IP Australia Corporate Plan 2017 - 2021

Last updated: 
30 August 2017

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IP Australia
Corporate Plan 2017-2021

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Accountable Authority introduction

As Director General and Accountable Authority for IP Australia, I am pleased to present our 2017-18 Corporate Plan, which covers the period 2017-21, as required under paragraph 35(1) of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013. The Plan outlines the action we will take over the next four years to deliver on our vision of creating a world leading intellectual property (IP) system building prosperity for Australia.

The effective and efficient administration of IP rights and professional registration of IP attorneys continues to be our core business. Our work in 2017-18 focusses on improving our performance against the two key priorities of quality and productivity. We will embed changes from the recent review of our quality system and we will re-examine our performance setting and incentivisation arrangements for examiners.

As we enter 2017-18, IP Australia is at the start of a period of legislative change, likely to extend over the next couple of years. In its recent response to the Productivity Commission’s inquiry into Australia’s IP arrangements, the Government has agreed to some significant IP changes, designed to ensure a more effective and balanced system.

2017-18 marks the start of a two-phase legislative program, beginning with a Bill encapsulating the more straightforward changes and accompanied by broad consultation on tranche two changes. Our commitment to close consultation with our stakeholders on policy matters is demonstrated by our commitment to publish our Policy Register, which will set out policy issues under consideration and invite input. We seek to place effective consultation at the centre of our ongoing agenda of regulatory and legislative reform.

In early 2018, pending appropriate Government approvals, we will begin a major refit of our Woden headquarters to create a more flexible and effective working environment for our staff with improved amenity. Completion of this project will take two years and will facilitate more agile and innovative approaches to our work. In support of our physical refit we have also launched our ICT 2020 Strategy designed to fix, modernise and transform our ICT systems to maximise business effectiveness. In addition our Data Strategy continues to drive improvements to the value, quality and usefulness of our data holdings.

We continue to be active on the international front promoting international harmonisation of IP arrangements and contributing to Australia’s trade facilitation agenda. Collaboration continues to be a cornerstone of our work, alongside our commitment to benchmark our performance and practices against other comparable IP offices.

In the year ahead we will also be able to deliver specific reforms in the following areas: a revised Code of Conduct for the attorney profession to support the new Trans-Tasman regulatory regime; continued improvements to our digital offerings; roll out of Trade Mark Assist to help trade mark self-filers; better embracing improved risk management and advanced technology in relation to our processing; and ongoing improvements to our data management and value-added services for customers.

As we move forward we will continue to consider our strategic future as an organisation, ensuring our choices move us towards achieving a world leading IP system which contributes to Australia’s prosperity.


Patricia Kelly
Director General
IP Australia

Purpose

IP Australia is the entity responsible for administering Australia’s IP rights system, specifically Patents,

Trade Marks, Designs and Plant Breeder’s Rights. Our vision is to create a world leading IP system building prosperity for Australia.

Our purposes, as outlined in the 2017 18 Portfolio Budget Statement (PBS) are to:

  • Deliver improved IP rights administration and professional registration
  • Increase awareness of the IP system
  • Shape the IP system domestically and internationally to serve Australian innovation and business.

To support our business and the delivery of effective and efficient IP rights administration, we are committed to building the capability of our people and providing value for money across our corporate and enabling services.

Our purposes enable us to provide an effective legal framework for innovators to protect their ideas. This creates a secure environment for investment in innovation, enables firms to build brand value and business knowledge, and encourages the disclosure of inventions and the transfer of knowledge and technology.

Our Corporate Plan draws a clear alignment between our purposes and the work we do by focussing on three strategic objectives:

  • Operational Excellence – high performing core business and internal operations
  • Service Excellence – high performing externally facing services that support our core business
  • Value Add - Our expertise is leveraged to deliver value to the Australian IP system and broader economy.

Operating environment

IP rights have become increasingly important in a globalised world where intangible assets make up the majority of the value of companies. Greater global demand for products and services has increased the need for businesses and inventors to seek protection in multiple countries. It is critical that the IP system in Australia adapts to this changing landscape to serve Australian innovation and business both at home and abroad.

