Information is a key focus of NICNAS in achieving its outcome of
Our communication strategies focus on targeted
alliances with industry,
Government, the community and media to ensure the efficient
of information to increase knowledge and awareness on:
• the work of NICNAS;
• existing and proposed regulatory requirements; and
• the safe use of chemicals.
During 2003-04, NICNAS responded to 1,510 (compared to 1,804 in
inquiries, which took 487 (658 in 2002-03) hours to handle. This
up of 1,209 telephone inquiries and 301 written inquiries. The
of telephone inquiries dropped from previous years (1,446 in
in 2001-02, 1,752 in 2000-01, 1,598 in 1999-2000), as did
(358 in 2002-03, 398 in 2001-02, 205 in 2000-01 and 187 in
Full details on inquiries to NICNAS are at Appendix 15.
NICNAS received 154 media inquiries during 2003-04 (150 in
Key issues included chemicals regulation in Australia, the LRCC
cosmetics, parabens, phthalates, brominated flame retardants,
sulfate, triclosan, formaldehyde, benzene, and sodium cyanide.
NICNAS released three issues (September 2003, December 2003 and
2004) of its newsletter, NICNAS matters. NICNAS
matters 8 (September
2003) featured articles on reform activities at NICNAS and
compliance. NICNAS matters 9 (December 2003) featured articles
moving online, NICNAS’s CEF and NICNAS Customer Survey.
matters 10 (April 2004) featured articles on the Rotterdam
and the LRCC reform initiative.
NICNAS advertisement activity
is detailed at Appendix 05 and, to promote
regulatory efficiency initiatives, include an advertisement on
20 August 2003
on the LRCC Task Force documents.
NICNAS publications for 2003-04 are detailed at Appendix 17
and include 12
editions of the Chemical Gazette, the NICNAS Service
Charter 2004-05 and
two Safety Info Sheets. A monthly summary of key issues at
NICNAS NEWS – was developed and sent with Chemical Gazette
In addition, NICNAS published a total of 189 new chemical
reports and two existing chemical reports on the web.
The AICS CD-ROM was superseded by AICS moving online in
Website statistics for 2003-04 are detailed at Appendix 16. Web
increased on the NICNAS website from an average 11,395 hits each
during 2002-03 to an average of 17,239 hits each day in 2003-04,
of over 50 per cent. Total hits for the year were over six
million (four million
in 2002-03), with 445,619 (262,764 in 2002-03) user sessions –
of 1,217 (720 in 2002-03) each day, which is an increase of 69.5
against a target of 5 per cent. AICS moving online contributed
to this growth,
as did increased awareness of the website (91 per cent of
in the 2004 survey compared to 83 per cent in the 2003 survey).
The most requested web pages are shown in Table 20 below.
were active in awareness raising and information exchange
activities such as presentations (24), conferences (19),
progressing international harmonisation activities (14),
assessment meetings (5) and site visits (12). These are detailed
All NICNAS’s timeframe targets for responsiveness to inquiries
(97 per cent completed within 24 hours, against a target of 85
per cent, and
the remainder within 28 days); and in writing (62 per cent
finalised within 24
hours and 29 per cent in seven days, that is, 91 per cent within
against a target of 85 per cent) were exceeded in 2003-04 (see
inquires were handled within agreed timelines.
All 12 issues of the Chemical Gazette were published within
deadline, which is on the first Tuesday of each month, and
receive an email alert, including NICNAS NEWS, for each new
During 2003-04, NICNAS continued to provide clear and accessible
information on its website (www.nicnas.gov.au) to assist
manufacturers of industrial chemicals in Australia in fulfilling
The newsletter, NICNAS matters, is an integral element of the
Communication Plan to relay important information to industry
the public, government agencies and the media. Printed copies of
September 2003, December 2003 and April 2004 issues were
to 2,000 clients and stakeholders. NICNAS Matters was also
on the website.
NICNAS’s communication staff maintained an
effective media management
strategy and provided considerable assistance to media in
scientific information on chemical matters. In addition, NICNAS
specific media inquiries resulting in substantial print,
television and radio
coverage, as detailed in Appendix 17.
The NICNAS Service Charter defines NICNAS’s service standards.
04, a customer survey was conducted on NICNAS’s performance
its service standards. A mail and telephone survey canvassed 100
selected organisations in contact with NICNAS during the year.
contact with NICNAS for the purposes of the survey is defined as
through the existing and new chemical programs, company
AICS searches and/or compliance activities. Sixty-five
responded to the survey.
Overall, positive feedback was
received indicating a good level of service
and improvement in a number of key areas:
• 94 per cent (86 per cent in 2002-03) found staff to be
courteous always, or most of the time;
• 86 per cent (83 per cent in 2002-03) found their questions
were answered in 7-28 days always, or most of the time;
• 88 per cent (86 per cent in 2002-03) found written
always, or most of the time;
• 85 per cent (as in 2002-03) found that NICNAS provided
consistent information always, or most of the time;
• 97 per cent (82 per cent in 2002-03) of organisations
surveyed were aware
of NICNAS website. Of these, 96 per cent found the website easy to
from the 2002-03 survey, NICNAS has placed AICS online
and updated the Handbook for Notifiers to address concerns
In 2003-04, NICNAS conducted a survey of CEOs from the 25
companies which have significant involvement in industrial
Twelve companies responded to the survey. While the response
lower than the general customer survey, the results indicate a
higher level of
satisfaction with NICNAS’s service. The issues CEOs identified
attention by NICNAS were similar to those of the general
The NICNAS website received positive feedback in the Customer
with 96 per cent of respondents finding the website easy to
(compared to 79 per cent in 2003).
Some 1,500 chemical
assessment reports on individual industrial chemicals
are featured on the website. Users can conduct searches on
• chemical name;
• trade name;
• Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) number;
• hazardous status; and
• OECD industry use category
All material on the NICNAS website is freely available
access to chemical safety information by the public, government
and industry, which fulfils a key requirement of the Act. In
Australian Government publishing guidelines, NICNAS maintains
of printed information material and provides a print-on-demand
PEC reports are available to download from the website both
public comment period and on completion as a final assessment
All NICNAS forms are in an electronic format to allow online
and lodgement. NICNAS continues to have very high compliance
Government’s requirement for mandated time boxes on all forms.
templates have been introduced to reduce time and costs to small
businesses in making applications for assessments.
Web-based Safety Info Sheets for each PEC and the Chemical
have helped increase public awareness of NICNAS and the safe use
of chemicals by providing user-friendly, plain language
information on the
scientific risk assessment of chemicals used in Australia.
Top of Page
Database at NICNAS
The integrated information system, Database at NICNAS (D@N),
to ensure efficiencies within the organisation. The database was
web-based technology and during 2003-04 was upgraded to meet
Three copies of the Handbook for Notifiers and 37 AICS CD-ROMs
sold in 2003-04 (13 and 79 respectively in 2002-03) reflecting
both the use
by customers of electronic publications and AICS moving online
2004. All other NICNAS printed materials are available
to industry. A total of 189 new chemicals reports completed by
in 2003-04 were made available to the public free-of-charge.
savings to industry are achieved by a focus on electronic
The move to place the Handbook for Notifiers and AICS online has
to savings to industry in the order of $20,000 over the past
Consolidated Summary Outputs/Resources Table
An overview summary of key outputs against resources for each
output category is shown below.
A summary of key outputs and resources for each output
is also shown below.