Statement of Performance

Output Class 1: Environment and Sustainable Development

Output 1.1: Regulation and Services

Description: Provide regulatory guidance to the Building Industry through:

  • audits of the work of construction occupations
  • investigation of complaints against construction occupation professionals; and
  • inspection of building, electrical, plumbing, drainage and gasfitting works.
Accountability Indicator Original Target 2013–14 YTD Actual Result as at 30 June 2014 % Variance Explanation of Material Variances (+/- 5%)

TOTAL COST ($’000)

$26,882

$38,150

42%

Variance is due to expenditure from waivers, act of grace payments, staff redundancy payments and the rollover of ACTSmart funding from 2012–13 to 2013–14.

GOVERNMENT PAYMENT FOR OUTPUTS ($’000)

$22,139

$26,838

21%

The variance is due to the original target being set using a different methodology for allocating corporate costs across the outputs. The new method focuses more on actual consumption to better align the budget and actual results. The increase also relates to the rollover of appropriation from 2012–13 to 2013–14 for a number of projects under the ACTSmart programs. These programs had funds which were committed under contract in 2012–13, but payments not required until 2013–14. .

Percentage of audits/investigations undertaken in respect to:

- building applications lodged

10%

10%

0%

- new electrical installations

100%

96%

-4%

- new commercial gas installations

100%

99%

-1%

- new sewerage connections

100%

97%

-3%

- new photovoltaic installations

100%

97%

-3%

Formal written complaints made under the Planning and Development Act 2007 and the Construction Occupants (Licencing) Act 2004 are acknowledged within 10 working days

90%

92%

2%

Level of satisfaction with the Directorate’s customer services and products

80%

71%

-11%

Whilst overall satisfaction from customers was 71%, the Directorate rated over 80% for the categories of promptness in answering phones and serving at the counter.

Determine through audit which greenfield residential leases have ‘commence and complete’ covenants which expired on, or after, 1 July 2011. Leaseholds identified as being in breach will be notified of the breach

100%

100%

0%

The above Statement of Performance should be read in conjunction with the accompanying notes.

The above Accountability Indicators were examined by the ACT Auditor-General’s Office in accordance with the Financial Management Act 1996 and the Financial Management (Statement of Performance Scrutiny Guidelines 2011).

Output 1.2: Planning Delivery

Description: Facilitate and manage growth and change within the ACT through development assessment and leasehold management, with the overarching objective of promoting and facilitating economically productive, sustainable, attractive, safe and well-designed urban and rural environment in the ACT.

Accountability Indicator Original Target 2013–14 YTD Actual Result as at 30 June 2014 % Variance Explanation of Material Variances (+/- 5%)

TOTAL COST ($’000)

$10,487

$11,070

6%

The variance is due to higher valuation costs for required to process Lease Variation Charge applications and the impact of the new Enterprise Bargaining Agreement increasing wage costs.

GOVERNMENT PAYMENT FOR OUTPUTS ($’000)

$10,294

$10,416

1%

Development application processing times:

- average processing time in working days

40 days or less

48

-20%

The target was not achieved. Of the 1,081 development applications assessed during the period there were 423 that exceeded the target. This was due to the complexity of the applications received which lead to the Directorate needing to request additional information from the applicant.

- median processing time in working days

35 days or less

30

14%

The target was achieved. The early determination of less complex applications helped decrease the median processing time, allowing a longer determination period for the more complex applications.

Percentage of development application decisions made within statutory timeframe

75%

72%

-4%

Percentage of development application appeals resolved by mediation in relation to development proposals

35%

60%

71%

The directorate had significant success in resolving issues through mediation. As such, 6 out of the 10 decisions were resolved at mediation.

Percentage of ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal (ACAT) decisions which uphold the Directorate’s original decision

85%

100%

18%

All 17 decisions made by ACAT upheld the Directorate’s position.

Percentage of EIS Scoping documents prepared within statutory timeframes

75%

n/a

n/a

No scoping documents were issued in 2013–14. Due to the limitied number of documents required, this measure has been discontinued in 2014–15.

The above Statement of Performance should be read in conjunction with the accompanying notes.

