Publications archive

Department of the Environment and Water Resources annual report 2006–07

Volume one
Department of the Environment and Water Resources, 2007
ISSN 1441-9335

Managing the department (continued)

Human resources

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

Results 2006—07

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 in 2006—07 are summarised in the section on corporate governance.

Workforce planning

In February 2007 the department completed the first of its two-year workforce plans focusing on the department's Canberra-based workforce. The workforce plan identifies the key challenges facing the department's workforce over the next two years (2007—2009) and proposes strategies to address the challenges and mitigate future risks. The workforce plan will underpin the department's initiatives relating to recruitment, retention and capability development in coming years. Development of workforce plans for Parks Australia Division and the Australian Antarctic Division has begun.

The department revised its work level standards to replace the previous version developed in 2000. The new standards reflect changes to the roles and responsibilities of the department's employees from 2000 to 2007. The standards apply to all employees from APS 1—2 to executive level classifications and include legal officers, research scientists and public affairs officers.

Makeup of workforce

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

The department's workforce statistics are presented in the tables on the following pages. All statistics are as at 30 June 2007.

Key to job classification symbols in the tables on workforce statistics
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
Location Gender Classification Total
Secretary PEO SES 1–3 EL 1–2 APS 1–6 RS 1–4 AMP 1–2 AE 1–3 LO 1–3 PAO 1–4
Australian Capital Territory Female     14 299 597       3 29 942
Male 1 1 34 303 289 4     5 5 642
New South Wales Female       1 2           3
Male       2             2
Northern Territory Female     1 11 87 2         101
Male     2 13 92 7         114
Queensland Female       2 2           4
Male       4             4
South Australia Female       1             1
Male       3             3
Tasmania Female     1 23 100 6 1     1 132
Male     5 40 122 39 2     1 209
Victoria Female       1             1
Male       2 1           3
Western Australia Female       2 1           3
Male       3 1           4
Jervis Bay Female       3 20           23
Male       3 23           26
Norfolk Island Female                     0
Male         4           4
Indian Ocean Female         11           11
Male       1 18           19
Antarctica Female             1 2     3
Male             5 45     50
Total 1 1 57 717 1,370 58 9 47 8 36 2,304
Full-time employees under the Public Service Act 1999
  Non-ongoing Ongoing Total by gender Total
Division Female Male Sub-total Female Male Sub-total Female Male
Parks Australia Division 39 32 71 57 122 179 96 154 250
Department—all other divisions 100 131 231 763 704 1,467 863 835 1,698
Total 139 163 302 830 826 1,646 959 989 1,948
Part-time employees under the Public Service Act 1999
  Non-ongoing Ongoing Total by gender Total
Division Female Male Sub-total Female Male Sub-total Female Male
Parks Australia Division 49 25 74 21 4 25 70 29 99
Department—all other divisions 38 19 57 157 41 198 195 60 255
Total 87 44 131 178 45 223 265 89 354
Note: the statistics do not include the secretary or the principal executive officer

Employee retention and turnover rates

Ongoing employees' retention rate was 89.75 per cent (compared to 89.2 per cent in 2005—06). The overall separation rate (including promotions and transfers to other Australian Public Service agencies) was 23.2 per cent. This figure includes the department's above average percentage of non-ongoing employees primarily required to meet operational and seasonal employment needs in the Australian Antarctic Division and some of the national parks. Excluding these employees, the separation rate for ongoing departmental employees was 10.42 per cent, slightly below the 2005—06 separation rate of 10.9 per cent.

Employment agreements

The department has four standard types of employment agreements in place: Senior Executive Service Australian Workplace Agreements, Executive Level Australian Workplace Agreements, Australian Antarctic Division Expeditioner Australian Workplace Agreements and a department-wide collective agreement. All senior executive service employees have Australian Workplace Agreements and all ongoing executive level employees (and equivalent classifications) are offered Australian Workplace Agreements. Other employees are offered Australian Workplace Agreements on a case-by-case basis.

The majority of employees are employed under the department's collective agreement. The current collective agreement commenced in August 2006 and operates for three years compared with two years for previous agreements. The current collective agreement covers all employees not on Australian Workplace Agreements wherever they work.

