Annual report of departments
Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and
Tertiary Education—[includes IP Australia and the Tuition Protection Service]
The Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science,
Research and Tertiary Education's (DISCCSRTE OR 'the department') 2012–13 annual report was
tabled in the Senate on 12 November 2013
and in the House of Representatives on 13 November 2013. The 2012–13 annual reports for
Intellectual Property Australia (IP Australia), which operates as a
non-statutory agency with limited autonomy from the department, and the annual
report for the Tuition Protection Service, as required by section Education
Services for Overseas Student Act 2000, are also contained in this annual
Following the March 2013 machinery of government changes which resulted
in the transfer of a significant portion of the functions of the Department of
Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (DCCEE), including the Clean Energy
Regulator and the Climate Change Authority, to the department's portfolio, the
department was renamed the Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change,
Science, Research and Tertiary Education (DIICCSRTE).
The Australian Solar Institute, which was established to facilitate
collaborative research and development into solar technologies, ceased
operation on 31 December 2012 and governance and management of its investment
portfolio was transferred to the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).
ARENA was established on 1 July 2012 to increase the supply of renewable
energy and improve the competitiveness of renewable energy technologies.
Review by Departmental Secretary
In the department's review, the secretary noted that the outlook for
2012–13 was one of
transition away from a commodity-focussed economy and adjustments to diversify
as the investment phase of the resources sector slowed. Businesses, which
previously had to contend with the high Australian dollar, were adjusting again
to the currency's depreciation against other major currencies. This adjustment,
however, was in the context of a slower jobs growth and decreased company
profits as a consequence of increased prices for inputs relative to growth for
sales prices. The secretary explained that those businesses that have thrived
have been those able to compete internationally in the area of high-value added
products and services, even 'against the headwind of the high Australian
dollar'. This contrasts with the struggles of companies involved in the labour
intensive and low-skilled manufacturing sectors.
the department undertook a realignment of the organisation to better maximise
the interactions within the department and to build better linkages between the
different parts. This included those parts that were transferred to the
department from the machinery of government changes such as skills and tertiary
education. To drive this work, the department appointed a Chief Economist and a
Small Business Commissioner and sought continued input from the Chief Scientist
to explore new opportunities and ideas for the department.
Some of the highlights for 2012–13
- In February 2013, the government released the Industry and
Innovation Statement, a plan for a $1 billion investment in Australian jobs The
statement, A Plan for Australian Jobs, outlined strategies for the
Australian Government to work in partnerships with industry to drive business
growth and innovation in areas of competitive advantage.
A National and Mathematics education and Industry Adviser was
appointed in February 2013 to progress a key focus area of the Chief
Scientist's work in developing and providing policy advice to government, to
help address the issue of emerging science, technology, engineering and
mathematics skills shortages.
The report of the Review of Higher Education Access and
Outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, published in
July 2012, found that the current participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Island people in higher education was still significantly below parity with the
population as a whole.
In June 2013 the department released the Climate Adaptation
Outlook: A Proposed National Adaptation Assessment Framework. The report
examined how well placed Australia was to manage the impacts of unavoidable
climate change. Importantly, it consolidated current understanding of emerging
climate adaptation issues that would affect businesses and communities in
Australia and presented a systemic framework for thinking about how Australia
manages risks from a changing climate.
the department reported an operating loss of $36.18 million and reflected the
net introduction of the net cash appropriation arrangements where appropriation
for depreciation and amortisation expenses ceased ($48.84 million) and entities
received a separate capital budget provided through equity appropriations.
Excluding depreciation and amortisation, the department recorded an
operating surplus of $12.66 million in 2012–13.
The surplus was the result of a change in the accounting receipts ($19.0
million) relating to the climate change functions that transferred to the
department as part of the 25 March administrative arrangement orders. These
receipts are now recognised as revenue instead of unearned revenue.
The department had budgeted for an approved loss up to $810 million, in
part to allow for one-off costs associated with incorporating these functions
into the department. The department's operating result also incorporated the
full-year impact of the 2011 machinery of government changes when the tertiary
education functions transferred from the Department of Education, Employment
and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) as part of the administrative arrangement
orders announced in December 2011. There was a revenue and expenses
increase which reflected the impact of both the 2011 and 2013 machinery of
The DIICCSRTE'S 2012–13
annual report is well presented, with easy to locate information and provides a
'clear read' between information contained in the annual report and the
Portfolio Budget Statements (PBS). Information in KPIs contains quantitative as
well as qualitative information for benchmarking and assessing whether
estimates have been achieved over the reporting period. The annual report for
DIICCSRTE and IP Australia closely adheres to the
compliance index. Furthermore, the integration of a range of real life case
studies is a very effective way of presenting complex information. By fleshing
out the different issues with each case study, the annual report provides
valuable insight into the work undertaken by the DIICCSRTE. The committee
considers that DIICCSRTE and IP Australia have met their reporting obligations
under the Acts and the annual report is 'apparently satisfactory'.
Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism—[includes Geoscience Australia]
The Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism's (DRET or 'the
department') annual report for 2012–13
was tabled in the Senate on 12 November 2013
and in the House of Representatives on 13 November 2013. The annual report also
includes the 2012–13
annual report for Geoscience Australia, which operates as a non-statutory
agency with limited autonomy from the department.
During the 2012–13
reporting period there was a machinery of government change and the former
Department of Climate Change's energy efficiency functions transferred to the
Some of the department's achievements for 2012–13 included:
amendments to the legislation from the Montara Commission of
Inquiry 2010 to strengthen the compliance, safety and environmental management
aspects of offshore resource development;
the completion of the 1978 Ranger Mining Agreement to provide to
greater social and financial benefit to the traditional owners, as well as the
delivery and acceptance of a rehabilitation plan for the Rum Jungle Mine;
the delivery of a comprehensive energy market reform package
endorsed by the Council of Australian Government (COAG) to ensure that
consumers pay no more than necessary for electricity and that supply is
the delivery of more than 250 grants to support innovation in the
For the 2012–13
reporting period, the department reported a net operating deficit of $0.5
million as a result of additional expenses incurred in the transition of energy
efficiency functions to the department arising from the machinery of government
changes announced in March 2013.
the departmental appropriations increased from the preceding period as a result
of the creation of the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental
Management Authority (NOPSEMA) and the National Offshore Petroleum Titles
Administrator (NOPTA), and additional funding associated with the transfer of
energy efficiency functions to the department.
The government provided the department with $116.7 million in
departmental revenue for its operations and a further $363.6 million in
administered appropriations for resources, energy and tourism programs
administered on behalf of government. The department administered $2.0 billion
in revenue collection, including $1.78 billion in royalties for federal, state
and territory jurisdictions.
The department received an unqualified audit report from the
Auditor-General for its 2012–13
The committee notes the department did not use the most recent updated
list of requirements from the PM&C's Requirements for Annual Reports,
consequentially some new requirements have not been included in the annual
report. The compliance index also contains some inaccuracies in relation to
page reference numbers for several reporting items. It is also recommended that
a separate list of reporting requirements be added for Geoscience Australia's
annual report to distinguish the parts within the annual report that are
relevant to Geoscience Australia and the parts that apply to the DRET. These
inaccuracies and oversight notwithstanding, the information contained in the
report is comprehensive and written in accessible language and utilises graphs,
tables and charts to enhance information.
While the committee is pleased the annual report contains key
performance indicators, it notes that the actual performance information
measured against KPIs does not seem to contain targets. The inclusion of
targets is desirable not only for benchmarking of actual results but for
enhancing accountability and transparency in reporting.
The annual report has generally complied with the list of requirements
for annual reports. The committee considers the Department of Resources, Energy
and Tourism has met its reporting obligations under the Acts and its annual
report is 'apparently satisfactory'.
Department of the Treasury
The Department of the Treasury's ('the department' or 'Treasury') 2012–13 annual report was
tabled in the Senate on 12 November 2013
and in the House of Representatives on 13 November 2013.
Review by Departmental Secretary
In his Secretary's Review, Dr Martin Parkinson, the Secretary of the
Department summarised the significant issues and developments affecting the
work of the Treasury,
and sets out the context in which the Department of Treasury (Treasury) pursues
its mission of 'improving the wellbeing of Australians through sound and
apolitical policy advice to ministers'.
The secretary outlined the difficult global economic context in which
the Australian economy has been undergoing structural change, as the mining
boom 'shifts from its investment phase and the terms of trade decline from
their historic peak'. He drew attention to: subdued growth in advanced
economies, volatility in key emerging markets, economic crisis in the Euro
area, and the challenges ahead.
