The Library’s corporate management activities aim to maximise service to clients by realising the full potential of staff and other available resources. Major activities during the financial year focused on implementing the Strategic Workforce Plan, the Strategic Building Master Plan, and the Work Health and Safety and Environmental Management systems. Through participation in the Corporate Management Forum and related subcommittees, the Library also played a part in corporate management across other collecting and portfolio agencies, displaying a supportive, collaborative and cooperative working style to other organisations.
People management is an important priority for the Library. Progress on related initiatives is reported below and in the Report of Operations section under Strategic Direction Four: Achieve Organisational Excellence.
The Library develops a Strategic Workforce Plan triennially. In this reporting period, the Library’s Strategic Workforce Plan (2012–2014) progressed to its second year. The plan identifies three priorities aimed at focusing the Library’s decisions and resources, particularly taking account of the increasing workforce demand for digital competencies and technological confidence. The three priority areas are:
- Priority area one: Leverage and build internal capability to be ready for the future
- Priority area two: Build responsiveness to change and to new and emerging digital opportunities
- Priority area three: Cultivate operational and career sustainability, and a diverse workforce.
Each priority area has defined strategies and initiatives for implementation.
The Library participates in the annual census conducted by the Australian Public Service Commission. The results from the 2011–12 census were received in this financial year. The overall results for the Library were positive, demonstrating an ongoing satisfaction with the working environment, although two major issues were identified relating to career development and remuneration. While there has been a strong focus on addressing the former, the latter remains a challenge and will need to be considered in future enterprise-bargaining frameworks.
The Library introduced new reports to monitor selected workforce data, and trialled the gathering of workforce planning data from other state and territory libraries and selected collecting institutions, in order to develop industry-specific indicators. This industry data, coupled with data from the annual census, is being used regularly to monitor and compare organisational performance on strategic workforce issues.
With the Library’s Enterprise Agreement negotiated and implemented in the previous year, the Consultative Committee proved to be the major vehicle through which staff engage with management via divisional and union representatives. The committee progressed some post-Agreement issues, such as the development of a new Grievance Resolution Policy and Process, and a review of the Travel Policy. In addition, the committee considered:
- energy and environmental management
- parking arrangements in the Parliamentary Zone
- a review of IT client support services
- prevention strategies for bullying and harassment
- the number of Individual Flexibility Arrangements whereby individual staff members have enhanced employment conditions.
In accordance with the Australian Government’s regime for Principal Executive Officers, Council determines the Director General’s remuneration.
At 30 June 2013, terms and conditions of employment for SES staff, such as non-salary benefits including access to motor vehicles and mobile phones, continued under common law contract.
At 30 June 2013, eight non-SES staff had enhanced benefits through Individual Flexibility Arrangements.
Table 2.3 shows the salary ranges for classifications below SES level and the number of employees at each level.
Table 2.3: Salary Ranges below SES Level and Number of Employees, 30 June 2013
Salary Range ($)
All ongoing and long-term non-ongoing staff were required to participate in the Performance Management Framework, with pay-point progression subject to achieving a satisfactory rating.
The Library is committed to the prevention of fraud, and works to minimise the risk of fraud in the workplace.
The Library is required to examine and update its Fraud Risk Assessment and Fraud Control Plan every two years; this review was completed in 2011–12. In accordance with the Library’s Fraud Management Policy, staff must be aware of their responsibilities in relation to fraud against the Commonwealth. Fraud awareness training is required to be undertaken by all Library staff and, during 2012–13, training sessions were made available to new staff and to staff who had not attended such training in the past four years. A new online module on fraud prevention and ethics responsibilities was also developed.
Fraud prevention, detection, investigation, reporting and data collection procedures are in place. These, along with the Fraud Risk Assessment and Fraud Control Plan, meet the Library’s needs and comply with Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines.
The Library promotes and endorses the ethical behaviour of its employees by informing staff of their responsibilities, including the Australian Public Service (APS) Values and Code of Conduct. This is achieved through:
- references in the Enterprise Agreement
- completion by new employees of an online induction program, which includes an APS Values and Code of Conduct module
- regular review and feedback under the Library’s Performance Management Framework
- mandatory participation in fraud and ethics awareness training
- provision of information about the Australian Public Service Commission’s Ethics Advisory Service
- supporting policies and procedures, such as the whistleblowing and fraud awareness policies
- clearly identified channels and support networks through which employees can raise matters of concern.
Staff have been advised of relevant changes to the Public Service Act that will take effect on 1 July 2013.
The Library remains committed to the principles of the National Disability Strategy 2010–2020, and continues to focus on improving access for people with disability to employment, programs, services and facilities.
