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					Senate Standing Committee on Environment, Communications and the Arts Committee
                                 Answers to questions on notice
                   Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts portfolio
                                  Budget Estimates, May 2008



Outcome:                   1                                       Question No:      41
Output:                    1.3
Division/Agency:           Bureau of Meteorology
Topic:                     Australian Tsunami Warning System
Hansard Page ECITA:        52 (28 May)


Senator Eggleston asked:
Given that there are two agencies involved, can you tell me what the total expenditure on
these systems is? What is your expenditure in the bureau? Do you know what the level of
Geoscience budget allocation for tsunami warning systems is?
Dr Love—No. I could go back to the total break-up in the new policy proposal. As I said, I
think it was $68.9 million or $69.8 million or something over four years, and I think the
bureau finished up with about 60 per cent, Geoscience Australia with 38 per cent and
Emergency Management Australia with a couple of per cent for public education. We used
that money and built synergistically onto the warning capabilities in our forecast centres
across Australia. Attribution of cost would be a tricky exercise, because the normal senior
forecasters who you hear on the radio talking about the weather in Perth or wherever would
also then supervise the issuing of warnings according to standard protocols when they are
required. That capability really has not been costed into the services. It is just a small
incremental cost, if you like.
Senator EGGLESTON—Could you take on notice what the expenditure is for each agency?
Dr Love—We can do that.
Dr Love—Just so that I am clear, because I am clearly taking this on notice, you want to
know the changes in funding to the tsunami warning service as a consequence of the change
in government?
Senator EGGLESTON—Yes, for both the Bureau of Meteorology and Geoscience
Australia. If you could do that on notice, I would be most grateful.
Dr Love—Sure.

Answer/s:
The allocations to individual agencies for the Australian Tsunami Warning System over an
implementation period of four years are:

Bureau of Meteorology                 $40.5 million
Geoscience Australia                  $21.0 million
Emergency Management Australia        $7.3 million

There has been no change in funding for the Australian Tsunami Warning System for the
Bureau or its partner agencies, apart from the additional 2% efficiency dividend.
Senate Standing Committee on Environment, Communications and the Arts Committee
                                  Answers to questions on notice
                   Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts portfolio
                                   Budget Estimates, May 2008



Outcome:                    1                                        Question No:        42
Output:                     1.1
Division/Agency:            Bureau of Meteorology
Topic:                      Field meteorological offices
Hansard Page ECITA:         52 (28 May)


Senator Birmingham asked:

Dr Love, can we turn to the bureau’s field meteorological officers, I note in the budget paper
in the portfolio statements on page 107 it speaks of the replacement of a number of field
meteorological offices and $1.2 million allocated towards that. Which offices are earmarked
for replacement?

Answer:
In 2008-09 the Bureau plans to complete the rebuild of the Broome and Esperance field
meteorological offices and to plan the rebuilding projects for the Port Hedland, Geraldton,
Albany and Sydney offices.
Senate Standing Committee on Environment, Communications and the Arts Committee
                                 Answers to questions on notice
                   Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts portfolio
                                  Budget Estimates, May 2008



Outcome:                   1                                              Question No:     43
Output:                    1.5
Division/Agency:           Bureau of Meteorology
Topic:                     Water for the Future funds - BOM
Hansard Page ECITA:        54 (28 May)


Senator Birmingham asked:
You may need to take this on notice. Are you able to provide a breakdown of the Water for
the Future funds available to the bureau and how that is applied to extra staff versus
undertaking programs, new software, research etc?

Answer:
WATER FOR THE FUTURE FUNDING
Budget and forward years
only

                                      2007-08      2008-09         2009-10       2010-11        2011-12
Expenditure                             $m           $m              $m            $m             $m

Employee Expense                    3,704        8,970            11,197        11,899      12,497

Goods and Services Expense          4,320        8,944            13,323        17,486      19,742

Property Operating Expense            620          949            1,184         1,258       1,321

Depreciation Expense                1,054        1,924            2,967         3,464       3,714


Total                               9,698        20,787           28,671        34,107      37,274


Equity Injection                    5,082        4,216            7,476         5,020       2,516

