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Department of the Environment and Heritage annual report 2005–06

Volume one
Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006
ISSN 1441 9335

Managing the department

Human resources

The Department of the Environment and Heritage manages its people to ensure the achievement of corporate goals and to meet its changing business needs.

Results 2005–06

Workforce Management Committee

The Workforce Management Committee plays a key role in reviewing people management policies and programmes across the department and ensuring that all people management activity is closely aligned to the department’s business goals. The committee is chaired by a deputy secretary and includes all division heads. The committee’s achievements for the year are summarised in the table in the corporate governance section.

People Management Branch restructure

The People Management Branch was restructured during the year. The changes were made to improve the branch’s services to management and employees and to increase capacity to develop and deliver new people management and accommodation projects for the department.

A People Assistance and Advisory Group was established to provide services to managers and employees in such areas as pay and conditions, recruitment, occupational health and safety, performance and wellbeing.

A new team-based Human Resource Strategies Group replaced two previously separate sections with responsibility for the workforce and performance. The group concentrated on key people management projects, including negotiating a new collective agreement and Australian Workplace Agreements, workforce planning, recruitment and leadership programmes.

The programme services area provides accommodation solutions and is responsible for office services, the environmental management system and fleet management.

Staff turnover and retention rates

The department’s retention rate of its ongoing staff for 2005–06 was 89.2 per cent (compared to 87.5 per cent for the 2004–05 year). The overall separation rate for the department (including promotions and transfers to other Australian Public Service agencies) was 28.3 per cent. This figure includes the department’s above average percentage of non-ongoing staff primarily required to meet operational and seasonal employment needs in the Australian Antarctic Division and some of the national parks. Excluding these staff, the separation rate for ongoing departmental staff was 10.9 per cent in 2005–06, slightly above the 2004–05 separation rate of 10.7 per cent.

Makeup of workforce

The department has a diverse workforce carrying out a wide range of responsibilities and tasks across Australia and in Australia’s external territories.

Key to job classification symbols in the following tables

Secretary    Secretary of the department
PEO Principal Executive Officer. Refers to Director of National Parks, a statutory office holder
SES 1–3 Senior Executive Service bands 1–3. Includes Chief of Division, Australian Antarctic Division
EL 1–2 Executive Level bands 1–2. Includes equivalent Australian Antarctic Division bands 7–8
APS 1–6 Australian Public Service levels 1–6. Includes equivalent Australian Antarctic Division levels 1–6. Includes graduate programme recruits
RS 1–3 Research Scientist (equivalent to APS 6 or EL 1), Senior Research Scientist (equivalent to EL 2) and Principal Research Scientist (equivalent to EL 2)
AMP 1–2 Antarctic Medical Practitioner levels 1–2 (Expeditioner)
AE 1–3 Antarctic Expeditioner bands 1–3
LO 1–3 Legal Officer (equivalent to APS 3–6), Senior Legal Officer (equivalent to EL 1) and Principal Legal Officer (equivalent to EL 2)
PAO 1–4 Public Affairs Officer 1–2 (equivalent to APS 3–6), Public Affairs Officer 3 (equivalent to EL 1) and Senior Public Affairs Officer (equivalent to EL 2)
Job classification, gender and location (as at 30 June 2006)
Location Gender Classification Total
Secretary PEO SES 1–3 EL 1–2 APS 1–6 RS 1–4 AMP 1–2 AE 1–3 PAO 1–4
Australian Capital Territory Female     15 254 505       20 794
Male 1 1 30 277 266 4     6 585
New South Wales  Female       5           5
Male       1           1
Northern Territory  Female     1 8 84 2       95
Male     2 16 91 8       117
Queensland Female       1           1
Male       4           4
South Australia Female       1           1
Male       3           3
Tasmania Female     3 20 96 6       125
Male     5 49 109 37 3     203
Victoria Female       1           1
Male       2 1         3
Western Australia  Female       2 1         3
Male       3 1         4
Jervis Bay Female       2 17         19
Male       3 19         22
Norfolk Island Female                   0
Male         3         3
Indian Ocean Female         3         3
Male       1 17         18
Antarctica Female               6   6
Male             6 40   46
Total 1 1 56 653 1 213 57 9 46 26 2 062
Full-time employees under the Public Service Act 1999 as at 30 June 2006
Division Non-ongoing Ongoing Total by gender Total
Female Male Sub-total Female Male Sub-total Female Male
Australian Antarctic Division 25 74 99 63 154 217 88 228 316
Parks Australia Division 28 30 58 61 139 200 89 169 258
Department–other divisions 65 43 108 599 499 1 098 664 542 1 206
Total 118 147 265 723 792 1 515 841 939 1 780
Part-time employees under the Public Service Act 1999 as at 30 June 2006
Division Non-ongoing Ongoing Total by gender Total
Female Male Sub-total Female Male Sub-total Female Male
Australian Antarctic Division 8 4 12 10 6 16 18 10 28
Parks Australia Division 47 20 67 17 1 18 64 21 85
Department–other divisions 18 8 26 112 31 143 130 39 169
Total 73 32 105 139 38 177 212 70 282

