Department of Health Annual Report 2016-17

Part 3.4: External Scrutiny and Compliance

Page last updated: 19 October 2017

External Scrutiny

Australian National Audit Office audits

The Department works closely with the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) to provide responses to proposed audit findings and recommendations prior to the Auditor-General presenting his reports to Parliament.

During 2016-17, the ANAO tabled seven audits that involved the Department, detailed below. The Department agreed to all audit recommendations (some with qualification), with relevant implementation activities either underway or completed.

Audits specific to the Department

AuditMachinery of Government Changes67
Audit Report No.3 of 2016-2017, tabled 31 August 2016
ObjectiveThe audit assessed the effectiveness of the management of Machinery of Government (MoG) changes, including a detailed examination of those changes that affected the Department in 2013.
RecommendationsNo recommendations were made in relation to the Department.
AuditCommunity Pharmacy Agreement: Follow-on Audit68
Audit Report No.9 of 2016-2017, tabled 31 August 2016
ObjectiveThe audit assessed the adequacy and effectiveness of the Department’s implementation of the recommendations made in the ANAO Report No.25 2014-15: Administration of the Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement.
RecommendationsNo additional recommendations were made.
AuditConfidentiality in Government Contracts: Senate Order for Entity Contracts (Calendar Year 2015 Compliance)69
Audit Report No.18 of 2016-2017, tabled 27 September 2016
ObjectiveThe audit assessed the appropriateness of the use and reporting of confidentiality provisions in a sample of Australian Government contracts, including contracts administered by the Department.
RecommendationsNo recommendations were made in relation to the Department.
AuditThe Management, Administration and Monitoring of the Indemnity Insurance Fund70
Audit Report No.20 of 2016-2017, tabled 19 October 2016
ObjectiveThe audit assessed the Departments of Health and Human Services’ administration, including oversight and monitoring arrangements, for the Indemnity Insurance Fund.
RecommendationsThe ANAO made four recommendations:
  • conduct a ‘first principles review’ of the Indemnity Insurance Fund and related schemes;
  • develop and implement a fit-for-purpose monitoring and reporting arrangement;
  • establish suitable governance and stakeholder engagement arrangements; and
  • review Indemnity Insurance Fund administrative arrangements.
AuditIndigenous Aged Care71
Audit Report No.53 of 2016-2017, tabled 31 May 2017
ObjectiveThe audit assessed the effectiveness of Australian Government funded aged care services delivered to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
RecommendationsThe ANAO made four recommendations:
  • provide access to available funding and apply a consistent assessment process;
  • implement a coordinated approach to risk management for providers who receive multiple sources of program funding;
  • monitor the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples accessing Commonwealth funded aged care services and service providers that deliver aged care services; and
  • ensure that the funding provided through the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program is appropriately targeted.
AuditDepartment of Health’s Coordination of Communicable Disease Emergencies72
Audit Report No.57 of 2016-2017, tabled 22 June 2017
ObjectiveThe audit assessed the effectiveness of the Department’s strategies for managing a communicable disease emergency.
RecommendationsThe ANAO made three recommendations:
  • mandate the use of an effective incident management system to manage communicable disease incidents and notifications;
  • ensure public communication regarding communicable disease incidents is consistent, accurate and timely; and
  • develop a process to record, prioritise and implement lessons and agreed recommendations from tests, exercises, communicable disease emergency responses and relevant reviews.
AuditProcurement of the National Cancer Screening Register73
Audit Report No.61 of 2016-2017, tabled 29 June 2017
ObjectiveThe audit assessed whether the Department effectively procured services to operate a National Cancer Screening Register.
RecommendationsThe ANAO made one recommendation:
  • ensure that actual, potential and perceived conflicts of interest records are maintained, up-to-date and appropriately addressed, and that Senior Executive Service employees declare in writing, at least annually, their own and their immediate family’s financial and other interests.

Parliamentary scrutiny

The Department appears before a number of parliamentary committees to answer questions about our administration of the health and aged care systems.

During 2016-17, the Department received a total of 56 Parliamentary Questions on Notice from the House of Representatives and the Senate, and 1,422 Senate Estimates Questions on Notice.

Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit reviews

During 2016-17, the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit tabled no reviews that involved the Department.

Senate Estimates hearings

The Department appeared before the Community Affairs Legislation Committee on three occasions during 2016-17:

  • Supplementary Budget Estimates – 19 October 2016;
  • Additional Estimates – 1 March 2017; and
  • Budget Estimates – 29 and 30 May 2017.

The Department also appeared before the Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee for the Cross Portfolio Indigenous hearings:

  • Supplementary Budget Estimates – 21 October 2016;
  • Additional Estimates – 3 March 2016; and
  • Budget Estimates – 26 May 2017.

Parliamentary Committee inquiries

The Department provided evidence and/or submissions to Parliamentary Committee inquiries on the following occasions.

CommitteeEvidence/submission provided
Senate Standing Committee on Community AffairsLegislation Committee
  • Industrial Chemicals Bill 2017 and related Bills
  • Therapeutic Goods Amendment (2016 Measures No. 1) Bill 2016 [Provisions]
  • National Cancer Screening Register Bill 2016 [Provisions]
  • National Cancer Screening Register (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2016 [Provisions]
Senate Standing Committee on Community AffairsReferences Committee
  • Number of women in Australia who have had transvaginal mesh implants and related matters
  • Future of Australia’s aged care sector workforce
  • Price regulation associated with the Prostheses List Framework
  • Complaints mechanism administered under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law
  • Growing evidence of an emerging tick-borne disease that causes a Lyme-like illness for many Australian patients
  • Medical complaints process in Australia
  • Indefinite detention of people with cognitive and psychiatric impairment in Australia
Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and TradeReferences Committee
  • Suicide by veterans and ex-service personnel
Senate Select Committee into Funding for Research into Cancers with Low Survival Rates
  • Impact of health research funding models on the availability of funding for research into cancers with low survival rates
Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional AffairsReferences Committee
  • Inquiry into serious allegations of abuse, self-harm and neglect of asylum seekers in relation to the Nauru Regional Processing Centre, and any like allegations in relation to the Manus Regional Processing Centre
Senate Select Committee on Red Tape
House of Representatives Standing Committee on Health
  • Inquiry into the hearing health and wellbeing of Australia
Joint Committee on Law Enforcement
  • Inquiry into crystal methamphetamine (ice)
  • Inquiry into illicit tobacco
Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme
  • Services for people with psychological disabilities related to a mental health condition
  • The Provision of Hearing Services under the National Disability Insurance Scheme

Judicial decisions and decisions of administrative tribunals

During 2016-17, the Department was involved in:

  • Zero matters in the High Court;
  • One matter in the Full Federal Court;
  • 10 matters in the Federal Court;
  • 29 matters in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal; and
  • Four decisions were made by the Australian Information Commissioner.

Reports by the Commonwealth Ombudsman

The Department continues to liaise with the Commonwealth Ombudsman on complaints relating to aspects of the Department’s administrative activities.

Anyone with concerns about the Department’s actions or decision-making is entitled to make a complaint with the Commonwealth Ombudsman to determine whether the Department was wrong, unjust, discriminatory or unfair. Further information on the role of the Commonwealth Ombudsman is available at: the Commonwealth Ombudsman website

During 2016-17, the Commonwealth Ombudsman investigated ten complaints against the Department’s administrative practices. Four of the ten complaint investigations have been finalised by the Ombudsman as at 30 June 2017. None of the finalised complaints investigations resulted in a finding of administration deficiency.

Capability reviews

There were no capability reviews of the Department released during 2016-17.

Freedom of Information

In 2016-17, the Department received 337 Freedom of Information (FOI) requests.

Entities subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 are required to publish information to the public as part of the Information Publication Scheme (IPS). Each agency must display on its website a plan showing what information it publishes in accordance with the IPS requirements. Documents that the Department has released in response to FOI requests during 2016-17 can be found on the Freedom of Information Disclosure Log at: the Department of Health website.

Work Health and Safety

The Department acknowledges its responsibilities under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act) and the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 to ensure the health and safety of its workforce.

The majority of the Department’s staff work in an office, exposing them to well-documented ergonomic risks. The Department is responsible for providing well-designed and innovative work spaces and work health and safety (WHS) programs.