In 2016-17, IP Australia engaged CSIRO’s Data61 to assist us in considering possible future operating environments. Future forecasting and environmental scanning revealed a number of emerging risks, trends and opportunities for our agency. This work will contribute to our future planning. It will help our agency make strategic choices towards achieving our vision and objectives.

Globalisation drives high demand for IP rights

Globalisation has dramatically expanded the scope of the business marketplace. Businesses are now increasingly likely to file for IP protection outside of their country of origin and register an IP right with multiple IP offices.

The increasing value of knowledge and service outputs has contributed to global increases in the demand for IP rights. The value generated by knowledge and services industries has grown rapidly, along with the proportion of market value that is attributable to intangible assets.

In response to this environment IP Australia seeks to facilitate trade and engagement opportunities for Australian firms, and pursue strategies that contribute to a more consistent global operating environment. We will leverage the cultural advantages we have as an organisation, including a multilingual workforce from over 75 different countries, to build and strengthen relationships in the international arena.

Increased focus on IP presents challenges and opportunities

Developed as a system of industrial protection and incentives for businesses, intellectual property in the 21st century has become pervasive.

This places increased scrutiny on the IP system and its efficacy in supporting trade, innovation, research and development. Concerns around the balance between users and creators and the relative utility of the system for small businesses versus large corporations, pose challenges and opportunities for IP Australia.

These include working closely with our stakeholders to achieve a balanced and effective system, capturing opportunities to provide services that add value to the system, and identifying and responding to gaps where there is a clear and unmet need or deficiency.

To encourage innovation, IP Australia will focus on strengthening the education and information products available to our customers, especially start-ups and small and medium enterprises and potential IP right holders. Our customer resources will be online, easily accessible and support increased user engagement.

Digital technologies present new options

Rapid developments in device connectivity, computing power, artificial intelligence and data capacity have fuelled growth in digital technologies, with implications for IP functions and processes. Digital technologies are providing options to assist in the more efficient administration, examination, monitoring and enforcement of IP rights.

The way we interact with each other has also increasingly moved online. Digital service platforms are more important than ever, and provide a powerful platform for us to interact with our customers.

IP Australia is pursuing the opportunities presented by these developments, as they rapidly transform business and policy environments with the potential for both positive and disruptive change. We will better utilise smart analytics and data to innovate and find efficiencies in how we conduct our work, and we will leverage our knowledge and expertise to add value to the IP system.

An agenda for legislative reform

The recently released Government response to the Productivity Commission’s (PC) Inquiry into Australia’s IP Arrangements sets an agenda for legislative reform over the coming years. A key priority will be ensuring our customers and stakeholders are closely consulted on the implementation of the agreed reforms.

Strategic objectives – 2017-2021

Operational Excellence – high performing core business and internal operations

In line with our Cost Recovery Implementation Statement (CRIS), IP Australia has two significant areas of focus.

In Patents, we are transitioning to a balance between the examination work on hand and our workforce capacity (steady state with no backlogs). We will work to reach and maintain steady state over the next 12-18 months. We will continue to look for efficiencies in the way we work, better utilise the technical expertise of our workforce where it adds most value, and actively invest in smart tools to support examination.

In Trade Marks, our focus will remain on being able to meet demand in line with our Customer Service Charter commitments, noting the continued increase in demand for trade mark examination.

Given the above, we need to ensure our planning and modelling for demand is reliable and fit for purpose. This contributes to our continued focus on running a cost-effective organisation, operating within the guidelines of our CRIS. We plan to revisit our fees in three years’ time.

Service Excellence – high performing customer services that support our core business

As part of the Government’s vision for customer-centric services, we will continue to explore options that promote user accessibility of our services.

Increasing incorporation and consolidation of attorney firms, has contributed to increased demand for business-to-business (B2B) services. We will focus on modernising our ICT platforms and environments to better support customers.

