Output 4.3 Government Communications
| Coordination of government communications,
including management of the Central Advertising System (CAS).
|| Quality: The degree of satisfaction
of the Chairman and members of the Ministerial Committee
on Government Communications (MCGC) with the advice and
secretariat support provided by the Government Communications
The degree of satisfaction with the Central Advertising System among clients
of the master placement agencies.
Timeliness: Maximise compliance with the requirement that agenda papers
be provided by departments and agencies seven working days prior to an
Quantity: On the basis of recent experience, the GCU would expect to
organise and coordinate 40 meetings of the MCGC covering 25 public information
activities in 2002-03.
| Provision of photographic services
by AUSPIC (the government photographic service).
|| Quality: The degree of customer
satisfaction with AUSPIC services.
Price: Achievement of a break-even financial position from
trading activities by AUSPIC.
Cost of outputs - $2.9m
The First Assistant Secretary, People, Resources and Communication
Division, meets with the Chairman of the Ministerial Committee
on Government Communications (MCGC) - the Special Minister
of State, Senator the Hon. Eric Abetz - before each meeting
of the MCGC and, at the conclusion of each meeting, receives feedback
from both the chairman and committee members. The First Assistant
Secretary also meets regularly with representatives of the Prime
Minister’s Office to review performance in relation to specific
AUSPIC (the government photographic service) meets regularly with
its clients to monitor service standards.
Feedback from both the Chairman of the MCGC and the Prime Minister’s
Office on the performance of the Government Communications Unit
(GCU) in the provision of support and advice to the MCGC was positive.
Feedback on AUSPIC services indicated an ongoing high level of
The workload of the GCU remained heavy during the course of the
year as a result of a continuing high level of communications activities.
Notwithstanding the level of the workload, the GCU continued to
provide a full range of analysis, advice and support to the MCGC,
the Prime Minister, the departmental Executive and departments
Demand for services remained high and customer requirements continued
to be met.
Ministerial Committee on Government
The GCU provided strategic communications advice as well as advice
on individual information campaigns to the MCGC. It supported departments
and agencies by providing advice on communications arrangements,
including advice on research, public relations and advertising.
The GCU also managed the Central Advertising System (CAS), which
delivers a reliable and cost-effective media placement service
for departments and agencies.
The MCGC met on 46 occasions during the year to consider 25 information
activities and other matters put to it by departments through the
GCU. The frequency of meetings reflected the number of significant
information activities undertaken by the government in 2002-03.
The more important information activities were those associated
with the implementation of Australian Defence Force recruitment
($19.7 million), national security awareness ($6.8 million), quarantine
awareness ($4.2 million), the provision of information on Australian
Government programmes and services in regional Australia ($2.7
million) and voluntary compliance ($2 million).
The GCU facilitated and organised 13 seminars and workshops on
communications and media issues. They were attended by some 874
staff from 58 departments and agencies and received positive feedback
There were instances when the GCU was not able to obtain papers
from departments and agencies seven days in advance of MCGC meetings.
However, the GCU did consistently advise MCGC of such instances
and obtained waivers to the seven-day rule from the chairman where
The GCU undertook two major tendering processes for the appointment
of a master media planning and placement agency for campaign advertising
(Universal McCann was the successful tenderer) and the appointment
of a master media placement agency for non-campaign advertising
(hma Blaze was the successful tenderer). Both contracts commenced
on 1 December 2002 and cover a period of three years and ten
months. The GCU’s negotiations with the media on advertising
rates, terms and conditions achieved outcomes for the CAS that
were significantly better than the standard rates offered. In 2002-03
approximately $99 million in advertising expenditure was placed
through the CAS.
AUSPIC operates on a cost-recovery basis to provide photographic
services to the government, the Parliament, senators and members.
AUSPIC continued to meet the continuing high rate of demand for
its services, particularly in the area of digital photography - which
provides flexibility and quick turnaround for its clients.
Administered Item - Media Commissions
The funds in the Media Commissions Advance Account are used to
remunerate the Australian Government’s contracted master
media placement agencies - and, if required, any creative
advertising agencies - for the placement of Australian Government
advertising. Funds are derived from the commission paid by the
media to the Australian Government when it places its advertising.