2011-12 Annual Report - Part 4 Management and Accountability

Part 4 - Management and Accountability
 

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Corporate governance

Corporate governance practices

ARPANSA’s role, functions and powers are defined by the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Act 1998 (ARPANS Act). ARPANSA is constituted by the office of the CEO, created by the ARPANS Act, who is authorised to engage employees under the Public Service Act 1999. ARPANSA is a statutory agency for the purpose of the Public Service Act and a prescribed agency under the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (FMA Act).

The CEO reports through the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health and Ageing and administers the following Acts:

  • Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Act 1998
  • Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety (Consequential Amendments) Act 1998
  • Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety (Licence Charges) Act 1998.

ARPANSA has an integrated corporate governance framework designed to provide a sound basis for decision making, to define the mechanisms for accountability and stewardship, to support the achievement of organisation goals and to ensure all legal and regulatory requirements are met.

ARPANSA management

The CEO and senior management allocate the resource budget, make strategic decisions and set key priorities through a Strategic Management Committee (SMC). The members comprise the CEO, ARPANSA Branch and Office Heads and an external member from the Bureau of Meteorology.

The SMC meets monthly in accordance with a formally approved timetable and agenda and deals with significant strategic issues.

The ARPANSA Corporate Counsel provides independent advice to the CEO on regulatory and operational matters.

The CEO has delegated various powers and functions to Branch and Office Heads, and staff reporting to them, to ensure that ARPANSA business is carried out efficiently and effectively. The CEO requires his delegates to act in accordance with approved policies and procedures, including Chief Executive Instructions, formulated in accordance with the Commonwealth legislative framework, including the FMA Act. A program of mandatory formal training on various compliance issues is maintained to provide refresher training to staff over a rolling three year cycle.

Senior management committees

The CEO and senior executives meet regularly, usually weekly, to discuss high level administrative and operational matters. Additionally, a number of advisory committees support the CEO and Branch and Office Heads in their management role.

Audit and Risk Committee

The ARPANSA Audit and Risk Committee comprises an independent chair, Mr Michael Perry, three senior managers from within ARPANSA and an external member from the Attorney-General’s Department, Mr Stephen Lutze, General Manager, Finance and Property Division. The Corporate Counsel serves as secretary to the Committee. Representatives of the Australian National Audit Office attended committee meetings as observers and the agency’s internal auditor, Oakton Services Pty Ltd and Chief Finance Officer attended meetings to report on particular matters. Branch Heads were also invited to attend on occasions to discuss particular audit reports and risks relevant to their responsibilities. The CEO is an observer to the Committee.

The Audit and Risk Committee, through the internal audit program, assists the CEO to maintain and improve:

  • the effectiveness of the internal control framework
  • the effectiveness of ARPANSA’s risk management processes including business continuity and fraud control
  • the quality of financial management and reporting processes
  • overall compliance with relevant legislation in particular the FMA Act.

The Audit and Risk Committee met four times in 2011-12 and reported to the CEO after each meeting.

As well as considering audit reports, during the year the Audit and Risk Committee:

  • reviewed the risk based rolling five year strategic audit plan
  • maintained a program of self assessing its own performance and reviewing the performance of internal audit
  • provided assurance to the CEO on the integrity of the agency’s Financial Statements and compliance processes.

The Australian National Audit Office provided external audit services through PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Information Management Steering Committee

The Information Management (IM) Steering Committee meets bi-monthly and is chaired by the Head of the Office of the CEO. The Committee comprises nominees from within the Branches and Offices and the Manager Information Management. The committee oversees the development and implementation of the ARPANSA information management strategy; reviews and approves IM and information and communication technology (ICT) policies; assesses, monitors and manages ICT risks and fosters the development of ICT skills and capabilities.

Work Health and Safety Committee

The Work Health and Safety Committee (WHS Committee) is chaired by the Head of the Office of the CEO, assisted by the ARPANSA WHS Co-ordinator, and comprises staff and management representatives. The WHS Committee meets every two months and reviews and reports to the SMC on relevant ARPANSA health and safety issues, on the effectiveness of ARPANSA’s performance in these areas and compliance with relevant legislation in accordance with the ARPANSA WHS Management System. During the year the WHS Committee conducted a number of WHS work area inspections. Further information in respect of WHS arrangements within the agency is at Appendix 1.

