Chapter 3

AFP workforce, scrutiny, and compliance

This chapter examines progress made by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) during 2018-19 in relation to improving mental health and diversity in its workforce. It then outlines the AFP's strategic organisational restructure, some key findings from external scrutiny agencies which relate to the year, and overall compliance with reporting requirements. Committee views have been provided at the end of each section.

Workforce health and diversity

Mental health in the AFP

Policing is overrepresented in the statistics on work-related mental health injury, and for some time there have been a number of initiatives and other efforts undertaken, or currently underway, to address this issue. This section outlines some recent progress in this space and provides suggestions for how the AFP might use its annual reporting to keep stakeholders informed of progress.
In early 2018, the results of the Phoenix Australia review into the AFP's approach to mental health services and systems were released, along with the ANAO's audit into managing mental health in the AFP. The AFP accepted all recommendations made and subsequently examined its effectiveness in managing its employees' mental health. The audit and the Phoenix review informed the AFP's development of its AFP Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2018–2023.1
The Health and Wellbeing Strategy, released in May 2018, provides a long-term commitment to physical, psychological, organisational and social health for all employees across the AFP. The strategy aims to achieve health protection (empowering staff to self-care), intervention (timely and appropriate support for staff), and frameworks which provide standards and quality assurance.2 The Health and Wellbeing Strategy is being phased in over a five year period.3
In 2018-19, the AFP continued working towards improved mental health and support by increasing its AFP Welfare Officer capacity and extending coverage to all small and remote offices, as well as arranging delivery of Road to Mental Readiness (R2MR) training.4 R2MR is an education-based program designed to promote positive mental health and reduce the stigma of mental health in a first responder setting. In January 2019, the AFP became the first Australia-based first responder agency to partner with Lifeline (Canberra) to deliver the training to its workforce. The AFP has committed to providing six courses per month to team leaders and team members throughout Australia.5
In September 2018, the AFP also launched its People Strategy 2018–2022, which integrates multiple programs of work under the AFP Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2018–2023. One of the pillars of the strategy is a healthy and safe workforce, and the strategy is expected to be supported by yearly action plans.6
Two Parliamentary Committees considered AFP mental health during the 2018-19 year and released their findings in February 2019. The Senate Standing Committee on Education and Employment commenced an inquiry into the mental health of first responders in March 2018, and offered 14 recommendations in its final report.7 The Government response to the report supported one of the recommendations, noted five, and supported the remaining eight in principle.8
The Joint Committee of Public Accounts has a statutory obligation to examine all reports of the Auditor-General that are tabled in Parliament. As a result, the ANAO report Managing Mental Health in the AFP (released March 2018) was automatically referred to the committee. The Joint Committee of Public Accounts subsequently conducted an inquiry into mental health in the AFP and offered four recommendations in its final report. The recommendations relate to improving transparency and accountability to the Parliament on the AFP’s progress in implementing improvements.9 As at June 2020, no response from the AFP had been published on the committee's inquiry webpage.10
At the committee's hearing on 28 May 2020, mental health in the AFP was discussed with AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw. Commissioner Kershaw explained that the AFP had seen an increase in mental injury claims and had increased the number of mental health practitioners (although it was not stated which reporting period this is in reference to). He advised that the AFP has a holistic group of specialists which support officers and members and that the organisation facilitates access to services outside of the organisation should individuals prefer to access external support. Further, the AFP was looking to develop 'health hubs' to enable AFP workers to easily see which health services were available to them in different areas.11 He also advised that the AFP had created a new former and retired members association which was connected to the AFP reserve, which enables officers to maintain their security clearances, stay on the AFP's books as casual employees, and access health services.12

Committee view

The committee notes that there are a number of reports and recommendations relating to mental health in the AFP which have recently been released or are being implemented. As there is ongoing interest in the wellbeing of AFP employees, the AFP might consider including some discussion of the implementation status of recommendations arising from reviews in its future annual reports. The Annual reports might also benefit from including information on the implementation status of the AFP Health and Wellbeing Strategy which is being phased in.

