Annual reports of Commonwealth Authorities under the CAC Act
This chapter reviews and provides selected comments on portfolio annual
Health and Ageing Portfolio
Australian Institute of Health and
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) was established as
a Commonwealth statutory authority in 1987 'to collect, analyse and disseminate
health- and welfare-related information and statistics'.
During the reporting period, The Hon. Andrew Refshauge replaced the Hon.
Peter Collins AM, QC as Board Chair and Mr David Kalisch replaced Dr Penny
Allbon as Director.
The committee finds the AIHW annual report to be particularly well laid
out and easy to navigate. The annual report includes a thorough compliance
index that specifies compliance with the information requirements in the Commonwealth
Authorities and Companies Act 1997 and in particular Part 2 of Schedule 1
of the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies (Report of Operations) Orders
The committee notes that the annual report was clearly readable against
the Portfolio Budget Statements 2010–11
and congratulates the AIHW for meeting all of its deliverables and key
performance indicators within the specified timeframes.
The annual report notes that AIHW worked closely with the Council of
Australian Governments (COAG) under the National Healthcare Agreement to
measure and monitor the performance indicators used by COAG to develop and
implement its policy reform agenda. This activity was funded by a significant increase
in appropriation funding in 2009–10.
Appropriation funding grew from $20.7 million in 2009–10 to $21.4 million in
2010–11 and is expected to decrease by approximately $4 million in 2011–12 as
the COAG-funded data development component is completed. Income from externally
funded projects totalled $31.4 million for 2010–11.
The majority of this external income came from projects undertaken for the Department
of Health and Ageing (DoHA) and the Department of Families, Housing, Community
Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA).
The AIHW performed its functions within budget with total expenditure
for 2010–11 being $53.8 million
as against estimated expenditure of $56.4 million.
The annual report points to several new products developed by the AIHW
in 2010–11 including:
the MyHospitals website in 2010 in consultation with the
states and territories.
the AIHW Indigenous web observatory and The health and
welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, an
What works to overcome Indigenous disadvantage: key learnings
and gaps in evidence, 2009–10, an evaluation report of the Closing the Gap
The health of Australia's males, including a companion
report summary and an accompanying online dashboard.
The Specialist Homelessness Services data collection developed
under the National Affordable Housing Agreement.
A national pilot test of the draft Mental Health Interventions
The committee commends the AIHW on the greater emphasis that AIHW has
placed on 'getting the message out' such as the Briefs that accompany
some of its major reports with key information presented in graph format.
The annual report notes that the AIHW has collaborated with the National
E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA) 'to assess the implications of the
development of e-health for statistical collections in the future'.
However, there is no comment about the status of this collaboration and no
comment on the outcomes or potential outcomes of any analysis that has been undertaken.
The committee looks forward to information on the outcome of this analysis in
the 2011–12 annual report.
Food Standards Australia New
Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) was established as a
Commonwealth statutory authority under the Food Standards Australia New
Zealand Act 1991 to protect public health and safety, provide adequate
information to consumers, and prevent misleading or deceptive conduct.
The annual report notes that FSANZ remained within budget with operating
revenue of $22.43 million and operating expenses of $22.38 million.
These figures compared favourably with the estimated budget expenses of $22.19
The committee notes that the annual report was readable against the Portfolio
Budget Statements 2010–11.
The committee congratulates FSANZ for exceeding targets in some categories such
as citizen and stakeholder engagement.
The committee notes that the finalisation of 'primary production and
processing standards for meat and meat products, and seed sprouts' were forecast in the Portfolio Budget Statements.
The committee commends FSANZ on a thorough review of regulatory standards and
activities during the year that details the issues that have caused a delay in
finalising primary production and processing standards for meat and meat
products. FSANZ also provides an update of the next stage of the process in
developing draft standards,
and the committee looks forward to learning about the progress made in 2011–12.
