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Governance and accountability

External scrutiny and review

In 2014–15, no judicial decisions or decisions of administrative tribunals affected the Institute, nor were there any parliamentary committee reports or Ombudsman reports.

The AIC undertakes a risk assessment annually and reviews risks on a regular basis. The Institute is subject to an annual statutory audit performed by the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO). In addition, regular internal audit reviews are undertaken by an independent consultant. The outcomes of all audits are presented to the AIC Audit Committee, and plans for the implementation of recommendations and ongoing monitoring of actions for improving processes are developed.

Corporate governance

In 2014–15, the AIC continued to enhance its accountability and governance practices and to implement changes in Commonwealth legislation and policy to ensure its corporate integrity. These changes increased the Institute’s administrative and legislative compliance obligations and the workload of the Executive and Corporate team.

Director (Chief Executive of the AIC)

Dr Adam Tomison was appointed Director of the AIC by the Governor-General in 2009 and became Chief Executive of the Institute from 1 July 2011, when the AIC transitioned from a Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 agency to a Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 agency, and subsequently to a Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 agency from 1 July 2014. His term expired on 12 July 2015.

Criminology Research Advisory Council

The Criminology Research Advisory Council (CRAC) was established under 2011 amendments to the Criminology Research Act 1971. The CRAC and its members have no legal, management or financial responsibility for the AIC. The role of the CRAC and its members is to advise the Director in relation to:

  • the strategic priorities for criminological research;
  • the priorities for communicating the results of that research; and
  • applications for research grants made under the CRG program.

The CRAC consists of nine members representing the Commonwealth Government and state and territory governments. This composition ensures that areas targeted for research funding reflect both national and state/territory priorities.

Meeting dates for 2014–15 were:

  • 11 July 2014 (by teleconference);
  • 21 November 2014 in Canberra;
  • 13 March 2015 in Canberra; and
  • 3 July 2015 in Canberra.
Members of the Criminology Research Advisory Council as at 30 June 2014
Western Australia

Ms Cheryl Gwilliam, Director General, Department of the Attorney General, Chair.

Tasmania

Mr Norman Reaburn, Appointed representative, Tasmania, Deputy Chair.

Commonwealth

Mr Iain Anderson, First Assistant Secretary, Criminal Justice Division, Attorney-General’s Department.

Australian Capital Territory

Ms Alison Playford, Director-General, Justice and Community Safety Directorate.

New South Wales

Mr Brendan Thomas, Deputy Secretary, Department of Justice.

Northern Territory

Mr Greg Shanahan, Chief Executive, Department of the Attorney-General and Justice.

Queensland

Ms Jennifer Lang, Acting Deputy Director General, Department of Justice and Attorney General.

South Australia

Mr Rick Persse, Chief Executive, Attorney-General’s Department.

Victoria

Ms Julia Griffith, Deputy Secretary, Corrections, Department of Justice.

Audit committee

The Audit Committee is established in accordance with section 45 of the PGPA Act. Its objective is to provide independent assurance and assistance to the Director of the AIC about its risk, control and compliance framework, and its external governance responsibilities. The Audit Committee Charter was reviewed in September 2013 in line with revised ANAO better practice guidance.

In 2014–15, the Audit Committee comprised three members, appointed by the Director; two of whom are independent:

  • Mr Norman Reaburn (Chair) (independent member);
  • Mr Kevin Patchell FCPA (independent member); and
  • Dr Rick Brown—AIC Deputy Director Research.

The Institute’s internal audit provider for 2014–15 was Ernst & Young.

Meetings of the Audit Committee were held on 11 September 2014, 20 November 2014, 12 March 2015 and 2 July 2015.

Management committees

Ethics committee

The AIC Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) has been operating since 1992. Its seven members have backgrounds in law, religion, social work and research, as stipulated in the National Health and Medical Research Council guidelines for ethics committees.

HREC’s role is to advise the Director (or Deputy Director) whether approval to proceed should be granted for proposed research involving human subjects. HREC regularly reviews proposed projects to ensure that appropriate safeguards exist for the conduct of the research to be consistent with ethical standards.

During the reporting period, HREC reviewed and approved 21 proposals. The HREC met on three occasions: 12 November 2014, 4 March 2015 and 11 March 2015.

