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Governance at ANSTO

Governance

ANSTO is a highly regulated organisation. Our governance system and processes provide critical guidance to effectively manage ANSTO’s activities. This section outlines the processes and systems that are in place to provide assurance to Government, our stakeholders and the community that we are working within our regulated and mandated requirements.

ANSTO Act

ANSTO is subject to the provisions of various Commonwealth Acts, Regulations made under these various Acts and Commonwealth Awards. The principal Act is the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation Act 1987 (ANSTO Act) which details the organisation's functions, powers, Board, Chief Executive Officer's duties, staffing, finance and other roles and responsibilities. 

The Act (No. 3 of 1987 as amended) and taking into account amendments up to Act No. 46 109 of 20112017, as prepared by the Office of Legislative Drafting and Publishing, Attorney-General's Department, Canberra (19 September 201727 December 2011) and can be found on the Federal Register of Legislation website.

ANSTO Board

The ANSTO Board of Directors is appointed by the government to ensure the proper and efficient performance of the functions of ANSTO.

The Board must consider the current policies of the Commonwealth Government in relation to ANSTO's functions, and to Government directives such as the Minister’s Statement of Expectations, that is issued from time to time.

ANSTO Group executive

ANSTO's vision

To be a global science, research and engineering partner with a reputation for tackling complex problems and delivering outcomes to create a more sustainable world.

ANSTO's purpose

As outlined in the ANSTO Act 1987, the organisations core functions are to:

  • Conduct research and development in relation to nuclear science and technology
  • Produce and use radioisotopes, isotopic techniques and nuclear radiation for medicine, science, industry, commerce and agriculture
  • Encourage and facilitate the application and use of the results from research and development
  • Manage radioactive materials and waste arising from various prescribed activities
  • Provide goods and services related to core activities
  • Provide advice to government and undertake international liaison in nuclear-related matters
  • Make available facilities, equipment and expertise for research in nuclear science and technology
  • Publish scientific and technical reports, periodicals and papers, and provide public information and advice

 ANSTO's core values

  1. Curiosity: Harness our curiosity to explore new opportunities and create an environment where ideas can thrive
  2. Excellence: Consistently delivering high value outcomes and looking for ways to improve the quality of our performance
  3. Leadership: Ownership, accountability and working with integrity to inspire and motivate others
  4. Trust and respect: An inclusive environment that's built on our trust and respect for each other's contributions and capabilities
  5. Working together: Success through collaboration, team work and a sense of collective purpose
  6. Safe, secure and sustainable: Three key principles that underpin everything we do and every decision we make

Strategic priority one - Delivering world-class research and innovation in nuclear science and technology

ANSTO has a proud history of success in fundamental and applied research. ANSTO's unique strength lies in research in interactions and phenomena at the molecular, atomic and sub-atomic scales and relating this to complex physical and biological systems.

ANSTO will focus on its strengths including:

  • Materials Engineering research, with a focus on behaviour of materials in extreme environments for application in next generation energy systems and national security. ANSTO has applied research in support of commercial opportunities in nuclear waste management.
  • Environmental research, with an emphasis on the application of nuclear methods to understand past climate events, the sustainability of groundwater systems and assessing human impacts on environmental systems.
  • ANSTO LifeSciences research and innovation in radionuclide and radiopharmaceutical development and novel imaging techniques to support a broad set of life sciences disciplines. 
  • Neutron scattering research to support developments in diverse fields such as plastics, minerals, engineering, pharmaceuticals, electronics and biology. 

Where appropriate, ANSTO will collaborate and partner with other Australian science and technology organisations to ensure that there is a national approach to researching major themes in key priority areas.

Strategic collaboration will be critical to ensure the optimisation of scarce resources, to maximise the contribution of complementary skill sets and to support work on landmark projects.

We will recognise our success by:

  • Achieving high impact research outcomes from projects including use of accelerator systems in studying radiation and climate phenomena
  • Generating new sources of revenue from successful creation of new ventures and technology transfer
  • The depth and impact of collaborative research outcomes

Strategic priority two - Expand ANSTO's reach and contribution, exploiting landmark technologies

This strategic priority area comprises a number of specific objectives including establishing a national presence, expanding ANSTO’s leadership role in the Australian nuclear science and technology community, re-engaging in a number of areas that are of global scientific significance, strengthening local and global networks and specific communities, and examining involvement in global fusion research programmes and the Large Hadron Collider and its multiplicity of associated programmes.

We will recognise our success by:

  • The scope and impact of our national presence 
  • Development of national networks and communities for cyclotrons, accelerator science, engineering and nuclear engineering education 
  • Serving users of our neutron scattering, isotope and accelerator facilities through AINSE, competitive research programmes, graduate and post-graduate development programmes and research partnerships 
  • Engagement with the global scientific community in key areas of interest

Strategic priority three - 

Serve the nuclear needs of the Government, industry, community and people of Australia

ANSTO performs a number of essential services on behalf of the Australian Government and community. These include the provision of radiopharmaceuticals for medical diagnosis and therapy as well as expanding nuclear knowledge and capability in areas such as nuclear safety, security and safeguards, radioactive waste management and nuclear forensics.

ANSTO also plays a vital role in providing expert and independent advice to the Government, proactively supporting the safe use of nuclear science and technology in our region and internationally. These roles will continue.

ANSTO will work to raise community shortfalls in the international market and industry awareness of the applications, benefits and risks of nuclear science and technology, as well as to increase industry utilisation of nuclear science and technology.

We will recognise our success by:

  • The operational performance of our facilities and equipment, particularly OPAL and the radiopharmaceuticals production facilities 
  • Engagement with the international community, including the IAEA, on nuclear safety, security and non-proliferation 
  • Continued safe handling, management and storage of radioactive waste 
  • Progress in raising Government, community and industry awareness of nuclear science and technology and its benefits
  • Provision of radioisotopes 

Strategic priority four - Drive organisational renewal

ANSTO will sharpen its focus on long-term financial sustainability. This will include the judicious use of government appropriations and the maintenance of appropriate internal controls and governance structures. We will seek to increasingly leverage our research and development activities and grow revenue in areas of competitive advantage such as waste management technologies.

ANSTO will also strengthen engagement with the academic and student communities to ensure that Australia trains a new generation of nuclear science and technology researchers, engineers and technicians, whilst continuing to attract the best scientists from abroad.

We will recognise our success by:

  • Our financial performance, including growth in commercial revenue
  • Investment in our people and partners
  • Predictive and proactive maintenance and development of our facilities and landmark infrastructure
  • The pipeline of future scientists, engineers and leaders developed from internal sources
  • The ability to attract world-class researchers from across the globe

ANSTO Charters

Risk and Audit Committee Charter

The Board of ANSTO has established the Risk & Audit Committee in compliance with section 32 of the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997.  This charter sets out the Committee’s objectives, authority, composition and tenure, roles and responsibilities, reporting and administrative arrangements. 


Objective

The objective of the Committee is to provide independent assurance and assistance to the Board on ANSTO’s risk, control and compliance framework, and its external accountability responsibilities. 


Authority

The Board authorises the Committee, within the scope of its role and responsibilities, to:

  • Obtain any information it needs from any employee and/or external party (subject to their legal obligation to protect information)
  • Discuss any matters with the external auditor, or other external parties (subject to confidentiality considerations)
  • Request the attendance of any employee, including directors, at Committee meetings
  • Obtain external legal or other professional advice, as considered necessary to meet its responsibilities, at ANSTO’s expense

​​​​​​Composition and tenure

The Board is responsible for the appointment of Committee members. The Committee will consist of at least three members drawn from the Board.The Board will appoint a non-executive member as Chair of the Committee and the Chair will rotate every three years.2

Members will be appointed for an initial period not exceeding three years after which they will be eligible for extension or re-appointment, after a formal review of their performance. The Chief Executive Officer, Chief Finance Officer, the Head of Internal Audit or representatives from ANSTO management will not be members of the Committee, but may attend all or part of meetings as observers as invited by the Chair.

The members, taken collectively, will have a broad range of skills and experience in audit and risk management relevant to the operations of ANSTO. At least one member of the Committee should have accounting or related financial management experience with an understanding of accounting and auditing standards in a public sector environment.


Roles and responsibilities

The Committee has no executive powers, unless delegated to it by the Board.

The Committee is directly responsible and accountable to the Board for the exercise of its responsibilities. In carrying out its responsibilities, the Committee must at all times recognise that primary responsibility for management of ANSTO rests with the Chief Executive Officer.

The responsibilities of the Committee may be revised or expanded in consultation with, or as requested by, the Board from time to time.

The Committee’s responsibilitiesare to: 

Risk management

  • Review whether management has in place a current and comprehensive risk management framework, and associated procedures for effective identification and management of ANSTO’s financial and business risks, including fraud
  • Review whether a sound and effective approach has been followed in developing strategic risk management plans for major projects or undertakings
  • Review the impact of ANSTO’s risk management framework on its control environment and insurance arrangements
  • Receive at the close of each financial year, a comprehensive report from the Chief Financial Officer detailing ANSTO’s insurance arrangements, the extent of coverage of specific risk exposures and claims made and pending during the period
  • Review whether a sound and effective approach has been followed in establishing ANSTO’s business continuity planning arrangements, including whether disaster recovery plans have been tested periodically
  • Review ANSTO’s fraud and corruption control plan and public interest disclosure framework and satisfy itself ANSTO has appropriate processes and systems in place to capture and effectively investigate fraud and corruption related information

Control framework 

  • Review whether management’s approach to maintaining an effective internal control framework, including over external parties such as contractors and advisors, is sound and effective4
  • Review whether management has in place relevant policies and procedures, including Chief Executive Instructions or their equivalent, and that these are periodically reviewed and updated prior to their submission to the Board for approval
  • Determine whether the appropriate processes are in place to assess, at least once a year, whether policies and procedures are complied with
  • Review whether appropriate policies and procedures are in place for the management and exercise of delegations and whether there are any major financial transactions outside normal business and/or in excess of authorities
  • Consider how management identifies any required changes to the design or implementation of internal controls
  • Review whether management has taken steps to embed a culture which is committed to ethical and lawful behaviour including regularly reviewing the corporate code of ethics prior to submission to the Board for approval
  • Review whether proper systems are in place for approval of any related party transactions or management of any conflicts of interests concerning employees

External accountability 

  • Review the financial statements and provide advice to the Board (including whether appropriate action has been taken in response to audit recommendations and adjustments), and recommend their signing by the Chair of the Board
  • Satisfy itself that the financial statements are supported by appropriate management signoff on the statements and on the adequacy of the systems of internal controls
  • Review the processes in place designed to ensure that financial information included in ANSTO’s annual report is consistent with the signed financial statements
  • Satisfy itself that ANSTO has appropriate mechanisms in place to review and implement, where appropriate, relevant Parliamentary Committee reports and recommendations
  • Satisfy itself that ANSTO has a performance management framework that is linked to organisational objectives and outcomes5 

Legislative compliance 

  • Determine whether management has appropriately considered legal and compliance risks as part of ANSTO’s risk assessment and management arrangements
  • Receive and consider at the close of each financial year, a report from the ANSTO Legal Counsel, detailing all outstanding significant legal issues for  ANSTO
  • Review the effectiveness of the system for monitoring ANSTO’s compliance with relevant laws, regulations and associated government policies.

Internal audit 

  • Act as a forum for communication between the Board, senior management and internal and external audit6
  • Review the internal audit coverage and annual work plan, ensure the plan is based on ANSTO’s risk management plan, and approve the scope and approach of the plan; advise the Board on the adequacy of internal audit resources to carry out its responsibilities, including completion of the approved internal audit plan
  • Oversee the coordination of audit programs conducted by internal and external audit and other review functions
  • Review all audit reports and provide advice to the Board on significant issues identified in audit reports and action taken on issues raised, including identification and dissemination of good practice
  • Monitor management’s implementation of internal audit recommendations
  • Review the internal audit charter to ensure appropriate organisational structures, authority, access and reporting arrangements are in place
  • Periodically review the performance of internal audit
  • Provide advice to the Board on the appointment or cessation of the Head of internal audit7

