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Performance results

The Bureau’s performance in 2019–20 against the 19 strategic success measures (SSMs) outlined in its Strategy 2017–2022 is shown below.

Impact and Value

Products and services that benefit the Australian community and drive competitive advantage for businesses and industries.

SSM1: The financial and social value we deliver to Government, industry and the Australian community.

Performance met expectations

The Bureau provided customers with information, including forecasts and warnings, to help protect life and property through hazard preparedness and response during severe weather events, such as bushfires, tropical cyclones, floods and heatwaves.

The Australian agriculture sector is worth more than $60 billion annually and the Bureau’s information and services help Australian farmers to manage and adapt to weather and climate variability.

The Bureau’s aviation meteorological service contributed an estimated benefit of $34 million to the aviation sector in 2019–20, which saw significantly reduced flight activity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The resilience and quality of the service was maintained through the final year of the Aviation Meteorological Services Transformation Program.

The Bureau’s services to Australia’s land and maritime transport sectors in 2019–20 enabled road users to make safer driving choices, helped to reduce road congestion, and ensured the Australian Antarctic Division avoided days of lost service for the Aurora Australis operating in the Southern Ocean.

The Bureau contributed to the delivery of an estimated $500 million of economic value in the resources sector in 2019–20 by providing specialised services to help mitigate the impacts of severe weather on the sector’s operations.

The Bureau continued to provide specialised meteorological, oceanographic and space weather forecasting and advisory services to the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and energy sectors for operations in Australia and overseas. Our forecasting supported strategic and tactical decisions made by ADF planners during the 2019–20 bushfires and the daily safety of ADF aircraft conducting training and operations.

Australia’s water sector is worth more than $20 billion annually, and the Bureau’s services, information and insight play a key role in mitigating risk and increasing productivity in the sector.

SSM2: The levels of satisfaction and trust our customers and partners have in us and the way we interact with them.

Performance met expectations

The Bureau’s general community survey found that: 79 per cent of customers found information from the Bureau relevant to their location; 65 per cent found their recent experience helped them do what they needed to do; and 92 per cent would use the Bureau source again.

The Bureau’s partner and emergency management survey found that 75 per cent of customers were satisfied with the Bureau’s services, rating their experience 8, 9 or 10 out of 10.

Positive feedback was received through the Hazards Services Forum, the Bureau’s key consultative mechanism with its emergency management partners, including on the progress, implementation and delivery of the majority of actions identified in the Intergovernmental Agreement on the provision of the Bureau’s hazard services.

Positive feedback was received from aviation customers on the Bureau’s products and services, particularly on the extension of aerodrome forecast hours and implementation of an advanced smoke forecasting model.

Positive qualitative feedback was received on the quality of Bureau products and services from senior strategically focused stakeholders in the Defence and national security sectors.

More than 2000 customers attended webinars on water, climate and drought-related issues, with an average of 93 per cent customer satisfaction.

SSM3: Our reputation among our customers and partners, and within the Australian community.

Performance met expectations

Net promoter scores recorded in the Bureau’s customer surveys during 2019–20 were:

· +52 for general community customers; and

· +61 for partner and emergency management customers.

On the NPS Global benchmark scale, 60 and above is considered exceptional customer service.

More than 70,000 stories featuring the Bureau were published during 2019–20.

SSM4: The level of uptake of our services by new customers and the return rate from existing customers.

Performance met expectations

The Bureau’s customer surveys found 24 per cent of general community customers and 67 per cent of partner and emergency management customers nominated a Bureau source as their most used source for accessing forecasts or warnings.

Bureau website customer sessions grew by 2.5 per cent from 643.6 million in 2018–19 to 659.9 million in 2019–20. In 2019–20, 84.3 per cent of the Bureau’s website sessions were from returning customers, compared with 85.9 per cent the previous year.

The number of customers using the BOM Weather app grew by 15.4 per cent from 3.4 million in 2018–19 to 3.9 million in 2019–20. BOM Weather app customer sessions grew by 40.5 per cent from 348.4 million in 2018–19 to 489.6 million in 2019–20.