The Committee Chair in 2014–15 was Professor Nicolas Peterson PhD, Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia. The committee’s other members were:

  • Mr Derek Jory MA (layman);
  • Dr Tony Krone PhD (person with knowledge of, and current experience in, research regularly considered by HREC);
  • Ms Barbara Nicholson (Minister of religion or Aboriginal elder);
  • Professor Debra Rickwood PhD, MAPS (person with knowledge of, and current experience in, the care, counselling or treatment of people);
  • Ms Ruth Treyde BA/LLB (lawyer); and
  • Ms Hayley Boxall BCrim (PhD candidate) (person with knowledge of, and current experience in, research regularly considered by HREC and secretary).
Senior Executive Committee

The Senior Executive Committee was chaired by Dr Adam Tomison, Director of the AIC. The other members were Dr Rick Brown, Deputy Director Research and Mr Brian Russell CPA, Deputy Director Corporate and Chief Financial Officer. The Committee considers and provides broad strategic advice on research directions, budget and management.

The Senior Executive Committee (or members thereof) meets regularly with the Communications Manager and Library Manager to consider strategic and management matters in these areas.

Research Managers committee

The Research Managers Committee meets every two months to consider both strategic and operational aspects of the AIC Research Program and provides advice to the Executive Committee on research priorities and risks. The meetings are regularly attended by other senior management staff to discuss specific management topics. Its members at 30 June 2015 were:

  • Dr Rick Brown, Deputy Director Research (Chair);
  • Dr Russell Smith, Principal Criminologist and Research Manager, TOC team;
  • Matthew Willis, Research Manager, CJMA team;
  • Anthony Morgan, Research Manager, CPER team; and
  • Dr Samantha Bricknell, Research Manager, V&E team.
Corporate Services Managers committee

The Corporate Services Managers Committee meets monthly to consider both strategic and operational aspects of Corporate Services functions and provides advice to the Executive Committee on financial and budgetary matters, ICT, human resources matters and administration matters. Its members at 30 June 2015 were:

  • Brian Russell FCPA, Deputy Director Corporate and Chief Financial Officer (Chair);
  • Karen Johnston, Manager HR and Administration;
  • Adam Cooper, Financial Manager; and
  • Myles Lambert, ICT Manager.
Other committees

The ICT Committee provides advice to the Executive Committee on strategic direction and emerging issues. Its members at 30 June 2015 were:

  • Dr Adam Tomison, Director (Chief Executive);
  • Myles Lambert, ICT Manager (Chair);
  • Dr Rick Brown, Deputy Director Research;
  • Brian Russell FCPA, Deputy Director (Corporate) and Chief Financial Officer;
  • Colin Campbell, Communications Manager;
  • Kate Hogden, Web Manager;
  • Jane Shelling, Library Manager; and
  • Dr Susan Goldsmith, Principal Research Analyst, CPER team.

The Work Health & Safety Committee provides oversight of Work Health & Safety aspects of the organisation and advises the Deputy Director Corporate on Work Health & Safety issues and risks. Its members at 30 June 2015 were:

  • Karen Johnston, Manager HR and Administration (Chair);
  • Penny Smyth, HR Administrator;
  • Matthew Willis, Chief Fire Warden;
  • Dr Samantha Bricknell, First Aid Officer (and Harassment Contact Officer);
  • Adam Cooper, First Aid Officer; and
  • Georgina Fuller, Health and Safety Representative.

The Harassment Contact Officers also meet separately with the Manager Human Resources and Administration.

Staff consultative committee

The Staff Consultative Committee was established formally as part of the negotiation of the Agency Agreement 2011–14, as an acknowledgment that change in the workplace is constant and to identify, implement and encourage better practice, efficiency and productivity.

The main role of the committee is to consult on policies that impact on employment conditions and to identify areas of productivity or efficiency gain. The committee meets at least quarterly with the Executive, and as often as required with the Manager HR and Administration to workshop draft policies. In April 2014, elections to refresh the membership of the committee were held. As of 30 June 2015, the committee members were:

  • Gemma Kelly;
  • Sarah Coghlan;
  • Lauren Renshaw; and
  • Karen Johnston (management representative).

