Archived News for Professionals in Federal Government - March, 2011
Two new papers have been released by Professor Ross Garnaut as part of his Climate Change Review for the Australian Government.
The first, ‘Low emissions technology and the innovation challenge’, finds that public funding for innovation in low-emissions technology should be substantially increased under a new scheme administered by an independent authority.
Professor Garnaut argues that with global public expenditure on research, development, demonstration and commercialisation of low-emissions technologies increasing in the aftermath of the Great Crash of 2008, Australia “should do its proportionate part as a developed country in the global innovation effort”.
The Federal Government has announced that the carbon price scheme will begin on 1 July 2012, subject to the passage of legislation to be introduced in the Spring sittings of Parliament.
An audit of four federal government agencies by the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) has found that while overall they were taking appropriate steps to protect sensitive material from cyber attack, in some instances their information security policies were out of date.
The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) has released a Better Practice Guide for fraud control in Australian government entities, designed to complement a recently updated version of the Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines (the Fraud Control Guidelines).
While overall our life expectancy continues to climb and our educational attainment increases, gaps remain between the health and education outcomes of Australians living in cities and those living elsewhere, according to the Australian Social Trends report released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
In September 2010, there were 1.3 million Australians who were not in the labour force but wanted to work according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
The Australian Securities and Investment Commission has launched the National Financial Literacy Strategy, designed to deliver quality financial literacy education to all Australians through schools, workplaces, higher education institutions and in the community.
The Murray Darling Basin Authority has released a statement saying that the socio-economic report on the Murray-Darling Basin Plan has been delayed indefinitely due to interruptions caused by the floods throughout the region.
Staff at CSIRO are continuing a series of rolling strikes in support of their demands for a 4.6 per cent pay increase and changes to employment conditions.
Two new appointments and two re-appointments have been made to the Future Fund Board of Guardians, following the expiry of terms of members appointed at the commencement of the Future Fund in 2006.
The Federal Government will launch a major review into disaster insurance in Australia, examining if there is a role for the Commonwealth to provide an insurance scheme to protect homeowners, business and government from floods, bushfires and other disasters.
The Parliamentary Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit is reviewing the operation of funding agreements between the Commonwealth and State and Territory Governments, including the National Agreements entered into under the Intergovernmental Agreement on Federal Financial Relations.
A parliamentary inquiry into the role of the Auditor-General in scrutinising government advertising has found that such involvement was inappropriate as it blurs the boundary between executive decision-making and audit review.
The Federal government has announced the launching of an $200 million, 18 month apprenticeship training program. The program, which aims to train 1,000 workers, is designed to build jobs in resource areas that are experiencing "critical demand" and are suffering from skill shortages.
The latest report by the National Childcare Accreditation Council (NCAC) has found a large number of child care centres are "failing to meet basic standards of hygiene, safety and education".
"Systemic weaknesses" in Centrelink's review process have been clearly identified by a Commonwealth Ombudsman report. The report found " lack of transparency and insufficient education about available options to customers, often leading to delays and inaction".
Almost three quarters of a million (733,900) part-time workers were underemployed in September 2010, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
This represents 22% of all part-time workers. Over half (55%) of all underemployed part-time workers preferred to work full-time hours (at least 35 hours per week).
One in two underemployed part-time workers were looking for more hours of work. The most common steps taken to find more hours of work were to ask their current employer (62%), contact a prospective employer (53%), or search the internet (51%). Over half (59%) of all underemployed part-time workers preferred to work more hours with their current employer.
Older workers tended to experience longer durations of underemployment. One in two (49%) underemployed part-time workers aged 45-54 years, and 52% of those aged 55 years and over, had been underemployed for one year or more. In comparison, 25% of underemployed workers aged 15–19 years had been underemployed for one year or more.
Further information is available in Underemployed Workers, Australia, September 2010 (cat. no. 6265.0)