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Management and accountability

In 2019–20 we saw the benefits of the ambitious program of management reform and organisational change we have been undertaking over several years. We were positioned to respond with agility to the challenges of COVID-19 and to keep the overseas network operating to deliver services to Australians and support the government’s international agenda.

Managing a global operation during COVID-19

As the impact of the pandemic was felt around the world, we managed complex logistics in Australia and overseas to keep the network functioning effectively.

We rolled out technology and equipment to enable a swift and secure transition to a highly mobile workforce within weeks. In Canberra we relocated over 250 staff and adopted practices to ensure COVIDsafe workplaces across all our buildings.

We worked with colleagues across the APS—including through the Chief Operating Officers Committee—on cross-government responses to the pandemic.

We worked decisively and collaboratively, embedding a stronger risk culture to ensure the department continued to deliver the highest standard of services to ministers and to the Australian public. We will build on our experiences as we address the longer term implications for our overseas operations.