We will seek feedback from our customers to ensure our services and education and awareness campaigns are effective, efficient and accessible.

Value Add – our expertise is leveraged to deliver value to the Australian IP system and broader economy

IP Australia seeks to use its unique access to IP data and knowledge and expertise to add value in a range of ways.

As part of our ongoing commitment to collaboration and transparency, we will launch a publicly available policy register as a basis for consultation with stakeholders. This is an important step in ensuring our policies and advice to Government continue to reflect the needs of the broader community.

Our policy team will focus on effective implementation of the Government’s response to the PC inquiry.

IP protection is vital to the success of Australian brands and innovation in overseas markets. Our IP counsellor to China plays a critical role in linking Australia to one of the fastest growing markets for IP, and helping to protect the IP of Australian businesses operating in China.

IP Australia will provide advice and support in the development of bilateral and plurilateral trade agreements that encompass IP. We will continue to deliver and expand services to promote collaboration between researchers and business and to support alternative dispute resolution especially for small and medium enterprises. We will also pursue new opportunities to expand our service offerings.

There can be considerable expense and risk involved with enforcement of IP rights and these costs can be a major barrier to small and medium enterprises seeking to defend their rights. We will explore Trade Mark defence insurance products that aim to reduce the risk and cost associated with IP enforcement matters.

We will progress our Data Matters Strategy, ensuring that the right data is available to those who need it – anywhere and anytime. Our Office of the Chief Economist will continue to undertake research and analysis to underpin evidence-based policy and operations, and provide analysis to support our customers.

The lens we operate through

In delivering our forward agenda we will consider the impact of our activities in three key areas:

  • Stakeholders
  • Core business
  • Workforce

Our strategies and approach over the life of the 2017-18 Corporate Plan are outlined in the following performance monitoring section.

Strategic objectives and performance monitoring

Vision: Creating a world leading IP System Building Prosperity for Australia

Operational Excellence
High performing core business and internal operations

Stakeholders
  • Increase customer satisfaction with the quality and timeliness of IP rights
  • Provide effective and efficient trans-Tasman attorney registration
Core Business
  • Maximise the efficiency and effectiveness of business and business support areas to improve our core business capabilities
  • Improve IP Australia's approach to the management and governance of data and information
  • Deliver well integrated systems and anywhere anytime access in alignment with our ICT Strategy
  • Develop and utilise robust financial models to support sustainable business operation
Workforce
  • Improve flexible working opportunities available to IP Australia staff
  • Modernise our accommodation to support flexible and agile working modes and innovative business models

Service Excellence
High performing externally facing services that support our core business

Stakeholders
  • Improve public awareness of the IP system through tailored education products
  • Improve user accessibility and satisfaction with IP Australia products and services
  • Improve customer intelligence measures to drive and inform business direction
Core Business
  • Fix, modernise and transform our ICT systems to maximise business effectiveness
Workforce
  • Build the customer service capability and knowledge of our staff

Value Add
Our expertise is leveraged to deliver value to the Australian IP system and broader economy

Stakeholders
  • Improve support for customers in navigating the international IP system
  • Foster relationships and build capability in the Asian region
  • Deliver value added services which support our customers in the areas of enforcement, commercialisation and analytics
Core Business
  • Contribute to and implement the Government's policy agenda flowing from the Productivity Commission Review into registered IP rights
  • Collaborate internationally with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and other IP Offices to support a harmonised and streamlined global IP system
  • Increase value and quality of our data holdings
Workforce
  • Improve the data literacy and analysis capability of our staff
  • Encourage and facilitate innovation by our staff

Operational Excellence

Outcome: The delivery of improved IP rights administration and professional registration is our core function. IP Australia must operate as an effective and efficient business which issues valid IP rights and Professional Registration for our customers. Progress can be seen in:

  • Continuous improvement in quality across our IP Rights Administration and Professional registration services and adherence to service commitments
  • A strong, sustainable and cost effective business model
  • Staff satisfaction with supporting and enabling services, and the way we work together across the agency.

