External and Internal Audit

The Library’s Audit Committee met three times to consider external and internal audit reports.

Australian National Audit Office Reports

During 2014–15, the Library implemented the Auditor-General's recommendations contained in the following Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) reports:

  • Implementation of ANAO Performance Audit Recommendations (No. 34, 2013–14);

  • Managing Conflicts of Interest in FMA Agencies (No. 47, 2013–14);

  • The Management of Physical Security (No. 49, 2013–14);

  • Cyber Attacks: Securing Agencies’ ICT Systems (No. 50, 2013–14);

  • Business Continuity Management (No. 6, 2014–15);

  • Implementation of Audit Recommendations (No. 7, 2014–15);

  • Administration of the Export Market Development Grants Scheme (No. 15, 2014–15);

  • Management of the Disposal of Specialist Military Equipment (No. 20, 2014–15).

Internal Audit Reports

The Audit Committee considered a number of internal audit reports; see page 27.

Parliamentary Committees and Government Inquiries

During 2014–15, the Library made no submissions to Parliamentary Committees or
Government Inquiries.

Ministerial Directions

Under subsection 22(1) of the PGPA Act, the Minister for Finance (Finance Minister) may make a government policy order that specifies a policy of the Australian Government that is to apply in relation to any or all corporate Commonwealth entities, including the Library, provided the Finance Minister is satisfied that the Minister responsible for the policy has consulted the entity on the application of the policy. The Library has not been formally consulted on any new general policy orders and none which apply to the Library are in place.

Legal Action

A claim was lodged in the ACT Supreme Court in 2003 on behalf of Wagdy Hanna and Associates Pty Ltd, seeking damages for an alleged disclosure of information in respect of a 1996 tender process for one of the Library’s offsite storage facilities. The court proceedings were held in December 2008. In August 2012, the court found in favour of the Library. The outcome was under appeal by Wagdy Hanna and Associates Pty Ltd at the Court of Appeal of the ACT. The Court of Appeal handed down its judgement in favour of the Library and dismissed the appeal in August 2014. The Court of Appeal handed down its decision and orders regarding the costs of the appeal in June 2015. The court ordered costs payable in the Library’s favour on an indemnity basis.


During 2014–15, the Commonwealth Ombudsman did not advise referral of any issues relating to the Library.


The Library responded to one request for access to information under the Privacy Act 1988 in 2014–15.

Public Interest Disclosure

During 2014–15, the Library received one public interest disclosure, which is being investigated.

Freedom of Information

During 2014–15, the Library finalised one request for the release of information and finalised a review of a decision by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act).

Agencies subject to the FOI Act are required to publish information as part of the Information Publication Scheme (IPS). This requirement of the FOI Act has replaced the former requirement to publish a Section 8 statement in an annual report. Each agency must display on its website a plan showing what information it publishes in accordance with IPS requirements. The Library complies with IPS requirements, and a link to the scheme is provided on the Library’s website.

Indemnities and Insurance Premiums

Premiums under the Library’s insurance coverage with Comcover encompass general liability, directors’ and officers’ indemnity, property loss, damage or destruction, business interruption and consequential loss, motor vehicles, personal accidents, and official overseas travel. The Library’s insurance premium attracted a 9.26 per cent discount as a result of its performance measured by Comcover’s Risk Management Benchmarking Survey. The Library was the second-best performing agency of 15 like agencies in the survey’s Cultural Institutions Community of Practice Peer Group. Under the terms of the insurance schedule of cover, the Library may not disclose its insurance premium price.

The Library participated in the Insurance and Risk Management Corporate Insurance Forum of cultural agencies, which holds regular meetings with Comcover to discuss insurance issues.

Social Justice and Equity

The Library serves a culturally and socially diverse community and aims to make its collection accessible to all. The Library’s collection includes material in over 300 languages. Its programs and services are developed with an emphasis on public accessibility, and adhere to the principles outlined in the Australian Government’s Charter of Public Service in a Culturally Diverse Society. The Library is conscientiously implementing the charter and seeks to provide all Australians with the opportunity to access documentary resources of national significance. In particular, during 2014–15, the Library:

  • provided an introductory program to international students of English as an additional language or dialect;
  • provided exhibition and education tours for adults and young people with special needs, and senior citizens groups;
  • supported community projects, including the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, National Simultaneous Storytime, Children’s Book Week, National Volunteer Week, NAIDOC Week, Autism Asperger ACT, and Libraries and Information Week;
  • supported the development of youth arts activities through events and education programs;
  • improved access technologies and lighting in the new Special Collections Reading Room;
  • provided an ongoing customer service training program for front-of-house staff and volunteers;
  • implemented online accessibility guidelines in relation to event podcasts and promotional videos, ensuring transcripts are available;
  • engaged Gundabluey Research to investigate the needs of students, teachers and people from non–English speaking backgrounds (NESB) in relation to Trove;
  • digitised three Chinese language newspapers—The Chinese Advertiser, The Chinese Australian Herald and the Chinese Times—and made them available in Trove;
  • worked with the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) to add records to Trove from their collections, including images depicting Indigenous life in Australia from the 1820s to today, journal articles published from the mid-1980s, audio collections, and records from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Biographical Index (ABI).