Some of the Department’s staff work in the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) laboratories with the potential risk for staff being exposed to potentially hazardous substances, including acids, flammable solvents and mercury.

More unusually, as the TGA is in a rural setting, venomous snakes have been known to enter high traffic areas including courtyards, walkways, the car park and bike cages.

The Department has policies and procedures in place to appropriately protect the workforce from,
and respond to, all potential hazards, including wildlife.

Improving WHS in the workplace

Initiatives undertaken in 2016-17 to improve WHS in the Department included:

  • collaborating with the Australian Taxation Office and other Commonwealth entities to undertake a cooperative procurement for rehabilitation providers and medical services, making access to credible rehabilitation services faster and easier. The program is new and outcomes haven’t yet been realised;
  • reviewing and refinement of the triage system introduced with the Department’s Call Centre to manage enquiries to improve front-end response to injuries and incidents. There have been improvements in responding to accident/incident reports, the call-back time for injured/ill workers has reduced from less than three days, down to less than two days;
  • implementing Injury Connect, a rehabilitation case management database system, to enable accurate reporting and evaluation. Reporting capability has improved the overall monitoring of injury management caseloads; and
  • refining the ergonomic assessment program, through qualified occupational therapists undertaking individual and group assessments. In 2016-17 a total of 963 assessments were undertaken, of which seven per cent were related to new injury symptoms, four per cent were for pre-existing injuries and 89 per cent preventive. Since the inception of the in-house program in October 2015, the number of
    body-stressing claims has decreased significantly from nine in 2014-15 to one in 2016-17.

The Health and Wellbeing Program

In July 2016, the Health and Wellbeing Program and Framework was launched.

Under the Program, the Department delivered:

  • an annual vaccination program to 2,423 employees across the country, representing 49.8 per cent of employees;
  • an Employee Assistance Program, with 761 new referrals in 2016-17;
  • the Early Intervention initiative (refer case study below) to 128 participants; and
  • the 10,000 steps walking challenge, aimed to increase employees’ physical activity during the day. Over 450 employees registered for the challenge.

This image depicts the four focus points of the Department’s Health and Wellbeing Program. These are: 1. Physical Health and Wellbeing; 2. Mental Health and Wellbeing; 3. Prevention and Early Intervention; and 4. Workplace Support.

Early Intervention Initiative

This icon depicts a computer on a sit-to-stand desk.

The Department’s Early Intervention Initiative seeks to raise awareness of early warning signs of illness and injury and how to take quick, effective action to support staff, either to stay at work or to support a faster return to work following an illness or injury.

The program promotes a range of initiatives, such as workstation assessments, access to flexible working arrangements, and the development and rollout of manager training to identify and respond to early warning signs of illness or injury.

This initiative will support the prevention of long-term absence from the workplace and development of chronic illness, as well as increasing the probability of staff returning to work. Further, the initiative will contain the costs of incapacity while empowering managers to assist their employees to manage their injury or illness.

Evaluation of the Department’s WHS performance

In June 2016, Comcare undertook an audit of the Department’s WHS management system, resulting in a number of differences. A corrective actions management plan was developed, and actions are being progressively implemented.

The Department provides ongoing support to employees and managers to assist both workers’ compensation claims and non-work related injury and illness. Since 2013-14, the number of compensation claims accepted for the Department has been consistently declining. The number of accepted claims have been trending down from 58 in 2014-15 to 15 in 2016-17. The annual audit for the Rehabilitation Management System will be undertaken in August 2017.

Notifiable incidents

The Department received 376 accident and incident reports in 2016-17. There were two notifiable incidents sent to Comcare. The incidents have been investigated and where action has been required action plans have been developed.

Addressing disability and recognising carers

Supporting staff

The Department is committed to being an employer of choice for people with disability and those with caring responsibilities. The Department’s goal is to minimise barriers to employment for people with disability, fostering an environment that enables people with disability, and carers, to maximise their productivity and potential. By embracing diversity within the workforce, we will strengthen our ability to provide better health and wellbeing for all Australians.