Strategies

Stakeholders
  • Increase customer satisfaction with the quality and timeliness of IP rights
  • Provide effective and efficient trans-Tasman attorney registration
Core Business
  • Maximise the efficiency and effectiveness of business and business support areas to improve our core business capabilities
  • Improve IP Australia's approach to the management and governance of data and information
  • Deliver well integrated systems and anywhere anytime access in alignment with our ICT Strategy
  • Develop and utilise robust financial models to support sustainable business operation
Workforce
  • Improve flexible working opportunities available to IP Australia staff
  • Modernise our accommodation to support flexible and agile working modes and innovative business models

Performance criteria

Stakeholders
  • Customer Service Charter (CSC) and legislative commitments
  • Acceptable Quality Levels for IP rights search and examination
  • Overall customer satisfaction with IP Australia as an agency
Core Business
  • ISO 9001 quality certification in relevant business areas
  • Compliance with Digital Continuity 2020
  • Internal systems availability
  • Financial targets in Portfolio Budget Statements (PBS) are met
Workforce
  • Staff satisfaction with flexible working opportunities available
  • Accommodation improves staff amenities, satisfies government requirements and enhances business outcomes

Annual targets

Stakeholders

2017-21:

  • Meet or exceed all CSC and legislative commitments
  • Meet or exceed all AQL commitments
  • 85% overall customer satisfaction with IP Australia as an agency maintained
Core Business

2017-18:

  • Compliant with Digital Continuity 2020
  • Current ISO certification extended to ICT areas
  • 99.5% internal systems availability during business hours
  • PBS estimates met

2018-21:

  • Compliant with Digital Continuity 2020
  • Maintain ISO certification in relevant business areas
  • Internal systems availability during business hours meets business needs
  • PBS estimates met
Workforce

2017-18:

  • 85% of staff satisfied with flexible working opportunities
  • Commence refurbishment pending government approvals

2018-21:

  • Maintain and improve on 2017-18 results for flexible working opportunities
  • Conclude refurbishment in line with agreed schedule

Service Excellence

Outcome: IP Australia must engage effectively with customers and stakeholders, domestically and internationally. We must provide appropriate advice and systems to support effective engagement. Progress can be seen in:

  • Improved public education and awareness of the IP rights system and the support our organisation provides.
  • Better tools to support user-engagement
  • High customer satisfaction with our externally facing services (e-services, payment pathways etc)
  • Adherence to service commitments relating to external support services.

Strategies

Stakeholders
  • Improve public awareness of the IP system through tailored education products
  • Improve self-service capabilities of IP Australia products and services
  • Improve customer intelligence measures to drive and inform business direction
Core business
  • Fix, modernise and transform our ICT systems to maximise business effectiveness
Workforce
  • Build the customer service capability and knowledge of our staff

Performance criteria

Stakeholders
  • Satisfaction with public education, awareness and information products
  • Customer satisfaction with the quality of tools to support self-service
  • Customer Service Charter (CSC) commitments for external support services
  • Usability of customer intelligence information
Core business
  • External information system compliance with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)
  • Customer satisfaction with the reliability of externally facing ICT systems
Workforce
  • Customer satisfaction with our staff

Annual targets

Stakeholders

2017-21:

  • 80% of stakeholders accessing our public education, awareness and information products are satisfied
  • 80% of customers are satisfied with the quality of tools to support self-service
  • Meet or exceed all CSC commitments for external support services
  • Customer intelligence contributes to annual business reform

2018-21:

  • Maintain or improve satisfaction with public education, awareness and information products
  • Maintain or improve customer satisfaction with the quality of tools to support self-service
  • Meet or exceed all CSC commitments for external support services
  • Customer intelligence contributes to annual business reform
Core business

2017-18:

  • Compliant with WCAG
  • 80% of customers are satisfied with the reliability of externally facing ICT systems

2018-21:

  • Compliant with WCAG
  • Maintain or improve customers and stakeholder satisfaction with externally facing ICT systems
Workforce

