Corporate Plan 2015-19

PM&CWho We AreAccountability and Reporting
Monday, 31 August 2015
Publication author(s):
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
Publication abstract:

The Corporate Plan 2015-19 for the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet is designed to be the principal planning document for the Department as required under paragraph 35(1)(b) of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act).

This plan covers the period 2015-19 and sets out the Department’s purpose, operational environment, key areas to strengthen, culture and values, governance, planning and risk management.

PDF icon PM&C Corporate Plan138.28 KB

Secretary’s statement

Our strategic priorities are

  • supporting the Prime Minister in his role as head of the Australian Government and the Cabinet and supporting our Portfolio Ministers
  • providing advice on how to make Australia more prosperous, successful and stronger
  • enhancing the ability of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to improve their lives.

We will provide clear and persuasive advice to the Government on how it might best tackle the significant issues facing Australia. We will ensure effective implementation of the Government’s decisions. We will deliver services efficiently.

Michael Thawley AO 

Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet 

31 August 2015


Our purpose

Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) coordinates policy development across the government in economic, domestic and international affairs, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander advancement and public service stewardship. We do this by

  • providing well-founded suggestions to the Prime Minister, the Cabinet, Portfolio Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries on national and global challenges and matters at the forefront of government administration
  • coordinating government-wide policy with a focus on practical changes to improve the lives of all Australians and ensuring implementation
  • with the Australian Public Service Commission, fostering a high performing public sector
  • consulting across government, the private sector, the not-for- profit sector and the community.

Operational environment

PM&C operates in a dynamic environment. Over the period of the Corporate Plan we would expect the specific issues that we deal with to vary in response to domestic and international events as well as evolving Government priorities.

We aim to bring an innovative approach to the development and implementation of Government policies. We play a leadership and coordinating role, advancing ideas, reconciling differing views and providing a whole of government perspective. We encourage the contestability of ideas to test presumptions, provide options and facilitate productive Cabinet discussion. We also take carriage of policy and service delivery responsibilities that are of particular importance to the Prime Minister.

We have a nationwide presence, with over 2,000 staff located in more than 100 locations. We engage with Indigenous communities on their needs and work together with them and a range of stakeholders to achieve better outcomes.

Strategic priorities

Below is a short description of how we will achieve our strategic priorities. These priorities should be read in conjunction with our Portfolio Budget Statements and Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements for the 2015‑16 financial year, which give more detail on our activities as well as the resources allocated to them. Our performance against this plan for the 2015–16 reporting period will be outlined in our annual performance statement. 

Supporting our Prime Minister as the head of the Australian Government and the Cabinet

We will support the Prime Minister and key stakeholders with secretariat services and advice for the Cabinet, its committees and the Federal Executive Council. We will provide ministerial correspondence support and parliamentary support for the Prime Minister, Portfolio Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries and their ministerial offices.

We will manage visits by, and hospitality for guests of the Government, deliver major events, ceremonies and state occasions and coordinate logistical arrangements for the Prime Minister’s overseas visits. We will also oversee management of the Prime Minister’s official residences and matters relating to them.

Providing advice on major domestic policy and national security matters

We will provide advice, leadership and policy coordination on a range of matters including: economic policy and social policy; specific domestic issues such as deregulation and gender equality; national security and international policy; machinery of government, parliamentary and legal policy; and Australia’s honours system and national symbols.

In domestic policy, expected areas of focus over the next 12 months include

  • providing policy advice on managing the economy and options for economic reform
  • leading the development of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agenda and supporting COAG’s work programme, in particular on reform of federal/state relations
  • delivering white papers on key policy matters
  • activities to reduce violence against women and increase women’s economic participation.

In national security policy, expected areas of focus over the next 12 months include

  • providing policy advice on enhanced regional engagement and effective national security partnerships
  • supporting the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Counter-Terrorism and implementing Australia’s Counter‑Terrorism Strategy
  • providing advice on strategies to counter people smuggling and irregular migration issues
  • responding to major national security related crises or emergencies
  • Australia’s national security community and national intelligence community
  • implementing a national cyber security strategy.

Improving the lives of Indigenous Australians

We are focused on long-term outcomes and enabling Indigenous communities to decide their own future. We will collaborate with other Commonwealth Government departments and state governments to help maximise the benefits of mainstream programmes to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. We will advise the Prime Minister, Portfolio Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries on the impact of policy and programme decisions on the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. We will implement the five key programmes under the Indigenous Advancement Strategy

  • Jobs, Land and Economy: getting adults into work, fostering Indigenous business and assisting Indigenous people to generate economic and social benefits from effective use of their land, particularly in remote areas
  • Children and Schooling: getting children to school, particularly in remote Indigenous communities, improving education outcomes and supporting families to give children a good start in life. This programme includes measures to improve access to further education
  • Safety and Wellbeing: ensuring the ordinary law of the land applies in Indigenous communities, particularly remote Indigenous communities, and that Indigenous people enjoy similar levels of physical, emotional and social wellbeing enjoyed by other Australians
  • Culture and Capability: supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to maintain their culture, participate equally in the economic and social life of the nation and ensuring that Indigenous organisations are capable of delivering quality services to their clients, particularly in remote areas
  • Remote Australia Strategies: ensuring strategic investments in local, flexible solutions based on community and Government priorities. Support for remote housing strategies focusses on achieving results in Government priority areas.

Strengthening our capabilities

To provide the Prime Minister with appropriate support we must possess strong leadership, strategy and delivery capabilities. Our People Strategy (2014–16)—supported by a Workforce Plan and Capability Framework—aims to ensure we have a more flexible and appropriately qualified workforce with the right people with the right skills to help the Government develop and implement its agenda.

Key areas of focus in 2015–16 include

  • ICT digital working environment: We will automate our key processes and improve support for a mobile workforce
  • Knowledge and intelligence: We will better integrate our information into our ICT environment
  • Shared services: We will work with other government agencies to streamline the use of services across government, in line with the broader government contestability initiatives
  • Decision-making: Delegating authority to those who can make most effective use of it, especially in regional areas.

Culture and values

We value people who generate ideas, are not afraid of arguing them, and achieve results. We place the greatest importance on integrity. PM&C expects and rewards excellence. We aim for a culture that facilitates lively debate characterised by respect for the opinion of others, humility and modesty and a commitment to what is best for Australia—a culture that empowers people with a sense of responsibility and opportunity to make a difference and provides ample scope for satisfaction and pride.

We are committed to

  • understanding the needs of Australians and appreciating issues from a range of perspectives
  • understanding government processes and improving them to deliver comprehensive whole of government outcomes
  • responding quickly and adaptively, and anticipating what will become important
  • increasing the number of staff identifying as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people.

Governance, planning and risk management

PM&C accepts that risk is inherent in policy development and delivery of services in so many areas right across Australia. We are committed to improving accountability while delegating financial and other decisions to the most appropriate levels so that those responsible for outcomes have matching authority and are not frustrated by unnecessary hierarchy. Strong risk management is, therefore, central to our operations. PM&C’s Risk Management Framework is regularly reviewed and is consistent with the international standard ISO 31000:2009.

We will plan for, measure, and report on our performance through our performance framework set out below.

Performance is reported through: Annual report and Annual Performance Statement. Governance and oversight is provided by: Executive, Audit Committee, Governance Committees, Risk Management framework and fraud control

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