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Annual performance statement

Introductory statement

I, as the accountable authority of the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA), present the 2019–2020 Annual Performance Statement of ARPANSA, as required under paragraph 39(1)(a) of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act). In my opinion, this annual performance statement is based on properly maintained records, accurately reflects the performance of the entity, and complies with subsection 39(2) of the PGPA Act.

Signature of ARPANSA CEO, Carl-Magnus Larsson

Carl-Magnus Larsson
Accountable Authority
9 September 2020

Purpose

ARPANSA’s vision and purpose are supported by a commitment to achieving six strategic objectives. ARPANSA’s vision, mission and strategic objectives can be found in ARPANSA at a glance.

Overarching analysis of performance against ARPANSA’s purpose

The performance measures outlined in the Portfolio Budget Statements and ARPANSA’s Corporate Plan 2019–23 provide the reference for the annual performance statement.

Over the course of the 2019–2020 reporting period, the agency’s performance has been strong; ARPANSA has achieved (or is on track for timely achievement of) 21 out of 29 relevant performance measures contained in the Portfolio Budget Statements and Corporate Plan, and has partially achieved another three measures. Four projects have experienced delays, one target was not achieved and two targets were recorded as redundant and therefore no longer relevant for the performance statement. With this annual result, we took many steps towards delivering enhanced radiation protection and nuclear safety outcomes to the Australian community and environment. Highlights include:

  • finalisation and publication of the Medical Exposure Code (Radiation Protection Series C-5), developed in collaboration with state and territory regulators and other members of the Radiation Health Committee
  • development of a new program for electromagnetic energy (EME) research to ensure scientifically accurate information is provided to the public
  • development of a national action plan to implement the findings of the Mission Report from the Integrated Regulatory Review Service mission, coordinated by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
  • demonstration of strong performance against the indicators of the Australian Government’s Regulator Performance Framework
  • finalisation of the integration of the monitoring stations in Fiji and Kiribati into the ARPANSA-operated radionuclide monitoring stations of the International Monitoring System established under the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT)
  • deployment of the Australian Radiation Monitoring System (ARMS) to provide a new early warning system in the event of any radiation releases during nuclear-powered warship visits or at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) Lucas Heights site.

The last quarter of the financial year saw a rapid increase in the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Australia. In order to protect the health and safety of our staff and to support the national efforts to prevent further spread of the virus, staff were requested to start working from home from 24 March 2020. This transition was completed in approximately 24 hours. The Sydney office was closed, whereas a minimum workforce remained on-site in the Melbourne office to carry out essential services (for example the Personal Radiation Monitoring Service) and to maintain the integrity of the agency’s infrastructure (for example property and digital technology). After readjustments and implementation of rigorous measures to protect the health and safety of staff and any external clients, laboratory-based services provided from the Melbourne office gradually resumed with a limited workforce on site. The Sydney office was partially reopened to support inspection activities and other work.

Despite some impact on performance during the last quarter, the impact on ARPANSA’s performance on an annual basis was relatively small. Reasons include:

  • nearly all staff had been provided laptops and a virtual collaboration platform had been rolled out and ‘stress-tested’ prior to transitioning to home-based work, which enabled staff and teams to stay connected and immediately resume work
  • virtual means were tested and used to support inspection and audit work
  • safe work practices were introduced that enabled continued provision of dosimetry services, maintaining the functions under the CTBT, and return of the radioanalytical laboratories to full operability
  • work had in many cases already progressed significantly during the preceding three quarters, which enabled the agency to reach the annual targets despite some impact of COVID-19 during the last quarter
  • the resilience and dedication demonstrated by ARPANSA staff despite sometimes very challenging circumstances, both at work (for example split into parallel teams to minimise risks for spread of potential infections) and at home (for example home schooling and childcare).

The end of the fourth quarter saw a surge of COVID-19 cases in Victoria, where a majority of ARPANSA’s staff are based. The full impact of the pandemic on ARPANSA’s performance will not be known until the next financial year or even later. ARPANSA is committed to delivering its services as well as possible under the current circumstances, while taking all necessary actions to protect the health and safety of its staff.

ARPANSA’s non-financial performance against the performance measures and initiatives listed in the Portfolio Budget Statement (PBS) and Corporate Plan (CP) are summarised in Table 1. Details of the performance measures, as well as the results and an analysis of the performance are presented on the following pages of this annual performance statement.

