The Director, NICNAS 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 Industrial Chemicals (Notification and Assessment) Act 1989 (the Act). NICNAS has regulatory and service delivery functions. NICNASís regulatory activity is outlined in Appendix 03.
The Act is supported by corporate documents that facilitate transparent, sustainable and open delivery of the regulation of industrial chemicals:
∑ Cost recovery arrangements and performance measures are detailed in the DoHA PBS and also in the NICNAS Operational Plan 2006-07, NICNAS Service Charter 2006-07 and the NICNAS Community Engagement Charter 2006-07.†
∑ Mandatory performance standards such as assessment timeframes, public reporting of prescribed information and annual reporting requirements are stipulated in the Act; reporting against the requirements under the Act and operational plan is undertaken quarterly.† Performance reports are detailed in the Operational Performance. Compliance with mandatory reporting requirements under the Act is detailed in Appendix 17.†
∑ The financial framework for NICNAS governance is established in the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (the FMA Act). Integrity in financial reporting is through internal audit arrangements including fraud control by DoHA. NICNASís performance against governance policies and practices are also reported in the DoHA Annual Report 2006-07.
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. One formal complaint was received by NICNAS on its operations in 2006-07 as compared to no formal complaints in 2005-06, two complaints each in 2004-05 and 2003-04, one in 2002-03, seven in 2001-02 and two in 2000-01. Details of the Service Charter are detailed in Regulatory advice, communication and services.
The NICNAS Community Engagement Charter developed in consultation with the NICNAS CEF outlines NICNASís community engagement principles and engagement protocol. The principles and practices in the Charter were applied to all NICNAS activities in 2006-07.
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 the confidentially provisions under the Act.†