Part 2—Departmental overview

 

Introduction

The Department of Parliamentary Services (DPS) is one of three departments which comprise the Parliamentary Service, the other two being the Department of the Senate and the Department of the House of Representatives.

The Secretary, reporting to the Presiding Officers of the Parliament (the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives), is responsible for managing DPS and providing advice to the Presiding Officers on matters relating to DPS.

Departmental outcome statement

The Presiding Officers have approved the following Outcome statement for DPS:

Occupants of Parliament House are supported by integrated services and facilities, Parliament functions effectively and its work and building are accessible to the public.

Departmental structure

DPS has an Executive and seven branches, as illustrated in our departmental structure provided at Figure 2.1.

Figure 2.1—DPS Departmental Structure at 30 June 2010 - Text version

Figure 2.1—DPS Departmental Structure at 30 June 2010

Staff recognition—Australia Day Achievement Medallions

Each year DPS Australia Day medallions are presented to staff members who have made a significant contribution by proposing innovative, creative and practical ways of improving departmental productivity; by conspicuously upholding and modelling the Parliamentary Service Values; by service within DPS above and beyond the call of duty; or by conscientious service within DPS combined with a significant contribution to the broader community. Recipients of this year’s achievement awards were:

Anthony Conroy (Database Services)

Anthony Conroy (Database Services)

Anthony works in the Database Processing Unit in the Parliamentary Library. He made a significant contribution to productivity by developing a workaround that shortened a daily task from around five hours a day to just 30 minutes a day.

Trent Davidson (Landscape Services)

Trent Davidson (Landscape Services)

Trent regularly works above and beyond his regular duties, notably collecting data from the Parliament House Buffalo turf trials in 2007 and overseeing the recent couch grass line planting.

Sandra Elliot (Contract Management and Logistics)

Sandra Elliot (Contract Management and Logistics)

Sandra has made an outstanding contribution as a genuinely cooperative staff member with great initiative and a great dedication to customer service. She is responsible for dealing with a vast range of activities including looking after mobile phones and many other support services.

Bob Monro-Allison (Building and Security Projects)

Bob Monro-Allison (Building and Security Projects)

Bob was appointed as Assistant Project Manager to the Master Key Locking Systems project, which replaced some 6,000 locks used throughout Parliament House. His careful planning and attention to detail ensured the smooth and efficient replacement of all of the locks.

Barry Smith (Hansard Operations)

Barry Smith (Hansard Operations)

Barry designed the online training tool ‘Learn-a-face’ to help Hansard editors recognise Senators and Members, and made a significant contribution to effective rostering in Hansard by designing a spreadsheet to address Hansard’s unique rostering requirements.

Harriet Spring (Projects Branch)

Harriet Spring (Projects Branch)

Harriet is a senior project manager in the Building and Security Projects section who performed the herculean feat of simultaneously delivering the new childcare centre and refurbished Staff Dining Room. These two highly visible and high priority projects were completed within incredibly tight timeframes and under intense media, public and parliamentary scrutiny.

Graham Wadwell (Maintenance Services)

Graham Wadwell (Maintenance Services)

In February 2009 Graham and a small team implemented DPS’s new hazardous substance register, ChemAlert, to meet DPS’s statutory requirements in managing hazardous substances used within Parliament House.

A group award was presented to the Workplace Relations Team: Brian Boyer, Janet Kelly and Margaret Hickey

The team did an outstanding job over the past year, working hard to organise the review of personnel policies and support all branches with workplace change.

A group award was presented to the Workplace Relations Team: Brian Boyer, Janet Kelly and Margaret Hickey

Our organisational structure is referred to as a Plan/Build/Run model. Work units are grouped according to whether they contribute predominantly to business planning, capability development/capital investment or operational service delivery.

Supporting the business model are our core business principles of continuous improvement, seamless service delivery and accountability. Specifically, the organisational structure is designed to improve management decision-making, increase transparency and accountability, more effectively allocate resources, better interact with clients and customers to meet their needs and enhance our overall performance.