Summary of results

Table 1: Summary of Annual Performance results

Portfolio Budget Statements or Corporate Plan objectives

Target achieved/project completed

Target partially achieved

Target not achieved

Project on track

Project delayed

Measure redundant

Total number of measures

Strategic Objective 1

PBS

1

1

CP

3

2

5

Strategic Objective 2

PBS

1

1

CP

2

1

1

4

Strategic Objective 3

PBS

1

1

CP

5

2

7

Strategic Objective 4

PBS

1

1

CP

4

4

Strategic Objective 5

PBS

0

CP

1

1

1

3

Strategic Objective 6

PBS

0

CP

1

1

1

1

4

Total

PBS

1

3

4

CP

15

0

1

5

4

2

27

All

16

3

1

5

4

2

31

1. Identify, assess and communicate health, safety and environmental risks from radiation

No.

Measure

Target or estimated completion

Source

Annual result

PBS 1

Provide high quality advice to government and the community on health, safety and environmental risks from radiation

Identify, assess and communicate health, safety and environmental risks from radiation to the Australian community through research, communication campaigns, provision of radiation protection services, and community consultation and awareness activities

Portfolio Budget Statement

2019–20

Target achieved

1.1

Percentage of time that UV monitoring network data is available to the public

>95%

ARPANSA Corporate

Plan 2019–23

Target achieved

1.2

Monitor radiation doses to occupationally exposed workers

Annual reporting of trend in radiation doses received by workers, determined from quantitative dose measurement, provides evidence of optimisation of radiation protection

ARPANSA Corporate

Plan 2019–23

Target achieved

1.3

Percentage of time the ‘Talk to a Scientist’ call centre is made available to the public as advertised

>95%

ARPANSA Corporate

Plan 2019–23

Target achieved

1.4

National radon action plan

Publication and implementation of the National Radon Action Plan for hazard identification and risk mitigation to reduce radon-induced lung cancer in Australia

June 2020

ARPANSA Corporate

Plan 2019–23

Project delayed

New deadline December 2020

1.5

Radiation Protection Standard for Radiofrequency Fields (RPS-3)

Radiation Protection Standard for Radiofrequency Fields (RPS-3) published following finalisation of updated guidelines from the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP)

June 2020

ARPANSA Corporate

Plan 2019–23

Project delayed

New deadline December 2020

Details of performance against purpose and program objectives

In 2019–20, ARPANSA continued to provide advice, specialised resources, and services to support the protection of the public, workers and the environment from the harmful effects of ionising and non-ionising radiation.

ARPANSA achieved this by:

  • Publishing the Australian National Radiation Dose Register (ANRDR) in Review, the annual report of the ANRDR. The register holds dose records for approximately 46 000 radiation workers. This currently includes full coverage of workers from all state and territory-licensed uranium mining and milling operations, and partial coverage of workers from Commonwealth licence holders, state and territory regulatory bodies, and the mineral sands mining and processing industry. The ultimate goal for the ANRDR is to cover all occupationally exposed workers in Australia
  • publishing the Code for Radiation Protection in Medical Exposure (the Medical Exposure Code), Radiation Protection Series C-5 (2019). This code sets out the requirements in Australia for the protection of patients, their carers and comforters, and volunteers in biomedical research projects, in relation to their exposure to ionising radiation. The Radiation Health Committee (RHC) developed this code to update the existing code (from 2008) in the light of contemporary international standards described in the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) Radiation Protection and Safety of Radiation Sources: International Basic Safety Standards, General Safety Requirements Part 3 (2014)
  • publishing the Analysis of Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) Health Complaints Register Data 2019–2020. This register, first published in 2003, collects reports of health concerns related to possible EMR field exposures in the range of 0–300 GHz. Members of the public who believe they have suffered ill-effects as a result of exposure to EMR can lodge a written complaint to the register
  • planning for new activities in non-ionising radiation protection after the Australian Government announcement of an Enhanced Electromagnetic Energy (EME) Program in December 2019. The Australian Government announced this four-year program to provide clear, reliable and reputable information to the Australian public about EME and health. The program included funding for ARPANSA to deliver evidence-based scientific advice on EME and health through additional engagement with international forums (such as the World Health Organization and International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection), leading or partnering on new EME research, assessing EME exposure in the Australian community, expanding our EME equipment calibration services and providing expert advice to address concerns on EME and health. This will allow ARPANSA to continue to build public confidence in the safety of EME-based telecommunications and address misinformation about EME
  • ensuring the Talk to a Scientist call centre was made available as advertised for the reporting period. On 24 March 2020, in response to the pandemic and remote working arrangements for ARPANSA staff, the call centre was not available to the public and the new arrangements were advertised on ARPANSA’s website and social media platforms. The email service for Talk to a Scientist continued operation.
  • co-hosting the 5th International Symposium of the International Commission on Radiological Protection on the System of Radiological Protection with the Australasian Radiation Protection Society, in November 2019 in Adelaide. The symposium was a great success and brought over 400 international delegates together to discuss radiation protection achievements and challenges. Mines, Medicine and Mars were the highlighted themes for the symposium, and Australian delegates had a fantastic opportunity to showcase the world- leading work happening in Australia, and at ARPANSA, and to learn from experiences shared by the global radiation protection community.