External audit

  • Act as a forum for communication between the Board, senior management and internal and external audit
  • Provide input and feedback on the financial statement and performance audit coverage proposed by external audit and provide feedback on the audit services provided
  • Review all external plans and report8 in respect of planned or completed audits and monitor management’s implementation of audit recommendations
  • Provide advice to the Board on action taken on significant issues raised in relevant external audit reports and better practice guides 
     

Responsibilities of members

Members of the Committee are expected to understand and observe the legal requirements of the CAC Act. Members are also expected to:

  • Contribute the time needed to study and understand the papers provided
  • Apply good analytical skills, objectivity and good judgment
  • Express opinions frankly, ask questions that go to the fundamental core of the issue and pursue independent lines of enquiry

Reporting

The Committee will regularly, but at least once a year, report to the Board on its operation and activities during the year. The report should include:

  • A summary of the work the Committee performed to fully discharge its responsibilities during the preceding year
  • A summary of ANSTO’s progress in addressing the findings and recommendations made in internal, external and Parliamentary Committee reports
  • An overall assessment of ANSTO’s risk, control and compliance framework, including details of any significant emerging risks or legislative changes impacting ANSTO
  • Details of meetings, including the number of meetings held during the relevant period, and the number of meetings each member attended

The Committee may, at any time, report to the Board any other matter it deems of sufficient importance to do so. In addition, at any time an individual Committee member may request a meeting with the Chair of the Board.


Administrative arrangements

Meetings

The Committee will meet at least four times per year. A special meeting may be held to review ANSTO’s annual financial statements. The Chair is required to call a meeting if asked to do so by the Board, or another Committee member.

Attendance at meetings and quorums

A quorum will consist of a majority of Committee members. Meetings can be held in person, by telephone or by video conference.

The Head of Internal Audit and external audit representatives will be invited to attend each meeting, unless requested not to do so by the Chair of the Committee. The Committee may also request the Chief Finance Officer or other employees to attend Committee meetings or participate in certain agenda items.

The Committee will meet separately with both the internal and external auditors at least once a year.

The Chair of the Board and/or the Chief Executive Officer may be invited to attend Committee meetings to participate in specific discussions or provide strategic briefings to the Committee.


Secretariat

A Board-appointed person will provide secretariat support to the Committee. The Secretariat will ensure the agenda for each meeting and supporting papers are circulated, after approval from the Chair, at least one week before the meeting, and ensure the minutes of the meetings are prepared and maintained. Minutes must be approved by the Chair and circulated within two weeks of the meeting to each member and Committee observers, as appropriate.


Conflicts of interest

Once a year Risk & Audit Committee members will provide written declarations to the Board stating they do not have any conflicts of interest or related party transactions that would preclude them from being members of the Committee.

Risk & Audit Committee members must declare any conflicts of interest at the start of each meeting or before discussion of the relevant agenda item or topic. Details of any conflicts of interest should be appropriately minuted.

Where members or observers at Risk & Audit Committee meetings are deemed to have a real, or perceived, conflict of interest it may be appropriate that they are excused from Committee deliberations on the issue where a conflict of interest exists.


Induction

New members will receive relevant information and briefings on their appointment to assist them to meet their Committee responsibilities.


Assessment arrangements

The Chair of the Committee, in consultation with the Chair of the Board, will initiate a review of the performance of the Committee at least once every two years. The review will be conducted on a self-assessment basis (unless otherwise determined by the Board) with appropriate input sought from the Board, the Chief Executive Officer, the internal and external auditors, management and any other relevant stakeholders, as determined by the Board.


Review of Charter

At least once a year the Committee will review this charter and the Internal Audit Charter. This review will include consultation with the Board.

Any substantive changes to the charter will be recommended by the Committee and formally approved by the Board.


Chair responsibility

The Chair shall keep the Board informed of the Committee’s activities by providing each Board member with a full set of Risk & Audit Committee papers (in advance) for each Board meeting that directly follows the Risk & Audit Committee meeting, together with a verbal report on those matters specially drawn to the Board’s notice at the Board meeting.

The Chair shall also arrange for prompt circulation to each member of the Board a copy of the approved minutes of the Committee’s meetings.

At least once a year the Chair shall provide a formal report to the Board, to coincide with the submission of the annual financial statements for the approval of the Board.