The current collective agreement delivered a competitive salary increase of 11.5 per cent over the life of the agreement and created a new common pay scale across divisions. The nominal expiry date of the agreement is August 2009.

In July 2006 all ongoing executive level employees were offered Australian Workplace Agreements of three years compared with two years for previous agreements. The new agreements include provisions to promote flexibility in remuneration and employment arrangements; attract, reward and retain high quality executive level employees; and address remuneration imbalances. These agreements have a nominal expiry date of 30 June 2009.

In May 2007 all senior executive service employees were offered Australian Workplace Agreements. The new agreements feature a mandatory vehicle cash-out and revision of salary bands to address remuneration imbalances. These agreements have a nominal expiry date of June 2009.

Number of employees under each type of employment agreement
Type of agreement Classification Total
SES non-SES
Australian Workplace Agreements 57 669 726
Collective agreement (department)   1,578 1,578
Total 57 2,247 2,304
Notes:
  • 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 employees on leave without pay.
Performance pay for employees up to executive level 2
Performance pay statistic Classification
APS 1—6 Executive Level 1 Executive Level 2
2005—06 2006—07 2005—06 2006—07 2005—06 2006—07
Number of performance payments 18 19 252 295 161 171
Average performance pay $2,659 $3,177 $4,112 $4,583 $5,732 $6,206
Range of performance pay $422—$5,259 $241—$6,244 $243—$9,007 $505—$9,364 $416—$12,135 $717—$14,567
Total paid $47,854 $60,358 $1,036,289 $1,352,134 $922,807 $1,061,274
Notes:
  • Performance pay bonus payments made in 2005—06 are for the 2004—05 appraisal cycle. Performance pay bonus payments made in 2006—07 are for the 2005—06 appraisal cycle.
  • 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
2005—06 2006—07 2005—06 2006—07
Number of performance payments 12 14 26 33
Average performance pay $12,533 $8,436 $8,682 $5,497
Range of performance pay $7,476—$23,678 $4,233—$18,729 $2,591—$15,728 $876—$11,752
Total paid $150,402 $117,970 $225,743 $181,429
Notes:
  • Performance pay bonus payments made in 2005—06 are for the 2004—05 appraisal cycle. Performance pay bonus payments made in 2006—07 are for the 2005—06 appraisal cycle.
  • 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.
Base salaries
Classification Collective agreement Australian Workplace Agreement
Australian Public Service Level 1—2 $33,829—$42,708  
Australian Public Service Level 3 $44,137—$48,227 $44,137—$48,227
Australian Public Service Level 4 $49,677—$52,702 $49,677—$52,702
Australian Public Service Level 5 $54,284—$57,586 $54,284—$57,586
Australian Public Service Level 6 $59,316—$67,110 $59,316—$67,110
Executive Level 1 $72,950—$80,921 $72,950—$85,482
Executive Level 2 $87,395—$98,364 $87,395—$111,935
Public Affairs Officer 1 $49,677—$57,586  
Public Affairs Officer 2 $62,928—$69,326  
Public Affairs Officer 3 $76,489—$95,499 $76,489—$95,499
Senior Public Affairs Officer 1—2 $98,364—$104,358 $98,364—$107,358
Legal Officer $45,461—$67,110  
Senior Legal Officer $72,950—$90,017 $72,950—$90,017
Principal Legal Officer $95,499—$101,319 $95,499—$104,319
Research Scientist $59,316—$80,291 $59,316—$80,291
Senior Research Scientist $84,328—$104,358 $84,328—$107,358
Principal Research Scientist $107,489—$117,456 $107,489—$120,456
Senior Principal Research Scientist $124,503—$136,049 $124,503—$139,049
Antarctic Medical Practitioner Level 1 (Head Office) $98,364—$110,714 $98,364—$110,714
Antarctic Medical Practitioner Level 2 (Head Office) $114,035—$124,503 $114,035—$127,503
Expeditioner Band 1   $46,650—$62,466
Expeditioner Band 2   $57,415—$77,486
Expeditioner Band 3   $79,744—$91,441
Antarctic Medical Practitioner Level 1 (Expeditioner) $112,705—$126,261 $112,705—$126,261
Chief of Division 1   $119,400—$137,500
Senior Executive Service 1   $119,400—$137,500
Senior Executive Service 2   $144,000—$169,900
Senior Executive Service 3   $178,300—$216,500
Note:
  • Does not include salaries relating to the principal executive officer position or the secretary as they are not employed under the collective agreement or an Australian Workplace Agreement.

