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AFMA’s Annual Operational Plan is a detailed plan for the delivery of AFMA’s outcome and program for the coming year. It includes strategies, responsibilities and performance indicators as well as outlining the actions we intend to take in the coming year to give effect to or further our main goals in our Corporate Plan.

The 2019 Australian Public Service (APS) Employee Census offered a stark contrast to previous years, with Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) staff providing responses that indicated they were less satisfied and generally less positive towards AFMA as a workplace of choice than previous results. The results come after a year of significant changes across the organisation including in its senior leadership, office location and way of doing business. The 2019 results show lower degrees of satisfaction than the APS generally and similar organisations (based on size and regulatory function) according to most indicators. While this year’s results were generally down from previous years, there were some positive and improved results in the mix, such as employee commitment to innovation and indicators that staff have good relationships with their immediate supervisors.

Within that general conclusion, the census results also show marked variation between the three branches of AFMA - corporate services, fisheries management and fisheries operations. Generally, corporate services staff were more satisfied according to most indicators, and fisheries operations staff were far less satisfied, with fisheries management staff generally sitting between the two.

There are a number of contributing factors to these results and it will take some time to fully understand, let alone respond to them. The key driver seems to be a very high level of change throughout the organisation in 2018/19. Those changes included:

  • Departure of two long term senior executives (including the CEO) with lengthy periods of vacancy in each;
  • New office location, and a physical restructure of the workspace to be activity-based seating rather than assigned team areas;
  • Changes in the way we access and manage classified information;
  • Move to a paperlite workplace that primarily uses digital records;
  • Establishment of a new regional office in Lakes Entrance; and
  • Taking on new functions in respect of Torres Strait fisheries.

Throughout late 2018, there was a high degree of speculation as to whether the AFMA head office would be relocated outside Canberra as part of the Government’s decentralisation program.  Confidentiality bounds around that discussion precluded the Executive obtaining input from, or providing information to the majority of staff, generally causing uncertainty, frustration and fear, which continues in the absence of any formal conclusion to the discussion.

While that degree of change and uncertainty has undoubtedly contributed to staff morale and satisfaction, the census results also highlight a number of more fundamental cultural issues that require active treatment.

AFMA has embraced the census results and seeks to institute remediation through a diverse range of activities, including, but not limited to:

  • Full census results for the organisation distributed to all staff with branch-specific reports distributed within each branch. Staff have been encouraged to provide their feedback on these results including identifying areas for consolidation, improvement and developing actions plans, moving forward.
  • Open discussions have been held, and will continue, with all staff. These have been used as an opportunity for the Executive to highlight key messages received in the census (and a specific workplace survey of the Canberra staff), and outline some ideas for addressing them. While the meetings have provided opportunity for staff to ask questions and raise issues, they also initiate deeper discussion amongst staff outside of the meetings themselves.
  • Staff have been invited to have one-on-one discussions with the CEO.  Almost 50 staff have taken this opportunity up. The purpose of these are to allow open and frank discussions, and whilst the specific discussions are treated confidentially, they have been very useful for highlighting specific issues and to allow the Executive to understand the drivers of some specific issues in the census results.
  • Branch meetings held to consider the branch-specific reports and issues and to identify priority actions. These have ranged from informal/routine discussions to dedicated and facilitated sessions.
  • Specific issues discussed with managers and senior managers (EL 1 and 2).

These discussions and opportunities for staff input have identified a wide-ranging body of remedial action that is being progressed on an opportunistic basis, and help to instil a shared responsibility for resolution.  Some specific actions already undertaken include:

  • Addressing a number of specific physical sources of dissatisfaction with the new office in Canberra;
  • Improved attention to cultural sensitivity and diversity;
  • Ongoing reviews of corporate policies, particularly in relation to staff wellbeing, health and safety;
  • Dedicated effort to more open communication from the Executive on census issues and more generally on issues important to the agency;
  • Promotion of social activities within and outside of the workplace;
  • Greater efforts to document corporate decision making to ensure consistency across branches, teams and individuals; and
  • Working with managers throughout the organisation so that they are equipped with the skills required to ensure that they provide adequate focus to their corporate responsibilities as well as their technical duties.

In the coming months several staff forums will be formed to progress specific identified priorities.

The Executive will continue to work with staff to understand the feedback staff have provided through the census, and respond appropriately to improve the experience of staff, and make AFMA a workplace of choice.

See AFMA's 2019 APS Census results here.

Role and function

The Audit and Risk Committee operates in line with the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 and provides independent advice and assurance to the Chief Executive Officer of the appropriateness of AFMA's:

  • financial reporting including the annual audited financial statements
  • performance reporting including the framework for developing, measuring and reporting
  • systems of risk oversight and management including AFMA's risk management and fraud control framework
  • systems of internal controls associated with – governance, risk management, compliance and business continuity management arrangements

Download the charter determining the functions of AFMA’s Audit and Risk Committee.

