Evaluation of the department’s performance is based upon the degree to which its services meet the requirements of the Senate and its committees, and senators, principally measured against criteria centred on:
The particular criteria which apply are described in the department’s portfolio budget statements and in the performance summary tables for each office contained in this chapter.
Monitoring and assessing satisfaction
Much of the department’s work involves contact with senators and their staff, presenting the most direct means of eliciting feedback about services and performance, and an avenue for addressing concerns as they are raised. As noted throughout this report, this direct feedback was positive across all service areas during the year, particularly in relation to core advisory, drafting and secretariat support roles. Senators’ comments about the department and its staff, placed on the public record during Senate and committee proceedings, constitute another valuable source of performance information. These comments continued to be overwhelmingly positive during 2017–18. The department also monitors its performance through formal and informal channels, including letters, emails, phone calls, seminar evaluation forms and outputs from management information systems. Again these sources were generally positive. The direct accountability of the department to the Senate through its committees was noted, above, at page 19.
The department’s program managers have adopted a formal process for recording and providing feedback to the Clerk to provide assurance for his certification of this statement. As noted above, this was the subject of a recent internal audit, which provided assurance of this process. The measures have also been provided to the department’s Audit Committee, which has provided advice that the measures and these annual performance statements are appropriate.