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Corporate

2021-22 DFAT Corporate Plan

The corporate plan provides the direction for the department’s priorities and activities in order to deliver the Government’s outcomes. Results against this corporate plan will be reported in our 2021–22 annual performance statement.

The corporate plan aligns with the Foreign Affairs and Trade Portfolio Budget Statements 2021–22.

Download DFAT Corporate Plan

DFAT Corporate Plan on a Page 2021–22

Download: 2021–22 DFAT Corporate Plan on a page [PDF 2 MB]

The Corporate Plan on a Page provides a one-page overview of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s 2021–22 Corporate Plan. It describes the department’s purpose, outcomes, values, operating environment, capabilities and risks. It outlines our seven priorities to achieve our purpose. The diagram includes a map of the department’s domestic and overseas network, which includes state and territory offices, the Torres Strait Treaty liaison office and our network of 113 overseas posts.

Our purpose

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 values

Committed to service, accountable, respectful, ethical and impartial.

Our environment

We work in a contested, competitive and rapidly changing world presenting both opportunities and challenges for Australia.

Our capabilities

We continue to strengthen our people and systems to meet future challenges. Our strength lies in innovation, diversity and inclusion.

Our risks

We manage risks to Australia’s citizens, national interests and presence overseas.

Our priorities

  1. Promote a stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific.
  2. Pursue our economic, trade and investment opportunities.
  3. Keep Australia and Australians safe and secure.
  4. Deliver an effective and responsive development program.
  5. Advance global cooperation.
  6. Support Australians overseas.
  7. Provide a secure and effective overseas presence.

Our outcomes

  1. The advancement of Australia’s international strategic, security and economic interests including through bilateral, regional and multilateral engagement on Australian Government foreign, trade and international development policy priorities.
  2. The protection and welfare of Australians abroad and access to secure international travel documentation through timely and responsive travel advice and consular and passport services in Australia and overseas.
  3. A secure Australian Government presence overseas through the provision of security services and information and communications technology infrastructure, and the management of the Commonwealth overseas property estate.

Secretary’s introduction

As Australia navigates a complex regional and international operating environment, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade will continue to adapt and respond to effectively deliver outcomes for the Government. Our policy tools, combining diplomatic, development and economic expertise, will be fundamental to protecting Australia’s security, strengthening our prosperity and supporting economic recovery.

The department’s seven priorities in this Corporate Plan, and three outcomes outlined in the department’s 2021–22 Portfolio Budget Statements, provide a roadmap for how we intend to deliver for the Government and for Australia in an uncertain international environment.

New funding for the department provided through the 2021–22 Budget will enable us to do our business better and deliver for Australians, including by: helping business diversify trade and compete fairly in global markets; expanding our advocacy and cooperation with partners for an open, inclusive, and resilient Indo-Pacific; sustaining the Government’s diplomatic network; and enhancing our consular capabilities so we can better support Australians overseas.

Our support for Australians overseas will continue to be one of our most important responsibilities. We will deliver essential consular and passport services, information, and advice. We will broaden our reach and extend our capacity to support Australians overseas, particularly those most in need.

We will work with business to support jobs and secure Australia’s economic recovery. We will create new market opportunities to support trade diversification and investment flows. We will continue to uphold the rules-based trading system and to work to remove impediments to Australian exports, including by negotiating trade agreements with the United Kingdom (UK) and the European Union (EU).

We will continue to lead the Australian Government’s efforts to promote an open, inclusive and resilient Indo-Pacific by advancing our agenda with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN); the Quad (Australia, India, Japan and the United States); and bilateral partners. We also lead the Pacific Step-up to support economic resilience and recovery. We will prosecute Australia’s interests multilaterally to respond to global challenges, help set new standards and rules, and protect and advance human rights.

Through Partnerships for Recovery we will help our international partners – especially in the Pacific and Southeast Asia – to stop the spread of COVID-19 and rebuild regional economies. We will give priority in our development cooperation to health security, stability and economic recovery, and protecting the most vulnerable, especially women and girls. We will support early access to vaccines for partners in the Pacific, Timor-Leste and Southeast Asia. We will contribute to global efforts to address global development challenges, including in public health and climate change.

We will maintain a core focus on service delivery, providing clear advice to government, implementing priorities and initiatives internationally, and supporting Australians overseas. We will modernise our human resources and technology so we can attract, develop and retain the people and capabilities we need, and create a more secure, inclusive and effective organisation. We will upgrade our physical security overseas to ensure we can continue to support and service Australians in a safe environment.

This 2021–22 Corporate Plan explains what the department does and sets out performance measures so we can clearly demonstrate the impact of our work. We will regularly monitor our performance, which will be reported in our annual performance statement, in the 2021–22 Annual Report.

I look forward to working with our portfolio ministers and assistant ministers, their staff, external partners and stakeholders to deliver the strategies outlined in this 2021–22 Corporate Plan.

Statement of preparation

I, Kathryn Campbell, as the accountable authority of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, am pleased to present the 2021–22 Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Corporate Plan.

This covers the period 2021–22 to 2024–25 as required under paragraph 35(1) (b) of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013. The Corporate Plan is prepared in accordance with the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Rule 2014.

Kathryn Campbell AO, CSC
Secretary

Our purpose

Our purpose

The department works 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 outcomes

To achieve this purpose, the department has three key outcomes (set out in the 2021-22 Portfolio Budget Statements):

  • The advancement of Australia’s international strategic, security and economic interests including through bilateral, regional and multilateral engagement on Australian Government foreign, trade and international development policy priorities.
  • The protection and welfare of Australians abroad and access to secure international travel documentation through timely and responsive travel advice and consular and passport services in Australia and overseas.
  • A secure Australian Government presence overseas through the provision of security services and information and communications technology infrastructure, and the management of the Commonwealth’s overseas property estate.

Our priorities

We will pursue these outcomes through seven priorities and key activities that we will deliver over the life of this corporate plan (2021-22 to 2024-25). The priorities align with the 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper.

  • Promote a stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific.
  • Pursue our economic, trade and investment opportunities.
  • Keep Australia and Australians safe and secure.
  • Deliver an effective and responsive development program.
  • Advance global cooperation.
  • Support Australians overseas.
  • Provide a secure and effective overseas presence.

Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio

The Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio consists of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade), the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS), the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), Tourism Australia and Export Finance Australia.

The department and its portfolio agency partners work with the broader Australian Public Service to promote a stable and prosperous regional and global environment by leveraging Australia’s engagement with bilateral and regional partners and multilateral institutions.

Our key partners and stakeholders

We work with a wide range of stakeholders in Australia, in our region and globally to deliver the Government’s agenda.

We work closely with our ministers, portfolio partners, colleagues across Commonwealth, state and territory governments at all levels, businesses, universities, scientific agencies, non-government organisations and the wider Australian community to promote and protect Australia’s interests internationally and contribute to economic growth and global stability.

Together with our key partners and stakeholders, we are working to shape a regional order that benefits all countries regardless of their size or geography: an open and inclusive region of sovereign and resilient states that cooperate within a framework of agreed rules and norms. Our international stakeholders include our trade partners, Pacific family and Timor-Leste, our bilateral partners in Southeast Asia, like-minded partners, Indo-Pacific regional organisations and international organisations.

We are helping to strengthen global responses to COVID-19, which is crucial to Australia’s own recovery, with our development efforts concentrated in the Indo-Pacific. Through our Partnerships for Recovery strategy, we are delivering programs to our neighbours, prioritising health security, stability and economic recovery. We will continue to work closely with regional and global institutions to reinforce the rules and norms that support stability and prosperity, and enable the cooperation needed to tackle COVID-19 and other global challenges, including climate change.

In an uncertain world, the strength and diversity of Australia’s partnerships are critical. The department will continue to invest in these relationships in Australia and globally through Australia’s diplomatic network.

Planning and performance

Role of the corporate plan

The department’s 2021–22 Corporate Plan sets out the department’s purpose, outcomes and priorities. It outlines the measures through which we will assess our performance each year. It reflects, and operationalises, the comprehensive framework to advance Australia’s security and prosperity outlined in the 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper.

