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Strategy one: Transform our business to provide world-class agvet chemical regulation from regional Australia

Summary and explanation of performance

We have completed the physical relocation to Armidale and made progress in developing the staff, information, office and ICT resources needed to continue and improve our business from regional Australia. This has been achieved through rigorous planning processes and sound management practices. We have put into place strong financial management structures to ensure our financial viability while we develop a renewed cost recovery implementation statement.

Focus areas and activities

Implement the APVMA Armidale business model:

  • implement recruitment activities for Armidale in line with the APVMA recruitment strategy
  • oversee construction of the permanent APVMA premises in Armidale
  • implement the APVMA digital strategy
  • put in place documented processes and practices for improved knowledge management
  • establish and maintain a learning culture.

Modernise our ICT:

  • manage procurement of ICT products and services that progress priority elements of the APVMA digital strategy through an Enabling Technology Program for
    • infrastructure services
    • unified communications and collaboration
    • digitisation of analogue records
    • ICT service management and support
  • identify business requirements for the business application improvement project.

Ensure cost of operations are reflected in current fees, levies and charges:

  • manage and monitor the APVMA financial sustainability plan in line with APVMA governance arrangements
  • put in place arrangements to address the APVMA’s operating loss
  • commence review of the Cost Recovery Implementation Statement (CRIS).
Strategy one—Performance against corporate performance measures

Performance measure



Maintenance of average staffing levels within 5% of the budgeted target for each financial year

Operational Plan 2018–19

The budgeted average staffing level was 195.

Our peak staffing level was 210 at June 2019 with a minimum staffing level of 175 at July 2018.

Yearly growth of the Armidale staffing and gradual reduction in Canberra full time equivalent (FTE); Armidale staffing target of 70 FTE

Operational Plan 2018–19

At 1 July 2018 there were 33.6 FTE located in Armidale, and 175.5 FTE located in Canberra. As at 30 June 2019, there were 105 staff located in Armidale, and 108 staff located in Canberra.

Maintenance of critical knowledge products

Operational Plan 2018–19

All instructional material within the APVMA was identified and reviewed for currency. Documents were reviewed, updated, or flagged for future updating or archiving from our knowledge base and Instructional Material Library (IML).

Our knowledge management tools, including the IML and knowledge base, were redesigned to better support staff and a knowledge maintenance plan was developed to ensure the effective ongoing management of critical knowledge products.

Priority recruitment of positions mapped to the Armidale business model

Operational Plan 2018–19

During 2018–19 there were 48 priority recruitment activities undertaken across Armidale and Canberra. 86 individuals were recruited across the organisation from 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019.

14 Canberra-based staff relocated to the Armidale office.

Construction of Armidale premises completed on time and within budget

Operational Plan 2018–19

Our Armidale premises were completed and a Certificate of Occupation was issued.

Business-as-usual operations commenced in the new office in June 2019, ahead of schedule and within budget.

Delivery of products and services under the Enabling Technology Program and achievement of digital strategy objectives within allocated budget:

  • ICT back-end infrastructure successfully migrated to a cloud services arrangement
  • all APVMA staff (onsite and remote users) have access to consistent and reliable desktop collaboration and communication services
  • digitisation of analogue records is in progress; ad hoc user requests are completed within 3 business days.

Operational Plan 2018–19

Stage 1 of our move to managed services and cloud-based infrastructure is complete. ICT service desk functions were transferred to DXC Technology on 19 March 2019 and end-user services are in place; the design for cloud migration is complete and migration is in progress with completion scheduled for end November 2019.

We awarded management of the APVMA electronic document and records management (eDRM) system to Objective Managed Services on 13 December 2018, and their services commenced on 16 January 2018. The eDRM was upgraded to the most recent version on 24 June 2019.

The contract for the digitisation of physical records was awarded to ZircoDATA on 26 July 2018. Digitisation is in progress and digitised files are being automatically uploaded into the eDRM. Quality control processes are in place and a recent internal business review of electronic files has confirmed usability and utility of the digitised files.

An agreement for provision of managed services for ongoing support and future improvement of the APVMA’s core business applications was signed with DXC Technology on 1 July 2019. DXC is transitioning applications support services to their Digital Transformation Centre and has commenced an applications transformation project with an initial schedule for the first release of improved business systems in mid-2020.

Responsible financial management of APVMA operations, including maintenance of positive equity balance until the implementation of a renewed cost recovery fee structure can assist to return reserves to $7.0 million for future operation

Operational Plan 2018–19

In April 2019, the APVMA introduced a new financial management system, Technology One. This replaced our ageing financial management system and supports the future management of the APVMA by bringing our systems in line with the Department of Agriculture.