The department’s purpose statement shown below is included in our 2015-16 Corporate Plan which is available at humanservices.gov.au
The department is the Australian Government’s focal point for delivering social and health-related services and payments to the Australian community.
We are responsible for the design, development, delivery, coordination and monitoring of government services, social security, child support, students, families, aged care, and health programmes and superannuation release.
Through the delivery of health and welfare payments and services, we touch the lives of around 99% of Australians. We develop innovative approaches to improve service delivery in close collaboration with the community and our partner agencies.
As part of this work, the department also provides support to Australians with changing circumstances, facing financial hardship or suffering from natural disasters.
A new purpose statement was developed for 2016-17 as a result of guidance under the Public Management Reform Agenda, as follows:
The department is responsible for the design, development, delivery, co-ordination and monitoring of government services, social security, child support, students, families, aged care, health programs and superannuation release to the community on behalf of the Australian Government.
The purpose is also published in the department’s 2016-17 Portfolio Budget Statements.
Role and functions
The department provides advice on service delivery matters to government to ensure effective, innovative and efficient implementation of government service delivery. It 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, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and people living overseas as well as providing 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, the 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. The Administrative Arrangements Order made on 30 September 2015 transferred responsibility for Medicare Provider compliance to the Department of Health.
The department is subject to the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act).
Outcome and programme structure
The department has one outcome and three programmes.
Figure 1: Outcome and programme structure 2015-16
Figure 2: Organisational structure at 30 June 2016
Executive responsibilities at 30 June 2016
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.
Deputy Secretary, Payments Reform
Responsible for leading the department’s welfare payments transformation agenda, including the design and implementation of a business model for welfare payments and the development of a new ICT system.
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 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 and Integrity
Responsible for providing leadership and management of a range of welfare-related and aged care programmes delivered by the department on behalf of the Department of Social Services, the Department of Employment, the Department of Health, and other agencies. The Deputy Secretary is also responsible for the administration of the department’s fraud and compliance programmes which aim to maintain the integrity of outlays in relation to social welfare and Medicare public claims.
Deputy Secretary, Families, Older Australians and Payment Services
Responsible for providing leadership and management of welfare-related programmes delivered by the department on behalf of the Department of Social Services, the Department of Education and Training and other agencies. The Deputy Secretary is also responsible for the effective delivery of debt recovery and appeals across welfare programmes.
Deputy Secretary, Enabling Services
Responsible for leading the internal audit, community engagement, legal, whole-of-government coordination and strategic committee functions of the department.
Deputy Secretary, Health and Information
Responsible for the administration and delivery of new and existing programmes for the Department of Health, and other agencies and the provision of strategic information for the department. 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.
Deputy Secretary, Shared Services
Responsible for leading the human resources strategies and services, procurement, property and security, portfolio and project management frameworks, and contract and advisory services of the department. The Deputy Secretary is also responsible for developing shared services capability within the department and to a range of other Australian Government departments.
Chief Information Officer
Responsible for the development and delivery of the department’s information and communications technology capability.