As outlined in the Secretary’s review, the department has had a successful year. We continued to play a central role in supporting the Prime Minister, the Cabinet and other portfolio ministers and in developing and delivering strategic policy and program advice on a range of key issues. Our performance is underpinned by the integrity and professionalism of our staff and our capacity to respond quickly to emerging issues.
Our core key performance indicators (KPIs) and deliverables are used to assess and monitor our performance and provide an important record of our progress towards meeting government policy objectives, how well public money is being spent and whether planned achievements are on track.
The department has substantially met each of its KPIs in 2010–11, as it has over the past three years. Detailed reporting by divisions against each KPI is contained in chapters 3 to 10. In addition, we use the following indicators to measure performance across the department:
- we provided over 2 766 briefs to the Prime Minister and other portfolio ministers, with 345, or 12.5 per cent of these being for use in the Cabinet or Cabinet committees.
- we processed approximately 158 000 items of correspondence addressed to the Prime Minister, other portfolio ministers and their offices. This was an average of 605 items each working day.
- we oversaw the delivery of 733 question time briefings to the Prime Minister and other portfolio ministers, often within very tight timeframes.
- we also managed the handling of 42 parliamentary questions on notice, with the average response time being 59 days for House of Representatives questions and 61 days for Senate questions. On a number of occasions when a question on notice was asked of all or many ministers, we identified and advised where it was appropriate to provide streamlined responses so departments could avoid unnecessary duplication of information.
- Cabinet and Cabinet committee meetings convened over consecutive days to maximise the availability of ministers for their regular work commitments but often an additional day was required to finalise minutes. This resulted in the lower figure in the reporting period for the release of minutes (see Figure 6.4).