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Performance measure 3.4: Legal and policy advice on Australia’s integrity and rights frameworks

Integrity and rights frameworks (administrative law, human rights (including anti-discrimination laws), archives, privacy, anti-corruption, freedom of information, fraud and public interest disclosure) are effective and improvements are considered and implemented to the benefit of all Australians, including through projects that enhance capabilities and effective administration.

This performance measure was achieved.

Performance targets


3.4.1 Stakeholder and client satisfaction greater than 80% in relation to:

  • effectiveness (expertise and quality of relationship)
  • efficiency (timeliness and responsiveness)


3.4.2 Government and external stakeholders are actively engaged in discussions on policy development and improvements


3.4.3 Qualitative analysis shows that policy advice is effective in maintaining and improving the operation of Australia’s integrity frameworks



  • Portfolio Budget Statements 2020–21, Outcome 1, Program 1.1, page 30 and Program 1.2, page 33
  • Corporate Plan 2020–24, page 31

3.4.1 In response to questions related to this target in the department’s stakeholder survey, 100% of respondents rated our effectiveness positively and 94% rated our efficiency positively. A detailed explanation of the stakeholder survey methodology and results is at Appendix 2: Methodologies.

Respondents to the survey indicated that the department's staff are viewed as experts in their subject areas and that interactions with officers are generally positive. However, some comments related to concerns about changes in staffing and priorities resulting in inconsistent communication and the need to adhere to strict deadlines for consultation affecting the quality or timeliness of information. These concerns may be linked to the lower positive rating for efficiency when compared to the positive rating for effectiveness.

3.4.2 and 3.4.3 We promote public sector integrity and work to strengthen oversight, accountability and transparency measures in Australia’s public institutions. We worked closely with our stakeholders to achieve a range of integrity and rights reforms this year.

We have evaluated both performance targets 3.4.2 and 3.4.3 through qualitative assessment. The 2020–21 Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process was selected for assessment from a sample list using detailed selection criteria. An assessment panel considered how effective the policy advice was in achieving its intended effects. Further information on the assessment processes is at Appendix 2: Methodologies.

Australia is required to report to and appear before other United Nations Member States as part of a Human Rights Council peer-review process, the UPR. The UPR occurs every 5 years and assesses the extent to which Australia implements the human rights obligations set out in the United Nations Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the 7 core human rights treaties to which Australia is party and applicable international humanitarian law. Each UPR cycle includes a national report, an appearance before the UPR Working Group for an interactive dialogue with other member states and a written response to the recommendations made by the UPR Working Group during the appearance.

In the development and refining of our policy advice, we consulted with civil society, the Australian Human Rights Commission, Australian Government agency counterparts and state and territory agencies to check that the policy advice was effective and fit-for-purpose. A range of departments and state and territory governments were involved in the development of all aspects of the appearance, ensuring that the UPR reflected subject-matter expertise and high-quality advice. Participants were involved in virtual consultations, a public submissions process and the UN Human Rights Council appearance process. We adjusted our approach due to the pandemic by moving consultation online and coordinating a virtual appearance rather than the delegation appearing in person at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland.

Panel members graded the case study as ‘good’ or above in the areas of context, analysis, advice and action. The policy advice provided ensured that the UPR process accurately reflected the Australian Government’s position on human rights, both domestically and internationally, as well as Australian legislation, policy and practice. We were able to produce this outcome as a result of our detailed project plan and timeline that outlined the specific milestones requiring action throughout the process. The panel recognised this as a key tool in leveraging our policy advice. The panel noted that the policy advice could have been strengthened through considering how to measure the success or failure of the process.