Annual Report
2013–14

Governance

The Governance Group provides support services for government operations as well as official and ceremonial support. It also provides the Department’s key enabling functions.

The Group comprises five Divisions:

  • Government Division
  • Ministerial Support Division
  • Cabinet Division
  • Corporate Services Division
  • G20 Operations Division

The Cabinet Implementation Unit is a separate unit within the group.

Highlights 2013–14

This year we supported the Prime Minister, the Cabinet, Cabinet committees, and our Portfolio Ministers and the Parliamentary Secretaries, and governance arrangements in the Department by:

  • supporting the swearing in of the Second Rudd Ministry on 1 July 2013
  • providing advice to departments and agencies about the caretaker conventions, in the context of the 2013 election
  • supporting the transition to the incoming Government in September 2013, including the appointment and swearing in of the Ministry
  • facilitating the reinstatement of appointments of Knights and Dames of the Order of Australia
  • supporting the work of the Interdepartmental Committee on Intercountry Adoption that reported to the Prime Minister with options for implementing reform within Australia to improve intercountry adoption
  • assisting with the establishment of the Royal Commission into the Home Insulation Program, and the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption
  • supporting the arrangements for the appointment of the Governor-General, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd)
  • preparing 199 speeches for the Prime Minister, other Ministers, and the Executive, 813 written messages, and 86 video messages
  • receiving, registering, tracking, analysing and actioning 121,825 items of ministerial correspondence and coordinating 3,807 briefs for the Prime Minister and our Portfolio Ministers
  • providing, through the Cabinet Secretariat, strong support and guidance to the incoming Government and Cabinet Secretary
  • supporting the Cabinet and its sub-committees and providing secretariat support to the Federal Executive Council
  • managing processes to aid the decision-making role of Cabinet and monitor the implementation of Cabinet decisions
  • compiling a report on the Government’s first 100 days in office, covering 32 Government commitments, actions taken and delivery status (available at www.pmc.gov.au/first-100-days-government)
  • conducting 24 sessions on implementation planning to more than 350 participants across 22 departments and agencies
  • reviewing proposals developed for the 2014–15 Budget to reduce implementation risk and other delivery issues.

Figure 2.3 KPIs for the Governance Group

Governance Group Met
High-quality, relevant and timely advice and support to the Prime Minister, the Cabinet and Cabinet committee chairs, Portfolio Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries based on an objective and thorough understanding of issues and whole of government perspective.
Regular, timely and collaborative communication and cooperation with other central agencies, portfolio departments and other key stakeholders.
Advice and support for key stakeholders for state occasions, official visits, operations of the Prime Minister’s official establishments and former Governors-General that is timely, relevant and of high-quality.
Successfully advance Australia’s interests through the G20.

Government Division

The Government Division is responsible for advice and support on the machinery of government and for providing advice on public sector governance across the Australian Public Service. The Division advises the Prime Minister, Portfolio Ministers and the Parliamentary Secretaries on the Government’s legislation programme, parliamentary matters, ministerial arrangements, public service matters, legal and constitutional policy matters and related legislation, royal commissions and Australian honours and symbols policy.

Parliamentary and Government Matters

Following the swearing in of the Hon Kevin Rudd MP as Prime Minister on 27 June 2013, the Department supported the Prime Minister in the establishment of the Second Rudd Ministry, including a swearing in ceremony on 1 July 2013.

On 4 August 2013, the Prime Minister announced that the Governor-General had agreed to an election for the House of Representatives and half of the Senate to be held on 7 September 2013. The House was dissolved on 5 August 2013. Consistent with longstanding practice and our roles, we provided advice to other departments and agencies about the caretaker conventions in the context of the 2013 election.

Following the election, we supported the arrangements for the appointment and swearing in of the Abbott Ministry.

We also supported the appointment and swearing in of the Governor-General, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd).

We provided support to the Prime Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries to the Prime Minister, the Leaders of the House and the Senate, and the Managers of Government Business in the Senate in coordinating the former and current Government’s legislation programme, including preparation of material for meetings of the Parliamentary Business Committee. We also supported the approval of legislation for introduction in the Parliament.

