Our department

The department provides policy advice on service delivery matters to government to ensure effective, innovative and efficient implementation of government service delivery.

Role and functions

It is subject to the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act). The department has one outcome and delivers a range of government and other payments and services to almost every Australian including:

  • Centrelink payments and services for retirees, the unemployed, families, carers, parents, students, people with disabilities, Indigenous Australians, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, people living overseas and provision of services at times of major change, including disaster recovery payments
  • Aged care payments to services funded under the Aged Care Act 1997 including residential care, home care and flexible care services
  • Medicare services and payments that support the health of Australians such as Medicare, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, eHealth, Private Health Insurance Rebate, the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register, the National Bowel Cancer Screening Register and the Australian Organ Donor Register
  • Child Support services for separated parents to provide the financial and emotional support necessary for their children’s wellbeing

The department also delivers other services including the Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme and Early Release of Superannuation, as well as whole of government services such as myGov.

A new Administrative Arrangements Order was made on 9 July 2015 reflecting changed responsibilities of the department following the creation of the Digital Transformation Office. The order specifies the responsibilities of the department, including the design, development, delivery, co-ordination and monitoring of government services, social security, child support, students, families, aged care and health programmes and superannuation release.

Outcome and programme structure

Figure 1: Outcome and programme structure 2014–15

Figure 1: Outcome and programme structure 2014–15

Organisational structure

Figure 2: Organisational structure at 30 June 2015

Executive responsibilities at 30 June 2015


Responsible for supporting the Minister for Human Services in the delivery of portfolio responsibilities and the development of strategic policy advice. The Secretary provides strategic oversight, leadership and management of the department, ensuring the collaborative implementation and delivery of government policy and programmes and fostering a whole-of-government approach to service delivery. The Secretary is also responsible for managing key stakeholder relationships and contributing to the stewardship of the Australian Public Service.

Programme Executive Director, Welfare Payments Infrastructure Transformation Programme

Responsible for leading the department’s welfare payments transformation agenda, including the design and development of a new welfare payments information and communications technology (ICT) system. The Programme Executive Director is also accountable for the department’s contribution to the government’s eGovernment agenda, including delivery of a range of digital initiatives, as well as supporting the development of projects internally and externally. The Programme Executive Director is also responsible for the department’s Portfolio Management Office.

Deputy Secretary, Service Delivery Operations

Responsible for the effective operation of the department’s face-to-face service centres and phone and processing smart centres delivering Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support services. The Deputy Secretary is also responsible for coordinating the department’s response to emergencies, and for developing and delivering the department’s Indigenous and multicultural servicing strategies. The Secretary has appointed the current Deputy Secretary as the Chief Executive Centrelink, under paragraph 7(2)(b) of the Human Services (Centrelink) Act 1997.

Deputy Secretary, Participation, Aged Care, Service Strategy and Integrity

Responsible for providing leadership and management of a range of income support and aged care programmes delivered by the department on behalf of the Department of Social Services, the Department of Employment and other agencies. The income support programmes include Newstart, Disability and Carer payments and Youth Allowance. The Deputy Secretary is also responsible for the administration of the department’s social welfare fraud and compliance programmes.

Deputy Secretary, Families, Older Australians and Service Information

Responsible for ensuring the delivery of effective and efficient welfare-related payment programmes, such as age pension, child care benefits, rural and multicultural, child support, and family payments. The Deputy Secretary is also accountable for development of policy advice and analysis to enhance the department’s current and future service delivery activities.  

Deputy Secretary, Enabling Services

Responsible for leading the human resources, corporate, communication, legal and whole-of-government coordination functions of the department.

Deputy Secretary, Health, Compliance and Information

Responsible for providing leadership and management of health-related programmes, including health compliance administered on behalf of the Department of Health and other agencies. The Deputy Secretary is also responsible for managing the department’s health compliance programmes, welfare appeals and debt programmes, and strategic information management activities. The Secretary has appointed the current Deputy Secretary as the Chief Executive Medicare, under paragraph 4(2)(b) of the Human Services (Medicare) Act 1973.

Chief Information Officer

Responsible for development and delivery of the department’s ICT capability.

Chief Financial Officer

Responsible for providing leadership and management of the department’s financial functions, in accordance with the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013.

General Manager, Audit

Provides independent, objective assurance to the Secretary by bringing a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluating and improving the effectiveness of the department’s financial and operational controls, risk management and governance processes.

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Page last updated: 21 November 2016

This information was printed Saturday 19 August 2017 from humanservices.gov.au/corporate/annual-reports/annual-report-2014-15/part-1/our-department It may not include all of the relevant information on this topic. Please consider any relevant site notices at humanservices.gov.au/siteinformation when using this material.