The corporate plan complements the Foreign Affairs and Trade 2021–22 Portfolio Budget Statements (PBS) for the foreign affairs and trade portfolio. Through the PBS, the Australian Government appropriates public funds to the department to achieve our purpose.

There is a clear line of sight between our PBS, corporate plan and annual performance statement which demonstrates how the department has applied public resources effectively and efficiently to make Australia stronger, safer and more prosperous. The corporate plan sets the parameters for the department’s annual business planning cycle and individual performance and development agreements ensuring clarity of purpose from the whole-of-enterprise to the individual level.

Purpose and outcomes

  • 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper Priorities
    • Planning
      • Portfolio Budget Statements
      • Corporate plan
        • Division and post business plans
        • Individual performance and development agreements
    • Reporting
      • Annual performance statement
      • Annual report
      • Division and post business reviews
      • Mid-cycle and end cycle performance reviews

Performance information

Priority 1. Promote a stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific

PBS outcome 1. The advancement of Australia’s international strategic, security and economic interests including through bilateral, regional and multilateral engagement on Australian Government foreign, trade and international development policy priorities.

  • PBS program 1.1 Foreign Affairs and Trade Operations
    • 2021–22 Performance measure revisions from 2020–21* – 1.1 Amended**
    • 2021–22 Performance measure revisions from 2020–21* – 1.2 Retained
    • 2021–22 Performance measure revisions from 2020–21* – 1.3 Retained
  • PBS program 1.5 New Colombo Plan – Transforming Regional Relationships
    • 2021–22 Performance measure revisions from 2020–21* – 1.4 Amended

Priority 2. Pursue our economic, trade and investment opportunities

PBS outcome 1. The advancement of Australia’s international strategic, security and economic interests including through bilateral, regional and multilateral engagement on Australian Government foreign, trade and international development policy priorities.

  • PBS program 1.1 Foreign Affairs and Trade Operations
    • 2021–22 Performance measure revisions from 2020–21* – 2.1 Amended**
    • 2021–22 Performance measure revisions from 2020–21* – 2.2 Amended and renumbered (previously 2.3)**
    • 2021–22 Performance measure revisions from 2020–21* – 2.3 Retained and renumbered (previously 2.5)
    • 2021–22 Performance measure revisions from 2020–21* – 2.4 Retained and renumbered (previously 2.6)

Priority 3. Keep Australia and Australians safe and secure

PBS outcome 1. The advancement of Australia’s international strategic, security and economic interests including through bilateral, regional and multilateral engagement on Australian Government foreign, trade and international development policy priorities.

  • PBS program 1.1 Foreign Affairs and Trade Operations
    • 2021–22 Performance measure revisions from 2020–21* – 3.1 Amended
    • 2021–22 Performance measure revisions from 2020–21* – 3.2 Retained

Priority 4. Deliver an effective and responsive development program

PBS outcome 1. The advancement of Australia’s international strategic, security and economic interests including through bilateral, regional and multilateral engagement on Australian Government foreign, trade and international development policy priorities.

  • PBS program 1.2 Official Development Assistance
    • 2021–22 Performance measure revisions from 2020–21* – 4.1 Retained
    • 2021–22 Performance measure revisions from 2020–21* – 4.2 Amended and renumbered (previously 4.3)
    • 2021–22 Performance measure revisions from 2020–21* – 4.3 Amended and renumbered (previously 4.2)

Priority 5. Advance global cooperation

PBS outcome 1. The advancement of Australia’s international strategic, security and economic interests including through bilateral, regional and multilateral engagement on Australian Government foreign, trade and international development policy priorities.

  • PBS program 1.4 Payments to International Organisations
    • 2021–22 Performance measure revisions from 2020–21* – 5.1 Amended***
  • PBS program 1.3 Official Development Assistance – Multilateral Replenishments
    • 2021–22 Performance measure revisions from 2020–21* – 5.1 Amended***
  • PBS program 1.1 Foreign Affairs and Trade Operations
    • 2021–22 Performance measure revisions from 2020–21* – 5.2 Retained
  • PBS program 1.6 Public Information Services and Public Diplomacy
    • 2021–22 Performance measure revisions from 2020–21* – 5.3 Amended**
  • PBS program 1.1 Foreign Affairs and Trade Operations
    • 2021–22 Performance measure revisions from 2020–21* – 5.4 Retained (previously 5.5)
    • 2021–22 Performance measure revisions from 2020–21* – 5.5 Retained (previously 5.6)

Priority 6. Support Australians overseas

PBS outcome 2. The protection and welfare of Australians abroad and access to secure international travel documentation through timely and responsive travel advice and consular and passport services in Australia and overseas.

  • PBS program 2.2 Passport Services
    • 2021–22 Performance measure revisions from 2020–21* – 6.1 Amended
  • PBS program 2.1 Consular Services
    • 2021–22 Performance measure revisions from 2020–21* – 6.2 Amended and renumbered (previously 6.4)
  • PBS program 2.2 Passport Services
    • 2021–22 Performance measure revisions from 2020–21* – 6.3 Amended and renumbered (previously 6.5)
    • 2021–22 Performance measure revisions from 2020–21* – 6.4 Amended and renumbered (previously 6.2)
  • PBS program 2.1 Consular Services
    • 2021–22 Performance measure revisions from 2020–21* – 6.5 Amended and renumbered (previously 6.6)

Priority 7. Provide a secure and effective overseas presence

PBS outcome 3. A secure Australian Government presence overseas through the provision of security services and information and communications technology infrastructure, and the management of the Commonwealth's overseas property estate.

  • PBS program 3.1 Foreign Affairs and Trade Security and IT
    • 2021–22 Performance measure revisions from 2020–21* – 7.1 Retained
    • 2021–22 Performance measure revisions from 2020–21* – 7.2 Retained
    • 2021–22 Performance measure revisions from 2020–21* – 7.3 Retained
  • PBS program 3.2 Overseas Property
    • 2021–22 Performance measure revisions from 2020–21* – 7.4 Retained and renumbered (previously 7.5)
  • PBS program 3.1 Foreign Affairs and Trade Security and IT
    • 2021–22 Performance measure revisions from 2020–21* – 7.5 Retained and renumbered (previously 7.4)
  • PBS program 3.2 Overseas Property
    • 2021–22 Performance measure revisions from 2020–21* – 7.6 Retained
    • 2021–22 Performance measure revisions from 2020–21* – 7.7 Amended
    • 2021–22 Performance measure revisions from 2020–21* – 7.8 Retained

* Four performance measures were removed to reflect our current operating environment and remove duplication (2.2, 2.4, 5.4 and 6.3).

** Amended to improve verifiability. Other amendments were made to separate out targets from the performance measure information.

*** Performance measure 5.1 is linked to PBS programs 1.3 and 1.4.

Measuring our performance

The department is progressively improving its performance framework to better demonstrate how we plan, evaluate, report and reset activities we deliver for Australia and Australians. Our reforms aim to enhance the department’s ability to provide high-quality, meaningful information on our performance, which is an important part of our accountability to the Australian Government, Parliament and the public.

In June and July 2021, the department conducted an in-depth review of the performance measures and targets presented in the PBS. The 2021–22 Corporate Plan reflects improvements to ensure the department’s performance information is relevant, reliable and complete, including having clearer performance measures, delivery targets and integrating robust methodologies.

The department will continue to review and improve its performance framework and to cultivate a positive performance management culture.

Methodology

The department assesses its performance on a regular basis. We have internal and external processes for assessment and contestability, and utilise several data sources for performance assessment. We draw on reliable and verifiable information to provide an unbiased basis for measuring our performance.

We collect a wide range of data through internally managed data systems that focus on activity management and contracting; assess the quality and outcomes of Australian aid and humanitarian programs; track Australian passport and consular services; and assess management of Australian infrastructure overseas.

We regularly conduct quality assurance processes that generate significant data to support analysis of our performance. This includes internally focused assessment to track progress of our work across our divisions, 113 overseas posts and our state and territory offices. It also includes external assessments such as annual surveys assessing satisfaction of key stakeholders.