We managed the Canada–Australia Public Policy Initiative (CAPPI) which included the policy dialogue between senior Australian and Canadian officials. This meeting is known as the CAPPI Retreat and was held on 23–24 January 2014 in Sydney. The Secretary led an Australian delegation of the Australian Public Service Commissioner, eleven Departmental Secretaries, and an Associate Secretary. Discussion covered public policy areas of mutual interest, including Indigenous Affairs and public service matters. The CAPPI Retreat, part of the broader CAPPI policy programme, has further deepened the strong bilateral relationship between Canada and Australia.

In July 2013 we supported a delegation of Departmental Secretaries to attend the third Australia–Singapore Public Service Roundtable in Singapore. Discussions at the Roundtable focused on a number of areas, including supporting mutual areas of policy interest between the two public services.

We also managed the implementation of changes to the Lobbying Code of Conduct, in which individuals who seek registration on the Register of Lobbyists will now be required to declare that they are not members of a state or federal political party executive, state executive or administrative committee (or the equivalent body).

Legal Policy Matters

We coordinated and progressed the portfolio’s legislation programme, provided legal policy advice to government, and provided administration and support relating to the Ombudsman Act 1976.

We assisted with the establishment of the Royal Commission into Home Insulation Program and the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption. We also provided advice to government in relation to these Royal Commissions and the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

The Department chaired an Interdepartmental Committee on Intercountry Adoption that reported to the Prime Minister in April 2014 with options for implementing reform to improve intercountry adoption. The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) in May 2014 agreed in principle to the Commonwealth delivering a new national overseas adoption service from 2015.

Legal Proceedings

We continued our involvement in the discovery process relating to the Commonwealth in Spencer v Commonwealth of Australia & Anor (ACD24/2007), and we continue to coordinate, on behalf of the Department, responses to discovery orders and other compulsory notices to produce.

We have also assisted with the Department’s response to a summons to produce documents and information relevant to the Royal Commission into Home Insulation Program.

Freedom of Information (FOI) Applications

We coordinated the processing of FOI applications to the Department and Portfolio Ministers and provided advice to FOI decision-makers for these applications. We also coordinated FOI consultation requests from other agencies, particularly concerning the Cabinet document exemption.

The Department and portfolio Ministers received 277 new FOI requests in 2013–14 and notified 146 access decisions, with 71 per cent of decisions notified within the statutory deadlines under the Freedom of Information Act 1982. In 2013–14 documents released in 23 FOI access decisions were posted to the Department’s disclosure log. Figure 2.4 contains further statistics on FOI requests and performance.

Figure 2.4 Freedom of information requests and performance

FOI requests handled 2011–12 2012–13 2013–14
Requests on hand at 1 July 55 35 22
New requests received 208 138 277
Requests withdrawn 78 42 61
Requests transferred to other agencies 21 21 24
Access decision notified 129 88 146
Timeliness of responses
Percentage of access decisions notified within statutory deadlines 75% 90% 71%

Australian Honours and Symbols

On 19 March 2014, on the Prime Minister’s recommendation, Her Majesty The Queen approved amendments to the Letters Patent for the Order of Australia to reinstate appointments of Knights and Dames of the Order of Australia.

Under the Letters Patent for the Order of Australia, the Governor-General is the Principal Knight or Dame (as the case may be).

On 9 June 2014 it was announced that Her Excellency Professor the Hon Dame Marie Bashir AD CVO was appointed a Dame of the Order of Australia.

During the year we provided advice to Portfolio Ministers on the operation of Australia’s honours system and supported the Commonwealth’s ex-officio members on the Council for the Order of Australia, the Australian Bravery Decorations Council and the National Emergency Medal Committee.

We also provided secretariat services to the committees which consider honours to public servants, such as the Public Service Medal, facilitating the announcement of:

  • fourteen Commonwealth recipients of the Public Service Medal in the Australia Day 2014 honours list on 26 January 2014
  • twelve Commonwealth recipients of the Public Service Medal in the Queen’s Birthday 2014 honours list on 9 June 2014.

The Australian honours website (www.itsanhonour.gov.au) continued to be a source of news and information about honours to approximately 400,000 visitors.

We also arranged 11,820 congratulatory messages from the Prime Minister to Australians celebrating significant birthdays and wedding anniversaries. From 12 May 2014 the format of the Prime Minister’s messages changed from a letter to a four-panel card with personalised certificate.

We provided information and advice about national symbols, including the Australian National Flag and the Australian National Anthem, including through the website (www.itsanhonour.gov.au). We distributed 23 flag notices to subscribers to the Commonwealth Flag Network, providing advice on special occasions about the flying of the Australian National Flag, the Australian Aboriginal Flag and the Torres Strait Islander Flag.