Performance management

The department's current performance management scheme has been in place since July 2005. All employees engaged for three months or more are required to participate in the scheme. Salary increases set out in the collective agreement are dependent on a 95 per cent participation rate in the scheme.

This year the department revised its training for employees on how to write an individual performance agreement, how to develop performance expectations, how to give and receive feedback and how to manage underperformance.

The Australian Antarctic Division's Expeditioner Performance Scheme—based on the department's Antarctic Service Code of Personal Behaviour—provides the basis for managing performance of employees working and living in Antarctica.

Learning and development

The department remains committed to maintaining its Investors in People (IiP) recognition certification and to continuing to improve its approach to learning and development for employees. The department achieved upgraded recognition to the revised International IiP Standard. The revised standard has more stringent requirements with respect to business planning and evaluation practices.

Individual learning: As part of the department's performance and development scheme, individual employees must complete learning plans with their supervisor, which clearly identify learning needs and solutions related to the work they are required to do under their performance agreement. Procedures are in place to ensure the agreed learning solutions are passed on to the support units within each division, and are taken into account in developing divisional learning and development programmes. Where a broader need is identified, the People Management Branch coordinates departmental learning and development programmes.

Graduate programme: The graduate programme is an important element of the department's workforce planning strategy. The department recruits high quality graduates from a variety of academic disciplines, including from specific disciplines where a need has been identified. The programme enables the department to increase the diversity and depth of talent in its workforce.

The graduate programme provides participants with professional development including training courses, work rotations, and mentoring. Existing departmental employees 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.

In 2006, 16 graduates completed the programme and have been placed within the department. In 2007 the department significantly expanded the graduate programme, recruiting 32 graduates to meet future needs for highly skilled employees. These graduates have diverse academic backgrounds including commerce, economics and law, as well as science and environmental disciplines. The department intends to again increase the number of graduates recruited in 2008.

Online learning: The department continued to use online learning to educate employees about concepts, business processes and computer applications. Online learning programmes offered include occupational health and safety, security awareness, and an orientation programme for new employees. A number of programmes are used as assessment and compliance tools to help employees remember information they need to carry out a particular business function, for example, ensuring purchasing cardholders know their responsibilities.

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

In 2006—07 the department continued the Insights seminar series, which highlights significant work being undertaken across the department. The series includes a programme on environmental economics for non-economists. The environmental economics programme is tailored to the needs of the department and targets employees at executive level 1 and above. More than 100 employees participated in three courses held this year. The programme is well regarded by management and participants and will continue to be offered.

The International, Land and Analysis Division and the Industry, Communities and Energy Division also continued to run a very well-attended Greenhouse Frontiers programme. This seminar series includes presentations by visiting national and international experts on topical issues related to climate change, and by staff on the progress of major initiatives that are being developed and implemented.

In 2007 the secretary of the department commenced a new series of seminars called Broadly Speaking in which he addresses employees on key issues.

Leadership development: The department began a new leadership development strategy in 2007 based on the Australian Public Service Commission's Integrated Leadership System. The programme is for all employees with supervisory responsibilities and will improve their leadership skills. The programme offers a range of activities including staff dialogues with senior executives, self-awareness tools and exercises, workshops, work experiences and mentoring.

Participants at the Indigenous employees conference in Darwin.

Participants at the Indigenous employees conference in Darwin.

Development for Indigenous employees: The department created the new position of Indigenous Development Coordinator in the People Management Branch. The coordinator commenced in July 2006 to support and promote recruitment, career development, and retention of Indigenous employees.

