Annual reports of Commonwealth entities and companies
The committee received the 2016–17 annual reports of Commonwealth
entities and companies within the Health Portfolio as listed at Appendix 1. The
committee examined the reports of the following entities in further detail:
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare;
- Australian Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation
- Australian Radiation and Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency;
- Cancer Australia.
Australian Institute of Health and
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) is a corporate
Commonwealth entity established under the Australian Institute of Health and
Welfare Act 1987 to develop 'authoritative and accessible information and
statistics that inform decisions and improve the health and welfare of all
The outcome of AIHW's work is:
[a] robust evidence base for the
health, housing and community sectors, including through developing and
disseminating comparable health and welfare information and statistics.
During the 2016–17 reporting period, AIHW reported against nine
performance criteria of which seven were met and two were partially met.
AIHW produced 188 reports, which exceeded its target of 161 reports. Further, 63
per cent of AIHW's statistical products included data in a manipulable format,
the target for which was 50 per cent.
The committee notes that from 2017–18, AIHW will not report against performance
criteria relating to downloads of Australia's health and Australia's
welfare, as AIHW has expanded the accessibility of these publications to
include direct access via its webpage.
AIHW's annual appropriation in 2016–17 totalled $26.9 million.
This was an increase of $15.6 million from its 2015–16 annual appropriation, to
account for the allocation of the Performance and Accountability Framework
(PAF) reporting responsibilities to AIHW.
For 2016–17, AIHW received $29.6 million in own source income, received interest
totalling $1.02 million and achieved a surplus of $76 000.
The committee noted AIHW's overview of the key reports it produced in 2016–17,
including an examination of vulnerable young peoples' interaction with services
for homelessness, youth justice and child protection, and Australia's first
indigenous eye health measures report.
In its first report on annual reports for 2017, the committee noted that
a key change for AIHW was assuming reporting responsibilities for PAF.
The committee is pleased to note that AIHW reported organisational amendments have
been made 'to maintain the distinctive features of the PAF reporting and to
extend them to other relevant areas of the AIHW's work.'
Overall, AIHW's 2016–17 annual report is clearly-expressed and provides useful
insight into the scope and scale of AIHW's work. The committee considers the
report is of an apparently satisfactory standard and meets the reporting
requirements set under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability
Rule 2014 (PGPA Rule).
Australian Organ and Tissue
Donation and Transplantation Authority
The Australian Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation Authority (Organ
and Tissue Authority) is a non-corporate Commonwealth entity which was established
in 2009 to:
...save and improve the lives of more Australians through
optimising every potential organ and tissue donation for transplantation,
through a nationally coordinated and consistent approach and system.
The Organ and Tissue Authority reported that in 2016 '1447 lives were
saved or transformed through the generosity of 503 deceased organ donors and
Compared to the previous year, the Organ and Tissue Authority stated that there
was a 17 per cent increased in the number of transplant recipients, and a 16
per cent increase in the number of deceased organ donors.
For 2016–17, the Organ and Tissue Authority utilised
eight performance criteria, of which it met three and partially met five.
Criteria met included target rates of organ donations from deceased persons, and
the conduct of community awareness and education initiatives. Criteria partially
met included the rate of organ transplant recipients from deceased donors, and the
rate of families' consent to organ and tissue donation.
As at 30 June 2017, the Organ and Tissue Authority employed 27.4
full-time-equivalent staff. Fifty six per cent of staff were employed at an
Australian Public Services classification of Executive Level 1 or Executive
Level 2, the majority of whom were based in Canberra.
In 2016–17, the Organ and Tissue Authority: administered expenses
totalling $43.77 million; received revenue of $5.53 million; held a net asset
position of $2.20 million; and achieved an operating surplus of $0.15 million
(prior to depreciation, amortisation, and asset revaluation).
The committee considered that the Organ and Tissue Authority's annual
report for 2016–17 was of a high-standard and purposefully highlighted the
activities undertaken in support of organ and tissue donations and
Cancer Australia is a non-corporate Commonwealth entity established
under the Cancer Australia Act 2006 with a purpose to:
[m]inimise the impact of cancer, address disparities, and
improve the health outcomes of people affected by cancer in Australia by
providing national leadership in cancer control.
In 2016–2017, Cancer Australia reported on three program objectives of:
providing leadership in national cancer control and promoting appropriate
cancer care; funding priority research and strengthening national data
capacity; and promoting cancer awareness and providing information about cancer
to the community. 
Cancer Australia met all references points and targets for each of its programs.
Cancer Australia's 2016–2017 departmental expenses were $12.78 million
and administered expenses were $17.01 million.
Three new consultancy contracts were entered into during the reporting period
which cost a total of $0.3 million, and there were five ongoing consultancy
contracts with actual expenditure of $0.8 million.
In collaboration with six other funding partners, Cancer Australia jointly
provided $12.5 million in grants for cancer research through the
Priority-driven Collaborative Cancer Research Scheme.
The committee welcomed the substantive information that Cancer Australia included
within its financial statements, as this additional information assisted in
making the statements more informative and transparent.
The committee considers that Cancer Australia's 2016–2017 annual report is
of an apparently satisfactory standard, and is in accordance with the
requirements of the PGPA Rule.
Australian Radiation and Protection and Nuclear Safety
The Australian Radiation and Protection and
Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) is established under the Australian
Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Act 1998 to 'protect the Australian
people and environment from the effects of radiation.'
In 2016–17, ARPANSA reported against 23 targets, 14 of which were met
and nine which were considered 'partially met, criterion changed or removed'.
