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                    [post_date] => 2017-10-09 07:05:34
                    [post_date_gmt] => 2017-10-08 20:05:34
                    [post_content] => 

The Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) has published a report on ‘Measuring infrastructure asset performance and customer satisfaction: A review of existing frameworks’.

“Well-managed, modern and functioning infrastructure underpins much of Australia’s economic prosperity, “ said BITRE’s head Dr Gary Dolman, releasing the report.

“Services provided by roads, rail, ports, telecommunications networks and energy infrastructure are essential inputs into the activities of most Australian businesses. Infrastructure performance therefore has implications beyond the infrastructure sector.

“Yet current infrastructure performance measures often reflect the priorities of infrastructure owners and/ or operators rather than those of customers, and therefore may overlook the changing needs of customers.”

The report was prepared with from the Better Infrastructure Initiative (BII) at the John Grill Centre for Project Leadership at the University of Sydney, which has been undertaking research into how to manage Australia’s infrastructure assets for long-term efficiency gains.

It provides a review of existing infrastructure performance measures and performance measurement frameworks in Australia and elsewhere, and how customer preferences might be better incorporated to improve the long-term efficiency of operation of Australia’s infrastructure assets.

“While some infrastructure asset types, namely public roads and airports, have made significant progress in performance measurement, for others there is a dearth of information or public engagement,” said Dr Dolman.

“The patchwork approach that has resulted means that Australia may be missing out on the potential benefits of consistent and widespread performance measurement: improved accountability, incentivised performance, and better performance evaluation.

“This report introduces and explores many of the issues surrounding infrastructure performance measurement that should be considered in the context of providing greater consistency across infrastructure asset types.”

The report is available (PDF) here.

Originally established as the Bureau of Transport Economics in 1970, BITRE) provides economic analysis, research and statistics on infrastructure, transport and regional development issues to inform Australian Government policy development and wider community understanding.

It is contained within the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development. It employs 30 staff, mostly economists, statisticians, modellers, social researchers and policy analysts.
                    [post_title] => How to measure infrastructure
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                    [post_date] => 2017-10-05 10:14:21
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                    [post_content] => 

The Federal Government’s Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) has called for feedback on ways to improve its Digital Service Standard.

The 13 point Standard was released 18 months ago. It is intended as a guide to help Government agencies ensure they build digital services that are “simple, clear and fast.” It has also been informally adopted by a number of state government agencies.

The DTA said in a statement announcing the call for comment that the Standard has been working well for some agencies, but that “for other agencies it’s a bit more difficult.

“We want to know what’s working well, what’s not so great and what barriers agencies may come across when they’re trying to use that Standard.”

Feedback can be submitted through the DTA’s website here. The DTA will also be conducting research interviews with a range of agencies and people who have used the Standard.

The Standard was adapted from a similar 18 point set of guidelines in use in the UK Government (the Digital by Default Service Standard). It provides a range of principles that agencies should follow as the implement the digital delivery of their services.

The DTA has built a series of detailed guides and handbooks to implementing the Standard, outlining a Discovery, and Alpha and a Beta stage. These include metrics to enable agencies to measure the effectiveness of their digital service delivery.

