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Appendix 13 : Staffing Overview


This appendix presents an overview of the Department's staffing and employment policies and practices during 1998-99 including workplace diversity, equal employment opportunity (EEO), the 'Results through People' approach and the Senior Executive Service (SES).

During 1998-99 the Department spent $2.2 million on people development activities. This includes funding for the Secretary's Development Fund, an initiative introduced during 'Investor in People' (IiP) implementation. A total of $55 000 is available from the Fund for allocation in each of two rounds per year for development opportunities that are not catered for elsewhere. These include early completion of studies in the Department's approved areas of study and mobility placements. In 1998-99, $79 800 was spent in this way. The people development total expenditure for 1998-99 also includes, for the first time, the cost of all development activities which are funded centrally by Corporate Division and delivered internally (such as training in meeting the Department's obligations in relation to its service charter). Such activities cost $296 300 in 1998-99. The total number of development days undertaken by staff was 3262, an average of 3.9 days per person.

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Tables in this appendix display an overview of demographics in the Department. All statistics included in the tables were measured at 30 June 1999.

  • Table A13.1 Actual permanent and temporary full-time and part-time staff by gender
  • Table A13.2 Actual staff by classification group and location
  • Table A13.3 Benchmarking EEO representation
  • Table A13.4 EEO groups by classification for permanent actual positions, including inoperatives
  • Table A13.5 EEO groups within occupational groups for permanent actual positions, including inoperatives
  • Table A13.6 Nominal operative Senior Executive Service officers and mobility


As indicated in Table A13.1 the Department employed 829 staff at 30 June 1999, an increase of 66 from 30 June 1998. This was due to the net effect of recruitment, separation and staffing changes as a result of Administrative Arrangements Orders of 21 October 1998.

The Department in 1998-99 gained the Maritime function from the Department of Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business, and several regional and rural functions from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (AFFA).

There were 66 temporary staff in the Department at 30 June 1999, an increase of 28 from the previous year. The representation of women increased from 38.1 per cent in 1997-98 to just over 40.4 per cent in 1998-99.

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Men 451 4 28 2 485
Women 284 24 32 4 344
Total 735 28 60 6 829

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Staff by classification and location

Of the 829 people in the Department, 786 (95 per cent) were located in the Australian Capital Territory. The remaining five per cent were located elsewhere in Australia, their work involving aviation security or air safety investigation, and administering the Indian Ocean Territories. Table A13.2 shows detailed figures.

The most notable change in classification groups or work levels was at the Executive level, which increased by 42 people. This was due to recruitment and the gain of Maritime and people from AFFA. The change to an eight-level structure on 31 December 1998 means that a direct comparison between 1997-98 and 1998-99 is not possible. However, a retrospective analysis indicates that there were only minor changes in these groups between these two periods.


Location APS L1-4 APS L5-6 GAPS ASI L1 ASI L2-4 Exec 1 Exec 2 SES Total
ACT 188 212 17 10 30 161 130 38 786
QLD 1 2 5 1 9
NSW 1 2 2 1 6
VIC 1 0 2 1 4
SA 0 1 1 2
WA 3 5 3 1 12
Other 6 3 1 10
Total 200 225 17 10 39 168 132 38 829


APS L1-4 Australian Public Service Levels 1 to 4
APS L5-6 Australian Public Service Levels 5 and 6
GAPS Graduate Australian Public Service
ASI L1 Air Safety Investigator Level 1
ASI L2-4 Air Safety Investigator Levels 2 to 4
Exec 1 Executive Level 1
Exec 2 Executive Level 2
SES Senior Executive Service

Note: Totals by classification may be slightly overstated as two occupants are counted against a position where an officer was acting on higher duties and the nominal occupant was still in the position.

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Table A13.3 presents the EEO figures of the Department against the Australian Public Service (APS) average. The tables in this and the following EEO section are for permanent staff and include inoperatives, and therefore are not directly comparable with the figures in the earlier tables in this appendix. However, they are comparable with tables in Public Service and Merit Protection Commission publications.

