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Annual performance statements

Introductory statement

I, Rob Stefanic, as the accountable authority of the Department of Parliamentary Services, present the 2019–20 annual performance statements of the Department of Parliamentary Services, as required under paragraph 39(1)(a) of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act). In my opinion, these annual performance statements accurately reflect the performance of the entity and comply with section 39(2) of the PGPA Act.

Purpose

The Department’s purpose is to support the work of the Australian Parliament by providing effective, high quality and sustainable services to parliamentarians and building occupants. As custodians of Australian Parliament House we are responsible for delivering a broad range of services and experiences that enable engagement with the parliamentary process.

DPS supports Australia’s Parliament and parliamentarians through innovative, unified and client-focused services. We are proud to be custodians for Parliament House as the pre-eminent symbol of Australian parliamentary democracy and as a significant destination for our citizens and international visitors alike.

Analysis of performance against purpose
Four strategic themes provide the planning and performance framework against which DPS operates:

  • Respond to the changing needs of the Parliament
  • Enhance the Parliament’s engagement with the community
  • Effective stewardship of Australian Parliament House, and
  • Effective delivery of the Australian Parliament House works program.

Updates

Improvements have been made to this year’s order and compilation of performance criteria. They are now aligned to strategic themes and two new criteria have been added—Events and Communications—bringing the total performance criteria from 12 to 14. The development of Events and Communications as stand-alone criteria reflects the department’s enhanced external focus.

Strategic theme 1 – Respond to the changing needs of the Parliament

A focus for DPS in 2019–20 was collaborating with other parliamentary departments to deliver innovative, unified and client-focused services. This was particularly important during the onset of COVID-19 when parliamentarians and staff were compelled to work remotely. This required rapid provision of digital and other solutions in addition to normal services provided by the department.

PERFORMANCE CRITERION 1—Catering Services

Table 3: Performance Criterion 1—Catering Services

Respond to the changing needs of the Parliament

Performance measure

Target

Result

1) Number of services provided to parliamentarians

5,200

5,452

2) Number of catering transactions

448,000

444,641

Criterion Source: Program 1, 2019–20 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.9; Program 1, 2019–20 Corporate Plan, p.29.

Note: The 2019-20 targets were increased due to strong performance in 2018-19.

Methodology

Measure 1:

To track services provided to parliamentarians, Australian Parliament House Catering and Events counts:

  • each DPS supported event held by a parliamentarian
  • each room service order
  • every catered meeting held by a parliamentarian, and
  • every transaction for parliamentarians and their guests in the Members and Guests Dining Room.

Measure 2:

Australian Parliament House Catering and Events tracks all transactions from food and beverage outlets, excluding non-food and beverage items.

Figure 3: Number of services provided

Figure 3 Number of services provided A bar graph showing number of services provided to parliamentarians and catering transactions
Analysis

DPS exceeded performance targets despite a number of external impacts including:

  • the 2019 federal election cycle and altered sitting calendar
  • bushfires in January 2020, which significantly impacted visitation during a traditionally busy period, and
  • the COVID-19 pandemic which closed the building to visitors and considerably reduced the population of the building during the last quarter.

Until COVID-19 related restrictions resulted in closure of much of our hospitality business, the performance against this measure was on track to significantly exceed the previous year’s results.

Our service delivery and food offering are frequently reviewed to be consistent with our guiding principles which were being developed when DPS commenced catering services in December 2016:

  • deliver quality and value
  • provide a choice of dining options
  • support parliamentarians’ use of event space for parliamentary duties
  • position Parliament House as a destination of choice, and
  • offer competitive event management services.

The guiding principles also mean we seek and manage feedback to adjust our service delivery for continuous improvement. In 2019–20 DPS received 413 instances of feedback for our retail venues and events, of which 75 per cent were positive.

Tracking service satisfaction is supplemented by feedback obtained through the Annual Building Occupant Satisfaction Survey. This recorded a satisfaction rating of 93.5 per cent for food and beverage/catering services for 2019–20. This is a further increase of 0.1 per cent compared to 2018–19.

Table 4: Highlights

Kitchens refurbishment project

Support to the community

Enlighten degustation

  • First stages of kitchens refurbishment program delivered, enhancing capacity and safety of facilities—completion due 2020.
  • Maintained Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) certification—to meet industry best practice principles for food safety.
  • Maintained continuity of food and beverage offerings while supporting an expedited work program for the remaining stages of the refurbishment project.

  • In response to the devastating bushfires surrounding the Canberra region we used our existing supply channels and worked with the Canberra Region Joint Organisation to support food producers in affected areas by sourcing their produce. These products were featured at the State luncheon for the President of the Republic of Indonesia as well as the regular banquet and menu offerings.
  • Following the onset of COVID-19 and closure of most Canberra hospitality businesses, DPS stepped in to assist St Vincent de Paul in providing meals for vulnerable members of the Canberra community.

  • In addition to our regular catering services, DPS also delivered a number of fine dining degustation events throughout the year.
  • The Enlighten dinners, a highlight of the Canberra Enlighten Festival, were an opportunity to dine in the exclusive Members and Guests Dining Room and to enjoy local and regional products.
  • The dinner also included a welcome and brief tour from our Visitor Services Officers, complementing the food and beverage experience and resulting in very positive feedback from guests.

Enlighten degustation feedback: “The dining experience itself was amazing. The Executive Chef’s detailed presentation of each course, sharing where the ingredients came from and the accompanying wines were really well put together and I loved that while he was sharing his knowledge and thoughts with us, the wait staff walked down the stairs and delivered each course in perfect timing."