The Department’s 2016–2019 Accessibility Action Plan (AAP) aims to ensure that we meet our legislative obligations in relation to anti-discrimination and equal employment for our employees. The AAP describes how we will build and strengthen our culture to ensure that disability on its own does not limit participation in the workforce. Over the next two years, we will implement the AAP and embed a culture of inclusivity.

Our AAP uses a human rights approach to disability and focuses on five key areas:

  • Leadership – to increase the representation of employees with disability in senior and network roles;
  • Inclusivity – to foster inclusive cultures in the workplace;
  • Opportunities – to expand the range of employment opportunities for people with disability;
  • Investing in capability – to invest in developing the capability of employees with disability; and
  • Training needs – by offering training to improve disability awareness, and integrate disability awareness principles into existing management development and orientation programs.

The AAP was developed cooperatively with the Department’s Disability and Carers Network (DCN) to represent the interests of staff. In December 2016, the DCN celebrated International Day of People with Disability by hosting a story sharing event to raise awareness of personal experiences.

The DCN was formerly the Disability Network, however in 2016-17 it embraced the sentiments of the Statement for Australian Carers by recognising carers into the network’s title and work mandate. During Carers Week in October 2016, the DCN hosted a Carers Week morning tea with guest speakers from Carers Australia, who discussed the intersection between disability and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture.

Carers are an integral part of the Department’s current AAP. A range of employment provisions and entitlements also support staff with disability or caring responsibilities, including:

  • counselling for staff and family members for work or personal issues;
  • paid and unpaid carers leave;
  • purchased leave of up to six weeks per calendar year; and
  • family care rooms and facilities for breastfeeding mothers in the workplace.

The National Disability Strategy

Since 1994, non-corporate Commonwealth entities have reported on their performance as policy adviser, purchaser, employer, regulator and provider under the Commonwealth Disability Strategy. In 2007-08, reporting on the employer role was transferred to the Australian Public Service Commission’s State of the Service reports and the APS Statistical Bulletin. These reports are available at: the Australian Public Service Commission website. From 2010-11, entities have no longer been required to report on these functions.

The Commonwealth Disability Strategy (the Strategy) has been overtaken by the National Disability Strategy 2010–2020. The Strategy sets out a ten-year national policy framework to improve the lives of people with disability, promote participation and create a more inclusive society. A high-level two-yearly report will track progress against each of the six outcome areas of the Strategy and present a picture of how people with disability are faring. Reports can be found at the Department of Social Services’ website at: the Department of Social Services website

The Strategy requires all levels of Government to work collaboratively with people with disability in the development of programs, policies and systems that affect people with disabilities. The Department ensures the needs of people with disability are considered through the policy work for our identified outcomes and priorities, through specific stakeholder workshops, discussion papers and other engagement mechanisms.

Working with carer organisations

The Department consults with carer organisations to develop support mechanisms and implements reforms to ensure that programs and services continue to meet the requirements of the Carer Recognition Act 2010 and consider the needs of carers, people with disability and vulnerable populations.

Mental health services

The Department is developing a more effective mental health system to improve outcomes for consumers. Changes being implemented will benefit consumers and their carers through locally commissioned and integrated mental health services that are planned around individual and community needs. These reforms are being progressed in partnership with consumers, carers, mental health stakeholders, and State and Territory Governments.

We provided funding of $500,000 to Mental Health Australia to sponsor the National Mental Health Consumer and Carer Forum; to provide administrative support to the National Register of Mental Health Consumer and Carer Representatives; and to merge links to pool expertise and networks to progress mental health policy topics of national interest.

We have also entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Mental Health Commission to build the capacity, skills and experience of carers and consumers or those with lived experience to support implementation of the mental health reform agenda.

Aged care services

In 2016-17, the Department reviewed the National Ageing and Aged Care Strategy for people from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Backgrounds (CALD) and the National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) Ageing and Aged Care Strategy. Carers and carer organisations were consulted through the Ageing and Aged Care CALD Working Group, the Ageing and Aged Care LGBTI Working Group, the Aged Care Sector Committee, the National Aged Care Alliance, and formal survey and submission processes undertaken through the Department’s Consultation Hub.

