Annual Report 2007-2008

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1. Overviews2. Performance3. Corporate4. Appendixes5. Financials6. Glossaries and Compliance Index

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The department demonstrated strong and flexible resource management in its timely responses to the Government’s Budget objectives and support for new policy initiatives. These included establishing a new Pacific Partnership task force in March 2008 following the Prime Minister’s Port Moresby Declaration. Trade resources were managed flexibly and effectively to support Australia’s hosting of APEC in Sydney in September 2007, and for Doha Round talks and bilateral free trade discussions.

The department conducted an extensive review of its resources, identifying and implementing a range of savings measures to meet the Government’s Budget objectives. The savings measures included a reduction in departmental budgets across the board and the withdrawal of staffing resources in Australia and overseas, and a realignment of existing resources to match new policy priorities. Work began on a further review of the adequacy of the department’s resources with the Department of Finance and Deregulation. It is expected to be completed in late 2008. The Government will respond formally to the review in the context of the 2009–10 Budget.

In response to the Government’s new enterprise bargaining framework, the department ceased using Australian Workplace Agreements and employed all new SES staff and non-SES staff on individual workplace agreements using determinations under section 24(1) of the Public Service Act 1999.

The ANAO recognised the effectiveness of the department’s financial management and reporting framework as part of its major annual audit. The department anticipates productivity improvements in human resource management and payroll processing as a result of an upgrade of its human resource information system during the year.

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