Skip to content
Australian Government - Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Advancing the interests of Australia and Australians internationally

Australian Government - Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Advancing the interests of Australia and Australians internationally

Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office

Annual Report 2000-2001

Resources Overview: Corporate Management

ASNO is required, as part of a Commonwealth Department and in accordance with sub-section 50(1) of the Audit Act 1901, to submit to the Auditor-General an annual Financial Statement. Details relating to that Financial Statement are contained in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) Annual Report for 2000-01 and salaries are managed centrally in the Department.

ASNO kept its administrative and accounting procedures under review during the reporting period. Revised and new instructions or guidelines issued by DFAT, the Department of Finance and Administration and other regulatory bodies were implemented where applicable.

Further details of ASNO activities relating to financial management and performance, occupational health and safety, industrial democracy and advertising are included in the DFAT Annual Report for 2000-01.

Staffing

During 2000-01 ASNO was staffed on a basis similar to a DFAT Division. The Director General ASNOholds the statutory office of Director of Safeguards, established under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation (Safeguards) Act 1987. Other staff were employed under the Public Service Act 1999 on a full-time basis, with the exception of one part-time staff member.

Table 1 Details of ASNO Budget and Expenditure 2000-01

1999-00 Actual

2000-01 Actual

Total

$1,400,648

$2,032,695

Salaries

$912,887

$1,015,061

Administrative Costs

$487,761

$1,017,634*

* Includes $527,866 allocated for AGSO seismic monitoring

During the reporting period, responsibility for special funding to support CTBT administration in Australia, amounting to $527 866, was transferred from DFAT to ASNO. These monies have been allocated annually since 1994 and cover services provided by the Australian Geological and Seismic Organisation (AGSO). This explains the increase in administrative costs shown above.

During 2000-01 the following staff changes occurred:

  • DFAT approved an increase in ASNOs staffing of one full time (Administration) and one part time employee (BWC). The part-time position will be reviewed in early 2002, when the future of negotiations on efforts to strengthen the BWC is clear. This has released one full time position which will be filled by a nuclear desk officer in 2001-02.

  • On 3 June 2001 Mr John Bellinger, Head of the Nuclear Accountancy and Control Section and a longstanding member of ASNO, took long service leave pending retirement from the APS later in 2001. He was replaced by Mr Nick Doulgeris (an experienced ASNO employee) as Head of Section, while Mr Brian Ffrost (formerly of ANSTO) and Dr Stephan Bayer were recruited to maintain ASNOs nuclear expertise.

  • In view of the highly specialised nature of ASNOs work, it has been an ongoing challenge to ensure the recruitment and retention of suitably skilled staff and the maintenance of their expertise. This is particularly the case for nuclear safeguards. Given the limited extent of nuclear activities in Australia, and the international orientation of safeguards, practical experience in international safeguards primarily has to be obtained overseas. Staff who retire or resign cannot be easily replaced. ASNO has particular needs which are relatively unusual in Public Service terms: these include availability of funding sufficient to second staff overseas for extended periods for professional development, and maintenance of an overall level of staff sufficient to provide the flexibility for such secondments and to guarantee continuity of expertise in the face of staff movements.

In 2000-01 ASNOs level of professional staff engaged on nuclear issues was about six and one half person-years. This is less than last year due to separations, the length of time it took to recruit staff and managing other pressures in the Office, such as maternity leave. The level of effort will be restored in the coming year. ASNO continues to perform well despite this modest number by virtue of the high degree of expertise, and the efficiency and dedication of current staff.

Table 2 Categories of Staff at 30 June 2001 approved and actual

Male
[Actual]

Female
[Actual]

Total
[Approved in brackets]

Total

11

2.4

13.4 (14.8)

SES B2

1

 

1 (1)

SES B1

1

 

1 (1)

Executive level 2

5

 

5[1] (5)

Executive level 1

2

 

2 (2)

APS level 6

1

 

1 (3.8)

APS level 5

 

1.4

1.4 (0)

APS level 4

1

1

2 (2)

Training

A key element of ASNOs multi-skilling initiatives has been its program of technical seminars (see page 62).

ASNO has provided professional management development through the Public Sector Management Course. This year Dr Shaw undertook this course of postgraduate study, which included lectures, assignments and a work-based project. Dr Shaws project was To establish the viability of, and develop a corresponding implementation plan for, an Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office inspectorate. This work is essential to strengthening ASNOs inspection capability and, with the technical seminars program, also addresses the issue of multi-skilling.


[1] Mr Bellinger (BB4) is on long service leave pending retirement in December 2001, Mr Doulgeris (BB3) has been promoted to this position.

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade