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Feature Story: Canberra Office Relocation Project

In early 2019, AFMA Canberra office began operating out of its new office space in the Majura Park Precinct of the Canberra Airport.

There were several catalysts for the move, the key being our existing lease agreement expiring on 31 December 2018, triggering increased on-going rental costs if we remained. The opportunity to relocate also facilitated us delivering on a number of Government initiatives namely: delivery of cost effective utilisation of office accommodation to government, improved ICT capability to deliver cost effective business outcomes and meeting the Commonwealth’s Digital Continuity 2020 Policy. It also provided opportunities to explore new and innovative approaches to the way we wished to work as an agency into the future.

Against this backdrop in April 2018, we commenced our journey by testing the market through the newly introduced Whole of Australian Government Property Leasing Strategy to identify potential new premises.

Along the way we engaged a range of consultants and project managers to assist and guide us in identifying cost effective accommodation options, consult and engage our staff through the design, fit-out and relocation stages and to support our staff through the change management process.

Through extensive staff consultation the new workspace has been designed to embrace adaptive and agile working arrangements, have more space for collaboration and focused work across the agency through a variety of spaces to support different tasks and activities and take advantage of natural light, all key identified deliverables sought by our staff as part of the move.

To support our new work practices, we also upgraded our ICT environment to enable a mobile and collaborative workforce, reducing sedentary work practices. Our Technology and Digital Services team deployed a new operating environment with laptops provided to all staff and introduced Microsoft Teams (softphone solution) across all our offices. This allowed staff to utilise all collaborative spaces in the office through Wi-Fi technology, whilst still remaining connected to our secure network. Adopting cloud base technology we reduced our reliance on infrastructure support, reducing both costs and ICT risks.

Through the use of selected staff champions as Relocation Ambassadors our staff were kept informed and engaged throughout the process. Change Management and leadership training provided by our Workplace Group was rolled out to support our Senior Managers and Managers through this dynamic period of change for the agency.

Our new workspace now supports more agile and collaborative work practices enabled through the provision of mobile technologies and flexible physical settings which in turn support a more cost efficient and productive workforce.

The result of our journey have delivered some very tangible results for AFMA, as illustrated by the various infographics and whilst the journey was intense and exceptionally challenging along the way, our dedicated project team delivered the new office on time, under budget and without any disruption to operational services. The design and fit-out was also recognised in the ACT Master Builder's 2019 Building Excellence Awards in the Commercial Fitout, Refurbishment or Alteration $1 million – $5 million category.

The move to a new, flexible and mobile working environment, along with other changes faced by the organisation has presented challenges to staff. Work is now underway to consolidate the positives and address areas for improvement that have been identified. The end result will ensure that AFMA can be on the front foot in continuing to deliver efficient, cost-effective and accountable management of Commonwealth fisheries resources.

Canberra Office Relocation infographs

Fraud Control

The AFMA Fraud Control Framework addresses internal fraud perpetrated within AFMA. The AFMA Fraud Policy applies to all our staff (and contractors) and outlines our zero tolerance policy. We have in place appropriate fraud prevention, detection, investigation and reporting procedures that meet the specific needs of the organisation. These mechanisms and procedures are regularly tested to ensure that they remain relevant and fit for purpose for AFMA. Both the new Fraud Policy and Fraud Control Plan meet AFMA's requirements under section 10 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Rule 2014.

The Fraud Policy does not apply to fraud committed by parties external to AFMA, such as domestic or foreign fishers operating in the Australian Fishing Zone. The investigation of such fraud is undertaken by investigating officials within our Fisheries Operations Branch, or in some cases the Australian Federal Police. Please refer to section 2.3 on page 37 for further information.


AFMA's Audit and Risk Committee provides independent assurance and advice to the Chief Executive Officer on AFMA's financial reporting, performance monitoring, systems of risk oversight and management and systems of internal control. The Committee's role in reviewing AFMA's treatment of strategic risks is also directly relevant to the work of the AFMA Commission.

For further information on the Audit and Risk Committee see Appendix 1.