Corporate Plan 2016-2020

Introduction

As the accountable authority of the National Capital Authority (NCA) I have pleasure in presenting the 2016-20 Corporate Plan, as required under paragraph 35(1)(b) of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013. The Plan is prepared in accordance with the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Rule 2014.

The Corporate Plan is our primary strategic planning document which sets out the objectives and strategies we will pursue to achieve our purpose over the next four years. The Plan provides details of the NCA's planned deliverables, performance measures, targets and assessments to be used to evaluate the performance of the agency and its activities.

The NCA's strategic priorities over 2016-20 are to:

  • increase awareness of our role and contribution to the National Capital;
  • make more effective use of leading-edge information and communication technologies;
  • continue to examine productivity gains through inovative and efficient work practices; and
  • continue to be responsive to community and client needs in the services we provide.

Our commitment to fully implementing the Corporate Plan will ensure we move closer to achieving our Vision which is:

To advance the National Capital as a valued and respected place for all Australians by ensuring it is planned, managed and promoted consistent with its enduring national significance.

I commend the Plan to every member of the Australian public to understand how the National Capital Authority continues to make a vital contribution to Canberra as the trustee of our nation's Capital.

Malcolm Snow
Chief Executive
August 2016

About the National Capital Authority

Who we are

The National Capital Authority’s Board (known as the Authority) is established under the Australian Capital Territory (Planning and Land Management) Act 1988 (the PALM Act). The PALM Act prescribes the Authority’s powers and functions and makes the Authority subject to general Ministerial direction. The Minister for Local Government and Territories (the Minister) administers the PALM Act.

The Authority consists of a Chair, a Chief Executive and up to three other members, all of whom are appointed by the Governor-General. The Chief Executive is full-time while the other members serve on a part-time basis. The Chief Executive has the responsibility of an Agency Head under the Public Service Act 1999 and, under the general directions of the Authority, manages the affairs of the National Capital Authority (the NCA).

The current members of the Authority are:

  • Mr. Terry Weber (Chair)
  • Mr. Malcolm Snow (Chief Executive)
  • Mr. Glenn Keys AM
  • Ms. Christine Faulks

There is one vacant position.

Our beginnings

Through the Australian Capital Territory (Self-Government) Act 1988 the Australian Parliament established limited self-government for the ACT.

The introduction of self-government created a situation where the Commonwealth and Territory shared responsibility for the further planning and development of the Territory. The Commonwealth was responsible for Canberra’s role and functioning as the National Capital and (subject to that Self-Government Act) the Territory assumed responsibilities comparable to those of the States for local municipal services.

The National Capital Planning Authority (NCPA) was established under the PALM Act, through which the Commonwealth retained responsibility for planning and development related to Canberra’s role as the National Capital. In 1996 the name of the NCPA was changed to the National Capital Authority.

The PALM Act requires a National Capital Plan to be prepared and administered by the NCA to ensure that Canberra and the Territory are planned and developed in accordance with their national significance. The National Capital Plan is submitted to the Minister for approval and is subject to Parliamentary scrutiny.

The PALM Act also requires the ACT Legislative Assembly to establish a Territory planning authority to prepare and administer a Territory Plan to provide the residents of Canberra with an attractive, safe and efficient environment in which to live, work and recreate.

The National Capital Plan prevails over the Territory Plan, but the two plans are intended to be complementary.

Because the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900 provided for the Seat of Government to be within ‘territory’ vested in the Commonwealth, all of the land in the ACT is owned by the Commonwealth. The status of the land in the ACT, whether it be ‘National Land’ or ‘Territory Land’, does not determine planning responsibilities – that is done by the PALM Act, the National Capital Plan and the Territory Plan.

What we do

The NCA performs a special role as trustee of the National Capital and, in this capacity, serves the interests of the Australian Government, the nation and its people. Our agency is responsible for shaping the National Capital into the future, as well as caring for the nationally significant parts of Canberra and educating and informing all Australians about our National Capital.