Risk management

The AIC’s risk management framework provides the mechanism to prevent or minimise the impact of adverse events on the Institute’s ability to achieve its outcomes. The framework aims to provide a systematic process for making informed decisions and ensure that risks have been identified, managed and appropriately treated. The AIC’s risk management process encapsulates fraud control planning and processes in accordance with the Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines.

The primary components of the AIC’s risk management strategy are its:

  • risk management policy and framework;
  • risk management plan and risk assessment registers;
  • protective security management framework;
  • business continuity management plan;
  • Accountable Authority Instructions;
  • finance policy and procedures;
  • project management framework; and
  • internal audit program.

The AIC also participates in the annual Comcover risk management survey, which seeks to benchmark agencies’ risk management frameworks, programs and systems against those of all participating agencies and peer group agencies. The majority of the Institute’s risk management practices have achieved average or above average ratings.

Fraud control

As required by the Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines, the Director certifies he is confident that:

  • fraud risk assessments and fraud control plans have been prepared that comply with the Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines;
  • appropriate fraud prevention, detection, investigation and reporting procedures and processes are in place; and
  • annual fraud data that comply with the Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines have been collected and reported.

The AIC’s fraud risk assessments and fraud control plans are embedded within the Risk Management Plan and risk assessment processes. No fraud was identified in 2014–15.

Protective security

The AIC, as a Commonwealth Government agency, is required to follow the Commonwealth Government PSPF and the Commonwealth Government ISM. The AIC has continued to review and implement security measures during 2014–15 to enhance its security management framework and embed the security management principles and controls into governance arrangements, business practices and agency culture.

Human resources

The AIC’s human resources management framework is designed to maintain a workforce that has the skillset, flexibility and diversity to meet the AIC’s current and future research needs. The framework incorporates access to learning and development opportunities and notes the importance of effective communication and sharing of information. It is reinforced by effective performance development and staff management, and relevant work health and safety practices.

The AIC seeks to promote a cooperative and harmonious work environment through:

  • integrity—ethical and honest behaviour;
  • professionalism—serving clients and stakeholders in a practical, diligent, thorough and objective manner;
  • openness—being accessible and responsive to staff, clients and stakeholders in order to build trust and confidence; and
  • fairness—treating all people equitably and justly, and respecting the diversity of ideas, backgrounds and cultures of staff, clients and stakeholders.

The AIC’s strategic and corporate direction is communicated to staff throughout the reporting year at meetings and via the intranet, email and internal blogs informing and updating staff on research projects and on corporate issues and direction.

The AIC and APS Values and Code of Conduct set out the behaviour expected of all AIC employees as they carry out their responsibilities. The code and values provide guidance to employees and also form part of the online and in-house induction program.

The AIC continued to outsource its payroll functions in 2014–15.

Human resources policies

During 2014–15, the Institute continued to review its human resources policies to ensure compliance with legislation and relevance to the current workforce needs. A number of policies were reviewed and updated in consultation with the Staff Consultative Committee. Between 1 July 2014 and 30 June 2015, the following policies had been revised:

  • travel policy;
  • Health and Safety Management Arrangements;
  • Occupational Overuse Policy;
  • WHS incident/hazard reporting and investigation procedures; and
  • Workplace Diversity Policy and Action Plan.

The AIC commenced negotiating a new agency agreement on 24 June 2014. Negotiations were placed on hold in April 2015 pending a decision on the proposed merger with the ACC. Several policies are being reviewed in line with proposed changes to the agency agreement, including:

  • attendance policy;
  • employee leave policy;
  • performance policy; and
  • end of employment policy.

Workforce planning

The AIC’s Senior Executive Committee continually monitors workforce requirements. Staff are employed on the basis of the output requirements arising from both appropriation funded and fee-for-service research and support activities. The AIC also takes account of outsourcing opportunities in the university research and corporate sectors. Flexible staff arrangements are essential to meet research outputs through a collaborative approach and suitable appointments. This includes engaging leading national and international research organisations and individuals.

The Institute undertakes workforce planning on an ongoing basis due to its constantly changing operational environment. Structured planning occurs as part of the strategic planning and development process. This includes the consideration of budget priorities for the upcoming year and the resources required to meet those priorities. Various committees contribute to ensuring that the needs of the organisation can be achieved.

