Online version of the 2014-15 Department of Health Annual Report

Department Overview

Page last updated: 17 July 2019

The Department has begun an ambitious change process during the 2014-15 financial year, guided by recommendations from two major organisational reviews, the Health Capability Review and the Functional and Efficiency Review, as well as a range of subject specific reviews.

The Health Capability Programme was established to guide the development of capability in key areas which will enable the Department to better position itself as the pre-eminent advisor to Government on health and sporting issues, and chief steward of the health system.

Through a consolidated change programme, we will enhance our ability to address future challenges and realise our vision of ‘better health and wellbeing for all Australians, now and for future generations’.

Capability and efficiency reviews

In October 2014, the Australian Public Service Commission completed a Capability Review of the Department, which focused on leadership, strategy and delivery capabilities. The Review highlighted the Department’s strengths, particularly the commitment of our people to helping improve Australian health outcomes. It outlined improvement opportunities in five key areas:

  • Positive leadership and culture;
  • Improved strategic capability;
  • Effective governance and delivery frameworks;
  • Relative risk management; and
  • Active stakeholder engagement.

A Functional and Efficiency Review, undertaken as part of the ‘Efficiency through Contestability’ Programme, reported to the Department in March 2015 and was then announced as part of the 2015-16 Budget. The Review examined the efficiency and effectiveness of the Department’s operations, programmes and administration. It considered our structure, delivery mechanisms and current capabilities in terms of how well we are positioned to deliver our current outcomes and the Government’s future priorities.

The Review’s recommendations centred on the Department’s critical responsibility to provide leadership to the health system as a whole, identifying four key action areas:

  • Building capability;
  • Engaging with stakeholders;
  • Focusing on core business; and
  • Strengthening culture.

The Review also made specific structural recommendations to improve the Department’s organisational alignment, delivery models and performance.

Through our action to address the recommendations of these reviews, the Department has established an organisational change agenda with a mission to embed a culture of high performance. 2014-15 has been a year of engagement, planning and consolidation as we have given all staff opportunities to participate in an open and transparent internal engagement process, and sought views from key external stakeholders to ensure our efforts take account of health system context.

We have examined our strategic priorities and organisational culture. What we will do to achieve our organisational vision and the way will conduct ourselves in doing so are articulated in:

  • The Health Capability Blueprint, which outlines our proposed actions to guide the improvement of our organisational capability in accordance with the key themes identified by the Capability Review;
  • The Strategic Intent 2015-19, which defines our vision, purpose and strategic priorities; and
  • The Behaviours in Action, which distils the ICARE values into a set of expected behaviours for staff in the Department to commit to and expect from one another.

The Strategic Intent 2015-19 and Behaviours in Action underpinned the development of the Department’s new Corporate Plan 2015-16, which was published in August 2015. The Plan outlines the path we will take to enhance our capability and achieve our strategic priorities:

  • Better health outcomes and reduced inequality;
  • Affordable, accessible, efficient, and high quality health care; and
  • Better sport outcomes.

The Corporate Plan 2015-16 has been prepared in accordance with the requirements of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act), and replaces the previous 2014-2017 Corporate Plan.

  • The three images side by side articulate key components of the Department’s strategic priorities and organisational culture, including the Strategic Intent 2015-19, Our Behaviours in Action, and the new Corporate Plan 2015-16
  • The three images side by side articulate key components of the Department’s strategic priorities and organisational culture, including the Strategic Intent 2015-19, Our Behaviours in Action, and the new Corporate Plan 2015-16
  • The three images side by side articulate key components of the Department’s strategic priorities and organisational culture, including the Strategic Intent 2015-19, Our Behaviours in Action, and the new Corporate Plan 2015-16

Organisational alignment

In order to better position the Department to meet our future challenges and drive health system performance, we have put a new organisational structure in place from 1 July 2015. The organisational chart, represents the structure at the end of 2014-15. A copy of the Department’s current structure chart is available at the Department of Health website.

This annual report is for the 2014-15 financial year, based on the Department of Health’s structure as at 30 June 2015, and reports on the Department’s activities during 2014-15.

Portfolio structure

The Health Portfolio consists of:

  • Department of Health (refer to structure chart).
  • 16 Portfolio entities (refer to portfolio entities)
  • 3 statutory office holders:
    • National Health Funding Pool Administrator
    • Gene Technology Regulator
    • Director, National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme.

Portfolio entity changes

Through its Smaller Government Agenda, the Government has committed to reducing the size of the public sector, and ensuring that Government services are as efficient and well-targeted as possible.

In 2014-15, the Government transferred essential functions from the Australian National Preventive Health Agency, Health Workforce Australia and General Practice Education and Training Ltd to the Department. The Private Health Insurance Ombudsman’s responsibilities were transferred to the Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman. The functions of the Private Health Insurance Administration Council were transferred to the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority and the Department.

In this section