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Annual Report 2015/16

02 Annual Performance Statement

Analysis: performance and environment

The Department achieved the majority of its targets in 2015–16, and made good progress in its ongoing objective to promote innovative cultural and communications sectors through policy, program and service delivery to the benefit of all Australians.

During this time, a number of environmental and operational factors had the potential to impact the Department’s performance:

  • In September 2015, machinery-of-government changes combined responsibility for communications, arts, copyright and classification functions into a single Department of Communications and the Arts. The Department committed work and time in transferring staff to the same IT environment, moving Canberra-based arts and copyright staff to the Department’s offices at 38 Sydney Avenue, and putting in place necessary financial and administrative processes. Although this placed pressure on a comparatively small department, delivery of work was aided by:
    • arts staff being well-practiced in handling machinery-of-government changes
    • useful advice and assistance from the Attorney-General’s Department, and particularly its corporate area during the early stages of the transition
    • the Department’s move of core IT systems to the cloud, which helped ramp up system capacity for additional users and assisted in delivering access to the Classification Branch’s Sydney Office.
  • The Department established a branch specifically addressing regional communications issues.
  • The Productivity Commission initiated inquiries relating to matters of strong policy interest to the Department: Intellectual Property Arrangements (covering copyright, amongst other property rights) and the future direction of a universal service obligation in the telecommunications market. Even before the inquiries conclude with final reports, the additional discussion and analysis has been useful to the Department in developing well-rounded advice.
  • The Parliament was prorogued ahead of the 2016 Federal Election. As a result, a number of pieces of pending legislation lapsed and will need to be re-introduced when Parliament recommences.

Stakeholder and public engagement in the reviews, inquiries and other activities undertaken by the Department was constructive, well-informed and active, and greatly assisted our work.