The Institute undertook a workforce planning audit, completed in November 2012, to review its workforce planning capacity. Based on the audit’s recommendations, the Institute has developed a workforce planning framework to better align strategic direction with policies such as performance management, work-level standards and learning and development. The Institute is continuing to improve and assess the Employee Value Proposition and to focus on clarifying roles, progression milestones and developmental needs for existing employees, in line with the agency’s strategic priorities.

As an organisation the Institute values fairness, equity and diversity and is therefore committed to preventing and eliminating discrimination. In 2014–15, the AIC extended its commitment to increasing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment within the AIC. The Institute appointed an Indigenous cadet and is seeking to embed and possibly expand this program, as well as continuing to encourage applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander interns for an identified position.

Performance development scheme

Under the Public Service Act 1999 (Cth), the AIC is required to focus on achieving results and managing performance. The AIC’s performance and development scheme requires clearly defined performance goals, fairness and transparency in rewarding good performance, and prompt and appropriate management of underperformance. The AIC supports these principles and is committed to fostering a performance improvement culture within an organisation that values its most important resource—its people.

The scheme emphasises continuous feedback, with a strong focus on developing employees and encouraging improvements in productivity and efficiency. The scheme promotes fairness by clearly defining expectations that align with the agency’s outcomes and objectives. It includes:

  • transparent appraisal of outcomes for all staff;
  • individual training and development plans;
  • the use of review processes at six-monthly cycles; and
  • the use of structured underperformance provisions and strategies.

Performance pay

Under the AIC’s current Agency Agreement, employees may qualify for a one-off performance bonus when they have achieved a performance rating of superior or above. Eligible APS level to Executive Level 1 employees are able to receive a bonus of between two and three percent, and eligible Executive Level 2 and SES employees may qualify for a bonus of between two and 10 percent.

In 2014–15, 21 employees received a performance bonus relating to the preceding 12 months’ performance. The total amount of performance bonus paid was $71,229 (2013–14: $56,233).

Learning and development

The AIC’s Learning and Development policy aims to facilitate a working environment that enables employees to develop their skills, knowledge and effectiveness, and promotes improved performance in delivery of the AIC’s goals and priorities. As part of its structured approach to learning and development, the AIC continued its three-part induction program, complemented by the Australian Public Service Commission’s online modules. Training was also provided on presentation skills, statistics, security awareness, change management and resilience.

As a small agency, the Institute takes advantage of training days and briefing sessions offered by other government departments and agencies such as the Department of Finance and Deregulation, Comcover, the National Archives of Australia and the Australian Government Solicitor. Wherever possible, AIC staff develop and deliver relevant internal training to minimise costs and make the best use of existing expertise.

Other development opportunities provided to staff included:

  • the opportunity to author (or co-author) research publications;
  • the opportunity for staff to present their work at internal lunchtime seminars and/or external conferences (both national and international), and other organised events;
  • an in-house program of training in research methods, statistics and criminological theory; and
  • the opportunity to be provided with study leave or other support to undertake relevant studies. In line with this, the Institute supported two staff undertaking PhD studies in 2014–15.