Additionally, in consultation with peak bodies representing Australia’s carers, the Department established the Short-Term Restorative Care (STRC) Programme in 2016-17. STRC aims to reverse and/or slow functional decline in older people and improve their wellbeing. STRC places were allocated through a competitive process, in which applicants were required to demonstrate how they would effectively engage with both prospective care recipients and their carers in the development of care plans.

The Department held a Ministerial Dementia Forum in December 2016 to hear directly from people living with dementia and carers about what they require in a dementia consumer supports program.

In response to a review of Commonwealth funded aged care advocacy services, the Department will develop a National Aged Care Advocacy Framework, which will recognise carers, family members, family of choice and other representatives of aged care consumers as partners in care as well as partners in advocacy. Carers will be able to access advocacy services on behalf of consumers receiving, or seeking to receive, Australian Government funded aged care services.

Tobacco Plain Packaging

The Department pursuant to section 108 of the Tobacco Plain Packaging Act 2011 (the Act) reports that 402 potential contraventions of the Act were investigated in 2016-17. The majority of these matters were continuing investigations from the previous year. In 2016-17, 101 warning letters were issued.

A copy of this report has been provided to the Minister for Health.

This icon depicts a no smoking sign.

Working towards a tobacco-free future

Figure 3.4.1: Daily smokers aged 14 years or older from 1991 to 2016

Figure 3.4.1 is a line graph that displays the decline in daily smokers aged 14 years or older, as a percentage, between 1991 and 2016, with important tobacco related milestones marked on the time line.

Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in Australia. It causes many types of cancer, heart disease and stroke, and chest and lung illnesses, and claims the lives of almost 19,000 Australians every year.

Over the past two decades, the Australian Government has committed to a comprehensive range of tobacco control measures, including excise increases on tobacco, plain packaging of tobacco products, graphic health warnings, prohibition of tobacco advertising, social marketing campaigns and other education programs, and support for smokers to quit. Collectively, these have played a significant role in reducing Australia’s smoking rates, which are now among the lowest in the world. Since 1991, the national daily smoking rate for people aged 14 years or older in Australia has almost halved – from 24.3 per cent in 1991 to 12.2 per cent in 2016.74

As well as reduced smoking rates, recent surveys have shown that fewer teenagers are taking up smoking, young people are delaying the take-up of smoking, and people who do smoke are smoking fewer cigarettes.

The Human Services (Medicare) Act 1973

The Human Services (Medicare) Act 1973 provides for the Chief Executive Medicare to authorise the exercise of powers requiring a person to give information or to produce a document that is in the person’s custody, or under the person’s control, and the power to obtain a statutory report under section 42 of the Act.

Section 42(1) paragraphs (a) to (h)Occurrences
(a) the number of signed instruments made under section 8M7
(b) the number of notices in writing given under section 8P76
(c) the number of notices in writing given to individual patients under section 8P0
(d) the number of premises entered under section 8U0
(e) the number of occasions when powers were used under section 8V0
(f) the number of search warrants issued under section 8Y2
(g) the number of search warrants issued by telephone or other electronic means under section 8Z0
(h) the number of patients advised in writing under section 8ZN0

Ecologically sustainable development

Ecologically sustainable development principles

The principles of ecologically sustainable development (ESD) outlined in section 3A of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 are that:

  • decision-making processes should effectively integrate both long-term and short-term economic, environmental, social and equity considerations;
  • if there are threats of serious or irreversible environmental damage, lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postponing measures to prevent environmental degradation;
  • the present generation should ensure that the health, diversity and productivity of the environment is maintained or enhanced for the benefit of future generations;
  • the conservation of biological diversity and ecological integrity should be a fundamental consideration in decision-making; and
  • improved valuation, pricing and incentive mechanisms should be promoted.

Our contribution

In 2016-17, the Department continued its commitment to ESD through a methodical approach to planning, implementing and monitoring the Department’s environmental performance through programs and policies that are in accordance with current legislation, whole-of-government requirements and environmental best practice. The Department also administers legislation that is relevant to, and meets the principles of, ESD, including the:

  • Gene Technology Act 2000
    Through the Gene Technology Regulator, the Department protects the health and safety of people and the environment by identifying risks posed by gene technology and manages those risks through regulating activities with genetically modified organisms (GMOs). These activities range from contained work in certified laboratories to release of GMOs into the environment. The Regulator imposes licence conditions to protect the environment, and uses extensive powers to monitor and enforce those conditions.
  • Industrial Chemicals (Notification and Assessment) Act 1989
    The National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS) aids in the protection of the Australian people and the environment by assessing the risks of industrial chemicals and promoting their safe use. NICNAS operates within an agreed framework for chemical management that is consistent with the National Strategy for ESD and is aligned with the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development Agenda 21 (Rio Declaration) chapter on the environmentally sound management of toxic chemicals.