2017-21:

  • 85%+ of customers are satisfied with our staff

Value Add

Outcome: IP Australia must make effective use of its skills and knowledge to deliver value to the Australian community, at home and abroad. Our role is to shape the IP system domestically and internationally to serve Australian innovation and business. Progress can be seen in:

  • Provision of high quality advice to government
  • Strong domestic and international partnerships
  • High customer satisfaction with services designed to facilitate the use of IP
  • Maximising access and use of our data

Strategies

Stakeholders
  • Improve support for customers in navigating the international IP system
  • Foster relationships and build capability in the Asian region
  • Deliver value added services which support our customers in the areas of enforcement, commercialisation and analytics
Core business
  • Contribute to and implement the Government's policy agenda flowing from the Productivity Commission Review into registered IP rights
  • Collaborate internationally with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and other IP Offices to support a harmonised and streamlined global IP system
  • Increase value and quality of our data holdings
Workforce
  • Improve the data literacy and analysis capability of our staff
  • Encourage and facilitate innovation by our staff

Performance criteria

Stakeholders
  • Utility of value added services to customers
Core business
  • Advice is sound, timely and evidence based
  • Constructive engagement with WIPO and bilateral agreements
  • Compliance with PM&C Open Data Policy
  • Effective management and use of data holdings
Workforce
  • IP Australia data literacy results from the State of the Service
  • IP Australia innovation results from the State of the Service

Annual targets

Stakeholders

2017-21:

  • Develop a methodology for assessing utility with value added services, and benchmark result

2018-21:

  • Maintain utility of with value added services and use feedback to improve future service offerings
Core business

2017-21:

  • Advice provided is in line with the Government requirements
  • Contribute to international policy work program
  • Compliant with PM&C Open Data Policy
Workforce

2017-21:

  • IP Australia's results for data literacy are in line with comparable APS agencies
  • IP Australia's results for innovation are in line with comparable APS agencies

Performance framework

Regulator

The regulator performance framework aims to reduce unnecessary or inefficient regulation imposed on individuals, business and community organisations. This is done through an annual public-service wide assessment against a common set of performance indicators, and requirement for regulators to action opportunities for improvement arising from this process. This self-assessment is a measure of IP Australia's regulatory performance.

Measuring a common set of performance indicators allows organisations to benchmark their performance against other regulators, share lessons learnt and work together to reduce the overall regulatory burden on Australian individuals and businesses.

IP Australia's measures of success against these indicators have been selected to ensure:

  • high quality services are provided in a timely way
  • communication is clear, meaningful and timely
  • compliance standards are transparent
  • ongoing stakeholder engagement to improve the way we work.

The full suite of key performance indicators are available under our regulator performance framework.

IP Australia's annual self-assessment is conducted in consultation with our IP Stakeholder Forum in the first quarter after the end of the previous financial year, with results published externally at the end of the second quarter as part of the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science portfolio. The IP Stakeholder Forum provides external oversight of our regulatory performance and provides advice to our Minister.

Environment

IP Australia has made a commitment to sustainable operations and the protection of our environment. We do this through the maintenance of an Environmental Management System (EMS), designed and certified to ISO 14001:2015. IP Australia’s Environmental Policy establishes objectives for environmentally sustainable operations including protecting the environment and preventing pollution. We aim to ensure our operations meet or exceed our environmental compliance obligations and objectives and that we continue to improve our EMS.

Quality

Implementing an internationally recognised best practice approach to our business is an important part of our relationship with our customers. IP Australia is committed to building on our strong reputation for delivering high quality products and we demonstrate this is through the certification of our core activities under the ISO 9001 standard for quality. Our Quality Management System also helps us to identify and address process and practice improvements to our business in a systematic way to continue building the overall capability and efficiency of our people and organisation.

Determine the required workforce profile and capacity needed to meet our Customer Service Charter requirements

Production forecast

Each year IP Australia forecasts the expected demand for our services across a four forward year period (production forecast) based on historical application trends. From here we determine the required workforce profile and capacity needed to meet our Customer Service Charter requirements. This supports planning and management in our workforce modelling; efficiencies in our cost recovery framework; and transparency in our internal and external reporting.