Employment agreements

All senior executive service employees have Australian Workplace Agreements. All ongoing substantive executive level 1 and 2 employees and equivalent classifications are also offered Australian Workplace Agreements. Agreements are offered to other employees on a case-by-case basis. Existing non-senior executive service Australian Workplace Agreements expired on 30 June 2006. A revised Australian Workplace Agreement was developed during the year and a new round of offers was made in August 2006. Current senior executive service Australian Workplace Agreements have a nominal expiry date of June 2007.

Remuneration for employees on Australian Workplace Agreements is based on ensuring that individuals are rewarded according to their assessed contribution in meeting performance expectations, remuneration is competitive with other similar organisations, and that remuneration arrangements are flexible so that the department can recruit and retain staff with special skills. The payment of a performance bonus is based on the individual’s performance during an appraisal cycle.

The department’s other Australian Public Service employees, who make up the bulk of the workforce, are covered by either the department’s certified agreement, which notionally expired on 30 June 2006, or the Australian Antarctic Division’s certified agreement. Development of a new whole of department collective agreement under the work choices provisions of the Workplace Relations Act 2006 to replace the two current certified agreements was substantially completed by 30 June 2006. The new collective agreement will run for three years and includes for the first time the Australian Antarctic Division. The new collective agreement will provide pay rises to staff over the life of the agreement and improve some conditions. The increased cost of the agreement is offset by productivity improvements.