Environmental impact of our operations

The Energy Efficient in Government Operations (EEGO) Policy contains minimum energy performance standards for Australian Government office buildings as a strategy for achieving energy targets. This ensures that entities progressively improve their performance through the procurement and ongoing management of energy efficient office buildings and environmentally sound equipment and appliances.

The Department, as part of its strategic accommodation planning, undertakes to meet the requirements of the Green Lease Schedule (that is, for tenancies of greater than 2,000m2 with a lease term greater than two years) ‘A’ grade standard of the Building Owners and Managers Association International guidelines and meet a minimum National Australian Built Environment Rating System rating of 4.5 stars.

Energy consumption

Figure 3.4.2: The Department’s electricity and natural gas consumption

Figure 3.4.2 is a bar graph that shows the Department’s electricity and gas consumption for 2015-16 and 2016-17.

The Department is required to meet the target of no more than 7,500 megajoules (MJ) per person, per annum, for office tenant light and power under the EEGO Policy.

In 2016-17, the Department met the target, using only 4,480 MJ per person, per annum.

This achievement reflects the Department’s efforts in its leased property portfolio to reduce energy consumption through technology such as:

  • T5 fluorescent and movement activated sensor lighting;
  • double glazed windows;
  • energy efficient heating;
  • ventilation; and
  • air-conditioning systems.

There is no target for energy consumption for non-office space, which includes sites used for laboratories, workshop and storage facilities. This includes the Symonston facility, which also accounts for the Department’s use of natural gas.

The Department monitors the energy consumption in these facilities as part of its commitment to reducing the impact on the environment from its activities.

The Department also participated in Earth Hour 2017 by switching off building lights, terminals, monitors and office equipment at all its properties around Australia.

Waste management

Figure 3.4.3: Average monthly waste produced by the Department

Figure 3.4.3 is a bar graph showing the Department’s average monthly waste produced, in tonnes, between 2011-12 to 2016-17.

The Department is committed to protecting the environment through the implementation of efficient and effective waste management programs.

In the majority of the Department’s offices, waste management initiatives include segregated waste streams to improve management of general waste, commingled recycling, organic recycling, and paper and cardboard recycling. Further recycling efforts include the recycling of printer and toner cartridges, batteries and mobile phones to ensure these items are diverted from landfill and used in sustainable programs.

The Department aims to increase the amount of waste recycled as a share of the total waste. In 2016-17, the Department recycled over half of its total waste produced, with 105.22 tonnes of the total 192.03 tonnes of waste being recycled.

Vehicle fleet management

Figure 3.4.4: Fleet fuel consumption and CO2 emissions

Figure 3.4.4 is a bar graph that shows the Department’s fuel consumption and CO2 emissions for 2015-16 and 2016-17.

In 2016-17, the Department operated 45 vehicles, up from 30 in 2015-16, which together travelled a total of 324,125 km and expended 860,858 MJ. This resulted in an energy consumption of approximately 2.66 MJ/km.

The Department works to ensure its fleet provide value for money and is environmentally friendly. Additionally, the Department works towards a target of 28 per cent of leased/pool vehicles meeting the Green Vehicle Guide scored of at least 10.5 out of 20.

Other sustainable initiatives

In support of the ICT Sustainability plan, the IT Division is committed to the protection of the environment and the continuous improvement of its performance in the reduction of environment impacts across its business activities.

In December 2016, the Department completed the rollout of the follow-me printing solution that allows staff to securely release print jobs to any multi-function device within the Department. With follow-me printing, unwanted print jobs are not automatically printed and can be deleted and any jobs left in the queue for more than 12 hours are deleted. This benefits the environment as less ink cartridges, toner, and paper are consumed.

