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Departmental overview

The Executive of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade: Secretary and Deputy Secretaries of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Head of the Office of the Pacific [DFAT/Linda Roche]

The executive of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

(L to R) Deputy Secretaries Tony Sheehan, Richard Maude, Clare Walsh, Secretary Frances Adamson, Deputy Secretaries Christopher Langman, Penny Williams PSM and Head of the Office of the Pacific, Ewen McDonald [DFAT/Linda Roche]

The department’s purpose is to make Australia stronger, safer and more prosperous, to provide timely and responsive consular and passport services, and to ensure a secure Australian Government presence overseas.

Our 2018–19 Corporate Plan is aligned with the 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper and outlines how the department will achieve its purpose. The plan also sets out the department’s efforts to reshape itself and align its capabilities to seize opportunities and protect Australia’s interests in the face of global complexity and uncertainty.
A case in point is our new Office of the Pacific which brings together expertise across government in support of Australia’s step-up agenda for the Pacific.

In support of our ministers, the Secretary, five deputy secretaries and the head of the Office of the Pacific lead the department’s work in Australia and overseas.

We work closely with our portfolio partners, colleagues across government, business and civil society to promote and protect Australia’s interests internationally and contribute to economic growth and global stability.

This report sets out how we advanced Australia’s interests during the year. It details what we did, why we did it, the challenges we faced, the impact we made and who benefited from our efforts. In particular, this report seeks to measure our performance in relation to indicators listed against each of our seven Corporate Plan priorities (see Figure 1).

Measuring policy performance is inherently difficult and the dynamic international environment only adds to the complexity. The department seeks to ensure that our assessments of policy performance are supported by verifiable evidence.

The ratings we applied in the annual performance statement represent the following:

AchievedWe met our goal.
On trackThe activity is ongoing and we have made progress towards our goal. In some cases we qualified our rating on the basis that progress towards our broader objective was under strain.
Not on track

We did not achieve our goal.

The activity is ongoing but we have not made satisfactory progress towards our goal.

Figure 1: Corporate Plan priorities
Figure 2: Foreign Affairs and Trade Portfolio Structure as at 30 June 2019
Figure 3: Organisational Chart as at 30 June 2019
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