Number of employees under various types of employment agreements (as at 30 June 2006)
Type of agreement Classification Total
SES non-SES
Australian Workplace Agreements 49 483 532
Certified agreement (department) 0 1 188 1 188
Certified agreement (Australian Antarctic Division) 0 275 275
Total 49 1 946 1 995
Notes:
  • Australian Workplace Agreement figures include the Australian Antarctic Division.
  • The figures for Australian Workplace Agreements do not include the principal executive officer position and exclude employees on temporary transfer to another agency who would otherwise be covered by an Australian Workplace Agreement.
  • All figures include staff on leave without pay and exclude irregular or intermittent employees.
Base salaries—excluding the Australian Antarctic Division (as at 30 June 2006)
Classification Certified agreement Australian Workplace Agreement
Australian Public Service Level 1–2 $31 665–$40 998 $31 665–$40 998
Australian Public Service Level 3 $41 877–$46 119  
Australian Public Service Level 4 $46 938–$50 652 $46 938–$50 652
Australian Public Service Level 5 $51 370–$55 062 $51 370–$55 062
Australian Public Service Level 6 $56 028–$64 841 $56 028–$64 841
Executive Level 1 $70 254–$78 061 $70 254–$88 061
Executive Level 2 $81 029–$94 936 $81 029–$108 150
Public Affairs Officer 1 $46 938–$55 063  
Public Affairs Officer 2 $59 805–$66 101  
Public Affairs Officer 3 $73 902–$91 865 $73 902–$91 865
Senior Public Affairs Officer 1–2 $94 936–$99 700 $97 936–$102 700
Legal Officer $42 942–$64 841  
Senior Legal Officer $70 254–$85 482 $70 254–$85 482
Principal Legal Officer $91 865–$97 361 $91 865–$100 361
Research Scientist $59 805–$78 061 $59 805–$78 061
Senior Research Scientist $81 029–$96 552 $81 029–$99 552
Principal Research Scientist $98 170–$109 934 $98 170–$112 934
Senior Principal Research Scientist $116 189–$126 690 $116 189–$127 800
Senior Executive Service 1   $114 800–$132 200
Senior Executive Service 2   $138 400–$157 100
Senior Executive Service 3   $171 400–$198 400
Note:
  • Does not include salaries relating to the principal executive officer position or the secretary as they are not employed under the certified agreement or an Australian Workplace Agreement.
Base salaries—Australian Antarctic Division (as at 30 June 2006)
Classification Certified agreement Australian Workplace Agreement
Australian Antarctic Division Band 1 $32 685–$35 715  
Australian Antarctic Division Band 2 $36 787–$42 483  
Australian Antarctic Division Band 3 $42 644–$45 239  
Australian Antarctic Division Band 4 $46 599–$50 920  
Australian Antarctic Division Band 5 $52 448–$55 639  
Australian Antarctic Division Band 6 $57 310–$64 501  
Executive Level 1 $72 599–$77 020 $73 325–$77 790
Executive Level 2 $84 160–$100 495 $85 002–$101 500
Research Scientist $57 310–$77 020 $67 101–$77 790
Senior Research Scientist $79 330–$100 495 $80 123–$101 500
Principal Research Scientist $103 510–$113 108 $104 545–$114 239
Senior Principal Research Scientist $119 998–$131 125 $121 198–$132 436
Antarctic Medical Practitioner Level 1 (Head Office) $94 728–$106 614 $95 675–$107 680
Antarctic Medical Practitioner Level 2 (Head Office) $109 814–$119 998 $110 912–$121 198
Expeditioner Band 1 $45 072–$60 354  
Expeditioner Band 2 $55 473–$74 866  
Expeditioner Band 3 $77 047–$88 349  
Antarctic Medical Practitioner Level 1 (Expeditioner) $108 894–$121 991  
Senior Executive Service 1   $114 800–$127 800
Senior Executive Service 2   $138 400–$157 100
Chief of Division 1   $147 200–$160 100
Note:
  • Senior executive service employees may access a further salary point, subject to continuing high performance.
Performance pay for employees up to executive level 2
Performance pay statistic Classification
APS 1–6 Executive Level 1 Executive Level 2
2004–05 2005–06 2004–05 2005–06 2004–05 2005–06
Number of performance payments 11 18 194 252 154 161
Average performance pay $2 597 $2 659 $4 533 $4 112 $5 580 $5 732
Range of performance pay $1 135–$3 715 $422–$5 259 $491–$9 519 $243–$9 007 $999–$10 893 $416–$12 135
Total paid $28 562 $47 854 $879 341 $1 036 289 $859 299 $922 807
Notes:
  • Performance pay bonuses for the 2003–04 appraisal cycle were paid during 2004–05. Performance pay bonuses for the 2004–05 appraisal cycle were paid during 2005–06.
  • Some payments were made on a pro-rata basis as employment did not span the full appraisal period.
Performance pay for senior executive service employees
Performance pay statistic Classification
SES bands 2 and 3 SES band 1
2004–05 2005–06 2004–05 2005–06
Number of performance payments 10 12 31 26
Average performance pay $11 455 $12 533 $7 932 $8 682
Range of performance pay $7 156–$14 658 $7 476–$23 678 $2 309–$8 897 $2 591–$15 728
Total paid $114 553 $150 402 $245 898 $225 743
Notes:
  • Performance pay bonuses for the 2003–04 appraisal cycle were paid during 2004–05. Performance pay bonuses for the 2004–05 appraisal cycle were paid during 2005–06.
  • Some payments were made on a pro-rata basis as employment did not span the full appraisal period.
  • Payments do not include the secretary and the principal executive officer

Performance management

Following feedback from the staff survey, the department revised the performance development scheme and implemented changes on 1 July 2005. Key changes included:

Participation in the scheme is expected for all ongoing staff and for non-ongoing staff engaged for three months or more. Salary rises set out in the certified agreement are subject to a 95 per cent participation rate in the scheme, which the department has achieved.

