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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 1999-2000

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 1999-2000 and salaries are managed centrally in the Department.

ASNO continued to review its administrative and accounting procedures 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 1999-2000.

Staffing

During 1999-2000 ASNO was staffed on a basis similar to a DFAT Division. The Director General holds the statutory office of Director of Safeguards, established under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation (Safeguards) Act 1987. All other staff were employed under the Public Service Act 1999, on a full-time basis.

Table 1 Details of ASNO Budget and Expenditure 1999-2000.
1998-99 Actual 1999-00 Actual
Salaries $778,268 $912,887
Administrative Costs $587,906 $487,761
Total $1,366,174 $1,400,648

During 1999-2000 the following staff changes occurred:

The Department approved an increase of one in ASNO's staffing level. This was highly appreciated, enabling ASNO to place in its International Safeguards Section an officer returning from a four-year secondment to the IAEA.

On 23 June 2000 Mr John Hill, Head of the International Safeguards Section and a longstanding member of ASNO, resigned from the APS. Dr Victor Bragin, Safeguards Adviser, was transferred to Mr Hill's position, and recruitment action was set in train to fill the resulting vacancy.

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 1999-2000 ASNOs level of professional staff engaged on nuclear issues was sevenASNO continues to perform well despite this modest number by virtue of the high degree of expertise and efficiency of current staff members. With key staff members at or approaching retirement age, maintaining a core of technical excellence will remain a challenge for the foreseeable future.

Table 2 Categories of Staff at 30 June 2000 approved and actual (in brackets)
Male Female Total
SES B2 1 1
SES B1 1 1
Executive level 2

4 5 (4)
Executive level 1 2 2
APS level 6 1 1
APS level 5 2 2
APS level 2 1 1
Total 10 2 13 (12)

Return to the ASNO Annual Report Index | Organisation of ASNO At 30 June 2000

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade