About the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

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Annual Report 1999-2000Annual Report 1999-2000 home page

ContentsContents > Overviews > Outcome 1: National Interests > Outcome 2: Consular & Passports > Outcome 3: Public Diplomacy > Management > Financial Statements > Appendixes > Glossaries

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   DEPARTMENTAL OVERVIEW   

ROLE AND FUNCTIONS

The department’s aim is to advance the interests of Australia and Australians internationally. This aim, outlined in the Corporate Plan 2000–2002, is the driving force behind our work and underpins all the department’s goals, priorities, values and culture.

The department’s goals are to: enhance Australia’s security; contribute to growth in Australia’s economy, employment and standard of living; assist Australian travellers and Australians overseas; strengthen global cooperation in ways that advance Australia’s interests; foster public understanding of Australia’s foreign and trade policy; and project a positive image of Australia internationally.

Under the accrual budgeting structure, the department has three outcomes:

The department’s work towards our three outcomes is carried out by staff in Canberra, in State and Territory offices and in our network of overseas posts.

In support of the achievement of these outcomes, the department’s corporate services are designed to maintain a professional and motivated workforce and to maximise the benefit to the Australian community of the Government’s public service reform agenda. Management of departmental resources continues to focus on maintaining high standards of ethical and personal conduct, promoting flexibility and adaptability, and on the acquisition and maintenance of relevant language, technical and policy skills.

ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE

The department is managed by the Senior Executive, comprising the Secretary and four deputy secretaries. The Senior Executive, supported by the Senior Executive Service, focuses on ensuring that the department maintains the highest professional standards in providing service to the Government and to Australia. It provides leadership through decision-making on foreign and trade policy and corporate issues, and in shaping the values and culture of the department to ensure an open, fair and professionally rewarding working environment for all staff.

DFAT Senior Executive

Senior Executive of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (as at 30 June 2000) [Clockwise from front right] Dr Ashton Calvert, Secretary, and Deputy Secretaries Ms Pamela Fayle, Mr Miles Kupa, Mr John Dauth and Mr David Spencer. Photo by Michael Jensen.


In Canberra, the department comprised 12 divisions as at 30 June 2000, as well as the Executive, Planning and Evaluation Branch and the Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office. During the 1999–2000 financial year there were some structural changes to divisions. Public Affairs and Consular Division and Passports, Services and Security Division were reorganised to create the Public Diplomacy Division, the Consular and Passports Division and the Diplomatic Security, Property and Information Management Division.

The department also maintains offices in each State and in the Northern Territory, to provide consular and passport services and to perform an important liaison service for business throughout Australia. In addition, we have a Torres Strait Treaty Liaison Office on Thursday Island. Contact details for all these offices are at Appendix 17.

The department employs more than 3 500 people in Australia and overseas. Only one in four of the department’s overseas staff are posted from Australia (generally for three years), with the rest employed from within local communities. We manage a network of 81 overseas posts, including Australian embassies, high commissions, consulates-general and consulates. Details of the Australia’s overseas network are at Appendix 18.

Figure 1. Location of staff (as at 30 June 2000)

Figure 1. Location of staff (as at 30 June 2000)

Figure 2. Senior Executive structure (as at 30 June 2000)

Figure 2. Senior Executive structure (as at 30 June 2000)

STRUCTURE OF THE PORTFOLIO

Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio agencies support ministers in the conduct of Australia’s foreign relations and trade policy, help Australians win export business and generate inward and outward investment, and provide assistance to developing countries to reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development. The portfolio also provides consular and passport services to Australians, and aims to improve domestic and international public understanding of Australia’s foreign, trade and aid policies.

The key principles and priorities of the Government’s foreign and trade policy were set out in a White Paper, In the National Interest: Australia’s Foreign and Trade Policy White Paper, published in August 1997.

The agencies in the portfolio are:

The following structure of portfolio outcomes illustrates the responsibilities of each portfolio partner and the outcomes that each aims to achieve.

Figure 3. Structure of portfolio outcomes—Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio

Figure 3. Structure of portfolio outcomes—Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio

Figure 4. Outcomes and outputs structure

Figure 4. Outcomes and outputs structure

Figure 5. Relationship between former program structure and new outcome structure

PROGRAM MANAGEMENT BUDGETING

ACCRUAL BUDGETING

Program 1
International Relations, Trade and Business Liaison

Outcome 1
Australia’s national interests protected and advanced through contributions to international security, national economic and trade performance and global cooperation
Outcome 3
Public understanding in Australia and overseas of Australia’s foreign and trade policy and a positive image of Australia internationally

Program 2
Passport and Consular Services

Outcome 2
Australians informed about and provided access to consular and passport services in Australia and overseas

Program 3
Services for Other Agencies

Outcome 1
Australia’s national interests protected and advanced through contributions to international security, national economic and trade performance and global cooperation
Outcome 3
Public understanding in Australia and overseas of Australia’s foreign and trade policy and a positive image of Australia internationally

Program 4
Secure Government Communications and Security Services

Outcome 1
Australia’s national interests protected and advanced through contributions to international security, national economic and trade performance and global cooperation

Program 5
Executive and DFAT Corporate Services

Enabling Services
Do not appear under outcome structure. Distributed across output groups for performance information and pricing purposes

THE IMPLEMENTATION OF ACCRUAL BUDGETING

In preparing the annual report for 1999–2000—the first full accrual-based report—the department sought to benefit from the lessons learnt throughout the 1999–2000 financial year. We made a number of minor structural adjustments to the framework of our performance indicators as they appeared in the 1999–2000 portfolio budget statements.

Our intention was to simplify the framework to ensure the annual report is accessible, and to improve the way some indicators are expressed. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade operates in a context where many developments are outside our control: the international environment is uncertain, and Australia is only one of many players on the world scene. This makes it challenging to develop meaningful performance indicators to gauge progress towards achieving planned outcomes. Given these constraints, we sought to ensure that we have a solid foundation for a report that, to the extent possible in the international environment, provides information focused on results.

The main adjustments we made to the framework that appeared in the 1999–2000 portfolio budget statements are outlined below.

Corporate services do not appear under the outcome structure. In accordance with the focus on outputs under accrual budgeting, these services do not have a profile in this structure. However, this report contains a section on corporate governance and public accountability, which is a good source of information on the department’s internal management and accountability.


YOU ARE CURRENTLY AT: Overviews > Departmental overview

Annual Report 1999-2000Annual Report 1999-2000 home page

ContentsContents > Overviews > Outcome 1: National Interests > Outcome 2: Consular & Passports > Outcome 3: Public Diplomacy > Management > Financial Statements > Appendixes > Glossaries

 

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