The table below outlines the expected demand and supply of examination and registration services over four forward years.

Deliverables 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21
Revised Budget Predicted units Forward year 1 Forward year 2 Forward year 3
Receipt of applications
Patents 30,599 30,688 30,823 30,914 31,012
Plant Breeder's Rights (PBR) 350 350 350 350 350
Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) 3,020 2,908 2,901 2,896 2,891
Trade Marks (TM) 132,053 138,152 144,344 149,782 155,441
Designs 7,243 7,421 7,605 7,794 7,949
Professional Standards Board 138 115 115 115 115

Receipt of applications
Patents 28,291 28,640 30,263 27,128 24,833
Plant Breeder's Rights (PBR) 350 350 350 350 350
Trade Marks (TM) 68,545 76,498 80,534 86,909 87,813
Designs 1,273 1,285 1,352 1,341 1,405

Receipt of applications
Professional Standards Board 1,444 1,386 1,386 1,386 1,386

 

Cost recovery

IP Australia's expenses for each IP right are forecast utilising an Activity Based Costing model. This allows for the attribution of costs that are fixed in relation to the production of IP rights work units in each year (including overheads) to be added to the direct costs of examination/registration. IP Australia then forecasts customer demand to estimate the costs for each IP right and the revenues that will be generated through fees. We then assess the cost recovery position of each IP right and determine, normally on a four-yearly cycle of fee reviews, whether any fee changes are necessary to achieve a cost recovery position for the IP rights.

Further information on the breakdown of expenditure associated with each IP right can be found in IP Australia's Cost Recovery Implementation Statement(CRIS).

IP Australia is next scheduled to formally review fees our in 2019-20 for implementation during 2020-21. This timeframe can be changed if necessary although it is not likely at this point in time.

The table below is provided to illustrate a proxy cost per unit for each of IP Australia's five IP rights products for the 2017-18 budget year and three forward years. These costs are calculated by dividing the budgeted operating expense for each of the IP rights products (sourced from the CRIS), with the forecast service delivery total provided from the previous table (for the key products only). IP Australia charges customers via approximately 300 fees contained in IP rights regulations. IP Australia does not map actual costs to each of the separate activities underlying these fees, but rather aggregates costs to the overall IP right level (Patents, TM etc) for the purposes of cost recovery reporting and hence the proxy unit costs reported here.

IP Right Average cost per unit
2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21

  per examination
Patents $4,526 $4,233 $4,700 $5,303

  per examination
Trade Marks $922 $892 $840 $876

  per examination
Designs $3,778 $3,585 $3,654 $3,652

  per examination
Plant Breeder’s Rights $6,113 $6,105 $6,167 $6,387

  per examination
Professional Standards Board $566 $568 $568 $571

IP Australia receives almost all of its revenue from fees set under IP rights legislation in accordance with government's Cost Recovery Guidelines. The life-span of the majority of rights we grant is a minimum 10 years for a Trade Mark, and up to 20 years for a Patent (25 years in some cases). This means that IP Australia balances the fees it charges under legislation with the life-span of the rights, but does not charge the actual cost for transaction processing at the front-end. In addition to this, the non-examination/registration programmes delivered by IP Australia are attributed to the five cost recovery groups listed above, for the purposes of fully attributing costs to services delivered under legislation.

The projected proxy costs for future IP Rights examination/registration effort above reflect the estimated increase in direct and indirect costs over the four years (employees, depreciation reflecting ICT investments) offset by the impact of increasing volumes for Trade Marks and Designs and decreasing volumes in Patents.

What some of our people, who have stayed with us for over 15 years, enjoy most about working at IP Australia

 

Capability

IP Australia is classified as a large operational agency with around 1200 staff. The capability of our workforce is enhanced through diversity, gender equity, and encouraging flexible working opportunities for a modern workforce. We actively promote ongoing development in order to build the capability of our workforce and keep our employees’ skills and knowledge current.

