The stated outcome and outputs for NICNASís
with performance measures for NICNAS are detailed in the DoHA
statements (PBS), the NICNAS Strategic Plan 2002-05, the NICNAS
Operational Plan 2003-04 and the NICNAS Service Charter 2002-05.
In addition, certain mandatory performance
requirements (such as
assessment timeframes and public reporting of prescribed
are established in the Act. Performance reporting against the
corporate plans and operational plans is undertaken quarterly
and is detailed
in the Operational Performance section of this report.
In accordance with the Act, NICNAS also has
certain annual mandatory
reporting requirements, all of which were met in 2003-04 (see
Internal audit arrangements are covered under the corporate
level agreement (SLA) with DoHA. Internal audit activities for
are reported in the DoHA Annual Report 2003-04.
NICNAS staff are covered by the DoHA
Certified Agreement 2002-04
and are also covered by DoHAís governance policies and
the establishment and maintenance of appropriate ethical
the Australian Public Service (APS) Values and Code of Conduct,
with Australian Government Freedom of Information (FOI), Privacy
legislation, Australian Government Disability Strategy,
policy and other internal policies and procedures. Performance
for governance policies and practices, relating to NICNAS, can
in the DoHA Annual Report 2003-04.
NICNAS has additional internal policies to
cover the physical security
and protection of commercial-in-confidence information it
industry in support of chemical notifications.
In 2003-04, NICNAS received two formal
complaints on its operations
compared to one in 2002-03, seven in 2001-02 and two in 2000-01.
One complaint was on a confidentiality issue
arising from an email
transmission error concerning company registration. While
information was not in fact breached, steps have been taken to
the release of unauthorised material from NICNAS or any other
in the future acting on advice from the Australian Government
The other complaint concerned an assessment
certificate and assessment
report sent to the wrong address.
Both complaints were resolved to the
satisfaction of those involved.
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NICNAS Industry Government Consultative
IGCC 19 Meeting
- November 2003
(L to R): Seated:
Mr Martin Jones (PACIA),
Dr Margaret Hartley (Chair,
NICNAS), Mr Nick Munafo
(PACIA) Standing: Ms
Bronwyn Capanna (ACSPA),
Mr Nick Miller (NICNAS),
Mr Shane Baker (DITR), Mr
Tim Reardon (ACCI), Mr
Tom Fisher (NOHSC), Mr
Michael Hambrook (APMF),
Mr Geoff MacAlpine
(ACSPA), Mr Graham
Barden (DEH), Ms Sylvia
Kidziak (ACCI), Mr Terry
Industry Government Consultative Committee (IGCC) was
a key driver in ensuring NICNAS continued to broaden its
to better shape and deliver regulatory efficiency in 2003-04.
The efficient and effective utilisation of NICNAS resources
and the Schemeís
operational performance are overseen by the IGCC, which is
the Minister. The IGCC membership, terms of reference and
for 2003-04 are at Appendix 02.
The IGCC met three times during 2003-04 including an
meeting to specifically consider proposed fees and charges for
The 20th Meeting on 7 May 2004 included a joint morning session
the newly formed CEF.
The focus of activities this year was on resolving proposed
fees and charges
for 2004-05 and key reform initiatives, which are detailed at
Reform Agenda section in this report.
Forum - December 2003
(L to R) Ms Dusanka Sabic,
Ms Jane Bremmer,
Associate Professor Chris
Winder, Ms Sue Penniciuk,
Dr Bro Sheffield-Brotherton,
Cr Colleen Hartland, Dr
Mr Griffin DíCosta
endorsed the NICNAS 2004-05 Operational Plan, the 2004-
05 Budget and at meetings during the year evaluated the
and performance of the IGCC process. Feedback indicated that
received on time, were concise and included relevant
information, and noted
the continuing focus on discussing broader regulatory policy
the scheme and the significant advances made in developing
for ongoing international co-operation.
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NICNAS Community Engagement Forum
The establishment of the CEF arose from NICNASís LRCC reform
The LRCC Task Force recognised the advantages to NICNAS in
an ongoing dialogue with the public through the establishment of
consultative mechanism and recommended the establishment
of a community based Forum.
The CEF was established to assist the NICNAS office improve
to chemical safety information and address aspects of the
to know in relation to the control and use of industrial
The Parliamentary Secretary appointed members to the CEF. The
membership, terms of reference and meeting details for 2003-04
at Appendix 02.
