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Management and accountability

This section details governance, staffing arrangements, and financial and property management, and applies to both the ACMA and eSafety, unless specified. For eSafety’s specific governance and administrative information, refer to ‘Accountability arrangements’ in Part 2—Office of the eSafety Commissioner annual report 2018–19.

Under the EOS Act, the ACMA makes its staff available to assist the eSafety Commissioner to perform their functions and exercise their powers. All staff employed to assist the Commissioner are staff of the ACMA and are covered by all ACMA entitlements, protections and obligations.

Governance

The ACMA is a non-corporate Commonwealth entity under the PGPA Act. The ACMA Chair is the accountable authority under the PGPA Act and an Agency Head for the purposes of the Public Service Act.

The ACMA Authority is a collegiate decision-making body that consists of at least three and not more than nine members including the Chair and Deputy Chair. Members are appointed by the Governor-General and associate members are appointed by the Minister. In September 2018, the ACMA published a new Code of Conduct for Authority members and associate members. The code sets out the Authority’s strategic intent, approach to business, duties, responsibilities and culture and values to guide its work over the years ahead. In 2019 cross-appointment arrangements were instituted between the ACMA and the ACCC.

The Review of the ACMA, published in May 2017, recommended that the government provide the ACMA with a Statement of Expectations (SoE) and that the ACMA respond with a Statement of Intent (SoI). The then Minister for Communications and the Arts issued the government’s SoE
to the ACMA on 19 September 2018 and the ACMA provided its SoI in response on
17 December 2018. The full SoE and SoI are available on the websites of DoCA and the ACMA.

The Executive Management Committee (EMC) meets fortnightly to assist the Chair in the role of accountable authority. The EMC advises on strategic matters and issues of significance, and oversees finance, resource management, compliance and enforcement and information technology areas. The EMC comprises the Chair, Deputy Chair/CEO and the four Senior Executive Service (SES) Band 2 general managers.

In accordance with paragraph 17AG(2)(d) of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Rule 2014 (PGPA Rule), no issues of non-compliance with the finance law were reported to the Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts or Minister for Finance in relation to the ACMA during the reporting period.

Corporate planning

The ACMA’s Corporate plan 2018–19 covered a four-year period and outlined the strategic approach to achieving our purpose through medium to long-term priorities. The 2018–19 plan is available on the ACMA website.

During 2018–19, the members of the EMC met each quarter to assess agency performance against the strategic priorities, activities and performance measures outlined in the corporate plan.

Risk management and fraud control

The ACMA maintains systems of fraud control and risk management in accordance with the PGPA Act, the PGPA Rule and Commonwealth policies.

Our Risk Management Framework provides guidance to staff on their risk management responsibilities, making risk-aware decisions, utilising risk management tools to prioritise activities and communicating risks to stakeholders.

In 2018–19, we began an uplift program to improve our risk management capabilities and align our processes with the Commonwealth Risk Management Policy and the newly released standard: ISO 31000:2018 Risk management—Guidelines. The uplift program will deliver a fully revised framework in 2019–20.

In early 2019, the ACMA implemented a policy of mandatory fraud awareness and risk management training for all employees to support a strong culture of proactive management and accountability. Employees with regular risk management duties are encouraged and supported to undertake specialised risk training to improve their skills, knowledge and capability.

In 2018–19, the Fraud Control Plan was revised and endorsed by the ACMA Chair. The new plan is an important part of the ACMA’s Risk Management Framework and outlines the ACMA’s fraud control arrangements, including designated responsibilities and ongoing strategies for mitigating fraud to protect public money, property and information.

The EMC regularly reviews the organisation’s strategic risk profile, considers new and emerging risks and directs resources to mitigate identified risks. Instances of fraud and investigations are recorded using the ACMA’s Fraud Risk Register and reported to the Audit and Risk Committee.

Audit

The ACMA regularly reviews governance systems and takes steps to improve on our existing strong foundations. Our Audit and Risk Committee and internal auditors provide expert advice to the ACMA in the interests of continual improvement.

During 2018–19, the Audit and Risk Committee met five times and continued to look at key corporate and regulatory processes. The committee reviewed all internal and relevant external audit activity and reported on performance against its charter. Enhancing financial and non-financial performance reporting was a major focus for the committee and the ACMA.

