Annual Report 2007-2008
 

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

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Departmental Overview

Role and functions

The department is responsible for advancing the interests of Australia and Australians internationally. The department’s staff in Canberra, in our state and territory offices and around the world work to achieve the department’s four outcomes, outlined in our Portfolio Budget Statements 2007–08 and presented in Figure 4 on page 16:

To support the achievement of these outcomes in a challenging international environment, the department deployed its staff and other resources in a targeted and flexible manner (see Section 3: Corporate management and accountability for more information)

Organisational structure

Photo - See caption below for description
Senior Executive of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (as at 30 June 2008). L–R (seated): The Secretary, Mr Michael L’Estrange AO; Deputy Secretaries Ms Gillian Bird and Mr Doug Chester. L–R (standing): Deputy Secretaries Mr David Spencer; Mr David Ritchie AO and Mr Peter Grey.
Photo: Michael Jensen
Enlarge image :: Photo gallery

The Secretary, Michael L’Estrange AO, and five deputy secretaries constitute the department’s Senior Executive. Supported by the department’s Senior Executive Service, they manage the department and provide leadership on foreign and trade policy, consular and corporate issues. The Senior Executive shapes the values and culture of the department, promotes the highest professional standards of service to the Government and to Australia, and provides a fair and professionally rewarding working environment for staff.

The department’s organisational structure is outlined in Figure 2. In Canberra, as at 30 June 2008, the department was made up of 13 divisions, as well as the Executive, Planning and Evaluation Branch, the Protocol Branch, the Global Issues Branch, the Australian Passport Office, the Overseas Property Office, the Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office and the Economic Analytical Unit. The department also has a China Free Trade Agreement Task Force, Asia Trade Task Force and a Japan Free Trade Agreement Task Force.

The department manages an overseas network of 89 embassies, high commissions, consulates-general and multilateral missions (for more information see Appendix 13: Summary of the overseas network). Each overseas post is attached to a parent division in Canberra. In addition to headquarters in Canberra, the department maintains offices in all Australian state and territory capital cities. These offices provide consular and passport services to the Australian community and liaison services to state and territory governments and Australian business. We also maintain a Passport Office in Newcastle and a Liaison Office on Thursday Island in the Torres Strait. Details of our offices in Australia are provided inside the back cover of this report.

The department also engages people overseas to act as honorary consuls. Honorary consuls provide consular assistance on behalf of the department to Australian travellers in locations where the Australian Government does not maintain other representation. See Appendix 13 for more information.

FIGURE 1. location of staff

FIGURE 1. location of staff

FIGURE 2. SENIOR EXECUTIVE STRUCTURE (AS AT 30 JUNE 2008)

FIGURE 2. SENIOR EXECUTIVE STRUCTURE (AS AT 30 JUNE 2008)

[Click image above for a larger version]

FIGURE 3. PORTFOLIO OUTCOMES STRUCTURE—FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND TRADE PORTFOLIO AS AT 30 JUNE 2008

FIGURE 3. PORTFOLIO OUTCOMES STRUCTURE—FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND TRADE PORTFOLIO AS AT 30 JUNE 2008

FIGURE 4. OUTCOMES AND OUTPUTS FRAMEWORK 2007–08

FIGURE 4. OUTCOMES AND OUTPUTS FRAMEWORK 2007–08

[Click image above for a larger version]

Structure of the Foreign Affairs and Trade Portfolio

The foreign affairs and trade portfolio supports the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Minister for Trade, the Parliamentary Secretary for International Development Assistance, the Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Trade in the conduct of Australia’s foreign and trade policy. Six agencies make up the portfolio:

Figure 3 outlines the portfolio structure and each agency’s outcomes.

Change to DFAT’s Methodology for Attributing Staffing Resources

In 2007, the department updated the methodology for attributing staff across our four outcomes, which provides a more accurate picture of the overall staffing situation in the department over the year. This updated an earlier activity-based costing exercise undertaken in 1999–2000 that attributed average staffing levels (ASL) to outcomes in accordance with activity at that time. After 2000, adjustments were made to the methodology to take account of additional appropriations, with the effect that over time the underlying information became less accurate. In 2007, the department conducted a survey to update this information. All work units in Canberra and overseas posts were asked to record the proportion of time staff spent against DFAT’s various outcomes. This information was used as the basis for attributing the proportion of ASL to each outcome. These revised allocations are more accurate, but reflect priorities at the time of the 2007 survey. Estimates of ASL for future years, including 2008–09, are currently predicated on these allocations. If the international environment changes significantly, there could be a reallocation of resources across outcomes. The recent update in attribution methodology has been footnoted in ASL reporting in the 2008–09 Portfolio Budget Statements and in this report.

