Reserve Bank of Australia Annual Report – 1984 Staff

Deregulation within the financial system, the floating of the exchange rate and other changes during the year provided many challenges for the staff of the Bank. The Board is appreciative of the skill with which these were handled and shares with the staff satisfaction with the achievements of the year.

Within the Bank's own operations, as outlined below, some activities have grown or been added while others have declined (abruptly is some cases). The Board wishes all members of staff to know that it recognises that this has been a period of stress for them and that the necessary changes could not have been made without the high degree of dedication and adaptability shown by the staff.

Following the Government's decisions on foreign exchange arrangements on 9 December 1983, exchange control departments at the Bank's Head Office and branches were closed. At the time of these decisions, 181 staff were employed in exchange control and related activities; now, 17 staff are engaged on the Bank's residual responsibilities under the Banking (Foreign Exchange) Regulations. With the co-operation of staff directly affected, redeployment of personnel following the changes in foreign exchange arrangements was carried out smoothly. Several factors helped: there were a number of longstanding vacancies in other areas of the Bank, reflecting in part increased levels of activity there; recruitment of new entrants was curtailed for a time; and there were the normal losses from resignations and retirements. A small number of staff has still to be placed in permanent positions but this is expected to be done shortly. The Bank took the opportunity provided by the temporarily greater availability of staff to increase its training programmes and secondments to other financial institutions in Australia.

Largely as a consequence of the changes in foreign exchange arrangements, staff numbers declined over the year to 30 June 1984 by 119, to 3,708. An analysis of staff placement according to activity and location is given opposite. Included in the figures for 30 June 1984 are 137 staff on extended leave, 13 on secondments to other organisations in Australia and abroad and 16 on full-time study leave.

  At 30 June
Staff classified by:- 1982 1983 1984
Services to customers
– banking 1,668 1,649 1,673
– inscribed stock registries 297 296 298
Note printing 655 653 625
Administration of monetary and banking policy
(includes exchange control and related activities)
Other administration 723 743 803
Note Printing Branch 655 653 625
Other branches 1,950* 1,937* 1,906
Head Office 1,220* 1,237* 1,177
Total 3,825 3,827 3,708
* Figures revised because of a reclassification of Australian staff in overseas branches.

A chart of the administrative structure of the Bank appears on the following page. During the year, reflecting developments in the financial system, Banking and Finance Department was re-organised and renamed Financial Institutions Department. The changes in foreign exchange arrangements led to a restructuring of International Department. The Exchange Control Department was abolished.

In subsequent changes, responsibility for prudential supervision of banks was transferred from Financial Institutions Department to a newly established Supervision Unit. The Bank also established a special group to work on matters related to the domestic payments system.

Mr D.B. Addison, who joined the Bank from manufacturing industry, was appointed General Manager, Note Printing Branch, on 2 November 1983. Mr R.H. Tudor, Manager, London, retired in December 1983, and Mr M.E. Freeland, Senior Manager, Building Services Department, Head Office, in July 1984. Mr D.J. Cleary, Deputy Chief Manager, International Department, was seconded to serve as a member of the Review Group on the Australian Financial System (the Martin Group) from July to December 1983. At the Treasurer's invitation, Mr J.S. Mallyon, Adviser, became Chairman of the Australian Payments System Council in July 1984.

For many years, the Bank has endeavoured to avoid discrimination in personnel policies and practices. During 1983/84, the Government indicated its commitment to the concept of equal opportunity in employment. In May 1984, the Bank took steps to install a programme of equal opportunity in employment. Mr L.T. Hinde, Adviser, will oversee the programme.

The Government has also indicated its commitment to the concept of participation by employees in the making of decisions that affect them at work. The Bank has long-standing arrangements in which staff members are appointed to committees concerned with conditions of employment. These matters include: appropriate classification of positions in the Bank; the hearing of appeals against promotions; occupational health and safety; staff superannuation; and technology.

HEAD OFFICE MANAGEMENT: Standing (1 to r): J.A. Kirkwood, N.J. Brady, P.D. Jonson, R.J. Dowey, M.R. Hill. Seated (1 to r): J.S. Mallyon, M.J. Phillips, L.T. Hinde, A.S. Holmes, WE. Norton.
HEAD OFFICE MANAGEMENT: Standing (1 to r): J.A. Kirkwood, N.J. Brady, P.D. Jonson, R.J. Dowey, M.R. Hill. Seated (1 to r): J.S. Mallyon, M.J. Phillips, L.T. Hinde, A.S. Holmes, W.E. Norton.