3.9 Corporate performance

The NBA successfully implemented a number of internal improvement projects designed to improve our stakeholder engagement and overall capabilities, risk management and effective use of ICT. We regularly monitor our performance against internal goals set in our 2007–08 Operational Plan. This includes our performance related to JBC and Board support and broader government compliance and policy expectations in the areas of customer service and ecologically sustainable development. Performance outcomes in these areas are detailed in this section.

2007–08 Operational Plan performance

Of the 64 elements in the 2007–08 Operational Plan, 54 were completed on time, and a further eight have, or will be, completed with a minor time delay.

In 2007–08, the NBA further refined its monthly performance reporting to include an overarching scorecard, which is considered by executive management monthly and quarterly and by the Board at each meeting.

2008–09 Operational Plan

In January 2008, the NBA commenced its operational planning for 2008–09. Prior to the annual executive planning workshop, held in April 2008, each of the teams within the NBA developed business plans to detail their work priorities and key projects for 2008–09. At the executive planning workshop, these work plans were considered and strategies for enhancing stakeholder engagement discussed. The priorities articulated in the 2008–09 Operational Plan align with the overarching objectives of the 2006–09 Corporate Plan. The NBA Board endorsed the 2008–09 Operational Plan in April 2008.

Stakeholder strategy

To ensure effective engagement with stakeholders and the clinical community, the NBA started work in 2007–08 to formalise our approach to stakeholder engagement. The strategy acknowledges that we have a range of objectives for engaging with stakeholders, including:

Emerging from the effective engagement with key sector partners to date, this strategy provides employees with an overview of the NBA’s existing relations and provides a framework for engaging with new stakeholders as they are identified. The range of stakeholders that the NBA engages with encompasses both the blood sector specific and broader health areas. In particular the NBA seeks to align blood reform with the broader health reforms, through effective relationships with agencies such as the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care. The strategy is designed to ensure careful consideration and consistent discipline in our assessment and relationship with each and every stakeholder. Importantly, the strategy acknowledges that the contribution of each stakeholder may differ depending on the activity underway. The strategy provides an appropriate set of tools that staff can use to document and assess these requirements.

The stakeholder engagement plan will be reviewed annually as part of our operational planning and risk assessment processes and will form part of NBA’s KBPs.

Capability strategy

During 2008–09, the NBA took time to consolidate a detailed consideration of the capabilities they require to deliver on their responsibilities at a consistently high standard. Following advice and input from the Board, a detailed staff survey assessed views on those activities that would achieve the maximum impact on our capabilities. A number of activities were designed and are now in various stages of implementation to build capabilities in each of these areas.

For example, in the area of maximising the knowledge available to the NBA, we have:

Activities designed to further build our capabilities are also undertaken in the areas of:

Risk management

The National Blood Authority has a strong commitment to risk management, demonstrated through the inclusion of risk management concepts and activities in our daily operations. Over the past year this has included:

Participation in the 2008 Comcover Risk Management Benchmarking Survey resulted in the NBA gaining the same overall benchmarking score as in 2007, with an overall score of 6.7 out of a possible 10. This score puts the NBA at the level of ‘Comprehensive’ indicating a high level of competency in implementing an enterprise wide risk management framework.

A key element of our risk management is our business continuity planning and in November 2007, the NBA received a Highly Commended award in the 2007 Comcover Awards for Excellence in Risk Management for the implementation of the NBA’s Business Continuity Plan.

Jurisdictional Blood Committee and Board secretariat

Under the terms of the National Blood Authority Act 2003 , the NBA is required to provide secretariat services for the JBC and the NBA Board. During 2007–08, the JBC held four face-to-face meetings and one teleconference while the NBA Board met on four occasions. Secretariat support included preparing papers, coordinating meetings, monitoring and updating progress against agreed work plans and providing liaison between the NBA and members of these committees.

Key performance indicators set by the NBA relate to the quality and timeliness of support provided to the JBC. Table 3.11 shows progress in achieving these indicators.

Table 3.11 NBA Performance indicators for JBC support, 2007–08

Meeting % of papers prepared by the NBA provided to JBC (seven days prior to the meeting) % of recommendations in NBA papers agreed by the JBC
30 August 2007 100 98
29 November 2007 95 93
21 and 22 February 2008 95 89
17 April 2008 100 100
16 May 2008 100 97


Comcover Award for Risk Management

The NBA has a strong culture of risk management incorporated into the everyday activities of the organisation. Reflecting this, the NBA has developed a business continuity plan (BCP) to ensure critical services can be delivered in the face of a natural disaster.

