Corporate Plan 2016-17

AFP Corporate Plan 2016–17
Covering 2016–17 to 2019–20

Commissioner's foreword

As the accountable authority for the Australian Federal Police (AFP), I present the AFP Corporate Plan 2016–17, which covers the four year period from 2016–17 to 2019–20, as required under section 35(1)(b) of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013.

This plan updates the previous plan to maintain a forward focus in the face of an increasingly complex operating environment. It sets out our purpose, environment, initiatives and activities, how we will assess performance, and our management approach to capability and risk.

To function successfully in the criminal and national security space, we must not only run our business by employing traditional ways of doing things but also change our business by exploring new possibilities and rethinking how police work will be done. Otherwise we will not keep pace with societal changes which present opportunities and challenges to everyone – the public and criminal enterprises alike.

Accordingly, we are investing in scoping our future and planning the modernisation of our most important capabilities – our workforce and technology. This involves:

  • restructuring to better drive operational achievement through the joint support from resourcing (capacity) and specialised services (capability)
  • conducting a diversity review addressing firstly gender inequality and then broader cultural inclusiveness
  • enhancing security within our working environment
  • investing in the latest information and communications technology to combat sophisticated criminal enterprises and streamline corporate administration.

I am proud to lead the AFP into the future and to continue working closely with our domestic and international partners to meet our responsibility for keeping the Australian community safe.

Andrew Colvin APM OAM
August 2016

Back to the top


The AFP is the Australian Government's primary policing agency. It is a key member of the Australian law enforcement and national security community, leading policing efforts to keep Australians and Australian interests safe both at home and overseas.

The AFP's purpose is to enforce Commonwealth criminal law, contribute to combating complex, transnational, serious and organised crime impacting Australia's national security, and protect Commonwealth interests from criminal activity in Australia and overseas. The AFP also has responsibility for providing policing services to the Australian Capital Territory community and Australian territories. This is legislated in section 8 of the Australian Federal Police Act 19791 and informed by an associated Ministerial Direction articulated under section 37(2) of the Act.

The linkage between purpose and outcomes and program structure in the AFP Portfolio Budget Statements is shown below:

Purpose To enforce Commonwealth criminal law, contribute to combating complex, transnational, serious and organised crime impacting Australia's national security and protect Commonwealth interests from criminal activity in Australia and overseas To provide policing in the Australian Capital Territory2
Outcomes Outcome 1
Reduced criminal and security threats to Australia's collective economic and societal interests through cooperative policing services
Outcome 2
A safe and secure environment through policing activities on behalf of the Australian Capital Territory Government
Programs3 Program 1.1
Federal Policing and National Security
Program 2.1
ACT Community Policing
Program 1.2
International Police Assistance
2 This plan does not cover the details of ACT community policing which is subject to a separate purchasing agreement with the ACT Government:
3 More details in the AFP Portfolio Budget Statement 2016–17:

Back to the top

Operational emphasis

Investigate complex, transnational, serious and organised crime

Includes coordinating national and international multijurisdictional investigations.

Protect Australians and Australian interests from terrorism and violent extremism

Principal international representative for Australian police and law enforcement

The AFP, through its international operations, protects Australian interests, both at home and abroad, by combating serious transnational crime at its source.

Develop unique capabilities and exploit advanced technology to provide utmost value to Australia's national interest

Due to its national and international remit, the AFP is uniquely placed to develop niche capabilities that can be shared across the broader Australian law enforcement community.

Back to the top

Continued responsibilities

Community policing services

Community policing services, under contracted arrangement, to the Australian Capital Territory and territories of Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Norfolk Island and Jervis Bay.

National protection capability

National protection capability to ensure the protection of specific individuals, establishments and events identified by the Australian Government as being at risk.

National counter-terrorism first response capability

National counter-terrorism first response capability focused on aviation security and protection of critical infrastructure.

Back to the top

Operational environment

The AFP operates within a continuously changing and complex environment. Its activities occur in numerous settings, with a corresponding wide range of situational and jurisdictional issues. Success depends on maintaining a reliable platform for often rapid, scalable and sustainable deployment. It is also contingent on adapting to technological change.