Radiation Safety Committee

The Radiation Safety Committee, chaired by the Radiation Safety Officer and comprised of Branch Radiation Safety Advisors and other relevant staff, reports to the WHS Committee on matters relating to workplace radiation protection and safety.

Corporate and operational planning and performance

The ARPANSA Strategic Directions 2012-2016 sets out strategic directions and key areas the agency intends to focus on during the coming year and beyond.

The Strategic Directions are supported by branch and office operational business plans that describe the activities undertaken to accomplish those key priorities. Individual performance and development plans provide the framework for performance and accountability assessment. The framework is underpinned by management systems and strategies including internal audit, risk management, fraud control, compliance, business continuity, security, quality and information management.

The Strategic Management Committee receives a quarterly Performance and Accountability Report which highlights progress against the key areas.

Internal control

The CEO must report annually to the Portfolio Minister, by way of a certificate of compliance, on the financial management and financial sustainability of the agency.

The certificate requires the CEO to certify that, based on ARPANSA’s internal control mechanisms, management assurance, and Audit and Risk Committee advice, it has:

  • complied with the Australian Government’s financial management framework and other specified Commonwealth policies
  • operated within the agreed resources for the current year and has adopted, or will adopt the appropriate management strategies for all known risks that may affect the financial sustainability of their agency.

ARPANSA has a robust internal governance and control framework comprising formal plans, policies, instructions and guidelines. The agency has adopted the Compliance Self Assessment (CSA) methodology for annual compliance sign-off and developed a risked based compliance assessment questionnaire to guide management in their review. The annual CSA by management and internal audit review of the effectiveness of internal control mechanisms provide the assurances required to support the certification. Branch and Office Heads are required to provide additional assurances and certifications regarding compliance for their areas of responsibility, and to report on any instances of non-compliance with the framework.

ARPANSA Quality System

The ARPANSA Quality System employs two levels of management review. The first, at the Branch level, reviews the service activities of the Branch in detail, and the second at senior management level by the ARPANSA Quality Management Committee (QMC). The QMC, which comprises the CEO, Branch and Office Heads and the Quality Manager, acts under the auspices of the Strategic Management Committee Charter and meets quarterly to review reports from the branch quality meetings. The QMC has the overall responsibility for ensuring the services offered by ARPANSA are delivered in a manner consistent with the principles of quality and as set out in ISO 9000 and ISO 17025.

Seven of ARPANSA’s laboratories maintain National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) accreditation and are regularly assessed by NATA against the above standards. During the year NATA conducted technical re-assessments of the quality systems in place in each of the Measurement Science and Technology services.

As required by the Quality Standard ISO 17025, all service activities are internally reviewed annually by qualified auditors selected from the ARPANSA Quality Assurance Team made up of representatives of the services. Operational procedures and aspects of the management requirements of the Standard are audited in accordance with an approved schedule.

Identification and management of risk

Risk management is an integral part of ARPANSA’s Corporate Governance framework. The agency’s business planning framework, including setting of performance targets for staff, is also underpinned by relevant risk assessment processes. Strategic and key operational or project risks are reviewed quarterly by the Audit and Risk Committee and monitored by the Strategic Management Committee.

Business planning templates were revised during the year to enhance explicit risk assessment of planned activities and to facilitate improved risk reporting to the Strategic Management Committee. The ARPANSA Strategic Risk Register and Branch Risk Registers were reviewed during the year.

ARPANSA achieved a premium reduction following insurer Comcover’s risk management benchmarking survey in 2011.

Internal audit

Oakton Services Pty Ltd has been ARPANSA’s internal auditors since November 2008. Significant internal audits conducted in 2011-12 included reviews of:

  • freedom of information and privacy
  • travel management
  • strategic planning
  • post implementation review of the Information Management Review
  • purchasing, accounts payable and credit cards.
Business continuity

A major review of the ARPANSA Business Continuity Plan was commenced during the 2011-2012 financial year and it is currently being aligned with the Incident Management Plan which is being developed to build on the lessons learned during ARPANSA’s response to the Fukushima accident.