We make extensive use of relevant external data to help us verify whether we have met our objectives. We use information produced by global institutions relevant to Australia’s interests, such as externally produced reports on outcomes achieved, reported progress against relevant international conventions and other international agreements. External data provides evidence of our success in achieving outcomes through multilateral engagement and delivering outcomes vital for Australia’s interest.

Delivery and performance

As part of our reform agenda and in line with Department of Finance guidance, we have introduced methodologies and targets across the department’s performance measures, where practicable. We will continue to develop our targets, performance measures and key activities as part of the department’s internal business planning processes.

The following sections set out the priorities that contribute to the department’s purpose, the key activities required to deliver the priorities, and the performance measures that we will report against in the 2021–22 Annual Report.

We have reflected each priority against its PBS outcome and our delivery strategies, which describe the key activities we will undertake for each PBS program.

Our priorities and key activities

Outcome 1 – Priority 1: Promote a stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific

Operating environment

The Australian Government’s foreign policy remains centred on an open, inclusive and resilient Indo-Pacific – our home and the most critical part of the world for our interests. The Indo-Pacific includes our key strategic partners, our Pacific, Indian Ocean and Southeast Asian neighbours, our major trading partners and our most consequential and complex bilateral relationships. The COVID-19 pandemic has heightened the strategic context and economic fragility in the region.

The department is working to shape a regional order that benefits all countries, regardless of their size or power: an Indo-Pacific of sovereign and resilient states that cooperate within a framework of agreed rules and norms. Specifically, we will work with partners to:

  • support the region’s health response to COVID-19 and its economic recovery
  • promote rules and norms that underpin the region’s security and prosperity
  • advance open and resilient markets to facilitate the free flow of trade, capital and ideas.

We will continue to strengthen our alliance with the United States and to pursue deeper cooperation with India and Japan in responding to regional challenges. We will continue to reinforce our ties with other key partners including Indonesia, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam and partners in the Pacific, while seeking a mutually beneficial relationship with China and coordinating our whole-of-government China policy consistent with our national interests.

We are increasing engagement with Southeast Asia, including supporting the region’s health security and economic recovery. We are fostering collaboration bilaterally, in mini-lateral groups and through forums such as the East Asia Summit (EAS) and other regional architecture led by ASEAN. A strong and resilient ASEAN that plays a central role in the affairs of the region is vital to achieving a secure, peaceful, prosperous and open Indo-Pacific.

We have been at the forefront of supporting the Pacific’s response to COVID-19. We will build efforts through the Pacific Step-up to help enhance economic recovery, regional security and re-establish connectivity so our deep personal ties can flourish. We will support high-quality infrastructure, provide budget support and create pathways to employment in Australia and across our region through our labour mobility, education and skills initiative. We will continue to strengthen resilience to climate change and disasters and support sustainable growth. Our engagement with Pacific communities will be underpinned by protecting the most vulnerable, promoting disability inclusion and advancing gender equality.

Delivery strategies

Delivery Strategy 1 - PBS Program 1.1

Pursue relationships, programs and other initiatives that support Australia’s interests and influence in the Indo-Pacific, including by advancing the region’s recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.

Delivery Strategy 2 - PBS Program 1.1

Promote a shared agenda for security and prosperity with Pacific island countries and Timor-Leste through economic, security and development engagement.

Delivery Strategy 3 - PBS Program 1.5

Increase Australia’s engagement with the Indo-Pacific through the New Colombo Plan (NCP).

Performance

Effectiveness measure 1.1

1.1 Our diplomatic efforts in the Indo-Pacific bolster partnerships and rules and norms that contribute to regional resilience, stability and prosperity and a regional balance favourable to our interests.

2021–22 target

Agreements, decisions, meeting outcomes and public statements by other governments align with our interests.

2022–23 to 2024–25 target

Forward targets to be set in future years.

Methodology

Qualitative analysis of outcomes from regional agreements and ministerial engagements.

Effectiveness measure 1.2

1.2 High level of satisfaction of ministers and key stakeholders with the quality and timeliness of advice, briefing and support provided by the department.

2021–22 target

Baseline to be established.

2022–23 to 2024–25 target

Forward targets to be set in future years.

Methodology

Qualitative assessment through regular consultations with stakeholders on satisfaction levels.

Effectiveness measure 1.3

1.3 Australia’s Step-up in Pacific and Timor-Leste engagement supports stronger and more resilient economies, development outcomes and regional security.

2021–22 target

Our strong and close partnerships with Pacific island countries and Timor-Leste are maintained and strengthened through our bilateral and regional engagement and delivery against the three pillars of the Pacific Step-up: economic prosperity, shared security and people-to-people connections, are strengthened.

COVID-19 support to the Pacific and Timor-Leste is delivered effectively, including our $304.7m (over two years) COVID-19 response package and comprehensive vaccines support.

Australia’s $1.44 billion Pacific development support is delivered in accordance with agreed bilateral and regional priorities.

We respond to the evolving priorities of the Pacific and Timor-Leste in support of regional COVID-19 recovery.

2022–23 to 2024–25 target

Our strong and close partnerships with Pacific island countries and Timor-Leste are maintained and strengthened, created through our bilateral and regional engagement and delivery against the three pillars of the Pacific Step-up: economic prosperity, shared security and people-to-people connections, are strengthened.

We respond to the evolving priorities of the Pacific and Timor-Leste in support of regional COVID-19 recovery.

Methodology

Quantitative and qualitative analysis undertaken at bilateral posts utilising economic data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Economic Outlook (WEO) reports, social and demographic data from the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and security data from the Fusion Centre and Australian Pacific Security College reports.

Output measure 1.4

1.4 The New Colombo Plan delivers improved people-to-people, institutional and business links.

2021–22 target

High-quality engagement with Australian universities, businesses, alumni and other stakeholders in the New Colombo Plan.

2022–23 to 2024–25 target

Forward targets to be set in future years.

Methodology

Qualitative and quantitative analysis from New Colombo Plan reporting.

Outcome 1 – Priority 2: pursue our economic, trade and investment opportunities

Operating environment

The international trading environment has become increasingly complex. Keeping the global economy open and businesses trading is crucial for Australia’s economic recovery and ongoing prosperity. With one in five Australian jobs trade-related prior to the pandemic, the department is focused on upholding the rules-based trading system and securing new market opportunities for Australian businesses.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) remains at the heart of the rules-based trading system that has underpinned Australia’s prosperity over the past thirty years. The department is leading efforts to reform the WTO to ensure it continues to deliver for Australia and our region. We are using the WTO dispute settlement system to protect Australia’s interests, as well as regional forums such as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), to promote practical economic collaboration.

We are pursuing a wide-ranging trade diversification agenda, including by negotiating new free trade agreements (FTAs) with the UK and EU, and expanding the membership of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Australia’s FTA network currently covers around 70 per cent of Australia’s total two-way trade, up from 26 per cent in 2013. We are supporting Australian businesses at home and around the world by addressing non-trade barriers and creating a more level playing field for Australian exporters. We are opening up new opportunities in growth areas such as digital trade and deepening our economic relationships with key partners including Indonesia, Vietnam and India.

Together with our partner agencies, state and territory governments and Australian businesses, we are working to ensure that the Australian economy has a competitive edge around the world and remains attractive to overseas investment.

Delivery strategies

Delivery Strategy 1 - PBS Program 1.1

Advocate and negotiate to open markets, resist protectionism and support the rules-based trading system.

Delivery Strategy 2 - PBS Program 1.1

Support Australian businesses to secure opportunities globally, including through free trade agreements and advancing trade and investment collaboration in the region and more widely.

Delivery Strategy 3 - PBS Program 1.1

Contribute to domestic economic policy that improves Australia’s international competitiveness.

Delivery Strategy 4 - PBS Program 1.2

Strengthen economic and commercial diplomacy to support Australian businesses, and build domestic support for trade and investment.

