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Output Group 3

3.1 : Policy Advice and Legislation, Ministerial Services

Performance indicators

3.1 Policy Advice and Legislation,
Ministerial Services

Quality: Ministers and Ministers' Offices satisfied with the quality of policy advice and legislation development, and Department meets standards for policy advice, legislation and Ministerial services.

Target: 95 per cent level of satisfaction.

Improvement in cooperative work and action across agencies.

Results based on performance indicators


In 200102 the Ministerial Offices recorded a 98.9 per cent level of satisfaction with the various types of advice sent to them. This represents an improvement over the previous years level of 96.7 per cent satisfaction. Because responses are recorded against Divisions it is not possible to provide specific data on a Key Result. A breakdown of these figures can be found in Part 5 Management and Accountability.

The Department has provided the Minister with consistent high quality briefing material in relation to a diverse range of issues of concern and/or relevance to local government. Some of these issues include:

  • local government financial assistance grants issues
  • community issues including aged care services and rural health
  • constitutional recognition of local government
  • coastal management and protection programmes
  • environmental management
  • fire and emergency services
  • the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality
  • the Natural Heritage Trust-phase 2
  • petrol pricing differentials
  • State legislative requirements
  • regional economic development and regional development policy
  • regional development support structures and project funding
  • regional development identity and status with Government.

High quality briefing material has also been provided to the Minister for his meetings with peak associations and industry bodies such as the:

  • Australian Local Government Association
  • Housing Industry Association
  • Planning Institute of Australia.
Cooperation between the Commonwealth and local government has been improved by the following initiatives.
  • The Division convened for the Minister a highly successful Local Government Associations Roundtable. The Minister had the opportunity to meet elected local representatives and hear their views directly. The Minister announced that he would make the Roundtable an annual event to promote regular dialogue and to assist in developing future policy initiatives.
  • A National Framework for Women in Local Government was developed to promote, facilitate and advise on the development of strategies for the greater participation of women in local government. The Framework has been formally endorsed by the local government sector.

The very nature of the issues of relevance and concern to local government requires both intra-portfolio and inter-portfolio dialogue and cooperation. Strong relationships have been developed and are maintained with Environment Australia and the Commonwealth Departments of Family and Community Services; Health and Ageing; Industry, Science and Tourism; and Prime Minister and Cabinet.

The Planning and Environment Unit within the Department cooperates effectively with Environment Australia on a range of environmental issues and programmes including the Environment Resource Officers' network located in the Local Government Associations and the National Local Leaders in Sustainability Forum. The Unit acts as the secretariat of the Development Assessment Forum and promotes portfolio interests with the Planning Official Group.

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3.2 : Services to Local Governments

Performance indicators

3.2 Services to Local Governments

Quality: Department ensures that funding recipients meet terms and conditions of funding. Where appropriate, stakeholder satisfaction with programmes.

Administration of programmes in accordance with legislation, Government policy, and Departmental standards.

Improved cross-portfolio and jurisdictional cooperation.

Results based on performance indicators


The Department is responsible for 24 quarterly payments made to four Australian Capital Territory Government agencies to cover Commonwealth contributions to the following six institutions and activities:

  • French-Australia School
  • International Baccalaureate
  • correspondence courses for children of diplomatic staff
  • Sidney Nolan Gallery
  • registration of diplomatic vehicles
  • registration of births, deaths and marriages for diplomatic staff.

The services all relate to the national presence in the Australian Capital Territory.

The Commonwealth contributions to Australian Capital Territory agencies emanate from diverse arrangements ranging from an international treaty through memorandums of understanding to exchanges of letters between senior officials. The ACT (Self-Government) Act 1988 provides the basis for Commonwealth involvement.

Departmental standards are followed in respect of these agency payments.

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