Globalisation and technology

Globalisation, combined with the pervasiveness of the internet and enhanced communication such as mobile devices, encrypted communication technology, mass communication and social media, has changed the nature of policing. Cybercrime is a mainstay of criminal activity.

Criminal, including terrorist groups, are sophisticated users of technology, enabling them to operate across multiple jurisdictions. Terrorist groups are exploiting social media to radicalise Australians to fight offshore or promote terrorism domestically.

Collaborative efforts to counter the enduring threat of cybercrime

Transnational serious and organised cybercrime syndicates that exploit and access systems for financial gain are a substantial threat to Australia. Groups and motivated individuals develop, share, sell and use sophisticated tools and techniques to access networks and systems, impacting Australia's interests. This threat will continue to increase over the next four years, with malware used for cybercrime now readily available online, often with ongoing technical support, making it accessible to people with minimal technical skills.

The AFP has recognised the need for collaborative responses to the issue of cybersecurity and cybercrime, where the private and public sector can cooperate and share information to combat serious threats. Following the recommendations of the government's Cyber Security Strategy, the AFP has received $20.4 million of funding over four years to enhance existing cyber capabilities, including co-location with relevant agencies in Joint Cyber Threat Centres in major capital cities.

Australian agencies, including the AFP, involved in the fight against cybercrime continue to be challenged by a current shortage of technical specialists with the necessary relevant skills. Government funding of $64.6 million in digital literacy and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects in Australian schools over five years will assist to build future capacity to address this ongoing multi-agency need.


Terrorism remains the most tangible threat to Australia's national security domestically and internationally. The most likely form of incident will be a radicalised individual or small group carrying out an attack. The incidents could occur in Australia, Southeast Asia, Europe or North America. Overseas Australians also remain vulnerable to kidnap by terrorist groups. National security and law enforcement responses will need to continue to work compatibly with countering violent extremism initiatives.

A critical challenge for the AFP and its partners is identifying and maintaining coverage of suspects' activity. The use by suspects of encrypted communications, social media platforms and counter-surveillance techniques means that Australian and foreign intelligence, police and other agencies must collaborate more than ever before.

Transnational serious and organised crime

Serious and organised crime remains transnational in nature. Groups are aggressively expanding, seeking to insulate criminal operations by locating senior members, facilitators and critical capabilities offshore.

It follows that the AFP needs to maintain strategic engagement with a full spectrum of law enforcement, government and commercial partners and stakeholders both domestically and internationally. The AFP liaison network, currently operating in 28 countries, is vital in this regard.

Regional stability

Australia contributes to peace and stability efforts in the Indo–Pacific region and the AFP is likely to be called upon to provide security, humanitarian and disaster management support. This includes assistance through peacekeeping, law enforcement and capacity-building activities in the support of rule of law.

Back to the top

Strategic initiatives and activities

The AFP continues to progress enterprise-wide initiatives established in 2015–16 through activity planned in the period 2016–17 to 2019–20.

Diagram showing sustainability in the middle, Operations surrounded by AFP future and Partnership policing. Capability - Agile and innovative capability. Capacity - Healthy and diverse organisation.

AFP future

To deliver a future-capable AFP we need to understand how the demands and challenges of today and the future affect the AFP. We need a pre-emptive strategy to identify and mitigate the threats facing the Australian community.

  • Launch and implement the AFP futures work in capability development
  • Conduct a functional and efficiency review
  • Develop a flexible resourcing model

Partnership policing

To combat transnational organised crime we will continue to have a strong focus on preventing the impact of this crime in Australia. We will build on the AFP's law enforcement, industry and academic links and work in partnership with our state, national and international counterparts to ensure effective bilateral and multilateral engagement. This partnership policing initiative will foster strong operational cooperation and collaboration.

  • Further develop industry partnerships
  • Strengthen international partnerships

Healthy and diverse organisation

We know our people are committed to this organisation and hold great pride in what they do. However, we must focus on our culture to ensure that the AFP continues to be a great place to work. Fostering a healthy organisation involves providing clarity of organisational mission and a safe and secure workplace for our people, who are often exposed to difficult and dangerous working environments. Ensuring, encouraging and actively developing diversity is also central to an effective and sustainable workforce.