Performance

Effectiveness measure 2.1

2.1 Global rules-based trading system reflects Australian interests.

2021–22 target

Outcomes in WTO, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation APEC, G20 and Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) promote economic recovery through trade and investment.

2022–23 to 2024–25 target

Outcomes in WTO, APEC, G20 and OECD promote economic recovery through trade and investment.

Methodology

Qualitative assessment of outcomes of the WTO 12th Ministerial Conference and WTO disputes as well as APEC, G20 and OECD support to the trading system and economic recovery.

Effectiveness measure 2.2

2.2 Increased market opening and opportunities for Australian businesses.

2021–22 target

Increased trade covered by FTAs; progress in implementation of trade diversification.

2022–23 to 2024–25 target

Increased compared to previous year.

Methodology

Entry into force of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP); progress in expanding Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) membership; progress on FTA negotiations with UK and EU; positive outcomes from WTO dispute settlement; success in diversifying Australian export markets; business feedback.

Effectiveness measure 2.3

2.3 Trade and investment is factored into Australia’s economic policy settings.

2021–22 target

Economic policy takes into account Australia’s trade and investment interests and is consistent with our international trade law obligations.

2022–23 to 2024–25 target

Economic policy takes into account Australia’s trade and investment interests and is consistent with our international trade law obligations.

Methodology
  • Quantitative assessment of Mutual Recognition Agreements.
  • Qualitative assessment of data from the Services Exports Action Plan.
Effectiveness measure 2.4

2.4 Positive trade and investment outcomes supported by the department’s economic and commercial diplomacy, and domestic advocacy efforts.

2021–22 target

Effective support to Australian business in overseas markets.

Increased understanding of the benefits of trade and investment.

2022–23 to 2024–25 target

Effective support to Australian business in overseas markets.

Increased understanding of the benefits of trade and investment.

Methodology

Post reporting on economic and commercial diplomacy advocacy strategies; level of business interaction and engagement in domestic advocacy efforts.

Outcome 1 – Priority 3: Keep Australia and Australians safe and secure

Operating environment

The rise of new and evolving hybrid security challenges in the Indo-Pacific such as disinformation campaigns, foreign interference, malicious cyber activity and economic coercion threaten Australia’s security, our freedom and our values, and the stability of our region. Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) continue to pose a threat to regional and global stability. New proliferation challenges have arisen because of emerging technologies with WMD and the application of conventional weapons.

To keep Australians safe and secure, the department will work with partners to tackle both these new and more traditional security threats and build support for strong international rules and norms that protect Australian interests. We will continue to ensure the strength and vitality of our security alliance with the United States and enhance our diplomatic engagement on a broad range of security issues, including:

  • countering disinformation and foreign interference that is harmful to Australia’s strategic and economic interests
  • preventing and countering the proliferation and use of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons
  • securing stronger counter-terrorism and counter violent extremism cooperation
  • reducing the threat of people smuggling and incidences of human trafficking and other forms of modern slavery in the Indo-Pacific
  • strengthening international rules and norms that apply to space, and
  • promoting a safe, secure and prosperous Australia, Indo-Pacific and world enabled by cyberspace and critical technology.

The department also works with agencies to guard against attempts by foreign governments and their proxies to exert inappropriate influence on Australia, and to undermine our sovereign institutions and decision-making.

Delivery strategies

Delivery Strategy 1 - PBS Program 1.1

Work with international and domestic partners to promote Australia’s security interests through effective international advocacy, cooperation and capacity building.

Delivery Strategy 2 - PBS Program 1.1

Strengthen intelligence capabilities.

Delivery Strategy 3 - PBS Program 1.1

Promote international cooperation on people smuggling, human trafficking and other forms of modern slavery, particularly through the Bali Process.*

* Delivery strategy 3 was represented under ‘Priority 5: Advance Global Cooperation’ in the 2020–21 Corporate Plan.

Performance

Effectiveness measure 3.1

3.1 Security outcomes that reflect Australia’s interests.

2021–22 target

Progress on Australia’s 2015 Counter-Terrorism Strategy.

Progress on implementing Australia's International Cyber and Critical Tech Engagement Strategy.

Progress against milestones in space security policy.

Progress on effective action to address WMD risks in international forums.

Progress in cooperation with international and domestic partners on people smuggling, human trafficking and other forms of modern slavery.

Progress against the Counter Foreign Interference (CFI) Diplomatic Strategy.

Progress Counter Disinformation activities.

2022–23 to 2024–25 target

Forward targets to be set in future years.

Methodology

Qualitative and quantitative analysis drawn from records of the Australian Cyber Security Centre; the Asia-Pacific Network Information Centre; the CFI Diplomatic Strategy milestones; United Nations cyber processes outcome statement; annual records from International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT); Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW); internal reports and reporting on progress against international engagement aspects of the strategic priorities as set out in the National Action Plan to Combat Modern Slavery.

Effectiveness measure 3.2

3.2 Full and active engagement with the National Intelligence Community – (NIC) including through Office of National Intelligence-led prioritisation, coordination and evaluation process – to support Australia’s foreign policy interests.

2021–22 target

Baseline to be established.

2022–23 to 2024–25 target

Maintained or increased compared to previous year.

Methodology

Qualitative analysis drawn from NIC collaboration evaluation.

Outcome 1 – Priority 4: Deliver an effective and responsive development program

Operating environment

Australia’s development program supports our interests by investing in the stability and prosperity of our region and the world. In standing with our neighbours amidst COVID-19, we recognise that how they respond to the crisis affects Australia – until our region is safe, secure, prosperous and healthy, neither are we.

COVID-19 is reversing hard-won development gains, globally and in our region. Lives and livelihoods continue to be lost to the pandemic. Poverty and inequality have worsened, with women and girls disproportionately affected. A number of Indo-Pacific economies will likely contract for a second year, including in the Pacific. Vaccine supply and distribution is a core challenge. Reversing the damage to communities will likely take years.

Through Partnerships for RecoveryAustralia’s COVID-19 development response – we are delivering programs to mitigate pandemic impacts on our neighbours, prioritising health security, stability and economic recovery. We are focused on supporting women and girls in particular, and enhancing their safety, health and wellbeing. Our energy, attention and resources are concentrated in our Indo-Pacific region. In recognition of the scale of the pandemic’s impact, the department will also deliver temporary and targeted measures that supplement the Official Development Assistance (ODA) budget, valued at $1billion over the forward years to 2023–24. We are supporting our Pacific family and Southeast Asian partners to access and to safely and effectively roll out COVID-19 vaccines. We are investing in the future of our region through high-quality infrastructure projects that will facilitate sustainable economic growth and assist long-term recovery efforts.

In line with the Prime Minister’s commitment to increase climate financing assistance to $1.5 billion by 2025, Australia will accelerate efforts to address the impacts of climate change in our region through the development program and investments in sustainable infrastructure projects. In addition, the department will continue to lead Australia’s humanitarian efforts to help prepare for – and respond to – disasters, particularly in the Indo-Pacific.

Through our development partnerships with multilateral institutions and multilateral development banks, we are supporting effective global responses to the pandemic, while also sharpening the collective focus on specific challenges in the Indo-Pacific.

We are achieving results in an immensely challenging environment. Limits on the movement of people and goods, border restrictions and reduced air traffic have had an impact on implementation of programs across the board. Addressing urgent needs and priorities requires us to design and deliver new, complex measures (including vaccines) at speed.

The department’s development program performance system has three central elements: a three-tiered framework for reporting on the context and results of Australia’s development program; annual progress reports on country and regional COVID-19 development response plans; and periodic assessment of global programs and multilateral organisations. The department reports on development program effectiveness in our annual report.

* Consistent with Partnerships for Recovery, advice from the Foreign Minister’s office and recommendation 1 of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade (JSCFADT) inquiry into the development program, the title of priority 4 has been amended from the previous ‘Deliver an effective and responsive development assistance program’.