The Secretary is Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and the principal officer of the department’s leadership team. Executive officers reporting directly to the Secretary are the Parliamentary Librarian, the Deputy Secretary and the Chief Finance Officer (CFO).

The office of Parliamentary Librarian is a statutory one created by the Parliamentary Service Act 1999 (the Act). The Parliamentary Librarian reports to the Presiding Officers in respect of statutory functions detailed in the Act. However, for the exercise of normal management functions, including as detailed in the Act and the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997, the Parliamentary Librarian reports to the Secretary.

The Parliamentary Librarian is responsible for the Research Branch and the Information Access Branch. Under the Act the Parliamentary Librarian is required to prepare an annual report to the Presiding Officers. The Parliamentary Librarian’s annual report is included in Part 3 of the DPS annual report.

The Deputy Secretary is responsible for the activities of four branches: Building Services, Infrastructure Services, Content Management, and Product and Service Development.

The CFO is responsible for the activities of the Chief Finance Officer Branch.

Each branch within DPS is headed by an Assistant Secretary and is divided into sections. The roles and responsibilities of each branch and their achievements and highlights for the 2009-10 year are described in this part of the report.

Departmental services

The services we provide are broad-ranging, encompassing the management, maintenance and provision of information, security, facilities, visitor, building, maintenance, landscaping, IT network, telecommunications, broadcasting and Hansard services. Details of the many services provided by DPS are contained in the DPS Services Catalogue, available on our website at http://www.aph.gov.au/dps/services.pdf.

The work of each branch and their achievements and highlights for the 2009-10 year are described below.

Parliamentary Library

The Parliamentary Library provides information, analysis and advice to the Parliament and comprises the Office of the Parliamentary Librarian and two branches, the Research Branch and the Information Access Branch.

More detail on the role, functions and services provided by the Parliamentary Library can be found in Part 3 of this report.

Building Services Branch

The Building Services Branch (BSB) delivers a range of services to occupants of, and visitors to, Parliament House. These include security and emergency services, catering, retail services, health and wellbeing services and guide services.

The Security section contributes to the development of security policy and to the implementation of security and emergency policy, procedures and response protocols for Parliament House.

Parliamentary Security Service (PSS) officers of DPS provide access control and security screening at all entrance points, a mobile and static security presence throughout Parliament House and security services to functions, official visits and other significant activities within Parliament House. The PSS provides an unarmed first response capability to security incidents and duress alarms within the building and a first aid service.

BSB also has an arrangement with the protection element of the Australian Federal Police (AFP) for the provision of security within the Parliamentary Precincts. The Australian Federal Police-Uniform Protection (AFP-UP) provides external security services within the Parliamentary Precincts and an armed first response capability for Parliament House. The AFP-UP also provides security services for the Prime Minister’s Suite and the Cabinet Suite. The AFP officer-in-charge undertakes the role of Parliament House Protective Security Controller (PHPSC) and contributes to security policies.

The Facilities section of BSB administers the Presiding Officers’ policies on the use of Parliament House facilities by building occupants and members of the public. Responsibilities include managing the contracts and licences for various commercial activities such as catering, child care, post office, bank and the press gallery, providing a range of visitor services (including guided tours for building visitors and school groups) and operating the Parliament Shop. It also manages the Nurses Centre, which provides first aid and a limited range of other health services to building occupants, and the Health and Recreation Centre, with facilities that include a gymnasium, squash courts, tennis courts, a multipurpose netball court, a swimming pool, and external playing fields.

BSB highlights and achievements

A security risk review conducted by the Attorney-General’s Department in 2009 recognised the substantial improvements to physical security arrangements at Parliament House since 2005 and noted the planned improvements outlined in the Security Action Plan which was developed in 2008-09. This review also recommended a number of further enhancements to security arrangements. Funding for enhancements was approved in the 2010-11 Budget.

The security exercise program was also updated to better align with the outcomes of the risk review, which has resulted in improved effectiveness of security policies and procedures.

Another key achievement was the finalisation of the first Continuity of Parliament Plan, which would allow sittings of Parliament to occur in another location, should Parliament House not be available for any reason.

