 30 June 2003 and paid inoperative
Women comprised 63 per cent of all staff, 46 per cent of the SES,
56 per cent of Executive Level staff and 72 per cent of APS Levels
1 to 6 staff.
Details of the department’s staffing profile in 2002-03
are provided in Appendix 1.
The department’s 2003 graduate recruitment campaign attracted
a total of 630 responses from people seeking employment with the
department. Twelve graduates were recruited. They were selected
on the basis of their academic skills, their potential ability
to contribute to effective policy development and their understanding
of contemporary issues. Graduate recruits to the department continued
to complete a training and development programme in their first
year of service, to complement the skills and experience that they
acquired during their deployment to line areas.
The department’s second workplace diversity programme was
developed with input from staff. The programme continued to reflect
the department’s ongoing commitment to providing a fair and
equitable working environment for all staff. Improvements made
to the programme included: individual and group responsibilities
identified to assist in fostering a culture where diversity is
valued and supported; performance indicators revised to provide
more meaningful and responsive data for evaluation purposes; and
a new format that focuses on key issues and is easy to read. A
suite of personnel management guides covering the Disability Action
Plan, the APS Values and Code of Conduct and the management of
workplace harassment continued to support the Workplace Diversity
Programme and could be readily accessed by staff via the intranet.
The Workplace Diversity Programme was also made available to the
wider Australian community via the internet.
Staff were again prompted to update their workplace diversity
data through the online facility introduced in 2001-02. The
facility continued to complement the arrangements in place for
the collection of workplace diversity data on staff members’ commencement
with the department. Workplace diversity data is reported each
year in the Public Service Commissioner’s State of the
Remuneration, Australian Workplace Agreements
and the Certified Agreement
All SES and 103 Executive Level staff were covered by AWAs as
at 30 June 2003. Remuneration arrangements for SES and Executive
Level staff covered by AWAs were based on the principles that remuneration
- be fair and competitive
- be sufficiently flexible to reflect the particular skills,
experience and work responsibilities of individual employees
- be clearly linked to performance, in order to provide better
rewards for better performance in achieving corporate priorities,
upholding the APS values and demonstrating leadership behaviours
- take account of efficiency gains, including any reductions
in administrative complexity and cost achieved through the simplification
of rules governing employment.
The salary ranges and median salaries paid for SES bands are set
out in Table 5 below.
Table 5 Senior Executive Service
salary ranges and median salaries
Salary ranges ($)
88,000 - 120,000
120,000 - 150,000
150,000 - 180,000
Information on SES staff who received, or were due to receive,
total remuneration of $100,000 or more is set out in Note 10 to
the Financial Statements in this report.
The department’s third certified agreement made directly
with non-SES staff was negotiated during the year. The agreement
covers the period 4 December 2002 to 30 September 2004 and provides
- pay increases of 4.2 per cent from 4 December 2002 and 3.8
per cent from 1 October 2003
- an increase in ordinary hours of work from seven hours and
21 minutes to seven hours and 30 minutes per day, which would
be partially offset by the provision of two additional days of
leave for staff over the Christmas-New Year period.
- the introduction of a travel charge card for staff who travel
on official business
- the abolition of the Part Day Travel Allowance
- streamlined relocation assistance guidelines
- the trial of a rewards and recognition scheme.
A total of 205 staff were covered by the department’s Certified
Agreement 2002-2004 as at 30 June 2003. The indicative salary
ranges for non-SES staff are set out in Table 6 below.
Table 6 Non-Senior Executive
Service indicative salary ranges
PMC Band level*
Salary ranges ($)
| 1 (APS Levels 1-3)
28,916 - 40,117
| 2 (APS Levels 4-6)
41,420 - 59,134
| 3 (Executive Level 1)
63,562 - 70,856
| 4 (Executive Level 2)
73,982 - 88,049
* Refers to salary bands defined in the Certified
The department’s staff are employed under either its Certified
Agreement or an AWA. If an employee can make a business case he
or she may access a range of non-salary benefits such as a home
based computer, a mobile phone, airport lounge membership or journal
The salaries of Executive Level employees who had signed AWAs
were based on the prescribed salary rates for Executive Level staff
in the department’s Certified Agreement and are set out in
Table 6 above.