The 13 points:
  1. Understand user needs: Research to develop a deep knowledge of the users and their context for the service.
  2. Establish a sustainable multidisciplinary team to design, build, operate and iterate the service, led by an experienced product manager with decision-making responsibility.
  3. Design and build the service using the service design and delivery process, taking an agile and user-centred approach.
  4. Understand the tools and systems required to build, host, operate and measure the service and how to adopt, adapt or procure them.
  5. Make it secure: Identify the data and information the service will use or create. Put appropriate legal, privacy and security measures in place.
  6. Consistent and responsive design: Build the service with responsive design methods using common design patterns and the style guide.
  7. Build using open standards and common government platforms where appropriate.
  8. Make all new source code open by default.
  9. Ensure the service is accessible to all users regardless of their ability and environment.
  10. Test the service from end to end, in an environment that replicates the live version.
  11. Measure performance against KPIs set out in the guides. Report on public dashboard.
  12. Don’t forget the non-digital experience: Ensure that people who use the digital service can also use the other available channels if needed, without repetition or confusion.
  13. Encourage everyone to use the digital service and consolidate or phase out existing alternative channels where appropriate.
[post_title] => DTA calls for input on new Standard [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => dta-calls-input-new-standard [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-10-06 10:26:39 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-10-05 23:26:39 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=28180 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 28105 [post_author] => 670 [post_date] => 2017-09-25 12:54:21 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-09-25 02:54:21 [post_content] => A new report from the University of Technology Sydney’s Centre for Local Government (UTS CLG) explores the role of local government involvement in local and regional economic development strategies. The report highlights the varying roles and levels of engagement that councils play in regards to leadership, organisation and delivery of local and regional economic development in Australia. “The principle that economic development is a co-responsibility tends to be accepted by all tiers of governments and social and economic actors. However, how this translates into practice remains ambiguous and contested,” said Professor Lee Pugalis, co-author of the report. The promotion of economic development is a relatively recent feature of the activity of local government in Australia. “There is huge diversity of economic development roles across the landscape of local government. For the majority of councils it remains an ‘additional’ rather than ‘general’ function, although this can often downplay their positive role in local and regional economic development,” said Professor Roberta Ryan, director of UTS CLG. “This research has brought to the forefront the importance of internal and external perceptions and how these shape the role of councils in economic development.” Each tier of government is involved in promoting economic development, although in distinct ways that do not necessarily complement one another. The report’s findings support a strong case for advocating the involvement of all tiers of government in the pursuit of local and regional economic development. “The local government sector has an important role to play in promoting economic development, but one that evades a singular model. This poses a distinct challenge to higher tiers of government in terms of how they interface with specific councils as well as how councils interface with their stakeholders,” said Professor Pugalis. The report provides local governments and their stakeholders with research and evidence to help them to better understand regional and local economic development in Australia, and how it can be improved. You can download The Role of Local Government in Local and Regional Economic Development report here.     [post_title] => Local government and economic development [post_excerpt] => New report highlights importance of local government in local and regional economic development. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => local-government-economic-development [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-09-25 13:18:19 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-09-25 03:18:19 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://governmentnews.com.au/?p=28105 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 28087 [post_author] => 670 [post_date] => 2017-09-22 09:40:49 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-09-21 23:40:49 [post_content] => The Western Australian Government has moved to reduce large compensation payouts for senior bureaucrats when a contract is brought to an early end. The Public Sector Commissioner has decided to apply a new approach when determining compensation payments. Currently, senior members of the public service may seek a compensation payment of up to 12 months' remuneration, which includes salary, motor vehicle allowances and superannuation. Under the new policy, in operation from 1 September 2017, compensation payments will be applied on the basis of four months' remuneration for each full year of the contract remaining, up to a maximum of 12 months. Further legislative changes will also limit the maximum compensation payment when officers' contracts are brought to an early end, to 12 months' salary rather than remuneration. If this approach had been applied to Senior Executive Service officers since March 2017, the total compensation costs would have been reduced by about 41 per cent. As part of the government's workforce reform, legislation will be introduced to also remove the existing 'right of return' provision available to Senior Executive Service officers appointed under the Public Sector Management Act 1994 and health executives appointed under the Health Services Act 2016. Following the enactment of the legislation, a six-month transition period will be in place, enabling officers to exercise their right to return to a permanent tenure if they wish to do so. WA Premier Mark McGowan said: “A number of people leave the public service for various reasons. While there is an initial cost that the state government is trying to reduce, there is also long-term savings.”   [post_title] => WA to cut back SES payouts, benefits [post_excerpt] => New approach to reduce large compensation payments to WA's most senior bureaucrats. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => wa-cut-back-payouts-benefits-senior-bureaucrats [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-09-22 09:42:26 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-09-21 23:42:26 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://governmentnews.com.au/?p=28087 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27993 [post_author] => 670 [post_date] => 2017-09-11 12:56:20 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-09-11 02:56:20 [post_content] => City of Darebin council in the northern suburbs of Melbourne is implementing business process management software to enhance the council’s focus on improved frontline customer service. The City of Darebin has a population of more than 150,000. The council’s full-time employees are responsible for providing a broad range of services to the community, including street lighting and signage, waste collection, maintenance of parks and sporting facilities. The move follows a comprehensive review by the council of customer service team processes as part of a customer service model review to ensure that policies and procedures relevant to customer queries are close at hand. At the same time, the council wants to provide an easy and fast way for staff to access a central repository of everyday processes. The cloud-based software will enable the organisation to map, review and improve processes on an ongoing basis, providing a faster, smarter way to deliver a range of appropriate and well-planned services. Coordinator of council planning and performance, civic governance and performance Jim Barrett at the City of Darebin said: “The software will assist in supporting the council’s strategic framework for planning and document integration. At the same time, it will play a pivotal role in enabling us to maintain a high level of governance across the entire organisation. “These processes involve many forms and include applications such as planning permits and waste bin replacements, which individually can be complex procedures and involve several departments within the council.” It will also enable the council to measure and demonstrate process efficiencies following rate capping. “We came across the Promapp system through our council colleagues in the local government sector and also appreciated the benefit of access to its local government shared process library that will enable us to share knowledge and learn from the experience of other councils throughout Australia and New Zealand,” said Mr Barrett. The cloud-based process library includes over 2,500 processes developed and shared by councils and includes processes for activities such as building consents, resource consents, wastewater management, environmental health and environmental monitoring. “The software will easily integrate with our existing intranet and we'll be able to embed it ad hoc within specific processes for different policies as they are developed in the years ahead,” said Mr Barrett. “The council plans to use lean management methodologies as part of our deployment to analyse and improve processes on an ongoing basis. The result for council residents is that they will see consistency in messaging with faster, more accurate service,” said Mr Barrett.   [post_title] => City of Darebin to boost customer service [post_excerpt] => City of Darebin is implementing business process management to enhance its focus on customer service. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => city-darebin-boost-customer-service [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-09-11 12:56:20 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-09-11 02:56:20 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://governmentnews.com.au/?p=27993 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [5] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27956 [post_author] => 670 [post_date] => 2017-09-04 16:05:10 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-09-04 06:05:10 [post_content] => Each year on Equal Pay Day, politicians boast about (or denigrate, depending on their political persuasion and position in parliament) the progress made towards bridging the gender pay gap and undertake to continue efforts to ensure women are equal in the workforce. This year, the Minister for Women, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, said it was encouraging that the gender pay gap narrowed further over the last twelve months, with latest figures showing it has fallen from 16.3 per cent to 15.3 per cent. “The further reduction in the gender pay gap demonstrates the Turnbull Government’s policies to assist women breakdown barriers in the workforce are delivering results, yet, I remain acutely aware that more work needs to be done,” Minister Cash said. Senator Cash then proceeded to list the government’s programs, for example that in July 2017 the Turnbull Government launched Towards 2025, an Australian Government strategy to boost women’s workforce participation that outlined the government’s roadmap to reduce the gender participation gap by 25 per cent by 2025. The strategy detailed actions the government was planning to take to address some of the drivers of pay inequity in Australia, including for flexible work, childcare costs and early education. “By boosting workforce participation of women we can further close the gender pay gap, raise living standards across the board and secure Australia’s future prosperity,” Minister Cash said. The programs include:
  • Funding new child care and early learning reforms, which are estimated to encourage more than 230,000 families increase their workforce participation.
  • Expanding the ParentsNext pre-employment program, which helps parents of young children plan and prepare for work by connecting them with services in their local community.
  • Implementing the Australian Public Service Gender Equality Strategy, which requires every agency to set targets for gender equality in leadership positions and boost gender equality more broadly.
  • Investing $13 million over five years in getting more women into science, technology, engineering and maths under the National Innovation and Science Agenda.
  • Setting a target of women holding 50 per cent of government board positions overall and strengthening the BoardLink program.
  • Partnering with businesses to support women into leadership positions through scholarships provided by the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
  • Continuing funding the Workplace Gender Equality Agency.
The opposition disagrees Labor said today’s Equal Pay Day marks the 66th extra day since the end of the financial year that women must work to earn the same as men. Shadow Minister For Education and Shadow Minister For Women The Hon Tanya Plibersek MP said in a statement: “For 20 years, there has been no real progress reducing gender pay inequity in Australia. And earlier this year, a Federal Government agency told Parliament that Australia is 50 years away from closing the pay gap. “A recent Senate Inquiry, led by Labor Senator Jenny McAllister, found Australia needed a national policy framework to achieve gender pay equity. “Instead, the government has thrown his full support behind cuts to penalty rates, which have been proven to have a disproportionate impact on women.” (Such as childcare workers, earning on average $21 per hour.)     [post_title] => How far have we come on Equal Pay? [post_excerpt] => Equal Pay Day was on Monday - what have we achieved? [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => far-come-equal-pay [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-09-04 16:11:24 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-09-04 06:11:24 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://governmentnews.com.au/?p=27956 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [6] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27912 [post_author] => 670 [post_date] => 2017-08-28 15:12:56 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-08-28 05:12:56 [post_content] => Michael Aaron For a technology that started out as the basis of cryptocurrency, blockchain has evolved to be so much more. Today, blockchain is poised to disrupt the way dozens of industries are operating, and set to revolutionise the public sector. Indeed, nine in ten government organisations globally plan to invest in blockchain for use in financial transaction management, asset management, contract management and regulatory compliance by 2018, and here in Australia, the trajectory looks similar. Last year, Data61 and Australian government agencies announced that they are undertaking a detailed study to determine what blockchain could all mean for both government and industry. The review will look to provide practical use cases where blockchain technology could be piloted in government services and the private sector, such as sharable registry information, verifiable supply chains and assessment of aggregate risk exposure in the financial services sector. Blockchain is a distributed database that can be used by individuals who want to complete transactions involving multiple parties. Large organisations can use it to collaborate across multiple organisational silos. Large, cross-industry ecosystems may want to use blockchain to handle complex transactions across multiple jurisdictions, and governments may want to use blockchain to help their citizens or in the delivery of new government applications. Trust has never been more important for governments in Australia and around the world. Globalisation means that governments need to find ways to expand the economy, and new