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Performance

ASD’s purpose is to defend Australia from global threats and advance the national interest through the provision of foreign signals intelligence, cyber security and offensive cyber operations, as directed by Government.

While ASD’s purpose will not change significantly over the duration of this corporate plan, the way in which it meets the needs of Australians and the Australian Government will evolve in response to shifts in its operating context and changes in the global threat environment.

ASD’s planning and performance framework (refer to graphic below) demonstrates how ASD’s purpose informs its strategic plan, annual priorities, internal strategies and focus areas, and the work of the divisions, branches and individuals within the organisation. 

For the duration of this corporate plan, ASD will assess its performance against its purpose through a mix of qualitative and quantitative assessments. In 2019–20, ASD will introduce new performance measures that will provide a performance baseline. For the subsequent years covered by this plan, ASD will enhance and evolve its performance measures and methodologies, developing a robust performance assessment process that effectively demonstrates the value of ASD’s activities to the Australian Government.  

ASD’s 2019–20 Annual Report will include a baseline of the new performance measures identified in the first year of this corporate plan. However, due to the nature of its work, some performance measures will continue to be reported through existing performance frameworks in classified channels.

Case studies

While the detail of much of ASD’s work must remain classified, ASD is committed to demonstrating the value of its work to the Australian Government and the Australian public. Where possible, ASD will seek to provide insight into the aspects of ASD’s work that can be reported publicly.  Case studies can be used to demonstrate how ASD keeps Australians safe and that ASD’s stakeholders value the unique insights and support that ASD provides to their missions.

ASD will also report feedback on its performance collected through formal and informal mechanisms. This will include feedback from stakeholders on ASD’s intelligence products, as well as feedback derived from analyst exchanges, cyber security products and services, and engagement with Government, Ministers, officials, businesses and individuals.

External independent evaluation

Independent evaluation of performance is crucial to understanding how ASD’s products, services, and operational activities provide value to the Australian Government.

In 2019–20, ASD will commission an annual externally administered senior-level customer survey to assess the impact of its products, services and operational activity for key decision-makers in the Australian Government, ADF, industry and individuals.

The survey will seek to assess if ASD is providing effective advice, reporting and services to its customers and stakeholders. It will assess if ASD’s products provide value in developing policy, managing security risks, and disrupting threats to Australia’s security and Australian interests.

The results of the first survey in 2019–20 will enable ASD to develop a clear baseline of performance, and provide insights to enable it to identify areas for targeted improvement. 

This external survey process will supplement and complement existing evaluation mechanisms, which will be reported to the Australian Government through existing channels.

Internal evaluation

In the years covered by this corporate plan, ASD will establish and refine a robust performance assessment methodology that measures its success in delivering foreign signals intelligence, cyber security products and services, and offensive cyber operations.

ASD’s internal performance will be assessed three times a year by its Enterprise Performance Committee. Independent assurance will be provided by ASD’s Office of Audit and Risk, and the externally chaired ASD Audit and Risk Committee.

Performance criteria and methodologies

Objective: defend Australia from global threats and advance our national interests through the provision of foreign signals intelligence, cyber security, and offensive cyber operations, as directed by government.
Performance criteria: effective advice, reporting and services that assist Australian governments, government agencies, the Australian Defence Force and businesses to develop policy, manage security risks (including for individuals) and disrupt threats to Australian’s security and interests
Targets: our stakeholders value the unique insights and support ASD provides to their mission.
ACTIVITY MEASURE ASSESSMENT YEAR
2019-20 2020-21 2021-22 2022-23
Provide foreign signals intelligence ASD’s foreign signals intelligence informs strategic, operational and tactical decision making Case studies* Existing measure Existing measure Existing measure Existing measure
External evaluation Baseline New performance measure Improved measure developed Improved measure developed
Improved measure developed
Internal evaluation Baseline New performance measure Improved measure developed Improved measure developed
Improved measure developed
Provide cyber security services ASD’s cyber security advice, assistance and operational responses prevent, detect and remediate cyber threats to Australia Case studies* Existing measure Existing measure Existing measure Existing measure
External evaluation Baseline New performance measure Improved measure developed Improved measure developed
Improved measure developed
Internal evaluation Baseline New performance measure Improved measure developed Improved measure developed
Improved measure developed
Conduct offensive cyber operations ASD’s offensive cyber operations deliver real world impact, including providing advantage to military operations Case studies* Existing measure Existing measure Existing measure Existing measure
External evaluation Baseline New performance measure Improved measure developed Improved measure developed
Improved measure developed
Internal evaluation Baseline New performance measure Improved measure developed Improved measure developed
Improved measure developed

*Where possible

ASD's planning framework

 

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This is a graphic of ASD’s planning framework. It shows the flow between strategic guidance, the corporate plan, mission and enabling strategies, and branch and division plans, ending with individual performance agreements. All of these processes are subject to assessment and evaluation.