Both the Security and Facilities sections transitioned to new organisational structures, supported by a new security roster in the first quarter of 2009-10. Administrative and procedural changes, along with better defined roles and responsibilities, have contributed to improved efficiency and financial stability within the branch.

BSB has now finalised the renewal program for all 22 Federal Parliamentary Press Gallery occupancy licences (which are similar to leases). BSB is well progressed in finalising licences with the seven retail operators. This program has delivered a more consistent and commercial approach to the management of licences.

The Capital Hill Early Childhood Centre successfully completed its first year of operation and has reported near capacity bookings for the second half of 2009-10.

Infrastructure Services Branch

The Infrastructure Services Branch (ISB) looks after the building, and the utility and IT systems of Parliament House. ISB teams provide day-to-day support to building occupants and visitors.

The Maintenance Services section operates and maintains the power, air conditioning and hydraulic services as well as the exterior and interior of the building and Parliament House’s landscape. The section also maintains engineering drawings and the technical manual library.

The Client Support section services the needs of almost 4,800 registered IT users in Parliament House and the electorate offices. These services include IT training and assistance, most commonly through the Client Support 2020 help desk. The section is responsible for second line support of software and hardware, desktop and mobile computing devices, printers, televisions and pagers, as well as information and communications technology (ICT) purchasing and asset management.

The Computing Services section manages the central computer facilities: computer rooms; server and storage hardware; system and data backup and restoration; database, application and website support; software deployment to workstations and notebooks; IT change control; ICT security operations; and computer account management. The Information Technology Security Adviser (ITSA) role assists the chamber departments with their ITSA functions and manages IT security generally.

The Communication Networks section provides data and voice communications services to building occupants. This involves managing data network services such as connection from the desktop to the network servers, internet and connections to electorate offices. The section also manages voice communications services including fixed line telephones and mobile phone coverage within Parliament House.

The Broadcasting Infrastructure and Support section provides day-to-day and strategic direction for the maintenance of broadcast assets, including technical and maintenance support for the Parliament’s broadcasting systems: television and radio production facilities; audio and video recording; public address systems for chambers and committee rooms; the internal multi-channel radio and television system; internet broadcasting; Emergency Warning and Intercommunication System (EWIS); division bells and lights; and portable recording equipment for interstate committees.

Infrastructure Services Branch highlights and achievements

The rollout of BlackBerry mobile PDAs for Senators and Members was completed during 2009-10, with DPS now supporting approximately 250 devices. The BlackBerry is a more reliable device than the previously supported PDAs, resulting in a 60% reduction in the cost of support.

A new Standard Operating Environment (SOE) for desktop computers was developed, which will lead to enhanced security for the Parliamentary Computing Network (PCN) and reduced support costs.

Wireless connectivity to the PCN was rolled out to all committee rooms within Parliament House, improving connectivity for Senators, Members and parliamentary staff.

A major program to rationalise ICT assets, and consequently meet cost savings required by the Gershon ICT Expenditure review, was implemented. A major initiative to replace the PCN has commenced, including a move to IP version 6, in line with whole of government initiatives. Staff also made a significant contribution in the conversion of the Parliament’s closed circuit television (CCTV) system from an analogue to an IP network.

A data storage hub was established, with specialised racks to contain parliament’s increasing data storage requirements. The hub will expand to 1.5 Petabytes (1,500,000 Gigabytes) of disk storage in the new financial year.

The trial to determine the feasibility of using couch grass varieties in the Parliament House landscape continued during 2009-10. The trial areas were oversown with a rye grass in March 2010 to maintain a green colour throughout the winter period. The trial will continue into spring.

In 2006, all water features in the grounds of Parliament House had been shut down to comply with the Level 3 ACT water restrictions. During 2009-10, a project was approved to reactivate some water features. This project involves the recovery of waste water from the main cooling tower and treating it to remove contaminants. The treated water will then be used in the Forecourt, Formal Gardens and other selected water features. The project is expected to be commissioned in spring 2010.

Content Management Branch

The Content Management Branch (CMB) is responsible for broadcasting and archiving the audio-visual record of chamber and committee proceedings and for producing the Hansard record. CMB also coordinates the management of DPS records and knowledge.