Over the reporting period, our internal audit services were provided by RSM Australia Pty Ltd. Eight internal audits were completed and accepted by the Audit and Risk Committee. The Audit and Risk Committee monitors all audit recommendations and reviews a selection of closed recommendations to confirm implementation over the longer term.

Details of the Audit and Risk Committee are included in Appendix 1 of this report.

Australian National Audit Office performance audits

The ACMA did not participate in any Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) performance audits tabled in 2018–19, however these were monitored, with particular focus on the performance reporting and cost recovery audits.

External scrutiny

During 2018–19, there were:

  • no judicial decisions, decisions of administrative tribunals or decisions of the Australian Information Commissioner that had or may have a significant impact on the operations of the ACMA
  • no reports on the operations of the ACMA by the Auditor-General, a parliamentary committee or the Commonwealth Ombudsman
  • no capability reviews of the ACMA released during the reporting period.

Our people

The ACMA had 446 APS employees at 30 June 2019 (compared with 439 at 30 June 2018), of whom 54 work in the Office of the eSafety Commissioner. Comparative staffing details are in Appendix 2 of this report.

Terms and conditions of employment for all non-SES employees of the ACMA are determined by the ACMA Enterprise Agreement 2017–2020 (ACMA Agreement). Salary ranges available under the ACMA Agreement are in Appendix 2 of this report.

Terms and conditions for the ACMA’s 13 substantive SES employees are contained in determinations made under subsection 24(1) of the Public Service Act. Salary ranges for SES employees are in Appendix 2 of this report.

Non-salary benefits for SES employees may include a mobile phone, airline club membership, reimbursement of professional fees and the allocation of a parking space.

At 30 June 2019, 20 employees at APS Level 6, Executive Level 1 (EL1) or Executive Level 2 (EL2) had individual flexibility arrangements for additional salary or retention bonuses. The highest additional salary increases the EL2 maximum to $168,541 per annum and the EL1 maximum to $140,551 per annum. The maximum retention bonus was $10,000 per annum.

Performance payments

Performance pay is available to employees at the EL2 (and equivalent) level under the ACMA Agreement. Total performance payments paid for 2018–19 are set out tables 1.16 and 1.17.

Table 1.16: Performance payments—ACMA, 2018–19

Number of employees receiving performance pay

Aggregated (sum total) of all payments made

Average of all payments made

Minimum payment made

Maximum payment made

EL 2

16

$58,150

$3,634

$298

$4,906

Total

16

$58,150

$3,634

$298

$4,906

Table 1.17: Performance payments—Office of the eSafety Commissioner, 2018–19

Number of employees receivin performance pay

Aggregated (sum total) of all payments made

Average of all payments made

Minimum payment made

Maximum payment made

EL 2

10

$54,397

$5,439

$1,067

$8,537

Total

10

$54,397

$5,439

$1,067

$8,537

Workforce planning

One of the main focuses for this year in workforce planning was the ACMA’s Graduate Program. The six successful graduates took part in the APS Graduate Development Program which aims to develop a graduate’s skills, capabilities and experience to work effectively and contribute to a high-performing APS.

Graduates learn through a range of activities, including the development and execution of a work project. The graduates each undertake varying work during their three rotations within the ACMA to give them exposure to the different specialised functions of the agency.

Workplace diversity plan

We are committed to providing a supportive and respectful work environment that recognises, values and accommodates the diversity of our employees and represents the Australian community we serve.

The ACMA Workplace Diversity Plan 2014–18 aims to promote awareness of workplace diversity principles and enables these principles to be reflected in everyday management and workplace practices. The plan aims to develop a supportive culture, and a discrimination- and harassment-free workplace. An update to the diversity plan is underway, with delivery planned for the second half of 2019.

We recognise and value individual differences and aim to raise awareness of the importance of workplace diversity by:

  • including the acknowledgment, acceptance and encouragement of diversity in organisational and individual performance plans
  • the ability to integrate workplace diversity principles into everyday management practice
  • making information available to new employees in induction material
  • providing information to all staff through the agency’s intranet.

Gender equality strategy

As part of our ongoing commitment to providing a supportive workplace, we are working towards a greater focus on inclusiveness and the value of gender equality.

The ACMA Gender Equality Strategy 2017–20 aims to identify and address gender imbalance and unconscious bias that may be affecting equity and inclusiveness for both men and women.