Progress towards gender and inclusion targets

This section outlines recent developments in the AFP's work towards diversity in its workforce.
In 2016, former Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Ms Elizabeth Broderick AO, conducted an independent review into the AFP's culture and diversity, with a focus on gender, and to suggest initiatives which would enhance capability through greater levels of diversity and inclusion.13
Extensive consultation with over 1000 AFP members over six months identified:
high rates of sexual harassment and bullying in the AFP;
the differential impacts of AFP culture on men’s and women’s experiences;
barriers to and opportunities for increased women’s representation in the AFP workforce;
the challenge of combining a police career with family; and
the importance of strong leadership to cultural reform.14
The AFP accepted and committed to implement all 24 recommendations made in the Cultural Change: Gender Diversity and Inclusion in the Australian Federal Police report (Cultural Change report).15 At 30 June 2018, 11 of the 24 recommendations had been implemented.16 At 30 June 2019, 18 recommendations were considered complete while the remaining six were either nearing completion or being reviewed to determine status or whether they remained ‘fit for purpose’.17
The AFP continues to work towards achieving the objectives and targets set out in its AFP Cultural Reform—Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2016–2026. However, a copy of the strategy is not publicly available and progress towards specific objectives and targets is not identified in the 2018-19 annual report or elsewhere.
The AFP International Operations Gender Strategy 2018-2022 is publicly available and sets out the AFP's commitments and initiatives for a more balanced gender composition of deployed personnel by 2026.18 The strategy aims to measure progress through the number of women applying for deployment and year-on-year increase in the percentage of women on deployment; however, progress against these measures is not reported on in the AFP's 2018-19 annual report or elsewhere.
At the committee's previous annual report examination hearing in December 2019, Deputy Commissioner Karl Kent noted that, while the AFP is striving for a 50:50 gender balance in the workforce, there are particular areas of the organisation which are struggling, such as the Protective Service Officer (PSO) section.19 The PSO had 15 per cent female officers at 30 June 2017, 16 per cent at 30 June 2018, and 15.5 per cent at 30 June 2019.20 That being said, the AFP has been making progress (albeit slowly) towards increasing its overall female employment rates across the organisation, as well as the proportion of women in SES roles (see Table 3.1).
Table 3.1:  Gender balance progress at the AFP
30 June 2014
30 June 2015
30 June 2016
30 June 2017
30 June 2018
30 June 2019
Percentage of women in organisation
Percentage of women in SES roles
Source: Based on figures in the following reports (note figures have been rounded) — AFP, Annual Report 2018-19, pp. 121 and 174; AFP, Annual Report 2017-18, pp. 134 and 187; AFP, Annual Report 2016-17, pp. 117 and 169; AFP, Annual Report 2015-16, p. 88 ; AFP, Annual Report 2014-15, pp. 110 and 182; AFP, Annual Report 2013-14, pp. 106 and 204.
At the committee's hearing on 28 May 2020, Commissioner Kershaw acknowledged that there is room for improvement and updated the committee on gender balance and impediments to achieving it. He advised that the AFP had brought in the Sex Discrimination Commissioner at the Human Rights Commission to assist it with recruiting, and anticipated that there would be an improvement in targeting a broader base to reflect the community. Commissioner Kershaw noted that statistics have indicated that if the ratio of males to females is more balanced at application then the results of recruitment are also balanced without implementing any additional strategies.21 To that end, the AFP had commissioned a marketing firm to conduct focus groups about the AFP and whether females were attracted to applying for roles at the organisation among other things. As a result of this work, the AFP discovered areas for improvement in its marketing, such as clearer messaging about where training will take place and where deployment will be. Commissioner Kershaw also indicated that the AFP was considering other recruitment strategies such as hiring people from the region they would be deployed, so they are not separated from their networks.22

Indigenous employment rates

The AFP Reconciliation Action Plan 2018–20 was launched in May 2018 and complements the AFP Cultural Reform—Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2016–2026, which commits the agency to increasing its Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce to 2.5 per cent by the end of 2018.23 Although a copy of the RAP is publicly available, it does not set Indigenous workforce targets for 2019 or 2020.24 The AFP's overall Indigenous employment rate has been increasing each year since 2015 to 2018 (see Table 3.2); however, the AFP annual report 2018-19, unlike annual reports in previous years, does not provide statistics on the year's Indigenous employment rate. Indigenous employment statistics are one of the mandatory requirements of the PGPA Rule 2014, yet the annual report does not provide an explanation for the omission.
Additionally, the previous AFP annual report for 2017-18 provided three tables which have not been included in the 2018-19 report. The first tables included in the 2017-18 report specified the number of AFP staff identifying as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Australians by their sworn status and employment group, as well as by location and gender. A table providing the number of AFP staff identifying as culturally and linguistically diverse by their sworn status and employment group was also provided in the previous annual report but not the 2018-19 annual report.25
Table 3.2:  AFP Indigenous workforce employment rates
30 June 2014
30 June 2015
30 June 2016
30 June 2017
30 June 2018
30 June 2019
Indigenous employment rate (%)
Source: AFP, Annual Report 2017-18, p. 190; AFP, Annual Report 2016-17, p. 172; AFP, Annual Report 2015-16, p. 141; AFP, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 187.