“Just wanted to write in and let you know how fantastic we found the Chef's Degustation this evening. The food and service were both exceptional – from being greeted in the Marble Foyer by the lovely Robin and Brooke, all the way to the end of the evening.”

PERFORMANCE CRITERION 2—Building Occupant Satisfaction

Table 5: Performance criterion 2—Building occupant feedback

Respond to the changing needs of the Parliament

Performance measure

Target

Result

3) % of building occupant feedback indicating a satisfied rating with timeliness and quality of DPS services (by category)

80%

91.8%

Criterion source: Program 1, 2019–20 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.9; Program 1, 2019–20 Corporate Plan, p.29.

Methodology

Measure 3:

The 2020 Building Occupant Satisfaction Survey was conducted over four weeks from 17 February to 13 March 2020. This period included two sitting weeks and two non-sitting weeks of the autumn session of Parliament. The online tool, SurveyMonkey, was used to conduct the survey which was distributed to approximately 4,000 email addresses. Respondents were asked to rate their satisfaction across a number of service categories delivered or managed by DPS (see Figure 4), and to provide supporting commentary if desired.

The survey results include both satisfaction ratings and individual comments. The comments are provided to the responsible area within DPS for analysis and improvement. DPS continues to supplement this information with other sources of feedback, such as the Parliament House Art Collections, and APH Catering and Events feedback cards.

Analysis

This year’s survey was conducted before COVID-19 restrictions on parliamentary sittings, and yielded predominantly positive results. There was a slight decrease in measured overall satisfaction with DPS services from 93 per cent in 2019 to 91.8 per cent in 2020, noting the result is well above the 80 per cent target. As identified in Figure 4, 50 per cent (five out of 10) of the service areas surveyed had achieved improvements in their satisfaction rates. The reduction in satisfaction is largely attributed to ICT services related to Wi-Fi and mobile telephony reliability, and timeliness of ICT problem resolution. We are responding to the survey results by implementing a range of improvement strategies. This is in line with the department’s commitment to deliver high-quality services to building occupants in a timely and professional manner.

Figure 4: Building occupant satisfaction survey results by service category (satisfied rating)

Figure 4 Building occupant satisfaction survey results by service category (satisfied or neutral rating) A bar graph showing survey results for services such as catering and security services
Note: Figures are rounded to the nearest full percentage point.

PERFORMANCE CRITERION 3—Hansard Services KPIs are achieved

Table 6: Performance criterion 3—Hansard Services KPIs are achieved

Respond to the changing needs of the Parliament

Performance measure

Target

Result

4) Percentage of individual draft speeches delivered within two hours of speech finishing or within agreed timeframes

85%

93%

5) Percentage of chamber proof Hansard reports delivered within three hours of chamber rising or within agreed timeframes

95%

97%

6) Percentage of committee proof Hansard reports delivered within agreed timeframes

95%

99%

7) External error rate per 100 pages for chamber proof Hansard reports

Five errors per 100 pages

2.67 errors per 100 pages

8) External error rate per 100 pages for committee proof Hansard reports

Five errors per 100 pages

14.3 errors per 100 pages

9) Availability of Operated Sound Reinforcement in the Chambers and Committees

99%

99.9%

Criterion Source: Program 1, 2019–20 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.9; Program 1, 2019–20 Corporate Plan, p.29.

Methodology

The DPS Hansard Service records and reports on delivery of Hansard documents compared to the set time-frame and associated error rates.

Measure 4:

An individual draft speech is recorded as delivered on time if the entire speech reaches the office of the parliamentarian within two hours of the speech.

Measure 5:

Hansard proofs are recorded as being on time if published in full within three hours of the chamber rising.

Measure 6:

Committee proof transcripts are recorded as being on time if published in the time-frame agreed with the committee.

Measure 7:

The error rate for chamber transcripts is based on the number of errors reported by parliamentarians' offices, per 100 pages of transcript, and is reported before the period sittings took place.

Measure 8:

The error rate for committee transcripts is based on the number of errors reported by committee secretariats, per 100 pages of transcript, and is reported for the period errors were reported, rather than the period in which hearings took place.

Measure 9:

Major errors in recordings are listed on a job sheet produced by sound booth operators for every session of parliament. Job sheets are reviewed each day, with major errors transferred to a system failure register. Minor errors that do not affect the operations of the chamber, or the accuracy of the recording, are not tracked or counted.

Figure 5: Hansard timeliness

Figure 5 Hansard timeliness A bar graph showing Hansard’s performance for producing draft speeches, chamber and committee reports
Analysis

DPS achieved all three 2019–20 timeliness targets for Hansard Service KPIs:

  • individual draft speeches
  • proof chamber transcripts, and
  • proof committee transcripts.

The Hansard Service reports on transcription errors notified by customers as a guide to trends in the accuracy of its transcripts. In 2019–20 DPS recorded 2.67 errors per 100 pages for chamber proof Hansard reports and 14.3 errors per 100 pages for committee proof Hansard reports. To strengthen capability and improve the error rate, quality assurance measures including spot-checking are undertaken and committee transcript sub-editing is completed as workload and capacity allow.

Of the 2,991 hours of proceedings recorded in 2019–20, the target of 99 per cent availability of operated sound reinforcement (sound and recording) in the chambers and committees was achieved.

PERFORMANCE CRITERION 4—Parliamentary Library KPIs are achieved

Table 7: Performance criterion 4—Parliamentary Library KPIs are achieved

Respond to the changing needs of the Parliament

Performance measure

Target

Result

10) % of Library Service KPIs set out in the annual Library Resource Agreement that are achieved

90%

88.7%

Criterion source: Program 1, 2019–20 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.9; Program 1, 2019–20 Corporate Plan, p.29.