TABLE 1. FINANCIAL AND STAFFING RESOURCES SUMMARY
2006–07
Actual
($’000)
2007–08
Budget and Additional Estimates ($’000)
2007–08
Actual
($’000)
Administered items
Administered expenses
256 229
260 332
258 984
Departmental outputs
Revenue from government (appropriation)*
832 941
817 248
827 836
Revenue from other sources
105 897
99 222
111 706
Total price of departmental outputs
938 838
916 470
939 542
Total resourcing of outputs
Administered expenses and total price of departmental outputs
1 195 067
1 176 802
1 198 526
2006–07
Actual
2007–08
Budget and
Additional
Estimates
2007–08
Actual
Average staffing level (number)**
3 371
3 455
3 458
Australia-based staff
1 931
2 013
2 009
Locally engaged employees overseas
1 440
1 442
1 449

* In the 2007–08 Budget the department received additional funding for a number of initiatives including:

Following the federal election, through 2007–08 Additional Estimates, the Government provided additional funding and withdrew funding including:

** ASL figures reflect the average number of employees receiving salary or wages over the financial year, with adjustments for casual and part-time staff, to show the full-time equivalent. This also includes locally engaged staff overseas. 2008–09 resourcing and average staffing level (ASL) estimates reflect the implementation of a new methodology for allocation of resources between outcomes and across outputs. As a result of the new methodology numbers in 2007–08 and 2008–09 cannot be directly compared. (See page 17 for explanation of the new methodology.) In broad terms this figure reflects reductions in staff to enable the department to meet the Government’s savings requirements as well as increases in Australian Passport Office staff (to service growing demand for passports) and increases in locally engaged staff at posts (to support the expansion of other Commonwealth agencies overseas). The additional APO staff were funded by the Passports Funding Agreement with the Department of Finance and Deregulation and the additional LES were funded through a Service Level Agreement with other Commonwealth agencies.

TABLE 2. PRICE OF DEPARTMENTAL OUTPUTS BY OUTCOME
Description
2006–07
Actual
($’000)
2007–08
Actual ($’000)
Outcome 1 Australia’s national interests protected and advanced through contributions to international security, national economic and trade performance and global cooperation
649 978
648 665
Outcome 2 Australians informed about and provided access to consular and passport services in Australia and overseas
177 833
176 743
Outcome 3 Public understanding in Australia and overseas of Australia’s foreign and trade policy and a positive image of Australia internationally
60 130
59 802
Outcome 4 Efficient management of the Commonwealth overseas owned estate
50 897
54 332
Total price of departmental outputs
938 838
939 542

 

TABLE 3. RECONCILIATION OF OUTCOMES AGAINST APPROPRIATION AND REVENUE ELEMENTS
 
Outcome 1
($’000)
Outcome 2
($’000)
Outcome 3
($’000)
Outcome 4
($’000)
Total
($’000)
Total administered appropriations as per Portfolio Budget Statements 2007–08 including any adjustments from Additional Estimates
230 380
1 674
28 278
0
260 332
Administered expenses by outcome
223 802
1 023
28 189
0
253 014
EFIC administration costs funded by revenue offset
1 829
0
0
0
1 829
Pension schemes
4 141
0
0
0
4 141
Total administered expenses as per the Financial Statements
229 772
1 023
28 189
0
258 984
Total departmental appropriations as per Portfolio Budget Statements 2007–08 including any adjustments from Additional Estimates
534 476
229 209
53 563
0
817 248
Revenues from government
592 151
176 743
58 942
0
827 836
Revenue from other sources
56 514
0
860
54 332
111 706
Total price of departmental outputs as per the Financial Statements
648 665
176 743
59 802
54 332
939 542

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