Compliance with Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines

ARPANSA’s fraud control plan is in accordance with the requirements set out in the ARPANSA Risk Management framework and conforms with the Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines. The plan outlines strategies and processes to detect, prevent, investigate and minimise the effect of fraud and is currently undergoing a biennial review.

In accordance with the Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines ARPANSA provided the Annual Fraud Report to the Australian Institute of Criminology for the year ended 30 June 2012.

Ethical standards

All ARPANSA staff must adhere to the Australian Public Service Values and Code of Conduct under the Public Service Act. ARPANSA actively promoted ethical standards among its staff by conducting training and awareness program relevant to the APS values and Code of Conduct. Additionally, a mandatory training program is in place that includes refresher training over a three year cycle on such things as Preventing Bullying and Harassment in the Workplace and Privacy.

A commitment to ethical standards is also highlighted in the ARPANSA Agreement 2011-2014, the ARPANSA Strategic Directions 2012-2016 and the Workplace Diversity Program 2012-2015 and is included in the induction packages provided to all new employees.

There are formal procedures to ensure disclosure of any real or apparent conflict of interest. Senior staff are required to disclose to the CEO all direct or indirect pecuniary interests in businesses and companies which may be affected by ARPANSA’s decisions.

External scrutiny

Key external accountability institutions for ARPANSA include the:

  • Commonwealth Parliament
  • Commonwealth Auditor General, who is an officer of the Parliament
  • Commonwealth Ombudsman
  • Australian Information Commissioner, including the Freedom of Information and Privacy Commissioners
  • Administrative Appeals Tribunal
  • Federal system of courts, including the Federal Court and High Court of Australia.

As required by the ARPANS Act, the following mechanisms for external stakeholder input to ARPANSA’s processes are in place:

  • Radiation Health and Safety Advisory Council
  • Radiation Health Committee
  • Nuclear Safety Committee.

Their activities for the current year are reported in Appendix 7 of this Report.

Judicial decisions and decisions of administrative tribunals

There have been no judicial decisions and decisions of administrative tribunals during 2011-12 that have had, or may have, a significant impact on the operations of ARPANSA.

Reports by the Auditor-General, a Parliamentary committee or the Commonwealth Ombudsman

There have been no reports on the operations of ARPANSA by the Auditor General (other than the report on financial statements), a Parliamentary committee or the Commonwealth Ombudsman during 2011-12.

Management of human resources

During 2011-12, ARPANSA continued to enjoy the organisational benefits of an effective and committed workforce. Employee commitment was evidenced by the relatively low staff turnover, as compared to other Australian Public Service agencies. However, staff surveys carried out during 2011-12 also indicated areas where there is room for improvement which needs addressing in the following financial year.

The low staff turnover presents ARPANSA with a major challenge over the next 5-10 years as experienced employees proceed to retirement. The continued maintenance of the scientific quality and integrity of its operations and services in the face of this loss of experience will obviously become an issue for the agency over the ensuing years. The maintenance of critical mass in these important specialist aspects of ARPANSA’s operations presents a significant workforce planning challenge for the agency.

During the 2011-12 year ARPANSA placed an emphasis on strategic people management issues with a particular accent on human resources, workforce planning, learning and development and information management/communications with the key plank of this strategy being the appointment of a Human Capital Management role.

Voluntary redundancy program

ARPANSA undertook a limited voluntary redundancy program for staff interested in separating from the agency prior to 30 June 2012. Six staff members took up the offer.

Workplace diversity

Consistent with legislative requirements, ARPANSA reviewed its 2006-2010 Workplace Diversity Program during the reporting period.

The 2012-2015 Workplace Diversity Program (WDP) came into effect in March 2012. The program is supported by a Workplace Diversity Action Plan.

As in past years, ARPANSA continued to promote workplace diversity and reinforce the roles and responsibilities of all staff in increasing awareness and acceptance of workplace diversity principles through fostering diversity and using the broad range of skills, experience and cultural backgrounds of staff.

