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Independent News For The Australian Public Service
Edition Number 411. Updated Tuesday, 27 May 2014

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News in brief

Medals for typhoon assistance

Military Civic Action medals have been award to representatives from the Royal Australian Navy’s HMAS Tobruk, Australian Army and Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) by the Philippines Government for their assistance following Typhoon Haiyan in late 2013.

Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces Philippines, General Emmanuel Trinidad Bautista presented the medals onboard HMAS Tobruk alongside Fleet Base East, Sydney.

Commanding Officer of HMAS Tobruk, Commander Leif Maxfield said: “Humanitarian assistance and disaster relief is one of our core capabilities on Tobruk and it is something we train very hard to maintain.”

Call for good job records

The Fair Work Ombudsman has issued a reminder of the importance of maintaining proper employment records ahead of site visits to 350 businesses throughout NSW, Victoria, Queensland, Tasmania and the ACT.

Fair Work Ombudsman, Natalie James said the Agency was also making compliance easier for businesses by continually building on the information available on its website.

Employers can access information, including fact sheets and templates, at this PS News link.

Earlier this week

Finance lists paused programs

The Department of Finance has published a list of programs affected by the Budget decision to pause indexation of their funding for the next three years.

There are 112 programs affected by the pause and the full list can be accessed at this PS News link.

The Department said its list did not include programs subject to indexation pauses under other Budget measures.

Comcare announces audit results

Comcare has announced the results of its annual audit of claims management systems.

These audits review all relevant policies and procedures as they relate to claims management and any other relevant, supporting documentation.

Interviews are also conducted with claims management staff and a number of claim files are examined by the auditors.

In 2013, Comcare achieved a result of 89 per cent conformance for their audit.

Four non-conformance items were identified during the audit and Comcare is currently implementing a corrective action plan to address these items.

10,000 sign up for science program

More than 10,000 people have registered for the Australian Academy of Science's new interactive high school science education program, Science by Doing.

Science by Doing is a free resource for Australian high schools, and brings together the latest in interactive technology with expertise in science and education to deliver the national science curriculum.

More than 10,000 teachers, students and parents have now registered to access the comprehensive online units, which use audio-visual content, practical exercises, games and activities to bring science alive for teachers and students in years 7 to 10.

Educators, high school students and parents are welcome to sign up for Science by Doing at this PS News link.

Upgrade for Darwin weather radar

The Bureau of Meteorology will upgrade the Berrimah radar in Darwin ahead of the next tropical cyclone season.

The Bureau has already commenced work on the logistics of the upgrade, with construction to be completed ahead of the 2014-15 tropical cyclone season.

The Berrimah radar is now 22 years old and while the tower and dome infrastructure remain in good condition, the functional components of the radar need to be replaced, including the antenna, transmitter and receiver.

The work will require the shutdown of the radar for up to six weeks. During the outage the community will have access to the Darwin Airport radar.

ACCC signs mergers MOU with China

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the Ministry of Commerce of the People's Republic of China (MOFCOM) have signed a memorandum of understanding.

The agreement paves the way for increased communication and cooperation between the Agencies on mergers which affect both the Australian and Chinese markets.

The scope of the agreement allows the Agencies to exchange information on the definition of markets and theory of harm as well as impact assessments and the design of merger remedies, subject to confidentiality and privacy requirements in each jurisdiction.

MOFCOM is one of three bodies administering China's Anti-Monopoly Law and is the Agency responsible for mergers regulation.

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