The Broadcasting Content section produces and distributes live audio and video coverage of all proceedings of the two chambers and the Main Committee of the House of Representatives. It televises selected parliamentary committee proceedings in Parliament House, provides audio coverage of hearings held in other venues around Australia and a public address system for these venues, as well as systems for the hearing-impaired in many locations within Parliament House. The proceedings are broadcast internally and also webcast via the internet.

Our Hansard section transcribes and prepares for publishing reports of proceedings in both Houses of Parliament and the Main Committee of the House of Representatives as well as all parliamentary committee hearings.

The Knowledge Management section is responsible for the document and records management of DPS, ensuring DPS complies with the Archives Act 1983, with audit recommendations for records management and with Commonwealth Intellectual Property Principles. It also has responsibility for developing and disseminating policy and guidelines to ensure compliance with web content legislation and best practice.

CMB highlights and achievements

Following a six-month trial, CMB implemented the single-officer support operation to many parliamentary committee hearings held interstate. This significantly reduced travel costs involved in providing this service, while also allowing Hansard resources to be used in-house to transcribe committee hearings.

We relocated the 17,000 video tape archive of parliamentary proceedings back to Parliament House from offsite storage. This was a major exercise aimed at saving the department approximately $100,000 per annum in offsite storage costs.

The Hansard Production System (HPS) replacement project was a major focus for Hansard in 2009-10, with delivery of the new system scheduled for 2010-11. The new HPS will provide Hansard with a more streamlined, ‘end-to-end’ system that will simplify the booking, forecasting and scheduling of work and reflects a continued focus on managing our business. Early indications are that the new HPS is intuitive to use, allows a smoother work process for Hansard staff and reduces the likelihood of errors.

Hansard’s new Digital Audio Recording and Transcription system (DART), went into production in January 2010. DART also introduced a more efficient system of forwarding sound files to external transcription service providers thus allowing us to retire another obsolete system used specifically for this purpose.

Improved planning to meet variance in demand over sitting and non sitting weeks, and changes to how interstate committee work is supported, have reduced travel costs and the amount of transcription work that is outsourced.

During the year our Knowledge Management (KM) section continued with the department-wide rollout of the Electronic Document and Records Management System (EDRMS). By the end of June 2010, the majority of DPS record creators had been trained to use the new system. In June 2010 the number of electronic records being created significantly exceeded the number of paper records being created. This was a tipping point and we expect the vast majority of DPS records will be managed electronically in future. The project is due to be completed on time and under budget in October 2010.

Our relationship with the National Archives of Australia (NAA) continued to flourish during 2010. During the year, the NAA approached the KM section to assist with several important Commonwealth-wide initiatives.

Product and Service Development Branch

The Product and Service Development Branch (PSDB) is responsible for the management and delivery of projects within DPS. PSDB also manages the Parliament House Art Collection. PSDB is to be re-titled Projects Branch from July 2010.

The Building and Security Projects section is responsible for managing the delivery of building, engineering and security projects related to refurbishment, modification, upgrade, replacement or new works in Parliament House and the Parliamentary Precincts.

The Technology Projects section manages the delivery of projects related to the installation and implementation of IT, broadcasting, communication and security technology systems and infrastructure.

The Project Management Office is responsible for ensuring all projects are undertaken using a consistent project management methodology, including providing project management guidance and support to all project stakeholders and providing performance reporting on project progress.

Finally, the Art Services section manages the Parliament House Art Collection, with responsibilities including artwork acquisitions, collection conservation and managing access to artworks for display in Parliament House and the Parliamentary Precincts. The section also administers the Historic Memorials and Gifts Collections.

PSDB highlights and achievements

In 2009-10, the branch successfully delivered the largest capital works program since the building opened in 1988, with over $56 million invested in technology and building projects to improve service delivery and replace ageing infrastructure in the 22 year old building.