Underpinning ARPANSA’s 2012-15 WDP is an implementation plan outlining various initiatives, responsibilities and outcomes. The strategy sets standards for performance and accountability to meet the objectives of having a productive and supportive workforce by enabling individuals to achieve successful results in a supportive environment as well as assisting them to balance their work and personal responsibilities.

Prevention of workplace harassment and bullying

The agency’s Respect–ARPANSA Policy for the Prevention of Workplace Harassment and Bullying seeks to minimise harassment and bullying that may arise in the workplace. The policy:

  • provides information on informal and formal approaches to resolving claims of harassment and bullying (including the legislative framework)
  • reinforces the role of the APS Values and Code of Conduct
  • broadens the concept of harassment by including definitions of bullying behaviours
  • clarifies the roles and responsibilities of managers and staff.

To re-enforce the policy ARPANSA regularly conducts workplace harassment and bullying training programs for all staff. These programs are mandatory and feedback from participants attending the training conducted in May 2012 was very positive.

ARPANSA has workplace harassment contact officers in both its New South Wales and Victorian offices and their role is to act as a source of information and support for staff. Workplace harassment contact officers are appointed by the CEO and undergo regular refresher training. They have management support to carry out their responsibilities.

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Work/life balance

ARPANSA continues to promote a work environment that provides a reasonable work/life balance for all employees. These initiatives include access to flexible working arrangements, including

  • flextime
  • job-sharing
  • part-time and home based work
  • extensive leave provisions including:
    • 4-weeks annual leave each year with provision to take this leave at half pay and access to purchased annual leave
    • cumulative personal/carers leave
    • increased paid leave for maternity leave purposes of up to 22-weeks which can be taken at full or half pay, paid paternity/non primary care giver leave of up to 6 weeks and parental leave
    • study leave
    • a range of miscellaneous leave entitlements which can be taken with or without pay.
Employee support

Converge International is the provider of the Employee Assistance Program for ARPANSA employees in both Victoria and New South Wales. Assistance is available to all ARPANSA employees and their immediate families with personal or work related problems that might affect their work or life.

ARPANSA Staff Consultative Forum

ARPANSA’s enterprise agreement continues to provide for a Staff Consultative Forum (SCF) as the key employee consultative body. The SCF comprises employees elected by staff and officials from unions that are party to the ARPANSA Agreement. The CEO is a member of SCF according to the revised Operating Procedures.

During the year, the SCF met on four occasions to discuss a range of issues relating to the management of ARPANSA. Agenda papers and outcomes of meetings were provided to all staff. Issues discussed during the reporting period included:

  • the SCF Operating Procedures
  • post-implementation review of the ARPANSA Reform process
  • workplace diversity program
  • ARPANSA Performance and Development System (APDS) training
  • workplace harassment and bullying training;
  • voluntary redundancy program
  • election of Health and Safety representatives.

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Workforce planning, staff turnover and retention

At 30 June 2012, ARPANSA employed 153 staff; 139 of whom were employed on an ongoing basis. These staff were divided between the agency’s New South Wales (Miranda) (20.9%), ACT (Barton) (2%) and Victorian (Yallambie) offices (77.1%). More detailed information about the nature and break-up of ARPANSA’s workforce, retention and turnover rates is set out in Tables 8 and 9.

Table 8: Staff retention and turnover 2010-11 and 2011-12

Classification Female Male VARIATION
Ongoing Non-Ongoing Ongoing Non-Ongoing
  June 2011 June 2012 June 2011 June 2012 June 2011 June 2012 June 2011 June 2012 June 2011 June 2012
SES                    
Commencement         +1         +1
Separation     -1           -1  
Executive Level
1-2
                   
Commencement +2 +3     +2 +2 +4 +1 +8 +6
Separation   -1     -2 -4     -2 -5
APS Level 1–6                    
Commencement +2       +3   +3 +1 +8 +1
Separation -1 -1     -1 -5     -2 -6

 

Table 9: Inoperative staff as at 30 June 2011 and 2012

Classification Female Male  
Ongoing Non-Ongoing Ongoing Non-Ongoing Total
  June 2011 June 2012 June 2011 June 2012 June 2011 June 2012 June 2011 June 2012 June 2011 June 2012
SES   1               1
Executive Level 1-2         1 1     1 1
APS Level 1–6                    
Total   1     1 1     1 2
Graduate recruitment program

While no new graduates were recruited during the reporting period, ARPANSA will assess the need for a further intake of graduates early in 2012-13. Should there be an opportunity to reactivate the graduate recruitment program, it is expected that the new graduate intake would commence in February 2014.