The committee suggests that in future annual reports in the section on
Priorities and Performance, FSANZ might consider including a brief reference to
an issue such as the delay in finalising primary production and processing
standards for meat and meat products. This would enhance efforts to make the performance
aspects of the annual report explicitly readable against the Portfolio
Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Portfolio
The Land Councils
The committee particularly commends the four Northern Territory land
councils for moving to harmonise their outcomes structure and adopting a
consistent approach to measuring and reporting on performance. The six outputs
common to the Anindilyakwa, Central, Northern and Tiwi Land Councils are:
Land, sea and natural resource management support services
Land claims and acquisitions support services
Economic development and commercial services
Anindilyakwa Land Council
The committee commends the Anindilyakwa Land Council on a well-presented
and informative annual report. The committee particularly commends the
Anindilyakwa Land Council on the progress made with Township Leasing.
The committee notes that the report would benefit from a compliance
index as well as an index and glossary. Statistics on the total number of staff
employed and the basis of their employment would be useful including
full-time/part-time, ongoing/non-ongoing, and gender.
Central Land Council
The committee commends the Central Land Council on a comprehensive,
well-presented, and very informative annual report that met almost all the
reporting requirements. One easily met requirement is to ensure that the letter
of transmittal to the Minister states that the report is made in accordance with
a resolution by the directors and that the director(s) are responsible under
section 9 of the CAC Act.
Northern Land Council
The committee finds the Northern Land Council annual report to be
beautifully presented, informative, and easy to read.
The committee particularly commends the Northern Land Council for
outlining some of the key challenges that it has faced during the reporting
period and expects to face in the future. The committee anticipates learning
more about developments regarding the proposed new land council and the
determinations of the Hon Howard W. Olney AM QC, Aboriginal Land Commissioner.
The committee acknowledges the Gold Award received by the Northern Land
Council for its annual report, but considers that the report would benefit from
the inclusion of a compliance index that would enable the reader to easily
identify whether all the requirements for the annual report had been met. It
was not clear whether compliance items such as judicial decisions, ministerial
directions and general policies, indemnities and insurance premiums, the
Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, Freedom of
Information, a List of SES staff, and Fraud Control Guidelines were noted in
the annual report.
Tiwi Land Council
The Tiwi Land Council has produced a concise, coherent, well laid out,
and easily understood annual report that covers key issues such as economic
development and commercial services, and provides comprehensive coverage of the
Tiwi Land Council's response to Commonwealth and Territory legislation. The
annual report touches on many of the main legislative requirements, but could
be further improved with attention to issues around staffing.
Indigenous Business Australia
Indigenous Business Australia (IBA) is a statutory authority under the CAC
Act and is enabled by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Act 2005.
The IBA annual report was well-presented, coherent, easy to navigate,
and made good use of graphs, diagrams, charts and pictures. The committee
commends IBA for the inclusion in the annual report of a thorough compliance
index that specifies compliance with the requirements of the Commonwealth
Authorities and Companies (Report of Operations) Orders 2008 and the Aboriginal
and Torres Strait Islander Act 2005. The committee was also impressed that
IBA has demonstrated a commitment to better practice in annual reporting
through its compliance with some additional non-mandatory principles from the Requirements
for Annual Reports
and the Corporate Governance Principles and Recommendations with 2010
The annual report was clearly readable against the Portfolio Budget
Statements 2010–11, and the committee notes that IBA performed its
functions within budget with total expenditure for 2010–11 being $166.84
as against estimated expenditure of $167.55 million.
The committee also notes that IBA returned a surplus of $6.8 million in
2010–11 compared to the deficit of $56.5 million in 2009–10. The annual report
states that this marked improvement was primarily due to a significant
reduction in expenses attributable to the divestment of subsidiaries, interest
rate stability that led to a reduction in loan valuation discount expenses, as
well as extraordinary losses on investment divestment activities that had
occurred in 2009–10.
The committee notes that the IBA Equity and Investment Program exceeded
its target for Indigenous employment by creating or supporting 264 jobs for
Indigenous Australians, an increase of 19 per cent on 2009–10.
The committee also congratulates IBA for exceeding its performance
target for its Home Ownership Program (HOP).
The committee also notes that in contrast to the industry norm, the majority of
IBA loans are for housing in non-metropolitan regions.
The committee notes that the limited availability of suitable land
tenure and administration arrangements impacted negatively on the IBA
performance targets for the Home Ownership on Indigenous Land Program (HOIL).
The committee looks forward to learning in the 2011–12 annual report about the
processes that have led to the combining of the HOP and HOIL programs.