We aim to:

  • drive a supportive, enabling and inclusive workplace culture that seeks to benefit from the advantages of greater gender equality
  • create a diverse workforce that is representative of contemporary values
  • foster equitable access to flexible working arrangements
  • promote a gender balance at all leadership levels and seek to create greater gender balance in key business areas.

Disability reporting

The National Disability Strategy 2010–2020 sets out a 10-year national policy framework to improve the lives of people with a disability, promoting participation and creating a more inclusive society. A high-level two-yearly report will track progress against each of the six outcome areas of the strategy and present a picture of how people with disabilities are faring. Further information can be found on the Department of Social Services’ website at dss.gov.au.

Ethical standards

During the reporting period, we continued to promote the importance of ethical standards through our Accountable Authority Instructions (AAIs), People Management Instructions (PMIs) and training programs.

Each year employees are required to undertake refresher training on important ethical responsibilities. This year employees completed online privacy awareness and work, health and safety training. Refresher training was also held for authorised officers under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013 (PID). A new PMI on workplace behaviour and review was published after employee consultation, which includes the PID scheme, APS Code of Conduct and APS Review of Action processes.

All new employees are required to undertake online training on the APS Values and principles as part of their induction. Adherence to the ACMA and APS Values and APS Code of Conduct is a mandatory expectation in all performance agreements.

Additional harassment contact officers were appointed this year. They completed training and an orientation program before commencing in their role.

Health and safety

The ACMA is committed to safeguarding the health and safety of our workers, visitors and the general public. This commitment extends to the adoption of measures to:

  • prevent accidents and ill-health caused by working conditions
  • protect workers from any health hazard that may arise out of their work or the conditions in which it is carried out
  • consult with workers and other duty-holders (for example, the employers of contractors)
  • place and maintain workers in an occupational environment designed to satisfy their health, safety and wellbeing needs at work.

A National Work Health and Safety Committee (NWHSC) comprising both employer and worker representatives operates within the ACMA to discuss and resolve health and safety issues. The broad function of the committee is to provide a forum in which ACMA employees and management can identify and address any workplace health and safety issues. The NWHSC met on four occasions during the reporting period.

Regular workplace inspections are undertaken in all ACMA workplaces to identify hazards and potential hazards, and to review current hazard control measures. There is a strong health and safety culture and staff are encouraged to report workplace hazards and incidences.

Health and safety information is provided to all new staff through the ACMA’s induction program. All staff are required to complete work health and safety online training on a regular basis. We also implemented the following initiatives during the reporting period:

  • health month—focusing on nutrition, resilience and ergonomics
  • influenza vaccinations
  • assistance with costs associated with eye-testing and buying glasses for screen-based use
  • Employee Assistance Program with the introduction of five new specialist support services available to employees and their families, covering LGBTQI, disability and carers, eldercare, domestic and family violence and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
  • a mental health awareness campaign with a Mental Health Ambassador being appointed from within the Senior Executive Service.

In support of workplace health and safety, the ACMA appoints employees to corporate roles, including first aid officers, health and safety representatives, work health and safety workplace champions, fire wardens and harassment contact officers.

A Comcare information session was conducted in April 2019 aimed at assisting officers under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 to meet their due diligence obligations.

No notifiable incidents were reported to Comcare, no work health and safety investigations were conducted, and no notices were given to the ACMA under Part 10 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

Capability development

The ACMA’s Learning and development strategy 2015–18 supports our commitment to giving all employees effective and accessible learning and development. The strategy aims to:

  • provide quality and relevant learning opportunities that strengthen individual capability and support performance outcomes
  • ensure all employees have access to tools that will facilitate compliance with APS legislative obligations
  • create a continuous learning culture where individuals take ownership of their development needs in partnership with supervisors, encouraging an engaged and informed workforce.

To enhance the leadership capability across the ACMA, in 2018–19 we introduced a 360-degree feedback program for all EL2 employees. The program adopted an individualised approach to identifying learning and development opportunities for the EL2 cohort.

The ACMA’s net expenditure in 2018–19 for employee learning and development was $460,114 excluding GST. This figure includes staff attendance at general training, conferences and seminars, and studies assistance and the collaborative leadership program. Staff attended a range of learning and development activities, from public service writing courses to
industry-related conferences.

During the year, 13 employees were supported under our studies assistance program. Employees undertook tertiary qualifications in specialised fields such as law, business, social work and information technology.