Grant funding (Admin)               10,000       20,000           20,000        20,000      10,000
Senate Standing Committee on Environment, Communications and the Arts Committee
                               Answers to questions on notice
                   Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts portfolio
                                Budget Estimates, May 2008


-
Outcome:                    Outcome 1                                 Question No:       44
Output:                     Output 1.5
Division/Agency:            Bureau of Meteorology
Topic:                      Water for the Future funding
Hansard Page ECITA:         No 55 (28 May)


Senator Birmingham asked:
Senator BIRMINGHAM—Are these payments to state government or local government
authorities within those states?
Dr Love—They are payments to authorities within the states...
Senator BIRMINGHAM—You might like to provide those details on notice. (a)
Dr Love—We can give you that, but it is a range of authorities and departments.
Senator BIRMINGHAM—Thank you. How are those grants determined? How do you
decide the division? Obviously there is some large disparity that is not based necessarily on
population or geography between the states.
Dr Love—No. Those were not the criteria in the first instance. I do not have a complete list
of the criteria. We will provide that to you… (b)

Answers:
(a)    The invoiced amounts for approved grants in 2007-08 under the Modernisation and
Extension of Hydrological Monitoring Services program were as follows:

   Jurisdiction                        Agencies                           Total value
 New South Wales       Department of Water and Energy                    $2,992,559.49
                       Department of Environment and Climate              $767,800.00
                       Change
 South Australia       Department of Water, Land and Biodiversity         $189,516.00
                       Conservation
 Tasmania              Department of Primary Industries and Water         $340,599.01

                       Hydro Tasmania                                     $331,320.00

                       Department of Treasury and Finance                    $3,300.00

                       Hobart Regional Water Authority                      $93,589.10

 Victoria              Department of Sustainability and                     $53,900.00
                       Environment
                       GWM Water (Grampians Wimmera Mallee                $125,400.00
                       Water Corporation)
Senate Standing Committee on Environment, Communications and the Arts Committee
                               Answers to questions on notice
                   Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts portfolio
                                Budget Estimates, May 2008


    Jurisdiction                       Agencies                          Total value
                       Goulburn-Murray Rural Water Corporate             $126,225.00

                       Southern Rural Water                               $119,110.41
 Queensland            Department of Natural Resources and Water          $135,630.00

                       SunWater                                           $907,500.00
                       Queensland Bulk Water Supply Authority              $88,000.00

                       South West Natural Resource Management             $132,000.00
                       Ltd
 Western Australia     WA Department of Water                           $1,441,770.00
                       Ord Irrigation Co-operative                         $43,512.60
 Northern Territory    Department of Natural Resources,                   $671,978.74
                       Environment and the Arts
                       Power and Water Corporation                        $176,000.00
 ACT                   Department of Territory and Municipal               $95,700.00
                       Services
        Total                                                           $8,835,410.35

(b)    The evaluation criteria used to select projects for funding (to 30 June 2008) through
the Modernisation and Extension of Hydrological Monitoring Systems Programme, were as
follows:

       Compliance with the draft funding agreement;
       Activity eligible for funding;
       Technical strength of the proposal;
       Project budget and financing;
       Cost effectiveness;
       Management capability of the project proponent; and
       Alignment with Bureau of Meteorology and jurisdictional priorities.
Senate Standing Committee on Environment, Communications and the Arts Committee
                                 Answers to questions on notice
                   Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts portfolio
                                  Budget Estimates, May 2008



Outcome:                   1                                        Question No:       45
Output:                    1.3
Division/Agency:           Bureau of Meteorology
Topic:                     Emergency warning systems - audits
Hansard Page ECITA:        58 (28 May)


Senator Birmingham asked:
Dr Love, how frequently are the emergency warning systems operated by the bureau audited?

Senator BIRMINGHAM—Perhaps you could take on notice and detail the schedule of
those audits for the different types of programs—when the last audit was had and what the
results of that were, please.

Answer/s:
A full performance audit of the Bureau’s weather services was conducted by the ANAO in
1999 and tabled in Parliament on 22 December 1999.