The department held a two-day conference for Indigenous employees in Darwin in April 2007. The conference provided an opportunity for the department's Indigenous employees to discuss employment and career development issues. Thirty-five Indigenous employees from Canberra, Hobart, Melbourne, Port Hedland and from Booderee, Uluru—Kata Tjuta and Kakadu national parks attended the conference.

Executive conferences: The department held a conference for section directors in late 2006 allowing them to network, share their experience and clarify their role and its importance in delivering departmental outcomes. Workshops and training were also provided.

The department also held a conference in September 2006 for portfolio senior executive service employees to discuss key challenges and emerging issues.

Rewards and recognition

The department participated in formal Australian Public Service-wide recognition programmes as well as celebrating department-wide employee excellence by recognising outstanding team and individual performance.

Eighteen Australia Day Achievement Awards were presented to individuals and teams within the portfolio at the department's 2007 Australia Day award ceremony. Three of the department's employees also received Australia Day Achievement Awards from the Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources. These awards were for their contribution to the Low Emission Technology Demonstration Fund.

In August 2006, the minister presented 15 awards in recognition of outstanding team and individual achievements in the portfolio.

Outstanding work was also recognised at a divisional level with individuals and teams being rewarded with certificates for their contribution to the work and outcomes of the division.

Public Service Medal for Gerard Early

Mr Gerard Early

Mr Gerard Early, acting deputy secretary was awarded a Public Service Medal in the Queen's Birthday 2007 Honours List for outstanding public service in the protection and conservation of Australia's natural environment and cultural heritage.

The award acknowledges Mr Early's key leadership role in improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, through amendments passed by parliament in December 2006. His analysis of the improvements that could be made to the Act and subsequent oversight of the legislative amendments through the relevant government approval processes were exemplary.

Mr Early worked successfully with other departments, key industry sectors and public interest groups to deliver a more robust and streamlined environment protection regime that recognises the impact of timeliness and cost on business.

Ms Sharon Labudda

Ms Sharon Labudda - awarded this year's Antarctic Medal.

Photo: Glenn Jacobson

Australian Antarctic Medal for Sharon Labudda

The Australian Antarctic Medal, established in 1987, is an award in the Meritorious Service Awards category of the Australian Honours System. The Australian Antarctic Medal replaced the (British) Imperial Polar Medal and its variations which date back to 1857 for service in the Arctic and Antarctic regions.

Ms Sharon Labudda was awarded the 2007 Australian Antarctic Medal for her exceptional contribution to air operations in Antarctica. Ms Labudda was the first Aircraft Ground Support Officer employed by the Australian Antarctic Division when fixed-wing aircraft operations were introduced within Antarctica during the 2003—04 season. Since that time, MsLabudda has worked tirelessly to ensure the smooth and safe operation of air services between Australia's Antarctic stations and field locations.

Work—life balance

The department remains committed to the work—life balance of its employees. The department's collective agreement offers a range of leave provisions which assist employees to meet commitments outside work.

A childcare facility is planned for inclusion in the new office to be built to house the department. The new office will be ready for occupation in 2011. In the meantime, the department is reviewing options identified in a feasibility study to further assist in this area.

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

Employee survey

The department held its second online employee survey in 2006—07 in which over 72 per cent of employees participated. The survey measured levels of employee satisfaction with the department across a range of areas including information technology infrastructure and support, performance and workload management, employee recruitment practices, management and leadership, and learning and development.

There were improvements in employee satisfaction over the 2004 employee survey on 76 per cent of questions. The survey provided individual reports to each division and branch. This information is being used by divisions and branches to develop and tailor their improvement plans and to address specific concerns raised by employees in particular work groups.

Recruitment and orientation

This year the department put in place a new online recruitment product which streamlines the way applicants apply for positions in the department and how applications are processed. The online recruitment gateway is located on the department's website.

Occupational health and safety

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 Act 1991. The department works to achieve high standards of occupational health and safety in all its work locations and operations by providing a safe system of work to prevent work-related injuries and illnesses.

The department's occupational health and safety committees meet regularly to address strategic and site specific issues. A health and safety network operates throughout the department. On appointment, all health and safety representatives undergo Comcare-approved training.