Staffing summary at 30 June 2015

All staff by classification
Table 12: All staff by classification level (at 30 June 2014 and 2015) (actuals)
Classification 2014 2015
SES Band 1 (equivalent) 2 2
Executive Level 2 6 6
Executive Level 1 7 7
APS 6 8 7
APS 5 10 10
APS 4 5 6
APS 3 11 9
APS 2 0 1
APS 1 1 1
Total 50 49
Average staffing level
Table 13: Average staffing level by financial year
Financial year Average staffing level
2012–13 48.5
2013–14 45.2
2014–15 49.9
Employment status
Table 14: All staff by employment category, employment status and gender (at 30 June 2014 and 2015)
Employment category/status Male (n) Female (n) Total (n) Females as % of total
2014 2015 2014 2015 2014 2015 2014 2015
Ongoing
Full-time 7 8 16 13 23 21 70 62
Part-time - - 1 - 1 - 100 -
Subtotal 7 8 17 13 24 21 71 62
Non-ongoing
Full-time 8 6 18 20 26 26 69 77
Part-time - - 0 2 0 2 100 100
Subtotal 8 6 18 22 26 28 69 79
Total 15 14 35 35 50 49 70 71
By gender
Table 15: All staff by APS level and gender
Classification Male Female Total Females as % of total
2014 2015 2014 2015 2014 2015 2014 2015
SES Band 1 2 2 0 - 2 2 0 -
Executive Level 2 5 5 1 1 6 6 17 17
Executive Level 1 2 3 5 4 7 7 71 57
APS 6 2 1 6 6 8 7 75 86
APS 5 0 1 10 9 10 10 100 90
APS 4 2 1 3 5 5 6 60 83
APS 3 2 1 9 8 11 9 82 89
APS 2 0 - 0 1 0 1 0 100
APS 1 0 - 1 1 1 1 100 100
Total 15 14 35 35 50 49 70 71
Employment arrangements
Table 16: Employment arrangements covering staff (at 30 June 2014 and 2015)
Employment arrangement Staff 2014 (n) 2015 (n)
AIC agency agreement SES (equivalent) 0 0
Non-SES 48 47
Common Law contracts SES (equivalent) 2 2
Non-SES 0 0
Individual flexibility arrangements SES (equivalent) 0 0
Non-SES 3 2
Staff separations
Table 17: Staff separations by classification level and employment category 2013–14 and 2014–15
Classification Ongoing Non-ongoing Total
2013–14 2014–15 2013–14 2014–15 2013–14 2014–15
SES Band 1 (equivalent) - - - - - -
Executive Level 2 1 - - - 1 -
Executive Level 1 1 2 - - 1 2
APS 6 - 2 2 1 2 3
APS 5 1 1 - 1 1 -
APS 4 - - 3 - 3 -
APS 3 - - 3 7 3 7
APS 2 - - - - - -
APS 1 - - - - - -
Total 3 5 8 9 11 14
Remuneration
Table 18: Salary ranges at 30 June 2015
Classification Position Salary range
APS 1 Trainee $39,900–45,580
APS 2 Admin assistant $47,540–52,520
APS 3 Research Officer I/Admin Officer I $54,210–59,010
APS 4 Research Officer II/Admin Officer II $60,110–66,670
APS 5 Research Analyst/Senior Admin Officer $68,310–75,410
APS 6 Senior Research Analyst/Senior Admin Officer II $76,500–87,430
Executive level 1 Principal Research Analyst/Admin Specialist $90,160–122,511
Executive level 2 Research Manager/Admin Executive $108,080–136,600
SES SES Band 1 $150,000+

2014–15 Internship program

Applications were invited for research internships from undergraduate and postgraduate students entering their final year of university in 2014–15 or from students who had completed their studies in 2014. Students in criminology or criminal justice at an Australian university were eligible, as were students in law or social science areas whose subjects included criminological themes.

The internship program was restructured in 2014 to allow continual receipt of applications and placements over the course of the year as relevant projects were identified. In 2014, the internships attracted over 50 applications and continue to receive strong interest. Four AIC-led research internships were granted in the first half of 2015 and the AIC also took on a communications intern placed through a program run by her university. Each of the research interns was assigned to one of the AIC’s research teams and given experience in working on AIC research projects.

Staff communication

The AIC contributed to the 2013–14 State of the Service employee census. This survey provided staff the opportunity to communicate issues and perceived weaknesses and strengths to management anonymously. The results of the survey showed continuing improvement in addressing issues around perceived bullying and harassment and internal communications.

All-staff meetings are scheduled on a bi-monthly basis and provide an opportunity for managers to advise staff of achievements or events over the past two months. These meetings also provide an open forum for discussing any issues impacting staff.

The AIC blog continued to provide an online information-sharing facility, offering a faster, easier and more efficient method of internal communication. It enables the Director or any of the work areas to post news for all staff at any time.

The intranet is the AIC’s main vehicle for sharing and developing knowledge. It provides links to information in the library catalogue, the external databases to which the library subscribes and the public domain. By providing access to research projects, datasets and presentations, the intranet encourages researchers to build on and extend previous AIC research.

Information and communications technology services

Network and infrastructure

The AIC runs a stable and secure ICT network in accordance with Commonwealth Government PSPF and related information security requirements. The AIC has commenced the recertification process for the security classification of its network, with this to be completed in the first half of 2015–16. The AIC continues to take steps to enhance the performance of its system and reduce the overheads associated with its ICT service and systems; however, a number of software upgrade projects were placed on hold pending the outcome of the potential merger with the ACC.

