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Management of the Tribunal

Tribunal governance

The President, Members and Registrar set the strategic direction for the Tribunal. During the reporting period, the President and other Members met regularly. The President and Registrar also met with senior managers, to review and discuss performance and operating capabilities, with increased regularity to deal with the implications of COVID-19.

Financial review

The Federal Court’s appropriation includes funding for the operation of the Tribunal. This funding is set out as sub-program 1.1.2 in the Court’s Portfolio Budget Statements. $8,202 million was allocated for the Tribunal’s operations in 2019–20.

Appendix 1: Financial Statements shows the consolidated financial results for both the Court and the Tribunal.

Table 5.4 presents the financial operating statement, summarising the Tribunal’s revenue and expenditure for 2019–20.

Table 5.4: Financial operating statement

Year ending 30 June 2020

Budget ($’000)

Actual ($’000)

Variance ($’000)

Appropriation

8,202

8,202

0

Total Revenue

8,202

8,202

0

Total Expenses

8,202

7,301

901

Surplus/Deficit

0

901

901

External scrutiny

Freedom of Information

During the reporting period, four requests were received under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth) (FOI Act) for access to documents. The Tribunal publishes a disclosure log on its website, as required by the FOI Act. The disclosure log lists the documents that have been released in response to FOI access requests. No documents were added to the disclosure log in the reporting report.

Accountability to clients

The Tribunal maintains a Client Service Charter (Commitment to Service Excellence) to ensure that service standards meet client needs. During the reporting period there were no complaints requiring action under the Charter.

Members' Code of Conduct

Members of the Tribunal are subject to various statutory provisions relating to behaviour and capacity. While the Registrar is subject to the Australian Public Service Code of Conduct, this does not apply to Tribunal Members, except where they may be, directly or indirectly, involved in the supervision of staff.

Tribunal Members have voluntarily adopted a code of conduct, procedures for dealing with alleged breaches of the code and an expanded conflict of interest policy. During the reporting period, there were no complaints under these documents.

Online services

The Tribunal maintains a website at www.nntt.gov.au. The website enables online searching of the National Native Title Register, the Register of Native Claims, and Register of Indigenous Land Use Agreements. Native title spatial information and data can also be accessed online through NTV.

Australian Human Rights Commission

Under s 209 of the Act, the Commonwealth Minister may, by written notice, direct the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner to report to the Commonwealth Minister about the operation of the Act or its effect on the exercise and enjoyment of human rights by Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders.

The Tribunal continues to assist the Commissioner as requested.