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Employee surveys

As one of a number of agencies within the Department of Health and Ageing Portfolio, ARPANSA undertook two online surveys of employees during 2011-12 to gauge the organisational health of the agency. The surveys sought feedback from staff on a range of issues including:

  • ARPANSA’s organisational climate and culture
  • quality of our leadership
  • how well we communicate internally and with our clients
  • effectiveness of our performance management system (APDS)
  • occupational health and safety
  • strength of our learning and development strategies
  • prevention of bullying and harassment
  • overall satisfaction levels with working in ARPANSA.

The surveys were based on a set of core questions which allow for trend type analysis to be established for previous as well future surveys. The surveys also included a range of open ended questions seeking feedback on a number of issues, including ways of improving ARPANSA’s products and service delivery.

The 2012 surveys (which both received responses from just over 70% of agency staff) found that whilst most key indicators had remained broadly the same between the 2009 and 2010 surveys, overall survey results were slightly more positive in 2012. However, there are areas where actions and improvements are necessary, which will be addressed during the financial year 2012-13. Such actions will also be informed by a so-called ‘pulse-check review’, a scaled-down version of the Australian Public Service Commission’s Capability Reviews, that will be performed to evaluate the outcomes of the organisational changes that were rolled out during 2011.

Statistics on staffing

Remuneration, statistics and staffing profile

All ARPANSA staff are employed under the Public Service Act 1999. The CEO is a full-time holder of a Public Office, whose salary and allowances are determined by the Remuneration Tribunal.

Statistics on staffing are set out in Tables 10 to 14.

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Table 10: Staff by location, gender and classification

Classification SES EL 2 EL 1 APS 6 APS 5 APS 4 APS 3 APS 2 APS 1 Graduate TOTAL
  June 2011 June 2012 June 2011 June 2012 June 2011 June 2012 June 2011 June 2012 June 2011 June 2012 June 2011 June 2012 June 2011 June 2012 June 2011 June 2012 June 2011 June 2012 June 2011 June 2012 June 2011 June 2012
New South Wales
Female 1 1 1 1 4 4 3 3 1 1 1 1 2 2 3 2 - - - - 15 13
Male - 1 6 7 10 10 3 2 - - - - - - - - - - - - 19 20
Total 1 2 7 7 13 13 6 5 1 1 1 1 2 2 3 2 - - - - 34 33
Victoria
Female -   1 1 8 11 8 6 9 9 4 6 10 9 7 6 - - - - 47 48
Male 1 2 18 17 20 19 18 20 11 10 2 1 4 1 - - - - - - 74 70
Total 1 2 19 18 28 30 26 26 20 19 6 7 14 10 7 6 - - - - 121 118
Australian Capital Territory
Female - - - - 1 1 1 - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1 2
Male - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total - - - - 1 1 1 - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1 2
Total
Female 1 1 2 2 12 15 11 9 10 10 5 7 12 11 10 8 - - - - 63 63
Male 1 3 24 24 30 29 21 22 11 10 2 1 4 1 - - - - - - 93 90
TOTAL 2 4 26 26 42 44 32 31 21 20 7 8 16 12 10 8 - - - - 156 153

 

Table 11: Staff by gender and classification

Classification Female Male TOTAL
June 2011 June 2012 June 2011 June 2012 June 2011 June 2012
Graduate - - - - - -
APS Level 1 - - - - - -
APS Level 2 10 8 - - 10 8
APS Level 3 12 11 4 1 16 12
APS Level 4 5 7 2 1 7 8
APS Level 5 10 10 11 10 21 20
APS Level 6 11 9 21 22 32 31
Executive Level 1 12 15 30 29 42 44
Executive Level 2 2 2 24 24 26 26
SES Band 1 1 1 1 3 2 4
TOTAL 63 63 93 90 156 153

