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Enabling Services

Facilitate the delivery of services to business lines through innovative, seamless, efficient and effective use of resources to support organisational capability.

Performance criteria and results

The key activities and their performance indicators are listed below.

Enabling 4.1: Provide a professional, engaged and flexible workforce

DVA's workforce strategy describes DVA's planned approach to shaping and developing our workforce to access the capabilities we will need to achieve our Towards 2020 vision. By developing our staff we will increase our capability and capacity to achieve our purpose. Our fully trained, motivated and high performing staff will then be able to deliver a high standard of support to all clients. Refer to page 144 in this report for further information on the management of DVA's human resources.

No. Performance criteria1 Target1 2015–16
Actual
result
2016–17
Actual
result
Achieved
4.1.1 APS workforce is affordable and within budget2 Achieved n/a Partially achieved
4.1.2 Workforce strategy is in place and reviewed regularly to meet operational requirements2 Achieved n/a Achieved
4.1.3 Workforce is engaged and actively participates with attendance rates consistent with like APS agencies2 Achieved3 n/a Partially achieved
4.1.4 Workforce actively participates in Performance Agreements under the Performance Feedback Scheme2 >90% n/a 94%
  1. Source: DVA Corporate Plan 2016–2020, page 28.
  2. New measure for 2016–17. The new measures have been established to be more representative of the activity undertaken.
  3. The DVA Corporate Plan 2016–2020 showed a target of >95% for this measure. DVA's assessment has shown that this target is not an optimal measure of success. The target has been changed to ‘Achieved'.

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Enabling 4.2: Deliver sound financial management

Sound financial management, governance and control practices will enable DVA to achieve financial sustainability and assist in meeting service delivery requirements and the Government's commitment.

No. Performance criteria1 Target1 2015–16
Actual
result
2016–17
Actual
result
Achieved
4.2.1 The Strategic Financial Plan is in place, and it is reviewed and updated regularly2 Achieved n/a Achieved
4.2.2 Unqualified financial statements2 Achieved n/a Achieved
4.2.3 Continue to monitor the financial performance of the Department to ensure sustainability2 Achieved n/a Achieved
  1. Source: DVA Corporate Plan 2016–2020, page 28.
  2. New measure for 2016–17. The new measures have been established to be more representative of the activity undertaken.

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Enabling 4.3: Provide reliable, responsive, accessible and cost-effective digital services

Digital services are a key enabler for DVA business, both for client access and the provision of service. DVA is working to transform our legacy systems to improve clients' interactive experience and the timeliness of claims processing and delivery of services to clients.

No. Performance criteria1 Target1 2015–16
Actual
result
2016–17
Actual
result
Achieved
4.3.1 ICT platform availability2
  • Application
  • Network
  • Telephone

>98%
>98%
>98%

n/a
n/a
n/a

99.6%
99.2%
98.0%



  1. Source: DVA Corporate Plan 2016–2020, page 29.
  2. New measure for 2016–17. The new measures have been established to be more representative of the activity undertaken.

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Enabling 4.4: Partner with other Commonwealth agencies including Defence, Health and Human Services

DVA's partnerships with other Commonwealth agencies are essential to provide the best possible services to clients. DVA is working with Defence to improve whole-of-life client activities and the Department of Human Services (DHS) to leverage whole-of-government ICT capabilities.

No. Performance criteria1 Target1 2015–16
Actual
result
2016–17
Actual
result
Achieved
4.4.1 Governance arrangements are established and reviewed in accordance with respective agency agreements2 Achieved n/a Achieved
  1. Source: DVA Corporate Plan 2016–2020, page 29.
  2. New measure for 2016–17. The new measures have been established to be more representative of the activity undertaken.

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Enabling 4.5: Engage with stakeholders including ex-service organisations and Defence

DVA consults with the ex-service and defence communities on a range of matters such as policy and program development, community activities and emerging issues. This also includes informing and educating clients, providers, ESOs and other stakeholders as well as seeking and acting on their feedback.

Consultation with the ex-service community is primarily achieved through the National Consultation Framework—a group of forums that bring together key stakeholders, including ex-service organisations and other government agencies.

No. Performance criteria1 Target1 2015–16
Actual
result
2016–17
Actual
result
Achieved
4.5.1 Consultative fora are established with ESOs and Defence communities and reviewed in accordance with the NCF Framework2 Achieved n/a Achieved

ESO = ex-service organisation, NCF = National Consultation Framework

  1. Source: DVA Corporate Plan 2016–2020, page 29.
  2. New measure for 2016–17. The new measures have been established to be more representative of the activity undertaken.

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Enabling 4.6: Manage a program of strategic research

DVA coordinates and manages the development of research through the Applied Research Program (ARP). The ARP provides best practice research about the health and wellbeing needs of Australia's veteran community and ways to improve DVA's services and care. DVA continually monitors and assesses the approach to research to improve the availability and quality of evidence.