In collaboration with Australian Survey Research, the AIC is currently developing a data collection system for the Drug Use Monitoring in Australia (DUMA) program. The system will allow the seamless integration of offline survey data collection into the online survey environment. The new processes will enable offline collection of encrypted data and significantly reduce costs and processing time through the removal of hardcopy survey instruments and the labour-intensive data entry and validation process. The new system is currently being tested and is expected to roll out in late 2015. In addition to the AIC’s website, support and hosting services are provided on a fee-for-service basis to other organisations including the NDLERF and Crime Stoppers Australia.

ICT security

The AIC has continued to monitor and review its ICT security. A review of compliance with the Australian Signals Directorate’s Top 4 Mitigation Strategies was completed during 2014–15, resulting in the implementation of application whitelisting to further secure its Protected network.

Statutory reporting requirements

Work health and safety

The Institute’s agency agreement includes a commitment to promoting a productive workplace that is fair, flexible, safe and rewarding, characterised by respect, courtesy, inclusion and equity; and to ensuring early intervention and resolution in instances of workplace harassment, bullying or discrimination and the fair treatment of employees involved.

Under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (the WHS Act), the AIC is required to report in its annual report on the following matters:

  • initiatives taken during the year to ensure the health, safety and welfare of workers who carry out work for the AIC;
  • health and safety outcomes achieved as a result of the initiatives mentioned;
  • statistics of any notifiable incidents of which the Institute became aware during the year that arose out of the conduct of businesses or undertakings by the agency;
  • any investigations conducted during the year that related to businesses or undertakings conducted by the Institute, including details of all notices given to the entity during the year under Part 10 of the WHS Act; and
  • such other matters as are required by the guidelines approved on behalf of the Parliament by the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit.

Health and safety initiatives

The Work Health and Safety Committee has a legislative function pursuant to section 77 of the WHS Act, as summarised below:

  • to facilitate cooperation between the AIC and workers in instigating, developing and carrying out measures designed to ensure the workers’ health and safety at work;
  • to assist in developing standards, rules and procedures relating to health and safety that are to be followed or complied with; and
  • any other functions prescribed by the regulations or agreed between the AIC and the committee.

The Work Health and Safety Committee met on four occasions during 2014–15. Regular workplace audits were conducted and key work health and safety roles were advertised and filled as quickly as possible.

During the year, the Institute undertook a range of initiatives, including an internal audit of the Institute’s work health and safety practices that was completed in August 2014. The AIC has been following up on recommendations and implementing changes. The revised Health and Safety Management Arrangements were finalised in January 2015, and an occupational overuse policy was also developed and finalised as result of the audit findings. New procedures and training for staff, and memorandums of understanding for contractors, were developed for key projects involving fieldwork.

The AIC continued to provide:

  • first aid training to nominated first aid officers within the Institute;
  • training for fire wardens and health and safety representatives;
  • influenza vaccinations to employees and contractors;
  • resilience training;
  • access to professional counselling services via the Employee Assistance Program; and
  • ergonomic (workplace) assessments.

Health and safety outcomes

No incidents were reported to the Deputy Director Corporate.

Notifiable incidents

Under the WHS Act, a notifiable incident is one involving the death of a person, the serious injury or illness of a person or a dangerous incident. The AIC recorded no notifiable incidents during 2014–15.

Investigations including details of all notices

Under the WHS Act improvement, prohibition or non-disturbance notices may be issued to the agency. The AIC was not issued with any notices and there were no investigations undertaken during 2014–15.

Disability reporting

The National Disability Strategy sets out a 10-year national policy framework for improving life for Australians with disabilities and their families and carers. Disability reporting occurs though a number of mechanisms; for example, the Australian Public Service Commission’s State of the Service Report and the Australian Public Service Statistical Bulletin, to which the AIC contributes. The AIC makes every effort to ensure that its policies and procedures comply with the principles of the National Disability Strategy.

The AIC website and publications meet Government requirements for accessibility. The AIC works to ensure conferences and forums are accessible to all who are interested in attending.

Carer Recognition Act

The AIC is compliant with its obligations under the Carer Recognition Act 2010.