 

Table 12: Full-time equivalent (FTE) staff by gender and classification

Classification Female Male TOTAL
June 2011 June 2012 June 2011 June 2012 June 2011 June 2012
Graduate - - - - - -
APS Level 1 - - - - - -
APS Level 2 9.04 7.68 - - 9.04 7.68
APS Level 3 12 10 4 1 16 11
APS Level 4 5 6.6 2 1 7 7.6
APS Level 5 9.69 8.69 11 10 20.69 18.69
APS Level 6 10.6 9 20.2 21.6 30.8 30.6
Executive Level 1 11.8 14.5 30 28.8 41.8 43.3
Executive Level 2 2 2 23.1 21.7 25.1 23.7
SES Band 1 1 0 1 3 2 3
TOTAL 61.13 58.47 91.3 87.1 152.43 145.57

 

Table 13: Staff employed under the PS Act as at 30 June 2011 and 30 June 2012

  Full-time
Ongoing
Full-time
Non-Ongoing
Part-time
Ongoing
Part-time
Non-Ongoing
TOTAL
  June 2011 June 2012 June 2011 June 2012 June 2011 June 2012 June 2011 June 2012 June 2011 June 2012
Female 57 51 1 3 3 9 2 0 63 63
Male 81 77 8 9 3 2 1 2 93 90
TOTAL 138 128 9 12 6 11 3 2 156 153

 

Table 14: Distribution of staff by Branch

  Female Male  
Ongoing Non-Ongoing Ongoing Non-Ongoing TOTAL
Branch June 2011 June 2012 June 2011 June 2012 June 2011 June 2012 June 2011 June 2012 June 2011 June 2012
Office of the CEO 4 4 - - 1 4 - - 5 8
Legal Office 2 3 - - 1 2 - - 3 5
Radiation Health Services 20 22 1 1 29 29 2 1 52 53
Medical Radiation Services 5 4 1 1 12 10 2 5 20 20
Operations Services 11 9 1 0 23 19 1 1 36 29
Corporate Office 18 18 - 1 18 15 4 4 40 38
TOTAL 60 60 3 3 84 79 9 11 156 153

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Workplace agreements in ARPANSA

During 2011-12, ARPANSA provided terms and conditions of employment for its employees under its 2011-14 enterprise agreement or through common law contracts (CLCs) for its senior executive service (SES) employees.

The ARPANSA Agreement 2011–2014 which came into operation on 22 December 2011 has a nominal expiry date of 30 June 2014. The agreement covers all employees of ARPANSA employed under the Public Service Act 1999 below the SES level. The salary ranges for ARPANSA’s classification levels are set out in Table 15.

During 2011-12, all substantive SES employees had their remuneration arrangements agreed through individual CLCs. Remuneration for SES employees on CLCs is based on ensuring that employees are rewarded according to the specialist skills and knowledge they bring to the agency and the extent to which they assist the agency to meet its corporate goals. CLCs are structured to ensure that the remuneration arrangements are flexible and in so doing, assist in recruitment and retention of these staff.

As at 30 June 2012, ARPANSA had approved CLCs for its three SES employees. The salary range available for SES employees on CLCs is from $171 298 to $174 623 per annum.

Enterprise agreement

As noted above, the agency’s seventh-round enterprise agreement (ARPANSA Agreement 2011-2014) came into operation on 22 December 2011. The Agreement ballot was conducted by the Australian Electoral Commission on 25 November 2011. Over 80% of eligible staff voted which resulted in a 95% ‘Yes’ vote.

The agreement supports the promotion of a high performing culture and provides a positive contribution to ARPANSA’s standing as the leading organisation in Australia for excellence in radiation protection and nuclear safety. The agreement assists staff in balancing their work and personal life and includes a competitive remuneration framework of pay and conditions.

The salary ranges for ARPANSA’s classification levels are set out in Table 15.