During the year we provided advice on the appropriate use of the Commonwealth Coat of Arms, including approval for its use in educational material or for teams representing Australia in international competitions, and to government agencies on the Australian Government Branding Design Guidelines.

We approved 163 requests for design approval of the Australian National Flag on items for import in 2013–14. This was done in accordance with the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956.

National Australia Day Council

The National Australia Day Council (NADC) is a Commonwealth owned, not-for-profit company within the Prime Minister’s portfolio, and reported accordingly in 2013–14. NADC promotes the meaning of, and participation in, Australia Day and the Australian of the Year Awards. More information about NADC can be found on the National Australia Day Council website (www.australiaday.org.au).

In 2013–14 the Government provided $3.4 million to NADC, administered through PM&C. NADC performed effectively during the year and provided acceptable financial, audit and progress reports on its funded activities within the timeframes stipulated in the grant funding provisions.

Ministerial Support Division

The Ministerial Support Division coordinates the delivery of departmental services to the Prime Minister and Portfolio Ministers. Key functions include managing the delivery of briefing and correspondence; providing support to ministerial offices; providing communications support including for media liaison for official visits and for the delivery of Indigenous programmes; providing support for the State Occasions and Official Visits Program; supporting the operations of the Prime Minister’s official residences and former Governors-General; and managing PM&Cs internal governance arrangements.

Following machinery of government changes in September 2013, the Division expanded into four branches and gained staff from six different agencies to handle the additional workload as a result of these changes.

Key activities in the early part of the year involved responding to the change of Prime Minister from the Hon Julia Gillard MP to the Hon Kevin Rudd MP, and the subsequent appointment of the Hon Tony Abbott MP as Prime Minister following the September 2013 Federal election. Since September the focus has been on establishing Ministerial Support Division’s new structure and operations, supporting the Prime Minister and the Portfolio Ministers’ offices, as well as providing an expanded range of services to stakeholders.

Communications and Governance

We provided communications support to PM&C and its Portfolio Ministers.

Specific functions included:

  • media liaison to support the guests of government programme
  • communications advice to support policy and programme areas of the Department, including taskforces
  • internal communications support across the Department, including internal newsletters, intranet and website support, style guides, branding and graphic design support
  • drafting of speeches and talking points to support the Department’s Portfolio Ministers in their portfolio activities and the Secretary
  • communications and community engagement support to the Department’s Indigenous Affairs policies and programmes, including community development employment projects and the promotion of reconciliation
  • providing communications support for the Department’s G20 Taskforce and its communications activities at a national and international level.

We also supported the Department’s internal governance arrangements through ongoing work in the areas of audit, fraud, risk and internal governance. For more information on these functions refer also to Part 3: Management and accountability.

Ministerial and Parliamentary Support

We continued to facilitate and coordinate all correspondence, briefings and parliamentary items between our Portfolio Ministers’ offices and the Department. We provided support to the Prime Minister’s office throughout the return of former Prime Minister Rudd in late June and the election of Prime Minister Abbott in September 2013.

The volume of correspondence and briefs remained high throughout the year while the volume of parliamentary items, particularly parliamentary questions on notice (written questions directed to Ministers by members of the Parliament) and Senate estimates questions on notice, increased greatly.

We managed the operations of the Prime Minister’s official residences: The Lodge in Canberra and Kirribilli House in Sydney. We also provided administrative support for former Governors-General.

From late January until his swearing in on 28 March 2014, we supported General Peter Cosgrove AC MC (Retd) as the Governor-General Designate.

Figure 2.5 Performance relating to processed correspondence and parliamentary questions

Correspondence and parliamentary questions 2011–12 2012–13 2013–14
Correspondence processed
Number of items 155,000 194,024 121,825
Questions on Notice (QON) handled
Questions on hand at 1 July 5 34 16
New questions received 1 90 50 239
Questions transferred to other Ministers 15 3 3
Responses to questions lodged 77 34 137
Questions Withdrawn / Lapsed 0 0 1
Average response time for House of Representatives questions (days)2 51 66 58
Average response time for Senate questions (days)2 37 50 62
Numbers of Senate Estimates questions on notice 2012 2013 2014
AE - Additional Estimates (February) 100 74 288
BE - Budget Estimates (May) 125 98 425
SBE - Supplementary Budget Estimates (October/November) 125 374 N/A3

Notes:

1 Questions directed to PM&C Portfolio Ministers are included only where PM&C supported the Minister in relation to the matter raised in the QON and supported the Minister in responding to the question.

