2012-13 Annual Report - Part 2: Agency Overview

Part 2 - Agency Overview

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The CEO has statutory responsibility to make regulatory decisions in relation to facilities and controlled material and apparatus of Australian Government departments, agencies, statutory authorities, bodies corporate, government business enterprises and Commonwealth contractors and to perform science and provide advice and services consistent with the protection of the health and safety of people, and the protection of the environment, from the harmful effects of radiation.

This financial year, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health and Ageing had ministerial responsibility for ARPANSA.

The Radiation Health and Safety Advisory Council, the Radiation Health Committee and the Nuclear Safety Committee established by the ARPANS Act provide advice to the CEO. The Council identifies emerging issues relating to radiation protection and nuclear safety, examines matters of major concern to the community in relation to radiation protection and nuclear safety, and advises on the adoption of recommendations, policies, codes and standards in relation to radiation protection and nuclear safety.

The Radiation Health Committee advises on matters relating to radiation protection, including formulating draft national policies, codes and standards for consideration by the Commonwealth, states and the territories.

The Nuclear Safety Committee advises on matters relating to nuclear safety and the safety of controlled facilities, including developing and assessing the effectiveness of standards, codes, practices and procedures.

Role and Functions

ARPANSA is the Australian Government's primary authority on radiation protection and nuclear safety. ARPANSA regulates Commonwealth entities using radiation sources with the objective of protecting people and the environment from the harmful effects of radiation. ARPANSA promotes national uniformity and implementation of best international practice across all jurisdictions. ARPANSA's roles and responsibilities include the following:

  • promote uniformity of radiation protection and nuclear safety policy and practices across jurisdictions of the Commonwealth, the states and the territories
  • regulate the Commonwealth's use of radiation and nuclear technology
  • undertake research in relation to radiation protection, nuclear safety and medical exposures to radiation
  • provide services relating to radiation protection, nuclear safety and medical exposures to radiation
  • accredit persons with technical expertise for the purposes of the ARPANS Act
  • advise the government and the community about radiation protection and nuclear safety
  • undertake scientific research and provides services in the field of radiation protection
  • represent Australia in international fora that develop new principles and practices in radiation protection and nuclear safety.

Organisational Structure

Offices and Branches within ARPANSA

ARPANSA has six offices/branches with staff located at Miranda in New South Wales, Yallambie in Victoria, and Barton in the Australian Capital Territory.

The Legal Office includes: Legal & Legislative Services and Accountability & Assurance. Legal Office staff are split between the Sydney and Melbourne offices.

The Corporate Office includes: Administration Services; People & Culture; Finance; Information Management; Engineering Services and Property Management. Corporate Office staff are located mainly in Melbourne but also in Sydney.

The Office of the CEO includes: Government & International Relations; Communications and Governance & Innovation. Office of the CEO staff are located in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra.

The Regulatory Services Branch includes: Licensing & Compliance; Security & Community Safety; Safety Analysis and National Uniformity & Regulatory Systems sections. Regulatory Services staff are located mainly in Sydney but also Melbourne.

The Radiation Health Services Branch includes: Non-Ionising Radiation; Health & Environmental Assessment; Monitoring & Emergency Response and Personal Radiation Monitoring Service with all staff located in Melbourne.

The Medical Radiation Services Branch includes: Medical Imaging; Australian Clinical Dosimetry Service and Radiotherapy sections. Medical Radiation Services staff are located in Melbourne.

Corporate Planning – ARPANSA's Realignment

ARPANSA undertook a major restructure in 2011, (the 'Reform') which analysed the big picture of the Agency's structure. Since 2011, ARPANSA has more fully developed its Strategic Directions as well as a range of other operational plans.

ARPANSA has also been actively monitoring the progress of its implementation of the Reform. The most important of these was the 'Pulse Check Review' which identified that ARPANSA has good strategic capabilities, but leadership and service delivery have been inconsistent. This has resulted in both leadership development activities and realignment of resources to improve delivery.

In May 2013, ARPANSA's Strategic Management Committee met to discuss the long-term financial position of ARPANSA and the need for further realignment of the organisation (its structure and staffing) with the Strategic Directions 2012-2016. Our focus was on exploring opportunities to increase our efficiency and revenue on the basis of the strategic directions analysis to find an effective way forward. This is not only related to our main commercial activities but also to making sure that we accurately recover costs in our regulatory services. ARPANSA has committed to report to licence holders on cost recovery for its regulatory services on an annual basis.

ARPANSA intends to expand its alumni program to retain experience of older workers while putting in place predictable staff reductions for the future. These positions involve staff seeking to retire from the Agency while retaining a part-time role usually in a training and advisory capacity.