Enterprise agreement

The ACMA Agreement sets out the terms and conditions of employment for
non-SES employees. It came into effect on 1 November 2017 and has a nominal expiry date of 31 October 2020.

Non-salary benefits for non-SES employees may include: annual influenza immunisation; a free, confidential employee assistance program for employees and their immediate family; airline club membership for frequent travellers; reimbursement of relevant professional association membership fees; reimbursement of some costs associated with vacation childcare; public transport assistance scheme; loss or damage to clothing or personal effects and studies assistance to eligible employees.

Consultation and workplace relations

Staff consultative forums are established under the ACMA Agreement.

The National Consultative Forum (NCF) deals primarily with the key strategic and change issues that affect the ACMA and is convened by the ACMA Chair. It comprises management, union and employee representatives. The Terms of Reference for the NCF were finalised following the implementation of the ACMA Agreement, along with the development of a PMI on the role and responsibilities for employee representatives.

The NCF met on two occasions during the reporting period and minutes of each meeting were made available to employees via the ACMA intranet.

The NWHSC provides a consultative forum for the identification and consideration of workplace health and safety issues that need to be addressed at an organisational level (see ‘Health and safety’).

We participate in the Australian Public Service Commission’s State of the Service employee census, which enables us to collect employee feedback to help develop strategies to address specific workforce issues. Seventy-six per cent of ACMA staff participated in the 2019 census.

Financial management

The ACMA continues to enhance our financial management, with a focus on appropriately resourcing our key activities. During 2018–19, our reporting frameworks improved access to, and provision of, quality financial information for internal and external stakeholders.

We continued reviewing key areas within the financial management remit so that ACMA processes aligned with legislative changes and best practice. We met all statutory budgeting and reporting requirements and deadlines as set down by the Department of Finance, the Treasury and ANAO.

Key achievements during the year included:

  • more closely aligning financial budgeting and reporting with the agency’s performance planning and reporting framework
  • providing tailored finance support to budget delegates through the establishment of
  • finance managers
  • further improving accessibility to the financial management information system.

The ACMA’s financial statements for 2018–19 were prepared in accordance with section 42 of the PGPA Act. The ANAO is given full access to all records and premises to enable it to perform its role, and issued an unmodified audit opinion on the ACMA’s 2018–19 financial statements and notes (see Appendix 16 of this report).

Revenue collection

The ACMA collects revenue on behalf of the Australian Government through broadcasting, radiocommunications and telecommunications taxes, levies, fees and charges. It also administers non-regular revenue from spectrum auctions.

In 2018–19, we administered $0.705 billion in revenue (2017–18: $3.608 billion). The prior year revenue included $3.078 billion in proceeds from the sale of 700 MHz and 3.4 GHz spectrum.

Figure 1.4: Revenues and expenses administered on behalf of governmentRevenues and expenses administered on behalf of government

Details of key revenue items are provided below.

Telecommunications Industry Levy

The Telecommunications Industry Levy (TIL) is imposed under Division 6 of Part 2 of the TCPSS Act and is set by the Secretary of DoCA. A combination of funds raised under the TIL and dedicated government funding continues to be used to meet the costs of service contracts to deliver universal service obligations, the National Relay Service, delivery of emergency call services and other public policy telecommunications outcomes. The contracts and grants are administered by DoCA.

The total levy is allocated to participating carriers based on the ACMA’s assessment of their eligible revenue. Table 1.18 provides details of the levy collected from industry.

Table 1.18: Telecommunication industry levies collected

Description

Revenue in
2018–19 ($m)

Revenue in
2017–18 ($m)

Telecommunications Industry Levy (TIL)

253.89

227.22

Total charges

253.89

227.22

Cost recovery charges

In accordance with the Australian Government’s Charging Framework we recover the costs of regulating the telecommunications industry. Revenue raised by the ACMA from cost recovery is shown in Table 1.19.

Table 1.19: Cost recovery charges

Description

Revenue in 2018–19 ($m)

Revenue in
2017–18 ($m)

Annual carrier licence charge

31.18

31.68

Other cost recovery

5.87

6.51

Total charges

37.05

38.19

Annual Carrier Licence Charges

Annual Carrier Licence Charges (ACLC) are imposed under the Telecommunications (Carrier Licence Charges) Act 1997 on participating carriers to recover the cost incurred by the ACMA, the ACCC and DoCA for regulating the telecommunications industry. Costs arising from activities on national telecommunications interest issues, such as coordinating engagement with the International Telecommunication Union, and financial assistance grants to support consumer representation in the telecommunication sector, are also cost-recovered through the ACLC. The total charge is allocated using the same eligible revenue assessments utilised for the TIL.