Approved by the ANSTO Board on 4 August 2011


References

  1. The Board may elect to stagger the rotation of members. If so, the Audit Committee may have a temporary increase in the number of members until the transition process has been completed.
  2. The Board may also wish to appoint a Deputy Chair to act as Chair when the Chair is unavailable to attend meetings.
  3. The Audit Committee’s responsibilities will be affected by whether the entity has established a separate Committee to undertake particular responsibilities, for example a risk or fraud Committee. In such cases it would be appropriate for the Audit Committee to confirm the responsibilities of the other Committees and periodically share current and relevant information between each Committee.
  4. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 requires the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Finance Officers in public companies listed in the United States to provide formal certification as to the effectiveness of the internal control framework over financial reporting. This practice could be adopted by Australian Government public sector Audit Committees in discharging their responsibilities in respect of an entity’s control framework.
  5. It is recognised that in some entities this role is undertaken by the Board.
  6. Section 32 of the CAC Act requires Audit Committees in CAC entities to provide a forum for communication between the directors, and the entity’s senior managers and internal and external auditors.
  7. Amend as appropriate depending on whether internal audit services are in-house, co-sourced or outsourced.
  8. This should include being advised of the implications for the entity of audit recommendations and guidance arising from such things as cross-agency audits and better practice guides.

Service Charter

This Service Charter sets out a statement of what ANSTO does and the standards of product and service you can expect from the organisation.

ANSTO has a commitment to quality as per the requirements for ISO9001. Read more.

Who we are

ANSTO is Australia's national nuclear organisation. Its functions and activities are set down by the ANSTO Act 1987. ANSTO is a statutory authority with its own Board and reports to the Australian Parliament.

What we do

We offer products and services and undertake research and development projects in:

  • The application, manufacture and supply of radiopharmaceuticals
  • Irradiation services including radioactivity and dosimetry standardisation
  • Radiation protection and occupational health and safety
  • Environmental monitoring and dosimetry services
  • The design, construction, installation and testing of equipment and facilities to meet rigorous regulatory standards
  • Risk, reliability and safety management
  • The management of radioactive wastes
  • Environmental management
  • The application of isotopes, neutrons and radioanalytical techniques to understanding environmental and industrial processes and providing solutions
  • Analysis, characterisation and modification of materials by neutrons, ion beams and X-rays, and
  • The processing of minerals and ceramics

Our mission

  • To provide expert scientific and technical advice across the nuclear fuel cycle to government and to support Australia's national strategic and nuclear policy objectives
  • To operate large nuclear science and technology based facilities in Australia and overseas for the benefit of industry and the Australian research and development community, including postgraduate students and staff in higher education
  • To undertake research on specific topics to advance the understanding of nuclear science and the nuclear fuel cycle
  • To apply resulting technologies and other relevant unique capabilities to focused research and development and other scientific activities to increase the competitiveness of Australian industry and improve the quality of life for all Australians

Our core values

  1. Curiosity: Harness our curiosity to explore new opportunities and create an environment where ideas can thrive
  2. Excellence: Consistently delivering high value outcomes and looking for ways to improve the quality of our performance
  3. Leadership: Ownership, accountability and working with integrity to inspire and motivate others
  4. Trust and respect: An inclusive environment that's built on our trust and respect for each other's contributions and capabilities
  5. Working together: Success through collaboration, team work and a sense of collective purpose
  6. Safe, secure and sustainable: Three key principles that underpin everything we do and every decision we make

Our customers

ANSTO's customers come from both Australia and overseas. They include:

  • Companies engaged in manufacturing, mining, mineral processing, environmental management, the health sector, petrochemical, energy and other technology based industries, and emerging high technology companies
  • Government and international organisations
  • Academia and research organisations

ANSTO works with its customers in a number of ways. These include:

  • Supplying products and services
  • Undertaking research and development for and in partnership with government, industry and other research organisations
  • Licensing our intellectual property for use elsewhere
  • Providing consultancies
  • Sponsored research
  • Joint business activities

Our customer service standards

We will:

  • Treat all customers fairly, impartially and courteously
  • Respond promptly to our customers requests
  • Understand our customers business needs
  • Provide fair and easily understood business arrangements that include mutual understanding and identification of each party's obligations
  • Ensure our proposals, quality of service, reports and products are of a high standard
  • Ensure the consistency and timeliness of service delivery with contractual terms
  • Provide appropriate follow up advice and support
  • Maintain appropriate confidentiality
  • Comply with relevant health, safety and environmental regulations and guidelines
  • Listen to our customers when they suggest ways to improve our services and give serious consideration to all suggestions

If you phone, we will:

  • answer your call promptly during normal office hours
  • tell you the name of the person and area you have contacted
  • transfer or refer you to an appropriate person if we are unable to assist you at first instance
  • take your contact details and tell you when you can expect to receive a response, if we are not able to answer your query immediately

If you submit an enquiry, we will:

  • Acknowledge receipt of your request within two working days
  • Reply within 10 working days or, if your business inquiry is more complex and requires more time, inform you of our progress in answering it

If you write, we will:

  • Reply within 10 working days or, if more time is required, inform you of the progress of your business inquiry
  • Provide contact names and phone numbers in all correspondence

ANSTO is a body corporate. Decisions on programs and activities within the organisation rest with the organisation.


How to get information

ANSTO seeks to assist the community in being well informed on our objectives and activities by providing up-to-date information in a wide variety of forms, including an Internet website.

To this end, we will provide reasonable information on our organisation, funding and activities free of charge to the community. We will also provide leaflets, booklets or other publications, where they are available, free of charge.

Information held by ANSTO and relevant to its functions as described under the ANSTO Act will be provided to the public within 20 working days, and will be in plain English. A request for such information must be as specific as possible and, unless of a straight-forward nature, in writing.

Public enquiries on an urgent issue will receive an immediate response from ANSTO. However, where the request would involve the use of substantial resources or produce an extensive workload, we will:

  • Provide the inquirer with an estimate of the resources or workload involved, identifying all subject headings relating to the request
  • Negotiate a more specific request, a fee for the provision of the information, and a time-frame for delivery

ANSTO is not able to make available:

  • Information that is confidential from a personal, business, legal, government or national security perspective, or is incomplete or in draft reports
  • Documents containing information which would come within the exemptions specified in the Freedom of Information Act 1982 or documents which could clearly endanger safety

ANSTO reserves the right to publicly disclose any request for information and any information provided pursuant to this Service Charter.


Monitoring and review

We welcome your feedback on our performance so we can improve our standards of service. If you have a compliment or suggestion, we will ensure that the relevant staff receive recognition or ideas for consideration.

If you are not satisfied with our services or have any concerns about them, please discuss this with the person you dealt with or their supervisor, and he or she will try to resolve your concerns.

If you are dissatisfied at any time with our handling of your complaint, or you feel that your complaint has still not been dealt with satisfactorily using ANSTO's internal mechanism, you may contact an office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman. The Commonwealth Ombudsman has offices in each State and Territory except Tasmania.

Complaints can be made:

  • In person at any of these offices
  • By telephoning 1300 362 072
  • By writing to: The Commonwealth Ombudsman, GPO Box 442, Canberra, ACT 2601
  • Via the internet on the Commonwealth Ombudsman's home page

Checking our performance

We will:

  • Monitor and evaluate our performance against the standards we have set in this Charter
  • Report on our performance in the ANSTO Annual Report
  • Make improvements on the basis of the monitoring process

Statement of Expectations

The Minister for Industry, Science and Technology provided this Statement of Expectations to ANSTO on 13 February 2020.

Statement of Expectations

MS19-001483

The Hon Dr Annabelle Bennett AC SC
Chairperson
Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation Board
ANSTO
Locked Bag 2001
KIRRAWEE DC  NSW  2232

Dear Dr Bennett

I am writing to outline my expectations of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO).

As you know, the Australian Government places high importance on science and innovation as drivers of our economy, employment, social wellbeing and positive environmental outcomes. It is therefore essential that ANSTO continues to play a role in advancing the Government’s broader economic agenda by fostering a strong science and research base, innovation and links to businesses and enterprises.