ARPANSA reported that it experienced several challenges during the reporting
period, such as: managing efficiency dividends and staffing levels; an
unsuccessful enterprise bargaining attempt; and stakeholder engagement in
relation to the national radioactive waste management facility.
The committee notes ARPANSA's reporting on the projects and activities it undertook
to improve its performance.
The committee welcomed ARPANSA's use of case studies to report on the
unique work it undertook in 2016–17, including: the Personal Radiation
Monitoring Service to measure any occupation radiation Australian workers may
maintaining a network of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) sensors and publishing
near real-time UVR data to 'assist in reducing the impact and burden of disease
caused by over-exposure to solar UVR';
and participation in an international nuclear emergency exercise which provided
an opportunity to test Australia's whole-of-government response to a severe
nuclear accident scenario.
ARPANSA reported on its responsibility for licensing the radiation
sources and sites of Commonwealth entities and stated that it had been made
aware of two breaches with significant safety implications, and eight breaches with
minor or no safety implications.
For 2016–17, ARPANSA's revenue was $24.4 million of which 53 per cent
was appropriated by government and 47 per cent was from own-source activities.
ARPANSA reported expenses totalling $27.9 million, and a deficit of $3.5
million due to the 'rectification and remediation of a legacy radiation site
and the settlement of litigation.'
The committee considers ARPANSA's annual report to be of a satisfactory
Social Services Portfolio
The committee was referred the 2016–17 annual reports of the National Disability
Insurance Agency (NDIA) and Australian Institute of Family Studies. The
committee selected the NDIA's annual report to examine in further detail.
National Disability Insurance
The NDIA is a corporate Commonwealth entity established under the National
Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 to implement the National Disability
Insurance Scheme (scheme). Following a three-year trial of the scheme from
2013, the NDIA commenced transition to a full roll-out of the scheme on 1 July
2016. The scheme is anticipated to be fully implemented by mid-2020 and fund
disability supports for an estimated 460 000 participants.
The NDIA's 2016–17 annual report presented significant achievements across
the reporting period, including: an additional 60 357 participants entering the
scheme with approved support plans and raising the number of scheme participants
to 90 638; the collection of baseline measures from 98 per cent of participants
to allow for assessment of the scheme's benefits for participants; and support
for small businesses with individuals and small traders making up over 40 per
cent of the scheme's providers.
The Scheme Actuary, Ms Sarah Johnson, reported on several pressures on
the scheme that 'require management responses', including: more children
entering the scheme with complex needs than initially estimated; lower than
expected number of people exiting the scheme; and higher than expected costs
for shared support accommodation.
Whilst not a requirement under the PGPA Rules, the committee encourages the
NDIA to consider if noting its response to the pressures on the scheme would enhance
the completeness of its reporting.
The NDIA reported on its actual costs by program, as follows:
- Program 1.1: Reasonable and necessary care and support for
participants—$2243.2 million, including $2238.2 million of participant plan
expenses and $5 million for impairment expenses;
- Program 1.2: Community inclusion and capacity development grants—$33.5
- Program 1.3: Agency costs—$574.4 million in operating expenses,
including $125.7 million in community partnership costs and $5.6 million in
The committee notes that for 2016–17, the NDIA reduced the ratio of its operating
expenses to scheme cost to 25.9 per cent, a decrease from a ratio of 33.3 per
cent in the previous year. The NDIA 'ended 2016–17 with an operating surplus of
In the committee's first report on annual reports for 2017, the
committee noted reports from other government entities that made
recommendations relevant to the work of the NDIA and encouraged the NDIA to
note those reports in its annual reports.
The committee welcomed the information included in the NDIA's 2016–17 report which
examined relevant reports of external government entities.
The committee notes the NDIA's 2016–17 annual report was well-presented and
provided extensive and important information regarding the scheme's operations
and the NDIA's performance across the reporting period. The committee considers
that the NDIA's report is satisfactory.
Human Services Portfolio
The committee was referred the 2016–17 annual report of Australian
Hearing for examination and the committee chose to consider that report in
Australian Hearing is a corporate Commonwealth entity established under
the Australian Hearing Services Act 1991 to 'deliver a positive impact
on the hearing impaired through effective and accessible hearing services,
quality clinical care and excellence in client service.'
In 2016–17, Australian Hearing provided 557 531 hearing services to its
clients, inclusive of: 69 806 services to 29 683 young Australians under the
aged of 21; 8732 services to 4079 to young adults aged between 21 and 26; and 58
837 services to over 24 605 adults with complex hearing needs.
Australian Hearing visited 238 Indigenous and Torres Strait Island sites
in 2016–17 and saw an additional 15.6 per of adults, and 4.7 per cent more children
and young adults under the age of 26, compared to the 2015–16 reporting period.
Australian Hearing reported against six activity categories, for which it
achieved all targeted results. Highlights of Australian Hearing's performance included:
the provision of 390 722 services to voucher holders and the opening of 11 new
permanent hearing centres.
Out of the 12 performance criteria used by Australian Hearing in 2016–17, 11 of
the criteria were met and one criterion was substantially met.
Total revenue achieved by Australian Hearing in 2016–17 was $255.3
million, which represented a 4.8 per cent increase over the previous year. Australian
Hearing's earnings before depreciation, amortisation and tax were $38.6
million, and a before tax profit of $32 million was achieved. Australian
Hearing reported capital expenditure for 2016–17 of $13.7 million, and stated that
it 'continued to invest in remote services, new hearing centres and technology
to support business efficiencies.'
The committee commends Australian Hearing on its 2016–17 annual report
and notes the clear presentation of its achievements in the delivery of hearing
Senator Slade Brockman
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