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ANALYSIS OF PERFORMANCE AGAINST PURPOSE

The factors that influence achievement of purpose are mainly:

Resource constraints: resources are severely constrained by heavy reliance on estimates (budget) approved annually by the federal Minister for Indigenous Australians for allocations from the ABA and the indigenous advancement strategy for programs such as native title representative body functions and the ranger program. The Australian Government demands a policy of strict expenditure control and productivity improvement from all Commonwealth entities.

External demand: key statutory functions include obtaining traditional owner consent for use of Aboriginal land, mostly related to mining exploration and agreements. The mining industry downturn continues to impact the overall level of ‘use’ applications, although there are further signs of economic improvement. By contrast, community development, native title and prescribed bodies corporate support activities increased, offsetting the drop in mining section activity.

Aboriginal constituent services demand: Aboriginal groups receive royalties, rent and compensation related to mining and other land use activities. Some groups invested more of this income in community development projects implemented by the CLC’s community development program.

Improved productivity: greater productivity enables the organisation to improve services. A key project has been the implementation of a number of (non-cash) productivity improvements that arose from enterprise bargaining under the Australian Government’s enterprise agreement policy. These gains exceeded the value of salary increases.

The non-financial results for 2019–20 generally indicate outcomes aligned to expectations, with variations related to economic demand offset by other social demands.

Specific significant variations against the corporate plan target: The declaration of COVID-19 biosecurity zones limited travel in remote areas and, therefore, some organisational targets could not be achieved. The pandemic response required the introduction of new functions that were not envisaged when the corporate plan was published, including managing biosecurity area permissions and the remote community support project.

Better than target:

  • anthropological advice issued – 37 per cent greater than target
  • permits issued – slightly greater than target, despite remote community travel restrictions for approximately three months
  • leasing consents – NT Government renewals that were not included in the 2019–20 target
  • ceremony and funeral expenditure – minister approved a budget variation that significantly improved benefits
  • community development project expenditure – total expenditure of $16.6 million was 26 per cent greater than budget.

Below target:

  • employment placements – COVID-19 restrictions
  • community development five-year lease money – delay in finalising program (insignificant in terms of overall expenditure)
  • staff working days in the field were below target by 27 per cent due to COVID-19 impact.

Figure 1. Expenditure classified by output groups, 2015–20