The secretary explained that, presented with such conditions, the task of
managing the economy through this difficult environment, as well as forecasting
and developing policy solutions becomes difficult.
the Treasury reported that its focus was on strengthening its core organisational
capabilities, and implementing recommendations from its two organisational
reviews. These reviews specifically covered areas of IT and the adaption of new
technology, and building capability through better strategic and operational
workforce planning. The outlook for Australia's economic fundamentals were
sound, but the secretary cautioned the need to lift productivity to balance the
terms of declining trade to avoid a sharp drop in the country's living standard
growth. According to the secretary, this was 'particularly a challenge in the
context of international volatility, and structural transitions taking place in
the Asia-Pacific and within the Australian economy'.
The annual report noted that the Treasury received an unqualified audit
report on the 2012–2013 financial statements from the Australian National Audit
The department reported a surplus of $3.0 million, which is a turnaround
from the preceding 2011–12
period's deficit of 11.6 million. Employee expenses in
2012–13 decreased by
$12.7 million from 2011–12,
which was associated with the corresponding decrease in operational funding.
The department's net asset position decreased by $17.9 million in 2012-13,
mainly due to the transfer of the Standard Business Reporting software assets
to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
In relation to administered expenses, the Treasury reported a decrease
in administered expenses from $86.9 billion in 2011–12 to $81.4 billion for 2012–13.
Under the Intergovernmental Agreement on Federal Financial Relations, Treasury
reported a reduction in grant expenses to the States and Territories. The
Treasury's administered net assets increased by $1.4 billion in 2012–13; this is mainly
attributed to an increase in the value of financial assets offset by an
increase in provisions and payables. The department noted there were sufficient
cash reserves to fund liabilities.
During the reporting period, Treasury advised Treasury ministers, other
ministers of the Government and relevant stakeholders on a range of
macroeconomic issues, including:
- an analysis of the Australian and international economic outlook,
including the Australian fiscal outlook, and prepared macroeconomic forecasts;
monitoring domestic and international economic, financial and
policy developments to assess their implications for macroeconomic policy
an analysis on drivers of the Australian economy and factors
likely to influence medium-term economic performance, including productivity
and labour force participation rates.
Treasury contributed to public debate and awareness of budget decisions and the
fiscal outlook when it reported over 210,270 unique visitors to its website and
over 2.6 million pages being viewed.
Other information Treasury prepared and made accessible to the public included
non-specialist summary publications such as the Budget Overview, Budget
at a Glance, the National Plan for School Improvement, Disability
Care Australia, Nation Building Infrastructure and the Tax Reform
Treasury also continued to provide policy advice to portfolio ministers on
operational issues relating to the Future Fund and the three Nation-building
Through its Revenue Group, Treasury established a Law Design Practice
(LDP) to provide greater focus on the implementation of legislation in the
Government's taxation and retirement income reform agenda. In 2012–13, the LDP worked with
Revenue Group Policy Divisions, the Office of Parliamentary Counsel and the ATO
to progress and manage the preparation of tax and superannuation measures,
including on a total of 39 tax bills containing 73 measures introduced into
The department also provided advice to the government on ways to improve
the country's superannuation system, and developed legislation for some of the
measures. Some of those changes included:
- better targeting of the tax exemption for investment earnings on
assets supporting income streams by capping it to the first $100,000 of future
earnings from 1 July 2014;
simplifying the design of the higher concessional contributions
cap from 1 July 2013 by setting a cap of $35,000 to anyone who meets
certain age requirements; and
allowing individuals to withdraw any excess concessional
contributions made from 1 July 2013 from their superannuation fund, and taxing
the excess contributions at the individual's marginal tax rate plus an interest
charge (rather than at the top marginal rate).
The Department of Treasury's 2012–13
annual report is comprehensive in its coverage of the department's operations
and performance over the reporting period. The layout and format is
user-friendly, with graphics, trend information, an introductory guide to the
report and visuals that are relevant and which enhances the presentation of
information. Furthermore, the list of requirements is closely adhered to,
making information easy to locate.
The committee is pleased to note that Treasury has included the latest
report from the ANAO assessing the extent to which the department has improved
its management of tax expenditure estimates following its implementation of six
recommendations by ANAO in its original 2007–08
report and three recommendations from the Joint Committee of Public Accounts
and Audit (JCPAA).
The committee considers the Department of Treasury's 2012–13 annual report
The committee would like to express its appreciation to the Treasury for
regularly appearing at estimates and contributing to the committee's inquiries
2012–13, as well as to other parliamentary inquiries. It does note, however,
the significant number of late answers to questions on notice. In particular,
the committee is disappointed that Treasury provides some answers a few days
before and even the very day that the subsequent round of estimates begins.
Navigation: Previous Page | Contents | Next Page