ARPANSA Senior Executive

Carl-Magnus Larsson
CEO of ARPANSA – Dr Carl-Magnus Larsson

Dr Carl-Magnus Larsson commenced as Chief Executive Officer of ARPANSA in March 2010 with a background in chemistry and biology and a PhD in Botany from Stockholm University, Sweden. Prior to his appointment to ARPANSA, Carl-Magnus worked at the Swedish Radiation Protection Authority (from 2008 the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority after a merger with the Swedish Nuclear Power Inspectorate) focusing on environmental aspects of nuclear power. He subsequently became Branch Head and Deputy Director-General with responsibilities for, among other things, radiation protection, waste management, radioactive materials and emergency preparedness and response. Carl-Magnus coordinated the multinational European Commission-supported research projects FASSET and ERICA (both on environmental assessment and protection) between 2000 and 2007. Carl-Magnus is a member of the Main Commission of the International Commission on Radiological Protection and is the current Chair of the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR). He is a member of the IAEA Commission on Safety Standards.

Martin Reynolds
Legal Office: General Counsel – Mr Martin Reynolds

Martin Reynolds is ARPANSA's General Counsel and Head of the Legal Office since August 2011. Prior to his current appointment, Martin was Corporate Governance Officer at ARPANSA since 2008. Martin has had many years' experience in both legal and senior management roles in government statutory authorities.

Martin was trained as a lawyer at Monash University and also holds a Bachelor of Business (Management) from the same university.

The objectives of the Legal Office are to provide high quality legal services that cut across all aspects of the Agency's operations and to assist the CEO achieve his statutory mandate. The Legal Office also assists the Agency to meet its obligations under applicable statutory frameworks such as the Government's financial management frameworks. This includes Internal Audit, Work Health & Safety, Certificate of Compliance Process, and Quality Management.

George Savvides
Corporate Office: Chief Administrator – Mr George Savvides

George Savvides is ARPANSA's Chief Administrator and was appointed Head of the Corporate Office upon its creation in May 2011. Prior to his current appointment, George had many years' experience in senior Finance roles in both the private and not-for-profit sectors, including Oakton Limited, Melbourne Football Club, Melbourne Health, Powercor Telecommunications and Ansett Australia. George joined the Agency in Feburary 2010.

George is a Certified Practicing Accountant with an MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management.

ARPANSA's Corporate Office is responsible for providing support to ARPANSA's key activities by creating the most effective environment enabling and encouraging excellence in research, policy, advice, regulation and the utilisation of knowledge.

Corporate Office is made up of Finance who manage the Agency's financial transactions to ensure compliance with the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997. Information Management delivers ARPANSA's computer network, telecommunications, database/system development, records management, library services, web support, publications and multimedia production. People & Culture manage ARPANSA's recruitment, pay and conditions for staff, including workplace policies and our enterprise agreement. It also develops training programs, workforce planning and advice regarding people management practices. Engineering Services provides mechanical/ electronic engineering support to the Agency and is responsible for ensuring the maintenance of the Yallambie property facility.

Brenna Lindsay
Office of the CEO: Chief of Staff – Ms Brenna Lindsay

Brenna Lindsay is ARPANSA's Chief of Staff and Head of the Office of the CEO. She joined the Agency in February 2012, and commenced in her current role in September 2012.

Educated in communications, international relations and business administration, Brenna has worked in the Australian Public Service for over 11 years.

Brenna joined the Agency from the Australian Taxation Office where she held roles in strategic advice and governance. Prior to joining the Australian Taxation Office, Brenna held positions in the Australian Federal Police, ACT Policing, and the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, undertaking a variety of coordination functions across international policy, capacity building, ministerial services, strategic advice, strategic planning, media and marketing management, and government relations.

Brenna leads ARPANSA's coordination functions such as the Agency's briefing, correspondence and Cabinet matters, strategic advice, external relations and communications, strategic planning, risk and quality management.

She has oversight of International and Government Relations, Communications, and Governance and Innovation Sections, and has responsibility for a coordinated approach to Agency emergency preparedness and response.

Martin Dwyer
Regulatory Services: Chief Inspector – Mr Martin Dwyer

Martin Dwyer is ARPANSA's Chief Inspector and was appointed as Head of Regulatory Services Branch in August 2011. Prior to his current appointment, Martin was an engineer with a career in the teaching hospital system which culminated in his role as Director of Biomedical Engineering and Medical Physics at Canberra Hospital. Martin has extensive experience with Australian Standards and currently chairs the Accreditation Board for Standards Development Organisations and was previously a member of Standards Australia's Council. He has also held significant roles in professional organisations, including as chair of the College of Biomedical Engineers and as Director, Engineering Practice with Engineers Australia.

