Better administration

Make a suggestion

We’ve all experienced frustration with some of the administrative processes at ANU. But now you have a chance to tell us what needs to change. Email your suggestions to

Within specific areas, we are encouraging Colleges and Divisions to examine their work structures and arrangements both to address staff departures through the early retirement scheme and to adjust to the new budgetary environment.

This raises issues of process change, workload management, job redesign, redeployment and teamwork. There are a range of additional measures being taken which are essential to managing professional services during and after the staff reduction. They are also aimed at quickly addressing many of the root causes of the University’s above-average level of professional staff.

We have established a central fund of $1 million for retraining, redeployment, change management etc.

Structure of professional staffing

The professional staffing of the University will need to be different structurally after these changes:

  • We need flatter professional staff structures
  • We need reduced duplication between Service Divisions and Colleges and between Colleges and Schools
  • We need a more project-based approach to professional services activities
  • We will be capping the percentage of expenditure on professional staff salaries on an ongoing basis within the transparent budget model. This will ensure professional staff levels do not grow back over time.

Changing work practices

The challenge will be changing our professional staff work practices.

To assist in identifying user satisfaction across Administrative Services the Executive Director (Administration and Planning) commissioned the Administrative Services Survey in May 2013. The survey looks at the comparative importance of all administrative functions and provides us with a yardstick to prioritise workloads. Read the survey report.

In addition, we will be conducting a series of interviews around the campus using a structured set of questions to further identify administrative duplication.

Streamlining business processes

Inefficient and time-consuming business processes already identified for review to streamline or automate include the following:

  • Completion of the university-wide electronic data records management system
  • Completion of finance and accounting workflow and systems, including:
    • The automated accounts payable workflow
    • Automation of an integrated travel and expense management workflow
    • Upgrade of receipting processes
    • Improvements in financial reporting
  • Implementation of user-friendly research grant financial reporting
  • Implementation of online recruitment
  • Automation of casual timesheets and payments
  • Consolidation of research repository and publication management
  • Review and improvement of payment methods for students
  • Streamlining of student special consideration processes
  • Streamlining of student examination processes
  • Review of and streamlining of exceptional enrolments for students
  • Streamlining of academic program management
  • Improved student and financial reporting arrangements
  • Streamlining of ethics governance and application processes
  • And any other identified high-volume labour-intensive processes.

It is anticipated that there will need to be extensive consultation as changes to work arrangements evolve.

The University will hold further staff and student forums to discuss approaches and projects associated with workload minimisation and business process redesign.

Updated:  9 January 2014/ Responsible Officer:  Executive Director Administration & Planning/ Page Contact:  SCAPA