The above Accountability Indicators were examined by the ACT Auditor-General’s Office in accordance with the Financial Management Act 1996 and the Financial Management (Statement of Performance Scrutiny Guidelines 2011).

Output 1.3: Planning Policy

Description: Provision of high quality professional services in strategic and land planning, and sustainable transport planning and planning for land release that encourages high quality urban design.

Accountability Indicator Original Target 2013–14 YTD Actual Result as at 30 June 2014 % Variance Explanation of Material Variances (+/- 5%)

TOTAL COST ($’000)

$47,589

$9,508

-80%

The variance is due to the transfer of the stormwater projects being moved from 2013–14 to 2014–15. This project was delayed to allow for final testing of the infrastructure systems to be undertaken.

GOVERNMENT PAYMENT FOR OUTPUTS ($’000)

$14,320

$9,452

-34%

The variance is due to a number of projects primarily related to feasibility studies for land release sites, which were deferred to enable the completion of complementary studies. This work will now be completed in 2014–15.

Achievement of the key actions for 2013–14 as outlined in the Transport for Canberra policy

Jun-14

Jun-14

0%

Implement evaluation process of ACT Planning Strategy and report against actions

Jun-14

Jun-14

0%

Output 1.4: Heritage

Description: Administration of the heritage provisions of the Heritage Act 2004 and assistance in the conservation of the ACT’s heritage assets to ensure their identification, preservation, protection, maintenance and enhancement (where appropriate). The heritage area provides administrative and operational support to the ACT Heritage Council and its projects, and administers the annual funding of the ACT Heritage Grants Program. A key function is also the promotion and education of the community regarding heritage assets of the ACT.

Accountability Indicator Original Target 2013–14 YTD Actual Result as at 30 June 2014 % Variance Explanation of Material Variances (+/- 5%)

TOTAL COST ($’000)

$1,847

$1,892

2%

GOVERNMENT PAYMENT FOR OUTPUTS ($’000)

$1,721

$1,496

-13%

The original target was set using a different methodology for allocating corporate costs across the outputs. The new method focuses more on actual consumption to better align the budget and actual results.

Finalise legislation arising from the review of the Heritage Act 2004

Oct-13

Not complete

-100%

The legislation was presented to the Legislative Assembly in October 2013, however the legislation is still being considered by Government.

The above Statements of Performance should be read in conjunction with the accompanying notes.

The above Accountability Indicators were examined by the ACT Auditor-General’s Office in accordance with the Financial Management Act 1996 and the Financial Management (Statement of Performance Scrutiny Guidelines 2011).

Output 1.5: Environment Policy

Description: Provision of policy advice on:

  • sustainable use of water including Think water, act water;
  • energy efficiency measures;
  • reductions in waste;
  • climate change including Weathering the Change; and
  • the natural environment including implementation of programs responding to natural resource management as part of the Commonwealth’s Caring for Our Country Program.
Accountability Indicator Original Target 2013-14 YTD Actual Result as at 30 June 2014 % Variance Explanation of Material Variances (+/- 5%)

TOTAL COST ($’000)

$16,294

$17,679

9%

The variance is due to funding received from the Commonwealth for the Caring for our Country project. This funding was not included in the original budget.

GOVERNMENT PAYMENT FOR OUTPUTS ($’000)

$15,433

$15,210

-1%

Report the progress against the targets set out in the ACT Waste Management Strategy

Jun-14

Jun-14

0%

The ACT Waste Management Strategy is currently being implemented by both the Directorate and the Territory and Municipal Services Directorate. The actions are ongoing and various reports against progress have been released and will continue an ongoing basis.

Acceptance by the Commonwealth Government of the Caring for our Country Initiative twice annual performance and financial progress reports

2

2

0%

Finalisation of Legislation arising from the review of the Nature Conservation Act 1980

Dec-13

Not complete

-100%

To enable further consultation the legislation has been delayed for presentation in the Legislative Assembly until the Spring 2014 sitting period.

Oversee the actions of Weathering the Change Action Plan

- publish an inventory

Sep-13

Oct-13

-100%

The ACT Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report 2010–11 was presented in the Legislative Assembly in October 2013.