Two projects were delayed:

  • a draft Radiofrequency Standard (RPS S-1) has been completed based on updated guidance from the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) that was published on 11 March 2020. Public consultation on RPS S-1 is expected to commence in August 2020. Final publication of RPS S-1 is expected by December 2020
  • the draft National Radon Action Plan was completed and, following feedback from the Radiation Health Committee, the Plan was reshaped with more emphasis on Commonwealth expectations. Final consultation on the action plan with other Commonwealth government stakeholders, including Safe Work Australia, is in progress. The plan is expected to be published by December 2020.

2. Promote radiological and nuclear safety and security, and emergency preparedness

No.

Measure

Target or estimated completion

Source

Annual result

PBS 2

Provide emergency preparedness and response systems for a radiological or nuclear incident

Emergency preparedness and response (EPR) systems for field, network and laboratory measurements, and information management and decision support systems are available, calibrated, tested and aligned with national planning

Portfolio Budget Statements 2019–20

Target partially achieved

2.1

Data availability of ARPANSA operated CTBTO IMS Radionuclide stations

>95%

ARPANSA Corporate

Plan 2019–23

Target achieved

2.2

Australian Radiation Monitoring System (ARMS)

ARMS network deployed and fully operational at identified sites of major radiological hazards.

June 2020

ARPANSA Corporate

Plan 2019–23

Project completed

2.3

Reference Accident for nuclear-powered vessels

Publish a review of the Reference Accident for nuclear-powered vessels as part of the implementation of Emergency Exposure Guide.

December 2020

ARPANSA Corporate

Plan 2019–23

Project delayed

New deadline June 2021

2.4

CTBTO IMS monitoring station upgrades

Integrate the Fiji and Kiribati radionuclide monitoring stations into ARPANSA’s network operations

June 2020

Deliver, in cooperation with the CTBTO, upgrades to the Macquarie Island, Darwin and Townsville radionuclide monitoring stations.

June 2021

ARPANSA Corporate

Plan 2019–23

Project on track

Details of performance against purpose and program objectives

ARPANSA’s commitment to test the adequacy of emergency preparedness arrangements and capability by participating in exercises both internally and with other agencies has remained strong in the 2019–20 reporting period.

During 2019–20:

  • ARPANSA participated in an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) emergency preparedness convention exercise (ConvEx-2a) on 12 May 2020. Exercises are held to test the operational arrangements of the Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident and the Convention on Assistance in the Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency
  • the Australian CTBT radionuclide laboratory was in service for most of the reporting period, with a six-week shutdown due to the initial COVID-19 response. A total of 18 atmospheric monitoring samples were received from overseas monitoring stations and independently analysed. Our analysis verified the measurements obtained from those stations and adds to the credibility of the International Monitoring System.

Other ARPANSA activities that promoted radiological and nuclear safety and security, and emergency preparedness included:

  • successfully deploying the Australian Radiation Monitoring System (ARMS) at Perth and Brisbane (ports that host nuclear-powered warships), ARPANSA’s Melbourne site (pilot and training system) and the ANSTO Lucas Heights site (OPAL research reactor). The automated system will act as an early warning system in the event of a radiological release from a visiting vessel, reactor or other major radiological/nuclear hazard and will be able to provide valuable data before, during and after a nuclear accident. The real-time data generated by ARMS will be made accessible to the public via an interactive chart on our website
  • operating and maintaining seven particulate radionuclide monitoring stations and two noble gas monitoring stations that are part of the CTBT International Monitoring System with overall availability of 98%. During the reporting period, ARPANSA finalised integration of two additional particulate radionuclide monitoring stations, at Nadi (Fiji) and Kiritimati (Kiribati). The upgrade of the Darwin particulate radionuclide and noble gas stations was successfully completed, and the upgrades to Townsville and Macquarie Island are on track. Time frames may be impacted in the next reporting year if travel restrictions due to COVID-19 continue into 2020–21. In the first half of 2020, travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic impacted maintenance schedules at a number of stations. Contingencies are in place to remotely support local operators with more limited maintenance, and further contingencies are being considered. Despite this, overall data availability was maintained
  • undertaking a number of activities relating to the provision of EPR systems for a radiological or nuclear incident. These included the maintenance and availability of laboratory measurement capability, networks and decision support tools. However, in the final quarter of the 2019–20 reporting period, the ability to maintain field equipment calibration, and undertake staff training in operations centre management and use of field equipment was postponed or unable to be completed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. ARPANSA was also unable to undertake field exercises with other response agencies and has delayed an exercise for the Australasian Radioanalytical Laboratory Network. While ARPANSA is still able to provide emergency preparedness and response systems for a radiological or nuclear incident, elements of our response capability, particularly deployment of staff for field measurement, may be delayed as a consequence of operational restrictions during the pandemic.

3. Promote the safe and effective use of ionising radiation in medicine

No.

Measure

Target or estimated completion

Source

Annual result

PBS 3

Promote patient safety in radiotherapy and diagnostic radiology

Report annually on significant deviations and trends discovered through the Australian Clinical Dosimetry Services (ACDS) and Diagnostic Reference Level (DRL) programs

Portfolio Budget Statement 2019–20

Target partially achieved

3.1

Number of Diagnostic Reference Level (DRL) surveys per category are sufficient to infer national characteristics per annual survey period

2400

ARPANSA Corporate

Plan 2019–23

Target achieved

3.2

Percentage of Australian radiotherapy providers subscribing in the national dosimetric auditing program provided by the Australian Clinical Dosimetry Service

95%

ARPANSA Corporate

Plan 2019–23

Target achieved

3.3

Number of hospital radiotherapy local dosimetry standards calibrated by ARPANSA against the national primary standard

15

ARPANSA Corporate

Plan 2019–23

Target achieved

3.4

Peer-reviewed publications demonstrating improvements in medical radiation safety

3

ARPANSA Corporate

Plan 2019–23

Target achieved

3.5

New DRL for image-guided interventional procedures

Develop new DRL for image-guided interventional procedures in conjunction with relevant professional bodies

June 2020

ARPANSA Corporate

Plan 2019–23

Project completed

3.6

Development of new audit techniques for emerging brain cancer treatments

Using ARPANSA’s newly commissioned linear accelerator, develop audit techniques for stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) brain cancer treatments

June 2021

ARPANSA Corporate

Plan 2019–23

Project on track

3.7

Proton radiotherapy dosimetry and advice

Providing guidance, informed through research, to professional organisations and governments

June 2023

ARPANSA Corporate

Plan 2019–23

Project on track

Details of performance against purpose and program objectives

In 2019–20, ARPANSA promoted the safe and effective use of ionising radiation in medicine. The main work programs – DRL surveys, dosimetry auditing by the ACDS and the maintenance and dissemination of the primary standard for absorbed dose – are all designed to promote the safety of patients undergoing medical examination or treatment involving radiation.

All programs have been developed with, and operate successfully through, ongoing interaction and engagement with medical professionals and clinical staff who perform and supervise the treatment and imaging procedures. In 2019–2020 ARPANSA:

  • completed 4854 DRL surveys. This was an increase of 23% from 2018–19 and exceeded the 2019–20 target of 2400. The high number of surveys submitted is an indicator of a strong engagement with the DRL program for computed tomography (CT). We estimate that at least one in every three CT scanners across Australia contributed data for this program. As a result, the data is likely to be a good representation of practice across the country, ensuring published DRLs appropriately reflect current practice
  • convened a liaison panel with government agencies, relevant medical colleges and societies and other stakeholders to consider recommendations for DRLs in image-guided and interventional procedures. The panel agreed on recommendations for DRLs
  • for diagnostic coronary angiography but there was insufficient data to recommend DRLs for other procedures at the time. The recommended DRLs were endorsed by the participating professional bodies and were published on the ARPANSA website in April 2020. Through collaboration with the liaison panel, the data collection program for interventional procedures was revised. Data from the ongoing collection program will be reviewed in future years with the aim of setting DRLs for other interventional procedures
  • serviced 99% of Australian radiotherapy providers under the ACDS national dosimetric auditing program. The Australian Clinical Dosimetry Service (ACDS) is a national independent dosimetry auditing program, providing quality assurance for radiation oncology facilities and patients
  • maintained our authorisation from the National Measurement Institute to maintain the primary standards of absorbed dose and air kerma for ionising radiation
  • calibrated 21 dosemeters for radiotherapy providers against the primary standard. A properly calibrated dosemeter is critical in ensuring that a linear accelerator delivers the correct amount of radiation for each radiotherapy treatment it provides. This ensures that the patient receives the safest and most effective radiation treatment possible.