I am confident ANSTO, as Australia’s nuclear science and technology agency, will continue its core mission to drive the application of nuclear science and research, and address national challenges, with benefits for all Australians.

I expect ANSTO to fulfil its purpose in a way that will achieve its vision to be a global science, research and engineering partner with a reputation for tackling complex problems and delivering outcomes to create a more sustainable world.

I expect ANSTO to use its nuclear facilities, infrastructure and capabilities to contribute to the economic, health and environmental wellbeing and security of Australians.

Resolving national challenges

ANSTO plays an important role in Australia’s science, technology and health systems. The ultimate goal of our contributions into these systems is to improve the way we live and to solve problems through translatable world-leading research.

I expect ANSTO to continue to deliver world-class research and nuclear science services as Australia’s national home of nuclear expertise and nuclear science facilities. I expect ANSTO to conduct a broad spectrum of nuclear-related research and development, and possess an expert understanding of global nuclear research, developments and emerging issues and opportunities.

I expect ANSTO to continue to assist the Government in protecting the national interest through the provision of specialised nuclear advice to Government, to Australian businesses with nuclear interests to ensure their global competitiveness and to act as a means of liaison between Australia and other countries on nuclear issues.

Advancing the Government’s policy priorities

The Government has a range of policy priorities that relate to science. I expect that ANSTO will continue to make an important contribution to government initiatives under the 2017 Science Statement; the 2016 National Research Infrastructure Roadmap; and the 2015 National Innovation and Science Agenda.

As the Government’s priorities develop, I consider it important that our own science and research efforts are brought to bear on these key challenges. As such, I expect you to work with the department on how the science and research capabilities of ANSTO can be harnessed in support of the emerging policy priorities of Government.

Supporting the health of Australians with nuclear medicines

I also expect ANSTO to maximise its capacity to provide specialised services and products, including providing nuclear medicine to the Australian community, as a priority, and to the global community.

  • In the manufacturing and supply of nuclear medicines, I expect ANSTO to undertake this function efficiently, effectively and in line with best practice, ensuring an appropriate level of innovation and improvement towards future sustainability and service provision.
  • As part of ANSTO’s financial sustainability, I expect ANSTO to continue to work with the Government towards ensuring that, in the supply of nuclear medicines, the full costs of their production and transportation and of the management of the resulting radioactive waste are reflected.

Working collaboratively to advance Australian industry

In advancing the Government's agenda, I expect ANSTO to collaborate with industry, universities and other publicly funded research agencies to achieve common objectives and solve real-world problems.

In particular, ANSTO should use national and international collaboration to increase the nation's ability to translate research into outcomes. I also expect ANSTO to engage with the Chief Scientist of Australia.

I also expect ANSTO to encourage engagement between researchers and business, including by facilitating mobility between ANSTO and other research organisations and industry. I expect ANSTO to encourage its researchers to engage with businesses to commercialise their discoveries and support the realisation of commercial outcomes for industry. I also expect ANSTO to engage with those industries where ANSTO’s capabilities and intellectual property can help those industries to become more globally competitive.

Managing research infrastructure and national facilities

ANSTO hosts Australian world-class research infrastructure that supports our leading-edge science and innovation. I am pleased to see that ANSTO is encouraging a wide range of users, including researchers and businesses to access and benefit from these facilities, and is committed to ensuring their sustainable and effective use.

The Government wants to ensure that Australia’s public science and research infrastructure is aligned with our broader economic strategy and is supporting innovation in the wider Australian economy. To meet this goal, I want to ensure that Australia maintains or increases utilisation rates of major science infrastructure.

Please continue to facilitate the use of major research infrastructure by Australian and international researchers, and encourage industry access to the usage and development of relevant facilities. You should leverage collaboration with research institutions, universities and businesses to maximise the benefits that such infrastructure can provide. ANSTO should also continue to work with my department to develop and use metrics to measure the success of this objective.

Embracing the digital economy

The digital economy is transforming how we do business and undertake our science and research. We know that Australia’s ongoing economic success will depend on our ability to harness technological advances to improve existing businesses, create new products and improve daily life. I encourage ANSTO to continue to use its digital capabilities and new technologies to benefit research outcomes. 