Our Client Service Charter informs stakeholders and clients of the standards of service they can expect in their dealings with us.

The Client Service Charter process provides an avenue for clients to comment on our performance and a means to address concerns if they believe we are not meeting our service standards.

View AFMA’s Client Service Charter.

Our Corporate Plan has a five year focus. It tells stakeholders what our outcome and outputs are, and what indicators will be used to measure successful delivery of the outcome.

The Corporate Plan also outlines factors that are likely to influence the operating environment in the future, priorities for improvement and what our future directions are over the remaining period of the plan.

2020-21 AFMA Corporate Plan (PDF)

2019-22 AFMA Corporate Plan (PDF, 3.2MB)

2018-21 AFMA Corporate Plan (PDF, 2MB)

2017-20 AFMA Corporate Plan (PDF, 3MB)

2016-19 AFMA Corporate Plan (PDF, 430KB)

2015-18 AFMA Corporate Plan

2014-17 AFMA Corporate Plan (PDF, 1 MB)

Current arrangements

In line with the Department of Finance Cost Recovery Guidelines AFMA has reviewed and updated it’s Cost Recovery Implementation Statement (CRIS) for 2020-21.  AFMA’s CRIS describes how AFMA will charge fishing concession holders for the management of Commonwealth fisheries. AFMA’s 2020-21 cost recovered budget has been prepared in accordance with this statement.

The CRIS will be reviewed every year and cost recovered budget statements prepared accordingly.

Previous arrangements

AFMA’s CRIS 2010 was reviewed after the release of new cost recovery guidelines by the Department of Finance. The CRIS 2017 described how AFMA charged fishing concession holders for the management of Commonwealth fisheries in 2017-18.

The Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) gives any person the right to:
  • access copies of documents (except exempt documents) we hold
  • ask for information we hold about you to be changed or annotated if it is incomplete, out of date, incorrect or misleading, and
  • seek a review of our decision not to allow you access to a document or not to amend your personal record.

You can ask to see any document that we hold. We can refuse access to some documents, or parts of documents that are exempt. Exempt documents may include those relating to national security, documents containing material obtained in confidence and Cabinet documents, or other matters set out in the FOI Act.

You can get certain information, including personal information we hold about you, without following a formal process under the FOI Act.

You should also check the information we have published under the Information Publication Scheme and FOI disclosure log to see if what you are seeking is already available.

Further information can be found from the following links:

Portfolio Budget Statements inform Senators and Members of Parliament of the proposed allocation of resources to Government outcomes for the coming year. The statements detail financial arrangements, allot expenditure against individual activities and describe how these activities contribute to the government’s priorities.

View the full list of current and previous Australian Government Department of Agriculture Portfolio Budget Statements.

The Portfolio Multicultural Plan  2013-15 aims to improve engagement with persons of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

The plan was developed by  the Department of Agriculture as a response to the Access and Equity Inquiry held in March 2013. All government departments and agencies were required to prepare a two-year Multicultural Plan aimed at improving their performance in responding to the needs of Australia’s culturally and linguistically diverse population.

The Portfolio Multicultural Plan covers the Department of Agriculture as well as AFMA and the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA).

Read the full version of the Portfolio Multicultural Plan 2013-15 on the Department of Agriculture website.

The AFMA Privacy Policy was established in June 2018.  The policy describes AFMA’s obligations in relation to personal information. This policy applies to all personal information held by AFMA including the personal information of employees, contractors and clients.

For further information please refer to the following documents:

If you wish to make any comments or suggestions about the privacy policy, you can do so by emailing

The Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013 (PID Act) came into effect on 15 January 2014.  The Act creates a public interest disclosure scheme that promotes integrity and accountability in the Australian public sector. The public interest disclosure scheme extends beyond the Australian Public Service to a range of Commonwealth entities, including Commonwealth companies and authorities, and contracted service providers.  Only public officials, or persons deemed to be public officials, can make a Public Interest Disclosure. The Act promotes accountability and integrity in the Australian Public Service by encouraging the disclosure of information about suspected wrongdoing, supporting and protecting disclosers from adverse consequences and ensuring that public interest disclosures are properly investigated and dealt with.

Read more about public interest disclosure.

The Australian Government Regulator Performance Framework (RPF) was developed to ‘encourage regulators to undertake their functions with the minimum impact necessary to achieve regulatory objectives and to effect positive ongoing and lasting cultural change within regulators.