The functions of the NCA, as set out in section 6 of the PALM Act, are:

  • to prepare and administer a National Capital Plan;
  • to keep the National Capital Plan under constant review and to propose amendments to it when necessary;
  • on behalf of the Commonwealth, to commission works to be carried out in Designated Areas in accordance with the National Capital Plan where neither a Department of State of the Commonwealth nor any Commonwealth authority has the responsibility to commission those works;
  • to recommend to the Minister the carrying out of works that the NCA considers desirable to maintain or enhance the character of the National Capital;
  • to foster an awareness of Canberra as the National Capital;
  • with the Minister’s approval, to perform planning services for any person or body, whether within Australia or overseas; and
  • with the Minister's approval, on behalf of the Commonwealth, to manage National Land designated in writing by the Minister as land required for the special purposes of Canberra as the National Capital.

These functions set the necessary administrative framework to:

  • support the planning, design and development of the nationally significant parts of Canberra;
  • develop and conduct programs that inform and educate all Australians of the unique characteristics and importance of Canberra as their National Capital; and
  • manage Commonwealth assets on behalf of the Australian Government.

Recently, the National Land (Road Transport) Ordinance 2014 also established the NCA as the administering authority for enforcement of parking regulations on National Land. The NCA now manages the pay parking arrangements on behalf of the Australian Government, including the enforcement of breaches of parking regulations.

Attractions and assets we manage

The primary physical assets managed by the NCA include the Parliamentary Zone, the diplomatic estate, heritage places, roads, bridges, public open spaces, Scrivener Dam and Lake Burley Griffin. The NCA manages the following attractions:

  • Anzac Parade and its memorials
  • Australians of the Year Walk
  • Blundells Cottage
  • Boundless Canberra
  • Captain Cook Memorial Jet
  • Centenary of the Age Pension Commemoration
  • Commonwealth Place
  • Lindsay Pryor National Arboretum
  • National Rock Garden
  • Magna Carta Place
  • National Capital Exhibition
  • National Carillon
  • Memorials and monuments (135 in total)
  • Old Parliament House Gardens
  • Peace Park
  • Reconciliation Place
  • Reconciliation Place Guided Walks
  • RG Menzies Walk.

How we engage with our stakeholders

The NCA is dedicated to meaningful community engagement and providing opportunity for third party contribution. This is demonstrated by the NCA's Commitment to Community Engagement policy which is published on the NCA's website. The Commitment to Community Engagement:

  • expresses the NCA's resolve to inform and educate the people of Canberra and the nation on the roles and responsibilities of the NCA;
  • provides an action plan for community engagement programs and activities;
  • identifies fit for purpose communication tools to achieve best results; and
  • sets out:
    • formal consultation requirements;
    • the NCA's service charter for planning and development approvals; and
    • feedback and complaint handling procedures.

Our most valuable assets

Our people, who together deliver our purposes, are our most valuable asset.

The NCA continues to improve the readiness of the agency by improving the capabilities of our workforce. A key task in this area is to undertake an annual assessment of our staffing needs and job design across the NCA to ensure that we have the right workforce balance with the right skills in the right places to meet our immediate deliverables and long-term goals.

To enable delivery of our statutory responsibilities and purposes, while providing the support and development an effective workforce needs, the NCA’s objectives are to:

  • ensure that we have the right people, with the right skills, in the right jobs at the right time;
  • create challenging and engaging roles for our people;
  • have all our people focussed on achieving excellence in delivering our purposes;
  • encourage and support strong internal collaboration to operate as a single organisation;
  • have the workforce agility and adaptability necessary to meet any changing priorities;
  • focus on providing outstanding service outcomes to our stakeholders, the public and the Government;
  • have a strong understanding of the agency and how it operates as a government agency;
  • have a motivated, well-informed and participative leadership team; and
  • have appropriate learning and development opportunities available to skill our people.

In the 2016-17 financial year the NCA has prioritised:

  • examining the work functions across the NCA to identify the functions and responsibilities necessary to deliver our statutory responsibilities and purposes;
  • investing the time and resources required to continue to build the skills and capabilities necessary in our people to fulfil the roles we identify as necessary to deliver our statutory responsibilities and purposes; and
  • strengthening our leadership group by driving accountability and enhancing our leadership capabilities
    across all levels of the NCA.

