Throughout 2018–19, work continued on consolidating the merger of corporate services, focusing on ensuring the evolving needs of judges and staff across all the courts and tribunals are satisfied, while delivering on required efficiencies to meet reduced appropriations.
A key focus during the year was the development of a single set of human resource policies across the entity, given the finalisation of the enterprise agreement in June 2018. In addition, work continues on consolidating IT systems and amalgamating projects targeted at simplifying the combined court environment to deliver more contemporary practices and efficiency improvements at a reduced cost.
A key project during the year was the delivery of the digital court file for family law, with deployment of a technical release on 1 July 2019, together with a number of enhancements to the eFiling functionality which facilitated an increase to the number and types of forms which can be submitted electronically.
Several property projects were delivered during the year with a number of other prominent accommodation projects underway:
- relocation and design of new corporate services accommodation within the Canberra Law Courts building in Canberra, after the exit from the previous Canberra location
- development application approval and detailed design documentation was completed for the expansion of the Newcastle registry into the adjoining building. Work will commence early in the new financial year with expected completion in early 2020
- new mediation suite fit out in Darwin
- new fit out for the expanded National Native Title Tribunal accommodation within the Commonwealth Law Courts building in Brisbane, and
- preliminary design for the relocation of Corporate Services and the construction of additional courtrooms and chambers in the Queens Square Law Courts building in Sydney to accommodate the expanded criminal jurisdiction.
Other projects commenced or finalised during the year include:
- rollout of Expense8, a new travel booking system that has simplified processes across the three courts and tribunals
- data centre consolidation
- finalisation of tender process for a major security upgrade across the three courts and tribunals
- closure of the National Support Office accommodation in Canberra
- refinement of emergency and business continuity planning processes to accommodate organisation structural changes across the registries, and
- rollout of updated eLearning modules across the entity.
A detailed report on the delivery of corporate services in 2018–19 is in Part 4: Management of the Court.
[Signed in hard copy]
Chief Executive Officer and Principal Registrar
Federal Court of Australia