Learning and development

Ongoing strategies

Graduate programme: The department places significant importance on recruiting graduates from a variety of academic disciplines to participate in the graduate programme. Existing departmental employees also have the opportunity to participate in the programme. The department also offers a number of positions to graduates recruited through the Australian Public Service Commission’s Indigenous Graduate Programme. Graduates are provided with professional development including training courses, work rotations, and mentoring. In 2005, 18 graduates completed the department’s graduate programme and have been placed within the department. In 2006, 16 graduates were recruited. The department is planning to expand its graduate intake for 2007 to 30 and has actively sought applicants from all academic disciplines with particular emphasis on economics, commerce and law backgrounds. The programme continues to increase the diversity and depth of talent in the department’s workforce while introducing fresh ideas and attitudes to the workplace.

Online learning: The department continued to use online learning to educate employees about concepts, business processes and how to use computer applications. Online learning programmes developed during the year included an orientation programme for new staff, an occupational health and safety programme, and a vendor request and purchasing cards programme. A number of programmes were used as an assessment and compliance tool to help staff remember information they need to carry out a particular business function, for example, ensuring purchasing cardholders know their responsibilities.

Cultural diversity programmes: The department held cross-cultural and cultural diversity development programmes to enhance the appreciation of cultural diversity. Employees participating in these programmes can broaden their understanding of Indigenous and other cultural groups and gain experience in collaborating with these groups. As part of NAIDOC week the department provided cross-cultural training courses. Feedback from participants, who ranged from graduates to senior executives, highlighted the understanding they gained of working with people from Indigenous cultures.

Seminar programmes: The department holds an executive seminar series and a human resources seminar series throughout the year. These seminars are open to all staff. They enable senior managers of the department to share their knowledge and experience and help staff to build their supervisory and people management skills.

In 2006 the seminar series was expanded to include an ‘insights’ series, which highlights significant work being undertaken across the department, and a programme on environmental economics for non-economists. The environmental economics programme was tailored to the needs of the department and targeted staff at executive level 1 and above. The first course attracted a high level of interest, and was substantially over-subscribed, with over 90 applications received for the 30 places on offer.

New strategies

Online occupational health and safety training package: The department implemented an online occupational health and safety training package, which all staff were required to complete.

People strategy: In October 2005 the workforce management committee approved the department’s people strategy 2005–2007. This strategy supports the department’s corporate and strategic plans. The strategy sets out the values, policy framework, delivery model, goals and strategies of the department for the next two years in relation to people management.

Workplace diversity programme: The department’s workplace diversity programme has three objectives:

Individual learning: As part of the department’s performance and development scheme, individual employees must complete learning plans with their supervisor, to identify learning needs and solutions related to the work they are required to complete under their performance agreement. The staff survey raised some concerns about the lack of links between individual learning plans and the wider divisional and departmental learning and development programmes. As a result, the learning plans have been redesigned to clearly identify both the learning needs and the solutions. Procedures have been put in place to ensure the agreed learning solutions are passed on to the support units within each division and the department’s People Management Branch, to be taken into account in their planning for both divisional and departmental learning and development programmes.

Leadership development: The department is preparing a leadership development programme based on the Integrated Leadership System developed for the Australian Public Service Commission. The programme is for all staff with supervisory responsibilities. It will provide development to support leaders and managers and will improve leadership skills in the department. The programme will be launched in the latter half of 2006.

