Annual Report 2004-2005

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OUTPUT 1.2: Secure government communications and security of overseas missions

Output 1.2 Quality and quantity information

Quality indicators

Quantity indicators

Client satisfaction with the secure communications network and telecommunications infrastructure

The department replaced its 20-year old message system with a new automated system, the Official Diplomatic Information Network (ODIN), which provides significantly faster delivery times. We supported the introduction of ODIN by providing training and user awareness programs, including online user help, mandatory training for Canberra-based staff and regional IT training programs to improve user understanding at posts. We consulted other Australian Government agency users of our information and communications systems as part of the implementation process.

External feedback

Internal feedback

Availability and reliability of communications

The department continued to improve its electronic communication services to clients. We finalised a new bandwidth contract with Optus that will improve our flexibility in providing bandwidth to posts and make substantial savings over the life of the contract.

The provision of upgraded secure mobile communications systems (the 'FlyAway' unit) ensured ministers and officials had access to secure communications to Canberra from remote or temporary office locations. We provided FlyAway units to staff in Accra, Nauru, Kuwait, Baghdad and Cancún (for World Trade Organization meetings). Mobile communications systems accompanied prime ministerial visits to locations remote from Australian missions, and another two units were permanently on standby for use by the department, as needed.

The department expanded its email communications with other agencies by linking to Fedlink, a gateway between agencies that provides security up to the 'In-Confidence' classification for email communications through a private government link. Our email communications with 56 departments and agencies now pass through this link.

Client satisfaction security of overseas missions

Our posts' operational environments continued to face direct and indirect terrorist threats. Our service to posts included the provision of rapid advice on evolving security situations, special security assessments and inspection advisory visits at short notice, and enhancements to physical security. We kept partner agencies informed of key developing security situations and our response to them. Agencies expressed support for our consultative approach and implementation of measures to mitigate security threats, including enhanced training.

Quantity information for output 1.2

Indicators 2004–05 2003–04
Number of posts and Commonwealth entities with access to the
secure communications network and secure telecommunications
119 117
Number of clients1 119 117
Types of services:
Number of cables2 157 035 142 568
cables to posts3 70 567 60 870
cables from posts3 86 468 81 698
Cable pages printed 658 294 651 913
Number of overseas missions for which security services are
provided, including security review services4
88 88
Number of security clearances and reviews processed 859 622
  1. This figure reflects the number of agencies and other external work units, including ministerial and parliamentary offices that receive paper or electronic copies of cables.
  2. This figure reflects the total number of cables sent via the new messaging system, ODIN, which automatically analyses and distributes cables electronically to clients.
  3. Cable breakdown to and from posts is provided for the first time this year.
  4. This figure includes our overseas posts and other permanent overseas locations—see Appendix 13: Summar y of the overseas network. It also includes an Australian Administrative Centre in Nauru set up to coordinate the activity of Australian officials working with the Nauru Government.

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Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Annual Report 2004–2005
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