SES and Executive Level staff who were on AWAs for a minimum of
three months during the appraisal cycle commencing 1 October 2001
and ending 30 September 2002 were eligible for performance bonuses.
For SES staff, the amount of performance bonus was a matter for
the Secretary to determine, with 15 per cent of the employee’s
salary being the maximum payable. Executive Level performance bonuses
were based on individual performance ratings. Total performance
payments made to SES and Executive Level staff following completion
of the appraisal cycle are set out in Table 7.
Table 7 Performance pay
| SES Band 3
| SES Band 2
6,050 - 18,300
| SES Band 1
2,073 - 14,400
| Executive Level 2
1,060 - 10,140
| Executive Level 1
770 - 5,600
(a) Only two employees at SES Band 3 received
Performance appraisal, training
The Performance Appraisal and Development (PAD) scheme continued
to provide effective performance management in the department through
both the use of individual performance agreements, established
at the start of each performance appraisal cycle, and a process
of regular review and feedback exchange between employees and their
managers during the year. The PAD scheme ensured that all employees
clearly understood their roles in the department and the standards
of performance expected of them. The scheme also provided a means
of recognising individual contributions and achievements and of
identifying and progressing training and development needs.
The PAD scheme agreement developed each year between each staff
member and his or her manager requires the parties to agree to
a training regime for the individual. To address the training and
development needs of staff, the department maintained a database
of appropriate training and development programmes on the intranet.
The programmes during 2002-03 were in the main offered by
external providers. However, core internal programmes and development
opportunities continued to be provided by the department. These
included: departmental information sessions for new staff; performance
appraisal awareness training; and training in security awareness
and the use of departmental systems, particularly in relation to
personal access to the human resource management database, the
financial management system and the ministerial correspondence
The department also offered a work experience interchange programme,
studies assistance, a full-time study award, and the graduate programme
mentioned above. Lunchtime briefing sessions were again conducted
during the year, with topics such as Preparing for Performance
Appraisal, Getting the Most Out of Meetings and Discussions, The
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet’s Special Role
in the Cabinet Process, and the new certified agreement. The Secretary
also addressed all staff on various occasions on the roles, responsibilities
and resources of the department.
A total of 166 staff participated in 270 staff days’ worth
of structured training courses during the year.
One staff member commenced an exchange posting to the United Kingdom
as part of the ongoing exchange programme the department has with
its United Kingdom counterpart. A member of the United Kingdom
Civil Service is working in the department on a two-year placement,
as is a Canadian public servant. An employee was awarded the department’s
full-time study award to complete tertiary studies. Eighteen staff
accessed the department’s studies assistance provisions to
continue their tertiary studies on a part-time basis. Four staff
participated in the SES Career Development Assessment Centres organised
by the APS Commission.
The Australia Day Achievement Awards are part of the department’s
internal system for recognising the performance of particular staff
members. The medallions are provided by the National Australia
Day Council to promote the celebration of Australia Day. They recognise
the person’s or the team’s distinctive contributions,
as made either during the course of the preceding year or over
a longer timeframe. Awards were made in 2002-03 to:
- the Bali Response Group (Simeon Gilding, Jacqui McRae, Marc
Innes-Brown, Cath Halbert, Vicki Beth, Cheryl Harris, Liz Hickey
and Kate Field) - for their whole-of-government coordination
following the Bali terrorist attack, and their contribution to
the related national memorial service
- the National Security Campaign (Jamie Fox, Susie Van Den Heuvel,
Fiona Skivington, Sophie Davey, Meegan Fitzharris, Richard Davies
and Julie Campigli) - for their work in coordinating the
development of television, radio and print advertising for the
campaign ‘Let’s Look Out for Australia’
- the Domestic Security and Border Protection Unit (Wendy Southern,
Lesley Bennett, Cathy Maurer and Jamie Lowe) - for their
work in relation to domestic security arrangements following
the terrorist attack in Bali and their contribution to border
protection and immigration detention issues
- Russell James - for his contribution to whole-of-government
preparations to develop a sustainable regime on water property
rights for discussion by Cabinet and later the Council of Australian
- Justin Douglas - for the role he played throughout 2002
in providing advice to the Prime Minister on medical indemnity
insurance issues and support to the Secretaries’ Taskforce
on Medical Indemnity
- Margie Paten - for her contribution to the successful
operations of the department’s Social Club over the past
- Alison Camroux and Gavin Jackman - for their work on
cloning and embryo research policy and legislation development
throughout the course of 2002
- Brian Day - for his contribution to the Commonwealth
Heads of Government Meeting (2001-02) Taskforce logistics
group in overseeing the construction of facilities at Coolum,
Workplace giving programme
The department introduced a workplace giving programme during
the year, providing staff with a simple and convenient way to donate
to one or more of their preferred charities or non-profit groups
by way of regular payroll deductions. Each participating staff
member’s donations of $2 or more were forwarded by the department
to the staff member’s nominated organisation, provided the
organisation was endorsed as a deductible gift recipient by the
Australian Taxation Office.