Our approach to information and communications technology

To support our people in achieving the NCA's corporate goals, the NCA provides an effective and efficient information and communications technology (ICT) strategy. The NCA uses its ICT capability to drive better service delivery, improve operations, drive productivity, and to engage with people, the community and business.

The NCA's ICT strategy provides for:

  • the development and implementation of a flexible, reliable, capable base infrastructure that provides value for money solutions including the adoption of cloud based technologies where appropriate;
  • supporting the agency through use of technology to take advantage of the opportunities in the business and to deliver its corporate objectives;
  • providing the people, the community and business with online capabilities through our new website to engage and do business with the agency;
  • communication material to be designed for online communication channels and where appropriate is mobile device enabled; 
  • developing capabilities to improve the level of efficiency in areas such as work flow, collaboration, information management, records management and reporting and analysis; 
  • the use of geo-spatial capabilities to better integrate business functions and stakeholder interactions; and
  • the continuous development of the skills and proficiency levels of our staff.

In 2016-17 financial year the NCA has prioritised:

  • the launch of it’s new website;
  • the negotiation and commencement of a Canberra Attractions online booking system; and
  • the launch of the Works Approval e-Lodgement system.

The challenges we face

The NCA faces the ongoing challenge of delivering increasingly complex activities against a background of increasing expectations of the public and government, an ageing estate, technological change and growing fiscal pressures while maintaining itself as an employer of choice.

The NCA will meet these challenges by building on existing good practice, finding opportunities for innovation and collaboration and further developing the NCA's consistent and evidence-based practices.

The NCA's governance arrangements and business planning processes are designed to overcome these challenges and assist the NCA in achieving our purposes through an established governance framework. This framework is supported by robust business planning and performance monitoring that recognises the NCA's responsibility and accountability as an Australian Government agency.

How we manage our risks

The NCA recognises that risk management is an essential element of effective governance and strategic and business planning that is to be incorporated into all processes to maximise our ability to achieve our purposes.

The NCA has a established a robust Risk Management Framework that provides the foundations and organisational arrangements for designing, implementing, monitoring, reviewing and continually improving risk management throughout the agency.

The Framework establishes and describes the NCA's approach to risk management by:

  • providing a policy statement about the NCA's approach to the management of risk and the associated responsibilities of the Executive, Senior Management and our people;
  • establishing risk management practices that support the NCA's purposes;
  • detailing the benefits of effective risk management for the NCA;
  • improving and progressing a systematic approach to managing risk that is endorsed by the Executive;
  • developing the risk management capability of our people, while concurrently embedding the principles of appropriate adoption and mitigation of risk;
  • improving governance in the delivery of the NCA's statutory functions and responsibilities under the PALM Act, other legislation and government policy; and
  • maintaining stakeholder trust while ensuring due diligence and appropriate levels of external and internal accountability.

The Framework encapsulates the identification, monitoring and treatment of our Strategic Risks, Project Risks and Business Risks as part of the NCA's governance arrangements. Fraud Risks are addressed within the NCA's Fraud Control Plan 2015-17.

Strategic Risks are over-sighted by the NCA's Executive Group and the NCA's Audit Committee. Project Risks and Business Risks are factored into the Annual Business Plans for each Business Unit and are managed by the relevant Business Unit. Where a Project Risk or Business Risk has the potential to significantly impact NCA's operations it is brought to the attention of the NCA's Executive Group and the Audit Committee. Responsibility for the implementation of the controls and actions in the Fraud Control Plan is primarily the responsibility of the Director Compliance and Governance who reports regularly on their status to the Chief Executive and the NCA's Audit Committee.

The NCA's plan for 2016-17 to 2019-20

For the purposes of identifying and reporting against our significant strategic priorities the Corporate Plan has combined the related functions under the Act and our other activities into the following three key strategic areas:

  1. Planning and designing the areas of special national importance in Canberra.
  2. Informing and educating the community about the importance of Canberra as the National Capital.
  3. Management and enhancement of assets on National Land.

Details on our intended results and how we intend to achieve these results, including the measures, targets and assessments are outlined below. These will be used to measure our performance over the next four years and for the purposes of preparing the NCA's annual performance statements against each key strategic area.