Delivery strategies

Delivery Strategy 1 - PBS Program 1.2

Focus Australia’s development program predominantly on the Indo-Pacific to promote Australia’s national interest in a stable, prosperous and resilient region in the context of COVID-19, including by:

  • delivering assistance to neighbours through the Partnerships for Recovery strategy, prioritising health security, stability and economic recovery, and
  • supporting Pacific and Southeast Asian partners to access and roll out safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines.
Delivery Strategy 2 - PBS Program 1.2

Manage the development program effectively, efficiently and transparently to deliver results and value for money in line with the Australian development program’s performance framework.

Delivery Strategy 3 - PBS Program 1.2

Lead the Australian Government’s response to humanitarian crises and conflicts, including an enhanced ability by Indo-Pacific countries to prepare for, respond to and recover from crises.

Performance

Effectiveness measure 4.1

4.1 Australia’s development program investments promote health security, stability and economic recovery.

2021–22 target

Partnerships for Recovery implementation is on track, including rollout of temporary, targeted and supplementary COVID-19 measures.

2022–23 to 2024–25 target

Ongoing development program is responsive to evolving needs and risks in the Indo-Pacific region and Australian Government priorities.

Effective implementation of temporary, targeted and supplementary COVID-19 measures.

Methodology
  • Investment monitoring reports, country and regional progress reports and evaluations of Australia’s development response efforts.
  • Qualitative analysis of progress against bilateral and regional Partnerships For Recovery plans.
  • Qualitative and quantitative analysis of country and regional health, security and governance and economic data.
Effectiveness measure 4.2

4.2 Timely and effective responses to humanitarian emergencies, including an enhanced Indo-Pacific ability to prepare for, respond to and recover from crises.

2021–22 target

Australia responds within 48 hours of a request from a country in the Indo-Pacific.

Effective Australian Government responses to humanitarian crises, displacement and conflict measures through end of program reviews of protracted crises response packages and strategic partnership frameworks.

Australian support builds the capacity of Pacific governments and communities to better prepare for, respond to and recover from climate change and disasters.

Progress against strategic partnership framework implementation and renewals.

2022–23 to 2024–25 target

Australia responds within 48 hours of a request from a country in the Indo-Pacific.

Effective Australian Government responses to humanitarian crises, displacement and conflict measures through end of program reviews of protracted crises response packages and strategic partnership frameworks.

Australian support builds the capacity of Pacific governments and communities to better prepare for respond to and recover from climate change and disasters.

Progress against strategic partnership framework implementation and renewals.

Methodology
  • Annual quality reporting and evaluations of Australia’s humanitarian response efforts.
  • Qualitative analysis provided in end of program reviews.
  • Quantitative analysis of data available in DFAT AidWorks system which provides annual rating of humanitarian investments.
Output measure 4.3

4.3 Effective operational and organisational management of the development program, including in its planning, implementation and responsiveness.

2021–22 target

Percentage of completed investments assessed as satisfactory against both effectiveness and efficiency criteria.

Percentage of investments effectively addressing gender equality and disability.

2022–23 to 2024–25 target

Ongoing effective and efficient implementation of investments.

Methodology
  • Investment monitoring reports, country and regional progress reports and evaluations of Australia’s development response efforts.
  • Qualitative analysis of progress against bilateral and regional Partnerships For Recovery plans.

Outcome 1 – Priority 5: Advance global cooperation

Operating environment

The COVID-19 crisis has demonstrated that, more than ever, we need strong and effective multilateral institutions, grounded in principles of openness and transparency. Following the completion of Australia’s multilateral audit in 2020, the department is focused on ensuring the multilateral system is delivering for Australia – and all countries – as we tackle unprecedented global challenges. This includes continuing to advocate for reform where required, to ensure multilateral organisations are fit for purpose and accountable to member states.

The department will continue working to protect the global rules, norms, standards and values that underpin Australia’s security and prosperity, in collaboration with like-minded and regional partners. We will contribute actively to international collaboration to deal with important global challenges, including pandemic control and on climate change. We will continue to protect human rights and defend their universality in the UN Human Rights Council and other multilateral forums. We will also continue to promote fundamental freedoms, gender equality and social inclusion, including for people with disabilities and indigenous persons, and advocate for global abolition of the death penalty.

We will seek to reinforce leadership of multilateral institutions by supporting meritorious individuals with a commitment to good governance and transparency. We will continue promoting our unprecedented number of Australian candidacies, which provide Australia with positions of influence from which to promote and protect the rules, norms, standards and values that support our national interests and those of our Indo-Pacific region.

We are increasing engagement in international standard-setting bodies to promote and protect standards that support a level playing field and an open, interoperable global economy. In particular, we will work to ensure new standards for emerging technologies foster innovation, transparency, diverse markets and security by design, and are consistent with international law and protect human rights.

In the challenging COVID-19 environment, we will continue to meet our obligations under the Vienna Conventions on Diplomatic and Consular Relations, including by facilitating the effective functioning of foreign missions represented in Australia.

Delivery strategies

Delivery Strategy 1 - PBS Program 1.1

Further Australia’s interests, including promoting and protecting the rules, norms, standards and institutions that underpin sovereignty, stability and prosperity, and enable cooperation to tackle global challenges.

Delivery Strategy 2 - PBS Program 1.6

Project a positive and contemporary image of Australia, and promote a clear understanding of Australian policies, objectives and engagement with the Indo-Pacific region through the department’s communications delivered throughout our diplomatic network.

Delivery Strategy 3 - PBS Program 1.1

Undertake effective protocol engagement with foreign services represented in Australia and ensure their security and dignity.

Delivery Strategy 4 - PBS Program 1.1

Closely liaise with federal, state and territory governments regarding DFAT’s management of the diplomatic and consular community.

Performance

Effectiveness measure 5.1

5.1 Australia’s diplomatic and geostrategic efforts and financial contributions help shape institutions, rules, norms and standards in line with our national interests and values.

2021–22 target

Alignment between statements from governments and multilateral institutions, and existing global rules, norms and values.

2022–23 to 2024–25 target

Forward targets to be set in future years.

Methodology
  • Qualitative analysis of Australia’s engagement in UN reform.
  • Qualitative analysis of Australia’s engagement in UN peace keeping and peace building.
  • Qualitative and quantitative analysis of resolutions and statements, primarily at the UN Human Rights Council, UN General Assembly.
Effectiveness measure 5.2

5.2 Our relationships with Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and Africa advance Australia’s interests.

2021–22 target

Positive regard for Australian interests increasingly identified in countries of Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and Africa.

2022–23 to 2024–25 target

Forward targets to be set in future years.

Methodology

Qualitative analysis of case studies of influential engagement.

Effectiveness measure 5.3

5.3 Strategic communications and global initiatives reflect Australian interests.

2021–22 target

Increase in reach and engagement of official channels domestically and globally, compared to 2020–21.

2022–23 to 2024–25 target

Maintained or increased compared to previous year.

Methodology
  • Internal and external monitoring and evaluation.
  • Social media data analytics and listening tools.
Output measure 5.4

5.4 The diplomatic and consular corps posted or accredited to Australia are satisfied with the delivery of protocol services.

2021–22 target

Maintain satisfaction levels above 85 per cent.

2022–23 to 2024–25 target

Maintain satisfaction levels above 85 per cent.

Methodology

Qualitative assessment through a survey of the diplomatic corps.

Output measure 5.5

5.5 Federal and state/territory governments support the department’s approach and processes, and foreign diplomats’ cooperation with Australia’s health and other requirements is strengthened.

2021–22 target

No target.

Rationale: Our engagement pertains to supporting coordination of quarantine arrangements for diplomats with relevant agencies. We are unable to set applicable annual targets during the COVID-19 response.

2022–23 to 2024–25 target

No target.

Rationale: Our engagement pertains to supporting coordination of quarantine arrangements for diplomats with relevant agencies. We are unable to set applicable annual targets during the COVID-19 response.

Methodology
  • Qualitative analysis of communication with federal, state and territory governments and amendment of the department’s processes to align with changing state and territory requirements.
  • Qualitative analysis of regular communication with the diplomatic corps.