Methodology

Measure 10:

Key priorities and performance indicators for the Parliamentary Library are approved each year by the Presiding Officers as part of the Library’s Annual Resource Agreement (Parliamentary Service Act 1999, section 38G). The key performance indicators in each Resource Agreement set out the outcomes and key deliverables for that year. Library performance data is derived from a range of administrative and analytical systems. Satisfaction data is derived from a client evaluation of the Library’s services.

Figure 6: Percentage of Library Service KPIs set out in the annual Library Resource Agreement

Figure 6 Percentage of Library Service KPIs set out in the annual Library Resource Agreement A bar graph showing the Library’s service KPI performance

Analysis

In 2019–20 the Library met 88.7 per cent of its key deliverables and targets. As discussed below, all but one of its client service KPIs were met; however, there were delays in a number of projects. Significant initiatives completed in the reporting period included:

  • delivering outreach and orientation programs to new and returning parliamentarians and their staff
  • implementing a refreshed lecture and seminar program for clients, and
  • completing a cataloguing review.

With regard to service benchmarks, the Library met its client usage target of 100 per cent (consistent with the previous financial year) and received no complaints. The Library achieved a rating of 94 per cent for client satisfaction among parliamentarians against its target of 95 per cent (based on data from the most recent client evaluation in 2017). It completed 11,472 individual client requests against its target of 11,000. Hours spent on client requests increased to 55,818 from 40,447 in the previous financial year. There were four million uses of the Library collection and databases, meeting the target. The Library will continue to monitor usage closely. The Library met or exceeded its targets for its remaining client service KPIs, including: timeliness; use of online publications; percentage of collection available in full text online; electorate office visits; attendance at training courses and events; number of research publications released; number of items added to the Electronic Media Monitoring Service (EMMS) and ParlInfo Search databases and the Library catalogue; and client use of the Mediaportal.

Work did not proceed on the Electronic Media Monitoring Service data remediation due to delays in a related ICT project on which it is dependent. A number of other projects did not meet their targets, including the review of subject indexing, the deployment of the new online Parliamentary Handbook, the Senate Tabled Papers and historic Hansard remediation projects. The onset of COVID-19 and the transition to remote working arrangements for clients and staff meant resources in the Library and Information Services Division were redirected to ensure continuity of essential services for the Parliament while maintaining staff health and wellbeing.

Detailed discussion of the Library’s performance is contained in the Parliamentary Librarian’s Annual Report, which is included in the DPS Annual Report as required by section 65(1)(c) of the Parliamentary Service Act 1999.

PERFORMANCE CRITERION 5—ICT service standards are achieved

Table 8: Performance criterion 5—ICT service standards are achieved

Respond to the changing needs of the Parliament

Performance measure

Target

Result

11) % of ICT standards outlined in the ICT Service Level Agreement that are achieved.

90%

84.52%

Criterion source: Program 1, 2019–20 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.9; Program 1, 2019–20 Corporate Plan, p.29.

Methodology

Measure 11:

Information Services Division uses the ServiceNow IT Service Management System to capture and manage client interactions received by telephone, email, self-service and face-to-face contacts. Client interactions are classified and prioritised appropriately before being assigned to the relevant support group for resolution. Data specifically related to managing and handling calls to the 2020 Service Desk is obtained from the Alcatel-Lucent Call Management System.

Availability statistics for key ICT systems and infrastructure is obtained directly from event logging and monitoring software systems. Manual methods are used to calculate the availability of broadcasting services due to the nature of these analogue systems. Their availability is determined through a combination of regular scheduled testing, monitoring and incidents raised by clients directly with the 2020 Service Desk. Availability of the Whole of Government Secure Internet Gateway is reported to DPS by the vendor.

​Figure 7: Average ICT service standards levels

Figure 7 Average ICT Service Standards levels A bar graph showing ICT performance for services such as incident resolution, internet and email

Analysis

The ICT service standards is an index developed and sourced from the ICT Service Level Agreement (SLA) comprising 14 individual service standards. Each service standard is measured monthly and assesses the delivery of key services that support effective and efficient operations of the Parliament. This includes services to electorate offices, parliamentary departments and Parliament House.

In 2019–20, 142 out of 168 ICT service standards were achieved, which was a 5.48 per cent reduction on the 2018–19 result. Call volumes to the 2020 service desk spiked significantly at a few critical points during the year, related to:

  • transitioning outgoing and incoming parliamentarians and their staff following the 2019 federal election, and
  • facilitating the massive increase to remote access working for users of the parliamentary network following COVID-19 restrictions.

These events strained resources and the capacity to answer calls within 30 seconds. As a result, the ‘Percentage of calls answered in 30 seconds’ service standard deteriorated. The increased volume of calls placed additional constraints on other sections of the division, which reduced the ‘incident resolution’ service standard by 4.49 per cent from 2018–19.

The division played a critical role in onboarding parliamentarians and staff, including initial 2020 ICT support, equipment provisioning and office re-configurations from the commencement of the 46th Parliament to the end of October 2019. This work resulted in 22,894 calls being taken by the 2020 service desk, representing a 28 per cent increase on the same period in 2018–19.

The Information Services Division rapidly responded to the demands of the COVID-19 pandemic by commissioning several new services to support the increased demand from staff working from Parliament House, electorate offices and remotely. This included:

  • increasing the capacity of the existing remote access solution
  • rapidly deploying a new remote desktop service – Parliament House Desktop, and
  • deploying a complementary remote authentication capability to meet demand.

Calls to the 2020 service desk increased by 57.7 per cent from 2018–19 levels during the combined period of March/April which reflected the transition for staff to remote working.

