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Statement of Expectations for the Commission of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau for the Period 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2019

I, Darren Chester, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, make the following instrument.

Dated       30     May 2017




Darren Chester

Minister for Infrastructure and Transport

  1. Overview

This instrument is known as the Statement of Expectations for the Commission of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau for the period 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2019.

This instrument commences on 1 July 2017 and expires at the end of 30 June 2019 as if it had been repealed by another instrument.

This instrument repeals the previous Statement of Expectations for the Commission of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau for the period from 16 April 2015 to 30 June 2017.

This instrument puts in place a new Statement of Expectations (SOE), which serves as a notice of strategic direction to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) under section 12AE of the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003 (the Act).

This SOE outlines in a formal and public way, the Government’s expectations concerning the operations and performance of the ATSB. 


2.        Governance

I expect the ATSB to act in accordance with the Act and the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act), as well as other relevant legislation.

The ATSB should maintain high standards of professionalism, service, probity, reporting, accountability and transparency, consistent with the provisions of the PGPA Act and adhere to the Australian Public Service Values and Code of Conduct.

I expect that in performing its functions, the ATSB will provide timely advice to Government when the costs of necessary investigation activities are likely to exceed established ATSB budget levels, so that appropriate consideration can be given to the need for budget supplementation.




3.        Approach to delivering core functions

In terms of delivering its functions, my expectation is that the ATSB will:

(a) continue to focus on transport safety as the highest priority;

(b) continue to give priority to transport safety investigations that have the potential to deliver the best safety outcomes for the travelling public;

(c) while retaining operational independence, remain an active and effective participant in the transport policy and regulatory framework, working effectively with the Department, other Government agencies including the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), Airservices Australia, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator (ONRSR), Department of Defence, and the transport industry;

(d) continue to be a global leader in transport safety investigation, research and analysis, and foster public awareness of transport safety; and

(e) continue to review current investigation policies and practices to ensure that the ATSB retains its reputation as a best practice safety investigation agency and its influence on the national and international safety agenda.


4.        Key Initiatives

I expect the ATSB, in conducting its responsibilities as the national transport safety investigator, to have regard to the following key transport initiatives:

(a) implementation of effective workforce planning, including ensuring the ATSB’s recruitment and training strategies provide the agency with the skills and expertise to meet the current and emerging challenges in transport safety investigation;

(b) providing assistance to accident investigations in other countries, consistent with international protocols;

(c) supporting the Government’s transport safety agenda in the Asia/Pacific region;

(d) using safety data to identify areas that will most improve safety and continuing to undertake appropriately scoped research activities;

(e) working closely with maritime, rail and aviation regulators to ensure that arrangements are in place for the appropriate sharing and use of safety information by the ATSB and the regulator, and that these arrangements are transparent to industry and consistent with a strong reporting culture; and

(f) consistent with the arrangements with the Office of Transport Safety Investigation in New South Wales and the Chief Investigator Transport Safety in Victoria, continue to work with Commonwealth, State and international agencies to seek out opportunities to collaborate and maximise the availability of investigative resources across the transport modes.





5.        Stakeholder Engagement

I expect that in performing its functions the ATSB will:

(a) while maintaining its independence, undertake effective and ongoing engagement with industry to create a collaborative relationship between ATSB and industry based on a foundation of mutual understanding and respect;

(b) communicate regularly with relevant Government agencies, industry and other key stakeholders regarding the ATSB’s activities and function;

(c) keep the Secretary of the Department and me informed of ATSB’s actions in relation to the matters stated in this SOE and promptly advise about any events or issues that may impact on the operations of the ATSB, including through the provision of timely quarterly progress reports from the Commission against the Corporate Plan; and

(d) work closely with the Department and other Government agencies as appropriate, including CASA, Airservices, the Department of Defence, AMSA and ONRSR to deliver integrated and comprehensive safety advice to the Government, the industry and the community.