2 Average number of days, for relevant responses, between questions being asked and responses being lodged.

3 N/A for SBE 2014. The estimates round occurred in 2014-15.

4 This figure was reported incorrectly in the 2012–13 PM&C Annual Report due to an administrative error.

The correct figure is three (3), as reported above.

Ceremonial and Hospitality Support

We provided high-level support for major events, such as guest of government visits, ceremonies and state occasions, and coordinated the logistical arrangements for overseas visits by the Prime Minister.

During 2013–14 we provided essential logistical and administrative support:

  • to the Prime Minister to undertake 12 overseas visits to 14 nations, including three by former Prime Minister Rudd and nine by Prime Minister Abbott
  • by coordinating a range of State occasions and official hospitality events around Australia including State Funerals and Memorial Services.

We planned and coordinated 12 official visits overseas for the Prime Minister, including:

  • Indonesia (4–6 July 2013)
  • Papua New Guinea (14–15 July 2013)
  • Afghanistan (26–28 July 2013)
  • Indonesia (30 September–1 October 2013)
  • Indonesia (APEC–Bali) and Brunei Darussalam (EAS) (6–10 October 2013)
  • Afghanistan and the United Arab Emirates (27–30 October 2013)
  • Sri Lanka (CHOGM) (14–18 November 2013)
  • South Africa (Nelson Mandela State Memorial Service) (9–11 December 2013)
  • Switzerland (World Economic Forum, Davos) (19–25 January 2014)
  • Papua New Guinea (20–23 March 2014)
  • Japan, South Korea and China (5–13 April 2014)
  • Indonesia, France, Canada and the United States of America (4–16 June 2014).

We arranged and facilitated 13 guest of government visits to Australia. These included Royal, State, Head of Government and ministerial level visits and included official hospitality.

Visits under the guest of government programme in 2013–14 included:

  • His Royal Highness Prince Henry of Wales, Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
  • Heads of State of Timor-Leste and Singapore
  • Heads of Government of New Zealand and Malaysia
  • His Excellency Professor Dr Boediono, Vice President of the Republic of Indonesia
  • Daw Aung San Suu Kyi AC, Chairperson, National League for Democracy, Burma
  • His Excellency Le Luong Minh, Secretary-General, ASEAN
  • His Excellency Mr Han Zheng, Member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and Party Secretary of CPC Shanghai Municipal Committee
  • Ministers from Malaysia and Vietnam.

Other major events we coordinated in 2013–14 included:

  • State Funerals for the Honourable David Thomson MC (Canberra, 4 November 2013), the Honourable Warwick Parer (Brisbane, 21 March 2014), Mr Brian Harradine (Tasmania, 23 April 2014) and State Memorial Services for the Honourable Michael Hodgman AM QC (Tasmania, 3 July 2013), the Honourable Arthur Gietzelt AO (Sydney, 6 February 2014)
  • COAG Meetings (Canberra, 13 December 2013 and 2 May 2014)
  • the PM’s XI Cricket Match (Canberra, 14 January 2014)
  • morning tea in honour of the National Finalists for the Australian of the Year Awards 2014 (Canberra, 25 January 2014) and an Australia Day Reception (Canberra, 26 January 2014)
  • farewell to the former Governor-General, the Honourable Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO and Mr Michael Bryce AM AE (Canberra, 25 and 26 March 2014)
  • swearing-in of His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd) as the new Governor-General (28 March 2014).

Figure 2.6 Summary of ceremonial and hospitality services

Services 2011–12 2012–13 2013–14
Prime Ministers’1 overseas visits
Visits made 8 9 12
Nations visited2 11 11 14
Total duration of visits (whole or part days) 42 40 60
Official visits to Australia by guests of the Australian Government
Heads of State 7 6 2
Heads of Government 8 4 1
Ministers 11 18 2
Other guests3 6 11 8
Total visits excluding airport visitations 32 39 13
Airport facilitations4 170 110 152
Events
State funerals 3 2 3
State memorial services 1 2 2
Additional events 25 29 26
Total events 29 33 31

Notes:

1 Includes overseas visits for former Prime Minister the Hon Kevin Rudd MP, and Prime Minister the Hon Tony Abbott MP.

2 Nations may be visited more than once in a given year.

3 Guests include visitors who are royalty but are not Heads of State.

4 Airport facilitation involved coordinating airport and border control procedures for and greeting, Heads of State and Heads of Government on private or transit visits on their international arrival and departure. The facilitation is undertaken by part-time visit consultants.

