Published: 3 July 2021 Updated: 18 July 2024
Table of contents

The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (formerly Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment) has put in place an accountability framework to support RDCs in meeting the needs of stakeholders, and demonstrating impact. The framework comprises four core elements, which are described further below:


Statutory Funding Agreement 2020-2030

The Statutory Funding Agreement is an agreement between the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry on behalf of the Commonwealth of Australia and the FRDC.

The agreement sets the guidelines and principles to ensure the performance and accountability of the FRDC, and to help foster a culture of continuous improvement.

The agreement establishes a framework for the FRDC’s funding guidelines in accordance with the Primary Industries Research and Development Act 1989 and its subsequent amendments. This includes Corporate Governance and the process for periodic independent reviews.

Guidelines for Statutory Funding Agreements

The Guidelines sit alongside other reforms to support innovation, and should be read in conjunction with the Statutory Funding Agreement and Companion Document. The Guidelines describe Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that operate in addition to any RDC specific KPIs.

To meet the requirements of the Statutory Funding Agreement, RDCs must demonstrate how they achieved the KPIs set out in the Guidelines. Annual performance discussions with the department focus on demonstrating progress against the KPIs.

RDC Knowledge Transfer and Commercialisation Guide

This document provides guiding principles for Knowledge Transfer (KT), including commercialisation, for the adoption of R&D investment within the Australian agriculture’s Research and Development Corporation context.

Best Practice Guide to Stakeholder Engagement

The Best Practice Guide provides a set of guiding principles that RDCs should apply to all stakeholder interactions and consultation plans. The Fisheries Research and Development Corporation will need to demonstrate how it has applied these principles at annual performance meetings with the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry independent reviews of performance. The high-level consultation plan has been developed to help ensure best practice in the delivery of stakeholder consultation activities.

Agriculture Innovation Policy Statement

The Agriculture Innovation Policy Statement:

  • outlines a vision for the future of Australia’s agriculture sector, targeting five pillars of reform
  • describes four new national Agricultural Innovation Priorities:
    • Trusted exporter of premium food and agricultural products
    • Champion of climate resilience to increase the productivity, profitability and sustainability of the agriculture sector
    • World leader in preventing and rapidly responding to significant pests and diseases through future-proofing our biosecurity system
    • Mature adopter, developer, and exporter of digital agriculture
  • presents case studies that demonstrate progress already made, and commitments that are yet to be achieved
  • describes key participants that make up the agriculture innovation ‘ecosystem’
  • sets out key elements of monitoring and evaluating success.

Monitoring and evaluating performance

The FRDC’s Monitoring and Evaluation Framework

The FRDC’s Monitoring and Evaluation Framework (MEF) has been developed to provide a coordinated approach for monitoring, evaluation and reporting to enable the Corporation to better meet the needs of its stakeholders. This document will do so by setting out a forward-looking, results-based process for evaluating performance across all functions undertaken by the FRDC during the life of FRDC’s 2020-25 Research & Development Plan (R&D Plan).  

FRDC’s annual performance review with the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries

As a part of FRDC’s annual performance evaluation, we meet with the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) to present and discuss how we have met our key performance indicators under our statutory funding agreement. This includes demonstrating our activities and indicators towards achieving impact, how we are engaging with our stakeholders and how we are meeting our governance requirements. This discussion supports FRDC’s annual report, and provides an opportunity to consider practical continuous improvement for the following year. 

FRDC Five Year Independent Performance Review

The FRDC is required under its Statutory Funding Agreement 2020-2030 with DAFF to undertake an independent review of the FRDC’s performance against the Performance Principals outlined in the Agreement. 

Forest Hill Consulting finalised the review for 2020-2024 on the 5 July 2024. As part of the independent review a number of face-to-face interviews were conducted, in addition to broader stakeholder consultation. The Final Report made 10 recommendations.  The FRDC Board has accepted all the recommendations - the status of their implementation is outlined here.

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