Occupational health and safety
The department maintained a strong focus on OH&S during the
year, with several important initiatives completed to enhance the
health and safety of our employees and our working environment.
These included implementation of the new OH&S Risk Management
Programme, health screenings, activities and information sessions
conducted as part of the department’s Health Week programme,
and an influenza vaccination programme.
A total of 269 staff participated in one or more Health Week activities.
Participants reported positively on the programme, making comments
including, ‘it shows the department values the health and
well being of its employees’ and ‘it raises health
awareness, improved health, staff morale and productivity’.
The influenza vaccination programme again attracted a strong response
with 119 staff participating.
Regular meetings of the OH&S Committee were held, with a wide
range of issues impacting on the health and safety of our employees
being addressed. All staff in the department were provided with
advice on SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and protective
masks were made available for staff called upon to work in environments
where there was a risk or perceived risk of contracting the highly
contagious respiratory illness.
Under the reporting requirements of section 68 of the Occupational
Health and Safety (Commonwealth Employment) Act 1991, the
department notified Comcare Australia of one case of an employee
with a food allergy.
The department’s employment policies continued to reflect
the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and
the department’s commitment to employment equity in its role
as an employer. Guidance material on disability issues - including
the information package for new employees, the Disability Action
Plan and the Staff Selection Guide - was available for all
staff via the intranet. All members of the Australian community
were able to access information on employment opportunities in
the department via our internet site, press advertisements or targeted
recruitment campaigns. People with hearing or speech impairments
who sought employment with the department were able to access the
department’s TTY (telephone typewriter) facility.
The department’s Staff Selection Guide continued to provide
guidance for all staff on addressing the needs of people with disabilities
who attend the department as part of a selection process. Guidance
on the principle of ‘reasonable adjustment’, as identified
in the Commonwealth Disability Strategy, was also available. The
PAD scheme continued to be the main vehicle used by all employees
and their managers, including staff members with disabilities,
to identify training and development needs. The department maintained
a database of relevant training and development programmes for
all staff and regularly promoted available courses on the intranet.
All staff in the department had access to appropriate complaint
handling procedures. There were no complaints or grievances involving
disability issues during the year.
In its role as a regulator, the Government Communications Unit
continued to assist departments and agencies to comply with the
government’s policies to ensure that information activities
provided for the delivery of messages in ways that met the needs
of people with hearing or sight impairments.
As a central coordinating agency, the department exercised its
policy adviser role through the Social Policy Division, taking
into account the needs of a range of target groups in the development
of policy advice on key policy reforms. This included ensuring
that the disadvantages faced by many people with disabilities participating
in the labour market were considered in the development of policies
on welfare reform and the new Job Network.
The department’s performance report against the Commonwealth
Disability Strategy can be found at Appendix 5.
Client service charter
The department commenced a review of its client service charter
for the delivery of corporate services during 2002-03. The
review is being conducted in close consultation with corporate
service managers and staff and their clients and has a strong focus
on identifying service outcomes and improving performance measures.