With the rapid pace of digital transformation and the string of significant events throughout 2019–20, the Incident Resolution service standard was not met despite achieving an average of 90.62 per cent. An internal review is being undertaken and a strategy will be developed to improve results in 2020–21.

Strategic theme 2 – Enhance the Parliament's engagement with the community

Part of our purpose is to increase community engagement with Australian parliamentary democracy and share the work, stories and collections within Parliament House. DPS achieves this by developing and implementing new visitor experiences including events, festivals, tours and digital or online programs.

PERFORMANCE CRITERION 6—Visitor experience

Table 9: Performance criterion—Visitor experience

Enhance the Parliament’s engagement with the community

Performance measure

Target

Result

12) Number of visitors

Number of participants equivalent or greater to the same period last year

Not achieved due to COVID-19 (540,320 in 2019-20 compared to 746,844 in 2018-19)

13) Visitor satisfaction

85% satisfaction rating achieved

99%

Criterion Source: Program 1, 2019–20 Portfolio Budget Statements, P.9. Corporate Plan p.31.

Methodology

Measure 12:

Number of visitors

The Parliament House visitor metric counts the number of general and business visitors to the building, including:

  • school students
  • visitors signed in at the front entrance, and
  • international, interstate and local tourists.

DPS staff and Australian public servants, retail and service workers who hold active passes, are excluded because they are defined as building occupants.

Visitor numbers are calculated using the total magnetometer count minus the number of pass holder entries at the main entrance of Parliament House.

Measure 13:

Visitor satisfaction

Visitor satisfaction at Parliament House is measured through the percentage of visitor feedback that exceeds or meets expectations. The feedback is collected through visitor comment cards which are available throughout the building. We ask visitors to rate their overall experience from one to five, one being poor and five being excellent. A score of three or above indicates visitor satisfaction.

DPS aims to collect 100 responses a month to achieve a statistically valid sample size.

Qualitative information through written feedback is not included in this metric, but is incorporated in our continuous improvement processes.

Tours and events feedback

The same process for general visitation (one-five rating system) is used to measure satisfaction for tours and events.

Comment cards are available from our Visitor Service team leading tour groups and event attendees.

Tours include both free and paid experiences led by our Visitor Services officers. Events include ticketed events, community events and other public events run by DPS.

School visitor feedback

Feedback from school groups is collected slightly differently. Comment cards are provided to teachers supervising school tours to rate the experience from one to five against the following two statements:

  • the tour engaged students, and
  • information provided in the tour will assist students with their learning.

A score of three or above indicates visitor satisfaction. Each statement is separately calculated and analysed.

Figure 8: Visitor numbers

Figure 8 Visitor numbers A bar graph showing the total number of visitors to Parliament House including participants in school tours and DPS organised tours and events

Analysis—visitor numbers

In the previous year, figures were impacted by the multi-year capital works building program that saw parts of Parliament House obscured by scaffolding and the main front entrance reduced to a single magnetometer entry point. With these visual and physical obstacles to visitation removed, the first six months of 2019–20 continued to see an uplift in general visitation, tour and event participation, as well as an increased number of school children visiting Parliament House. At the end of 2019 the expectation was to meet or exceed visitation targets.

However other factors in the second half of this financial year have proved challenging. The summer bushfires shrouded Canberra in a smoke haze which resulted in poor air quality and visibility. While other local cultural institutions closed, Parliament House remained open and as a result, the visitation in December and January did not fall as dramatically as other Canberra institutions.

The impacts of COVID-19 and subsequent travel and other restrictions created a dramatic downturn in visitation to Parliament House. In the early stages of the pandemic, tour numbers were reduced to comply with physical distancing rules. The building was officially closed to the general public at 5.00pm on 25 March 2020 and remained closed until 4 July 2020.

As a result of these events, no visitation target was met in the second half of 2019–20.

Table 10: Visitor engagement highlights

Alfred Deakin: Creating a Nation exhibition

Christmas comes to Parliament House

New Parliament House tour experiences

  • Alfred Deakin: Creating a Nation was launched by the Presiding Officers as a celebration of the life and achievements of Australia's first Attorney General and second Prime Minister.
  • Curated by the Art Collections section, this significant exhibition included objects on loan from the Deakin family and assistance from a range of institutions including the Parliament of Victoria, National Library of Australia, National Archives of Australia and the National Portrait Gallery of Australia. The exhibition was complemented by lectures from Dr David Headon and Emeritus Professor Judith Brett; and by the launch of the first volume of Deakin’s collected letters to the Morning Post (covering 1900 and 1901) edited by the Parliamentary Librarian.

  • Free public performances of Christmas carols by 19 school choirs and the Canberra Choral Society.
  • Giving Tree in the Marble Foyer supporting the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal and Purple House charities.

  • A broader range of tours were offered and content reviewed.
  • A new Indigenous experiences tour was introduced featuring stories of Indigenous parliamentarians, the site history of Capital Hill and exploring key moments in parliamentary democracy involving Australia's First Peoples.

Figure 9: Visitor satisfaction

Figure 9 Visitor satisfaction A bar graph showing overall satisfaction rating from visitors, school visitors and participants attending DPS tours
Analysis—Visitor satisfaction

Visitor satisfaction remained strong through the first six months of 2019–20 across general public, school and tour visitation experiences at Parliament House. At the end of 2019, the expectation was to meet or exceed the visitor satisfaction benchmark.

While the summer bushfires and the impacts of COVID-19 on the Canberra region affected visitor numbers to Parliament House in the first half of 2020; visitors recorded a high satisfaction rate with their experience at Parliament House.