ways to improve citizen engagement and accountability. The integration of blockchain technology into government activities will help local, state and federal governments move past a lack of trust, providing transparency for transactions. Ledgers have been used for centuries by governments and businesses to keep account of assets and liabilities, property, records and relevant transactions. But traditionally, ledgers were private and guarded, seen only by an internal few, or auditors. Blockchain takes this old and simple concept and takes it to a new level. Simply put, blockchain acts as a distributed open ledger that can be used to register and record property transactions, healthcare initiatives to track medical records, citizen services and much more. Day-to-day, blockchain can also help government processes and purchases more efficient, reducing the chances of fraud and error. In Australia, private sector organisations are already looking to blockchains as a potential new disruptor. For example, Agricultural technology business AgriDigital, executed the world’s first live settlement of the sale of an agricultural commodity on a blockchain with the sale of 23.46 tonnes of grain in central NSW. Australia Post, announced last year that it was looking at a blockchain technology project for the storing of digital identities, while AGL Energy will test how using blockchain technology could allow households to trade surplus energy from their rooftop solar panels. This initiative will also involve IBM and distributed energy advisers Marchment Hill Consulting and it is hoped it will highlight the regulatory and system changes needed to make the market work effectively, the value in peer-to-peer energy markets, as well as how blockchain technology can be leveraged to make it more effective. Because participants in a transaction on a blockchain have access to the same records, there is no need for third-party intermediaries to validate transactions or verify identities or ownership. Business licenses, property titles, vehicle registrations and other records could all be shifted to blockchains, freeing citizens from the need for lawyers, notaries and trips to government offices to certify that transactions are legal. Additionally, with blockchain consumers, business partners and government groups alike could know with certainty how things are made, stored, transported and sold – whether those assurances relate to child labor, materials or the environment. In a recent global study by IBM’s Institute for Business Value (IBV) and the Economist Intelligence Unit, it was found that government organisations around the world are prioritising blockchain to help reduce innovation roadblocks and inaccurate or incomplete information across their organisations. The results of the study show:
  • Seven in ten government executives predict blockchain will significantly disrupt the area of contract management, which is often the intersection of the public and private sectors
  • 14% of 'trailblazer' government institutions expect to have blockchain in production at scale by 2017, and are utilising blockchain to help reduce time, cost and risk in regulatory compliance, contract engagement, identity management and citizen services.
  • Six in ten governments recognise regulatory constraints as the greatest barrier to the adoption of blockchains, followed closely by what they perceive as immature technology and lack of executive buy-in
The study also found that Asia Pacific is setting the pace of adoption along with Western Europe, with North America trailing. But unlike Western Europe (which ranked 'financial transaction management' as the top area for new business models) and North America, (which focused on the potential of 'borderless services'), Asia Pacific governments expected 'citizen services' to be the area that delivered the greatest innovation through blockchain. Countries in the Asia Pacific region, including Australia, are set to be among the first to really grasp blockchain technology, with the government agencies taking on the technology. This could potentially see these governments begin to make transactions that in the past, they wouldn’t have – this comes down to blockchain addressing the lack of trust issue. Disruption, especially in bureaucratic institutions is rare. Decades later, even the Internet hasn’t drastically changed how governments operate and rarely do they compete in personalized citizen services. That could change as blockchains evolve to bring closer collaboration among citizens and government institutions. Open data (e.g. data that helps pinpoint the optimal location for a new retailer or record soil conditions for farmers) is arguably among a government’s greatest assets. As the societal value from that data grows, government organisations will need to ensure that their data is easily accessible, free to use and available in a consumable format. Likewise, institutions will need to take greater safeguards to protect that data from cyber-attacks. Open data on blockchains meets these imperatives, and can help governments become open governments. Through blockchain technology, government will be better able perform its dual role of facilitating the business innovation of citizens and, at the same time, co-creating better services for citizens, founded on openness and trust. Michael Aaron is the Blockchain leader at IBM.     [post_title] => Blockchain: from e-government to open government [post_excerpt] => The blockchain is set to revolutionise the public sector and disrupt the way dozens of industries are operating. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => blockchain-e-government-open-government [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-08-28 15:17:31 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-08-28 05:17:31 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://governmentnews.com.au/?p=27912 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [7] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27847 [post_author] => 670 [post_date] => 2017-08-17 16:27:31 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-08-17 06:27:31 [post_content] => The Federal Government has released a consultation paper that outlines the government’s proposal to create a Modern Slavery in Supply Chains Reporting Requirement. This will require large corporations and other entities operating in Australia to publish annual statements outlining their actions to address slavery. Responding to exploitation in supply chains is a key focus of Australia’s National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking and Slavery 2015-19. Consistent with this focus, the National Roundtable established an expert Supply Chains Working Group to bring together relevant stakeholders from business, civil society and government agencies. This working group subsequently recommended that government introduce a modern slavery in supply chains reporting requirement. The proposed reporting requirement will support the business community to respond more effectively to modern slavery. It will raise business awareness of this issue, create a level playing field for businesses to share information about what they are doing to eliminate modern slavery, and encourage businesses to use their market influence to improve workplace standards and practices. The proposed reporting requirement will also improve information available to consumers and investors about modern slavery. The Attorney-General’s Department will lead a national consultation process to refine the Government’s proposed model. This consultation process will provide an important opportunity for the business community and civil society to help design a reporting requirement that is simple, sensible and as effective as possible. It will also ensure that the proposed reporting requirement reflects community expectations. Consultation paper available now The consultation paper outlines the Australian government’s proposed model for a Modern Slavery in Supply Chains Reporting Requirement. The proposed reporting requirement will require large corporations and other entities operating in Australia to publish annual statements outlining their actions to address modern slavery in their operations and supply chains. Key elements of the Government’s proposal include the following:
  • The introduction of a requirement to produce an annual Modern Slavery Statement.
  • The reporting requirement would be applicable to a range of entities:
    • with a proposed revenue threshold no lower than $100 million total annual revenue, and
    • headquartered in Australia or that have any part of their operations in Australia.
  • Entities will be required to report on their actions to address modern slavery in both their operations and supply chains (including beyond first tier suppliers).
  • Entities will be required to report, at a minimum, against four criteria (which cover the optional criteria set out in the UK Modern Slavery Act):
    • the entity’s structure, its operations and its supply chains;
    • the modern slavery risks present in the entity’s operations and supply chains;
    • the entity’s policies and processes to address modern slavery in its operations and supply chains and their effectiveness (such as codes of conduct, supplier contract terms and training for staff), and
    • the entity’s due diligence processes relating to modern slavery in its operations and supply chains and their effectiveness.
  • Modern Slavery Statements would need to be approved at board level and be signed by a director.
  • Entities would be required to publish their Modern Slavery Statement within five months after the end of the Australian financial year.
  • Entities would be required to publish their Modern Slavery Statement on their websites, with the Government also proposing a publicly accessible central repository.
  • Punitive penalties for non-compliance are not proposed but options for oversight are being considered.
  • The Government will provide guidance and awareness-raising materials for business.
The Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department will lead a national consultation process with business and civil society to refine the Government’s proposed model over August – December 2017. Submissions for the consultation will close on 20 October 2017. [post_title] => Federal Government to target modern slavery [post_excerpt] => A consultation paper outlines the government’s Modern Slavery in Supply Chains Reporting Requirement. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => federal-government-target-modern-slavery [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-08-17 19:12:05 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-08-17 09:12:05 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://governmentnews.com.au/?p=27847 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [8] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27828 [post_author] => 670 [post_date] => 2017-08-14 14:43:08 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-08-14 04:43:08 [post_content] => The Federal Government announced in the 2017-18 Budget context a number of initiatives to encourage the continued development of the SII market in Australia, including funding of $30 million. By pure coincidence, the Government also gifted $30m to Foxtel. The difference between this and Foxtel’s $30m is that Foxtel will get it over two years, while SII will have to wait ten years - Ed. The government’s package includes funding of $30 million over ten years, the release of a set of principles to guide the Australian government’s involvement in the SII market, and notes that the government will continue to separately consider ways to reduce regulatory barriers inhibiting the growth of the SII market. Social Impact Investing, the government says, is an emerging, outcomes‑based approach that brings together governments, service providers, investors and communities to tackle a range of policy (social and environmental) issues. It provides governments with an alternative mechanism to address social and environmental issues whilst also leveraging government and private sector capital, building a stronger culture of robust evaluation and evidenced-based decision making, and creating a heightened focus on outcomes. It is important to note that social impact investing is not suitable for funding every type of Australian government outcome. Rather, it provides an alternative opportunity to address problems where existing policy interventions and service delivery are not achieving the desired outcomes. Determining whether these opportunities exist is a key step in deciding whether social impact investing might be suitable for delivering better outcomes for the government and community. Government agencies involved in social impact investments should also ensure they have the capability (e.g. contract and relationship management skills, and access to data and analytic capability) to manage that investment. The principles The principles (available in full here) acknowledge that social impact investing can take many forms, including but not limited to, Payment by Results contracts, outcomes-focused grants, and debt and equity financing. The principles reflect the role of the Australian Government as an enabler and developer of this nascent market. They acknowledge that as a new approach, adjustments may be needed. They also acknowledge and encourage the continued involvement of the community and private sector in developing this market, with the aim of ensuring that the market can become sustainable into the future. Finally, the principles are not limited by geographical or sectoral boundaries. They can be considered in any circumstance where the Australian Government seeks to increase and leverage stakeholder interest in achieving improved social and environmental outcomes (where those outcomes can be financial, but are also non‑financial). Accordingly, where the Australian Government is involved in social impact investments, it should take into account the following principles:
  1. Government as market enabler and developer.
  2. Value for money.
  3. Robust outcomes-based measurement and evaluation.
  4. Fair sharing of risk and return.
  5. Outcomes that align with the Australian Government’s policy priorities.
  6. Co-design.
[caption id="attachment_27829" align="alignnone" width="216"] The Australian Government's six principles for social impact investing.[/caption]   [post_title] => Social Impact Investing to get $30m [post_excerpt] => The Federal Government has announced a number of initiatives to encourage Social Impact Investing. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => 27828 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-08-14 14:46:58 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-08-14 04:46:58 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://governmentnews.com.au/?p=27828 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [9] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27811 [post_author] => 670 [post_date] => 2017-08-14 12:55:26 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-08-14 02:55:26 [post_content] => Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) president Mayor David O’Loughlin writes that the waste fiasco exposed in the ABC Four Corners report is a complex issue that will have wide-ranging implications for local governments. For those of us who care about the environment and the efficient recycling of Australia's household and industrial waste, the ABC's Four Corners program was troubling. The factors behind the mess Four Corners exposed on Monday may be complex – but we can play a powerful role in fixing them, if we choose to. Four Corners' revelations will undermine the public's confidence in Australia’s waste management systems and, in turn, confidence in their local Council and the amount of rates they are paying for recycling services. We know, however, that the vast majority of Local Governments across Australia manage their waste collection and recycling operations professionally and in an environmentally sustainable manner, after sustained improvements in policy and practice over decades. We also know that Australia's waste management system is subject to market forces, private practice and regulation that is outside the control of our sector, with cross-border differences exacerbating local issues. What also appears to be common is a failure of