03 Dec Asio Workplace Agreement
The draft agreement, the sixth, was presented shortly before Christmas to employees of the country`s highest national security authority, but was rejected by 76 percent of the overwhelming employees. During the COVID 19 pandemic, we explored new ways to manage our partnerships through new workplace measures. This ranged from proactive support from our public and private sector actors to address the additional security challenges posed by the pandemic to tailored home technical assistance. ASIO has made significant progress in increasing the diversity of its workforce and ensuring inclusive jobs. Led by our 2018-20 Diversity and Inclusion Strategy, progress has been overseen by the ASIO Diversity and Inclusion Council and supported by diversity champions and asio networks. In an unprecedented move, staff of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) voted in favour of rejecting the recent labour agreement presented to them by the organization`s management. ASIO`s media office confirmed the rejection of the draft agreement, but said negotiations were continuing. The current contract expires next month. AsIO does have a staff association, but is not affiliated with any other public service union and its negotiations generally remain strictly internal. In fiscal year 2019/20, ASIO spent $313,025 on marketing and advertising for recruitment activities and campaigns. For more information on these advertising campaigns, see www.asio.gov.au and Australian government advertising reports prepared by the Ministry of Finance.
These reports are available on the Ministry of Finance`s website (see also Appendix G). The Asio Fraud Strategy 2019-21 (www.asio.gov.au/asio-fraud-strategy-statement.html) provides more information on our anti-fraud and management agreements. Appendix I contains the independent expert`s annual report for the current reference period. Each ASIO officer is responsible for complying with our legal requirements, the guidance of the Minister of ASIO and the internal guidelines and procedures associated with them. The emphasis is on acting with integrity and ensuring proportionality in all of our work. Formal negotiations on ASIO`s 11th operating contract were concluded in March 2020, with 91.5% of workers voting in favour of the new provision, which came into force on 2 April 2020. In accordance with Australian government policy, ASIO has halted the implementation of the initial wage increase for six months to clarify the circumstances surrounding COVID-19. During the 2019/20 reference period, ASIO conducted 13 negative security assessments before the AAT, including checks on cancelled or denied passports, visas and security exemptions. In accordance with the provision of Section 105D of the Public Governance Performance and Accountability Act 2013, the annual report did not provide a direct e-mail address to the Charter to determine the function of the ASIO Audit and Risk Committee.
ASIO has continued to participate in numerous court proceedings before the courts, courts and other proceedings. Topics included the persecution of terrorism; Judicial review and worthy of a security assessment; and civil actions. Minimizing disruptions to our day-to-day operations was another priority for the CMT. We have activated business continuity plans to support our workflows and prevent disruptions to our key systems and services. Due to security concerns, our day-to-day operations cannot be done remotely, but the pandemic has given new impetus to existing programs, which have given new impetus to our ability to work beyond the office.