Table 15: Salary ranges as at 30 June 2012

APS Classification Salary Range ($)
ARPANSA Graduate 55 709 – 72 556
APS Level 1 41 789 – 47 501
APS Level 2 48 926 – 53 710
APS Level 3 55 709 – 62 334
APS Level 4 64 205 – 67 091
APS Level 5 69 104 – 72 556
APS Level 6 74 731 – 85 481
Executive Level 1 92 323 – 106 226
Executive Level 2 lower 112 813 – 128 108
Executive Level 2 upper 133 232 – 143 099
Non-salary benefits

Under its enterprise agreement and CLC s, ARPANSA staff are able to seek access to a range of non-salary benefits including the following:

  • access to a privately plated vehicle (SES employees only)
  • flexible working arrangements, including flextime (APS Levels 1 to 6 only), job-sharing, part-time and home based work
  • parental/maternity leave provisions
  • a range of paid and unpaid leave options
  • study assistance
  • employee assistance program
  • flexible remuneration packaging scheme.

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Performance pay

The number of APS employees at each classification level who received performance pay during the reporting period:

  • SES Band 1: 0
  • Non SES: 3

The aggregated amount of performance pay for the agency as a whole year was $17 000.

The average bonus payment was $5 667.

Commonwealth Disability Strategy

The Commonwealth Disability Strategy is taken into account in ARPANSA’s forward-planning and corporate planning processes.

Purchasing

ARPANSA’s purchasing policies are outlined in the Chief Executive’s Instructions and associated procedural rules, and reflect the principles of the Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines – December 2008 (CPGs). Procurement activities for the year, complied with the policies and principles outlined in the CPGs.

ARPANSA Annual Procurement Plan was published on the AusTender website in June.

Asset management

ARPANSA manages non-financial assets totalling $28.7 million. The major categories are land and buildings and infrastructure plant and equipment. ARPANSA’s capital investment plan is reviewed annually to ensure ongoing building maintenance and renovation; equipment purchases and IT infrastructure upgrades meet future research and operational requirements.

Consultants

During 2011-12, 12 new consultancy contracts were entered into involving total actual expenditure of $911 834. In addition, six ongoing consultancy contracts were active during the 2011-12 year, involving total actual expenditure of $399 680.

The agency policy on selection and engaging consultants is in accordance with the CPGs, based on the core principle of value for money and underpinned by:

  • encouraging competition by ensuring non-discrimination in procurement and using competitive procurement processes
  • promoting the use of resources in an efficient, effective and ethical manner
  • making decisions in an accountable and transparent manner.

ARPANSA engaged consultants where there was a requirement for specialist expertise that was not available within the agency, or where an independent assessment was required. The selection process included selection from a panel or direct engagement of a recognised or pre-eminent expert.

The annual report contains information about actual expenditure on contracts for consultancies. Information on the value of contracts and consultancies is available on the AusTender website www.tenders.gov.au.

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Outlook for 2012-13

In keeping with the agency’s Strategic Directions 2012-2016, ARPANSA will continue to develop its leaders and its workforce. ARPANSA is committed to building a high performance organisation and aligning human resource strategies with the agency’s organisational direction.

The coming year will require the People & Culture (P&C) section to continue to focus on and develop initiatives centred on strategy, service delivery and service promotion:

  • Strategic initiatives. Continue to align the P&C strategic direction with ARPANSA’s business needs through:
    • investing in human capital management with an emphasis on strengthening the agency’s leadership and culture and organisational effectiveness
    • facilitating and contributing to the outcomes delivered through the ARPANSA reform and restructure and post-implementation review processes
    • developing a succession management strategy aimed at ensuring leadership continuity
    • developing strategies aimed at addressing the key findings of the 2012 employee survey and the 2012 APSC employee census.
  • Service delivery initiatives. Enhance the P&C section’s business focus through:
    • finalising the staffing outcomes flowing from the review of the agency’s information management services
    • improving consistency in the interpretation and application of employment conditions
    • continuing the simplification/automation of P&C practices and procedures (eg: payroll).
  • Service promotion initiatives. Increase ARPANSA’s understanding of the P&C section’s activities and strategies by:
    • working more closely with section managers and staff across the agency
    • creating and actively participating in external and internal fora and networks.

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