Outcome 2 – Priority 6: Support Australians overseas

Operating environment

Support for Australians overseas is an essential part of the department’s mission. The department will continue to prepare for and lead the Australian Government’s response to overseas crises.

The COVID-19 pandemic – already driving the biggest consular operation of our history – will continue to cause hardship for Australian citizens overseas. Since the Australian border was closed in March 2020, more than 600,000 Australians have arrived in Australia (as at 30 June 2021). We will continue to help Australians wishing to return home, prioritising the most vulnerable and providing appropriate consular services focused on those most in need.

The department’s Global Watch Office provides a 24/7 capability to monitor and initiate responses to international events that affect Australian interests. We help Australians overseas, including through the Smartraveller website and the provision of timely and accurate travel advice and assistance during international crises and emergencies. We will cooperate with private sector and international partners – as well as across the Australian Government – to broaden our reach and extend our capacity to advise and assist Australians overseas.

Our work to continue to upgrade systems and technology for the consular network and other additional support will help us manage high consular workloads, including those associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. This will modernise Australia’s consular capability and ensure it remains able to respond to overseas emergencies and support Australians overseas.

The Australian Passport Office will continue to deliver a world class passport service. We will also continue to tailor our service to local impacts of the pandemic, where restrictions prevent Australians from applying for passports in person (both in Australia and overseas).

COVID-19 has reduced the number of passport applications to its lowest level in a quarter century. To help ensure Australians are ‘travel ready’ when borders begin to reopen, we are sending reminder messages to Australians where their passports have recently expired or are about to expire. To further suport future international travel the department is also working with Services Australia to develop a high-security vaccination certificate that draws on ePassport technology.

Our work to enhance the customer experience and further digitalise our service will continue over 2021–22 helping us to be increasingly responsive and agile in a complex COVID-19 environment.

Delivery strategies

Delivery Strategy 1 - PBS Program 2.2

Provide Australians with high-quality passport services.

Delivery Strategy 2 - PBS Program 2.1

A responsive consular service focused on those most in need.

Delivery Strategy 3 - PBS Program 2.1

Australians empowered to help themselves overseas.

Delivery Strategy 4 - PBS Program 2.1

Preparedness for and management of overseas crises, including in the pandemic context assisting Australians abroad wishing to return home.

Performance

Effectiveness measure 6.1

6.1 The department maintains a high standard in processing passport applications, investigating and prosecuting fraud.

2021–22 target

95 per cent of passports processed within 10 business days.

98 per cent of priority passports processed within two business days.

100 per cent of identified high risk passport applications scrutinised by specialist staff.

95 per cent of referrals to prosecuting authorities accepted for prosecution.

90 per cent of administrative investigations finalised within five business days.

2022–23 to 2024–25 target

Forward targets to be set in future years.

Methodology

Data on processing times and client satisfaction from the Australian Passport Office’s passport systems.

Effectiveness measure 6.2

6.2 A responsive consular service through our 24/7 global network, focusing on Australians most in need.

2021–22 target

Relevant support provided to Australians overseas in need, including those who seek to return to Australia and/or have been impacted by COVID-19 and restricted by international travel or border settings.

2022–23 to 2024–25 target

Forward targets to be set in future years.

Methodology
  • Reports on consular cases from the department’s Consular Information System and related systems.
  • Data on call volumes and wait times from the department’s Consular Emergency Centre.
Effectiveness measure 6.3

6.3 Australians have information to prepare for safe travel overseas.

2021–22 target

100 per cent of Travel Advisories reviewed bi-annually for posts in a volatile risk environment and/or where there are high Australian interests.

100 per cent of Travel Advisories reviewed annually for all other posts.

2022–23 to 2024–25 target

Forward targets to be set in future years.

Methodology

Data analytics and reporting from the department’s Smartraveller website.

Efficiency measure 6.4

6.4 Clients are satisfied with passport services, including online services.

2021–22 target

60 per cent of applications commenced online.

85 per cent satisfaction rate of overall passport service from client survey.

2022–23 to 2024–25 target

Forward targets to be set in future years.

Methodology

Data on processing times and client satisfaction from the Australian Passport Office’s passport systems.

Output measure 6.5

6.5 The department is prepared to respond to overseas crises.

2021–22 target

100 per cent of crisis action plans reviewed and exercised annually for countries of resident accreditation.

Establishment of six new Regional Consular Officer positions across the network by June 2022 (one year target).

Contingency planning and crisis management training is mandatory for all DFAT officers proceeding on long-term posting.

2022–23 to 2024–25 target

Forward targets to be set in future years.

Methodology
  • Quantitative assessment of Crisis Action Plan updates.
  • Quantitative assessment of completion of contingency planning and crisis management pre-posting training.

Outcome 3 – Priority 7: Provide a secure and effective overseas presence

Operating environment

A secure and effective overseas Australian Government presence is fundamental to our ability to meet the strategic challenges ahead, protect our staff and Australians overseas and advance Australia’s interests abroad.

The department will continue to invest in efficient, cost-effective technologies and infrastructure to fully support the global network and to adapt practices to ensure our people are safe and able to operate effectively to deliver for Australia around the world. We are the eyes, ears and voice of Australia overseas.

We operate 113 overseas posts and nine Austrade-managed posts providing consular assistance around the world at over 200 global locations. The department will provide a reliable, secure and sustainable Information and Communications Technology (ICT) network that supports flexibility and innovation. We ensure a safe and secure Australian Government presence overseas by providing appropriate risk-based security services and a fit-for-purpose, efficient and sustainable overseas property estate.

Delivery strategies

Delivery Strategy 1 - PBS Program 3.1

Strengthen protective security measures commensurate with the evolving global security environment.

Delivery Strategy 2 - PBS Program 3.1

Enhance the security culture of the department across the global network.

Delivery Strategy 3 - PBS Program 3.1

Deliver and maintain accessible, reliable and secure ICT systems and infrastructure that meet Australian Government requirements.

Delivery Strategy 4 - PBS Program 3.2

Deliver a secure Australian Government presence overseas through efficient and effective management of the overseas estate that meets the Government’s requirements and maintains property conditions and building services.

Performance

Effectiveness measure 7.1

7.1 Effective security management with evidence of risk-based decision‑making in line with the DFAT Security Framework.

2021–22 target

The department’s protective security maturity rating is on an upwards trajectory from ‘developing’ towards 'managing'.

2022–23 to 2024–25 target

The department’s protective security maturity rating improves from ‘developing’ to ‘managing’ by 2024.

Methodology

Qualitative assessment drawn from the Protective Security Policy Framework annual assessment.

Effectiveness measure 7.2

7.2 Enhanced oversight of the functionality and effectiveness of the security controls and mitigations in place across the network.

2021–22 target

Progress against key Security Enhancement Program milestones.

2022–23 to 2024–25 target

Progress against key Security Enhancement Program milestones.

Methodology

Qualitative analysis drawn from assessment of the Security Enhancements Plan milestones.

Effectiveness measure 7.3

7.3 Robust security culture, evidenced by staff engagement with security policy and responsiveness to contemporary and innovative security materials and training programs.

2021–22 target

Progress against the Security Culture Implementation plan.

2022–23 to 2024–25 target

Forward targets to be set in future years in accordance with revised implementation plan.

Methodology

Qualitative analysis drawn from Security Culture Implementation plan.

Efficiency measure 7.4

7.4 Construction and refurbishment of departmental overseas property estate completed to agreed quality standards to meet government requirements and deliver operational efficiencies.

2021–22 target

Benefits identified in the approved business case are realised.

Off-site construction delivered to Australian Codes and Standards.

80 per cent of construction projects delivered on time and within approved budget.

2022–23 to 2024–25 target

Benefits identified in the approved business case are realised.

Off-site construction delivered to Australian Codes and Standards.

80 per cent of construction projects delivered on time and within approved budget.

Methodology
  • Quantitative analysis from Asset Management database.
  • Quantitative analysis of compliance with certification processes.
  • Actual budget spend and schedule assessed against approved forecasts.
Output measure 7.5

7.5 Fit-for-purpose and secure ICT systems.

2021–22 target

Number of security log events collected and complex use cases analysed will increase by 15 per cent.