Our workforce is highly qualified and committed. The average employee stays with us for almost 10 years. For employees who have been with us for more than 10 years however, the average tenure jumps to over 17 years, with our longest serving staff member having been employed with us for almost 45 years.

Our workforce is diverse and highly educated. Representing 75 different countries and a multitude of different backgrounds and cultures, our diversity enriches the culture and skills of the agency:

Of the employees not born in Australia, the majority have come from India, with England, China and Sri Lanka other main sources.


40%

of our workforce was born outside of Australia. Compared to the APS average of 22%.

30%

of our people list English as their second language or came from a non-English speaking background. That is more than double the APS average of 14.7%.

55%

of our staff have at least obtained a Bachelors degree, while over a third of staff in our examination areas have their Masters or PhD.

of IP Australia’s employees are currently accessing a flexible working agreement. These arrangements range from working from home on a regular or an ad-hoc basis, to being out posted outside the Canberra office, or accessing part-time arrangements.

55%

of our Senior Executive positions are filled by women. Compared to the APS average of 42%.

44:56

female to male gender ratio, with an ongoing commitment towards gender equity.

Planning and reporting framework

 

Planning and reporting framework

Our Corporate Plan is the entity’s primary planning document, and outlines the high profile strategic initiatives we will progress over the next four years. Core business is reflected in Group Operational Plans, with regular monitoring and reporting on the Plans undertaken as part of our internal governance structure.

Our Customer Service Charter, refreshed in 2016-17, outlines the minimum acceptable quality levels and service timeframes we strive to meet for the IP rights we administer. Internal monthly monitoring against the charter is provided to business groups and external reporting made available each quarter on our website.

Our business and resource planning cycles operate on a financial year basis.

Planning Framework

Strategic workforce plan

IP Australia’s 2015-18 Strategic Workforce Plan provides the platform to enable our workforce to deliver on the outcomes identified in our Corporate and Operational Plans.

The Strategic Workforce Plan outlines four areas of focus that have been designed to ensure IP Australia continues to have a capable, robust and adaptable workforce into the future:

  • attracting and selecting the best people
  • skilling, motivating and retaining quality people
  • transitioning our workforce in response to business innovation
  • enhancing our flexible work environment.

 

Over the next year, IP Australia will focus on:

  • Improving long-term attraction & retention of science, engineering & technology graduates
  • Promoting gender equity in a number of our examination areas
  • Building on the flexible working opportunities available to our staff
  • Tailoring leadership and management programs to develop skilled and effective leaders for the future in both business and business support areas
  • Enabling our staff to identify, develop and manage ongoing changes in their business areas and across the agency
  • Identifying and building skills to support future business need.

The Strategic Workforce Plan will be refreshed in 2017-18 to ensure our capability planning remains appropriate and effective.

"Guide prioritisation of technology initiatives, promote innovation and build new digital capabilities"

ICT Strategy

IP Australia’s ICT 2020 Strategy will guide prioritisation of technology initiatives, and promote innovation and utilisation of new digital capabilities to increase the speed of delivery and to achieve the commitments outlined in our Corporate and Operational Plans.

The ICT Strategy has been developed to serve both external and internal stakeholders by meeting their data, digital and information technology needs. Our strategy incorporates actions that, over the life of our Plan, seek to:

  • Maintain IP Australia as an APS leader in digital customer services and technology enabled innovation
  • Deliver a digital workplace that enables smarter ways of working, increased efficiency and shorter timeframes to value realisation
  • Be an employer of choice through the provision of contemporary, digital technology leveraged careers
  • Maintain a position of influence in global deliberations on WIPO ICT standards and strategy.

The ICT Strategy will be reviewed annually in the light of evolving business needs and technological advancements. Each review will include an environmental scan of emerging business needs, architectural directions, relevant industry innovations and Whole of Australian Government (WoAG) policy directions.

