Australian Research Council Corporate Plan 2021–22

Finance The ARC is committed to financial sustainability, sound financial governance and effective budget management. The use and management of public resources at the ARC is governed by the Commonwealth Resource Management Framework which is underpinned by the PGPA Act, Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Rule 2014 and supporting directions and guidance. These requirements are embedded in our own internal financial policies, guidelines and controls, which ensures the ARC achieves its purpose and fulfils the expectations of the Minister and stakeholders. 2021–22 will see the introduction of a new financial management information system to improve and fundamentally change the way the ARC manages its finances. The system will give staff the ability to access their own financial information, enable electronic workflows/approvals and provide a centralised repository for financial information. People and Culture A highly-skilled workforce which understands the ARC’s purpose is central to achieving our desired outcomes. Established policies are in place to support the development of a workforce that is aligned with the key activities and can respond flexibly to shifting priorities. Workforce planning processes are focused on identifying capability requirements, both current and emerging, and the development of skill sets that are well prepared to meet future capability needs. Strong leadership is also an enduring theme at the ARC and its leaders are supported to steer a high performing culture that aims to be innovative and collaborative. The ARC values the retention of corporate knowledge and expertise and although its overall staffing numbers are small, it maximises opportunities for all staff through formal and informal development opportunities. A range of policies and strategies are in place to ensure that the ARC workplace is inclusive and diverse and facilitates flexible, people-centred working arrangements.

Communication The ARC plays an important role in promoting the benefits of research that the Australian Government supports through the funding schemes of the NCGP – as well as the high quality of research occurring right across all Australian universities – to the wider Australian and international communities. The agency engages with its stakeholders through strategic communication and targeted outreach activities to ensure the highest quality performance in the delivery of our program responsibilities. The ARC’s communication strategies increase our ability as an agency to effectively engage with stakeholders to develop and implement policies and programs that serve the Australian research sector and benefit the wider community. Our internal communication is also premised on ensuring that consistent, effective and efficient communications are maintained to promote continued growth of a dynamic, supportive and productive workplace. Some examples of our key communication activities include our website, research sector messaging, publications and social media, while outreach engagement activities carried out by the ARC include consultations, panels, workshops, round tables and surveys conducted before or after outreach for feedback on activities. Technology The ARC’s Information and Communication Technology (ICT) systems are fundamental to the productivity of its staff and effective delivery of the NCGP, ERA and EI programs. ICT services provide modern workspaces to support flexibility and mobility within the workforce, and efficient and effective business systems to support business processes. This is all underpinned by robust and reliable infrastructure. The ARC plans to focus on ensuring the continuity of existing ICT services while building foundational capability for the future. Business systems will be enhanced to provide further efficiencies to the research sector and support whole-of-government initiatives. The ARC’s RMS has already been and will continue to be, expanded to support Research Grants Services. The ARC is investing in the creation of business intelligence solutions to monitor, measure and improve our work practices. We are strengthening our capabilities in artificial intelligence and emerging technologies to deliver smart digital solutions for the ARC. We continue to streamline the ICT delivery capability based on stakeholders’ requirements and priorities.



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