While the representation of women has increased in the Department over the year, it is still approximately eight percentage points lower than the APS average. Non-English-speaking representation is the closest EEO group to that of the APS average, at only two percentage points lower. Representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is more than two percentage points lower, while representation of people with a disability is around half the APS figure.

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Target group DOTARS % APS Average %
Women 40.4 48.3
Non-English-speaking background 18.1 19.9
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders 0.1 2.7
People with a disability 2.9 6.0

At 30 June 1999 the Department held EEO data on 91.4 per cent of its people, the same proportion as at 30 June 1998. Of the group who volunteered information, representation of people with a disability remained unchanged at 2.9 per cent, while representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and people from non-English-speaking backgrounds (NESB) decreased slightly.

Table A13.4 details the various EEO groups against classifications. Over the year, the percentage of women at the Executive Level 1 group increased by over eight percentage points. The overall representation of NESB people fell from 20 per cent to 18.1 per cent. However, there were some notable changes within the classifications, for example, the combined NESB representation in the APS Level 2 group fell by 15 per cent-though there were small increases in the APS Levels 3 and 4 groups. Two of the three Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people left the Department. Among people with a disability, there was no change overall, though some small variation within classifications.

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All staff Staff who have volunteered
EEO information
Salary Range Men Women Total(1) NESB 1 NESB 2 ATSI PWD Total(2)
APS Level 1 2 3 5 2 1 5
40.0% 60.0% 40.0% 20.0% 100.0%
APS Level 2 21 29 50 4 6 4 45
42.0% 58.0% 8.9% 13.3% 8.9% 90.0%
APS Level 3 21 41 62 5 11 1 55
33.9% 66.1% 9.1% 20.0% 1.8% 88.7%
APS Level 4 23 45 68 6 9 1 1 61
33.8% 66.2% 9.8% 14.8% 1.6% 1.6% 89.7%
APS Level 5 32 46 78 4 10 1 71
41.0% 59.0% 5.6% 14.1% 1.4% 91.0%
APS Level 6 95 54 149 11 14 2 130
63.8% 36.2% 8.5% 10.8% 1.5% 87.2%
Exec Level 1 103 61 164 7 14 5 153
62.8% 37.2% 4.6% 9.2% 3.3% 93.3%
Exec Level 2/ASI Level 2 and 3 142 31 173 5 17 4 162
82.1% 17.9% 3.1% 10.5% 2.5% 93.6%
SES/ASI Level 4 33 10 43 1 5 2 42
76.7% 23.3% 2.4% 11.9% 4.8% 97.7%
Total 472 320 792 45 86 1 21 724
59.6% 40.4% 100% 6.2% 11.9% 0.1% 2.9% 91.4%


NESB 1 - Non-English-speaking background, first generation
NESB 2 - Non-English-speaking background, second generation
ATSI - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders
PWD - People with a disability
ASI L2-4 - Air Safety Investigator Levels 2 to 4
(1) Total number of permanent actual staff in the Department including inoperatives. Gender percentages relate to this total.
(2) Total number of staff who volunteered EEO information. Percentages of EEO groups relate to this total.

Table A13.5 demonstrates EEO groups against departmental total figures for the SES, administrative officers and professional officers.

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All staff

Staff who have volunteered
EEO information

Group Men Women Total(1) NESB 1 NESB 2 ATSI PWD Total (2)
SES 31 10 41 1 5 - 2 40
75.6% 24.4% 2.5% 12.5% 5.0% 97.6%
ADMIN 393 307 700 43 79 1 18 636
56.1% 43.9% 6.8% 12.4% 0.2% 2.8% 90.9%
PROF 48 3 51 1 2 - 1 48
94.1% 5.9% 2.1% 4.2% 2.1% 94.1%
Total 472 320 792 45 86 1 21 724
59.6% 40.4% 100% 6.2% 11.9% 0.1% 2.9% 91.4%


NESB 1 - Non-English-speaking background, first generation
NESB 2 - Non-English-speaking background, second generation
ATSI - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders
PWD - People with a disability
(1) Total number of permanent actual staff in the Department including inoperatives. Gender percentages relate to this total.
(2) Total staff who volunteered EEO information. Percentages of EEO groups relate to this total.