Photo: NBA Offices damaged by hail stormJust one week before the NBA was scheduled to undertake a desktop exercise to test the recently finalised BCP, the NBA’s premises were destroyed by flooding from a severe hailstorm.

At 3:00 am on Wednesday 28 February 2007, the NBA activated its BCP. Two and a half days later, the NBA had relocated to alternate premises, information technology systems were up and running and successful negotiations for a contingent supply of plasma-derived factor VIII had been concluded. The response to the emergency demonstrated the NBA’s organisational efficiency and ability to continue functioning effectively during an emergency.

As a result of the BCP implementation, the NBA received a highly commended award in the Comcover 2007 Awards for Excellence in the risk initiative category. This category considers demonstrated excellence in risk management as it relates to a specific agency program or project.

Successful implementation of the BCP has provided short and long term benefits. In the short term, immediate business obligations were met with the suite of normal business functions operational within 14 business hours, during which time staff and stakeholders were kept well informed.

In the longer term, the NBA’s evident approach to risk management has increased our credibility amongst key stakeholders in blood sector wide and broader health sector contingency planning. The agency’s internal culture has also been strengthened, reflected by greater levels of trust and respect amongst staff and willingness to adopt a team approach to resolving key business issues.

Information communication technology

The NBA’s Information Communication Technology Refresh was completed in 2007–08. This has enabled the NBA to assess future priorities for information management and develop a detailed plan for maximising the application of this technology.

The NBA launched its new website in February 2008. This user-friendly site is designed to be a tool for clinicians, stakeholders and the general public. It contains links to a range of guidelines either put forward by the NBA or in relation to appropriate blood use. It also provides information on the role, objectives and projects undertaken by the NBA.

Customer service charter

The NBA is committed to providing a professional, high quality and efficient service to clients, stakeholders and the general public in accordance with the Public Service Act 1999. Our roles and responsibilities in dealing with external clients, and their rights in dealing with us, are articulated in the NBA’s Customer Service Charter, which was developed in early 2007.

During the year, the NBA received 29 feedback responses. Of these, 100% were positive responses. The feedback received was wide ranging and included strong support for the IVIg Criteria to applauding innovative supply arrangements. The NBA addressed any issues in line with the Charter’s requirements.

The Customer Service Charter is available on the NBA website (http://www.nba.gov.au).


The NBA produced a range of publications in 2007–08. The most notable were the:

Ecologically sustainable development

Furthering its commitment to ecologically sustainable development during the year, the NBA committed to minimising its carbon footprint created from fleet vehicles and interstate and international travel by having signed up to GreenFleet’s carbon offsetting program. Half of the NBA fleet vehicles are powered by liquid petroleum gas and fuel efficiency has been a key consideration when replacing fleet vehicles.

The NBA has also sought to hold teleconference meetings in preference to face-to-face meetings when feasible. This reduces the amount of travel undertaken by interstate parties, further helping to minimise the carbon footprint of the NBA’s operations.

Within the NBA premises, the installation of movement sensors and changing all lights to be on timers minimises electricity consumption outside business hours. The NBA is also currently trialling energy efficient light fittings in certain areas of its office.

Recycling is another area in which the NBA has sought to improve its performance. A recycling contract has been extended to ensure the continued provision of recycling services for office paper, cardboard, aluminium, plastic containers, printer consumables, telecommunication handsets and batteries. The NBA now purchases 100% recycled A4 paper for all office printing.

Continuous improvement framework

Through the regular internal monthly consideration of performance improvement strategies, the NBA instigated a range of initiatives to enhance the efficiency and compliance of our operations. These activities specifically focused on a range of simple IT functionality improvements, documentation of corporate procedures, corporate training priorities and more efficient management of internal and external stakeholders’ meetings.

Our internal audit program and fraud control activities provide further reassurance on the effectiveness of our compliance framework, and through these activities improvements were instigated in:

In addition, the NBA has maintained close monitoring of progress against required actions in our Fraud Control Plan and has maintained the application of appropriate fraud prevention, detection, investigation, reporting and data collection procedures and processes consistent with requirements of the Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines. The current fraud risk assessment and control plan will be updated by October 2008.

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