Changes to workforce information included in the annual report

The AFP annual report for 2018-19 provides a range of information and statistics on the workforce, including: the number of ongoing and non-ongoing employees by location compared to the previous year; the composition of the workforce (male, female, indeterminate) by role; and remuneration for key management, senior executive staff, and other highly paid staff.26
However, there is a range of information that was included in tables in the annual report for 2017-18 that has not been included in the annual report for 2018-19. In addition to those mentioned previously (the three tables relating to workforce diversity) these include: the length of service of AFP staff by role, the number of AFP staff by location and gender, the number of AFP senior executives (substantive staff) by business area and role, the number of AFP staff outposted to other agencies/police services, secondments, territories police and peacekeeping.

Committee view

The committee acknowledges the AFP's continuing progress towards diversity and inclusion during the 2018-19 year. The AFP has also implemented a range of initiatives since then and the committee looks forward to seeing the results of these.
While the committee appreciates that annual reports are continually being improved, changes in the tables provided in annual reports from year to year can make it difficult to monitor trends across time. The PGPA Rule also requires that the AFP provide certain information in its reports. Some mandatory information which has not been included in the 2018-19 report include: the salary ranges available for APS employees by classification level and Indigenous employment data. The AFP may wish to include this information and a brief explanation in its next annual report.

Strategic organisational restructure

The AFP made a number of changes to its strategic planning and organisational structure during 2018-19. In the first half of 2018, the AFP undertook a review of the organisation’s internal governance structures, and a new committee framework was implemented from 1 July 2018 to support decision-making and strategic governance across the AFP. A three-tiered approach was introduced with Tier 1 responsible for setting strategy, Tier 2 for converting strategy into management, and Tier 3 for management and implementation (Tier 3 was still under review at the time the annual report was released).27
The AFP also reorganised its structure to integrate several entities under the Workforce Development and Culture function which now reports to an Assistant Commissioner. The combined functions are expected to link the state offices with cultural reform and learning and development to allow changes to flow through.28
While outside of the reporting period, Commissioner Kershaw committed to ensuring the operating model of the AFP is fit for purpose by commissioning a review from Ernst & Young after he was sworn in on 2 October 2019.29 It is unclear whether this review has been finalised; however, Commissioner Kershaw told the committee at its public hearing on 28 May 2020 that the AFP had changed its operational model:
Our decision-makers are now in what we call the regional commands—so you've got eastern, southern, northern, western and central. They are now all, for the first time in a long time, with assistant commissioners in charge. The importance of that is we think that will cut through some of our red tape and bureaucratic processes.30
Commissioner Kershaw explained that the new model is anticipated to provide better outcomes as it offers improved flexibility in terms of the deployment of resources, and improved accountability.31 The AFP had also seen growth in areas such as organised crime and counterterrorism which require greater staff numbers in Sydney and Melbourne. As a result, the agency had circulated an expression of interest to move 140 officers out of Canberra and into those commands.32 Further, the AFP had implemented its first lateral detective program where qualified detectives are brought into the organisation to build capability quickly without the usual lag time of six or seven years.33

Committee view

The committee acknowledges the ongoing work of the AFP in improving and streamlining its operational and strategic structures. While a table outlining the role of each committee in the new three-tiered committee structure was included in the 2018-19 annual report, discussion on why particular changes had been made or the success of the new structure was not provided. The committee notes that further changes have since been made to the AFP's structure; as such, the AFP may wish to consider including brief comments in future annual reports that provide insight into the rationale behind such changes.

External scrutiny

The AFP is subject to a range of oversight and accountability mechanisms, including those provided through the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity (ACLEI), the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO), the Commonwealth Ombudsman, the independent National Security Legislation Monitor, Parliamentary committees, and the public interest disclosure scheme.34 The following section briefly summarises key reports and findings released by these agencies which relate to the AFP for the 2018-19 year.