Usage of the Bureau’s top four water information products––Water Storages, Water Restrictions, Design Rainfalls and Groundwater Explorer––increased by 95 per cent in 2019–20.

100 per cent of the Bureau’s research project portfolio comprised of returning customers.

SSM5: The conversion rate from ideas to opportunities to customer outcomes.

Performance met expectations

In 2019–20, 12 research projects were successfully delivered, including observation-driven reanalysis of Australian weather, ocean modelling, seasonal prediction modelling, characterisation of synoptic weather features, localised weather forecasts and nowcasts, and air quality modelling.

Operational Excellence

Outstanding people, science, systems, infrastructure and partnerships working together for maximum simplicity, productivity and agility

SSM6: Our delivery to customer requirements.

Performance met expectations

The aggregate customer survey scores (averaging scores for customer preference, experience, impact and reputation) in 2019–20 were: 57 per cent for general community customers (unchanged from 57 per cent in 2018–19); and 70 per cent for partner and emergency management customers (a decrease from 77 per cent in 2018–19).

The Bureau’s routine forecast products were issued on-time on 92.8 per cent of occasions.

Tropical cyclone services were delivered as required to meet service standards to emergency services partners for seven tropical cyclone events, three of which made landfall on the Australian mainland coastline.

The Bureau issued 1813 flood watches and warnings, with a timeliness of 91 per cent, below the target of 97 per cent by 2022.

93 per cent of marine gale warnings issued for capital city local waters met accuracy standards. Warnings for all nine large wave events met target accuracy standards.

100 per cent of tsunami bulletins were issued within the target of under 30 minutes, with an average response time of 16 minutes from earthquake to tsunami bulletin issuance.

Positive feedback was received from emergency services partners, the 2020 Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements and the South Australian Independent Review of the
2019–20 bushfires, for the Bureau’s delivery of services during the 2019–20 severe weather season.

SSM7: Internationally benchmarked levels of capacity utilisation, product and service performance, system reliability, resilience and speed to market.

Performance met expectations

The Bureau’s website uptime was 99.8 per cent, which met the target of 99.8 per cent.

Average system uptime on the Bureau’s Australis supercomputer was 99.96 per cent, compared to 99.91 per cent in 2018–19. Average capacity utilisation for the Bureau’s Australis supercomputer was 49 per cent, compared to 33 per cent in 2018–19.

An assessment of the Bureau’s cyber security capability against the National Institute of Standards and Technology Cyber Security Framework indicated maturity remains at a lower level as people, processes and technology are uplifted under the ROBUST Program.

The Bureau maintained its level of digital information management maturity against the National Archives of Australia annual survey, with a score of 3.2 out of 5.

The level of compliance for all observational networks and instruments was generally satisfactory, except for the upper air network, which did not comply with frequency, height and spatial resolution requirements set by the WMO.

The number of private automatic weather stations (AWSs) reporting to the Weather Observations Website in Australia grew by around 45 per cent from 300 in 2018–19 to approximately 550 in
2019–20.

Real-time radar uptime was 98.0 per cent, which exceeded the target of 95 per cent.

AWS uptime was 98.9 per cent, which exceeded the target of 95 per cent.

Wind-profiler uptime was 97.9 per cent, which exceeded the target of 95 per cent.

Sea level network availability was 89.0 per cent, below the target of 95 per cent. Reduced availability was primarily due to the failure of three sites in the South Pacific and the inability to travel to return to service due to COVID-19.

Tsunami network uptime was 99.8 per cent, which exceeded the target of 95 per cent.

Satellite availability was 75.2 per cent, below the target of 95 per cent. Reduced availability was primarily due to two ground stations that provide back-up data services for international partners being offline, with the rest of the network achieving better than 95 per cent availability for the year.

Space weather network (ionosonde) availability was 92.1 per cent, below target of 95 per cent. One site experienced a major failure and was replaced.