Mobility and development: Eight executive level staff participated in a new mobility programme during the year. The programme aims to broaden the leadership skills, experience and opportunities of employees at this level.

Rewards and recognition

Peter Graham receiving an award from Howard Bamsey.

Peter Graham receiving an award from Howard Bamsey. Peter received an Australia Day award from the department in 2006 for his role in leading the team that produced the department’s 2004–05 annual report. Photo: Mark Mohell

The department participated in formal Australian Public Service wide recognition programmes in 2005–06 as well as holding department-wide employee recognition schemes to reward outstanding performance.

Twenty-one Australia Day achievement awards were presented to individuals and teams within the portfolio at the department’s 2006 Australia Day award ceremony on 25 January.

In September 2005 the Minister for the Environment and Heritage presented six team awards and two individual awards in recognition of outstanding achievements for the portfolio.

The Secretary’s Awards continued to recognise the outstanding contributions of staff. Fifteen awards were presented to individuals and teams in December 2005 in three categories: sharing knowledge and experience within teams, mentoring and role models for staff, and consistent and effective contribution to the department’s goals.

Work–life balance

The department remains committed to the work–life balance of its employees. The department’s certified agreements offer a range of leave provisions which assist employees to meet commitments outside work.

As part of the 2004–2006 certified agreement the department conducted a feasibility study into the provision of childcare services for employees located in Canberra. The report provided a number of options which are currently under consideration by management.

The department involves its staff in decision-making processes through informal and formal mechanisms such as workshops, surveys, the department’s Consultative Committee and related divisional consultative committees.

Occupational health and safety

This section is presented in accordance with the requirements of section 74 of the Occupational Health and Safety (Commonwealth Employment) Act 1991.

The department is committed to preserving the health, safety and welfare of its staff and any other persons at or near work sites.

The department’s occupational health and safety policy aims to provide and maintain a safe and healthy workplace in line with the requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety (Commonwealth Employment) Act 1991. The department works to achieve high standards of occupational health, safety and rehabilitation in all its work locations and operations by providing a safe system of work to prevent work-related injuries and illnesses.

Under its rehabilitation policy and guidelines, the department supports injured and ill employees and provides an early-return-to-work programme.

The department’s Canberra-based Occupational Health and Safety Committee meets regularly to address a wide range of issues. Each of the mainland national parks, other departmental offices on the mainland and in Tasmania, and the Antarctic stations maintain local occupational health and safety committees to address site-specific issues.

A network of health and safety representatives looks after the health and welfare of employees within designated workgroups throughout the department. On appointment, all health and safety representatives undergo Comcare-approved training to enable them to fulfil their roles.

Number of reports under section 68 of the Act

Section 68 of the Occupational Health and Safety (Commonwealth Employment) Act 1991 relates to the requirement for employees to report to Comcare accidents or incidents that cause death or serious personal injury or incapacity, or that are otherwise dangerous. The following table shows the number of accidents or occurrences that were reported to Comcare under section 68 of the Act.

Number of reports under section 68 of the Act
Workplace Number of reports
Canberra workplaces 3
Parks Australia remote workplaces 25
Australian Antarctic Division 6

Investigations conducted during the year

Four internal investigation reports relating to the department’s Antarctic operations were provided to Comcare. No directions were issued under section 45 of the Occupational Health and Safety (Commonwealth Employment) Act 1991, nor were any notices given under sections 29, 46 or 47 of the Act.

Contaminated water incident

On Friday 16 December 2005 the department received a report on the quality of the rain water supply to the refurbished former Communications Centre of the John Gorton Building.

The report indicated the levels for lead, zinc and copper were above those prescribed in the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines and the pH level was below that prescribed in the guidelines. The contaminated rain water supply was immediately turned off and replaced with mains water supplied by ACTEW/AGL.

Comcare was advised of the incident. The ACT Chief Health Officer was immediately requested to assess the level of public health risk associated with these readings and advised the department that there was a low risk.

The department engaged a consultant occupational physician to assist staff and the department in the assessment of any health impacts.