1. Planning and designing the areas of special national importance in Canberra

In accordance with its statutory functions and purposes the NCA will be focussing its resources on the following four significant planning activities over the next four years:

  1. The development and implementation of a comprehensive planning framework for the Australian Capital Territory.
  2. Keeping the National Capital Plan under constant review and, when required, proposing, drafting and consulting on amendments to the Plan
  3. The assessment and management of applications to undertake works in Designated Areas to ensure that are in accordance with the Plan.
  4. Providing, with Ministerial approval, consultancy services either within Australia or overseas.

Further details about the intended results and the performance measures for each key activity are set out below.

1.1 Develop and implement a comprehensive planning framework for the Australian Capital Territory

Intended result:

  • The national significance of Canberra is appropriately reflected in the National Capital Plan.

We will have achieved our intended result when:

  • Detailed planning policy within the Plan has been reviewed and amendments prepared to incorporate necessary changes in the Plan.

In 2016-2020 we will achieve this result by:

  • Substantially progressing phase two review of the Plan which includes review of detailed planning and design policy for nationally significant areas of Canberra and the Australian Capital Territory.

1.2 Keep the National Capital Plan and its subordinate instruments under constant review

Intended result:

  • the National Capital Plan reflects contemporary planning practices and meets the needs of the local and broader Australian community and the planning framework guides future development to ensure national capital values are strengthened.

We will have achieved our intended result when:

  • all required Development Control Plans have been prepared and approved by the end of the 2016-17 financial year;
  • two master plans and/or urban design guidelines have been developed by the end of the 2016-17 financial year; and
  • a minimum of two amendments have been prepared for inclusion in the Plan in the 2016-17 financial year.

In 2016-2020 we will achieve this result by:

  • preparing master plans for key development locations;
  • proposing, drafting and consulting on amendments to the Plan in accordance with the strategy for phase two review of the Plan; and
  • undertaking a consultation and review process with key stakeholders. 

1.3 Assess and manage applications to undertake works in Designated Areas in accordance with the National Capital Plan

Intended result:

  • all applications to undertake works (development) in Designated Areas are actioned in an efficient, timely and transparent manner and service fees are commensurate with the Commonwealth’s charges model.

We will have achieved our intended result when:

  • all approved applications are consistent with the principles and policies of the National Capital Plan;
  • stakeholders and the community are consulted in accordance with the Commitment to Community Engagement;
  • 75%-85% of Works Approvals applications processed are assessed against the National Capital Plan within 15 working days. In future years the targets will increase to 85 -90 % of applications assessed within 15 working days;
  • a new electronic lodgement system for applications for works approvals is fully operational by the end of the 2016 calendar year; and
  • the number of applications received via the electronic lodgement system increases annually reaching 90% by the end of 2019-2020.

In 2016-2020 we will achieve this result by:

  • assessing all proposals against the principles and policies of the National Capital Plan;
  • consulting with the community in accordance with the Commitment to Community Engagement;
  • obtaining feedback from applicants about the level and quality of service provided by the NCA in processing applications for works approval;
  • establishing a continuous improvement program based on user feedback; and
  • providing an electronic lodgement system for applications for works approvals by the end of 2016 and commence increasing the functionality of the system to include other forms of applications in 2017-18.

Key activities over this period include:

2016-17

  • Finalising the design and implementation of the electronic lodgement system and seeking user feedback on the system to improve its functionality.

1.4 When requested, and with Ministerial approval, provide consultancy services either within Australia or overseas

Intended result:

  • the NCA increases its contribution to the Australian Government's delivery of its policies and programmes through the provision of quality consultancy services when requested.

We will have achieved our intended result when:

  • clientele receiving consultancy services from the NCA are satisfied with those services, within reasonable expectation.

In 2016-2020 we will achieve this result by:

  • providing relevant consultancy services that are within the scope of the NCA's capability to do so; and
  • maintaining the skills and capability of relevant staff who provide consultancy services.

