This is the Secretary’s report to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment on the performance of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade during the financial year 2015–16.

This report is prepared in accordance with the Department of Finance’s Resource Management Guide No. 135 Annual reports for non-corporate Commonwealth entities. The requirements for content to be included in entities’ annual reports were approved on behalf of the Parliament by the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit on 2 May 2016.

Section 1 contains the Secretary’s review and the departmental overview, including the organisational structure, the department’s purpose, role and functions, the Portfolio Budget Statements 2015–16 (PBS) outcomes and programs structure, and the portfolio outcome structure.

Section 2 contains the Annual Performance Statement, including performance against the Corporate Plan and the PBS key performance indicators (KPIs), and the report on financial performance.

Section 3 reports on corporate governance, external scrutiny and accountability, and management of human and financial resources.

Section 4 contains appendices providing reports required under specific legislation, the list of requirements and useful additional information.

Section 5 contains the audited financial statements for 2015–16.

Section 6 contains reference material, including the index.


The Annual Performance Statement acquits our performance against our purpose through criteria set out in both the department’s Corporate Plan and PBS. To clearly convey the full breadth and complexity of our operations and facilitate a ‘clear read’ between the statement and the Corporate Plan and KPIs, the statement includes:

  • A departmental report on performance—an assessment of the department’s overall performance and analyses of the factors that contributed to performance against our purpose, divided into the Corporate Plan’s nine priority functions; and
  • Separate performance reporting and analyses by geographic, thematic and functional areas that acquit and map performance against the Corporate Plan and PBS:
    • to show how we have fulfilled our purpose, case studies/reviews demonstrate results against the relevant Corporate Plan priority functions and performance is rated against applicable PBS criteria (KPIs).

Performance reporting in the Annual Performance Statement reflects new reporting requirements implemented for the first time this year and the fact that areas within the department are responsible for delivering on more than one PBS program. Where the same KPI applies to more than one reporting area, the relevant text of the KPI is reproduced at the beginning of each of these chapters with a rating.

In relation to the Corporate Plan function, Delivering an innovative aid program, centred on the Indo–Pacific region, which contributes to sustainable economic growth, poverty reduction and regional stability, the primary performance reporting mechanism for the aid program is the Performance of Australia Aid Report, which will be published in early 2017. The department has also reported on the aid program in the Annual Performance Statement to give a clear picture of our operations.

In relation to the Corporate Plan function, Improving market access for Australian goods and services, attracting foreign investment to Australia and supporting Australian business abroad, the department drew on a range of qualitative feedback and quantitative data collected from business over the course of the reporting period to demonstrate the level of business satisfaction with the department’s performance. The department did not commission a survey because we considered that the cost, the risk of a low response rate and the imposition on business of a formal survey outweighed any likelihood of obtaining further insights into business satisfaction with the department.

PBS program 1.4: East Asia Australia–Indonesia Partnership for Reconstruction and Development is addressed in the KPI table of Section 2’s Southeast Asia chapter. The final disbursement of the program was made in 2014–15 and the program has been completed.

The annual performance statement does not include performance reporting on PBS Program 1.8: Programs to Promote Australia’s International Tourism Interests. As the PBS notes, the functions captured by this program are the responsibility of other portfolio agencies. Reporting on T-Qual Grants, the Tourism Industry Regional Development Fund and the Tasmanian Regional Tourism Package can be found in the Annual Report of the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade). Reporting on PBS Program 1.8 line items, Tourism Australia–Asia Marketing Fund and Tourism Australia–Corporate Commonwealth Entity, can be found in the Annual Report of Tourism Australia.

Information and statistics, unless otherwise indicated, cover the financial year 2015–16, or relate to the situation as at 30 June 2016. Trade, investment and country statistics, where provided, do not form part of the department’s performance information. They relate to calendar year 2015. All dollars are Australian unless otherwise specified.

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