key priorities 1

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The Corporate Priority Statement for 2001-02 outlines the key priorities for the year as:

Cargo Management Re-engineering (CMR)

Customs continued to work on its CMR project which will deliver new import and export processes for government and industry. CMR contributes mainly to Outputs 1 and 4.

CMR priorities include application development, implementing legislation and adopting new business processes and organisational structures.

Application development

A major facet of Cargo Management Re-engineering is the introduction of a new computer system, the Integrated Cargo System (ICS), for the reporting and risk assessment of imported and exported cargo. This system will replace the independent import and export computer programs.

In February 2002, Customs let a contract for additional application development to a consortium of companies led by Computer Associates, to assist in the development of the ICS. As a result of this process the Release 1 commencement date publicised as April 2002 was not achieved. The first task undertaken by the consortium was to develop a revised system development timetable.

Customs announced a five-phase CMR migration strategy and milestones to industry in April 2002. This strategy is designed to manage the many changes involved in implementing the new system and legislative provisions. To develop this strategy, Customs worked with industry to identify the time required to change computer systems and business processes to align with CMR.

The following phases and timings have been determined:

These phases are outlined in Figure 4 (106 kb). Phases four and five (exports and imports) will each involve a 'clean cutover' Australia-wide from current IT systems to the ICS. This means legacy systems will no longer be available from the nominated date and clients will use the ICS. There will be a user familiarisation period before the cutover. The relevant legislative provisions will commence with import and export cutover dates.

Customs Connect Facility (CCF)

The CCF will provide an electronic gateway for clients to conduct transactions with Customs. The facility will initially support Cargo Management Re-engineering (CMR) requirements and also provide direct access for clients to other Customs business systems when required. The connect facility will support both electronic data interchange (EDI) and interactive transactions for CMR, channelled through Internet service providers, bureau and network service providers and direct communications links.

Customs will become an early adopter of the Business Authentication Framework which will allow efficient common access to digital certificate information held by various certification authorities. All clients using the gateway will be authenticated using gatekeeper-compliant public key infrastructure (PKI) technology.

Contracts for CCF development were let to IBM Global Services Australia, Baltimore Technologies and SecureNet Ltd for design and development work to build the CCF in parallel with the Integrated Cargo System development.

Data management

During 2001-02 Customs completed the proof-of-concept phase for a data research environment to support enhanced targeting and profiling under Cargo Management Re-engineering (CMR). The objectives of this phase were met and the value of the research environment was demonstrated. Phase three has now commenced with the issue of a tender for the development and implementation of a fully integrated production-strength environment ready for Release 1 of CMR.

Implementing trade modernisation legislation

The legislation which supports the policy and technical initiatives for Cargo Management Re-engineering (CMR) comprises three Acts:

All three Acts received Royal Assent in July 2001. This legislation commenced by proclamation. In June 2002 an amendment was introduced into Parliament to extend the maximum period for proclamation from two years (July 2003) to three years (July 2004). The Government considers the amendment necessary to allow sufficient time for industry to prepare itself for CMR.

The Customs Legislation Amendment and Repeal (International Trade Modernisation) Act 2001 contains amendments to the Customs Act 1901.

Most of the amendments not dependent on the Integrated Cargo System commence on 1 July 2002 including:

Guidelines for the administration of the infringement notice scheme were finalised in June 2002 after considering industry submissions made directly to Customs during the consultation phase, and those made separately to the Australian Law Reform Commission and Senate Committees.

Preparing industry for Cargo Management Re-engineering (CMR)

Customs took an active role in preparing the trading community for CMR through a variety of measures such as developing guides and information and convening a number of forums and working groups.

The work during 2001-02 included:

Customs undertook a national awareness and training program to prepare the trading community and Customs staff for the 1 July 2002 commencement of elements of trade modernisation legislation. Training involved a wide range of delivery methods from distribution of information kits by mail and articles in trade publications to general awareness sessions delivered throughout Australia and joint Customs-client presentations on specific aspects of the legislation. Training will continue after 1 July 2002 as requested by industry and staff.

An overview of the migration strategy and milestones, software developers guide and trade modernisation legislation information package is available on the Customs Internet site at www.customs.gov.au or by calling the Customs Information Centre on 1300 363 263.

Accredited Client Program

The Accredited Client Program is designed to provide benefits for Australian importers and exporters as well as Customs. Importers and exporters with an established record of compliance with Customs requirements will benefit through simplified reporting requirements. Customs will benefit through improved industry compliance and opportunities to focus compliance resources on high-risk areas.

The program will operate through a mix of legislative and contractual arrangements. The legislative framework is contained in the Customs Legislation Amendment and Repeal (International Trade Modernisation) Act 2001. Compliance will be managed through legally binding contracts that will allow clients to use an alternative reporting system for specified goods.

Customs is working with industry and relevant agencies to ensure the program meets the requirements of both industry and government. Eight pilot partners and their service providers made up the major industry consultative group assisting with the program's development. Government consultation involved primarily the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service.

Business Re-engineering Project

As part of the Cargo Management Re-engineering project, Customs is implementing a new organisation structure that will support its modernised cargo-management practices.

This new structure seeks to better align Customs core functions, to enhance effectiveness and integrate cargo and client support functions and Customs intervention activities. Customs Regulatory Philosophy is reflected in the new structure. This philosophy was developed in 2001 to explain Customs approach to compliance and is on the Customs Internet site at www.customs.gov.au or by calling the Customs Information Centre on 1300 363 263.

More information on the structure of Customs can be found in the Corporate Governance section.


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