The Australian Hydrographic Office (AHO) has an integrated governance, risk and compliance framework in place. Our governance framework supports informed decision making, in alignment with our strategic objectives.


As a part of the Department of Defence, annual targets for hydrographic products and services are included in the Department of Defence Portfolio Budget Statement (PBS). These targets may be amended through the Portfolio Additional Estimates Statement (PAES).

HydroScheme is a plan of intended hydrographic survey projects for each financial year, incorporating the HydroScheme Industry Partnership Program (HIPP). HIPP utilises a panel of pre-approved industry providers to undertake survey tasks within the Australian Charting Area. HIPP is managed by the AHO on behalf of the Department of Defence.

ChartScheme is the AHO’s yearly charting plan. It details charting projects within Australian waters and for countries the AHO is the Primary Charting Authority.

Annual performance against PBS targets are included in the Defence Annual Report.

Performance of the AHO is available to Parliament through the quarterly hearings of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Senate Committee.

Risk Management

Our risk management approach is consistent with the International Standard for Risk Management (ISO 31000:2018). Risks are well understood, with lead and lag Key Performance Indicators (KPI) monitored to identify and manage risks.

Performance Management

KPI are tracked on a monthly or six monthly basis. Core KPI include:

  • Priority 1 Maritime Safety Updates are applied to product within 20 days
  • Progress of Hydrographic survey projects under (HIPP)
  • Progress of charting projects against PBS targets
  • Availability of the website
  • Customer satisfaction

Quality Management

Critical production processes are controlled through a Quality Management System. The AHO Quality Management System is based on ISO 9001 principles.

Routine auditing is undertaken, with auditing priorities aligned to risk management.

Continuous improvement is a core value, demonstrated through our quality processes, critical incident management and performance evaluation.

Data Governance

The AHO manages maritime geospatial data as an asset and key enabler of our business. This data provides the foundation for safe navigation, environmental protection and maritime security. It also supports scientific discoveries, maritime engineering, marine planning and a wide range of other non-navigational activities.

The AHO data governance framework recognises that data gains and holds value when it is actively curated throughout its lifecycle. This includes treating data as a record and retaining it in perpetuity so that it is secure and findable, accessible and reusable in support of future analysis and as evidence for decision making during the production of hydrographic products and services.