No. Performance criteria1 Target1 2015–16
Actual
result
2016–17
Actual
result
Achieved
4.6.1 Research has been undertaken in accordance with the Applied Research Program (ARP)2 Achieved n/a Achieved
  1. Source: DVA Corporate Plan 2016–2020, page 29.
  2. New measure for 2016–17. The new measures have been established to be more representative of the activity undertaken.

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Performance overview for Enabling Services

Workforce management

DVA partially achieved performance criteria 4.1.1. While DVA exceeded its budgeted average staffing level (ASL) by 2.8 percent, the Department achieved an overall operating surplus in the financial year ended 30 June 2017.

DVA's ASL was 1,889 in 2016–17, compared to the budget of 1,837. This was due to improvement strategies associated with the Veteran Centric Reform program and claims processing. The ASL on page 18 of the 2016–17 Portfolio Budget Statements is 1,765. This figure excludes an additional 72 ASL factored into the DVA budget through administered funding.

DVA has achieved an overall operating surplus in 2016–17. The Department has managed its finances in such a way as to prioritise the cost of staffing required to support the Veteran Centric Reform program and claims processing over other items of expenditure while continuing to deliver its services and meet its purpose.

The workforce plan is on track and to be completed by December 2017.

The unscheduled absence rate for DVA for 2016–17 was 14.6 days, compared with 14.8 days in the previous year. The average rate for large operational agencies reported in the Australian Public Service (APS) State of the Service report for 2015–16 was 13.4 days. APS State of the Service data for unscheduled absence for 2016–17 will not be available until November 2017, so DVA actual performance for 2016–17 is compared to the average performance of similar agencies for the previous year, 2015–16.

As at 30 June 2017, 94 percent of staff have a performance agreement in place.

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Financial management

The Strategic Financial Plan is in place and was updated this financial year in parallel with the creation of the Financial Strategy. The Financial Strategy outlines strategies to assist the Department in meeting the objectives identified in the Corporate Plan and is supported by the Financial Plan that guides the implementation of the financial strategies.

The audit of DVA's 2016–17 financial statements by the Australian National Audit Office has resulted in an unqualified audit report.

A financial summary (snapshot) is prepared and reviewed on regular basis. This helps the executive to monitor the financial performance of the Department. In addition to the regular reporting, a biannual review of DVA's five-year model is conducted to analyse whether the Department remains sustainable.

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Digital services

All three key ICT platform availability targets were met for the reporting period. Telephone platform availability was impacted when new services were introduced in June 2016. This platform has shown much better availability over the last six months as the service has stabilised.

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Partnering with other agencies

DVA has a strong partnership with Defence, governed under the Defence Links Steering Committee and the Defence DVA Executive Committee. Productive engagement through these committees has improved data exchange between the departments, which has contributed to delivering better outcomes for veterans.

DVA engages and communicates with the Department of Health on a daily/weekly basis at a program level (e.g. hearing, aged care and community services, and pharmaceuticals). This engagement includes reviews of memorandums of understanding (e.g. on hearing services and aged care), consultation on matters of mutual interest, attendance at interdepartmental committees and external reference committees, joint meetings with stakeholders, and activities covering administrative arrangements and payment and data-sharing processes. The arrangements assist DVA and Health to jointly ensure provision of quality services, as well as meet their program, funding and regulatory responsibilities.

DVA has a strong partnership with the Department of Human Services including delivery of Veteran Centric Reform and ongoing shared service arrangements, governed through the Business Transformation Governance Committee and the Transformation Program Board. The Secretaries of the two departments meet regularly to discuss how implementation of reforms can best meet the needs of the veteran community.

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Stakeholder engagement

The three-yearly review of the National Consultation Framework (NCF) was successfully carried out. The NCF review examined the effectiveness and relevance of the NCF within the contemporary ex-service community landscape. The review recommended the reinstatement of the Operational Working Party and the inclusion of the Female Veterans Policy Forum.

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Research

All research proposals approved by the Research Board were funded in accordance with the ARP requirements and governance. Under DVA's Strategic Research Model, DVA business areas commission research projects that contribute to departmental outcomes.

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Summary

DVA's programs are delivered with the support of its workforce, financial management function, ICT services, partnerships with key Commonwealth and stakeholder organisations, and research that enables the evolution of better client support and service.

DVA has achieved or partially achieved all of its enabling services targets in 2016–17. The Department has provided client services through a professional and engaged workforce, achieved an operational surplus and delivered ICT platform availability with minimal interruptions.

Partnerships with key Commonwealth agencies have been productive and beneficial. Stakeholder engagement was reassessed this financial year through a review of the NCF. The NCF has been strengthened with the inclusion of the Female Veterans Policy Forum and the reinstatement of the Operational Working Party, enabling DVA to reach more members of the ex-service community.

Research is a continuing focus for DVA. The ARP funds evidence-based research in four domains: longitudinal studies, data analysis and modelling, family studies and interventions. DVA continually monitors and assesses its approach to research to improve the availability and quality of evidence.

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