The Bureau of Meteorology became an Executive Agency under the Public Service Act on 1
July 2002. As required under the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 the
Bureau has conducted internal audits of its programs since then. The auditing function has
been outsourced to professional companies, selected after competitive tender. The Internal
Audit program is monitored by an Audit Committee comprised of both Bureau of
Meteorology and external staff with an observer from the ANAO.

The Weather Services program was audited in 2005.

Front-line severe weather services are delivered through the Regional Offices. Recent audits
of the operations of these offices were:

2003 Queensland; South Australia
2004 Western Australia; Victoria
2005 New South Wales; Tasmania/Antarctica
2006 Northern Territory

The review of the Weather Services program in 2005 found that the procedures and processes
in place for the continuing delivery of Weather Services were of a high standard, and that
there was an increasing awareness of the delivery of services.
Senate Standing Committee on Environment, Communications and the Arts Committee
                                 Answers to questions on notice
                   Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts portfolio
                                  Budget Estimates, May 2008



The last internal audit relevant to front-line weather services, that of the Northern Territory,
found that the operations of the Northern Territory Regional Office were of a good standard,
and that direction setting processes were appropriately linked to national objectives and
tailored to user needs. The review noted that the remote location of the Northern Territory
office raises a number of critical issues in relation to attracting and retaining specialised staff.
The Bureau's staff employment processes now ensure that adequate numbers of staff willing
to be posted to Darwin are recruited.

Internal reviews are also conducted of emergency warning services and systems. Post-event
surveys are conducted after significant severe weather events including surveys on the
effectiveness of warnings. Every May a meeting, with representatives from the three Tropical
Cyclone Warning Centres and national program staff, is held to review the performance of
the tropical cyclone warning service over the past season with a view to continually improve
its effectiveness. A Weather Services Conference held every one to two years reviews the
Bureau's Weather Services including the severe weather services.
Senate Standing Committee on Environment, Communications and the Arts Committee
                                  Answers to questions on notice
                   Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts portfolio
                                   Budget Estimates, May 2008



Outcome:                    1                                         Question No:   46
Output:                     1.3
Division/Agency:            Bureau of Meteorology
Topic:                      US forecasting system
Hansard Page ECITA:         59 (28 May)


Senator Birmingham asked:
What is the cost of installation for that program (Graphical Forecast Editor)?

Answer/s:
A total of $7.6m over four years for the Victorian prototype.
 Senate Standing Committee on Environment, Communications and the Arts Committee
                                    Answers to questions on notice
                    Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts portfolio
                                     Budget Estimates, May 2008



 Outcome:                     1                                         Question No:        47
 Output:                      1.5
 Division/Agency:             Bureau of Meteorology
 Topic:                       Water / Water Security
 Hansard Page ECITA:          Written Question on Notice


Senator Nash asked:
(a)   What role will the Bureau of Meteorology have in the National Plan for Water Security?
(b)   Will the Bureau of Meteorology still be the lead the agency for river flow data collection
      and dissemination under the Water for the Future?
(c)   How much funding has been allocated to the Bureau of Meteorology under the Water for
      the Future?

Answer/s:
(a) Under the Commonwealth Water Act 2007, the Bureau’s new water information role
includes:
     Collecting, holding, managing, interpreting and disseminating Australia’s water
      information;
     Providing regular reports on the status of Australia’s water resources and patterns of
      usage of those resources;
     Providing regular forecasts on the future availability of Australia’s water resources;
     Compiling and maintaining water accounts for Australia, including a set of water
      accounts to be known as the National Water Account;
     Issuing National Water Information Standards;
     Giving advice on matters relating to water information; and
     Undertaking and commissioning investigations to enhance understanding of Australia’s
      water resources.

(b) In addition to its new water information responsibilities, the Bureau will continue to
fulfil the hydrological services role it played prior to Water for the Future, which includes the
provision of flood forecasting and warning services. Except for a limited amount of primary
data collection for these existing services (including river flow data), the Bureau relies on
primary data supplied by state and local government agencies across Australia.

Similarly, in the case of its new water information role, the Bureau will be collating primary
data supplied by state and territory organisations, and disseminating these data for public use.