  • Implement findings of the AFP diversity review
  • Undertake an all-staff survey in 2017
  • Implement enhanced protective security

Agile and innovative capability

To be sustainable and to respond to future challenges, the AFP requires agile, diverse and well-managed capabilities that embrace ongoing innovation. Our capabilities range from the knowledge and skills of our people to support systems and innovative technologies. This initiative aims to ensure our capabilities align with our organisational needs — both now and into the future — guaranteeing that our capacity is focused where it is needed at all times.

  • Develop the strategic workforce plan
  • Invest in technology

Back to the top


The Australian Government and community have significant expectations of the AFP to protect Australians and the national interests. It is essential that the AFP is able to sustain commitment to those expectations within a dynamic operating environment. The AFP meets those expectations and ensures its performance by focusing on operations, capacity and capability.


From an appropriation perspective AFP operations are divided into two programs:

  • Program 1.1 Federal Policing and National Security
  • Program 1.2 International Police Assistance.

Policing strategies across both programs consist of prevention, detection, disruption and response activities, either independently or in partnership.

Federal Policing and National Security

Federal Policing and National Security address criminal and security threats through a range of activities including national and transnational investigations, counter-terrorism, protection operations and joint taskforces with international, Commonwealth, state, territory and private sector partners.

The AFP Organised Crime and Cybercrime, Crime Operations and International Operations functions provide an investigative capacity for a wide range of crime types contained in Commonwealth statutes. The purpose is to disrupt, dismantle and combat serious and organised crime that poses a threat to Australia.

This program is supported by the AFP International Network, which consists of 73 officers in 28 countries. Its role is to maintain and enhance cooperation on matters of mutual strategic and operational interest to both Australia and the host country and undertake capacity-building initiatives. The AFP's International Liaison Officer Network is particularly important in combating serious and organised crime at its source and provides police and law enforcement partners with a critical capability to extend investigations offshore on a police-to-police basis.

The AFP Counter Terrorism function conducts investigations and disruption and deterrence activities in collaboration with Australian state and territory police, the intelligence community and international law enforcement partners. The focus is on those wishing harm on Australian nationals. In particular, effort is placed on mitigating the threat posed by the increasing number of Australians who travel overseas to participate in training and provide support to terrorist groups or to fight in conflict zones.

The Protection Operations area provides protective security services to individuals and interests identified by the Commonwealth to be at risk. Protective security services include uniform patrols and response, close personal protection and special events planning. They also provide capabilities designed to respond to armed incidents and increased threat levels. The AFP also delivers counter-terrorism first response, investigation, intelligence and policing capabilities and incident preparedness exercises at major airports.

International Police Assistance

International Police Assistance contributes to national security by providing policing support for enhanced rule of law in developing, fragile and conflict-affected states. This is delivered through the AFP's official development assistance in the Indo–Pacific region and the AFP's contribution to United Nations. This program also includes training activities for foreign police and the provision of community policing in Australia's territories, including Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Norfolk Island.

Measuring performance

The AFP's organisational performance framework will evolve in the four-year timeframe of this plan. It already contains many of the elements of the Enhanced Commonwealth Performance Framework4 such as surveys and evaluation. However, the development work will decrease the current emphasis on quantitative indicators and numeric targets and allow a more comprehensive discussion and description of performance.

The evolution of the framework is illustrated below along with the current set of performance metrics that will be used in 2016–17 to maintain consistency of reporting.

2015-16, 11 effectiveness KPIs, 18 deliverables (outputs). 2016-17, 11 effectiveness KPIs, develop new performance matrix. 2017-18 pilot new matrix. 2018-19 implement. 2019-20 implement and review

Back to the top

Effectiveness indicators

Program 1.1
Federal Policing and National Security

KPI1 Level of external client/stakeholder satisfaction
(percentage of clients satisfied or very satisfied)
KPI2 Percentage of cases before court that result in conviction Target
KPI3 Percentage of counter-terrorism investigations that result in a prosecution, disruption, diversion or intelligence referral outcome Target
KPI4 Level of community confidence in the contribution of the AFP to aviation law enforcement and security
(percentage of aviation network users satisfied or very satisfied)

KPI 5 response to aviation law enforcement and/or security incidents within priority response times. Priority 1 - life threatening or time critical - 75% within 5 minutes, 90% within 10 minutes. Priority 2 - immediate AFP attendance, not life threatening - 75% within 15 minutes, 90% within 20 minutes. Priority 3 - No immediate danger to safety or property, AFP response required, no later than 90 minutes - 75% within 90 minutes, 90% within 120 minutes. Priority 4 - No immediate danger to safety or property, AFP response required, no later than 24 hours - 90% within 24 hours.