Royal Visit to Australia by Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge April 2014

Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge arrived in Australia on Wednesday 16 April 2014.

They attended a range of official engagements in Sydney and the Blue Mountains including the Royal Easter Show, before a day trip to Queensland where they visited the RAAF Base Amberley, attended a reception co-hosted by the Governor and the Premier of Queensland, followed by a street walk with members of the public.

Their Royal Highnesses and Prince George also visited Taronga Zoo while in Sydney, where they unveiled a plaque renaming the Australian Nightlife Exhibit, ‘The Prince George Bilby Exhibit’.

Their Royal Highnesses travelled to Yulara and visited Uluru, where they attended the Cultural Centre, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, meeting with artists and viewing demonstrations of local artwork and artefacts. After spending the night in Uluru, they travelled to Adelaide and met young musicians and performers, viewed a skateboarding display at Northern Sound System facilities and then attended a reception co-hosted by the Governor and Acting Premier of South Australia.

The final leg of the trip centred around Canberra. Their Royal Highnesses planted an English Oak tree at the National Arboretum and attended a reception hosted by the Prime Minister and Mrs Abbott in the Great Hall of Parliament House, before visiting the National Portrait Gallery of Australia where they met artists and sitters. The Governor-General and Lady Cosgrove hosted a reception for them at Government House.

Their Royal Highnesses concluded their Royal Visit to Australia with a visit to the Australian War Memorial by attending both the Dawn Service and ANZAC Day National Ceremony. After laying floral tributes on the Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier in the Hall of Memory and placing a poppy on the Honour Roll, Their Royal Highnesses planted a tree in the grounds of the Australian War Memorial. This Aleppo Pine (pinus halepensis) was grown from a seed taken from the Lone Pine tree that was planted in the grounds of the Australian War Memorial on 24 October 1934 by HRH the Duke of Gloucester KG PC KT KP GCVO.

During the visit tens of thousands of Australians took the opportunity to warmly welcome and catch a glimpse of the Royal couple at their various events.

The Ceremonial and Hospitality Branch in PM&C coordinated the programme and logistical arrangements for the Royal Visit. At key events throughout the Canberra programme they were also assisted by their colleagues in the Ministerial Support Division and the Department’s graduates.

a photograph of their Royal Highnesses place a floral tribute at the foot of the Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier at the Australian War Memorial on ANZAC Day

Photo 2.6 Their Royal Highnesses place a floral tribute at the foot of the Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier at the Australian War Memorial on ANZAC Day.

a photograph of Their Royal Highnesses place a poppy on the Roll of Honour at the Australian War Memorial on ANZAC Day

Photo 2.5 Their Royal Highnesses place a poppy on the Roll of Honour at the Australian War Memorial on ANZAC Day.

Cabinet Division

During 2013–14 the Cabinet Division provided high-quality and timely support to the Cabinet and its Committees for both the Rudd and Abbott Governments.

We also supported, through the Federal Executive Council Secretariat, the two Governors-General that held office during 2013–14. The Federal Executive Council met 21 times in 2013–14.

During the caretaker period, the Cabinet Secretariat provided written advice and guidance on the security, handling and destruction procedures of Cabinet documents held by Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries, departments and agencies. Immediately following the 2013 election, the Cabinet Secretariat provided stocktake reports of all Cabinet documents held by outgoing Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries and their departments during the life of the previous government. Assurances were sought from all departing Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries and departments that all previous government Cabinet documents had been destroyed in accordance with Cabinet protocols and the Cabinet Handbook.

The Cabinet Secretariat provided support to the incoming government through the transition period on Cabinet procedures, handling and security protocols for the distribution and handling of classified material and provided training on the use of the secure electronic database CABNET. Ongoing training and support is provided to Ministers’ offices in relation to Cabinet processes and CABNET which has assisted in ensuring a smooth transition.