In 2009-10 the Technology Projects section successfully delivered projects with significant benefits, including the following:

  • The ageing security communications system was replaced with a new system which integrates two-way mobile radios, security telephones, and door and lifts intercoms. The system is based on innovative technology that frees security operators to allow them to focus on their immediate duties, rather than managing the technology.
  • The dated analogue CCTV Camera Management System was largely replaced with an easy-to-use digital system that records and analyses live and recorded video from a variety of camera locations in and around Parliament House. The new system has a number of new functions that enhance security by assisting with the prevention and analysis of incidents.
  • Progressive replacement of the computer server environment commenced as a project, and is expected to result in improvements in IT service levels and also in reduced power consumption. The total number of servers will be reduced significantly as older, less energy efficient server infrastructure is retired.
  • A local hub for large scale IT data storage was established for the Parliament. Ultimately this will be complemented by an offsite data storage hub allowing the two to be synchronised for business continuity purposes. The infrastructure installed in the local data storage hub includes a modern equipment racking system with new energy efficient air conditioning.

A number of other projects were completed, resulting in improved:

  1. online access to Hansard records, including digitisation of all records back to 1901;
  2. wireless connectivity for laptop computers in many areas of Parliament House;
  3. fault prevention of our IT systems through a monitoring system that provides automatic notice of system failure to technical support staff;
  4. internet security;
  5. internal communication through the establishment of a new staff intranet and associated content management system; and
  6. redundancy and capacity of the computer network infrastructure.

Case study—Wireless

Jeya Jeyanathan

Jeya Jeyanathan is the Senior Project Manager for DP-08-001, the shorthand name for the DPS project to provide secure wireless access to the Parliamentary Computing Network (PCN) in all the Senate committee rooms.

The project fully met its objectives, with coverage now extending to ceremonial areas and plans to extend wireless to the suites of Senators and Members.

As Jeya points out, ‘the project improves the internal flow of information to the point of need for Senators, Members and parliamentary staff’.

Jeya enjoys working on large, complex projects in the technology area, which is fortunate given that at any one time he manages two or three projects that fit this description, valued in the millions of dollars.

Jeya started at Parliament House in a predecessor department. He was originally in a computing services role before crossing to the projects area a few years ago, where he enjoys the sense of continuous improvement that characterises the DPS approach to managing projects, and takes pride in providing an excellent service and completed product to clients.

In 2009-10, the Building and Security Projects section delivered over 20 major projects, a significant increase on previous years. DPS terminated three projects that were no longer assessed to meet business needs or deliver value for money.

Enhancements were made to the House of Representatives Chamber to provide modern information systems for the Speaker, enabling real-time access to procedural information and addressing ergonomic requirements during long sitting periods. A new Distinguished Visitors’ Gallery was added to accommodate visiting dignitaries in the Chamber. Gallery seating in both the Senate and House of Representatives Chambers underwent a major refurbishment.

At the request of the Department of the House of Representatives, a major upgrade was carried out on archive storage facilities to help preserve irreplaceable historic parliamentary material under modern climate-controlled conditions. Service to the Senate was also improved through the relocation of mail room facilities on the ground floor to achieve a more efficient use of space. Further works are planned in 2010-11 to rationalise office and meeting spaces.

The entrance to the building from the public car park was upgraded. Works to complete the conversion of Parliament Drive to a one-way road and to improve pedestrian safety were also completed in 2010. Complementary works to improve exterior lighting around the building commenced and will continue into 2010-11.

Major infrastructure and occupational health and safety (OHS) upgrades included the replacement of high capacity fire hydrants and a compressed air system supporting heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, installation of a new data storage hub, and sealing off an area of rock in the basement which had experienced a spill of diesel oil some years ago.

Construction work commenced in Parliament House on a new secure briefing room to support the National Security Committee of Cabinet (NSC) and Ministerial Task Forces in the strategic direction of national emergencies. This project is called the Parliament House Briefing Room and is being funded by the Attorney-General’s Department, with support provided by DPS and the chamber departments.

The recent review of physical security for Parliament House conducted by the Attorney-General’s Department recommended a number of security improvements to Parliament House, including a reorganisation of parking arrangements in the public car park. The changes in this car park were implemented in 2009-10 and include relocation of parking for buses, large vehicles and motor homes to the northern end of the car park. This is consistent with improved security measures at iconic public buildings in Australia and Australian diplomatic missions overseas. In addition, planning has commenced for a major upgrade of security measures at Parliament House, to be completed over the next two financial years.