The Regulatory Services Branch is responsible for Commonwealth regulatory activities including licensing, compliance, inspection and enforcement. The branch is responsible for assessment of incidents and accidents, as well as normal licence holder operations, from technical, managerial, human and organisational perspectives, and an incident register is maintained to support such analyses.

Regulatory Services is ARPANSA's principal driver for establishing a uniform regulatory framework across all jurisdictions, through the Radiation Health Committee. It also supports the Radiation Health & Safety Advisory Council and the Nuclear Safety Committee. Security and Community Safety also falls within the responsibility of the branch. In this area, as in other areas of responsibility, the branch collaborates with other branches and offices as appropriate.

Stephen Solomon
Radiation Health Services: Chief Radiation Health Scientist – Dr Stephen Solomon

Stephen Solomon is acting Chief Radiation Health Scientist and has been head of the Radiation Health Services Branch since its creation in May 2011. Prior to his current appointment, Stephen was Manager Health Physics Section, Environmental and Radiation Health Branch, ARPANSA. Stephen has a PhD in Nuclear Physics with over thirty years' experience in health physics and radiation protection.

He leads and coordinates ARPANSA activities as a World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center for Radiation Protection and as a member of WHO Radiation Emergency Medical Preparedness & Assistance Network (REMPAN). Stephen is currently the Leader of Expert Group C (Assessment of doses and risk to humans and biota) and a member of the Coordination Expert Group for the UNSCEAR Assessment of Levels and Effects of Radiation Exposure due to the Nuclear Accident after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.

The work of the Radiation Health Services Branch is focused on delivering ARPANSA radiation protection outcomes including: maintaining systems for the measurement of radioactivity in people and the environment; supporting the development of frameworks for radiation protection; supporting Australian radiation emergency preparedness and response to nuclear radiological emergencies; monitoring and providing advice on population exposures to non-ionising radiation; advising on radiation protection for occupational health and safety exposure from man-made and naturally occurring ionising radiation; and the provision of a Personal Radiation Monitoring Service for exposures of workers across a variety of occupations.

Peter Johnston
Medical Radiation Services: Chief Medical Radiation Scientist – Prof Peter Johnston

Peter Johnston is ARPANSA's Chief Medical Scientist and was appointed as Head of the Medical Radiation Services Branch upon its creation in May 2011. Prior to that Peter was Branch Head of ARPANSA's Environmental and Radiation Health Branch since 2009. Peter worked at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) for 20 years commencing as a Lecturer, progressing to become Professor of Applied Nuclear Physics in 2001 and Head of Physics in 2003; he remains an Adjunct Professor at RMIT. During this period, Peter had several ministerial and government appointments and was a member of the Uranium Mining, Processing and Nuclear Energy (UMPNER)Review in 2006. Peter first joined the Australian Radiation Laboratory at Yallambie (now ARPANSA) in 1979 and worked in Radioactivity Standards, Environmental Radioactivity and Health Physics for ten years. Peter has extensive experience in providing advice on environmental radiation matters including the contamination and rehabilitation of Maralinga, radiation protection issues in uranium mining as well as in the medical use of radiation.

Medical Radiation Services Branch is responsible for radiation protection in medicine and its mandate is based on the idea that all procedures involving radiation exposure of patients must be justified so that the procedure is appropriate in relation to alternatives and is likely to be beneficial to the patient. Medical Radiation must also be optimised to ensure that the procedure is implemented with minimal dose (diagnostic imaging) or harm (therapy) to the patient while maintaining efficacy.

The work of this branch focuses upon the outcomes of: correct dose delivery to patients in radiotherapy procedures; delivery of clinically adequate images affecting patient management using minimal doses; effective communication and interaction between ARPANSA, state and territory agencies, the medical profession and other professional bodies, patients and carers.

Strategic Management Committee

ARPANSA's Strategic Management Committee (SMC) is tasked with decision-making for the Agency and is composed of the Executive Group plus one external member. During this financial year, Dr Sue Barrell was the external member of the Strategic Management Committee.

Carl-Magnus Larsson

Sue Barrell is the Acting Deputy Director (Information Systems and Services) and Chief Information Officer at the Bureau of Meteorology. Sue was appointed in July 2013 to head the Bureau of Meteorology's Information Systems and Services Division, which provides a whole-of-enterprise approach to all aspects of data and information, IT services and applications, and digital delivery. For the previous nine years, she led the Bureau's Observations Programs, which deliver the space-based, surface-based and airborne observations of the atmosphere, land and oceans required to sustain the Bureau's weather, climate, water and environmental services to the Australian community. Earlier roles focused on climate policy and research. Sue has worked extensively with colleagues and partners across government and internationally on earth observations, climate monitoring and data exchange. She belongs to national bodies responsible for radio spectrum and space, is Vice-president of the World Meteorological Organization's Commission on Basic Systems and is Australia's Principal Delegate to the intergovernmental Group on Earth Observations. Sue served as the external member of ARPANSA's SMC (formerly Executive Board of Management) from 2006 to 2013.