Other cost recovery

In 2018–19, other cost recovery charges ($5.87 million), noted in Table 1.19, comprised:
$2.07 million—the direct costs of operating the DNCR; $1.08 million—costs recovered on behalf of the Postal Industry Ombudsman; and $2.72 million—other fees for service items.

In 2018–19, the ACMA reviewed the DNCR cost recovery arrangements in line with the Australian Government Charging Framework and found no fee changes were required.

Resource taxes and charges

The use of Australian resources by industry attracts various taxes and charges.

The administration of taxes, levies, fees and charges plays a key role in the planning, allocation and effective use of public resources. Table 1.20 lists these revenue items administered on behalf of government.

Table 1.20 Resource taxes and charges*

Description

Revenue in 201819 ($m)

Revenue in
2017
18 ($m)

Apparatus licence tax

231.15

201.42

Commercial broadcast tax

104.59

0.00

Annual numbering charge

60.00

60.00

Reissue of 15-year spectrum licences

0.00

1,440.64

Digital dividend spectrum licence auction—instalment payments and licence renewals

0.00

1,637.48

Other resource taxes and charges

4.12

2.52

Total taxes

399.86

3,342.06

* For more detail on key items, refer to the respective paragraphs below the table.

Apparatus licence taxes

The ACMA imposes a tax on behalf of the government for the issue of radiocommunications apparatus licences to support the efficient use of spectrum and recover the indirect costs of spectrum management. The tax is calculated by a formula that makes fees consistent, equitable and transparent. The formula encourages efficiency by making taxes higher in congested locations and spectrum bands, so taxes are proportional to the bandwidth and give discounts for low power.

The ACMA has commenced work in response to the recommendations in the Spectrum Pricing Review and will be making announcements about the review in the first half of 2019–20.

Details of the apparatus licence taxes and charging arrangements are in the Apparatus licence fee schedule—April 2019, available on the ACMA website.

The figure below shows the total revenue from radiocommunications apparatus licences collected by the ACMA in 2018–19.

For more information, refer to ‘Apparatus licence taxes’ in the ‘Annual performance statement 2018–19’ in this report.

Figure 1.5: Revenue from radiocommunications apparatus licences, 2018–19Revenue from radiocommunications apparatus licences, 2018–19
* Includes earth, space, earth receive, and space receive licences.

Commercial broadcast tax

New commercial broadcasting transmitter licence tax arrangements commenced on 1 July 2017 under the Commercial Broadcasting (Tax) Act 2017. The ACMA commenced collecting taxes under the new arrangements in 2018–19. Revenue collected included all taxes eligible to be assessed and collected in both the 2017–18 and 2018–19 financial years.

The new commercial broadcasting transmitter licence tax arrangements involve taxes being assessed on commercial radio and commercial television transmitter licences that are associated with a broadcast service licence. The amount of tax assessed for each transmitter licence is based on the frequency band, location and power emissions of the transmitter.

The new arrangements have effectively replaced the earnings-based broadcasting licence fees (BLF) for commercial radio and television broadcasting licence-holders. The Broadcasting Legislation Amendment (Broadcasting Reform) Act 2017 removed the BLF and datacasting charges from the start of 2017–18, in line with when the new transmitter licence tax
arrangements commenced.

Annual numbering charges

On behalf of the government, the ACMA collects an annual numbering charge (ANC), set at $60 million per annum, from carriage service providers (CSPs) that hold telephone numbers.

CSPs are liable for the charges based on the numbers they hold on a specified census date, which we determine each year. The 2018–19 date was 7 April 2018.

In 2018–19, the base number charge for a 10-digit number was $0.630924313583264. Using the opportunity-cost methodology applied in previous years, nine-digit numbers were charged at $6.30924313583264, eight-digit numbers at $63.0924313583264 and so on. No numbers incurred the maximum cost of $100,000 allowable under the Telecommunications (Numbering Charges) Act 1997.

Numbers used for incoming-only international services, internal network services and testing services were subject to a reduced rate of charge. Geographic numbers (numbers starting with area codes such as 02, 03, 07 and 08) allocated to a CSP for the purposes of providing a standard telephone service to a customer are exempt from the charge.