There were 137 Cabinet and Committee meetings held in 2013–14, of which nine were held interstate. In addition, the Secretariat provided support for 24 meetings of the Secretaries Committee on National Security.

The Cabinet Secretariat also provided advice on Freedom of Information applications for Cabinet-related documentation.

Figure 2.7 Services to the Cabinet and other decision makers

Services 2011–12 2012–13 2013–14
Meetings held by the Cabinet and its committees in Canberra / Cabinet and committee meetings held outside Canberra
Cabinet 50 / 2 40 / 2 35 / 3
National Security Committee 27 / 0 19 / 0 41 / 2
Other Cabinet committees1 113 / 4 86 / 3 52 / 4
Total meetings held by the Cabinet and its committees 196 150 137
Percentage of Cabinet Minutes released within 24 hours / 48 hours of meeting
Cabinet 73 / 95 61 / 88 68 / 89
National Security Committee 38 / 82 35 / 68 26 / 50
All other committees 42 / 74 40 / 63 19 / 38
Other indicators of Cabinet workload
Cabinet documents lodged 491 596 464
Cabinet minutes recorded 1,524 1,260 808
Other meetings
Secretaries’ Committee on National Security 19 18 24
Support for the Governor-General in the Federal Executive Council
Meetings held 22 25 21
Papers considered 585 555 412
Availability of papers two working days before meeting 98.5% 89.6% 89.3%

Note:

1 The 2011–12 figure includes two Ministry and 18 Parliamentary Business Committee meetings; and the 2012–13 figure includes two Ministry and 16 Parliamentary Business Committee meetings. All meetings were held in Canberra.

Corporate Services Division

The Corporate Services Division provides the key enabling functions to the Department, comprising financial management; business services; information services; and people, capability and performance.

A key focus during 2013–14 has been contributing to the integration of the Department following the machinery of government changes of September 2013. This included transferring 1,800 new employees from across nine agencies onto one information technology system and one human resource information system while supporting business continuity and disaster recovery, establishing video-conferencing capacity across relevant sites, co-locating employees from over 125 locations together into common offices across Australia, negotiating funding transfer from several different departments, and integrating the financial management and operations of the transferred functions.

Further information on the functions of the Division is available in the management and accountability section at Part 3 of this report.

Cabinet Implementation Unit

The Cabinet Implementation Unit (CIU) provides advice to all departments on implementation and delivery of policy initiatives. This includes providing the Prime Minister and the Cabinet with regular progress reports and working collaboratively across Government to ensure key decisions are able to be implemented on time, on budget and to the Government’s expectations.

During 2013–14, we continued to work with departments and agencies to monitor progress and challenges in delivering policies and programmes.

In December 2013 we compiled The First 100 Days of Government report, in consultation with all relevant departments (refer www.pm.gov.au/first-100-days-government). This report covered 32 activities the Government committed to addressing in its first 100 days in office, and outlined actions taken and delivery status.

Our proactive engagement with departments and agencies was continued by providing direct support to 50 implementation plans, including 14 major cross portfolio implementation planning exercises.

We continued to work with departments to promulgate implementation best practice and sharing implementation and delivery expertise and skills across the APS. This included hosting 24 sessions on implementation planning (of both policy and programme initiatives) to more than 350 participants across 22 departments and agencies. During this time, we also expanded readership of our Implementation Matters newsletter to over 700 regular subscribers.

During the year we shared expertise in implementation through collaboration with departments and agencies on complex implementation challenges. We continued to use a ‘hub and spokes’ model to connect departments and agencies to examples of good practice and to people with expertise in delivering similar programs, either by directly linking different areas together or by engaging the collective expertise of the programme managers’ community of practice.

We supported two meetings of the Commonwealth, State and Territory Implementation Network, where officials from first ministers’ departments discussed the successes and challenges in implementation and delivery of complex government activities. The CIU also supported four meetings of the Australian Public Service Policy Implementation Network (APS PIN), a Deputy Secretary-level meeting with representatives from Australian Government departments. The network is designed to facilitate the sharing and discussion of live implementation challenges, and lessons learnt across government.

The CIU also made presentations to visiting official delegations from Pakistan, Vietnam and Indonesia to convey Australia’s experience and capability in the implementation and delivery of government policies and programmes. These activities have enabled CIU to facilitate stronger connections between agencies and governments; have allowed us to share lessons learnt and expertise; and has resulted in higher quality implementation of Government initiatives.