The CEF met formally three times in 2003-04.
The 3rd Meeting on 7
May 2004 included a joint morning session with the NICNAS IGCC.
A teleconference was held in the afternoon of 7 May 2004, to
NICNASís Community Right to Know Charter and for NICNAS to
details on the LRCC reforms to members. An additional workshop
on 11 June 2004 to discuss NICNASís Community Engagement
and the CEFís input into the Review of the Existing Chemicals
Territories MOU Group
Meeting - February 2004
(L to R) Mr Greg Balka, Dr
David Grantham, Dr Jeff
Langley, Dr Margaret
Hartley, Mr Peter Haynes,
Ms Dusanka Sabic, Mr
Graeme Barden, Mr Joe
Crea, Mr Ian Graham, Ms
Michelle Jacobs, Mr Steven
for the CEF includes improving public access to chemical
safety information through the development of a Community Right
to Know Charter, a communication strategy targeting the
of specific groups and assisting NICNAS with advice and
The focus of activities this year was on finalising the
of Reference, its work plan, Community Right to Know Charter,
Engagement Strategy and the CEFís input into the Review of the
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NICNAS States and Territories Memorandum of
The NICNAS/State and Territories MOU Group
continued through 2003-04
as a feature of the co-operative arrangements NICNAS has
other governmental bodies, to assist in the exchange of chemical
information and discussion on chemical management issues
dissemination and implementation of risk reduction
The MOU group meets biannually and currently
consists of representatives
drawn from the OHS authorities of the various states and
NOHSC, the DEH and NICNAS. During 2003-04, meetings were held on
3 December 2003 and 20 February 2004. The NICNAS/State and
MOU Group Membership and Terms of Reference details for 2003-04
are outlined in Appendix 02.
State and territory representatives liaise
with other agencies in their
respective jurisdictions to ensure NICNAS responds to their
needs in the
area of industrial chemicals and to assist with the integration
recommendations into the controls applying to chemical usage.
is also a key consultative point of contact on reform programs
such as the LRCC and the review of the Existing Chemicals
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Administrative Appeals Tribunal
The Act specifies those decisions of the
Director that may be taken before
the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) for review. Appealable
include decisions on confidentiality, company registration and
of assessment reports.
No applications were made to the AAT during 2003-04 (as in
and compared to four in 2001-02). The total number of appeals
Director's decisions since the introduction of the Scheme in
1990 is seven,
with five withdrawn and two found in favour of NICNAS.
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Management of Human Resources
At 30 June 2004, NICNAS employed 36 full-time equivalent
The staffing profile for NICNAS is shown in Appendix 03.
In addition 3.6 FTE assessment staff were funded by NICNAS as
part of the
fee-for-service arrangements for environmental risk assessment
Training and development activities for NICNAS staff in
2003-04 are reported
in Appendix 03. A total of 215 days of formal training
(approximately 6 days
for each person compared to 3.65 in 2002-03) was undertaken in
including orientation and induction training for new staff.
in awareness of APS values continued for all new staff and was
offered to all
existing staff. New staff also received compulsory customer
Two staff members undertook post-graduate study under APS
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Occupational Health and Safety
During 2003-04, two OHS inspections were undertaken at the
office. The inspections indicated there were no major health or
within the premises.
Balmain Rehabilitation Services presented a seminar
ĎErgonomics and Safe
Work Practicesí to all staff on 9 December 2003 and during
carried out OHS assessment of workstations of all new staff and
who requested one. Ergonomic requirements identified for
members were all promptly addressed.
Significant among the recommendations was the requirement of
monitor stands and document holders to match the upgraded
All staff members were provided with new monitor stands and
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Accident Incident Reports for year 2003-04
Two of the accidents occurred on the way to work.
In October 2003, Eileen Tso was awarded the TGA OHS
Achievement Award for recognition of her efforts to ensure a
safe working environment for all staff and visitors at the
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NICNASís contribution to the outcome of safe chemical use is
by the accessibility of assessment reports and other information
the community, industry and other regulatory agencies. To ensure
access, assessment reports, guidance documents and other
resources are available free-of-charge directly from NICNAS and
the website. Information is specifically targeted to the varied
needs of the
end users. For example, the Safety Info Sheets produced by
specifically designed for display in the workplace.