ACLEI assessment and investigations for 2018-19

ACLEI investigates corruption issues involving staff members and former staff members of several agencies, including the Australian Federal Police (and ACT Policing).35 While ACLEI's integrity and anti-corruption functions extend to ACT Policing, ACLEI does not investigate individual complaints regarding the AFP or ACT policing. The AFP is responsible for resolving complaints about the actions of AFP appointees, while the Commonwealth Ombudsman reports to the Parliament annually on the adequacy of the AFP's complaint handling (discussed from paragraph 3.47).
The ACLEI annual report for 2018-19 shows that the agency was notified of 66 corruption issues by the AFP Commissioner in 2018-19, and had six corruption issues relating to the AFP referred to it by other sources.36 During 2018-19, ACLEI investigated 85 corruption issues (some were carried forward from previous years) and concluded 67 investigations relating to the AFP.37 ACLEI referred 33 AFP corruption issues to other agencies during the year, and at the end of June 2019, the agency carried forward 12 assessments and 18 investigations relating to the AFP to 2019-20.38 At 30 June 2019, the ACLEI had 78 investigations relating to the AFP open.39

Australian National Audit Office reports

The ANAO released several reports during the 2018-19 period which relate to the operations of the AFP.
In December 2018, the ANAO released its report resulting from its audit of the financial statements of the AFP and the controls and systems which support the preparation of its financial statements. The report identified a moderate risk relating to underpayment of superannuation and superannuation incorrectly applied on allowances, as well as one new and one unresolved prior-year moderate risk finding relating to inappropriate user access management and monitoring of the AFP's financial management information system.40 The ANAO's audit of the AFP's financial statements for the following year identified that the AFP had not completed quantification of the actual liability for underpayment of superannuation, but expected to do so during 2019–20.41
In May 2019, the ANAO released its report resulting from its assessment of the effectiveness of coordination arrangements of key Australian Government entities operating in the Torres Strait. The report found there were effective governance structures and joint activities supporting the control of cross-border movements and related law enforcement activities in the area, although law enforcement agencies, including the AFP, had identified the importance of upgrading telecommunications infrastructure to enhance intelligence capabilities in the region. None of the report's four recommendations related specifically to the AFP.42

Commonwealth Ombudsman

The Commonwealth Ombudsman provides independent oversight of the AFP by inspecting its records to ensure it has complied with requirements stipulated in:
the Surveillance Devices Act 2004;
the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979 (TIA Act); and
the Crimes Act 1914 in relation to the AFP's controlled operations.
As mentioned previously, the Ombudsman also assesses the adequacy of the AFP's complaints handling.

Surveillance devices

Under the Surveillance Devices Act 2004, specified law enforcement agencies can covertly use surveillance devices when investigating certain offences. Each agency's compliance with the requirements stipulated in the Act is independently assessed by the Commonwealth Ombudsman. At the time of writing, the committee was awaiting the release of the Commonwealth Ombudsman's inspection reports of the AFP for the period of 1 July 2018 and 30 June 2019.

Telecommunications interception and stored communication records

Under the TIA Act, specified law enforcement agencies are able to lawfully access individuals’ telecommunications data and/or stored communications when investigating certain offences. Agencies have the power to internally authorise access to metadata; however, if an agency wishes to access telecommunications data that will identify a journalist’s source or the content of the communication, it must apply for a warrant.
Each agency's compliance with the requirements in the Act is independently assessed by the Commonwealth Ombudsman. At the time of writing, the committee was awaiting the release of the Commonwealth Ombudsman's inspection reports of the AFP for the period of 1 July 2018 and 30 June 2019.
Independent from these 'routine' inspection reports, the Commonwealth Ombudsman conducted non-routine inspections of the AFP's compliance with Journalist Information Warrant provisions following the AFP's disclosure of a breach of the TIA Act. The first occurred and was reported on in 2017; however, a second non-routine inspection at the AFP was conducted in September 2018 and a report released in January 2019. Overall, the Ombudsman found that the AFP had appropriately applied the Journalist Information Warrant provisions in the instances inspected; however, there were two exceptions to adherence involving limits in date ranges.43

Controlled operations

Under the Crimes Act 1914, the AFP (as well as other agencies) may grant an authority to authorise a controlled operation. Controlled operations are covert operations carried out for the purpose of obtaining evidence that may lead to the prosecution of a person for a serious Commonwealth offence. Participants involved in such operations are protected from criminal responsibility and indemnified against civil liabilities that may arise as a result of activities undertaken during the course of the operation, providing that conditions are met.44
The Ombudsman performs independent oversight of this power by inspecting agencies' records, at least once every 12 months, to determine compliance with the Crimes Act. The Ombudsman annually releases its Report on the Commonwealth Ombudsman's activities in monitoring controlled operations, which presents the results of its inspections.
The Ombudsman assesses compliance based on records made available at the inspection, discussions with agency staff, observations of agencies’ processes through information provided, and agencies’ remedial action in response to any identified issues.45
According to the AFP annual report, for the review period covering 2018-19 the Ombudsman conducted one inspection visit under Part V in April 2019.46
At the time of writing, the committee was awaiting the release of the Ombudsman's inspection report, which monitors the controlled operation records of the AFP for the period of 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019.