A number of displays within public areas of Parliament House were upgraded during the year. In particular, Art Services worked closely with the Department of the Senate to finalise a new display of Australia’s 1297 Inspeximus Issue of Magna Carta. The new exhibition has resulted in improved visibility and much better interpretation of this historically important document, while maintaining a high degree of security and protection. Two large paintings of the Federal Capital site submitted for a competition in 1913 by William Lister Lister and Theodore Penleigh Boyd were also relocated to a more prominent position, so that visitors can better appreciate this view of the countryside that became Canberra.

Seven temporary exhibitions were mounted in the Presiding Officers’ Exhibition Area over the year. Four of these were from external groups, and included Unsung Heroes from Portrait Artists Australia; Far to Here from the Darfur Australia Network;  Through Children’s Eyes from ChildFund Australia; and Known Sites: Contemporary Australian Landscapes from the Artbank Collection. Two in-house exhibitions were also mounted focussing on recent acquisitions for the Parliament House Art Collection, and another featuring designs for commissioned art and craft in Parliament House.

A number of artworks were made available for loans to other external exhibitions, including three paintings by Mandy Martin, and craft works by George Ingham and Johannes Kuhnen, which were included in retrospective exhibitions of work by these artists. In total, 107 artworks from the Parliament House Art Collection were made available for loan to other organisations across the year.

Chief Finance Officer Branch

The Chief Finance Officer Branch (CFOB) consists of three sections providing advice to the Executive, Assistant Secretaries and other DPS managers on a range of corporate issues including compliance with statutory requirements. The Branch also delivers vital services to the whole Parliament through the Logistics subsection.

The Finance section provides financial information supporting internal management decision-making. Key services include compiling monthly and annual financial statements and monthly management reports, developing internal accounting policies and procedures, performing a treasury function and providing asset and taxation management. Furthermore, the section is responsible for accounts payable and receivable, developing and maintaining the Chief Executive’s Instructions (CEIs), Chief Executive’s Procedures (CEPs) and procedural guides, and budget preparation for all internal cost centres.

The Procurement, Contract Management and Logistics section provides advice on a range of procurement issues and manages general services contracts. It develops and issues procurement and contract management policies to ensure legislative, regulatory and procedural obligations are observed. It also provides specialised procurement, contract development and tendering advice and services to ensure that value for money is being achieved in our various contracts.

The Logistics subsection operates the Parliament House loading dock; receipts, tracks and delivers mail and other goods into Parliament House; records all outgoing consignments; and manages a waste service.

The Governance and Business Management (GBM) section is responsible for risk and fraud management, internal audit functions, insurance and legal liaison, performance reporting and external statutory reporting, including portfolio budget statements and annual reports. The section also supports DPS’s Audit Committee and the Joint House Committee.

CFOB highlights and achievements

During the reporting period, Finance staff completed unqualified financial statements for 2008-09—for the seventh consecutive year. In addition, no financial issues were raised at the 2009-10 interim audit. These outstanding financial results have helped DPS receive a ‘low risk’ accreditation by the Australian National Audit Office, and reflect the high level of confidence held by external stakeholders in the effectiveness of our financial controls and operations.

Finance staff also implemented the various aspects of the Government’s ‘Operation Sunlight’ initiative, which included the implementation of the net cash appropriation arrangements and data cleansing in the central budget system. This required changes to internal budgetary, cash management and reporting processes.

Procurement and contract management staff introduced a standard suite of general contract templates and the Australian Standard 4900 construction contracts for use in Parliament House. The staff also focused on the important post-contract management of variations and together, these changes have helped deliver efficient, effective and ethical procurement practices. In turn, this has led to better levels of accountability.

The Logistics subsection replaced the old metal garbage skips with new towable bins. Previously, each metal skip was picked up by forklift from each location in the basement, carried to and emptied at the loading dock. The new arrangement allows up to six bins to be towed at the one time. This initiative has increased efficiency and improved safety for the work area.