- publish an annual report on emissions targets

Sep-13

Feb-14

-100%

The report was tabled in the Legislative Assembly in February 2014. the target has been amended to January for the 2014–15 Financial year to reflect the legislative requirements for this reporting.

Undertake a review of the Solar Auction Process and publish the results

Dec-13

Feb-14

-100%

Publish the review of the Plastic Bag Ban

Dec-13

Jun-14

-100%

The review was published in June 2014 due to the complexity of the detailed information collected and analysis of survey data.

Assess data and prepare a public report on the use and quality of the water resources of the ACT annually published on the Directorate’s website

Mar-14

Not complete

-100%

The report is currently being finalised and is expected to be published in August 2014.

Output 1.6: Environment Protection and Water Regulation

Description: Administration of regulatory activities to protect and enhance the natural and built environment. Environment Protection and Water provides advice and delivers education, compliance and enforcement services to the Government and community.

Accountability Indicator Original Target 2013-14 YTD Actual Result as at 30 June 2014 % Variance Explanation of Material Variances (+/- 5%)

TOTAL COST ($’000)

$5,189

$4,418

-15%

The original target was set using a different methodology for allocating corporate costs across the outputs. The new method focuses more on actual consumption to better align the budget and actual results.

GOVERNMENT PAYMENT FOR OUTPUTS ($’000)

$5,085

$3,975

-22%

The original target was set using a different methodology for allocating corporate costs across the outputs. The new method focuses more on actual consumption to better align the budget and actual results.

Administer Environment Protection Authorisations as listed in Schedule 1 of the Environment Protection Act 1997 in accordance with statutory timeframes that are applied to the assessment, granting and review of the authorisations and Environmental Agreements

100%

98%

-2%

Prepare and submit National Environment Protection Measure jurisdictional reports to the National Environment Protection Council within the agreed timeframe

Sep-13

Aug-13

0%

Assess and prepare a public report on air quality in the ACT annually published on the Directorate’s website

Jun-14

Not complete

-100%

Technical issues caused a slight delay in the report being published on the website. The report was published in July 2014.

Administer water resources trading requirements within 20 working days using the stop the clock methodology

100%

93%

-7%

The above Statement of Performance should be read in conjunction with the accompanying notes.

The above Accountability Indicators were examined by the ACT Auditor-General’s Office in accordance with the Financial Management Act 1996 and the Financial Management (Statement of Performance Scrutiny Guidelines 2011).

EBT 1: Office of the Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment

Description: Publication of the State of the Environment Report, investigation of complaints by Ministerial direction, or where a Territory agency’s actions may have a substantial impact on the environment

Accountability Indicator Original Target 2013-14 YTD Actual Result as at 30 June 2014 % Variance Explanation of Material Variances (+/- 5%)

TOTAL COST ($’000)

$1,306

$1,235

-5%

The variance is due to a decrease in employee expenses.

PAYMENT FOR EXPENSES ON BEHALF OF THE TERRITORY ($’000)

$1,306

$1,176

-10%

The variance is due to a decrease in employee expenses.

Report on the uptake of recommendations on the ACT State of the Environment and special reports as part of the annual report

Sep-13

Sep-13

0%

Undertake Ministerial initiated investigations in accordance with the Minister’s direction

100%

n/a

n/a

The Minister did not initiate any investigations during the period.

Undertake Commissioner initiated investigations in accordance with the Terms of Reference

100%

n/a

n/a

The Commissioner did not initiate any investigations during the period.

Undertake complaints generated investigations in accordance with the Terms of Reference

100%

n/a

n/a

No complaints were received that required an investigation during the period.

Report on complaints about management of the environment by the Territory or a Territory agency as part of the annual report

Sep-13

Sep-13

0%

 

The above Statement of Performance should be read in conjunction with the accompanying notes.

The above Accountability Indicators were examined by the ACT Auditor-General’s Office in accordance with the Financial Management Act 1996 and the Financial Management (Statement of Performance Scrutiny Guidelines 2011).

