Annual reports

The Hon Steven Marshall MP
Premier of South Australia

This annual report will be presented to Parliament to meet the statutory reporting requirements of the Public Sector Act 2009, the Public Sector Regulations 2010 and the Public Finance and Audit Act 1987 and the requirements of Premier and Cabinet Circular PC013 Annual Reporting.

This report is verified to be accurate for the purposes of annual reporting to the Parliament of South Australia.

Submitted on behalf of the Department of the Premier and Cabinet by:

Jim McDowell
Chief Executive

Signed 30 September 2020

From the Chief Executive

The South Australian community has shown an abundance of resilience and adaptability in the face of challenging times during this year. The social, health and economic impacts of the devastating bushfires in South Australia and then the COVID-19 pandemic have been significant for our state. I am proud of the efforts of my department in supporting the Premier and Cabinet to navigate through these difficult times whilst continuing to deliver important outcomes for South Australia in 2019-2020.

In the wake of the bushfires our state faced in early 2020, the department took on a lead role in coordinating the rebuild of the Kangaroo Island and Adelaide Hills economies and communities.

The department has also had the responsibility of providing significant support to the Premier in managing the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of the national approach to tackling COVID-19, I have been privileged to participate in the newly established National Cabinet. The department is working closely with the Australian Government on new intergovernmental relations to embed the National Cabinet as a replacement for the Council of Australian Governments.

In addition to this, I have assumed a number of new roles to support South Australia’s COVID-19 response including as the chair of South Australia’s COVID-19 Transition Committee. We provide economic, social and health advice to the State Coordinator as he considers transitioning out of or otherwise amending Directions under the Emergency Management Act 2004 in relation to COVID-19. I was also appointed as Assistant State Coordinator in March 2020.

Having completed my second year as Chief Executive of the department, it is timely to reflect on the opportunities I see for the state government to improve the way in which the South Australian Public Sector functions. In 2019-2020 we have commenced a reform agenda to begin addressing this. To this end, we have established a new unit within the department to lead this work. The Performance and Reform unit, headed by Mr Mark Duffy, will lead a program of work focusing on establishing effective performance reporting across the public sector, and increasing engagement and collaboration to drive change.

Despite the challenges of the year, the department continued to deliver on its strategic priorities and projects.

Our people and culture

The health and wellbeing of our staff was paramount this year. Adapting our workplace and operations due to COVID-19 gave us an opportunity to increase the mobility of our workforce and equip our staff with the tools and technology to adapt to working remotely. Throughout this, our people maintained a strong work ethic and ensured the continuation of our services throughout these challenging times.

Culturally, we continued to strive for a healthier, more inclusive and diverse workforce, ensuring that everyone can feel welcome and rewarded at work. In November, we launched a Gender Affirmation and Transition in the Workplace Procedure – the first of its kind in the South Australian Public Sector – to outline the process and support available when an employee seeks to affirm or transition their gender in our workplace.

We continued our commitment to the Gender Equality and Respect Action Plan, which sets out a number of strategies to promote women’s equal participation, respectful relationships between men and women in the workplace and the breaking down of harmful stereotypes about men’s and women’s roles at work. We also announced our commitment to pursue White Ribbon Re-accreditation in 2020-2021.

Our operations and performance

Throughout 2019-2020 the department continued to focus on driving whole of government policy initiatives including the development of a South Australian Cyber Security Framework, coordination of the South Australian Government Aboriginal Affairs Action Plan and review of the South Australian Multicultural and Ethnic Affairs Commission Act 1980.

The department also launched the ‘Arts and Culture Plan South Australia 2019-2024’ on 2 September 2019, which makes recommendations to guide growth and investment in the arts and culture sector.

Our focus on supporting the state’s economic growth has continued through the Growth State program. This initiative seeks to drive partnerships between the government and industry to accelerate our economy, and to attract and retain the best and brightest to live and work in South Australia. The department is also leading one of the state’s most important complex and innovative projects to deliver a world-class Entrepreneur and Innovation Centre (EIC) as a flagship of Lot Fourteen. Lot Fourteen aims to capitalise on Adelaide’s cultural, environmental and economic strengths, establishing a place of extraordinary vibrancy and appeal which also builds South Australia’s economy.

DPC has continued to collaborate with other agencies to build the government’s data analytics capability – facilitating data sharing across government and delivering important data initiatives. Of particular note, the department completed work on a project, in conjunction with a number of other government agencies, to provide frontline workers and decision makers with a fuller picture of South Australia’s vulnerable children and their families.

Importantly, we strengthened our commitment to Aboriginal reconciliation by developing our Stretch Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) 2020-2023. Our RAP includes ambitious but achievable deliverables, focussed on valuing culture, acknowledging history, working together, empowering communities, and supporting meaningful employment and economic development for Aboriginal people and communities.

Our year ahead

The department has shown great resilience and continued to make substantial contributions to deliver on the government’s priorities over the course of this financial year. In 2020-2021 we will continue to adapt to challenges as they arise and deliver results for the South Australian Public Sector and community. The department will focus on the delivery of our strategic priorities and continue to lead the state’s strategic and economic response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our focus remains to deliver projects which enable greater productivity, innovation and social and economic growth in South Australia.

I thank the department’s dedicated, hard-working staff and look forward to continuing to make a difference to the lives of South Australians in 2020-2021.

Jim McDowell
Chief Executive
Department of the Premier and Cabinet


Overview: about the agency

The agency's performance

Financial performance

Risk management

Reporting required under any other act or regulation

Public complaints

Appendix: Audited financial statements 2019-2020