(c) Under Water for the Future, the Bureau of Meteorology has been allocated $447.9
million over ten years, from 2007-08.
Senate Standing Committee on Environment, Communications and the Arts Committee
                                 Answers to questions on notice
                   Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts portfolio
                                  Budget Estimates, May 2008



Outcome:                   All                                       Question No:       48
Output:
Division/Agency:           Bureau of Meteorology
Topic:                     BOM Administration
Hansard Page ECITA:        Written Question on Notice


Senator Birmingham asked:
(a) Did the Bureau seek an exemption from the application of the one-off two per cent
    efficiency dividend?
(b) If so, why did the Bureau feel it needed to apply for this exemption, to whom did it
    apply and was the exemption granted?
(c) If the efficiency dividend applies, how will the Bureau manage the funding cut and
    what, if any, programs will be cut to accommodate it? Can the Bureau outline the
    source [e.g. the Minister, the Department of Finance and Deregulation] of any
    suggested savings measures?
(d) Is the Bureau budgeting for an operating loss and, if so, is it because of the application
    of the efficiency dividend?
(e) Has the Bureau made in the last six months any request, in accordance with the
    Financial Management and Accountability Act, for Regulation 10 Authority from the
    Finance Minister? If so, why was this authority sought?
(f) What is the total number of permanent staff employed on a:
    (i) full-time basis?
    (ii) part-time basis?
    (iii) part-time equivalent basis?
(g) How many employees are employed on contract and what is the average length of their
    employment period?
(h) What are the base and top level salaries of:
    (i) APS level 1 to 6 officers?
    (ii) Executive level officers?
    (iii) Senior Executive Services officers?
    (iv) Equivalent officers employed?
(i) How many officers are employed at executive level and SES level?
(j) How many permanent staff have been recruited since 26 November 2007? What level
    are these staff?
(k) How many temporary positions exist or have been created since 26 November?
(l) Since 26 November, how many employees have been employed on contract and what is
    the average length of their employment period?
(m) Does the Bureau monitor the media?
(n) How much has been spent on media monitoring to date this year?
(o) Is any information provided to the Minister?
Senate Standing Committee on Environment, Communications and the Arts Committee
                              Answers to questions on notice
                  Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts portfolio
                                Budget Estimates, May 2008


(p)  How many employees are engaged in positions responsible for public affairs, media
     management, liaison with the media and media monitoring?
(q) What are the APS classifications of these positions?
(r) What is the current operating budget for these media-related sections?
(s) What appointments have been made by the Government (through Executive Council,
     Cabinet and Ministers) to Statutory Authorities, Executive Agencies and Advisory
     Boards?
(t) What are the respective appointees’ credentials?
(u) How many vacancies remain to be filled by Ministerial (including Cabinet and
     Executive Council) appointments?
(v) How long have the positions been vacant?
(w) What grants which have been approved by Ministers from within their portfolio?
(x) Has the Bureau received any advice on how to respond to freedom of information (FOI)
     requests?
(y) How many FOI requests has the Bureau received?
(z) How many have been granted or denied?
(aa) How many conclusive certificates have been issued in relation to FOI requests?

Answers:

(a)    No

(b)    N/A

(c)    Cut will be spread across all programs.

(d)    No

(e)    No regulation 10 requests have gone to the Finance Minister in the 6 months 1
January 2008 to 30 June 2008.

(f)
                                        Ongoing
      Work Contract           Full time         Part Time
      BoM Core                        1165                56
      External
      Funded                            44                 4
      Total                           1209                60
      Note: all values as at 30 June 2008


(g)    There are 162 Non-ongoing staff currently on the Bureau payroll (as at 30 June 2008).
The average length of service is 3 years.
Senate Standing Committee on Environment, Communications and the Arts Committee
                              Answers to questions on notice
                  Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts portfolio
                               Budget Estimates, May 2008


(h)
       classification     bottom of range ($) top of range ($)
      AP1                              21,788          40,133
      AP2                              42,229          46,673
      AP3                              46,810          54,011
      AP4                              52,171          56,646
      AP5                              58,191          62,849
      AP6                              64,411          72,196
      EL1                              80,569          98,032
      EL2 (lower)                      92,925         110,730
      EL2 (upper) ~                   108,873         145,291
      SES*                            105,351         183,670
      Note: all values as at 30 June 2008

~EL2 (upper) includes Senior Principal Research Scientists
*The HoA is not included in the SES numbers, Chief of Division is included as SES
equivalent, does not include seconded CSIRO staff.