In NAIDOC Week, the Library held an event for staff to view and hear materials selected from the rich and wide-ranging collections by Indigenous staff and collection managers to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. This event aimed to develop staff knowledge about collections documenting Indigenous Australian history, culture and experience, and to underline the importance of the Library as a respectful and inclusive workplace.

Indigenous Graduate Shannon Sutton undertook a project to identify Indigenous language material held in the Library’s Manuscripts Collection. Initial discoveries included language lists, familial terms, place names and names for local customs and people in the papers and records of missionaries, ethnographers, linguists and Aboriginal Protectorates dating back to the 1860s. Information uncovered through the project has been published in an online Research Guide as the first phase of a project to increase accessibility of first language material.

The Library continued to expand its collection of oral history interviews with Indigenous Australians and people from a range of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. A new oral history project involving interviews with Australian Muslim women commenced.

Service Charter

The Library’s Service Charter sets out its commitment to users, the standards of service that users can expect and the mechanisms for providing feedback or making a complaint.

The Service Charter is available online and as a print publication.

During 2014–15, the Service Charter standards were met as follows:

  • 97 per cent of general reference inquiries were answered within time frames (target: 90 per cent);
  • 93 per cent of collection items were delivered within time frames (target: 90 per cent);
  • the Library’s website was available for 99.9 per cent of the agreed service time frames (target: 99.5 per cent).

The Library welcomes feedback and suggestions for service improvements. Feedback forms are placed throughout the Library and on the website. During the financial year, 257 formal compliments and 82 formal complaints were received from users, as indicated in Tables 2.1 and 2.2 respectively.

Table 2.1: Compliments Received, 2014–15




Information and online services to individuals


•  Quality, professionalism, responsiveness and dedication of staff

•  Quality and speed of response to inquiries and delivery of collection material

•  Quality of reproduction services

•  Quality of website

•  Trove

Public Programs activities


•  Quality of tours and support for educational visits

•  Quality of events program

•  Quality of publications

•  Quality of galleries and exhibitions

•  Quality of volunteer-led tours

Facilities and support


•  Quality of support for events




In addition, several hundred informal compliments were received from visitors for the Library’s exhibitions and from users of the Trove, Copies Direct and reading room services.

Table 2.2: Complaints Received, 2014–15




The collection


•  Cataloguing and attribution of information for collection material

•  Repatriation of collection material

•  Processing of donor material

Information and online services to individuals


•  Use of mobile phones by Library users

•  Changes to services and opening hours

•  Wireless connectivity problems and slow
response times

•  Access to e-Resources

•  Use of scanners

•  Delays, misunderstandings and perceived lack of assistance relating to requesting/receiving and discharging material

•  Reader registration processing

•  Copying and inter-library lending fees and delays
in delivery

Public Programs activities


•  Content and display of exhibitions

•  Event cancellation

Facilities and support


•  Car parking availability and bicycle facilities

•  Restrictions in reading rooms

•  Uncomfortable furniture in reading rooms

•  Café facilities

•  Cloaking arrangements




The Library provided explanations and/or apologies in response to all complaints, and undertook remedial action to address them as appropriate. Complaints relating to car parking were referred to the National Capital Authority as the responsible body.

Consultancy Services

The Library entered into 27 new consultancy contracts during 2014–15 involving total actual expenditure of $484,154 (inclusive of GST). Appendix E lists the new consultancies with an individual value of $10,000 or more. There were also 11 ongoing consultancy contracts that were active during the same period, involving total actual expenditure of $510,217, bringing the total level of expenditure on consultancy contracts in 2014–15 to $994,371.

Advertising and Market Research

Advertising and market research in excess of $12,565 for non-recruitment and non-tender services amounted to $132,451 (inclusive of GST).

Table 2.3 summarises expenditure by the Library in 2014–15.

Table 2.3: Library Expenditure, 2014–15



Value ($)

Mitchell & Partners

Media advertising in The Canberra Times



Media monitoring services


Gundabluey Research

Student, teacher and NESB use of Trove