Advertising and market research

In 2016-17, the Department is required to report on all payments over $13,000 (GST inclusive) to advertising agencies, market research organisations, polling organisations, direct mail organisations and media advertising organisations.

This section details these payments, along with the names of advertising campaigns conducted by the Department during 2016-17.

Advertising campaigns

During 2016-17, the Department conducted the following advertising campaigns:

  • Aged Care campaign;
  • BreastScreen Australia campaign;
  • Girls Make Your Move campaign;
  • Health Star Rating system campaign; and
  • National Tobacco Campaign (Don’t Make Smokes Your Story campaign).

Further information on these advertising campaigns is available at the Department of Health website, and in the reports on Australian Government advertising prepared by the Department of Finance and published at: the Department of Finance website

Table 3.4.1: Advertising, market research, direct mail and media advertising payments for 2016-17

OrganisationService providedPaid
(GST Incl)
Advertising agencies (creative advertising agencies which have developed advertising campaigns)
AJFGirls Make Your Move – creative development and supply$27,221
Carbon CreativeNational Tobacco Campaign – creative development and supply$160,301
303MullenLoweAged Care Changes Campaign – creative development and supply$144,485
Market research
Bastion LatitudeConcept testing for Palliative Care communication$132,000
Bastion LatitudeExploratory communication research on physical activity and sport participation among young males$436,590
Bastion LatitudeExploratory communication research for Palliative Care$109,951
GfK AustraliaEvaluation research for the Girls Make Your Move campaign$110,550
Hall and Partners |
Open Mind
Exploratory communication market research to support the Review of Pharmacy Remuneration and Regulation$152,229
National Heart FoundationConsumer use and understanding of the Health Star Rating System survey$86,900
ORC InternationalEvaluation research for the National Tobacco Campaign (Don’t Make Smokes Your Story campaign)$165,871
ORC InternationalExploratory communication research on community knowledge and understanding of Biosimilar medicines for Biosimilar Awareness Initiative$384,332
PollinateEvaluation research for the Health Star Rating System campaign$48,400
Snapcracker Research and StrategyConcept testing for the National Childhood Immunisation Education Program$132,000
Snapcracker Research and StrategyExploratory communication research for Immunisation$125,000
Snapcracker Research and strategyExploratory communication research for alcohol and other drugs$203,514
Snapcracker Research and StrategyConcept testing for the National Drugs Campaign$209,220
Taylor Nelson Sofres Australia T/a KantarExploratory communication research for healthy weight and dietary guidelines$660,000
Taylor Nelson Sofres Australia T/a KantarConcept testing and evaluation research services for the Aged Care communication campaign$275,688
Taylor Nelson Sofres Australia T/a KantarConcept testing and research Services for the Girls Make Your Move campaign$80,300
WhereTo ResearchExploratory communication research for private health insurance$199,100
WhereTo ResearchEvaluation research for the Cancer Screening campaigns$79,200
WhereTo ResearchExploratory communication research into Best Practice Palliative Care in General Practice$100,000
Woolcott ResearchMaterial testing and concept testing for the National Cervical Screening Program$185,645
Direct mail organisations75 (includes organisations which handle the sorting and mailing out of information material to the public)
National Mailing and Marketing Pty LtdShingles Information Resources mail out$16,096
National Mailing and Marketing Pty Ltd2017 Seasonal Influenza(Part 1 and Part 2) mail out$55,092
National Mailing and Marketing Pty LtdIntroduction of the Rotavirus Vaccine letter and advice mail out$13,973
National Mailing and Marketing Pty LtdHealth Care Reform mail out$106,039
Media advertising organisations (the master advertising agencies which place Government advertising in the media – this covers both campaign and non-campaign advertising)
Dentsu MitchellMedia buying for the BreastScreen Australia campaign$999,943
Dentsu MitchellMedia Buying for the Girls Make Your Move campaign$7,034,041
Dentsu MitchellMedia buying for the National Tobacco campaign$7,685,243
Dentsu MitchellMedia buying for the Aged Care Changes campaign$3,048,762
Dentsu MitchellMedia buying for the Health Star Rating campaign$2,186,658
Grand total$25,354,344