Complaints management

The AFP records the number of complaints received about AFP appointees (that is, Deputy Commissioners, employees, secondees, and consultants) each year and categorises them by severity in its annual report (tier one being the least serious and tier four being the most serious and likely a corruption issue). In 2018-19, the AFP received 365 complaints, which is 14.7 per cent less than the number received in 2017-18.47 Overall, there has been a decreasing trend in the number of complaints received by the AFP over the last five years (see Table 3.5).48
The AFP is responsible for resolving complaints about the actions of AFP appointees in accordance with Part V of the Australian Federal Police Act 1979; however, the Ombudsman reports to the Parliament annually on the comprehensiveness and adequacy of the AFP’s complaint handling.49 The report for the period 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019 was not available at the time of writing.
The Ombudsman's previous annual report on complaints resolved between 1 July 2017 and 30 June 2018 was tabled in May 2019. The report did not identify any systemic issues in the AFP’s complaint management administration;50 however, it identified some deficiencies in how the AFP responds to practices issues and made several suggestions to improve record-keeping, processes, and adherence to legislative requirements and standard operating procedures.51
The Ombudsman's annual report 2018-19 indicates that it received 262 complaints and finalised 263 complaints about the AFP during the year, of which 61 related to ACT Policing. Complaints concerned: inappropriate action, including the failure to investigate complaints or inadequate investigation of complaints; and customer service experiences when making complaints.52
The number of complaints received and the number which were investigated are provided in the Ombudsman's reports. As can be seen in Table 3.5, a consistently small number are investigated by the Ombudsman. The Ombudsman may decline to investigate a complaint (about the AFP's handling of a complaint) for a number of reasons, including: that an investigation is not warranted; that it is more appropriate for another agency, court or tribunal to investigate; that the matter had insufficient interest from the complainant; or that the matter had already been considered by court.53
Table 3.3:  Numbers of AFP complaints over time
No. of complaints received by the AFP
No. of complaints received by the Ombudsman
No. of complaints investigated by the Ombudsman
No. of new alleged breaches of the AFP Code of Conduct resulting from complaints
Source: AFP, Annual Report 2018-19, p. 118; AFP, Annual Report 2017-18, p. 132; AFP, Annual Report 2015-16, p. 83; AFP, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 104; Commonwealth Ombudsman, Annual Report 2018-19, p. 75; Commonwealth Ombudsman, Annual Report 2016-17, pp. 14 and 95; Commonwealth Ombudsman, Annual Report 2015-16, p. 70; Commonwealth Ombudsman, Annual Report 2014-15, p. 63.

Australian Information Commissioner

The Australian Information Commissioner is responsible for upholding privacy and freedom of information rights and overseeing government information management policy.54
In its 2018-19 annual report, the Australian Information Commissioner identified that it made one public interest determination (PID) on the disclosure of homicide data for the AFP.55 On 18 March 2019, the Information Commissioner made Privacy (Disclosure of Homicide Data) Public Interest Determination 2019 following an application for a PID on 1 November 2018 from the AFP.56
The PID allows the AFP to disclose personal information to the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) without breaching APP 6 — Use or Disclosure of Personal Information for a period of seven years. The information which can be disclosed under the PID is personal information requested by the AIC about offenders and suspects in relation to homicides for the purposes of the AIC’s research under the National Homicide Monitoring Program and the publication of aggregate findings.57
During 2018–19, the Information Commissioner also made five decisions concerning AFP freedom of information requests. Four decisions were set aside and substituted, providing the applicant with greater access to information contained in the documents, and one decision was affirmed.58

