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OUTPUT 1.1: Protection and advocacy of Australia’s international interests through the provision of policy advice to ministers and overseas diplomatic activity

Output 1.3 Quality and quantity information

Quality indicators

Quantity indicators

Services to clients

The annual Post Evaluation Report (PER) process is the principal means through which the department obtained feedback on our work on behalf of other government agencies. Together with other internal evaluation procedures, the PER enabled us to assess the performance of posts in meeting whole-of-government objectives and to review our reporting priorities in areas of policy interest to other agencies.

Thirty-two departments and agencies were formally invited to comment on the performance of posts in meeting government policy objectives. Feedback on our support for other agencies was very positive overall.

Although the department does not have a formal mechanism for receiving feedback for services provided to parliamentarians and business, we do receive informal feedback—written and oral—through overseas posts and in Australia. The department was also commended—including through statements made in parliament—for its briefing, overseas programs and logistics work on behalf of federal and state parliamentarians. Our high level of support received favourable comments from a number of companies throughout the reporting period.

Services to other agencies

Under the Service Level Agreement (SLA), the department provided administrative support to 20 agencies and departments, covering almost 2200 staff. These included two new agencies in 2002–03, Invest Australia and the Australian Protective Service. The main purchasers of services under the agreement were the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, the Department of Defence and AusAID. In addition, Austrade, with 423 overseas staff, received administrative services in accordance with a bilateral memorandum of understanding. Overall, feedback from agencies has been very positive and clients are pleased with the level of support that was provided and the high standard of service delivery. See Appendix 9: Purchaser—provider arrangements, for further details on government agencies party to the SLA.

Quantity information for output 1.3

Indicator 2002–03 2001–02
Scope and composition of administrative services provided to other agencies overseas1 21 21
Number of official programs organised for members of the Commonwealth Parliament (excluding the Prime Minister or ministers) and parliamentary delegations2 191 159
Number of services provided to parliamentary committees3 74 27
Number of overseas visits by representatives of state or territory governments, and by state and territory parliamentarians, supported by the department4 541 549
Number of Australian companies supported by the department with advice on market conditions, access to government and private sector contacts, and through representations directly connected with their particular interests5 8 123 9 925
  1. This is the number of agencies serviced under the Service Level Agreement, plus Austrade (which received administrative services under a memorandum of understanding). The services provided under the Service Level Agreement are grouped together in six categories: personnel services (Australia-based staff), personnel services (locally engaged staff), office services, property services, financial services and communications.
  2. This figure is based on work undertaken by each post; that is, it reflects the number of programs organised on a country-by-country basis, rather than the number of Members of Parliament and Senators assisted by the department in Canberra.
  3. This figure reflects the number of committee hearings before which the department appeared. The increase in service to committees reflects, in part, the high level of interest in global developments of concern to Australia.
  4. This figure is based on work undertaken by each post; that is, it reflects the number of programs organised on a country-by-country basis.
  5. This information was collected by all areas of the department, including overseas posts, and collated centrally. It reflects the number of companies supported on a country-by-country basis. We attribute the decline in numbers supported to the increased amount of trade-related material available on the department's website and a decrease in business activity resulting from the uncertain international security environment, the Iraq crisis and the outbreak of the SARS virus.


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Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Annual Report 2002–2003
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