Statement of Performance 2013-14 Definitions of Accountability Indicators

Output 1.1 Regulation and Services

  1. Percentage of audits/investigations undertaken in respect to:
    • 10% of all new building applications lodged in the 2013-14 financial year are audited for building approvals, plans and inspections documentation provided by private certifiers as required under the Building Act 2004;
    • all new electrical installations - audit and investigations undertaken in respect of new electrical installations in buildings within all types of premises and other ACT land under the Electrical Safety Act 1971;
    • all new commercial gas installations - audit and investigations undertaken in respect of new commercial gas installations under the Gas Safety Act 2000;
    • all new sewerage connections - audit and investigations undertaken in respect of new sewerage connections under the Water Sewerage Act 2000; and
    • all new photovoltaic installations – audit and investigations undertaken in respect of new photovoltaic installations in buildings within all types of premises and other ACT land under the Electrical Safety Act 1971.
  2. Formal written complaints made under the Planning and Development Act 2007 and the Construction Occupations (Licencing) Act 2004 are acknowledged within 10 working days.
  3. Internally conducted survey of customers accessing services provided by the Directorate using a short questionnaire of 7 questions. The respondents can rate the Directorate’s performance from Very Dissatisfied to Very Satisfied.
  4. The result is measured on 1 question, being the ‘Overall rating of customer service experience’. At a minimum the Directorate is to achieve an 80% satisfaction. All Very Satisfied and Somewhat Satisfied responses are counted positively towards the measure. The responses to the remaining questions are recorded and used to improve customer service standards.
  5. The Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate’s key deliverable towards the Government’s Affordable Housing Action Plan is to; Investigate residential leases in greenfield developments where commence and complete covenants are scheduled to expire on or after 1 July 2011.

The Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate will undertake an audit of vacant leased single residential land in greenfield areas to determine compliance with the building and development provisions of their Crown Lease in respect to commence (start construction) and complete (finish construction) covenants.

Where residential leases are found to in breach of the development covenants the lessee will be advised and corrective action taken to bring the lease into compliance.

Output 1.2 Planning Delivery

Development Application processing times reflect the average number of working days taken to process Merit Track Development Applications from the time they are accepted for lodgement until a final decision is made.

Merit Track applies to those applications that do not meet the rules set out in the relevant code, but which can still be assessed on their merits against the relevant rules and criteria. For example, large multi-unit residential developments, an indoor recreational facility in a commercial zone, apartments in a commercial zone, etc. These applications must be publically notified and referred to specific agencies for comment.

Before a Merit Track Development Application is accepted for lodgement, the Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate performs a completeness check that ensures sufficient (and often basic) information is provided with the application, such as correct and complete application form, site plans and statements against criteria, to enable consideration of application.

This practice ensures that there are no unnecessary delays once a Development Application is accepted for lodgement and processing.

Upon Merit Track Development Applications being accepted for lodgement, under current legislation, they must be determined by the Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate as follows:

  • If no representation is made in relation to the proposal – 30 working days
  • In any other case – 45 working days

Percentage of Development Applications decisions made within statutory timeframes refers to the number of Merit Track Development Applications decided within the legislated timeframes of 30 or 45 days.

If the assessment of an application exceeds the above timeframes, the Planning and Development Act 2007 enables an applicant to appeal to the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal against what is classified as a ‘deemed refusal’ of an application.

The Planning and Development Act 2007 has provisions which enable statutory timeframes to be extended in a number of circumstances outside the Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate’s control. For example, incomplete applications, areas of non-compliance with the Territory Plan, amendments or corrections to applications originated by the applicant and applications undertaking consultation or engagement with other interested agencies in the proposal, can result in extension of timeframes.

In recognition of these circumstances, the Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate has set a target for what is a reasonable number of Development Applications that should be considered and a decision made before ‘deemed refusal’ occurs. Based on experience, the Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate considers that 75% of Merit Track applications will have a decision within the legislated timeframe.

Percentage of development application appeals resolved by mediation. This refers to applications made by applicants and third parties to the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal for a review of decisions on a development application which were resolved by mediation to deliver a mutually acceptable resolution.

Percentage of decisions made by an ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal hearing that uphold the Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate’s original decision on a development application.