Incident recovery times were generally within service level agreements. Mean-time to recovery for two Priority 1 incidents was 124 minutes (within the target of 240 minutes) and for 49 Priority 2 incidents was 362 minutes (within the target of 480 minutes).

An internal audit of the Bureau’s risk management processes verified compliance with the Commonwealth Risk Management Policy.

There was ongoing activation of incident management teams for the extensive bushfires across eastern Australia, simultaneously with tropical cyclones and followed by floods. Post event review management activities were completed for major events. Incident and crisis management teams remain active for COVID-19.

Assurance mapping was not completed as planned due to the readiness of target groups; however, controls assurance was undertaken on key business risks.

The Bureau maintained its certification of compliance for all existing quality management systems and the Defence Weather and Tsunami Warning Services achieved certification of compliance to ISO 9001.

The National Association of Testing Authorities reconfirmed the Bureau’s ISO 17025 pressure accreditation, while the Bureau’s application for ISO 17025 temperature accreditation experienced external delays and remains in progress. The ISO 9001 initial audit of the Bureau’s AWS network remains on track.

SSM8: Our delivery to budget.

Performance met expectations

The Bureau reported an operating surplus of $32.1 million, excluding depreciation for 2019–20, against a budgeted operating surplus of $6.6 million. This surplus is largely due to external revenue used for capital assets and additional funding received from Government.

SSM9: Independent verification of the quality of our services.

Performance met expectations

Five-day forecasts of mean sea level pressure and upper level temperature, height and winds made from the Bureau’s ACCESS-G model during 2019-20 improved by an average of 9 per cent over forecasts made during 2018-19 as measured using the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Commission for Basic Systems exchanged scores.

70 per cent of flood forecast lead times met service level specification targets, which met the target of 70 per cent.

81 per cent of flood forecast peak height predictions met service level specification targets, which exceeded the target of 70 per cent.

89.6 per cent of one-day maximum temperature forecasts were within 2 °C of the observed temperature, compared to 89.2 per cent in 2018–19.

Forecast rainfall range values provided a good indication of observed rainfall based on statistical performance metrics.

Seasonal climate outlooks achieved better forecast skill results than climatology. The average hit rate of aggregate seasonal forecast skill for rainfall, maximum and minimum temperature was 71 per cent, which exceeded the target of 55 per cent.

Seasonal streamflow forecasts were reliable and exceeded the target 80 per cent benchmark of continuous ranked probability scores.

SSM10: The levels of workforce skill and competency benchmarked with our peers and against accepted international standards.

Performance met expectations

Of the Bureau’s 235 operational meteorological forecasters, 234 had meteorological qualifications that met or exceeded the international standard, as defined by the WMO. The following qualifications were held:

· 96 aviation forecasting;

· 127 fire weather forecasting;

· 127 severe thunderstorm forecasting; and

· 41 tropical cyclone forecasting with 24 as lead forecasters.

Bureau staff undertook more than 6100 online courses, including modules on financial delegations, workstation ergonomics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural awareness, emergency evacuation procedures and ICT security. Specialist technical in-service training was also provided to over 880 participants.

Insight and Innovation

Deep understanding and creative thinking that generates novel solutions for our customers and our organisation.

SSM11: The depth, breadth and quality of our external partnerships and collaborations.

Performance met expectations

The Bureau worked in close partnership with a range of intergovernmental organisations, national meteorological and hydrological services, academic and research organisations, Australian, State and Territory Government agencies, peak industry groups and multilateral partners throughout 2019–20 to deliver impact and value for its customers.

84 per cent of publications were co-authored with external partners.

SSM12: Our innovation maturity is reflected in our strategy, culture, processes and systems.

Performance did not meet expectations

The Bureau’s innovation framework was developed during 2019–20 and will be implemented in 2020-21 to build the Bureau’s innovation maturity.

SSM13: The quality of our scientific publications, benchmarked internationally.

