The Director, NICNAS is accountable for its overall legislative and financial performance to the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health and Ageing.
The operations of NICNAS, including the functions of the Director, are governed by the Industrial Chemicals (Notification and Assessment) Act 1989.
NICNAS has regulatory and service delivery functions. Its regulatory activity is outlined in Appendix 03.
Its Act is supported by corporate documents that assist open and timely delivery of the regulation of industrial chemicals:
" Cost recovery arrangements and performance measures are detailed in the Department of Health and Ageings Portfolio Budget Statement, the NICNAS Operational Plan, the NICNAS Service Charter and in the NICNAS Community Engagement Charter.
" 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 section of this report. Compliance with mandatory reporting requirements under the Act is detailed in Appendix 11.
" The financial framework for NICNAS governance is established in the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997. Integrity in financial reporting is through internal audit arrangements, including fraud control, by the Department of Health and Ageing. NICNASs performance against governance policies and practices are also reported in the Departments Annual Report 2007-08.
NICNAS also contributes each year to the Department of Health and Ageings Regulatory Plan. Details of the current plan are provided in Appendix 03.
The Secretary of the Department provides staff to the NICNAS 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 Departments Certified Agreement 2007-11 and the Departments governance policies and practices, including the Australian Public Service Values and Code of Conduct, compliance with Australian Government Freedom of Information, Privacy and Occupational Health and Safety legislation, the Australian Government Disability Strategy and Workplace Diversity Policy.
The NICNAS Service Charter outlines its service standards and complaints handling mechanisms.
One formal complaint was received by NICNAS on its operations. This compared to one in 2006-07 and none in 2005-06.
The complaint, to the Ombudsman, is detailed under External scrutiny.
The NICNAS Community Engagement Charter, which was developed in consultation with the NICNAS Community Engagement Forum, outlines NICNASs community engagement principles and engagement protocol. The principles and practices in it were applied to all NICNAS activities in 2007-08.
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 confidentiality provisions of the Act.