Other administered revenue

The revenue identified in Table 1.21 mainly consists of fines and penalties.

Table 1.21: Other administered revenue

Description

Revenue in
2018
19 ($m)

Revenue in
2017
18 ($m)

Fines and penalties

0.56

0.07

Other

0.00

0.60

Total charges

0.56

0.67

Procurement and contract management

During 2018–19, we streamlined our procurement and contract management capabilities by updating the Procurement and contract management guide. We also updated the templates used to manage procurement of goods and services to include new provisions for police checks for contractors and consultants and to incorporate the changes introduced through the Government Procurement (Judicial Review) Act 2018. The ACMA met the requirements of the Commonwealth Procurement Rules for all procurements.

Consultants

The ACMA and eSafety engage consultants to provide specialised services when the capability or capacity to perform these in-house is not available, or where there is a requirement for independent advice.

The policy for selecting and engaging consultants is in accordance with the Commonwealth Procurement Rules and is based on the core principle of achieving value for money. The majority of consultants were engaged following an open approach to market and use of panel arrangements. The main categories for consultancies in 2018–19 were legal advice, research
and audit.

During 2018–19, 95 new consultancy contracts were entered into, involving total actual expenditure of $3,726,857. In addition, 26 ongoing consultancy contracts were active during the period, involving total actual expenditure of $1,942,089.

Annual reports contain information about actual expenditure on contracts for consultancies. Information on the value of contracts and consultancies is available on the AusTender website
at tenders.gov.au.

Table 1.22: Number and expenditure on consultants, 2018–19

Number

Total expenditure ($ incl. GST)

New contracts (entered into during the period)

95

$3,726,857

Ongoing contracts (entered into during a previous period)

26

$1,942,089

Table 1.23: Expenditure on consultancy contracts, 2016–17 to 2018–19

Year

New consultancies

Continued consultancies

2016–17

$2,256,924

$528,156

2017–18

$2,783,350

$670,600

2018–19

$3,726,857

$1,942,089

Procurement initiatives to support small business

The ACMA supports small business and Indigenous participation in the Commonwealth Government procurement market. Small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and Indigenous participation statistics are available on the Department of Finance’s website.

We recognise the importance of ensuring that small businesses are paid on time. The results of the Survey of Australian Government Payments to Small Business are available on the Treasury’s website at treasury.gov.au.

Our procurement practices support SMEs, consistent with paragraph 5.4 of the Commonwealth Procurement Rules, by adopting initiatives or practices including:

  • use of the Commonwealth Contracting Suite for low-risk procurements valued under $200,000
  • Australian Industry Participation Plans in whole-of-government procurement, where applicable
  • the Small Business Engagement Principles (outlined in the government’s Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda), such as communicating in clear, simple language and presenting information in an accessible format
  • electronic systems or other processes used to facilitate on-time payment performance, including the use of payment cards.
Competitive tendering

No contracts have been let for the delivery of government activities previously performed by a Commonwealth agency.

Access by Auditor-General

No contracts have been let that prevent access by the Auditor-General.

Exemptions from reporting of Commonwealth contracts

No exemptions have been sought or granted for the non-reporting of Commonwealth contracts on AusTender.

Grant programs

Information on grants awarded by the ACMA during 2018–19 is available at grants.gov.au and in Appendix 9 of this report.

Asset management

The ACMA’s asset management procedures and policies reflect relevant legislation and best practice. Major asset categories include land, buildings, leasehold improvements, plant, equipment and intangibles such as software that is either developed in-house or bought from third-party vendors. Assets are valued at fair value, with their carrying values and useful lives being reviewed annually.

At the end of 2018–19, the ACMA had a total value of $36.903 million in net non-financial assets (excluding pre-payments).

Property management

The ACMA’s property portfolio includes leased, licensed and Commonwealth-owned premises, ranging from office accommodation in the major capital cities to small radio monitoring sites at remote locations. We are continuing to review our office accommodation in accordance with the Commonwealth Property Management Framework and recommendations from the ACMA Strategic Accommodation Plan, including:

  • reducing ACMA’s accommodation footprint through the negotiation of new commercial lease terms and conditions
  • pursuing co-location opportunities associated with a whole-of-government approach to strategic decision making
  • developing efficient and effective space utilisation solutions
  • disposal of ACMA-owned property which is surplus to our requirements.