Visitor feedback

Strong positive feedback was provided directly to staff and through comment cards across the first six months of 2019–20, demonstrating the quality and relevance of our programs and customer service. This was supported by Parliament House ranking eighth out of the ‘254 things to do in Canberra’ by TripAdvisor as of 1 December 2019. This ranking is based on the quantity and quality of visitor reviews. This was corroborated by a variety of independent sources. Public access to Parliament House ceased on 25 March 2020, ending data collection for the remainder of the reporting period.

Schools feedback

At 29 February 2020, before COVID-19 related cancellations began, our school tour visitation numbers sat at 92,236 with a customer satisfaction rating of 98 per cent

Tours and events feedback

At 29 February 2020, customer satisfaction responses from tours and events sat at 98 per cent, validating DPS’ confidence in our tour and event offerings. Visitor comments include:

“Our tour guide was excellent, she has had 31 years of experience in this role and delivered a wonderful tour. Knows every corner of the building.”

“The Art and Furniture Collections of Parliament – such a privilege to be able to see some of the artworks not normally available for us to see.”

“The building/architecture is impressive. Thank you Rosie for being so welcoming/cheerful and knowledgeable. Perfect combo of explaining the architectural design, political philosophy, political process. A unique experience.”

PERFORMANCE CRITERION 7—Communications

Table 11: Performance criterion 7—Communications

Enhance the Parliament’s engagement with the community

Performance measure

Target

Result

14) Enhancing access to information about Parliament House and its services

Effective

Effective

Criterion Source: Program 1, 2019–20 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.9; Corporate Plan p.31.

Methodology

Measure 14:

DPS monitors the Australian Parliament House online presence by tracking our social media footprint – the number of posts, followers and engagement – and by using raw data of site views and page hits on our www.aph.gov.au website.

The measurements provide an insight into user interaction with the DPS managed Parliament House digital media. They have been selected as the data can be readily obtained and compared over time through:

  • number of visitors to website*
  • number of visitors to website (parliamentary section)
  • Facebook—number of posts and level of engagements (reactions, comments, shares)
  • Twitter—number of posts, followers, engagements (likes, retweets, replies) and traffic (clicks on links), and
  • Instagram—number of posts, number of followers, engagement (likes and comments), video views.

The data is collected by Google Analytics (website) and Hootsuite (social media)**.

*Website data includes the Visitor section, but excludes sections of the website managed by the Departments of Senate and House of Representatives.

**Hootsuite data was only available from 14 November 2019 (DPS product subscription purchase date). A pro-rata approach has been used to calculate the relevant data.

Analysis

DPS continues to build and enhance its social media presence using a variety of channels to showcase the building and information about Australia’s Parliament. However, the COVID-19 pandemic drastically changed the nature of our engagement with audiences in the final quarter of the year, as we could not promote events that would usually drive communication efforts. In particular, as a result of Parliament House being closed to the public on 25 March, we removed our most popular webpages, which dealt with planning visits.

However, over the course of the year, engagement across our digital communication platforms grew significantly. In the last six months of the reporting period our social media followers increased by an average of 12 per cent, with Twitter growing by nearly 20 per cent. The levels of engagement with content also grew overall. While the level of engagement dropped on Instagram, it grew by nearly 200 per cent on Twitter and by 30 per cent on Facebook. Traffic to the general pages of the website also grew in the second half of the year by around 43 per cent.

These figures may be attributed to more people spending time online during the shutdown period. However, we also began more effectively curating our content with a view to posting high-quality materials that drive more significant audience engagement over high volumes of posts that do not have as great an impact. To do this we use a variety of tools, including interactive posts and collaboration with other institutions, to ensure our audience is interested in—and responding to—the information we post.

The Enlighten marketing campaign (13 February to 12 March) was the catalyst for an increase in activity across our website and social media channels. Creating engaging content to promote Enlighten events was a positive factor.

PERFORMANCE CRITERION 8—Event Services

Table 12: Performance criterion 8—Event Services

Enhance the Parliament’s engagement with the community

Performance measure

Target

Result

15) Satisfaction rating of people or organisations hiring Parliament House event facilities

85%

88%

Criterion Source: Program 1, 2019–20 Portfolio Budget Statements p.9; Corporate Plan p.31.

Methodology

Measure 15:

Event Services is a new criterion and measure within the DPS Annual Performance Statement reporting framework. It has been included because approximately 1000 events are held (pre-COVID-19) within Parliament House each year.

A satisfaction rating is being used as a measure of success and an opportunity for continuous improvement. Event managers hiring venues within Parliament House are asked to provide feedback via email regarding the venue, food quality and various elements of our services. The feedback received is collated and assessed on a rating scale of positive, constructive or negative, and converted to a percentage.

This is based on other standard metrics that are published in the Annual Performance Report.

Figure 10: Events

Figure 10 Event hirer satisfaction A bar graph showing the overall satisfaction rating of persons or organisations hiring Parliament House event facilities
Analysis

Despite a range of external challenges, DPS has built a strong reputation for delivering excellent events across a range of venues. In delivering high-quality events, the Executive Chef and his team source premium ingredients from some of the nation’s finest producers and provide exceptional culinary services to complement the special location for each event.

Each year we host around 1,000 events which range in size from intimate dinners for 20 to large gala events for 1,000 attendees and significant events for visiting dignitaries.

In addition to the traditional events delivered on behalf of other clients, we also expanded our range of ticketed events during the year. These included traditional degustation events for Enlighten and Floriade along with new events in partnership with the Great Southern Railway and as part of our Cultural Attractions of Australia offering. The team also showcased the offering as part of the annual Canberra Top Secret Gala Dinner, in partnership with the Canberra Convention Bureau. This provided a significant opportunity to showcase the operation and its potential, and received outstanding feedback from guests.