Reports under section 68 of the Act

Section 68 of the Occupational Health and Safety 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. This year 16 accidents or incidents were reported to Comcare: four from Canberra workplaces; eight from Parks Australia remote workplaces; and four from the Australian Antarctic Division.

Investigations

One external investigation by Comcare relating to a vehicle rollover incident was conducted. No directions were issued under section 45 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1991. Two notices were issued by Comcare under section 47 of the Act relating to the vehicle incident.

An investigation regarding a water contamination incident that occurred in 2005—06 was concluded in 2006—07 and the department responded to the satisfaction of Comcare.

One internal investigation into hydrogen sulfide exposures was conducted.

Agreements with employees

The department has an occupational health and safety policy and agreement which covers all aspects of its work other than its 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 department is now developing health and safety management arrangements in compliance with the legislative requirements of the amended Occupational Health and Safety Act 1991, enacted in March 2007.

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 compensation and rehabilitation activities.

Measure Results 2006—07
Number of claims lodged with Comcare 62 claims, including 14 from the Australian Antarctic Division
Early-return-to-work plans in place for injured staff 14 plans, including 2 from the Australian Antarctic Division
Response to workers compensation claims All new claims were responded to, with 6 being referred to an approved rehabilitation provider for the management of an early-return-to-work plan. Of these 6 claims, 5 of the employees returned to work

Routine support for employees

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

Measure Results 2006—07
Orientation sessions to inform new and ongoing employees of occupational health and safety legislation, responsibilities and procedures 228 employees from the department attended orientation sessions, and all new employees of the Australian Antarctic Division attended orientation sessions

Supervisors and managers in the Australian Antarctic Division attended general training, incident analysis and asbestos awareness training

All employees in the department (except the Australian Antarctic Division) are required to complete an online occupational health and safety training programme called SAFETRAC. Special face-to-face SAFETRAC training was presented by a consultant to employees with limited literacy or computer skills
Training for first aid officers, health and safety representatives and workplace contact officers 60 first aid officers and 10 park rangers were trained in first aid; 16 health and safety representatives received appropriate training; 12 Workplace Contact Officers were trained. All wintering Antarctic expeditioners attended first aid training

One new Australian Antarctic Division health and safety representative undertook training. All other health and safety representatives and first aid officers held existing qualifications
Ergonomic and work station assessments by in-house and external occupational therapists 363 work station assessments were conducted for the department and 32 in-house work station assessments were conducted for the Australian Antarctic Division
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 218 new appointments were made with Davidson Trahaire Corpsych, the department's provider and 29 people used OSA Group, the Australian Antarctic Division's provider
Testing of electrical equipment in the Canberra offices 1,807 items were tested

Other measures

Other measures the department undertook during the year to ensure the health, safety and welfare of employees and contractors are as follows:

The Australian Antarctic Division:

Commonwealth Disability Strategy

The Commonwealth Disability Strategy is a framework for Australian Government departments to help them improve access for people with disabilities to government programmes, services and facilities. The strategy includes a performance reporting framework built around the five key roles of government: policy adviser, regulator, purchaser, provider and employer. Departments must report on their performance in implementing the strategy in their annual reports. The department's performance is summarised in the following table.

Department's performance in implementing the Commonwealth Disability Strategy
Performance indicator Results 2006—07
Policy adviser
New or revised policy/programme proposals assess the impact on the lives of people with disabilities prior to decision The department's disability action plan 2004—2006 is being revised to ensure that the department continues to meet the performance reporting requirements established by the Commonwealth Disability Strategy

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
Public announcements of new or proposed policy/programme initiatives are available in accessible formats for people with disabilities The 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.environment.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

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.environment.gov.au/about/legislation.html)

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

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

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
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 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 on parks and reserves is available in accessible formats on the department's website (www.environment.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's service 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 2006—07
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 they require special arrangements for them during the recruitment process
Agency recruiters and managers apply the principle of reasonable adjustment The department's recruitment and selection policy requires recruiters and managers to apply this principle
Training and development programmes consider the needs of employees with disabilities All managers are responsible for ensuring that the training and development needs of their employees 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 collective agreement 2006—2009 sets out complete procedures for complaints and grievances. These procedures apply to all employees and situations