A Disability Framework has been developed, integrating disability access issues into existing strategic and business planning processes. The principal elements of the framework include:
- providing access to information and services
- providing access to employment
- purchasing accessible services
- recognising people with disability as consumers of services
- consulting people with disability about their needs.
These elements provide the platform for continuing developments in reader and visitor services, collections management, and building and security services.
During the year, the Library advanced the Disability Framework by appointing Disability Contact Officers to represent and advocate for clients and staff with disabilities.
In its two major projects—Reading Room Integration focusing on onsite services, and Digital Library Infrastructure Replacement focusing on online services—special consideration is being given to ensure that the needs of people with disability will be met.
In 2012–13, new wheelchair access was provided in the Theatre, to ensure that speakers requiring wheelchair access can reach the stage easily.
The Library took steps to improve workforce participation by Indigenous people. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment Working Group began developing a strategy and is considering a range of initiatives related to the employment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
The Library hosted Indigenous work-experience students through the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations’ Learn Earn Legend! program. Two graduates from the APS Indigenous Pathways program were also engaged in 2013, which has resulted in a modest increase in the number of Indigenous staff.
As part of the initiatives from the Strategic Workforce Plan 2012–2014, the Library has launched a new program that focuses on work-experience opportunities for students from an Indigenous background or with disability.
Staff with disability are encouraged to seek assistance through ‘reasonable adjustment’, an approach that also strengthens the Library’s reputation as a respectful and inclusive workplace.
The Mature Age Staff Strategy, retirement planning and transition-to-retirement strategies are actively promoted by the Library.
As at 30 June 2013, 70 per cent of staff were female and 22 per cent of staff identified as being from a culturally and linguistically diverse background. However, only 1.4 per cent identified as Indigenous, and 6 per cent identified a disability. The Library is continuing to work on initiatives to improve representation in these latter two groups.
Work Health and Safety
The Library completed a review of its Work Health and Safety Risk Register in April 2013, to ensure risk levels were commensurate with actual hazard and that resource allocation was similarly aligned to the Library’s risk profile. At the same time, a restructure of the risk register was completed, which saw Library-wide risks being aggregated into one generic register. This has streamlined the six-monthly re-evaluation of hazards.
In April, the Library reviewed its chemical storage and handling, as a precursor to a broader review of its work health and safety systems. The results of the chemical storage review led to the Library culling a significant proportion of its chemical holdings. The review also found that the databases used to register dangerous goods and hazardous substances were well maintained, and that the risks associated with the few potentially toxic chemicals used in collection preservation were managed correctly and well within the legislative guidelines for storage and handling.
Training courses in work health and safety offered during the year included:
- Senior First Aid
- First Aid Certificate
- Health and Safety Representation
- Reframe and Refocus: Building Resilience
- Assertiveness and Self-confidence.
Seminars on work health and safety topics included:
- Heart Foundation Presentation
- Men’s Health
- Women’s Health
- Breast Awareness
- The Difference between Weight Loss and Fat Loss
- Healthy Eating.
The Library again offered onsite flu vaccinations, with 180 Library staff taking up the offer.
The Library’s work health and safety statistics are presented in Table 2.4.
Table 2.4: Reporting Requirements under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, 30 June 2013
Section 68 occurrences
Notification and reporting of accidents and dangerous occurrences
There were four notifications
Section 45 directions
Power to direct that workplace etc. not be disturbed
No directions were issued
Section 29 notices
Provisional improvement notices
No notices were issued
Section 30 notices
Duties of employers in relation to health and safety representatives
No notices were issued
Section 41 investigations
Investigations addressing non-compliance and possible breaches
There were no investigations
Section 46 notices
Power to issue prohibition notices
No notices were issued
Section 47 notices
Power to issue improvement notices
No notices were issued
During 2012–13, there were five new injury cases that resulted in claims being accepted for workers compensation. The last accepted claim was in August 2010. The Library’s premium rates for injuries over the past three years are shown in Table 2.5.
Table 2.5: Premiums for Injuries Suffered, 2010–14 (as a percentage of wages and salaries)
Latest premium rates for the Library
Premium rates for all agencies combined (for comparison)
Library premium rates as a percentage of all agencies (%)
* Including as amended retrospectively by Comcare.
The collection is the Library’s major asset, on which many of its services are based. The total value of the collection is $1.515 billion.
Plant and Equipment, and Software
The Asset Management Committee oversees the Library’s Strategic Asset Management Plan, and coordinates operational asset acquisition programs. It also develops and monitors a four-year forward asset acquisition program for strategic planning purposes, and an asset disposal program for items reaching the end of their working life. Major asset acquisitions in 2012–13 included the purchase of information technology (IT) equipment and infrastructure, shelving and microform readers.