The team seeks and manages feedback to adjust our service delivery for continuous improvement. This is particularly important for the events business, which generates a large proportion of the revenue each year.

The success of our focus on delivering high-quality events was demonstrated through record revenue achieved for Parliament House in September and October 2019, which were driven by an increase in events business.

Table 13: Event highlights

Record event months in September and October

Record event months in September and October

Top Secret Gala dinner

Special events at Parliament House

Following the opening of the 46th Parliament, the months of September and October 2019 were our busiest on record:

  • This increase in both event and other catering business resulted in significant demand on the operation at a time when kitchen refurbishments were still taking place.
  • Despite the tight turnaround on a number of large events, feedback from clients was excellent, reflecting our thorough planning and careful delivery of events.

The Canberra Convention Bureau hosted the annual "Canberra Top Secret Gala Dinner" at Parliament House.

  • With event planners attending from across Australia, this was a significant opportunity to promote Australian Parliament House as a premium event venue.
  • Feedback from the Bureau and delegates was very positive.

As well as the regular catering and event services provided by DPS, we also supported a number of high profile events during the year. This included:

  • the opening of the 46th Parliament and swearing-in of the new Governor-General
  • a state visit and luncheon for the President of the Republic of Indonesia, and
  • the 28th Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum, with visiting parliamentarians from 27 member countries.

Feedback on events:

PM Prizes for Science awards:

“I would like to thank you and your team very much for all your hard work in delivering a successful event this year! It never ceases to amaze me how you manage to host, feed and water a crowd of 500 in an evening and still come back to work the next day. Thank you for all your hard work to make our event the success that it was! A number of guests commented on the high quality of the food, the professionalism of waiting staff and overall 'good feel' of the event.”

Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum:

“The Parliament House catering and events staff on the day were excellent, and the team leader was professional, diligent, and helpful. We had a few challenges in relation to guest numbers, which were dealt with efficiently and without fuss. Please reiterate my sincere thanks to the team for their assistance.”

Strategic theme 3 – Effective stewardship of Australian Parliament House

DPS operates in a complex environment with a range of significant challenges. Optimising our service capability, working collaboratively and ensuring design intent is at the heart of every decision, is essential to safeguard the architectural integrity and longevity of our iconic building.

PERFORMANCE CRITERION 9Design integrity performance

Table 14: Performance criterion 9—Design integrity performance

Effective stewardship of Australian Parliament House

Performance measure

Target

Result

16) The level at which the design integrity process is functioning

Effective

Effective

17) The extent and effectiveness of consultation with moral rights administrators and DPS regarding the process for design integrity and moral rights matters

Effective

Effective

Criterion Source: Program 1, 2019–20 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.9; Program 1, 2019–20 Corporate Plan p.33.

Methodology

Measure 16:

The Design Integrity and Special Collections Unit (DISC) provides secretariat support for quarterly design integrity meetings, other meetings as needed and facilitates consultation between DPS staff and Ms Pamille Berg AO Hon FRAIA and Mr Harold (Hal) Guida LFRAIA AIA, as the joint moral rights administrators for the estate of Mr Romaldo Giurgola AO LFRAIA AIA.

The assessment of how effective the process has been is based on an analysis of the numbers and types of interactions on important capital works and maintenance projects between DPS staff and Ms Berg and Mr Guida.

Measure 17:

The DISC undertakes a separate qualitative assessment of the level of effectiveness of the design integrity and moral rights consultation processes carried out with Ms Berg and Mr Guida, as joint moral rights administrators. This provides an important external measure of the effectiveness of DPS’ consultation with these key stakeholders.

Analysis

The design integrity and moral rights consultation processes—both within DPS, and externally with Ms Berg and Mr Guida—are working well and effectively. The level of internal engagement with the DISC and the broader understanding of staff regarding design integrity matters is improving throughout the organisation. The DPS Executive Committee continues to consider design integrity matters at its fortnightly meetings and the DISC routinely participates in cross-departmental and project board meetings.

In 2019–20 the DISC facilitated design integrity and moral rights consultations with Ms Berg and Mr Guida on a range of important capital works and maintenance projects. These consultations occurred at various stages throughout the projects’ life cycles, including through attending quarterly or ad hoc design integrity meetings or through correspondence and formal moral rights notifications.

Ms Berg and Mr Guida attended three design integrity quarterly meetings and provided one all-staff presentation on the design intent of the House of Representatives Chamber. Over the past year, they also provided design intent advice and responses to specific moral rights notifications—either separately or jointly—on a range of matters, including:

  • accessibility
  • work health and safety
  • kitchen upgrades
  • proposed information and communication technology changes
  • landscape and gardening
  • works of art and craft, including ongoing conservation needs, and
  • furniture and fittings.

Each year, the moral rights administrators are also asked to reflect on the effectiveness of DPS’ performance over the preceding 12 months and to provide any feedback. The moral rights administrators have endorsed the Management of Design Integrity Framework. We are extremely proud that they have noted that our strategic approach has been the most productive since the opening of Australian Parliament House in 1988.

PERFORMANCE CRITERION 10—Building Condition Rating

Table 15: Performance criterion 10—Building Condition Rating

Effective stewardship of Australian Parliament House

Performance measure

Target

Result

Percentage of building areas reviewed that are assessed as being in good or better condition

80%

86.95%

Criterion source: Program 1, 2019–20 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.9; Program 1, 2019–20 Corporate Plan, p.33.

Methodology

Measure 18:

The Building Condition Rating (BCR) measures the current condition of Parliament House’s building fabric, expressed as a percentage of the original condition. The BCR is determined by a visual inspection of the building and fabric surfaces for deterioration and damage caused by general wear and tear.