GBM continued to implement improvements in DPS’s risk management policy and framework, coupled with significant advances in business continuity planning.

A significant change to the department’s business planning framework was approved in April 2010 for implementation in 2010-11. An important objective of the new framework is to integrate business planning with other key management frameworks, including agency and individual performance, departmental strategies and risk management.

Corporate sections reporting to Secretary, Deputy Secretary and Parliamentary Librarian

Strategy

As foreshadowed in the 2008-09 annual report the Strategy and Business Services Branch was disbanded in July 2009, thus reducing the number of SES officers. As a result of this change, from August 2009, the Strategy section (formerly Strategic Policy and Planning) has reported directly to the Secretary.

Strategy began 2009-10 with both operational and strategic responsibilities, including:

  1. managing Parliament House environmental matters, including energy and water usage and waste management;
  2. working in collaboration with other areas of the department to ensure that technical design integrity standards are maintained, including compliance with Building Code of Australia standards and regulations; and
  3. developing strategy for DPS across a range of subject areas.

In February 2010 the Secretary refocused the role of the section to undertake environmental scanning and analysis, develop strategy and high level policies, facilitate effective internal communication for DPS and position DPS to take full advantage of strategic opportunities on 5, 10 and 20 year time horizons.

Transitioning to the new role has required significant work to transfer operational tasks to other areas of the department and to incorporate the new responsibility for communication. In June 2010 environmental management tasks, including tracking of energy and water consumption, were transferred to the Infrastructure Services Branch. Further changes will occur in 2010-11.

The section continued to include the role of the Parliamentary Service Liaison Officer (PSLO), a position funded jointly by the three parliamentary departments. The PSLO provides advice to the parliamentary departments on service-wide issues and matters related to the Parliamentary Service Act 1999.

Strategy’s achievements for 2009-10 have included:

  1. working with the Secretary and many staff to develop the new DPS Strategic Plan for 2010-13. This plan was launched in March 2010;
  2. investigation of the use of new trigeneration technology to dramatically reduce the carbon footprint of Parliament House;
  3. investigation of the use of solar panels to generate power for Parliament House; and
  4. the development of options to reactivate some of the Parliament House water features using non-potable water.

Customer Services and Communication

From August 2009, this small group reported directly to the Deputy Secretary.

The Customer Services and Communication section has been the first point of contact for all enquiries relating to new projects and potential new services. Responsibilities included customer account management for the chamber departments and the Department of Finance and Deregulation (Finance), administration of the Request Approval Process (RAP) and maintaining the DPS Services Catalogue.

With the development of the DPS Capital Works Program 2010-2015, responsibility for the Request Approval Process has been transferred to the Projects Branch, which manages the capital works plan.

Responsibility for the Services Catalogue has been transferred to the Strategy section.

HR Services

At the beginning of 2009-10, HR Services was providing the full spectrum of conventional HR Services for DPS, including policy development, recruitment, training, health and safety, HR records management, and payroll services. However, we had been experiencing considerable difficulty with our existing HR records and payroll system. As a consequence, the Strategy and Finance Committee decided to move to another IT platform, and (if possible) enter a shared services arrangement with another department to provide payroll services. It is pleasing to report that the Department of the House of Representatives agreed to provide these services on a fee-for-service basis using its HR system, CHRIS21.

Most DPS staff were able to transfer to the House of Representatives system on 4 February 2010, while our PSS officers were able to transfer in mid 2010 once we had established an appropriate shiftwork/roster system.

From August 2009, the HR Services section has reported to the Parliamentary Librarian.

The achievements for 2009-10:

  1. management of the changeover from the pre-existing payroll/records management system to the new House of Representatives system;
  2. establishment of a Leadership Development Framework which was launched in February 2010. The Framework is supported by a range of leadership development initiatives for DPS staff;
  3. management of a Corporate Training Calendar, offering courses designed to meet common training needs identified across all of DPS; and
  4. provision of support for the audit process which allowed DPS, as part of its safety management arrangements, to achieve accreditation under SafetyMap Version 4 – Initial level.
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