Performance met expectations

38 per cent of 2019–20 publications were published in A or A* journals based on the Excellence in Research for Australia quality ranking which considers quality, acceptance rate and editorial board compositions.

An average of 1.6 articles was published per Science to Services Program staff member.

SSM14: The speed of delivery from concept to prototype and from prototype to customer acceptance.

Performance partially met expectations

81 per cent of Bureau projects delivered outcomes to schedule, compared with 77 per cent in
2019–20.

71 weather and climate forecast model enhancements were deployed to the Bureau’s operational supercomputer in 2019–20.

SSM15: Feedback from staff, customers and partners on our capacity to innovate.

Performance partially met expectations

An organisational culture survey measuring the Bureau's effectiveness in teamwork and leadership found that the Bureau's staff attitude towards team-work practices and outcomes in innovation was 66 compared to 64 in 2018–19, compared to other Australian organisations.

The Bureau Way

One enterprise, that is safe and diverse, where our people grow and are empowered to excel, and where our customers come first, trust us and consider that we are a pleasure to work with.

SSM16: Our performance benchmarked internationally against work health, safety and environment best practice.

Performance partially met expectations

The Bureau was compliant with all relevant environmental legislation and targets in 2019–20. No material non-compliances with legislative, government policy and mandatory governance requirements were reported.

The average time taken to register work health and safety incidents was 3.7 days, which did not meet the target of less than three days, but an improvement from 5.7 days in 2018–19.

The Bureau’s lost time injury frequency rate was 2.9, compared to 9.09 in 2018–19 and below the industry benchmark for public administration of 4.9.

The Bureau’s medically treated injury frequency rate was 3.3, compared to 1.24 in 2018–19.

Hazard reports as a percentage of work health and safety incidents reported was 55 per cent, compared with 43 per cent in 2018–19.

The Bureau’s overall security maturity was assessed as 'ad hoc' against the Protective Security Policy Framework core requirements. An internal audit of the Bureau’s protective security was rated unsatisfactory.

SSM17: Feedback from staff and customers on the alignment of our stated intent with our actual behaviours and actions, especially those of our senior leaders.

Performance met expectations

An organisational culture survey measured the Bureau’s effectiveness in team work and leadership, compared to other Australian organisations. The survey found that:

· the Bureau’s team climate indicator was 66.8, compared with 64.9 in 2018–19;

· the organisational focus indicator was 52.5, compared with 46.6 in 2018–19; and

· the leadership indicator was 75.6, compared with 75.0 in 2018–19.

SSM18: A diverse and inclusive workforce, benchmarked against the community.

Performance partially met expectations

Female staff comprised 28 per cent of the Bureau’s Senior Executive Service positions, compared to 30 per cent in 2018–19, and below the target of 40 per cent by 2023. Female staff comprised 39 per cent of Executive Level 2 Upper positions, compared to 34 per cent in 2018–19, and below the target of 40 per cent by 2023.

Female staff held 25.6 per cent of the Bureau’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) job roles, compared with 25.1 per cent in 2018–19, and below the target of 30 per cent.

Female staff comprised 33.6 per cent of the Bureau’s workforce, compared with 32.7 per cent in 2018–19, and below the target of 50 per cent by 2023.

Indigenous Australian staff comprised 1.4 per cent of the Bureau’s workforce, unchanged from 2018–19 and below the target of 2.7 per cent.

People identifying with a disability comprised 2.5 per cent of the Bureau’s workforce, compared to 2.6 per cent in 2018–19.

Staff with a language other than English remained unchanged at 25.2 per cent.

SSM19: The number and outcomes of collaborative and whole-of-enterprise activities.

Performance met expectations

The Bureau’s ROBUST and Public Services Transformation programs engaged across the enterprise to ensure alignment with strategic objectives in designing and implementing solutions for future service delivery and systems and infrastructure resilience. Enterprise collaboration was structured through a range of targeted reference groups and forums.

73 per cent of Bureau projects involved cross-enterprise teams, compared to 63 per cent in
2018–19.