KPI6 Number of avoidable incidents per 5,000 Protection hours
Avoidable incidents are incidents that could have been avoided through physical action, intervention or reasonable intelligence that result in death, injury or loss of dignity or embarrassment to those individuals and interests identified by the Australian Government or the AFP as being at risk
KPI7 Return on investment for investigation of transnational crime
Value for money invested in investigations is shown through the Drug Harm Index and the Estimated Financial Return social impact measures
KPI8 Assets restrained
'Increase' is defined as an increase in assets restrained relative to the previous five-year average
KPI9 Increased or reinforced cyber safety and security awareness
(percentage of surveyed sample indicating increased awareness after delivery of presentations)
Target 85%

Program 1.2
International Police Assistance

KPI10 Level of external client/stakeholder satisfaction
(percentage of clients satisfied or very satisfied)
KPI11 Mission/external territories performance evaluation
Performance is evaluated through two mechanisms. Firstly, there is a six-monthly routine assessment through the Mission Performance Report. Each mission is assessed against evaluation criteria in line with those set by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development – Development Assistance Committee. The criteria include relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, sustainability, monitoring and evaluation, and gender equality. The second mechanism is comprehensive evaluation including strategic, thematic, sectoral, country and program evaluation. All evaluations have management response mechanisms. The indicative evaluation pipeline is below.
Target Evaluation


Country/program 15–16 16–17 17–18 18–19 19–20
Timor-Leste Police Development Program   Mid   Final  
Papua New Guinea – Australia Policing Partnership Mid   Final    
Participating Police Force Program of support to Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands 2015–2017   Final      
Gender strategy evaluation     Mid    
Pacific Police Development Program* Final   Mid   Final

*Includes country programs in Samoa, Nauru, Papua New Guinea and Tonga and a regional program that provides support to Kiribati, Tuvalu, Niue, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of the Marshall Islands and Palau, as well as support to other Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police member countries.

Back to the top


Capacity is having the resources to respond to current and emerging requirements and threats. People and money are the two dominant resources and it is our responsibility to make the best use of these to meet our objectives.


The AFP average staffing level is estimated at 6,2755 in 2016–17 across both domestic and international operations (5,318 in Outcome 1 and 957 in Outcome 2). This is 200 below last year's staffing level (a decrease of 3 per cent) and is unlikely to increase based on forward budget estimates. Within a constrained budget and diverse operating environment, the AFP needs an integrated staffing model with an increasing emphasis on diversity and flexibility. This includes a mix of police, technical experts, and specialist and support staff, comprising both men and women, all ages, and people from diverse backgrounds, cultures and professions.

The AFP will focus on creating a diverse, agile and interoperable workforce, to most effectively deliver its unique services to government and the community.


The AFP total funding for 2016–17 is $1.395 billion (including Outcome 2). This is 1 per cent above last year's funding. The majority ($1.13 billion) of the AFP's operating income comes directly from government appropriations. However, the AFP also generates approximately 19 per cent of its income from other sources, including provision of protective security services to critical infrastructure sites and establishments of interest to the Commonwealth, policing services to the ACT Government and national police checks.

The AFP must continue to ensure it is efficient and identify innovative ways to conduct its business. This will be augmented by AFP's inclusion in the governmental functional and efficiency reviews in 2016–17 and development of a more flexible resourcing model.


Outcome 1 averages 5318 staff. Outcome 2 averages 957 staff. Estimated AFP averange staffing level for 2016-17 is 6275.

International Network and Missions

(as at June 2016)

A world map highlighting AFP international locations across Australia, Africa, Europe, Asia, North America and South America.

