The global COVID-19 pandemic presents unprecedented challenges for Australia and the world. Against this uncertain background, the department’s purpose remains clear and resolute: to make Australia stronger, safer and more prosperous, to provide timely and responsive consular and passport services, and to ensure a secure Australian Government presence overseas.
The department’s structure facilitates delivery of our core outcomes. The Secretary leads five deputy secretary-managed strategic groups and the Office of the Pacific to implement the department’s work in Australia and overseas. Our ambitious program of management reform and organisational change is enabling the department to be agile and responsive as we pursue the government’s agenda in Australia and overseas and deliver world-class services to Australians.
Our 2019–20 Corporate Plan outlined how the department will achieve its purpose, building on the strategic direction set in the 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper and continuing to support our Step-up in the Pacific. The plan also set out how we are working to shape our capability and engage with risk to ensure we are fit for purpose to protect Australia’s interests in the face of heightened global complexity and uncertainty. This provided a firm foundation from which we have reprioritised and pivoted to respond to the challenges of COVID-19.
COVID-19 will continue to have a profound impact on the department’s core business and Australia’s capacity to engage with key partners overseas for many years to come. Our leadership at home and abroad will be increasingly important to achieving Australia’s interests in security and prosperity at home and in our neighbourhood.
In 2019–20 we are rating our performance under very different circumstances to previous reporting periods. We are reviewing how we measure our performance in the future to take account of the longer term impacts of COVID-19.
This year’s Annual Performance Statement applies four ratings to the assessment of our work:
We met the goal set out in the performance measure.
The activity is ongoing and we have made progress towards our goal.
PARTIALLY ON TRACK
We made progress towards the goal but not to the extent planned. This may be due to COVID-19 or other factors.
NOT ON TRACK
We did not achieve this goal.
The activity is ongoing but we have not made satisfactory progress towards our goal.