Centrelink annual report 2003 – 04 Contact officer

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Contact officer

Comments and requests for further information are welcome, and may be directed to:

Corporate Communication Manager

Centrelink Communication, Media & Marketing

PO Box 7788

Canberra Business Centre


Telephone: (02) 6284 6300

Email: marketing.mailbox@centrelink.gov.au

To obtain copies of this report

Limited copies of this report are available by telephoning 1300 367 676.

This Annual Report is available on the Centrelink website at:


© Commonwealth of Australia, 2004

ISSN: 1441–4392

This work is copyright. Apart from any use as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part may be reproduced by any process without prior written permission from the Commonwealth available from the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts. Requests and inquiries concerning reproduction and rights should be addressed to the Commonwealth Copyright Administration, Intellectual

Property Branch, Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts,

GPO Box 2154, Canberra ACT 2601 or posted at http://www.dcita.gov.au/caa

5 November 2004

The Hon Joe Hockey

Minister for Human Services

Parliament House


Dear Minister

I have pleasure in presenting to you Centrelink’s Annual Report for the year ending

30 June 2004.

The report has been prepared as required under subsection 40(1) of the Commonwealth Services Delivery Agency Act 1997. Subsection 40(2) of the Act requires you to cause the report to be laid before each house of Parliament within 15 sitting days of that House after the day on which you receive the report.

This report is presented to you as an acknowledgement of the perseverance and hard work of the staff of Centrelink in ensuring the highest quality of service is delivered to the people of Australia during a period of unceasing pressure from welfare reform and technical innovation.

Yours sincerely

Elizabeth Montano



Box 7788 Canberra Business Centre ACT 2610

Telephone (02) 6212 0051

Facsimile (02) 6212 0488

About this report

This annual report is to inform Parliament (through the Minister for Family and Community Services), other stakeholders and the community about Centrelink’s performance in delivering Australian Government payments and services. The report is the principal accountability mechanism between government and Centrelink.

Centrelink reports on achievement against performance targets set out in the Family and Community Services 2003–04 Portfolio Budget Statements and Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements. These performance targets identify five key priorities for Centrelink: our accountability, our community and business relationships, our customers, our staff, and our efficiency and effectiveness. These priorities are the subjects of Chapters 3 to 7.

Centrelink measures its operational performance through a Balanced Scorecard. The scorecard monitors our performance against our targets, demonstrates value in the expenditure of public money, and supports a culture of continuous improvement. Along with the Future Directions 2003–2006, the Balanced Scorecard is Centrelink’s primary reporting tool.

Chapter 1: The year in review

The Chair of the Board and the Chief Executive Officer examine significant challenges and achievements of the past year, and present the outlook for 2004–05.

Chapter 2: Corporate overview

Includes our organisational structure, corporate governance, the services we deliver, and arrangements for external scrutiny.

Chapter 3: Our accountability

Includes reports on the implementation of welfare reform, performance delivering client services, our customer privacy and security, and the management of fraud and debt strategies.

Chapter 4: Our business and community relationships

Details the development of our business and community sector relationships, and the measures undertaken to foster these partnerships across Centrelink.

Chapter 5: Our customers

Examines the ways in which Centrelink is responding to customer needs, and the initiatives, strategies and activities that underpin our response.

Chapter 6: Our people

Focuses on Centrelink staff and Agents, and how they are supported to achieve our business objectives.

Chapter 7: Our efficiency and effectiveness

Examines the effectiveness of our budget management, including details of Centrelink outlays and how funding is used to maximise service delivery. Chapter 7 also examines the efficiency of our business processes.

Chapter 8: Financial statements

Chapter 9: Appendices

We would like to thank the many Centrelink employees who contributed to this annual Report


Report of the Chairman

The past year has been busy for our staff, as Centrelink moved further away from its traditional role of just providing benefits towards an increased focus on social outcomes and economic participation.

In delivering new and ongoing Australians Working Together initiatives in particular, Centrelink is providing the support and encouragement unemployed customers need to achieve the best participation outcomes. The initiatives have also laid the foundation for a more personalised and responsive support framework for working age people.

The 2002-03 financial year saw the introduction of Personal Advisers. In 2003-04, their numbers increased and I am pleased that they are now helping a wider range of customers.

Centrelink is continuing to build closer connections with the community and this year saw the launch of Community Connect. As a shared resource with the community sector, Community Connect is about developing more collaborative working arrangements with community based service providers. We are finding that an important outcome of this approach to community involvement is increased assistance to help customers participate in and engage more productively with their communities.

During the year, Centrelink demonstrated its capacity to respond quickly to communities in need through the delivery of high quality services. We continued to provide much-needed support in rural and regional communities, particularly to Australian farmers, on behalf of the Australian Government. Our work included drought assistance support, delivery of the Sugar Industry Reform package, and delivery of the Farm Help program to assist farmers in considering their long-term viability in agriculture.

The 2003–04 financial year also saw the introduction of IT Refresh. This innovative five-year program will lead to significant improvements in the service delivery to Centrelink’s customers. It will also mean that Centrelink can continue to build on its existing core computer systems and that we can offer customers more choices in accessing Centrelink services.

In March 2004, the Minister appointed Mr David Deans to the Board, to replace Mr David de Carvalho who resigned during the year. As a new Board member, I would like to welcome Mr Deans to the Board and acknowledge his wide-ranging skills and experience, particularly when it comes to issues affecting mature age Australians. I would also like to thank my fellow Board members for their valuable contributions, including their work as chairs and members of the various Board committees.

I would like to take this opportunity to extend my sincere appreciation to Sue Vardon and her management team for their dedication and leadership over the past year in particular, but also over the last four years during my term as Chairman of the Board at Centrelink.

Finally, a big thank you goes to all Centrelink staff for the wonderful job they do in assisting and supporting customers and their communities across Australia.

John Pascoe AO

Chairman of the Board

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