The treatment of very small masses in the brain has been fundamentally improved over the last few years with highly accurate and small (3–20 mm diameter) radiation treatments. The position of the cancer is identified by multiple X-ray or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) procedures and is then treated. The technique is known as stereotactic radiosurgery, or SRS. ARPANSA’s recently installed linear accelerator has been used to develop a new SRS dosimetry audit, which, after testing, was accepted for field trial in 2019. Field trials commenced and six were performed at facilities offering SRS clinically, but were halted after COVID-19 travel restrictions were brought in across Australia from March 2020.

The preparation of the annual report of the ACDS was delayed due to prioritisation of arrangements for recommencing and maintaining the national audit program, despite the ongoing pandemic and restrictions on interstate travel. It is anticipated that the ACDS annual report will be published before the end of 2020.

4. Ensure risk informed and effective regulation

No.

Measure

Target or estimated completion

Source

Annual result

PBS 4

Ensure risk-informed and effective regulation

Implement recommendations from the IAEA IRRS mission to Australia in which Australia’s national regulatory, legal and governmental framework for nuclear and radiation safety was benchmarked against international best practice

Portfolio Budget Statements (PBS) 2019–20

Target partially achieved

4.1

Percentage of Regulator Performance Framework (RPF) Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) met or exceeded per reporting period

>75%

ARPANSA Corporate

Plan 2019–23

Target achieved

4.2

Maintain an appropriate risk-informed approach to regulation and compliance

Annual Regulator Performance Framework self-assessment is published on ARPANSA website and overall self‑assessed rating of performance indicates continued strong performance

ARPANSA Corporate

Plan 2019–23

Target achieved

4.3

Monitor doses to radiation workers at licensed Commonwealth facilities and influence the doses in a downward manner

The radiation doses of the 100 most exposed workers at licenced Commonwealth facilities trend downwards over time

ARPANSA Corporate

Plan 2019–23

Target achieved

4.4

National uniformity promotion program

Ongoing development and implementation of a four-year national uniformity promotion program through coordinated engagement with the Radiation Health Committee (RHC) and Radiation Regulators Network (RRN)

Ongoing support to strategic activities for national uniformity initiatives by the Environmental Health Standing Committee (enHealth) within the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC)

June 2020

ARPANSA Corporate

Plan 2019–23

Project complete

Details of performance against purpose and program objectives

ARPANSA is committed to the effective regulation of radiation sources, radiation facilities and nuclear installations across the full life-cycle, as well as national uniformity and compliance with the Regulator Performance Framework (RPF). The regulatory activities are undertaken using a risk-informed approach, to not unduly impede justified practices.

ARPANSA has undertaken a range of activities to support effective and proportionate regulation in Australia including:

  • developing a national action plan to track the implementation progress of the findings from the 2018 Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) mission. The action plan incorporates all findings addressed to ARPANSA, state and territory regulators and the Australian Government. The multi-jurisdictional findings are being managed by enHealth, reporting to the AHPPC. The recommendations to the Australian Government are being managed by the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources. During 2019–20, ARPANSA finalised four of the recommendations or suggestions addressed to the agency. ARPANSA is providing significant support to the enHealth process in implementing the multi-jurisdictional findings by working with state and territory regulators on the action plan. However, implementation is slower due to resource constraints from the COVID-19 pandemic. The development of a four-year national uniformity promotion program has been replaced by the work carried about by enHealth and is no longer relevant
  • publishing its Annual self-assessment of regulatory performance. This assessment found ARPANSA had 92% (11 of 12) indicators met or exceeded, demonstrating a high level of commitment to the Regulator Performance Framework (RPF). The Framework entails six overarching outcomes- based key performance indicators against which Commonwealth regulators should measure themselves on an annual basis to ensure regulators administer regulation fairly, effectively and efficiently. Such indicators include that communication with regulated entities is clear, targeted and effective; actions undertaken by regulators are proportionate to the regulatory risk being managed; and regulators are open and transparent in their dealings with regulated entities
  • holding the annual Licence Holder Forum in Canberra at the Australian National University on 4 September 2019. The forum provided an opportunity for participants to share and discuss new initiatives and good practices. The feature topic of the forum was ‘culture for safety’. Culture for safety is an aspect of the socio-technical environment that affects safety. If a culture for safety is positive, this tends to lead to safer work and better ability to deal with problems that may result in danger. In recent years, ARPANSA has seen a number of incidents and accidents where investigation has found weaknesses in safety culture. With these incidents and accidents to draw on, culture for safety was a topic of direct relevance to regulated entities
  • issuing permits for importation and exportation of radioactive material to and from Australia under Regulation 4R of the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956 and Regulation 9AD the Customs (Prohibited Exports) Regulations 1958. Under these regulations, the Minister for Health has authorised ARPANSA officers to issue import and export permits. During the reporting period ARPANSA approved 225 urgent permits, 686 standard permits, 41 twelve-month permits for radioisotopes and 19 export permits.

5. Enhance engagement with community, industry and government

No.

Measure

Target or estimated completion

Source

Annual result

5.1

Compliance with international agreements and treaties

Compliance with international conventions and codes through submitting national reports to review meetings as per schedule

ARPANSA Corporate

Plan 2019–23

Target achieved

5.2

Facilitate stakeholder engagement in decision making processes for major licence applications such as arranging public forums and community consultation meetings

Stakeholders are consulted when major licence applications are received

ARPANSA Corporate

Plan 2019–23

Measure redundant

5.3

National Radioactive Waste Management Facility (NRWMF) stakeholder engagement

Undertake stakeholder engagement activities for the proposed NRWMF prior to the receipt of a potential licence application. This will include community visits as needed and ongoing communication with interested parties via written correspondence and telephone. Additional activities may include the provision of new fact sheets and guidance material

ARPANSA Corporate

Plan 2019–23

Project on track

Details of performance against purpose and program objectives

ARPANSA has maintained and strengthened engagement with community, industry and government during the reporting period through a number of activities and initiatives, including:

  • continuing to drive and influence international safety standards in radiation protection and nuclear safety, drive international risk assessments, and submit reports on behalf of Australia under the terms of a number international conventions:
    • in July 2019, the National Report for the Eighth Review Meeting on the Convention on Nuclear Safety was submitted. ARPANSA and the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) also reviewed the national reports of other Contracting Parties in Australia’s Country Group. Dr Carl-Magnus Larsson, the CEO of ARPANSA, is the vice-president of the Eighth Review Meeting. The Eighth Review Meeting was scheduled to be held in March 2020, but has been delayed until 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Dr Gillian Hirth, Deputy CEO and Chief Radiation Health Scientist, continued as Chair of the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation for the 66th and 67th sessions. This is a position Dr Hirth will hold until the next election at the commencement of the 68th session in 2021. Dr Hirth has been involved with the work of the Committee since 2012 and has been a member of the Committee’s Bureau since December 2016.
    • ARPANSA staff members attended all IAEA safety standards committee meetings during 2019–20.
  • ​increasing public engagement and broadening our audience reach through communication activities:
    • during 2019–20, ARPANSA responded to 78 media enquiries, a small increase from 75 in 2018–19. The majority of enquiries related to the topic of 5G or mobile phones along with around 15% of enquiries relating to regulatory activities.
    • ARPANSA’s social media strategy was updated to better target our public audience and ensure consistent and accessible information and advice. A small Facebook campaign on information on the topic of 5G was also completed. This was in response to questions from the community on 5G and health. During the year ARPANSA’s Facebook followers increased by 32% and Twitter followers increased by 25%. LinkedIn was piloted as an additional social media channel for the agency.
  • continued stakeholder engagement (telephone and in writing) with communities and interested parties regarding the NRWMF. Following the February 2020 announcement that the government had identified Napandee, near Kimba, in South Australia as the preferred site for the facility, it is expected that further community engagement visits to South Australia will occur when COVID-19 travel restrictions are lifted.