AFP Funding 2016–17

A pie chart showing $1.39 billion in funding, the majority coming from Government appropriations, the rest from other sources.

An integrated staffing model with an increasing emphasis on diversity and flexibility

The AFP staffing model includes technical experts, police, specialist staff and support staff.

5 Source: AFP PBS 2016-17

Back to the top


The AFP is enhancing its capability by improving the structure, diversity and skills of the workforce, investing in technology, strengthening national and international partnerships and upgrading security.


Remodelling the workforce

On 1 July 2015 the AFP began implementing the capability-based workforce model. The model co-locates specialist capabilities with operational capabilities. The goal is to enhance operational performance, while maintaining efficiency in a tight fiscal environment. This can only be achieved in a rapidly evolving operating environment with an adaptable workforce. The AFP Futures project will inform the development of the strategic workforce plan, which will include engagement with the private sector to supplement the AFP's internal capability with external subject matter expertise. Trusted private sector partnerships, allowing transfer of expertise and skills to occur unencumbered by traditional systems and processes, will be essential in a fast-moving operational environment.

Reshaping culture

Policing is a people-centred profession. People are the AFP's greatest strength and our results reflect the hard work and dedication of all staff.

There is strong evidence that a workforce that reflects the cultural diversity of the community it serves augments capability. Accordingly, AFP Commissioner Colvin initiated a comprehensive review of diversity within the AFP. This work has informed the development and implementation of the AFP Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2016–20. This strategy begins with gender equality as currently women comprise only 35 per cent of the entire AFP workforce.


The AFP will develop an ICT Blueprint and supporting roadmaps for five years and beyond with a view to integrating AFP information environments and developing future capabilities. This will allow the AFP to maximise the value of information and intelligence in the investigation of increasingly sophisticated global criminal enterprises.


The AFP's capability is enhanced by the strength of the relationships it has developed with traditional domestic and international partners. The AFP can add value to the work of domestic partners by providing specialist capabilities, as well as playing a leadership and coordination role in addressing serious crime and threats to national security The AFP also plays an important advisory and educational role for government and the public. It recognises the increasing importance of engaging more directly with industry, particularly regarding investment in innovation. Finally, the AFP's International Network is crucial to combating serious and organised crime in an increasingly globalised and interconnected world.

Capital investment in security

The safety of its personnel is vital to the AFP's capability. The National Threat Assessment Centre assesses that law enforcement personnel face a high risk of attack. In 2016–17 the AFP is implementing static and mobile guarding, physical security upgrades and enhanced technical security at AFP offices, as well as providing protective clothing for officers.

Back to the top

Risk oversight and management

The AFP has a governance and accountability function that supports the organisation's operations by providing financial management and governance frameworks, risk management, human resources and professional development, and management of external accountability obligations.

An integral part of AFP business is risk management. The AFP has a risk management framework that aligns with the Commonwealth Risk Management Policy to support compliance with section 16 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013.

The components of the AFP risk management framework establish and maintain risk oversight, management and internal control. Internal risk arrangements include risk management policy, procedures, templates, responsibilities, culture, awareness training and internal audit monitoring.

This approach includes robust governance and procedures, strategic oversight, internal business area risk assessments and treatment planning, and external operating environment analysis across the AFP's key strategic enterprise risk categories:

  • safety and wellbeing of staff
  • operational outcomes
  • workforce planning and management
  • support capability
  • reputation
  • business continuity.

The AFP manages key enterprise risks through leadership, internal resource allocation, capability development and strategic investment. In doing so, the AFP continually scans the external and internal operating environments to assess and manage the key risks to the achievement of AFP objectives.

Oversight of professional standards

As a police agency the AFP must be transparent in its activities and have professional standards above reproach. To ensure this, the AFP has a set of core values and a code of conduct to which all AFP employees must adhere. As part of the professional standards framework, the AFP has comprehensive complaint management process and mandatory drug-testing program.

Several external arrangements provide further oversight and ensure accountability through the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity, the Commonwealth Ombudsman, the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Law Enforcement, the independent National Security Legislation Monitor and the public interest disclosure scheme.

Back to the top


National Security Hotline

Read the AFP Annual Report 2019-20

The Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation

Platypus Online: Read. Discover. Enjoy.