For the purposes of the BCR, the building is divided into eight zones and, over the course of the 12 month reporting period, an inspection is carried out using the BCR methodology. Each area within a zone has up to 31 elements which are scored from zero (disrepair) to 100 (excellent).

A percentage is calculated by dividing the total of any given score by the potential optimum score for each zone.

The recommendations from the 2016–17 internal audit have now all been implemented and the verification methods improved. To fully address audit concerns, the rating scale for the BCR has been aligned so an assessment of ‘Good’ meets the target (i.e. 80 per cent). This change contributes to a slight rise in the overall score.

In 2017–18 DPS migrated all BCR measurements in the department’s financial management system (SAP) so readings can be directly recorded while inspections are being conducted. SAP can also report on historical data and subsets of its stored information, such as carpet condition.

Figure 11: Percentage of building areas reviewed that are assessed as being in good or better condition

Figure 11 Percentage of building areas reviewed that are assessed as being in good or better condition A bar graph showing building assessment performance

Analysis

In 2019–20, the performance measure result was 86.95 per cent, which represents an increase of 0.28 per cent compared to 2018–19. The minor increase is attributed to:

  • ongoing routine maintenance and painting to suites and associated areas, thoroughfares and general circulation areas
  • carpet replacement in:
    • first-floor public areas
    • 10 general circulation areas, and
    • 15 suites.
  • repainting:
    • 17 general circulation areas
    • 15 suites, and
    • 11 plant-room and basement areas.

The emphasis has been on preventative maintenance programs. This focus will continue into 2020–21.

PERFORMANCE CRITERION 11—Engineering Systems Condition Rating

Table 16: Performance criterion 11—Engineering Systems Condition Rating

Effective stewardship of Australian Parliament House

Performance measure

Target

Result

19) % of critical engineering systems reviewed that are assessed as being in good or better condition.

70%

59%

19) % of critical engineering systems reviewed that are assessed as being in fair or better condition

95%

84%

Criterion source: Program 1, 2019–20 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.9; Program 1, 2019–20 Corporate Plan, p.33.

Methodology

Measure 19:

The Engineering Systems Condition Rating (ESCR) measures the operation and condition of the engineering systems in Parliament House against the expected decline of those systems through their life cycle. The asset performance assessment system currently considers three key factors:

  • physical condition
  • operating condition, and
  • obsolescence.

The ESCR assessment and scoring does not capture all relevant assets every year. The current methodology targets one third of the building’s systems each yearly cycle, and only after a three year reporting cycle will the full complement of the assets have been measured for reporting purposes.

Figure 12: Critical engineering systems

Figure 12 Critical engineering systems A bar graph showing engineering systems assessment performance

Analysis

The 59 per cent of critical engineering systems rated as being good or better condition represents a small improvement from the 55 per cent recorded for 2018–19, and is below the target of 70 per cent. Similarly, the 84 per cent of critical engineering systems rated as being in fair or better condition is again a slight improvement on the previous year, and is 11 per cent below the target of 95 per cent.

These results are indicative of the age of some of Parliament House’s engineering systems and infrastructure and underscore the need for ongoing investment. The audit sample considered is based on a three year rotation cycle and reflects the previous two condition reports with incremental improvements realised through the ongoing capital works program.

Major projects underway which are delivering improvements to the condition of engineering systems include:

  • Kitchens Upgrades—including the main production kitchen and the Great Hall kitchen and bar, and work on the Queen’s Terrace Cafe, Staff Dining Room, and the Members and Guests Dining Room kitchen. These are expected to be completed in the next reporting period
  • Electrical Distribution Board and Mechanical Switchboard Replacements—a total of 328 of the 726 distribution boards were designed, built and installed, with 22 of the 29 mechanical boards also finalised, and
  • Lift Upgrades—this project involves refurbishment of the building’s 42 passenger lifts. This program of works is ongoing with the majority of lifts already refurbished and the completion of all refurbishment works expected by the end of 2020.

Engineering systems that will be the focus of future investment include the building management system and the heating ventilation and air conditioning system. Details of these works will be developed to support planned investment through future capital works funding arrangements.

PERFORMANCE CRITERION 12—Landscape Condition Rating

Table 17: Performance criterion 12—Landscape Condition Rating

Effective stewardship of Australian Parliament House

Performance measure

Target

Result

20) % of landscape areas reviewed that are assessed as being in good or better condition

85%

83.31%

Criterion source: Program 1, 2019–20 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.9 Program 1, 2019–20 Corporate Plan, p.33.

Methodology

Measure 20:

The Landscape Condition rating (LCR) measures the current condition of the landscape surrounding Parliament House. It is expressed as a percentage and is measured annually. The assessment takes into account variables such as the intended purpose, life-cycle, planned maintenance levels and seasonal variations. The methodology is designed to give a fair representation of the overall landscape condition.

Figure 13: Percentage of landscape areas reviewed and assessed as being in good or better condition

Figure 13 Percentage of landscape areas reviewed and assessed as being in good or better condition A bar graph showing landscape assessment performance
Analysis

The target for the LCR is 85 per cent. For 2019–20 the LCR was 83.31 per cent, an increase of 1.18 per cent compared to 2018-19 and a shortfall of 1.69 per cent of the target.

Despite some challenging climatic conditions, turf in the courtyards was maintained at a very high standard. The crushed granite paths in the western native gardens were also in good repair.

