Federal Court Corporate Services


In the 2015–16 Budget, the Australian Government announced that the corporate services of the FCoA and the FCC would be amalgamated with the FCA into a single administrative body with a single appropriation.

The Courts Administration Legislation Amendment Act 2016 established the amalgamated body, known as the Federal Court of Australia, from 1 July 2016. This approach preserves each court’s functional and judicial independence, whilst improving their financial sustainability.

Corporate Services includes communications, finance, human resources, information technology, procurement and contract management, property, risk oversight and management and statistics.

The shared corporate services body is managed by the FCA CEO and Principal Registrar. The FCA CEO consults with heads of jurisdiction and the other CEOs in relation to the performance of this function. Details relating to corporate services and consultation requirements are set out in a MOU.

The amalgamated corporate services body is expected to generate efficiencies by consolidating resources, streamlining processes and reducing duplication. The savings gained from reducing the administrative burden on each of the courts will be reinvested to support the core functions of the courts.

The objectives of the Corporate Services team are to:

  • provide accurate, accessible and up to date information and advice
  • standardise systems and process to increase efficiency
  • build an agile and skilled workforce ready to meet the challenges and changes, and
  • create a national technology framework capable of meeting the needs of the courts into the future.



The key objective for corporate services over the next 12 months is to focus on the provision of high level corporate service to the courts and the NNTT to assist the courts and tribunal in achieving their organisational objectives.

A major area of focus will be on the development of the digital court program, a series of technology-related projects that aim to streamline core business systems, create flexibility and operational efficiency, support the courts’ ongoing digital transformation and improve service delivery. In addition, corporate services will continue to look at consolidating resources, streamlining services and reducing unnecessary duplication.

The challenge will be to remain focussed on delivery of services to the courts and the NNTT whilst the amalgamation of systems and services continues. Lower costs will need to be achieved through consolidation of resources and greater productivity. Early consultation and communication, both within the team and to the courts and the NNTT, will be very important to manage the reputation of the new team and ensure that stakeholders' expectations are met.

The corporate services of the courts will be recognised as playing a leading and strategic role in creating modern and efficient courts with a reputation for innovation.

Significant work has been undertaken to implement the amalgamation and this plan continues that work to identify the best systems and processes to achieve the desired goals.

Our strategic objectives for the next four years:

  1. Efficient and effective corporate services.
  2. Building an agile, skilled and engaged workforce.
  3. Optimising technology to support judicial and registry functions.


Performance Measures

The key outcome measure for Corporate Services is contained in the Portfolio Budget Statements. This is, improved administration and support for the resolution of matters according to law for litigants in the FCA, FCoA and the FCC and parties in the NNTT through efficient and effective provision of shared corporate services.

The ability of the new team to meet budget and projected average staffing numbers are the metrics that will be used to measure performance.


1 Strategic Objective - Efficient and effective corporate services

The goal to amalgamate corporate services functions of the three courts is to improve efficiency, create a culture of high performance and provide value for money services.

Amalgamation provides opportunities to consolidate the experience of corporate services staff to identify the most effective policies and procedures to develop nationally consistent services that support the work of the judiciary and registries.

Our strategies over the next four years

  1. Benchmark finance processes to identify efficiencies and eliminate duplication.
  2. Further refine business processes to streamline the functions of corporate services.


Priorities for 2017–18 efficient and effective corporate services

In 2017–18, Corporate Services will undertake the following projects and deliverables:




Refinement of business processes

  • Develop a plan to strengthen areas of high quality performance and remediate areas of underperformance
  • Identify areas of duplication
  • Progress implementation of best practice

December 2017

Develop a risk and compliance framework to better support and manage the risks of the entity.

  • Review and refine suite of risk management policies, including overall of business continuity plans for the organisation

October 2017

  • Training documentation and training programs developed and implemented
March 2018

Drive efficiencies

  • Achieve further efficiencies through consolidation or restructuring of contracts as existing contracts expired

June 2018


2 Strategic Objective - Build an agile, skilled and engaged workforce

Amalgamation of the corporate services teams has necessitated changes to the structure and culture of the organisation. In addition, with the increasing applications of technology to the work of the courts and the NNTT, it is expected that the nature and type of work performed by corporate services and registry staff will impact on capability requirements.

Over the past financial year, Corporate Services focussed on identifying and communicating a positive culture and shared values for the newly merged Corporate Services team. This will continue throughout 2017–18 as we work to implement a new enterprise agreement to support the three courts and the NNTT, and continue to strengthen the work of the new teams.

Innovation is a key capability in order to deliver efficiencies, reduce costs and keep pace with change. To respond we will require a skilled, agile and engaged workforce.

