1996-97 saw the continuation of the consolidation of the Australian Institute of Criminology and the completion of the implementation of the 1994 Review. That Review saw a budget reduction of one-third and a new set of financial targets. Difficult and remote as these appeared in 1994-95 and 1995-96, the revenue and expenditure targets were met in 1996-97, though a question hangs over the continuing ability to meet revenue targets.
Efficiency dividends have been applied to all agencies and departments for several years, and as a result the Institute has had to retreat from certain flagship activities and seek greater efficiencies in pursuing its mission.
During 1996-97 three research positions were disestablished (and notice was given for the disestablishment of three non-research positions in the early part of 1997-98). Management of Institute conferences was outsourced, as were book-length publications and the sale of publications.
During the year a new financial management information system was introduced, as were a new records management system, and a new library system. These will contribute significantly to greater efficiency in the Institute.
The Institute's new building in Griffith was opened by the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, the Honourable Daryl Williams AM QC MP, on 24 July 1996. This has provided a more suitable environment for the Institute's work.
Over the year, the Institute's work has been well received, and the five research groups have produced a substantial volume of material which is described in detail in this report. The Research Group has been well supported by the Information Services and Administrative Services Groups.
The main products for 1996-97 were:
- advice to the Attorney-General and other Ministers on matters of contemporary policy significance;
- data and interpretation;
- library services - including search and database products;
- the Australian Violence Prevention Awards;
- policy analysis and research for external stakeholders;
- contributions to criminal justice training;
- advice and administrative support for the Criminology Research Council.
In April 1997 the Honourable Justice Sally Brown resigned as Chair of the Australian Institute of Criminology Board of Management. I should like to express my appreciation, and that of the Board and the staff, for the contribution that Justice Brown has made to the Institute over many years.