The annual report also indicates that the survival rates of IBA business
loan customers in the Business Development and Assistance program compare very favourably
with national business statistics.
The committee looks forward to finding out about IBA's progress in 2011–12 as
it strives to enhance its program and reduce the gap between the levels of
Indigenous and non-Indigenous business ownership.
The committee anticipates learning of the new system to monitor and
recognise performance that is being developed by managers, staff and external
Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community
The Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community Council (WBACC) was established by
the Aboriginal Land Grant (Jervis Bay Territory) Act 1986 (Land Grants Act).
The Council commenced operations in 1987.
The WBACC does not receive annual appropriations, but did apply for and
receive an annual grant under the Advancement of Rights to Land and Sea program
administered by the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and
Wreck Bay Enterprises Limited (WBEL) is a wholly owned subsidiary of the
WBACC. The annual report notes that WBEL has operated without any Government
grant or subsidy during the year, has paid $1.25 million in employee benefits
(salaries to the Wreck Bay community), and made a net profit of $29 796 in
The committee notes that WBEL was officially amalgamated back under the Wreck
Bay Aboriginal Community Council structure during 2010–11.
The committee congratulates the WBACC on the completion of the
Gudjahgahmiamia Early Education and Day-care facility which received a Multi
Aboriginal Community Service grant from the Department of Education, Employment
and Workplace Relations. The committee also notes that the annual report points
out that funds from the WBACC, parent fees, and fundraising activities are
needed to ensure the centre's sustainability.
Annual reports of Commonwealth Companies under the CAC Act
Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Portfolio
Outback Stores currently manages 24 stores across some of the most
remote parts of the Northern Territory, Western Australia and South Australia'
with 'a mandate to improve the affordability and quality of nutritious food
available in communities'.
Outback Stores turned over $63 million from 25 stores.
The Chairman notes that Outback Stores remains committed to operating at a
small surplus on an ongoing basis. Outback Stores made a loss of $70 000
in 2010–11, a significant improvement on the $1.77 million loss in 2009–10.
Store viability is dependent on several factors including the population size
of the local community, remoteness and high operating costs.
Whilst 5 stores are currently viable and produce profits for their owners, the
Chairman and the CEO both observe that increased efficiency is a key element in
transitioning 10 stores currently deemed unviable to an improved financial
status they describe as 'barely viable': that is, stores that are able to
'sustain their own operation unless a major expense is incurred'.
On 4 July 2010, Outback Stores opened a new facility at Ngukurr in
conjunction with Ngukurr Progress Aboriginal Corporation and Aboriginals
Benefits Account. Sales at the new store increased immediately by an average
$30 000 per week.
The annual report notes that Outback Stores faces some unique challenges
including remoteness, harsh climate including floods, and mice plagues.
Many new stores received equipment upgrades with capital grants from the
Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs for
the purchase of open fronted cabinet fridges to display fresh product.
Outback Stores employed 191 Aboriginal staff in 2010–11 and surpassed
its contracted training contact hours target. The NT Department of Education
has significantly increased its training commitment for Outback Stores in the
next financial year.
Annual reports of Statutory Agencies
The Australian Health Practitioner
The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) was formed
following a decision by the Council of Australian Governments to operate a
nationally consistent registration and accreditation scheme for ten health
AHPRA is chaired by Mr Peter Allen and the Chief Executive Officer is Mr Martin
AHPRA was established under the Health Practitioner Regulation
National Law Act that has been enacted in all states and territories.
AHPRA is required under Clause 8 to Schedule 3 of the Health
Practitioner Regulation National Law Act to prepare and submit an annual report
by 31 October to the Ministerial Council. Further:
The Ministerial Council is to make arrangements for the
tabling of the annual report of the National Agency, and the report of the
public sector auditor with respect to the financial statement in the report, in
the Parliament of each participating jurisdiction and the Commonwealth.
The annual report 2010–11
covers the transition and early implementation of the National Scheme. The
annual report provides an explanation of the operations of AHPRA and a well-presented
overview of its achievements during the year.
Non-statutory advisory panel
Health and Ageing Portfolio
Advisory Panel on the Marketing in
Australia of Infant Formula
The committee commends the Advisory Panel on the Marketing in Australia
of Infant Formula for continuing to produce an annual report to Parliament when
there is no legislative requirement for it to do so.
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