Ecologically sustainable development and environmental performance

This report on ecologically sustainable development and environmental matters is provided in accordance with section 516(a) of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. The Institute’s Executive and staff are committed to the principles of ecologically sustainable development.

In 2014–15, electricity consumption within our tenancy (which results in carbon emissions into the atmosphere and the use of resources) increased by less than 0.4 percent, compared with the previous period. The Institute uses 10 percent green energy, and in previous years installed new servers with solid-state hard drives that drastically reduce power consumption, in compliance with Government Greenhouse Energy Reporting.

Initiatives to reduce the Institute’s environmental impacts include that:

  • staff are encouraged to use web-based and teleconference facilities where possible rather than undertake air travel, which has adverse effects;
  • selected seminar presentations are made available electronically so people do not have to travel to the Institute to hear them;
  • the majority of Institute publications are produced in an e-book format, reducing the need for hardcopy, printing and paper usage; and
  • waste generation (resource waste and emissions to the air) is reduced by recycling paper, cardboard, glass, plastics and metals.

The AIC continues to look for ways in which it can continue to reduce its impact on the environment when undertaking new procurements.

Purchasing

All purchasing is carried out in line with the requirements of the Commonwealth Procurement Rules, as detailed in the AIC’s Accountable Authority Instructions and procurement policy. All procurement in excess of $10,000 is recorded on AusTender and contracts in excess of $100,000 are reported in accordance with the requirements of Senate Order 192 and detailed on the AIC website at www.aic.gov.au.

Australian National Audit Office access clauses

The AIC’s contract templates contain standard clauses to provide for the Auditor-General to have access to the contractor’s premises. All contracts entered into during the reporting period contained these standard clauses.

Exempt contracts

The AIC has not entered into any contracts or standing offers that have been exempted from publication on AusTender.

Consultancy services

Consultants are generally engaged where particular specialist expertise is necessary, sufficiently skilled expertise is not immediately available in-house, or independent advice on a matter is required. The services provided by new and continuing consultants over the reporting period included internal audit services, legal advice, counselling services and independent IT assessment.

During 2014–15, two new consultancy contracts were entered into (including those to a value of less than $10,000), involving total actual expenditure of $22,954 excluding GST. In addition, three ongoing consultancies were active during the year, involving a total actual expenditure of $81,753 (excluding GST). Expenditure for the year totalled $104,707 excluding GST (2013–14: $114,901).

Information on the value of contracts and consultancies is available on the AusTender website, www.tenders.gov.au. Contracts in excess of $100,000 are reported in accordance with the requirements of Senate Order 192 and detailed on the AIC website, www.aic.gov.au.

Legal services

The AIC engages legal services from the Legal Services Multi-Use List (LSMUL) framework in accordance with the Legal Services Directions 2005. Legal services include both contract and consultancy services relating to legislation, governance, contracting and human resource matters.

During 2014–15, the AIC‘s total expenditure for legal services was $18,513 (2013–14: $7,960).

Advertising and marketing

The AIC did not carry out any campaign advertising in 2013–14.

Information publication scheme

The AIC has complied with IPS requirements. The Freedom of Information log can be found on the website in the Corporate Information section at http://aic.gov.au/about_aic/corporate%20information/foi.html.

Financial performance

Overview

In accordance with the Commonwealth Government’s net cash appropriation arrangements, the AIC’s operating result for 2014–15 was a deficit of $330,697 (2013–14: deficit of $294,777) against a revised budget deficit position of $305,000 published in the AIC’s Portfolio Budget Statements 2015–16. This deficit position includes depreciation expenses of $113,100 (2013–14: $98,854). The operating loss is covered in full by the AIC’s cash reserves.

The operating loss position was higher than anticipated as a result of the impact of the proposed merger of the AIC and the ACC. The merger has meant the diversion of executive-level resources away from income generating activities and stakeholder uncertainty has directly resulted in the AIC being unable to secure and undertake a number of fee-for-service research contracts in the second half of the financial year.

In 2012–13, the AIC sought and received the approval of the Minister for Finance to extend the amount of its operating loss in excess of depreciation. The additional loss position covers five financial years to 2016–17, to allow the expenditure of cash reserves tied to the CRG program. For 2014–15, an additional $200,000 operating loss was approved.

