NICNASís Director is accountable to the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health and Ageing for the overall legislative and financial performance of the Scheme.

The operations of the Scheme, including the functions of the Director, are governed by the Act . NICNAS has regulatory and service delivery functions.

The Act is supported by several corporate documents that facilitate transparent, sustainable and open delivery of the regulation of industrial chemicals. NICNASís cost recovery arrangements and performance measures are detailed in DoHA ís PBS and also in the NICNAS Operational Plan 2005-06, NICNAS Service Charter 2005-06 and the NICNAS Community Engagement Charter 2005-06.

The Act stipulates mandatory performance standards such as assessment timeframes, public reporting of prescribed information and annual reporting requirements. Reporting against the requirements under the Act and NICNAS operational plan is undertaken quarterly. Performance for 2005-06 is detailed in the Operational Performance section of this Report. Compliance with mandatory reporting requirements under the Act is detailed in Appendix 02.

The financial framework for the governance of NICNAS is established in the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (the FMA Act). Integrity in financial reporting is through internal audit arrangements via a Service Level Agreement (SLA) with DoHA , reported in Appendix 03 and in the DoHA Annual Report 2005-06. A summary of NICNASís performance against governance policies and practices is reported in Appendix 03 (these data contribute to the DoHA Annual Report 2005-06).

In response to the Review of the Corporate Governance of Statutory Authorities and Office Holders (Uhrig Review) the Government assessed the operations of NICNAS against the Uhrig governance principles and templates in 2005-06. The assessment indicated that NICNASís governance structures were compliant. A formal report on the review is expected to be published next year.

The Secretary of DoHA provides staff to the Director to carry out functions under the Act. The employment framework for NICNAS staff is the Public Service Act 1999. Staff are covered by the DoHA Certified Agreement 2004-07 and the Departmentís governance policies and practices including the Australian Public Service (APS) Values and Code of Conduct, compliance with Australian Government Freedom of Information (FOI), Privacy and Occupational Health and Safety legislation, Australian Government Disability Strategy and workplace diversity policy.

The NICNAS Service Charter outlines NICNASís service standards and complaints handling mechanisms. No formal complaints were received by NICNAS on its operations in 2005-06 (though there were seven letters of complaint about cost imposts of cost recovery policy to the Minister and twelve to the Director in relation to Tier 1 registration compared with a total of 55 such letters in 2004-05). By comparison there were two formal complaints each in 2004-05 and 2003-04, one in 2002-03, seven in 2001-02 and two in 2000-01. Details of performance against the Service Charter are given in the Policy, Services and Communication section of this Report.

NICNASís community engagement principles and engagement protocol are outlined in the NICNAS Community Engagement Charter which was developed in consultation with the NICNAS Community Engagement Forum. The principles and practices outlined in the Charter were found to be consistently applied to all NICNAS activities in 2005-06.

NICNAS internal policies and practices cover the physical security and protection of commercial-in-confidence information it receives from industry in support of chemical notifications. NICNAS staff are bound by confidentially provisions under the Act.

Three non-statutory bodies provide advice to the Director on the operation of the Scheme. These are the NICNAS Industry Government Consultative Committee (IGCC), the NICNAS Community Engagement Forum (CEF) and the NICNAS States and Territories Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Group . Input from these bodies assisted NICNAS in ensuring open and transparent, high quality scientific assessment and customer focussed approaches in meeting all key performance targets in 2005-06.