Sue finished her tenure on the SMC in June 2013 and the new external member will be Ms Megan Morris, who is First Assistant Secretary in charge of the Office of Health Protection, Department of Health.

Our People

At 30 June 2013 ARPANSA employed a total of 149 staff. An organisation chart is provided at Figure 1.

Figure 2: Map showing distribution of staff across new south Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory

Map showing distribution of staff in Victoria, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory

Outcome and Program Structure

For the 2012–13 financial year, ARPANSA's activity, resource and performance reporting fell under its outcome – Protection of people and the environment through radiation protection and nuclear safety research, policy, advice, codes, standards, services and regulation.

The three stated major activities contributing to the program reported in the Portfolio Budget Statements 2012–13 aim to:

  • protect the public, workers and the environment from radiation exposure
  • promote the effective use of ionising radiation in medicine
  • ensure effective regulation and enforcement activities.

A report on the performance against these activities is provided in Part 3 of this report.

Engaging with Stakeholders

ARPANSA has a broad range of stakeholders across various sections of the community. We partner with and provide services and products for an extensive range of Commonwealth, state and local government departments and agencies, including those associated with radiation protection, nuclear safety, emergency management and medical exposures to radiation. The general public is one of our key stakeholders and in this financial year, we consulted the public on ANSTO's licence applications for the proposed Intermediate Waste Store at Lucas Heights Science and Technology Centre, the ANSTO Nuclear Medicine Molybdenum-99 Facility and the ANSTO SyMo Facility as well as on our draft document Fundamentals for Protection against Ionising Radiation. Appendix 1 sets out ARPANSA's stakeholder engagement activities for 2012–13.

Engaging Internationally

ARPANSA's international engagement enhances the safe and secure use of radiation in Australia by ensuring that our national activities are based on international best practice in radiation protection and nuclear safety and radioactive material security.

For ARPANSA to operate effectively in today's complex international environment, it has focused on balancing long-term planning with responsive and flexible requirements placed on the Agency by the Government of the day. We have developed an International Engagement Strategy which clearly articulates our international engagement priorities and will guide forward planning, improve decision making and remove any duplication of effort.

ARPANSA participates in the deliberations of global scientific networks such as the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR), the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), the World Health Organization (WHO) and closely follows the work of the International Commission on Non-ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).

We contribute to the development of the IAEA safety standards through the Commission on Safety Standards and the IAEA Safety Standards Committees in the areas of radiation protection, transport of nuclear and radioactive material and the safe management of radioactive waste. With the Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office (ASNO), we guide the drafting of IAEA nuclear security series through membership of the Nuclear Security Guidance Committee. Combined, the Commission and Committees, establish the internationally recognised and adopted standards and practices for nuclear safety and security.

ARPANSA supports the global nuclear safety framework through representation at Convention on Nuclear Safety meetings and ongoing efforts to implement the IAEA Action Plan on Nuclear Safety. We support Australia's nuclear non-proliferation goals through participation in the Comprehensive Nucler-Test-Ban Treaty Organization's working group on nuclear weapons test verification.

ARPANSA coordinates its activities with other Australian Government agencies including the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; the Department of Health; the Department of Innovation, Science and Research; the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism; and the Attorney-General's Department.

The Agency supports international and regional regulatory, radiation protection and emergency response capacity building through our work in a range of key international bodies such as the IAEA, the Asian Nuclear Safety Network, the IAEA's Response and Emergency Network (RANET) and the WHO Radiation Emergency Medical Preparedness and Assistance Network (REMPAN). ARPANSA is also a designated WHO Collaborating Center for Radiation Protection.

ARPANSA has healthy bilateral relationships with regulators and radiation protection research institutions in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Denmark, the United States of America, Sweden, the United Arab Emirates, Norway, Canada and Indonesia.

Financial Report on Performance

For the financial year ending 30 June 2013, ARPANSA reported an operating deficit of $2.29m. This deficit is attributed to $2.33m depreciation and amortisation expense not requiring appropriation.

Revenue for the year totalled $25.1m, of which 54% was appropriated by Government. The remaining amounts related to regulatory licence fees and charges and from the sale of goods and services.

ARPANSA's expenses totalled $27.4m. Approximately 63% are attributed to employee benefits, 9% relates to depreciation and amortisation expenses and the remainder being suppliers expense.

The Agency continues to review the efficiency and effectiveness by which it delivers its program, to ensure we operate within our financial constraints.