The total value of plant and equipment at 30 June 2013 was $13.953 million.
The total value of software at 30 June 2013 was $5.318 million.
Land and Buildings
The total value of the Library’s land and buildings has been assessed at $206.287 million, including the main building in Parkes and the repository in Hume. Management of the Library’s facilities is guided by the Building Works Coordinating Committee, which meets quarterly. A 15-year Building Long-term Strategic Management Plan is used to set directions for building works, including an annual maintenance plan and a five-year capital works program, which are reviewed each year by Council. This 15-year Strategic Management Plan was updated in November 2012.
The Strategic Building Master Plan ensures that building works are consistent with the long-term direction of the Library and underpins Library facility planning and budgeting. The plan was reviewed during 2011–12.
During the year, the Library commenced planning and design for the Reading Room Integration project. This is a major project for the Library. It will provide improved public and staff areas as well as refurbishment of plant, equipment, finishes and fittings across four levels of the main building. The proposed schematic design was endorsed by Council in April 2013 and the draft detailed design was completed in June 2013.
In 2012–13, a range of capital expenditure building projects were undertaken, including:
- installation of energy-efficient lighting and control systems throughout stacks and offices
- continuation of the Fire and Mechanical Services Upgrade project. Principal components undertaken during the year included the pressurisation of fire corridors on lower levels to create safe and smoke-free exit paths
- construction of a new storage area for corporate records
- refurbishment of the data centre to improve environmental conditions
- disability access improvements, including the wheelchair lift to the Theatre stage
- refurbishment of the cool store air-conditioning plant.
Consultation and design work has commenced on a number of other major projects, including for:
- a new lighting strategy for the Main Reading Room and Foyer to address obsolescence and reduce energy usage
- refurbishment of Executive Support and Public Programs office accommodation
- a potential solar plant at the Hume Repository
- refurbishment of external windows throughout the main building.
Heritage Management Strategy
The Library is included on the Commonwealth Heritage List and is committed to the conservation of the heritage values of the main building in Parkes. This includes consulting with recognised specialists before undertaking building works in sensitive areas. In 2012–13, the Library consulted as required on planning for the Reading Room Integration project in addition to a number of lighting projects and office fit-outs.
Following a review of the Library’s heritage furniture during 2011–12, an audit was conducted. As a result, a number of heritage furniture items are being refurbished, and significant items of furniture will be reused in the new integrated reading rooms in keeping with their original use.
In compliance with the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, the Library’s draft Conservation Management Plan underwent a public consultation process, after which it was submitted to the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities and to the Australian Heritage Council. The plan was approved by the Australian Heritage Council at its March 2013 meeting, and by the Minister in June 2013.
Security and Business Continuity
The Library’s Emergency Planning Committee oversees all aspects of protective security and business continuity planning. This committee comprises senior staff with responsibility for relevant areas, including corporate communications, and the security of staff, the collection, buildings and other assets.
During 2012–13, the Library completed an update of security procedures, mindful of the additional requirements of the recent Australian Government Protective Security Policy Framework that may apply to the Library.
Energy Consumption and Environmental Management
The Library is committed to improving environmental performance across all areas of operations. An Environmental Policy and associated Environmental Action Plan determine targets for environmental performance. The Environmental Management System helps to set, implement and review these objectives and targets.
The Library’s Environment Management Committee, established to coordinate and achieve sustainability targets, meets quarterly. Reports on environmental targets and performance are provided annually to Council.
The Library also aims to incorporate sustainable development principles into major projects. For example, the architectural brief for Reading Room Integration includes the requirement for energy-efficient lighting, the selection of local and sustainable building materials where possible, and water-saving initiatives in bathrooms.
During 2012–13, the Library undertook a number of initiatives aimed at achieving better waste management, energy savings and a reduction in the carbon footprint. These initiatives included:
- achieving accreditation with the ACTSmart Office Recycling program, a best-practice program on managing waste
- commencing organic recycling in all kitchens
- completing a lighting upgrade to stack areas and office space occupying 15 per cent of the main building, including installing energy-efficient fluorescent lights and sensors
- commencing design of energy-efficient lighting upgrades to the Main Reading Room, Foyer and external lighting
- trialling an improvement to procurement principles, which has seen the inclusion of environmental performance measures in major tenders, including for the Reading Room Integration project, the upgrade of microform readers, the security contract, and the Library’s solar project.