There were no licence applications for new nuclear installations during 2019–2020 that required consultation activities as mandated in the ARPANS Act. Item 5.2 is therefore redundant.

6. Enhance organisational innovation, capability and resilience

No.

Measure

Target or estimated completion

Source

Annual result

6.1

Employee engagement score achieved in annual APS employee census

>APS average

ARPANSA Corporate

Plan 2019–23

Measure redundant

6.2

Number of ARPANSA breaches identified in radiation safety and security compliance assessments

0

ARPANSA Corporate

Plan 2019–23

Target not achieved

6.3

Workforce Plan

Develop and implement further initiatives and activities under the ARPANSA Workforce Plan 2017–2021, including the:

Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Attraction and Recruitment Strategy

Diversity and Inclusion Strategy

Learning Strategy

June 2020

ARPANSA Corporate

Plan 2019–23

Project delayed

New deadline June 2021

6.4

ARPANSA Service Model – Pilot Implementation

The pilot focuses on three key deliverables including;

Sustainability

  • Structured analysis of current pricing and review by December 2020

Services

  • Undertake customer/market analysis and refine our service offerings, if required

Digital

  • Finalise system specifications and approach to market strategy for new system/platform (for example, Laboratory Information Management System or likes)

December 2020

ARPANSA Corporate

Plan 2019–23

Project on track

Details of performance against purpose and program objectives

ARPANSA’s supporting functions provide insight and expertise to the agency on a daily basis. By integrating this expertise with developing practices and approaches, and aligning these with the strategic objectives of the agency, we provide the internal capability needed to successfully build and deliver innovative and streamlined programs and services.

During the reporting period, ARPANSA enhanced organisational innovation, capability and resilience through activities and initiatives including:

  • reviewing its enabling services to determine if a different structure could better support ARPANSA’s technical and regulatory branches. The review included enabling services delivered by the Office of the General Counsel, the Office of the CEO, the Corporate Office and the Engineering Services division of the Radiation Health Services Branch. The review focused on ensuring the agency’s corporate functions operate as efficiently as possible to support ARPANSA’s statutory functions under the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Act 1998. The outcome of the review was enacted in April 2020, with the creation of the Office for People Strategies and Wellbeing, and the Office for Business Support. The responsibilities of the Office of the CEO were expanded to include risk and quality management, and corporate reporting. The Corporate Office was disbanded
  • undertaking a wide-ranging review of business systems and technology platforms that culminated in the release of the Platform and Systems (PAS) Roadmap to establish the future of business services. The Strategic Management Group endorsed the PAS Roadmap and its five-year program of works in February 2020 with budget approval for projects within the 2020–21 financial year. Two projects are currently underway in line with the PAS Roadmap: the Intranet and the Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS)
  • the service model pilot implementation project is on track for all components to be completed by December 2020 or transitioned into other projects. The specifications of our future enabling system requirements, undertaken as part of the service model pilot implementation, have now been fully integrated into the PAS Roadmap.

Some activities that were partially achieved or not met include:

  • the APS Census was deferred to October 2020. Item 6.1 in the table is therefore redundant
  • due to resource constraints, several strategies, including the Health and Wellbeing Strategy, and the Diversity and Inclusion Strategy were further developed but not fully formalised. However, during the reporting period, ARPANSA continued to implement programs and initiatives in line with key people management strategies that support the Workforce Plan. LearnHub, the platform for online training for staff, was further developed and upgraded as part of the Learning and Development Strategy, resulting in greater alignment of professional and leadership capabilities with ARPANSA’s requirements. Under the Attraction and Recruitment Strategy, efforts were focused on external recruitment campaigns and the number of applicants increased by 85% compared to the last financial year
  • Item 6.2 was not achieved as during the reporting period there were two breaches relating to a facility licence held by ARPANSA’s Medical Radiation Services Branch. These breaches were found during routine inspections and were not connected to any event or incident. From a regulatory perspective they were classified as having no or minor implications for safety of workers, the public or environment. The first breach was due to document reviews and updates not being undertaken within required time frames. This was rectified with the release of the new Radiation Safety Management Manual in July 2019, and subsequent reviews of the radiation safety documents making up the Plans and Arrangements for ARPANSA. The second breach related to not complying with the applicable codes and standards, including not having the area monitor calibrated at the correct interval and the absence of an audible alarm. These were subsequently addressed by including the area monitor on a calibration schedule and modifying the alarm system to include an audible alarm.