Ecologically sustainable development and environmental performance

The ACMA impacts the environment primarily through its accommodation and monitoring site footprint and less directly through its regulatory activities. Our initiatives to reduce waste, energy and water consumption, and greenhouse emissions included:

  • sensor lighting in offices, with a timer mechanism switching lighting off when rooms are not occupied
  • main office tenancies achieve a high National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS)
  • using video conferencing as a sustainable alternative to travel
  • producing environmentally sustainable communication products, including using alternatives to paper products and forms whenever possible
  • preventing or minimising pollution, waste-to-landfill and greenhouse gas emissions
  • implementing forced ‘out-of-hours’ computer terminal shutdown
  • using 100 per cent recycled copy paper
  • reducing unnecessary printing by requiring a two-stage printing activation through our cloud-based printing system.

Our implementation of the Ecologically Sustainable Development Principles1 has been through project planning processes, mainly for facilities management and ICT capital purchasing.

Corporate support services provided by the ACMA to eSafety

To assist eSafety, the ACMA provides the following services:

  • finance and accounting
  • procurement and contract management
  • accommodation and facilities
  • human resource management (including the provision of ACMA staff)
  • information and communications technology
  • certain media and communications services
  • legal services (on a fee-for-service basis)
  • research services (on a fee-for-service basis).

All staff employed to undertake the functions for the eSafety Commissioner (with the exception of the Commissioner and directly recruited contract staff) are staff of the ACMA and are covered by ACMA entitlements, protections and obligations.

Security

In April 2019 we released our new agency security plan that serves as a strategic guide to managing and implementing security to protect our people, information and assets.

All statutory reporting requirements were met in 2018–19, including mandatory participation in the Protective Security Policy Framework compliance reporting conducted by the Attorney-General’s Department. A compliance review of ACMA’s physical security was undertaken against the requirements of the Protective Security Policy Framework. A number of physical and personnel measures were enhanced in line with the current security environment.

Regulatory impact analysis compliance report

The Office of Best Practice Regulation manages and monitors regulatory impact analysis requirements and is required to report annually on regulatory impact compliance by Australian Government departments and agencies.

In 2018–19, the ACMA undertook 27 preliminary assessments for regulations to be made
or tabled.

Freedom of information

The ACMA is subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act), which requires agencies to publish information as part of the Information Publication Scheme (IPS), under Part II of the FOI Act. The ACMA is an agency subject to the FOI Act. Information on the ACMA’s IPS, including our agency plan, can be found on the ACMA website at acma.gov.au.

The agency plan provides a description of, and links to, the categories of information that we are required to publish, as well as information on other material that we voluntarily publish. Further information can be obtained using the contact details provided in the agency plan.

FOI details relating to the Office of the eSafety Commissioner can be found under ‘Accountability arrangements’ in Part 2—Office of the eSafety Commissioner annual report 2018–19.

Sunsetting

During 2018–19, we continued the extensive and detailed work that flows from the ‘sunsetting’ regime in the Legislation Act 2003 (LA). Under the sunsetting provisions of the LA, most of the legislative instruments made by Commonwealth agencies such as the ACMA ‘sunset’ (are automatically repealed) 10 years after they are first registered as law.

In the reporting period, eight instruments were due to sunset. Of those, four instruments were automatically repealed, and we revoked and replaced three instruments prior to the instrument’s sunset date. One instrument was revoked (but not replaced) prior to the instrument’s sunset date.

Directions and legislative instruments

Section 57 of the ACMA Act requires copies of certain directions and instruments to be included in the ACMA’s annual report, including directions given to us under section 14 of the ACMA Act, and directions given by us to a carrier or carriage service provider under section 581 of the Telecommunications Act during the financial year.

Additionally, section 67 of the ACMA Act requires us to maintain a register of all directions given to us under that Act or any other Act. The register is published on the ACMA website.

Between 1 July 2018 and 30 June 2019, the ACMA was given one direction under section 14 of the ACMA Act. The Australian Communications and Media Authority (Radiocommunications Licence Conditions—3.4 and 3.6 GHz Bands Interference Management) Direction 2018 (F2018L01045) was made on 17 July 2018 and registered on 20 July 2018. A copy of this direction can be accessed on the Federal Register of Legislation at legislation.gov.au.

The ACMA did not give any directions during the financial year under section 581 of the Telecommunications Act.

Footnotes

  1. Principles are contained in section 3A of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999