Areas for improvement and future focus include the:

  • Introduction of a new plant species such as Acacia howittii to replace the Correa along the senate slip road. This is due to their ability to better cope with the harsh conditions during Canberra summers.
  • Structural soil improvement project at the House of Representatives and Senate entrances to enhance the root zone and support replanting of the existing tree species. On the House of Representatives side there will be eight flowering pear trees (Pyrus calleryana) and on the Senate side there will be eight Honey Locust trees (Gleditsia triacanthos). This is scheduled for completion 2021–22.
  • Improvement of the clay sub-base drainage and planting of approximately 300 new Savin Juniper (Juniper sabina) on the western side of Kings Avenue. This is also scheduled for completion in 2021–22.
  • PERFORMANCE CRITERION 13Security KPIs are achieved
Table 18: Performance criterion 13—Security KPIs are achieved

Effective stewardship of the Australian Parliament House

Performance measure

Target

Result

21) % of security incidents that are handled in accordance with policy and process

100%

96.71%

22) % of Parliamentary Security Service Officers compliant with Parliamentary Security Service mandatory training requirements

*Compliance rates for mandatory PSS training is significantly lower than the target KPI this year due to restrictions from COVID-19.

100%

17.42%

Criterion source: Program 1, 2019–20 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.9; Program 1, 2019–20 Corporate Plan, p.33.

Methodology

Measure 21:

Incident reports are used by Security Branch to document information on, and provide management visibility of, a range of events and interactions involving Parliamentary Security Service (PSS) officers. A security incident is an incident that may impact on the integrity of the security arrangements of Parliament House. Security incidents are analysed to determine if the response by a PSS officer was in accordance with DPS policy and procedure. The result is the percentage of responses that comply with DPS policy and procedure.

Measure 22:

The mandatory training for PSS officers is Initial Security Training (IST) and Competency Maintenance Training (CMT). IST is a five-week program providing new recruits with the basic training they need to fulfil their roles and obligations as a PSS officer. It covers topics such as communication, access control and screening. PSS officers cannot perform operational duties until they have completed IST. CMT is an ongoing training requirement and must be completed annually. It covers areas such as first aid, operational safety training and parliamentarian recognition.

The percentage of new PSS officers who have completed both IST and CMT is calculated at 30 June each year by the Security Branch Manager Training Development.

Analysis

Measure 21:

The target for correct handling of security incidents is 100 per cent. For 2019–20, the actual achievement was 96.71 per cent. While this did not compromise the security operations, factors such as human error prevented the target from being achieved. The objective is to document all security incidents and to identify where the response by a PSS officer was not in compliance with operating policies and procedures. When the cause of non-compliance is identified, it is addressed through training updates or recommended changes to security procedures.

Measure 22:

The target for compliance with mandatory security training is 100 per cent. For 2019–20, the actual achievement was 17.42 per cent. Mandatory training was scheduled to be completed for all PSS officers by the end of 2019–20. COVID-19 significantly impacted the ability to undertake practical training due to physical distancing requirements, with the first aid provider not able to deliver training. Elements of Operational Safety Training were unable to be undertaken due to physical distancing requirements and some PSS officers being redeployed to support other essential activities.

Overall this resulted in significant impact to the training schedule and the target of 100 per cent compliance was unable to be achieved. Whilst this is the case, all PSS officers have undertaken their IST; however, the annual CMT refresher training has not been undertaken.

To adjust to the impact of COVID-19 restrictions, the PSS Training team converted the delivery method of PSS CMT to be largely learning via online eLearning. This was implemented in early June 2020. This adjustment, combined with the development of a COVID Safe training plan, has meant that CMT has been available to officers since late June 2020 and the physical component of Operational Safety Training will be available from October 2020.

It is anticipated by August 2020, almost 90 per cent of PSS staff will be compliant with First Aid training and almost 70 per cent of staff will be compliant with Operational Safety Training.

Strategic theme 4 – Effective delivery of the Australian Parliament House works program

PERFORMANCE CRITERION 14—Parliament House works program KPIs are achieved

Table 19: Performance criterion 14—Parliament House works program KPIs are achieved

Effective delivery of the Australian Parliament House Works Program

Performance measure

Target

Result

23) % of major capital works projects in delivery phase

80%

90%

24) % of major capital works budget spent in the financial year

80%

96%

Criterion source: Program 1, 2019–20 Portfolio Budget Statements, P10 Program 1, 2019–20 Corporate Plan, p.35.

Methodology

Measure 23:

Number of capital works projects in delivery phase divided by number of capital works projects planned.

Measure 24:

The actual expenditure on capital works projects divided by the total budget.

Figure 14: Capital works projects in delivery and expenditure

Figure 14 Capital works projects in delivery and expenditure A bar graph showing capital works project delivery and expenditure performance
Analysis

A standard industry measure of project success is delivering on time and on budget. Given the restrictions of sitting periods, parliamentary activities and the impact COVID-19 has had on project delivery, time-frames are regularly adjusted. This makes it challenging to accurately determine a consistent measure of whether projects are delivered on schedule. Therefore, DPS is tracking the projects in delivery compared to the number planned. This combined with analysis of whether the capital works program is effective and within budget, provides a picture of whether it is successfully adapting to the changing environment. Despite the challenges experienced in 2019–20, the capital works program continued to deliver significant progress. At 30 June 2020, 90 per cent of capital projects were in delivery, with 96 per cent of the allocated budget spent.

There has been significant progress on the upgrade works to the kitchens, including completing the main production kitchen and executing contracts for Queen’s Terrace Café; the Members and Guests Dining Room and the Staff Dining Room. The electrical program of work continued steadily, including substantial progress related to replacing the auxiliary power generators. Progress on fire safety upgrades, lift refurbishments, accommodation and accessibility measures continued.

Finalising electronic security measures is substantially complete with only installation and testing required for the electronic access control system and closed circuit television.