No reduction in overseas partner agencies continued use of DFAT ICT systems.

2022–23 to 2024–25 target

Forward targets to be set in future years.

Methodology

Quantitative and qualitative analysis of progress against the department’s ICT Strategy and Capital Investment Program.

Output measure 7.6

7.6 Asset management plans are in place for all owned properties in the overseas estate.

2021–22 target

100 per cent of asset management plans updated for all owned properties.

2022–23 to 2024–25 target

100 per cent of asset management plans updated for all owned properties.

Methodology

Quantitative analysis of updated Asset Management Plans from the Property Management Database.

Output measure 7.7

7.7 Satisfaction ratings with the performance of the service provider and the Overseas Property Office.

2021–22 target

Greater than 80 per cent satisfaction ratings of the service provider and Overseas Property Office.

2022–23 to 2024–25 target

Maintained or increased compared to previous year.

Methodology

An annual customer satisfaction survey conducted by an independent third-party service provider.

Output measure 7.8

7.8 Management and refurbishment of the domestic property portfolio, including the state and territory offices, to meet government requirements and deliver operational efficiencies.

2021–22 target

Reduction of average occupational density in the domestic property portfolio (per Department of Finance Australian Government Property Register (AGPR)).

2022–23 to 2024–25 target

The department has an occupational density of 14m2 per occupied work point by 2025.

Methodology

Property data reported to Department of Finance under the AGPR annual reporting requirement.

Our capabilities

COVID-19 continues to shape our world. It has had a profound impact on the department’s core business, demanding flexibility across our many responsibilities. Our people, including in our global network of 113 overseas posts across six continents, have responded with agility and resilience to complex challenges in unprecedented circumstances. We continue to play a vital role providing support to Australians and delivering on the Government’s agenda.

The department continues to be at the forefront of Australia’s response to COVID-19. We have pivoted our development program, we are supporting Australia’s economic recovery through diversified trade and investment, and delivering the most complex consular operation in Australia’s history. Our work to defend and prosecute Australia’s interests during the pandemic has highlighted our strengths as an organisation. It is driving innovation and adaptability. We are committed to holding on to the best of this, including our increased agility, rapid uptake of technology, use of data to inform decision-making, remote and flexible work to enhance productivity and a sharpened clarity of purpose.

We are implementing an ambitious program of organisational reform across people management, IT, security, service delivery and our overseas operations to ensure our organisation can be even more effective as we transition to support recovery. We are streamlining our systems while delivering efficient and high-quality services to Australians.

People

We are the eyes, ears and voice of Australia overseas. Our people and the global network we lead on behalf of Government are our core assets. We are investing in both to ensure we can stand firm in the face of growing challenges to Australia’s national interests.

Our job is to be where it matters, when it matters – both domestically and overseas. Our human resources modernisation program will help ensure we can identify the capability needs of different teams and quickly mobilise people with the right skills at the right time, place and cost.

We are invigorating our leadership practice and harnessing opportunity and lessons from the challenges as a result of COVID-19 – further strengthening our capacity to deliver on Australia’s strategic priorities. Through our Leadership @ DFAT framework, we are embedding a culture of commitment, clarity and care for our people. Inclusive, accountable leadership is the foundation on which we will achieve better results and maximise Australia’s strategic impact and global influence.

We are investing in our capacity – and the capacity of other government departments working internationally – to prosecute Australian priorities and interests overseas. The department’s Diplomatic Academy leads our efforts to train Australian officials, both in the department and across the Australian Public Service (APS). We are seeking out, and working to manage, existing and new talent and promote innovative workforce practices, and building surge capacity into our future workforce to support the needs of the department in times of crises and shifting priorities, and as part of an integrated APS enterprise.

Diversity and inclusion

At the heart of everything we do is our people. We are committed to a diplomatic service that represents Australia in all of its diversity. It is our diversity of backgrounds, skills and experience that enables us to represent Australia to the world and to enhance our influence internationally.

Our Diversity and Inclusion Framework and refreshed Women in Leadership Strategy guide our efforts to recruit and retain the best of Australia: diverse, high-performing and outward-looking. We continue to focus our efforts on fostering an inclusive, respectful and safe workplace environment where all staff can bring their whole selves to work and perform at their best.

Systems

Ongoing reforms are supporting a reliable, secure and sustainable ICT network to flex and respond to rapidly changing and uncertain operating circumstances. ICT systems are critical enablers in our disrupted, COVID-affected world. We are making greater use of virtual tools and technology to work smarter and manage the challenges of COVID-19. The department leads the provision of international ICT services and infrastructure, providing digital capability and security for 41 domestic and overseas partner agencies. We are employing new technologies to improve our digital capability, ICT and data fluency and working with partner agencies and industry to ensure our systems are fit-for-purpose and secure.

Governance

Our governance arrangements continue to support delivery of strategic priorities, ensure organisational fitness, and increase accountability. These proved critical as the foundation for real-time, accountable decision-making and assurance during our COVID-19 response and will continue to guide our transition to support recovery.

Secretary

Strategic Policy Committee

Chair: Secretary

Outward-facing and forward-looking

  • Defines DFAT’s strategic priorities, and ensures policy coherence
  • Considers new policy proposals, cabinet submissions and other significant departmental initiatives
  • Drives culture, leadership, inclusion, innovation and collaboration
Aid Governance Board

Chair: Deputy Secretary, Global Cooperation, Development and Partnerships Group

Ensures strong governance of the aid program

  • Provides advice on aid program priorities, budget, policy and strategies
  • Reviews aid program risks
  • Provides advice on high-value or high-risk investment concepts and designs
Performance Risk and Resourcing Committee

Chair: Secretary

Inward-looking assurance and review

  • Ensures strategic priorities can be (and are being) achieved
  • Assesses performance and reallocates resources between Groups
  • Engages with risks at the enterprise level
Operations Committee

Chair: Deputy Secretary, Service Delivery Group

Delivers operational and resourcing requirements

  • Coordinates corporate and service delivery functions
  • Ensures DFAT’s human and financial resources support DFAT objectives
  • Oversees key risk management systems (e.g. WHS, security), property and ICT
Audit and Risk Committee

Chair: Independent member

Independent assurance and advisory body

Reviews, on behalf of the Secretary, the appropriateness of DFAT’s:

  • Financial and performance reporting
  • Systems for risk oversight and management
  • Systems for internal control and compliance

Managing our risks

The department’s challenging operating environment means success depends on our ability to engage with risk, capitalise on opportunities and encourage innovative practices. COVID-19 has accelerated the need for this, not only for managing the continued risks posed by the pandemic, but also the broader political, economic and operational uncertainty it has created. Effective risk management ensures that the department is resilient and agile in the face of this uncertainty and can deliver for Australia and Australians.

Maintaining a robust risk framework

The department’s Risk Management Guide sets out our framework for managing risk in line with the expectations of the Commonwealth Risk Management Policy. The guide sets out responsibilities for managing risk and our processes for risk assessment, including defining the department’s appetite for risk. It also empowers areas of the department to develop policies, processes and reporting mechanisms for specialist areas of risk such as work health and safety, security, fraud, the protection of people in vulnerable situations, as well as risk management for the development program.

The framework is coordinated by the department’s Chief Performance and Risk Officer and a dedicated enterprise risk team, which also provides outreach and support across the department. The Performance, Risk and Resourcing Committee oversees operation of the department’s risk framework and receives reports on the management of enterprise risks. Key operational risks are monitored and reported to the Operations Committee, and risks in the development program are monitored and reported to the Aid Governance Board. The Audit and Risk Committee delivers independent assurance to the Secretary and ensures the department’s approach is appropriate and fit-for-purpose, including by endorsing amendments to the Risk Management Guide.

The department continually reviews its risk framework to ensure it accurately reflects roles and responsibilities and expresses risk appetite in a way that enables risk management to support our priorities. Capturing the lessons learned from our ongoing response to the COVID‑19 pandemic and how to address changes in our international and domestic contexts is a key component of this review work.