NICNAS routinely liaises with industry applicants, employer
representatives and the public through the assessment process
public consultation is undertaken on changes affecting the
The public can also nominate existing chemicals to NICNAS for
for review. Any member of industry or the community can also
the Directorís decisions under the Act through the AAT process.
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NICNAS operates on a full cost recovery basis. Cost recovery
in two ways: company registration charges and fees, and fees and
administrative charges for new chemical assessments. Company
monies fund the assessment of existing chemicals, client
education activities, 50 per cent of the costs of compliance
the administration of company registration itself. The remaining
50 per cent
of compliance activities is funded by an appropriation from the
Under administrative arrangements, NICNAS's financial
are provided through TGA/DoHA. These are purchased through
level agreements. These administrative arrangements include the
of fraud control measures, disability and purchasing strategies,
management of human resources. This year saw the implementation
of a new fee structure which represented the first increase in
Fees were negotiated with IGCC based on NICNAS's activity based
Total funds cost recovered from industry in 2003-04 were
At 30 June 2004, NICNAS retained $2,410,402 in cash at bank from
recoveries, including assessment fees received in advance, which
available to cover employee leave provisions and other
liabilities. Table 2
provides a summary of NICNAS's financial performance (accrual)
year. Auditing of NICNASís financial performance is undertaken
of the TGA-wide auditing process and is included in the
performance reporting in the DoHA Annual Report 2003-04.
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At 30 June 2004, there were 781 companies
listed in the Register of
Industrial Chemical Introducers. This is a 3.3 per cent increase
companies from 2002-03.
Some 539 (69 per cent) of these companies
were registered at the lower
registration level with introduction values greater than
$500,000 but lower
than $5,000,000, and 243 (31 per cent) companies were registered
upper registration level with introduction values greater than
Figure 2 shows the number of registrants by level over the six
company registration system has been operating.
The total number of introducers registered with NICNAS has
to increase each year, confirming the robustness of our
program. Upper level registration has plateaued over the last
Lower level registration increased in 2003-04 by 4.7 per cent
3.6 per cent increase in 2002-03. Results of the NICNAS audit
2003-04 are detailed in the Compliance section of this report,
to be on a steady rate of increase.
The distribution of
industry sectors among the 781 registrants is shown
in Figure 3.
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Industry Compliance with Company
Industry compliance with the renewal deadline (31 August)
marginally from previous years. Figure 4 shows industryís
pattern in relation to renewals over the past five years.
Industryís compliance rate with the renewal date has been
However, there was a higher level of timely renewal responses
for the 2003-
04 year. This higher response level is attributed to the
legislative 15 per cent late renewal penalty for company
registration in 2003-
04, and an aggressive industry awareness raising campaign by
The late renewal penalty provision led to a 46 per cent
increase in industry
compliance with renewal for 2003-04 compared with the previous
resulting in some 73 per cent of companies being registered on
Disappointingly, some 27 per cent of companies still failed to
on time. Further, even though initial renewal of registration
approximately 40 per cent higher than the past average on time
rate, approximately 9 per cent of companies had still failed to
by one month after the renewal date.
Late renewal penalties raised $61,906 from 143 companies
These were a combination of upper and lower levels. Late
imposed on 34 upper level registrants (equivalent to $39,948)
and 109 lower
level registrants ($21,958).
Regular debtors follow-up, and compliance action up to 30
June 2004, led
to only three companies with renewals still pending. Although
not been finalised by the end of the year, two of these
in the process of paying as at 30 June 2004 and the third
recovery has been put into the hands of the Australian
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Consultancies Commissions and Discretionary
Consultancies commissioned by NICNAS in 2003-04 are listed in
04. NICNAS did not make any discretionary grants for 2003-04.
Advertising and Market Research
Media advertising organisations used by NICNAS in 2003-04 are
in Appendix 05.
Freedom of Information
NICNAS received no FOI requests in 2003-04.
Ecologically Sustainable Development and
NICNAS operates its chemical risk assessment activities to be
with the Governmentís policy parameters of ecologically
development (ESD) as outlined in section 3A of the Environment
and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. NICNAS ensures that ESD
is applied consistently in the assessment of environmental risk
chemicals through the co-operative partnership arrangements with
who apply scientific principles and related ESD policy in
environmental risk assessment activities. Details of how the
and practices of ESD are applied to NICNAS risk assessment
are found in Appendix 06.