The risk to individuals was best determined by testing for blood lead. The department contacted and tested employees who may have been exposed; 170 employees presented for testing.

All results received were within the limits specified by the National Health and Medical Research Council for blood lead and no cases of lead poisoning were identified.

Comcare conducted an independent investigation. The report was provided to the department in August 2006.

Agreements with employees

The department has an Occupational Health and Safety Policy and Agreement which covers all aspects of its work other than Antarctic operations. The Australian Antarctic Division has a separate agreement in light of the specialised occupational health and safety challenges faced by expeditioners and others working in the Antarctic.

The agreements recognise sharing of responsibilities and the commitment of all parties to maintaining health and safety in the workplace, with the aim of minimising the human and financial costs of injury and illness through active prevention strategies.

Routine support for employees

The following measures undertaken during the year are routine support that the department provides for its employees.

Routine support for employees
Measure Results 2005–06
Orientation sessions to inform new and ongoing employees of occupational health and safety legislation, responsibilities and procedures 136 employees from the department attended orientation sessions

All new employees of the Australian Antarctic Division attended orientation sessions

Supervisors and managers of the Australian Antarctic Division attended general training, incident analysis and asbestos awareness training
Training for first aid officers, health and safety representatives and workplace contact officers 20 employees, 39 first aid officers and 43 park rangers were trained in first aid; 22 health and safety representatives received appropriate training

All wintering Antarctic expeditioners attended first aid training
Ergonomic and work station assessments by in-house and external occupational therapists 328 work station assessments were conducted for the department

52 work station assessments were conducted—all in-house—for the Australian Antarctic Division
Reimbursement of the costs of having eyesight tests for using screen-based equipment 60 tests were reimbursed
Reimbursement of the costs of being screened for skin cancer and hearing loss, for field-based employees All Antarctic expeditioners have hearing tests as part of their recruitment medical
Employees Assistance Programme, which is also available to the families of employees 216 new appointments were made with Davidson Trahaire Corpsych, the department’s provider

31 people used the service of OSA Group, the Australian Antarctic Division’s provider
Testing and tagging of electrical equipment in the Canberra offices 793 items were tested and tagged
Blood tests in relation to John Gorton Building basement water contamination 170 blood tests were conducted

Compensation and rehabilitation

Under the rehabilitation policy and guidelines, the department continued to provide support for injured and ill employees and provided an early-return-to-work programme. The following table summarises activity in this area.

Compensation and rehabilitation
Measure Results 2005–06
Number of claims lodged with Comcare 48 claims, includes 16 from the Australian Antarctic Division
Return-to-work plans in place for injured staff 14 plans, includes 1 from the Australian Antarctic Division
Response to workers compensation claims All new claims were responded to with 13 being referred to an approved rehabilitation provider for the management of a return-to-work plan. Of these 13 claims, 11 achieved a successful return to work within 11.5 weeks.

Other measures taken during the year

The department undertook other measures during the year to ensure the health, safety and welfare at work of employees and contractors as follows:

The Australian Antarctic Division:

Commonwealth Disability Strategy

The Commonwealth Disability Strategy 2005 includes a performance reporting framework built around the five key roles performed by Australian Government organisations. These roles are policy adviser, regulator, purchaser, provider and employer. This framework was established to ensure consistency in measurement of and reporting on achievements in implementing the strategy.

The department’s performance in implementing the strategy is summarised in the following table.

The department’s disability action plan 2004–2006 is being reviewed and revised to ensure that the department continues to meet the performance reporting requirements established by the Commonwealth Disability Strategy.