other levels of governments to effectively patrol the beat - to identify, penalise and stamp out individuals or companies conducting illegal dumping or other practices that undermine the industry as a whole. And, as the Four Corners program showed, the indiscriminate imposition or removal of state landfill levies create disincentives for recycling, and encourages illegal dumping. State government-imposed levies were originally well intended: to support recycling, to reduce waste going to landfills, to remediate landfill sites, and to educate consumers. Some of this has happened, but there is much more to do and the funds appear to be more and more difficult to access to achieve this. In the absence of sufficient leadership or discipline by others, how can Local Government get the results our communities increasingly expect and demand? We may not have regulatory powers, but what we do have is procurement power. Waste management is one of our largest areas of contracted services. We spend vast amounts of money in this area and we can choose how we spend it and who we spend it with. We can also choose our contract conditions, and how we will enforce those contract conditions. As a client, we can insist on the right to inspect and audit the services we contract, to confirm they are receiving and recycling as contracted, as we are paying them to do, and as we have told our communities we are doing on their behalf. The control and enforcement of our contracted services can be in our hands, if we choose it to be. In addition, if the issue is a lack of market demand for recycled products, or products containing recycled material, our procurement powers can also be used to choose and purchase these products in preference to others. In doing so we will be making a clear statement that we want to create a sustainable destination for recyclables - and that we are prepared to trial them, to use them, and to preference them. Sustainable and valuable recycling requires a circular economy. If we want the supply side to work, we should step up and be part of the demand side. As an elected member, if you care about recycling, have you checked your Council’s procurement policies? Have you asked if your road building specifications state a preference for recycled material, including glass and construction waste? Or that your posts, fences and benches should use recycled plastics? Are your paper sources all recycled? Are you prepared to ask your Council to trial new products to help create new markets? As per my recent column, ALGA will continue to do all we can on the national front to improve results, to better design product stewardship schemes and to keep Local Government at the table as part of the solution. You can do your part locally by checking your contracts, your reporting and enforcement practices, and by ensuring your procurement policies help and don't hinder the use of recyclables. In doing so, you should ask if your own Council would survive the level of scrutiny we witnessed on the television. Let's aim to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. [post_title] => The waste problem is a problem for all [post_excerpt] => The waste fiasco exposed in the Four Corners report will have wide-ranging implications for local governments. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => waste-is-all-our-problem [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-08-14 14:05:07 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-08-14 04:05:07 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://governmentnews.com.au/?p=27811 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [10] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27743 [post_author] => 670 [post_date] => 2017-08-02 14:33:30 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-08-02 04:33:30 [post_content] => Andrew Hudson The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Peter Dutton used his opening address at the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIPB) Industry Summit on Monday morning (31 July 2017) to assure those in the private supply chain and their clients that the current work agenda would be maintained under the proposed Home Affairs department. Along with the Acting Commissioner of the Australian Border Force (ABF), Minister Dutton reiterated that the ABF would continue in its traditional ‘Customs’ role and the ABF, as part of the DIBP, would also continue its vital engagement with industry and development of trade facilitation measures to assist in the legitimate trade in goods and movement in people. At the time of the announcement of the creation of the new Department of Home Affairs (DHA), the focus of the commentary was on national and border security issues with no comment on the traditional ‘Customs’ role of the ABF or its ongoing engagement with industry and the facilitation of international trade at the border. Naturally, there were some concerns that the failure to address these important roles could mean that the importance of those roles was being downgraded and that momentum on various initiatives here and overseas could be lost with an increased focus on security and intervention in trade. Both speakers made the point that the involvement of the ABF with the DHA would allow the ABF to have access to additional information at an earlier stage than is presently the case, which would actually enhance the ability of the ABF to carry out its roles. These outcomes were all consistent with the theme of the industry summit being “Border Innovation: strengthening our nation’s economy, security and society.” In terms of the work of the DIBP and the ABF in the engagement with industry in relation to the movement of goods, there was reference to recent achievements and future commitments with such initiatives as:
  • The creation of a ‘single window’ for trade such as in Singapore and New Zealand.
  • The expansion of the Australian Trusted Trader Program (ATTP).
  • The recent completion of four Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRA) with other customs services for those in the ATTP.
  • The promise of more MRA with customs services in other trading partners.
  • The development and implementation of Free Trade Agreements (FTA) to improve the use of those current and future FTAs by the adoption of robust Rules of Origin, enhanced border clearance facilitation.
  • The increased use of more advance technology and reporting systems.
There were similar references to commitments in the migration space as relating to the movement of persons. The comments provide a degree of assurance to industry that the current work agenda would be maintained and developed and that the engagement with industry remained a priority. While the reference to the achievements and initiative represents only a reiteration of those developments currently known to industry, their clear support from the Federal Government filled in a gap in the story that arose with the announcements relating to the DHA. Industry looks forward to continued engagement on these projects and its ongoing collaborative work with government, whether the DIBP, the ABF or other agencies that have a role at the border. Andrew Hudson is Partner with Rigby Cooke Lawyers’ Litigation Team, specialising in all areas of trade including international trade conventions, dispute resolution and arbitration, trade financing options, commodity and freight contracts as well as dealing with regulation of the movement of goods at the border by all Government agencies. He is also a member of many of the consultative bodies established by Government in the trade space, including the National Committee on Trade Facilitation convened by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and the International Trade Remedies Forum convened by the Anti - Dumping Commission (ADC) as well as associated sub-committees. He is also a member of the board of directors of the Export Council of Australia (ECA) and the Food and Beverage Importers Association (FBIA) and works closely with other industry associations representing those in the supply chain. [post_title] => When all things change, Customs stays the same [post_excerpt] => Minister Dutton has assured those in the supply chain that the current work agenda would be maintained under the Home Affairs department. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => things-change-customs-stays [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-08-02 14:36:06 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-08-02 04:36:06 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=27743 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [11] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27728 [post_author] => 670 [post_date] => 2017-07-31 12:32:42 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-07-31 02:32:42 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_27729" align="alignnone" width="300"] The ACT Government was the winner of the Innovative Solutions award.[/caption] “A successful public service is one that can find new and better ways of doing things, and that can solve problems in new ways. It is one where new ideas are tried and tested, and where old approaches are phased out and replaced with new, more suitable and effective methods. It is one that is innovative.” And so the Public Sector Innovation Awards were created to better recognise and celebrate the innovative work that occurs within the public service and provide a platform to share and showcase innovative approaches across the Commonwealth and ACT Governments. A goal of the awards is to encourage others to adopt more innovative approaches to public administration. The annual award is celebrating the innovation taking place in the Commonwealth and ACT public services at the 2017 Public Sector Innovation Awards. Government must act as an exemplar of innovation and back the public service to innovate and experiment. The 2017 Champions The winners of the awards announced in Canberra were selected from 68 nominations, showing a widespread commitment to innovation. A panel of judges selected the five award winners: Category 1: Innovative Solutions – Renewable Energy Reverse Auctions ACT Government The ACT became the first jurisdiction to use a reverse auction process to provide guaranteed revenue and certainty for generators. The process provides financial security to renewable electricity generators to ensure projects are bankable and delivery risks are managed. Category 2: Culture and Practice – ‘ON’ CSIRO ‘ON’, powered by CSIRO’ is the only national accelerator custom designed for publicly-funded research teams with a laser focus on helping them to develop the entrepreneurial skills and capacity to convert their great science and technology research into real-world outcomes – at pace. Category 3: Digital and Data – Maritime Arrivals Reporting System, Department of Agriculture and Water Resources MARS is the first fully online system for ensuring in-coming vessels meet biosecurity regulations to minimise the risk of pests and diseases entering Australia. This innovative system has been widely embraced by the international shipping industry. Judges’ Award – Digital First Capability, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet The development of an innovative online briefing system has transformed the way the Department briefs the Prime Minister, breaking down barriers to collaboration by allowing the Prime Minister and his advisors to get information, ask questions and receive answers in real-time. Judges’ Award – Finance Transformation Program, Department of Finance Working towards becoming a truly transformative agency, Finance has embarked on an exciting journey. Staff have been challenged to think differently and allowed to build, test and refine new processes and products. By leveraging capability, mobility, new technology and design thinking every day, the department is changing – inside and out. The winners were chosen from a shortlist of 12 finalists selected from the 68 nominations from across the Commonwealth and ACT public services. The high calibre of entries reflects the great innovation taking place in the public service and will encourage others to adopt more innovative approaches to public administration. The Australian Government, through the National Innovation and Science Agenda, is committed to being an exemplar on innovation for the broader community. This reflects our continuing role to facilitate change in a way which maximises the benefits for our economy and our fellow Australians. [post_title] => Public sector innovation: who are the champions? [post_excerpt] => The awards recognise the innovative work that occurs in the public service. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => public-sector-innovation-champions [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-07-31 12:46:10 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-07-31 02:46:10 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=27728 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [12] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27640 [post_author] => 670 [post_date] => 2017-07-17 22:20:52 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-07-17 12:20:52 [post_content] => The Australian Medical Association (AMA) has conducted its latest audit of public hospital doctors’ working hours (AMA Safe Hours Audit 2016) and found that there is a high prevalence of unsafe working hours. The audit of working conditions for doctors in Australian public hospitals shows that one in two doctors (53 per cent) are working unsafe shifts that place them at a higher risk of fatigue, with one doctor reporting an unbroken 76-hour shift. Shifts of 72 hours, 59 hours, 58 hours, and 53 hours were also reported. Over a one-week period in November 2016, 716 salaried doctors and doctors in training (DiT), including 675 hospital-based doctors, kept an online diary of their hours of work, on-call hours, non-work hours, and sleeping time. AMA president Dr Michael Gannon said the 2016 audit – the fourth conducted by the AMA since 2001 – is an improvement on 2001 when 78 per cent of those surveyed reported working high risk hours, but it is worrying that there has been no improvement since the 2011 Audit, which also showed 53 per cent of doctors at significant risk of fatigue. “The audit warns that the demands on many doctors continue to be extreme,” Dr Gannon said. “It is disappointing that work and rostering practices in some hospitals are still contributing to doctor fatigue and stress, which ultimately affect patient safety and quality of care and the health of the doctor. “It’s no surprise that doctors at higher risk of fatigue reported working longer hours, longer shifts, more days on call, fewer days off, and skipping meal breaks. “We are dismayed that one doctor reported working a 76-hour shift in 2016, almost double the longest shift reported in 2011. “It is also a great concern the maximum total hours worked during the 2016 survey week was 118 hours, the same as 2006 – no improvement in a decade.” The most stressed disciplines were intensive care physicians and surgeons, with 75 and 73 per cent respectively reporting they were working hours that placed them at significant or high risk of fatigue. Research shows that fatigue endangers patient safety and can have a real impact on the health and well-being of doctors. The 2016 AMA Audit confirms that the demands on public hospital doctors are still too great. Dr Gannon said state and territory governments and hospital administrators need to intensify efforts to ensure better rostering and safer work practices for hospital doctors. “Administrators must acknowledge that fatigue has a significant effect on doctors in training, who have to manage the competing demands of work, study, and exams. “The audit found that six out of ten registrars are working rosters that place them at significant or higher risk of fatigue, compared to the average of five out of ten hospital-based doctors. “Public hospitals need to strike a better balance for doctors in training. “They must provide a quality training environment that recognises that safe working hours and conditions for teaching and training will ultimately ensure high quality patient care.” AMA vice president Dr Tony Bartone said: “What we're seeing here is that the system is under stress. We're seeing that the system overall is functioning at peak capacity and with no relief valve in that situation. There have been research reports overseas which have confirmed that errors are occurring. “What we're seeing here is that ultimately, perhaps even the transit or the journey of the patient through the health system is being retarded; things are not being coordinated in an efficient way because of tiredness, because of fatigue and, obviously, when we've got a limited amount of health resources, when we have a limited budget, we need to ensure that the hospitals are really performing at peak efficiency.” Dr Gannon said the AMA’s National Code of Practice - Hours of Work, Shiftwork and Rostering for Hospital Doctor, which was revised in 2016, provides practical guidance on how to manage fatigue and eliminate or minimise the risks associated with shift work and extended working hours, and should be adopted as the minimum standard by all states and territories. [post_title] => Hospital system in crisis: warning to governments [post_excerpt] => Governments need to ensure safer work practices for hospital doctors. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => hospital-system-crisis-warning-governments [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-07-21 10:51:14 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-07-21 00:51:14 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=27640 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [13] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27484 [post_author] => 670 [post_date] => 2017-06-27 10:23:02 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-06-27 00:23:02 [post_content] => The Board of Australia Post has selected Christine Holgate as the corporation's next managing director and group CEO, to succeed Ahmed Fahour, who is leaving in July after seven-and-a-half years in the role, following the outcry over his multi-million dollar salary package. Ms Holgate will officially start in the position mid-to-late October 2017. She joins Australia Post after a successful nine-year tenure as CEO of Blackmores and previous executive roles with Telstra, JP Morgan and Cable & Wireless. Ms Holgate, who is the inaugural Chair of the Board of the Australia-ASEAN Council, supporting the development of trade and cultural relations between Australia and the 10 member countries of the ASEAN region, joined Blackmores in 2008 and took the company some wild and turbulent years, including an aggressive expansion into China. Australia Post chairman John Stanhope said Ms Holgate’s Asian and eCommerce experience were important factors. "The Board was impressed by her experience of working very successfully in a range of different industries that are highly regulated. And, on top of that, she has a proven ability to implement strategy – and successfully grow a business in Asia. "Her knowledge of global eCommerce will be invaluable as we pursue our Asian Strategy, which is all about offering logistics support to Australian businesses that are either selling in Asia, or sourcing their products there. "Ms Holgate has a demonstrated track-record of delivering results in large, complex organisations, both here in Australia and internationally. " Ms Holgate's business philosophy is also a perfect fit for Australia Post. She is a firm believer that businesses must perform commercially, but also serve the community. And that's entirely consistent with our objectives as a community-based business that has both commercial objectives and community service standards to uphold." Ms Holgate said: "Australia Post has proven itself to be one of the most resilient and successful postal businesses anywhere in the world.  I feel fortunate to be joining at a time when we can really strengthen Post's leading position in the eCommerce market – both here, in Australia, and in Asia. "I'm a passionate advocate for Australian business seizing the opportunity that's on our doorstep in Asia and that creates opportunities for everyone – our workforce, our shareholder, the community, as well as businesses across Australia. What about the pay? Ms Holgate's remuneration has been set at $1.375 million fixed annual total remuneration and the potential to earn incentive payments of up to $1.375 million, in accordance with the parameters set by the Commonwealth Remuneration Tribunal. In the meantime, current Australia Post Group chief customer officer Christine Corbett will lead the business through the CEO transition period, between Ahmed Fahour's departure on 28 July and Ms Holgate's arrival in October. [post_title] => Blackmores CEO to head up Australia Post [post_excerpt] => Blackmores' Christine Holgate has been named Australia Post's new MD and Group CEO. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => blackmores-ceo-head-australia-post [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-06-27 14:43:55 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-06-27 04:43:55 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=27484 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 14 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 28218 [post_author] => 673 [post_date] => 2017-10-09 07:05:34 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-10-08 20:05:34 [post_content] => The Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) has published a report on ‘Measuring infrastructure asset performance and customer satisfaction: A review of existing frameworks’. “Well-managed, modern and functioning infrastructure underpins much of Australia’s economic prosperity, “ said BITRE’s head Dr Gary Dolman, releasing the report. “Services provided by roads, rail, ports, telecommunications networks and energy infrastructure are essential inputs into the activities of most Australian businesses. Infrastructure performance therefore has implications beyond the infrastructure sector. “Yet current infrastructure performance measures often reflect the priorities of infrastructure owners and/ or operators rather than those of customers, and therefore may overlook the changing needs of customers.” The report was prepared with from the Better Infrastructure Initiative (BII) at the John Grill Centre for Project Leadership at the University of Sydney, which has been undertaking research into how to manage Australia’s infrastructure assets for long-term efficiency gains. It provides a review of existing infrastructure performance measures and performance measurement frameworks in Australia and elsewhere, and how customer preferences might be better incorporated to improve the long-term efficiency of operation of Australia’s infrastructure assets. “While some infrastructure asset types, namely public roads and airports, have made significant progress in performance measurement, for others there is a dearth of information or public engagement,” said Dr Dolman. “The patchwork approach that has resulted means that Australia may be missing out on the potential benefits of consistent and widespread performance measurement: improved accountability, incentivised performance, and better performance evaluation. “This report introduces and explores many of the issues surrounding infrastructure performance measurement that should be considered in the context of providing greater consistency across infrastructure asset types.” The report is available (PDF) here. Originally established as the Bureau of Transport Economics in 1970, BITRE) provides economic analysis, research and statistics on infrastructure, transport and regional development issues to inform Australian Government policy development and wider community understanding. It is contained within the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development. It employs 30 staff, mostly economists, statisticians, modellers, social researchers and policy analysts. 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Management

BITRE

How to measure infrastructure

The Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) has published a report on ‘Measuring infrastructure asset performance and customer satisfaction: A review of existing frameworks’. “Well-managed, modern and functioning infrastructure underpins much of Australia’s economic prosperity, “ said BITRE’s head Dr Gary Dolman, releasing the report. “Services provided by roads, rail, ports, telecommunications networks […]