Our strategies over the next four years

  1. Build and sustain an engaged workforce who are passionate about working together to achieve the vision.
  2. Identify capability requirements resulting from the new structure.
  3. Strengthen the leadership group.
  4. Create a high performance culture.


Priorities for 2017–18 build an agile, skilled and engaged workforce

In 2017–18, Corporate Services will undertake the following projects and deliverables:




Develop a strategy and structure to support the courts

  • Design organisation structure in line with recommendations from the organisational review

December 2017

Consolidate and improve HR systems

  • Upgrade to Aurion 11 and provide further enhancements to ESS

January 2018

Build a learning and development program aligned with strategy

  • Implement a web-enabled training platform for all courts and the NNTT

June 2018

Merge processes and policies to develop best practice

  • Review key policies and programs to rationalise and update
  • Implement preferred models

June 2018

Corporate Services workforce plan

  • Leadership development



3 Strategic Objective - Optimise technology to support judicial, registry and corporate services functions

During the next four years, we will continue to identify and develop digital services to support improvements in registry functions, judicial work and enhance online access for the legal profession and other court users.

Amalgamation provides an opportunity to modernise our IT systems and update our key business systems. Considerable planning has already been undertaken to ensure that the strategy is able to incorporate each courts’ and the NNTT’s long and short-term requirements.

This strategy aims to optimise technology for case management by increasing online accessibility for the legal community and, where appropriate, members of the public. It also supports the judiciary and court officers to manage and decide cases according to the law as quickly, inexpensively and efficiently as possible.

Our strategies over the next four years

  1. Modernise technology to improve quality and range of services.
  2. Maintain a quality, contemporary and efficient IT environment.
  3. Relentlessly improve the courts’ key business systems.


Priorities for 2017–18 optimise technology to support judicial, registry and corporate services functions

In 2017–18, Corporate Services will undertake the following projects and deliverables:




Ongoing digital transformation through the delivery of the Digital Court Program to drive more efficient and streamlined practices across the courts

  • Delivery of a digital file in the family law jurisdiction
  • Refinements to the electronic court file in general federal law
  • Consolidation and enhancement of the courts case management system
  • A new document management system
  • Enhancements to electronic lodgment and access to electronic records

Phased rollout over the next 2–3 years.

Optimise digital services

  • Initiate and complete the first stage of a project that delivers a common web platform for the courts and tribunal

June 2018

Finalise technology roadmap

  • Consult with stakeholders

December 2017

Novell integration

  • Migrate remaining applications from Novell to the new Microsoft Active Directory

October 2017

Domino application migration

  • Assess the significant number of FCoA/FCC Domino applications and retire or migrate to a new platform
  • Retire Domino platform

June 2018

Data centre consolidation

  • Commence consolidation of data centre environments from four to two

Start July 2017

  • Accelerate the removal of the data centre infrastructure in the AON Building to provide greater flexibility in dealing with the lease
December 2018

Secure internet gateway

  • Unify the two secure internet gateways into a single infrastructure

September 2018

Establish hybrid cloud capability

  • As part of the data centre consolidation, establish hybrid cloud infrastructure to allow appropriate applications to be moved to infrastructure or platform as a service cloud model. High business value applications including disaster recovery will remain on a private cloud

December 2017

DevOps capability

  • Establish tools to automate and streamline development, testing and deployment of applications for bespoke court management system and ECF

December 2017

Voice system

  • Standardise onto a single voice system (as a service) moving off current multiple PABXs

March 2018

IT policy review

  • Standardise IT policies across the courts and tribunals

June 2018

Artificial intelligence

  • Establish pilot of Robotic Process Automation Machine Learning platform to support routine registry administrative decisions

June 2018

PC upgrade

  • Lifecycle replacement of PC fleet including deployment of tablets and laptops to judicial, registrar and executive staff. Includes upgrade to contemporary versions of Windows, Office and Adobe

October 2017

Courtroom technology

  • Deploy touchscreen PCs to FCoA and FCC courtrooms

October 2017

Skype for Business

  • Migrate Skype for Business to a service cloud model and expand to FCoA and FCC

October 2017


Resourcing - Federal Court Corporate Services

The table below illustrates the financial and staffing resources applied by Corporate Services over the four years of this Plan.

Departmental expenses
- Departmental appropriation 64,635 64,543 65,786 60,073
- S74 retained revenue receipts (a) 2,015 2,065 2,110 2,142
- Expenses not requiring appropriation in the budget year (b) 53,402 53,285 53,200 53,275

Total expenses Corporate Services





Average staffing level


Note: Departmental appropriation splits and totals are indicative estimates and may change in the course of the budget year as government priorities change.

  1. Estimated expenses incurred in relation to receipts retained under section 74 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013.
  2. Expenses not requiring appropriation in the budget year are made up of depreciation and amortisation expenses and resources received free of charge.


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