Department’s performance in implementing the Commonwealth Disability Strategy
Performance indicator Results 2005-06
Policy adviser
New or revised policy/programme proposals assess the impact on the lives of people with disabilities prior to decision The department will shortly launch the 2006–07 disability action plan. The plan applies to all employees, contractors, and clients of the department
People with disabilities are included in consultation about new or revised policy/ programme proposals The current disability action plan provides a checklist for developing reports, policies and procedures on consultation with people with disabilities. Directors and policy developers are required to complete this checklist before finalising their policy documents
Public announcements of new or proposed policy/programme initiatives are available in accessible formats for people with disabilities Community Information Unit provides access to information on the department’s activities

The department maintains extensive websites where documents are available in PDF and html format. The department’s website meets the Australian Government online standards that relate to access for people with disabilities (www.deh.gov.au/about/accessibility.html). The website has been developed to display adequately on all commonly used browsers and to work effectively with accessibility hardware and/or software. Although it is designed for an 800 x 600 screen resolution, this site will scale to both higher and lower screen resolutions

The department makes online resources accessible to people with technical constraints, such as old browsers and low speed internet connections

For technical reasons and to meet some legal requirements, the department’s website has a limited number of documents that cannot be provided in the preferred HTML format. In such cases, contact details have been provided for their supply in alternative formats
Regulator role
Publicly available information on regulations and quasi-regulations is available in accessible formats for people with disabilities Publicly available regulatory compliance reporting is available in accessible formats for people with disabilities Legislation is accessible via the internet (www.deh.gov.au/about/legislation.html)

Additional fact sheets are made available on request from the Community Information Unit

Legislative instruments are accessible via the internet (www.comlaw.gov.au)

Administrative instruments are available in the Australian Government Gazette, and where required on the department’s website

The department responds to specific requests by fax, email or post
Purchaser role
Processes for purchasing goods and services with a direct impact on the lives of people with disabilities are developed in consultation with people with disabilities The department’s procurement policies are consistent with the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992

The department has complaints and grievance mechanisms in place
Purchasing specifications and contract requirements for the purchase of goods and/or services are consistent with the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 The department’s procurement guidelines complement the Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines, January 2005, and are consistent with the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992

Long and short form contracts both make reference to the Disability Discrimination Act 1992. The department’s request for tender template does not make reference to the Act
Publicly available information on agreed purchase specifications is provided in accessible formats for people with disabilities The department’s procurements valued at $80 000 or more are advertised and are available for download on AusTender, which meets the Australian Government online standards that relate to access for people with disabilities
Complaints/grievance mechanisms, including access to external mechanisms, are available to address issues and concerns about purchasers’ performance The department has a complaints and grievance mechanism in place in accordance with the Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines
Provider role
Mechanisms are in place for quality improvement and assurance Information regarding parks and reserves is available in accessible formats on the department’s website (www.deh.gov.au/parks/commonwealth) and in hard copy from park management

Wheel chair access is provided in some parks for people with a disability. However, physical access to the terrestrial reserves varies according to the nature of the terrain
Service charters have been developed that specify the roles of the provider and consumer and adequately reflect the needs of people with disabilities The department has a new service charter. The charter commits the department to be respectful and sensitive to the needs of all clients
Complaints/grievance mechanisms, including access to external mechanisms, are available to address concerns raised about performance A client service officer is available to accept feedback and coordinate the department’s response to members of the public who raise concerns about service standards

There were no disability related complaints in 2005–06
Employer role
Recruitment information for potential job applicants is available in accessible formats on request Applicants are requested to advise whether they require accessible formats when preparing their application. Applicants are also asked to advise whether special arrangements are required for them during the recruitment process
Agency recruiters and managers apply the principle of reasonable adjustment The department’s recruitment and selection policy was implemented on 1 July 2005 requiring recruiters and managers to apply this principle
Training and development programmes consider the needs of staff with disabilities All managers are responsible for ensuring the training and development needs of all of their staff are appropriately met
Training and development programmes include information on disability issues as they relate to the content of the programmes For in-house training, all internal and external providers must ensure that disability issues are addressed in the delivery of their programmes

Managers are responsible for monitoring whether information on disability issues is provided when referring staff to individual programmes provided on the private market
Complaints or grievance mechanisms, including access to external mechanisms, are in place to address issues and concerns raised by staff The certified agreement 2004–2006 sets out complete procedures for complaints and grievances. These procedures apply to all employees and situations

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