(i)
                                           EL2 lower        EL2 upper
                         EL1 officers       officers         officers     SES*
 BoM Core                             260            101              35        18
 S31                                   31             10               3
 G&S                                    8              1
 Asset
 Recruited                             20
 Total                                319           112              38         18
 Note: all values as at 30 June 2008
The HoA is not included in the SES numbers, does not include seconded CSIRO staff.

(j)
                      number of
  classification    commencements
 AP1
 AP2                                  2
 AP3                                  2
 AP4                                  3
 AP5                                  4
 AP6                                 25
 EL1                                 14
 EL2 (lower)                          6
 EL2 (upper)                          2
 SES ^                                1
 Total                               59
 Note: all values as at 30 June 2008
Senate Standing Committee on Environment, Communications and the Arts Committee
                               Answers to questions on notice
                  Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts portfolio
                                 Budget Estimates, May 2008


Note: included in this number are the 33 IPS staff transferred to the Bureau as part of the Dec
2007 MoG changes, 26 staff actually recruited in this time frame (as at 30 June 2008).

(k)    There are 277 temporary (non-ongoing) positions within the Bureau (as at 30 June
2008). 18 new non-ongoing positions have been created since 26 November 2007.

(l)
                          number of
  classification      commencements
 AP1
 AP2                                  1
 AP3                                  6
 AP4                                  4
 AP5                                  7
 AP6                                 23
 EL1                                  8
 EL2 (lower)
 EL2 (upper)
 SES                                  1
 Total                               50
 Note: all values as at 30 June 2008

The average length of service is 6 months.

(m)    Yes

(n)    In 2007-08 $12,000 was spent on media monitoring.

(o)    The Bureau does not provide the Ministers with media monitoring reports.

(p)    4

(q)    Executive Level 2 (1 position)
       Executive Level 1 (2 positions)
       APS level 5 (1 position)

(r)    $81,000

(s)    Nil

(t)    N/A

(u)    Nil

(v)    N/A
Senate Standing Committee on Environment, Communications and the Arts Committee
                               Answers to questions on notice
                  Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts portfolio
                                Budget Estimates, May 2008



(w)    The following grants were approved by the Minister, under the Modernisation and
Extension of Hydrological Monitoring Services program:

Department of Water and Energy NSW                                               $3,119,500
Department of Environment and Climate Change NSW                                   $698,000
Department of Water, Land, and Biodiversity Conservation SA                        $382,300
Department of Primary Industries and Water Tasmania                                $603,000
Hydro Tasmania                                                                     $301,200
Department of Treasury and Finance Tasmania                                          $3,000
Hobart Regional Water Authority                                                     $94,236
Department of Sustainability and Environment Victoria                              $259,000
GWM Water                                                                          $114,000
Goulburn-Murray Rural Water Corporation                                            $117,150
Southern Rural Water                                                               $124,000
Department of Natural Resources and Water                                          $333,300
SunWater                                                                           $825,000
Queensland Bulk Water Supply Authority                                              $80,000
South West Natural Resources Management                                            $120,000
Department of Water WA                                                           $1,550,700
Ord Irrigation Co-operative                                                         $40,000
Department of Natural Resources, Environment and the Arts NT                       $905,100
Power and Water Corporation NT                                                     $160,000
Northern Territory Treasury                                                          $1,300
ACTEW                                                                               $84,000
Department of Territory and Municipal Services                                       $3,000

(x)    The Legal Officer of the Bureau responds to all FOI requests received. Over the years
the Legal Officer has attended FOI training run by the Australian Government Solicitor
(AGS) and some complex FOI requests were handled with AGS assistance.

(y)    The Bureau received three FOI requests during the 2007-08 financial year. The
Bureau was also party to an FOI request received by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park
Authority (GBRMPA).

(z)    In all cases the applicants were granted part or full access to documents requested.

(aa)   None

				
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