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The number of SES staff in the Department is shown in Table A13.6, including staff who joined and left the Department during the year. The number is not the same as in Table A13.2 because that table includes people acting in the SES as well as permanent officers. Three of the six SES officers who joined the Department were transfers resulting from the Administrative Arrangements Orders of 21 October 1998, and one SES officer transferred to another agency.

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Gains Losses
Nominal Class Women Men Total Women Men Women Men
SES B1 9 15 24 3 1 1 2
SES B2 1 7 8 2 2
SES B3 2 2
Total 10 24 34 3 3 1 4

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'Results through People' is the Department's approach to helping staff achieve and maintain effective performance in meeting corporate objectives. It is based on providing opportunities for people to realise their potential and aspirations.

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Investor in People

During 1998-99, the Department used the IiP framework as an independent assessment of the performance system that links the individual's work plan ('Plan on a Page') to group business plans, the Corporate Plan, and Portfolio Budget Statements. The Department was accredited as an 'Investor in People' in April 1999-the largest and most complex organisation outside the United Kingdom to achieve the prestigious international IiP standard.

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Performance Exchange

The lynchpin of the performance system is the Performance Exchange, which consists of biannual meetings at which each team leader and team member agree on expectations of key tasks for the next six months, and on the performance of tasks in the previous six months. The tasks are determined in light of the Corporate Plan and relevant business plan, and development activities are aligned to the Secretary's annual Statement of Skills. The tasks are summarised in the 'Plan on a Page'. The Performance Exchange is also the forum for identifying future development needs, for evaluating development activities undertaken in the previous period and for an exchange of views about the working relationship between supervisors and subordinates.

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'Results through People'

The various elements of 'Results through People' were brought together in December 1998 with the launch of the Department's employee folder, which features:

  • the Corporate Plan;
  • an individual's 'Plan on a Page' and relevant Business Plan;
  • various 'linking' documents (notably 'Linking People with Business', which articulates the principles of the Department's approach to performance and guidelines for dealing with ineffective performance); and
  • a people charter and a service charter.

Development of the 'Linking People with Business' policy drew on information from the May 1998 staff survey and from other less formal feedback mechanisms, all of which reinforced the view that the departmental culture was averse to scores and ratings being linked not only to performance feedback but also to remuneration.

Accordingly, there is no direct link between performance feedback and remuneration, other than supervisors being mindful of 'Plan on a Page' performance when considering incremental advancement for staff not already at the top of their pay scale.

'Linking People with Business' also articulates the rights of staff to open, honest and regular performance feedback, and supervisor responsibility to provide that feedback. In recognition of the difficulty that many people have providing constructive upward or downward feedback, the Department offers performance exchange workshops to build confidence among team members and supervisors in using that important skill. The Department views direct, one-on-one oral feedback as the basic building block for its performance system.


The Department's inaugural Workplace Diversity Program, Encouraging WISDOM, was launched in November 1998. It aims to achieve a quality workplace that is equitable, safe and socially responsible, and that allows people to balance work with private responsibilities.

The program has four objectives:

  • to attract a diverse range of people to work in the Department;
  • to encourage employees to develop their diverse skills in order to realise and contribute to their maximum potential;
  • to recognise and make use of the diverse skills, cultural values and backgrounds of its people; and
  • to ensure workplace structures, systems and procedures recognise the diverse circumstances of employees and assist them to balance work and personal lives.

The Workplace Diversity Program goes beyond the EEO concept by encouraging diversity in people to improve productivity and results. A workplace diversity initiatives implementation team is now responsible for developing and coordinating the implementation of the initiatives outlined in the Program. Achievements include:

  • recruitment and training of Workplace Diversity and Harassment Contact Officers;
  • promotion of diversity in performance exchange processes and development activities;
  • inclusion of vacancy notices on the departmental website; and
  • support for language tuition and cross-cultural learning in the departmental Studybank guidelines.

Workplace diversity initiatives commenced in 1998-99 include:

  • development of an exit survey to provide feedback on the reasons people move within and/or leave the Department;
  • development of guidelines encouraging a harassment-free workplace;
  • development of a promotional pamphlet; and
  • promotion of cultural activities and development opportunities.

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