Appendix 7: Purchaser-provider arrangements
Purchaser–provider arrangements are arrangements where the services of one agency are purchased by another agency to contribute to outcomes. Purchaser–provider arrangements can occur between Commonwealth agencies, between Commonwealth agencies and state or territory governments, or between Commonwealth agencies and private sector bodies.
The department was involved, as purchaser or provider, in the following arrangements in 2011–12.
We engaged the CSIRO to undertake aerial surveys to determine trends in the abundance of juvenile southern bluefin tuna in the Great Australian Bight. The information will be used to inform management decisions in the Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna.
University of Wollongong
The department supported the Indonesian Fisheries Fellowship Program at the University of Wollongong, which saw 21 Indonesian fisheries officers, academics and fishing community leaders undertake a two-week fisheries management course. The program is part of the department's public information campaign on illegal fishing from Indonesia, aimed at building Indonesia's capacity to combat illegal fishing and promote sustainable fisheries management.
Australian Agency for International Development
We have a strategic partnership agreement with the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID). The agreement aims to strengthen cooperation between DAFF and AusAID in a whole-of-government approach to development work in the Asia–Pacific region.
Records of understanding under the agreement detail activities funded through Australia's aid program, along with accountability requirements. There are separate records of understanding for:
- the Australia–Indonesia Partnership for Emerging Infectious Diseases Animal Health Program
- bilateral activities under the Public Sector Linkages Program
- the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Diagnostic Network Project.
DAFF is funded to manage these programs to deliver outputs set out in the design documents. Performance indicators are listed against each of the services in the records of understanding, as are all resource implications. Our management of these programs is fully costed, including salaries, salary on-costs, travel and associated overheads.
Under the Australia–Indonesia Partnership, we are working with the Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture to strengthen Indonesian animal health systems, particularly the capability to prevent, detect and respond to emerging and priority infectious diseases. The program focuses on systems improvement and sustainability through long-term developmental approaches.
Under the Public Sector Linkages Program, we are working with Papua New Guinea on two projects. The first project involves developing emergency response plans for important exotic animal diseases. The second project focuses on developing and implementing an animal health reporting system using mobile phones and short message service (SMS) technology. In Timor–Leste, DAFF is working with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries to improve the capacity of the animal health laboratory.
Under the ASEAN Regional Diagnostic Network Project, DAFF coordinates and delivers an array of regional capacity building activities on plant health to the ASEAN region. Achievements include:
- implementation of a strategic plan for a regional diagnostic network encompassing all ASEAN countries
- training in the diagnostics of plant pests and diseases
- mentoring visits by regional specialists to Laos, Thailand and Indonesia
- provision of high-resolution microscopes and equipment for remote diagnostics.
Bilateral capacity building programs with Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam have provided infrastructure and capability to manage pest and disease reference collections, including diagnostic and surveillance training. Achievements include:
- coordination of a mentoring visit by regional specialists to Thailand
- oversight of a project to develop DNA barcodes for exotic pests in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture, Thailand
- provision of high-resolution microscopes and equipment for remote diagnostics to Thailand and Cambodia
- delivery of an awareness seminar on sanitary and phytosanitary measures in the Philippines and provision of equipment to enable collection rehabilitation and the development of diagnostic keys
- development of a forest health surveillance network in Vietnam
- coordination of the production of a book on forest pests and diseases in Vietnam
- facilitation of a strategic plan for pest information in Indonesia.
Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities
DAFF has a cross-portfolio arrangement with the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (SEWPaC) for the administration of the five-year $2 billion Caring for our Country initiative, which began in July 2008. Caring for our Country is made up of elements funded through DAFF and SEWPaC and contributes to the outcomes of both departments.
The Natural Heritage Ministerial Board is responsible for administering Caring for our Country, which is delivered through the Australian Government Land and Coasts team, comprising DAFF and SEWPaC officers. In 2011–12, SEWPaC transferred $10.5 million to DAFF for administrative costs.
There are references to Caring for our Country activities in both this annual report and the SEWPaC annual report. Performance for DAFF-related programs in 2011–12 was measured against the indicators outlined in Program 1.2. Performance for all measures was satisfactory. Achievements during the year included:
- investment in projects under the Caring for our Country business plan 2011–12, including sustainable agriculture projects
- release of the Caring for our Country business plan 2012–13 and announcement of further projects
- release of the 2009–10 annual report card for Caring for our Country, reporting progress towards achieving outcomes
- release of the Natural Heritage Trust annual reports 2010–11 and 2011–12.
The 2010–11 annual report card was expected to be released in late 2012.
Section 43 of the Natural Heritage Trust of Australia Act 1997 requires the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities to prepare an annual report on the Natural Heritage Trust's activities. The full report on the trust's performance will be available at www.environment.gov.au.