Department Foreign Affairs & Trade  
Annual Report - Contents
DFAT Annual Report 1998-99

Portfolio Overview

The portfolio operates under the direction of two ministers with separate but related responsibilities for Foreign Affairs and Trade; two parliamentary secretaries assist the ministers. Details of their responsibilities are in Appendix 1.

The portfolio comprises the following eight programs:

1. International Relations, Trade and Business Liaison

2. Passport and Consular Services

3. Services for Other Agencies

4. Secure Government Communications and Security Services

5. Executive and DFAT Corporate Services

6. Development Cooperation

7. Australian Trade Commission

8. Australian Secret Intelligence Service.

Figure 1 Portfolio Program Structure

Figure 1

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade administers the first five programs. The Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) administer the sixth program. AusAID is an administratively autonomous agency within the portfolio.

With the exception of the areas of responsibility held by ACIAR, which is a statutory body producing its own annual report to Parliament, these six programs are the subject of this report. Volume 1 contains the report of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, while Volume 2 contains AusAID’s report. Copies of ACIAR’s annual report are available directly from the centre—telephone (02) 6217 0500.

Within Program 1, two statutory agencies also produce separate annual reports to Parliament: the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (Sub-program 1.6) and the Australia–Japan Foundation (Sub-program 1.1). Copies are available directly from EFIC—telephone 1800 685 109—and the AJF—telephone (02) 6261 3898.

The statutory officer heading the Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office (Sub-program 1.7) also produces a separate report to Parliament. Copies are available directly from the office—telephone (02) 6261 1920.

The Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) and the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) administer the seventh and eighth programs respectively. Being a statutory body, Austrade produces its own annual report to Parliament. Copies are available from the commission—telephone (02) 9390 2000. As the capacity of ASIS to serve Australia’s national interests depends on its activities being fully protected by secrecy, the Government adheres strictly to the practice of not providing details of ASIS’s activities.

Matters Dealt with by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

The department is responsible for external affairs, including:

  • relations and communications with overseas governments;
  • treaties, including trade agreements;
  • bilateral and multilateral trade policy;
  • international trade and commodity negotiations;
  • trade promotion;
  • international development cooperation;
  • diplomatic and consular missions;
  • disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation;
  • public diplomacy, including information and cultural programs;
  • provision to Australian citizens of secure travel identification; and
  • provision of consular services to Australian citizens overseas.

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