I expect ANSTO to ensure that it complies with the Australian Cyber Security Centre Top Four Cyber Security Mitigation Strategies and to have sound general ICT controls. I also expect that ANSTO will continue to build a culture of awareness regarding the importance of security to the organisation’s mission, and maintain resilience and response capabilities to cyber-attacks.

Promoting STEM equity

My department recently released the Advancing Women in STEM Strategy and supported the development of the Women in STEM Decadal Plan, led by the Australian Academy of Science. I congratulate ANSTO on becoming one of the inaugural champions of the plan. I encourage ANSTO to continue to work closely with my department, the Women in STEM Ambassador and other key stakeholders across the STEM sector to drive cultural and social change. I expect ANSTO to build on its Science in Australia Gender Equity accreditation to provide an equitable workplace for all employees.

Driving your organisation’s performance

Legislative requirements

I acknowledge the functions of ANSTO as set out in the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation Act 1987 (the ANSTO Act).

I expect ANSTO to be an exemplar of the Government's commitment to the effective governance and performance of its agencies, governed by the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (the PGPA Act).

In accordance with the PGPA Act, I expect ANSTO to develop an annual report and corporate plan and to provide these to me, as the responsible portfolio Minister, and to the Minister for Finance. In developing the annual report and corporate plan, I expect ANSTO to consult with me and my department, and to take into account the priorities and policies of the Government, especially as articulated in this Statement of Expectation.

ANSTO should keep developing and using metrics that measure meaningful success as well as identify what could be improved upon. The targets, highlighted in ANSTO’s Corporate Plan, need to ensure that each measure can be clearly traced back to the objectives established, and serve as milestones for gauging progress.

Sustainable operations and governance

I expect ANSTO to have a strategic and disciplined focus on the delivery of core responsibilities, consolidating past achievements, and driving enhancements to safety performance, financial management and the delivery of essential projects that support current legislative functions. I recognise that organisational change is a process that can take time to achieve, and in this context expect that ANSTO will be proactive in driving change.

This will require ANSTO to ensure that it has effective internal and external reporting arrangements, robust and proportional controls for managing risk, clear accountabilities and well understood delegations. Putting in place and monitoring the implementation of rigorous asset and capital management plans, including committing to a strategic plan for nuclear decommissioning, will be important areas for the Board’s nearer-term considerations, contributing to the longer-term certainty and stability of ANSTO. I also expect that ANSTO will continue to discharge its statutory responsibilities in a diligent manner and meet, and where prudent, exceed the standards required for public entities in relation to the management of its finances and other resources.

I expect the establishment of arrangements for the regular, independent evaluation of the Board. This is to ensure that Board performance continues to improve, and that members are assured that their contributions are delivering intended results.

Agency staff and health

I expect ANSTO to continue being a collaborator, partner and employer of choice by providing a workplace environment, culture and opportunities that will attract and retain the very best talent. I also expect ANSTO to continue to promote a safe and positive working environment, including through responding to its health and safety obligations under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

It is critical that ANSTO maintain the highest of safety standards across the organisation, and that the Board maintain safety as a fundamental priority for the leadership of the organisation.

I expect and trust that ANSTO has effective arrangements in place to ensure that its activities minimise potential risks to ANSTO itself, its staff, the community and the environment, and to comply with relevant legislative and regulatory obligations. 

Communication of ANSTO’s science and research

I expect that ANSTO will continue to raise community awareness of its activities and communicate its research and technical knowledge and health, industry and environmental outcomes.

Working with my department and office

I look forward to ANSTO working closely with my department. Aside from regular meetings between you and me, I ask that you keep me informed of significant issues relating to the work health and culture of the organisation. Your timely and accurate advice to my department and office is essential in allowing me to communicate ANSTO’s important work.

To this end, I expect that ANSTO will discuss ministerial briefings and correspondence with the relevant areas of my office and my department, and provide copies in parallel. Further, I expect ANSTO to provide prior notice, to my office and my department, of significant announcements and events that are likely to attract media attention.

I look forward to continuing to work with you on these important areas that will advance nuclear science and its benefits in Australia, and to receiving your response outlining how the Board proposes to deliver on these priorities.

Yours sincerely

Karen Andrews

13/02/2020