2. Informing and educating the community about the importance of Canberra as the National Capital

To better inform and educate the community about the importance of Canberra as the National Capital the NCA will be focussing on the following three significant activities over the next four years:

  1. Developing and managing the NCA's visitor services and attractions.
  2. Creating and delivering NCA touring exhibitions nationally with an educative focus.
  3. Continuing to engage and foster a local awareness of the NCA's roles and responsibilities.

Further details about the intended results and the performance measures for each key activity are below.

2.1 Develop and manage the NCA's visitor services and attractions

Intended result:

  • increased awareness of the special importance of Canberra as the National Capital as a result of visitor services and attractions.

We will have achieved our intended result when:

  • achieve a target audience of 160,000 visitors to the NCA’s attractions in 2016-17;
  • increase audience by 4% (166,400) in 2016-17;
  • growth in visitation numbers to the NCA's attractions continues to climb by between 2%-4% annually between 2017 and 2019;
  • the National Capital Exhibition (NCE) is considered for inclusion on the PACER Programme;
  • the NCE has been renewed;
  • exit surveys show a minimum client satisfaction rating of 80%; and
  • new programs and activities are created and taken up by new and emerging audiences.

In 2016-20 we will achieve this result by:

  • undertaking targeted integrated marketing strategies;
  • conducting a benchmarking study and refreshing/redeveloping the NCE;
  • seeking and securing partnerships with Visit CBR and other institutions;
  • collecting statistical data from schools, domestic and international visitors;
  • community consultation, public forums, awareness raising campaigns and outreach programmes; and
  • touring exhibitions will continue to travel nationally to regional areas across Queensland, Northern Territory, Western Australia and Tasmania.

Key activities over this period include:
2016-17

  • Progressing the inclusion of the NCE on the PACER Programme visitation sites.
  • Planning of a new National Capital Exhibition.
  • Phase 2 development of Blundell’s cottage.
  • Enhance awareness of NCA’s attractions.

2017-18

  • Development and exhibition fit-out for a renewed NCE.
  • Marketing the National Capital Exhibition, the Carillon, Blundell’s Cottage and promotion of the education programmes on offer.

2.2 Create and deliver NCA touring exhibitions with an educative focus

Intended results:

  • outreach programs and exhibitions successfully staged in public venues nationally.
  • increased community awareness of the NCA and its role, responsibilities and attractions.

We will have achieved our intended results when:

  • a minimum of four venues host an NCA touring exhibition during 2015-17
  • new exhibitions are designed, created and toured nationally during 2017-19 with:
    • four venues along the East coast to host travelling exhibition in 2017-18
    • four venues along the West coast to host the new exhibition in 2018-19
  • qualitative survey results show that the awareness of Canberra in the locations that host the exhibitions has increased by 10%
  • positive evaluation responses are received from venues based on a qualitative survey provided by the NCA
  • the current exhibitions that are travelling nationally are evaluated annually
  • programs are annually reviewed against visitor evaluations and adjusted accordingly.

In 2015-19 we will achieve this result by:

  • identifying and securing city and regional exhibition venues across Australia
  • reviewing and refreshing touring exhibitions
  • evaluating the current exhibitions that are travelling nationally and adapting, modifying and adjusting the programs based on visitor evaluation.

Key activities over this period include:

  • 2015-16 - Continue to travel existing travelling exhibitions Nationally, Create and design a new touring exhibition that educates Australians on the importance of Canberra as the nations capital.
  • 2016-17 - Evaluate and report findings of the existing touring exhibition program, Implement a new touring exhibition.
  • 2017-18 - Travel the new exhibition to Australia's East coast.
  • 2018-19 - Travel the new exhibition to Australia's West coast.

2.3 Continue to engage and foster a local awareness of the NCAs roles and responsibilities

Intended result:

  • increased local participation in activities, including forums, community consultation and event activation.

We will have achieved our intended result when:

  • the awareness of the Commonwealth’s roles and responsibilities increases annually in parallel with the National Perception Survey;
  • positive community feedback is received and recorded relevant to the NCA’s promotional activities; and
  • attendance at consultation and feedback sessions is consistent with the International Association for Public Participation spectrum.

