Annual Report 2007-2008

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Your location: Performance > Outcome 4 > Output 4.1 > Reporting against effectiveness indicators

OUTPUT 4.1: Property management

Reporting against effectiveness indicators

On this page: Overview :: Provision of accommodation overseas :: Physical management of assets :: Financial management of assets :: Outlook


The department met the indicative targets under output 4.1 relating to the maintenance of the overseas property portfolio. We maintained the value of the Government’s property assets. We paid a dividend to the Government, made a return on investment and maintained a management expense ratio consistent with property industry benchmarks.

The department’s Overseas Property Office (OPO), which is responsible for managing all aspects of the Australian Government’s overseas owned property estate, applied rigorous commercial practice to all aspects of property management, in accordance with principles outlined in the Australian Government Property Ownership Framework.

We maintained regular and effective communication with agencies on overseas property management issues, and consulted closely with government agencies represented at our overseas posts. We maintained close consultation with the Department of Finance and Deregulation.

The international security environment remained a major element in the management of overseas property. We ensured that new projects in the overseas estate met relevant security requirements.

Provision of accommodation overseas

The department fully met the office and staff accommodation requirements of agencies representing the Government’s interests overseas.

We managed owned properties in 60 locations valued at $1.6 billion.

The overseas leased estate, comprising property leased by the department and other agencies from private landlords, is funded from departmental appropriations with OPO providing management oversight of the estate (see Section 3: Corporate management and accountability on page 273 for information about the department’s leased estate).

Physical management of assets

The department maintained its program of assessment of overseas property, involving annual inspections by facilities managers and consultation with post management and agencies.

In accordance with industry standards OPO determined priorities for upgrading and refurbishing properties under a five-year rolling program for the owned and leased estates approved annually by the department’s senior executive (see also quality and quantity information for output 4.1). Acquisition and disposal of properties was determined in accordance with the Australian Government Property Ownership Framework and the provisions of the Lands Acquisition Act.

Photo - See caption below for description
Lisa Clutterham
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Lisa Clutterham

As one of 27 graduate trainees who joined the department in 2008, Lisa Clutterham’s first rotation was spent in the Post Security Task Force (PSTF). The Task Force, established in 2004, is responsible for implementing a Government funding package to enhance the security of Australia’s diplomatic missions overseas. Lisa worked closely with other areas of the department in coordinating the relocation of the Australia’s embassies in Amman, Belgrade and Tel Aviv to new premises. Her primary role was to encourage the timely and cost-efficient completion of the security construction and fitout works that preceded the moves. In mid-2008, she travelled to Tel Aviv for the final site inspection prior to the opening of the new embassy. During her rotation, Lisa gained valuable project management experience that will prove useful in her career at DFAT, both in Canberra and abroad.

I now have a greater understanding of physical security issues and the department’s strong commitment to protecting the safety of staff and visitors at our overseas missions.

We developed and managed significant projects of construction and refurbishment in the overseas owned estate, enhancing its quality and long-term value.

Financial management of assets

The department operates a Special Account to manage the overseas owned estate. The account, which is separate from the department’s budget appropriations, was established in May 2002 by the Minister for Finance. Revenue into the account is derived from commercially based rents paid by agencies that occupy government-owned property overseas.

For reporting on financial management of the overseas owned estate, see quality and quantity information for output 4.1.


We will continue to manage a significant construction program in the overseas property estate in 2008–09. We will maintain our program of post inspections and assessments to ensure that the value of the estate is maintained and enhanced in compliance with appropriate standards. We will meet our objectives in management of the owned estate through prudent operation of the overseas property Special Account and consistent with the provisions of the Australian Government Property Ownership Framework.


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