See Table 13 for a summary of budgeted and actual expenses for 2014–15.

Operating revenue

The AIC’s total operating revenue was $8,251,451 (2012–13: $8,840,974) and comprised:

  • government appropriations of $5,324,000;
  • sale of goods and rendering of services of $1,806,823;
  • royalties of $49,670; and
  • grant program and other revenue of $1,032,958.

Revenue from government appropriations decreased by a net amount of $31,000 from 2013–14. The decrease is the net effect of appropriation indexation and a series of efficiency dividends over prior years.

Revenues from the provision of services decreased by $472,828 from 2013–14. The decrease was attributable to a decline in fee-for-service research projects at both the Commonwealth and state/territory level, due to uncertainty among stakeholders related to the proposed merger of the AIC and the ACC. Conference revenue was also down $136,643 with only two large-scale external conferences held during the year (2013–14: 3 conferences). The scale and number of conference events varies from year to year.

Operating expenditure

The AIC’s total operating expense was $8,582,148 (2013–14: $9,135,751) and comprised:

  • employee costs of $5,206,889;
  • supplier expenses of $2,430,613;
  • grants expenses of $805,170;
  • depreciation and amortisation of $113,100; and
  • losses from asset sales/disposal of $26,376.
Table 19: 2014–15 income statement budget, and actual and 2015–16 income statement budget
  2014–15 2014–15 Variation 2015–16
Budget Actual (Actual–Budget) Budget
$’000 $’000 $’000 $’000
Expenses
Employee benefits 5,146 5,207 61 5,283
Supplier expenses 2,606 2,430 (176) 2,578
Grants 1,300 805 (495) 500
Depreciation and amortisation 105 113 8 105
Net loss from sale of assets 0 26 26 0
Total expenses 9,157 8,582 (575) 8,466
Income
Own-source revenue
Sale of goods and rendering of services 2,211 1,806 (405) 2,406
Royalties 50 50 0 50
Grants contribution and other 1,230 1,033 (197) 400
Total own-source revenue 3,491 2,889 (602) 2,856
Gains
Other 37 38 1 38
Total gains 37 38 1 38
Total own-source income 3,528 2,927 (601) 2,894
Net cost of services 5,629 5,655 (26) 5,572
Revenue from government 5,324 5,324 - 5,267
Surplus (deficit) attributable to the Commonwelath Government (305) (331) (26) (305)

Employee expenditure increased by $307,097 from 2013–14 as a result of an increase in the average staffing level (ASL) to 49.9 in 2014–15 (2013–14: 45.2). This increase in ASL was driven by a number of factors including the AIC insourcing a component of its DUMA data collection activity, temporary engagements to cover staff on maternity leave and insourcing of an ICT contract.

The AIC staffing level subsequently decreased to 48 average staffing level (ASL) at 30 June 2015 and is budgeted to settle around 47 ASL throughout 2015–16. This level of staffing is expected to be maintained through fee-for-service research project work, complementing the AIC’s appropriation funding research and dissemination priorities.

Supplier expenses decreased by $461,952 from 2013–14, primarily as a result of decreases in contractor expenditure associated with the DUMA program data collection activity and fee-for-service research projects. The decrease in expenditure also reflected the reduced conference program for the year.

Grants expenditure also decreased by $439,534 from 2013–14. This reduction relates to the reduced expenditure against the NDLERF grant program which had reduced funding during 2014–15 and commenced winding up as a result of advice that the Department of Health would provide no further funding beyond 2014–15.

Balance sheet

Net asset position

The net asset position at 30 June 2015 was $1,788,895 (2013–14: $2,096,512).

Total assets

Total assets at 30 June 2015 were $4,790,968 (2013–14: $6,063,712). The large decrease in assets was due to a reduction in cash holdings through the use and recognition of unearned revenues, and a decrease in trade and other receivables as a result of existing fee-for-service contract payment timeframes.

Total liabilities

Total liabilities at 30 June 2015 were $3,002,073 (2013–14: $3,967,200). The difference is due to decreases in the level of unearned income recognised under the AIC’s secretariat contracts. Major liabilities include prepayments received/unearned income of $1,271,760 and employee provisions of $935,969.

For detailed analysis, please refer to AIC Financial Statements.

AIC financial statements