In 2016-20 we will achieve this result by:

  • continued community engagement, public information sessions and well attended awareness raising campaigns;
  • increased recognition of Canberra and the attractions within the National Capital Estate;
  • consultation and feedback sessions scheduled for planning and development initiatives;
  • continued advice to the public of the activities that the NCA is undertaking though our Commitment to Community engagement; and
  • identifying new ways to reach out to key stakeholder groups, e.g. social media and drop-in community consultation sessions.

3. Management and Enhancement of National Land

To facilitate the proper management and enhancement of National Land the NCA will be focussing on the following three significant activities over the next four years:

  1. Maintenance and renewal of existing assets.
  2. Creation of new assets and improvement of existing assets.
  3. Managing and promoting the use of its land and property assets.

3.1 Maintenance and renewal of existing assets

Intended result:

  • National Land and assets are designed and presented in a condition commensurate with their National significance.

We will have achieved our intended result when:

  • an Asset Management System (AMS) to inform the Asset Management Plans (AMP) and appropriate levels of service has been finalised and implemented;
  • all assets rated as a safety risk are assessed and actioned according to their risk profile; and
  • all assets rated as a safety risk ‘critical’ are actioned within 6 months of the rating being applied.

In 2016-20 we will achieve this result by:

  • prioritising the delivery of works in accordance with the AMS and completing asset condition assessments;
  • working with managing contractors to achieve key performance indicators for response times and appropriate levels of service;
  • introducing consistent reporting into the AMS by the NCA and its managing contractors; and
  • integrating assets with the NCA’s financial management systems.

Key activities over this period include:
2016-17

  • Implementation and administration of the AMS.
  • Developing Standard Operating Procedures for asset management.
  • Coordination of managing contractors’ compliance with AMS levels of service and maintenance requirements.

3.2 Creation of new assets and improvement of existing assets

Intended result:

  • improvement of National Land and assets enhances the significance of the capital.

We will have achieved our intended result when:

  • a Capital Works Plan (CWP) for the next five years is developed; and
  • capital projects are delivered in accordance with the CWP.

In 2016-20 we will achieve this result by:

  • planning, designing and constructing capital projects in accordance with the CWP; and
  • annually reviewing the CWP to reflect budget appropriations and changing priorities.

Key activities over this period include:
2016-17

  • The continued development of a five year CWP.
  • Continued delivery of scheduled projects in accordance with the CWP.

3.3 Managing and promoting the use of National Land and property assets.

Intended results:

  • the provision of attractive and functional public space and amenity that is accessible to Canberrans and visitors;
  • Lake Burley Griffin (LBG) and Scrivener Dam set the benchmark for best practice for lake and dam management;
  • the management of the diplomatic estate is consistent with Commonwealth requirements; and
  • the facilitation of recreational and commercial activities on National Land and LBG.

We will have achieved our intended results when:

  • a safe and functional environment for public use and events is provided;
  • visitors to national institutions have access to safe, convenient and accessible car parks;
  • the NCA is compliant with the Australian National Committee on Large Dams Incorporated Guidelines and the Dam Safety Management Plan (DSMP);
  • timely and accurate responses are provided to the diplomatic community and stakeholders; and
  • recreational and commercial activities are regularly and safely conducted on National Land and LBG.

In 2016-20 we will achieve these results by:

  • establishing service levels and maintenance requirements for the National Capital Estate, built assets and infrastructure in maintenance and capital works contracts;
  • scheduling and administering events and activities held on National Land in accordance with the NCA Events Policy;
  • continuing to administer and enforce the pay parking scheme in accordance with the Ordinance;
  • safe dam operations in accordance with the DSMP: and
  • retaining the LBG water level within 150 mm above normal lake level (555.93m ASL) for a minimum 350 days per year.

Key activities over this period include:
2016-17

  • Manage all events in accordance with the NCA Events policy and NCA Event Organiser’s Safe Event Guide.
  • Review the NCA Events Policy.
  • Regularly undertake and report on water quality testing of the physical, chemical and biological systems for Lake Burley Griffin.
Attachments:
Download this file (NCA Corporate Plan 2016-20.PDF)NCA Corporate Plan 2016-203589 kB