Managing our enterprise risks

The department’s enterprise risks are those that have a systemic impact on our strategic priorities set out in this plan or our capacity to deliver them. These risks are set out in the department’s Enterprise Risk Register. The Performance, Risk and Resourcing Committee, chaired by the Secretary, regularly reviews the enterprise risks and directs action to manage them.

Enterprise risks can be either ‘strategic’ (risks to the achievement of specific foreign policy, trade, investment and/or international development priorities) or ‘operational’ (risks that affect how the department delivers our priorities and maintain business operations).

The department is undertaking a review of the strategic risks in the enterprise risk register, addressing COVID-19’s impact on our strategic context. The table below sets out the operational risks in the Enterprise Risk Register and the mechanisms we are using to manage them.

Development Program

Risk

Effective implementation of the international development program is impacted by COVID-19. We are unable to deliver on expected development objectives.

Management mechanisms

Use flexible program designs and funding mechanisms, to adapt to changing circumstances, needs and government priorities.

Timely deployment of resources and continued strengthening of our international development capability.

Adequate financial and agreement management mechanisms, and monitoring of safeguard and diversion risks.

Work Health and Safety (WHS)

Risk

Our management of work health and safety does not enable the department to provide a healthy and safe workplace.

Management mechanisms

Policies and processes support the management of physical and mental health risks.

Assessment and assurance of WHS risk and controls across the department, with targeted WHS programs to remedy trending WHS risks.

Increased training and assurance of individual accountabilities for WHS across the department.

Enhance WHS issue reporting and investigation capabilities.

Personnel and physical security

Risk

Our management of personnel and physical security is insufficient for the threat environment.

Management mechanisms

Clearly define, continuously monitor and review security policies and procedures.

Assess security risks and assure the effectiveness of controls across the network to support appropriate risk mitigation.

Deliver security communications, training and services to build a robust security culture.

Invest to enhance key security infrastructure.

Staffing

Risk

Our staffing profile, in terms of numbers and skills, is not capable of responding to our objectives.

Management mechanisms

Enhance workforce planning and recruitment activities to hire the desired people capability.

Enhance performance management processes to develop individual people capability.

Increase investment in staff welfare and support to sustain high-tempo operations.

ICT Sustainability

Risk

ICT capability is unable to be enhanced or sustained, resulting in service failure, diminution in systems capacity and client dissatisfaction.

Management mechanisms

Implement 3 year ICT Strategy and ICT Investment plan to ensure continued and sustainable implementation of the ICT Transformation Program.

Enhance ICT workforce capability.

Increase governance and transparency through the implementation of a new ICT Program board.

Information Security

Risk

Government and/or personal information is compromised.

Management mechanisms

Clearly define, continuously monitor and review security policies and procedures.

Increase investment in cyber risk management capability.

Target ICT maintenance to secure operations.

Deliver security communications, training and services to build a robust security culture.

Enhance privacy protections to protect private information managed by the department.

Asset Management

Risk

Effective management of our property portfolio is unable to be sustained compromising the achievement of government objectives and the safety and security of staff.

Management mechanisms

Maintain oversight of the property portfolio to ensure the safety and security of staff and information, alignment with DFAT and partner agency business requirements.

Sustain investment in the property portfolio through the Overseas Property Special Account and departmental budget.

Passports

Risk

We are unable to deliver passport services in line with government and public expectations.

Management mechanisms

Close monitoring of operational performance and data analytics to monitor and respond to demand.

Continuous improvement of systems, technology and processes to meet customer needs.

Flexible workforce model and relationships with suppliers to respond to a surge in demand.

Comprehensive surge plan in place to manage spikes in demand and variations in our forecasted modelling.

Financial Management

Risk

DFAT fails to ensure proper use of resources for achieving the purposes of the entity, and maintaining financial sustainability.

Management mechanisms

Careful financial planning, prioritisation, and management to achieve priority outcomes for government.

Ensuring that our financial management and procurement processes readily support compliance with government regulations, and minimise the risk of fraud, misuse, and waste.

An ongoing program of financial training and capability uplift for DFAT Officers.

Consular

Risk

We are unable to deliver consular services (including responding to international crises) in line with government and public expectations.

Management mechanisms

Maintain capability to deliver DFAT’s obligations under the Consular Services Charter and the Australian Government Crisis Management Framework.

Increased resources and modernisation of Australia’s consular capability.

Increased investment in Smartraveller and other communications platforms.

Collaboration with partner agencies, and likeminded nations, and industry partners to support effective crisis management responses.

Building a strong risk culture and capability

The department responds to uncertainty in its operating environment by building risk management capability. Staff are supported to develop the skills needed to identify, understand and manage risks.

To support a positive risk culture, the department has identified eight positive risk culture behaviours, to assist staff to understand how they can confidently and positively engage with risk through the course of their work.

Positive risk culture behaviours

Understand your objectives

Identify your objectives to understand what may prevent you from achieving them.

Engage with risk

Be open to accepting risks when justified by the potential benefits.

Make informed decisions

Use information about risk to inform your decision-making. Understanding your key risks will help you allocate resources effectively.

Communicate effectively

Have regular discussions so that you understand DFAT's risk appetite and your role in managing risks.

Document your work

Record decisions on risk using common and consistent language to facilitate transparency and accountability.

Share lessons learnt

Share best practice, learn from mistakes and mark successes to reinforce appropriate risk taking and innovation.

Maintain risk capability

Ensure you have the right training, tools and processes to do risk management well.

Reward good risk management

Recognise and reward good risk management.

Collaborating on shared risks

Shared risks extend across multiple parties and require shared oversight and management. Because of the nature of the department’s operating context and model, we must manage a number of shared risks with other Australian Government entities, bilateral partner governments, multilateral organisations, the private sector and non-government organisations.

Managing shared risks requires a clear and agreed understanding of the accountabilities and obligations of the department and other parties. We do this through formal agreements, including memoranda of understanding, service level agreements, contracts and bilateral partnership agreements. The department provides assurance through monitoring and reporting mechanisms of actions taken by all parties.

Compliance with PGPA rule 2014

Introduction

Matters to be included

The following:

  1. a statement that the plan is prepared for paragraph 35(1)(b) of the Act
  2. the reporting period for which the plan is prepared
  3. the reporting periods covered by the plan.

Page

5–6

Purpose

Matters to be included

The purpose of the entity.

Page

7

Key activities

Matters to be included

For the entire period covered by the plan, the key activities that the entity will undertake in order to achieve its purposes.

Page

12–28

Operating context

Matters to be included

For the entire period covered by the plan, the following:

  1. the environment in which the entity will operate
  2. the strategies and plans the entity will implement to have the capability it needs to undertake its key activities and achieve its purposes
  3. a summary of the risk oversight and management systems of the entity, and the key risks that the entity will manage and how those risks will be managed
  4. details of any organisation or body that will make a significant contribution towards achieving the entity’s purposes through cooperation with the entity, including how that cooperation will help achieve those purposes
  5. how any subsidiary of the entity will contribute to achieving the entity's purposes.

Page

12–33

Performance

Matters to be included

For each reporting period covered by the plan, details of how the entity's performance in achieving the entity's purposes will be measured and assessed through:

  1. specified peformance measures for the entity that meet the requirements of section 16EA, and
  2. specified tagets for each of those performance measures for which it is reasonably practicable to set a target.

Page

12–28

Creative Commons

With the exception of the Commonwealth Coat of Arms and where otherwise noted all material presented in this document is provided under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia licence, available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/au/

The details of the relevant licence conditions are available on the Creative Commons website (accessible using the links provided), as is the full legal code for the CC BY 3.0 AU licence, available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/au/legalcode

Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, 2021–22 Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Corporate Plan, August 2021

ISBN: 978-1-74322-591-2 (PDF)

ISBN: 978-1-74322-592-9 (Word)

Contact

Enquiries about this document should be directed to:

Business Planning and Performance
Executive Division
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
R G Casey Building
John McEwen Crescent
Barton ACT 0221
Australia

Phone +61 2 6261 1111

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