In comparison with the previous year, the Library has reduced gas consumption by 10 per cent to 4,381,117 MJ and electricity consumption by 9 per cent to 6,108,741 kWh. Water consumption has had to be estimated over the past two years, due to a faulty water meter. Notionally, water usage has increased by 7 per cent (May 2012 to April 2013) to 16,773 kL.
Recycling at the Library continues to be a major focus. Cardboard recycling has decreased slightly (by 4 per cent) to 21,250 kg, paper recycling has increased by 7 per cent to 41,003 kg, and commingle recycling has increased by 38 per cent to 14,579 kg. The recycling initiative for kitchens has seen the Library recycle 15,316 kg of organic waste in its first full year of operation.
The Library maintained a focus on cost-effective contract management and procurement practices consistent with Commonwealth Procurement Rules. Procurement and contract templates were reviewed, to ensure they continue to meet Government good practice and are simple and straightforward to use.
Large purchasing activities of the Library included the design and superintendence of the Reading Room Integration project, IT acquisitions, shelving and microform equipment replacement, mail and freight services, security services, stationery supplies, bookbinding, transcription services for the Oral History and Folklore Collection, and preservation duplication of audio.
The Library participated in the multi-use legal panel services administered by the Department of Finance and Deregulation until the end of May 2013, and then transitioned to the multi-use list administered by the Attorney-General’s Department in June.
There were no contracts of $100,000 or more that did not provide for the Auditor-General to have access to the contractor’s premises.
During the reporting period, the Library operated ten grant programs.
Community Heritage Grants
The Library awarded 78 grants of up to $15,000 to assist community organisations to preserve and manage nationally significant cultural heritage collections. Financial support and assistance for this grants program were received from the Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport; the National Archives of Australia; the National Film and Sound Archive; and the National Museum of Australia.
Harold White Fellowships
The Library funded seven fellowships for established scholars and writers to spend up to six months at the Library researching collection material. Fellowships were awarded to Dr Christine Cheater, Professor Neville Kirk, Dr Gwenda Tavan, Dr Jan Tent and Ms Alana Valentine. Honorary Fellowships were awarded to Dr Kent Fedorowich and Professor James Cotton.
Awarded to established scholars and writers to spend up to six months at the Library researching Japanese collection material, these fellowships are funded through the Harold S. Williams Trust. One fellowship was awarded to Dr Chiaki Ajioka.
Japan Study Grants
Also funded through the Harold S. Williams Trust, these grants support scholars in Japanese studies who live outside Canberra to research at the Library for up to four weeks. Grants were awarded to Dr Victoria Eaves-Young, Ms Machiko Ishikawa, Dr Emiko Okayama and Ms Kirsti Rawstron.
Minerals Council of Australia Fellowship
Funded by the Minerals Council, this fellowship supports research using the Library’s collections on the minerals industry in Australia. The fellowship was awarded to Dr David Lee.
National Folk Fellowship
With support from the National Folk Festival, the Library funded a four-week residency for Ms Catherine Ovenden to research original source material in the collection and prepare a Festival performance.
Norman McCann Summer Scholarships
Funded by Mrs Pat McCann, the Library awarded three scholarships of six weeks to young Australian postgraduate students Mr Steven Anderson, Ms Laura Rademaker and Ms Tillie Stephens to research topics in Australian history or literature.
Seymour Summer Scholarship
Funded by Dr John Seymour and Dr Heather Seymour AO, this scholarship of six weeks supports research, preferably in biography, by a young Australian postgraduate student. The scholarship was awarded to Ms Maria John.
Kenneth Binns Travelling Fellowship
Funded by Mrs Alison Sanchez to commemorate her father, Kenneth Binns, Chief Librarian of the Commonwealth National Library from 1928 to 1947, this fellowship supports travel for professional development by Library staff in the early stages of their careers. The 2013 fellowship was awarded to Ms Jenna Bain.
Friends of the National Library Travelling Fellowship
This fellowship, funded by the Friends of the National Library of Australia Inc., provides a significant professional development opportunity for a Library staff member. The 2013 fellowship was awarded to Ms Catriona Anderson.
Cooperation on Corporate Management Issues within the Portfolio
The Corporate Management Forum consists of senior executives from agencies in the Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport portfolio and a small number of non-portfolio agencies. The forum considers issues in human resource management, financial management, procurement, IT and facilities management, with a view to achieving economies of scale, sharing experience and encouraging best practice.
The forum met four times during 2012–13 and considered matters including:
- the Commonwealth Financial Accountability Review
- work health and safety requirements
- capital planning and funding
- energy management
- risk management and insurance
- enterprise agreements
- performance indicators and reporting
- shared services.