The RPF contains six indicators against which regulators are to measure their performance:

  • regulators do not unnecessarily impede the efficient operation of regulated entities
  • communication with regulated entities is clear, targeted and effective
  • actions undertaken by regulators are proportionate to the regulatory risk being managed
  • compliance and monitoring approaches are streamlined and coordinated
  • regulators are open and transparent in dealing with regulated entities
  • regulators actively contribute to the continuous improvement of regulatory frameworks.

Download a copy of AFMA's Regulatory Performance Framework fro 2019-20 (PDF)

Previous documents:

The Regulatory Change Plans outline proposed new regulatory plans and changes to regulatory plans. Each Commonwealth agency that has responsibility for business regulation is required to publish a regulatory plan on its website early in each financial year. The regulatory plan deals with changes within the agency’s area of responsibility and contains information about:
  • changes to business regulation which have occurred since the beginning of the previous financial year
  • activities planned in the current financial year which could lead to changes to business regulation.

AFMA’s regulatory plan can be found on the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources website as detailed in the Past Regulatory Change document and Proposed Regulatory Change document.

Remuneration of AFMA Chief Executive

2017-18 financial year

The remuneration of the AFMA Chief Executive is made under the sub-section 7(3) and 7(4) of the Remuneration Tribunal Act 1973.

Office Base Salary (per annum) Total Remuneration for office (per annum)
Chief Executive Officer, Australian Fisheries Management Authority $285,930 $391,680

Download the Determination 2016/19: Remuneration and Allowances for Holders of Full-Time Public Office.

Remuneration of Senior Executive

2016-17 financial year

Total Remuneration Executive No. Average Reportable Salary


Average Contributed superannuation $ Average Allowances $ Average bonus paid $ Average Total remuneration $
$275,001 to $350,000 3 $215,101 $66,389 $22,517 $0 $304,007

Note – Information contained in above table excludes remuneration for Statutory Office Holders. Due to the small numbers of senior executives within AFMA, further breakdown of senior executive remuneration packages are not made available to avoid identification of individuals.

Key requirements/definitions

The ‘reportable salary’ column is prepared on a cash basis using reportable salary as defined as the sum of:

  1. gross payments (excluding bonuses)
  2. reportable fringe benefits (net amount)
  3. reportable employer superannuation contributions
  4. exempt foreign employment income

as reported in an individual’s payment summary.

The ‘contributed superannuation’ column is prepared on a cash basis using contributed superannuation as defined as follows:

  • For individuals that are in a defined contribution scheme (e.g., PSSap), ‘Contributed superannuation’ should include the defined contribution amounts. This amount is typically located on the individual’s payslip.


  • For individuals that are in a defined benefit scheme (e.g. PSS and CSS), ‘Contributed superannuation’ should include the Notional Employer ​Contribution Rate (NECR) amount, Employer Productivity Superannuation Contribution (also known as the Productivity Component) and any Additional Lump Sum Contribution paid during the financial reporting period.

The ‘reportable allowances’ column is prepared on a cash basis using reportable allowances as is equal to the ‘total allowances’ figure as reported in an individual’s payment summary. Reportable allowances excludes any allowances already reported in the gross payments line in the payment summary.

The ‘bonus paid’ column is prepared on a cash basis using bonus paid as is equal to the actual bonus paid to individuals during the reporting period and is a component of gross payments reported on the payment summary.

Senate Order on Entity Contracts – listing for the period 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020

The Senate Order on Entity Contracts requires the Australian Fisheries Management Authority ​to list contracts with an estimated value of $100,000 or more and which were:

  1. entered into prior to 1 July 2019, not fully performed as at 30 June 2020; and/or
  2. entered into during the 12 months prior to 30 June 2020.

Procurement contracts – a list is available through the Senate Order Report located on AusTender. The report is titled Entity Reports for complying with the Senate Order on Procurement Contracts and use of Confidentiality Provisions.

The contracts listed contain confidentiality provisions of a general  nature that are designed to protect the confidential information of the parties that may be obtained or generated in carrying out the contract.  The reasons for including such clauses include:

  • ordinary commercial prudence that requires protection of trade secrets, proprietary information and the like; and/or
  • protection of other Commonwealth material and personal information

Grant contracts – No grants were administered during the 2019-20 financial year.

Contracts for Supply of goods/services – No contracts for the supply of goods/services were entered into during the 2019-20 financial year.

Disposal of Assets and other Financial arrangement contracts – No contracts for Disposal of Assets and other Financial arrangement contracts were entered into during the 2019-20 financial year.

The estimated cost of complying with the Senate Order is $1,000, and is calculated based on time taken by hourly rate.

AFMA’s tender opportunities are published on the Australian Government Advertising website.