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Annual Report 2015/16

02 Annual Performance Statement

Additional activities

Our target is to possess strong capabilities in leadership, strategy and delivery to enable us to be the Government’s pre-eminent advisor on digital technologies and communications services.

Additional activities: Strengthening organisational capability

The Department will:

  • 3-A - Build on our strengths consolidating our ‘well placed’ and ‘strengths’ in stakeholder engagement and leading edge thinking/research; and address our development areas of Business Planning, Talent Management and Leadership Visibility and Aligned Behaviours.
  • 3-B - Evaluate stakeholder satisfaction with the professionalism and commitment of staff involved in supporting participation in, and access to, the arts.
  • 3-C - Increase the number of staff participating in secondment and job rotation opportunities.
  • 3-D - Deliver inaugural Crawford School policy development courses with a positive impact on staff development and engagement. 

Targets, measurement, results

Our target is to build on our identified strengths in stakeholder engagement, leadership, workforce capability and talent management, and business planning and resource allocation.

As part of a program of external reviews, the Australian Public Service Commission undertook a capability review of the Department of Communications in 2014-15 and delivered its report in February 2015. In 2015–16, we worked to address the findings of the report. Following the integration of arts, classification and copyright functions with the Department, we also examined the related capability reviews of previous agencies. As a result, we:

  • Continued to embed stakeholder engagement practices into the workplace through information and guidance for staff on our intranet and strategic discussions with our Executive about our important stakeholder relationships.
  • Put in place new business planning processes to link the Department’s strategic goals with line areas’ work plans and individual performance plans.
  • Instituted new forums for the Department’s Executive Leadership Team to meet with staff and informally discuss their experience and thoughts on leadership, Australian Public Service (APSDefinition:Australian Public Service) transformation and departmental culture.  
  • Supported a variety of secondment and job rotation opportunities in 2015–16 for periods between three weeks and one year.
    • Twelve of our employees were seconded to organisations within our portfolio and across government and seven employees, from the APS and NSW Government, joined us. Organisations that employees were seconded to included ABCDefinition:Australian Broadcasting Corporation, NBN Co, the ACMADefinition:Australian Communications and Media Authority, the Digital Transformation Office, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, IP Australia and NSW Treasury.

    • A staff member was seconded to the Digital Transformation Office to assist in the development of the GOV.AU platform and build our capability in relation to user-centred design and agile approaches to project development.

  • Stakeholder satisfaction with the professionalism and commitment of staff involved in delivering arts outcomes has been assessed through direct feedback and the level of stakeholder engagement in working towards the Government’s goals as described at 2.1-B.

  • We delivered the Policy Essentials program to 20 APS and EL level policy staff in partnership with the Australian National University Crawford School of Public Policy.

  • 3-E - The Department’s policy advice will draw on increasingly diverse and robust data and data analytics provided by its Market Analysis Teams and the Bureau of Communications Research. 
  • 3-F - The Department will enhance its ability to effectively respond to new issues and initiatives through a rigorous but agile project methodology, led by its Projects Office. 

Targets, measurement, results

Our target is to deliver quality policy advice by drawing on robust and diverse data sets and using the capability of our Project Office to respond effectively to new issues and initiatives.

The Market Analysis Teams and the Bureau of Communications Research (BCRDefinition:Bureau of Communications Research ) have worked to deliver market insights across the portfolio.

The Market Analysis Teams have worked with policy areas to gain a greater understanding of markets, how new technologies could be applied, as well as regulatory and other trends and their possible impacts. The teams have continued to scan and monitor Australian and overseas jurisdictions to inform development of more future-oriented policy across Infrastructure, Consumer, Content and Arts divisions.

The BCR engaged with other government agencies and with academia and businesses through the BCR Advisory Committee.

The Projects Office was established in May 2015 to provide us with the agility to work on complex policy issues that require an analytical approach, involve unanticipated issues, have a cross-portfolio impact, and need engagement with multiple stakeholders and experts.

In its first year, the Projects Office has:

  • put in place a departmental project management methodology that allows for clear scoping and rapid delivery of projects within a set time period
  • led a review of the objectives, functions, structure, governance and resource base of the ACMA to ensure it remains fit-for-purpose for both the contemporary and future communications regulatory environment
  • scoped initiatives that would help to strengthen our ability to look for innovative solutions to organisational challenges – this helped inform our whole of department Innovation Strategy
  • given staff the opportunity to work on individual projects in the office. This has developed our staff's capability in scoping and planning, policy analysis, communications and project management.
  •  3-G - APS Census shows that the Department equals or exceeds other policy departments in relation to staff engagement, organisational culture and flexible learning and working measures. 

Targets, measurement, results

Our target is to have a positive, inclusive workplace and a highly effective workforce that embodies the best aspects of Australian Public Service culture. We measure this through the APS Census.

In the 2016 APS Census:

  • Our response rate to the 2016 survey was 77 per cent, eight per cent above the APS response rate of 69 per cent.
  • Employee engagement with their jobs and with the Department remained consistent with those reported by overall APS scores, and with other policy agencies.
  • Eighty-one per cent of respondents agreed that they have access to effective learning and development. This is four per cent higher than in 2015, eight per cent higher than policy agencies and 17 per cent higher than the APS overall.
  • Our response to flexible work arrangements was positive, with 71 per cent of staff satisfied with their ability to access and use the arrangements. This response is on par with our 2015 result and the APS, although slightly below other policy agencies.
  • Seventy-six per cent of respondents are satisfied with the work-life balance in their current job. This is slightly higher than in 2015, other policy agencies and the APS overall.
  • 3-H - The Department is assessed as a government leader in effective and innovative use of leading-edge information and communication technologies. 

Targets, measurement, results

Our target is to continue to demonstrate leadership in the use of effective and innovative leading-edge information and technologies.

As a digital leader in the Australian Government, we continued to build on our strong digital foundation in 2015–16, by:

  • continuing to enhance our communications.gov.au website, including further refinement to Have Your Say, a platform for engaging stakeholders and the public in our policy work
  • delivering an intranet that includes internal social collaboration and allows staff to create their own news, blogs or content pages
  • delivering digital literacy training for our staff
  • transitioning to new IT Infrastructure Managed Services with our outsourcing vendor ASG Group
  • redeveloping our arts.gov.au [hyperlink here]website
  • being the first Commonwealth agency to work closely with the Digital Transformation Office on the beta version of GOV.AU.

We have also shared our learnings with other agencies at a range of forums and briefings throughout the year. Working with our vendor, we have offered to share the code for our intranet with other government agencies. The Have Your Say function has been packaged as a module for other government agencies to use in the govCMS community.

  • 3-I - A departmental Digital Transformation Plan (DTP) is developed and implemented with services that meet or exceed the Digital Transformation Office’s Digital Service Standard. 

Targets, measurement, results

Our target is to collaborate with the Digital Transformation Office (DTO) to identify ways we can continue to transform our online information and services in line with the Digital Service Standard.

As an early adopter, we developed a draft Digital Transformation Plan in 2015–16 that identified ways to accelerate digital transformation in our Department. We anticipate the plan will be progressed to support the broader Digital Transformation Agenda in 2016–17, following further consultation with, and advice from, the DTO.