"A strategic approach in the investment, development and delivery of new and improved technology"

Capital investment strategy

IP Australia is committed to applying a strategic approach in the investment, development and delivery of new and improved technology to modernise and transform service delivery for the benefit of staff, customers and external stakeholders.

This approach guides IP Australia’s capital management planning and investment strategies that support the achievement of the organisation's outcome for government.

There are three key areas of focus over the forward years:

  • Refurbishment of Discovery House and our Melbourne Office
  • Rights in One (RIO), and
  • Supporting the ICT strategy to fix, modernise and transform our systems.

We are seeking Government approval to refurbish our main accommodation hub in Woden and accommodation in Melbourne. If approved this will be a multi-year project.

IP Australia will continue to invest in enhancing ICT systems that improve our business processes and system arrangements while enhancing the user experience of our customers.

We will replace the IP rights administrative systems with a case management system (Rights In One, or RIO).

Specific areas of focus over the life of our Plan include:

  • Improvements to our mobility and teleworking solutions;
  • Modernise our applications with Continuous Delivery;
  • Migrate IT Infrastructure to the cloud;
  • Modernise our Integration services; and
  • Rationalisation of our application portfolio.

Risk management and oversight systems

Overview

IP Australia manages risk through detailed processes that emphasise the importance of quality, reputation, staff well-being, and public accountability. IP Australia has developed a framework that enables the organisation to analyse and evaluate risks based on a set of criteria that reflect the organisation’s risk appetite and tolerance to risk. The organisation maintains several risk registers that track, monitor and report on existing and emerging risks. IP Australia has several risk registers at the Group level and several focussed on particular projects and programs as well as our main corporate risk register. This corporate risk register is reviewed by our Executive Board twice yearly and by the Audit Committee quarterly. The Executive Board and the Audit Committee are advised of new risks as they emerge.

"A framework that will ensure risk management is integrated into critical decision making processes in IP Australia"

Risk management framework

IP Australia's risk management framework meets the requirements of the Commonwealth Risk Management Policy and is based on AS/NZS ISO 31000:2009 Risk Management Standard. This requires the development, implementation and continual improvement of a framework that will ensure risk management is integrated into critical decision making processes in IP Australia.

The IP Australia risk management framework has the following key elements:

  • Accountable Authority Instructions – these provide the authority and overall requirements to engage in risk management in IP Australia;
  • A Risk Management Policy – which sets out IP Australia's approach to risk;
  • A Risk Management Plan – for managing and embracing risk. The plan defines the organisation's approach to risk, it's risk tolerance, clarifies how we consider risk in terms of likelihood and consequence, and addresses governance related activities such as capturing, monitoring and reporting of risk in the organisation; and
  • Tools – templates and guides that can be utilised by IP Australia staff when undertaking risk management activities for the organisation.

This framework aims to ensure that:

  • risk management is imbedded into governance and management processes in the organisation;
  • appropriate training, tools and support for staff undertaking risk management is available and current;
  • appropriate structures, resources and accountabilities are in place; and
  • risk is monitored, measured, reported and staff aim to improve risk management in the organisation.

Key accountabilities

The Director General is the Accountable Authority for IP Australia and has overall responsibility for ensuring an appropriate risk management framework is in place, and is ultimately responsible for our performance in managing risk. Implementation of the framework is delegated to the respective General Managers, with the responsibility for the day-to-day management of risk with all staff. IP Australia's Executive Board and the Audit Committee are also responsible for Risk Management oversight.

“Promoting transparency, accountability and integrity as well as encouraging efficient and ethical behaviour in all staff"

Governance structure

The overall legal accountability for IP Australia's performance and compliance with regulatory requirements rests with the Director General under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 and the Public Service Act 1999. IP Australia's governance structure outlines the key decision making and advisory committees established to advise and support the Director General in discharging responsibilities.

These committees promote transparency, accountability and integrity as well as encouraging efficient and ethical behaviour in all staff, and are supported by a centralised governance secretariat.

IP Australia - Governance Structure

IP Australia - Organisation chart