Parliamentary inquiries

In addition to the parliamentary inquiries already mentioned, two other inquiries of note were commenced just outside of the 2018-19 reporting period.
On 4 July 2019, the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security was referred an inquiry into the impact of the exercise of law enforcement and intelligence powers on the freedom of the press by the Attorney-General, the Hon Christian Porter MP. The inquiry was referred following concerns raised in relation to recent search warrants executed on members of the press and the issue of balancing national security with the freedom of the press. The committee is expected to report in 2020.59
On 23 July 2019, the Senate referred an inquiry to the Environment and Communications References Committee, which examines similar issues including freedom of the press, disclosure of information, and law enforcement frameworks. The inquiry is examining the adequacy of Commonwealth laws and frameworks which cover the disclosure and reporting of sensitive and classified information. The committee is due to report by the second sitting Wednesday of 2021.60
In October 2019, Commissioner Kershaw announced that the AFP had commissioned a review into how it investigates leaks and other sensitive cases ('the Lawler Review').61 The review report was released in February 2020 and offered 24 options, all of which were accepted in principle by the AFP.62
At the public hearing on 28 May 2020, Commissioner Kershaw outlined how the decision-making process for AFP sensitive investigations had changed since the review:
…the heart of the issue around sensitive investigations, was the definition of a sensitive investigation, and we now have governance over that particular definition; and then we have a board that actually sits over the top of all of our investigations that are classified sensitive. It is new in the sense that other investigations that traditionally were sitting in other crime areas of the AFP were not deemed sensitive; some of those have now been deemed sensitive…Previously each line area would deal with those matters in a very professional way, but they weren't coalesced into one pool where a board was sitting over the top looking at all of those issues and making sure that we supported our decision-makers at a higher level, given that there's often the national interest, in particular, and the sensitivities around those particular matters. That has been something new. Our investigators, from my own feedback, have actually enjoyed that because they get a greater ability to talk through their strategies with a number of senior officers—these are deputy commissioners that sit on this particular board, as well as assistant commissioners. Collectively, I believe it leads to better support and better outcomes for our officers out there.63

Committee view

The committee acknowledges the work of the AFP in continually reviewing its processes and practices for areas for improvement and its ongoing cooperation with the work of several external scrutiny agencies, including the ANAO, the ACLEI, the Commonwealth Ombudsman and various Parliamentary committees.
While delivered outside of the reporting period being examined, the Lawler review's findings identified that the AFP's internal audit processes had previously recognised there were shortcomings in the agency's governance and structure, yet the agency had failed to implement a range of earlier internal and external review and audit findings (the commissioning of the Lawler review followed media raids that occurred during 2018-19).64 In its examination of the AFP annual report 2018-19, the committee notes that the AFP had not provided details on the implementation status of previous audit reports and recommendations. In light of the finding of the Lawler review, the AFP may wish to consider including more information in its next annual report, particularly in regard to expected implementation of audit findings and the nature of any delays.
The committee acknowledges the reports and findings of the ACLEI and the ANAO, and looks forward to reviewing the findings of the Ombudsman in relation to the AFP's use of surveillance devices, access to telecommunications records, controlled operations, and complaints management in its next annual report.

AFP annual report compliance

As a Commonwealth entity, the AFP is required to comply with the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act). The PGPA Act requires entities to provide an annual report to the responsible minister for presentation to the Parliament on its activities during the period; include a copy of its annual performance statements in the report; and ensure its report complies with the requirements in the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Rule 2014 (PGPA Rule).65
The PGPA Rule 2014 sets out presentation guidelines for annual reports, as well specific matters that must be included in reports such as financial performance, management and accountability sections.66
Each annual report of the AFP must also meet requirements stipulated in the AFP Act. The AFP Act requires that each annual report contain particulars of the agency's conduct issues and the actions taken in relation to these issues during the year.67
As mentioned earlier, the AFP annual report contains additional yearly reports which fulfil its obligations under the following pieces of legislation.
Under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, the AFP is required to provide this committee with an annual report that contains the number of matters investigated and the number and results of applications for restraining orders and unexplained wealth orders.68
Under the Witness Protection Act 1994, the AFP Commissioner must keep the Minister informed of the general operations, performance and effectiveness of the National Witness Protection Program and the Minister must present an annual report on these matters to Parliament.69
Under the Crimes Act 1914, the AFP is required to provide annual information on delayed notification search warrants to the Minister which must be tabled in Parliament.70
Based on the committee's assessment of the AFP's annual report for 2018-19, all of these requirements have been fulfilled with the following exceptions. The report does not include the salary ranges available for APS employees by classification level and Indigenous employment data which are mandatory requirements under the PGPA Rule.
Additionally, while the annual report provides a table which distinguishes whether it has met the PGPA Rule requirements, it has not outlined whether it has met requirements stipulated under the AFP Act, the Crimes Act 1914, the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, and the Witness Protection Act 1994. While this is not a requirement of any legislation, it may be helpful to readers as an access aid.
The committee thanks the AFP for providing a satisfactory annual report and commends the organisation for its work during the year.

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