Certification Statement – COVID-19 Health Campaign

Certification Statement – COVID-19 Health Campaign – Signed by Dr Brendan Murphy 26 November 2020

Page last updated: 30 November 2020

Certification Statement – COVID-19 Health Campaign – Signed by Dr Brendan Murphy 26 November 2020 (PDF 141 KB)

I certify that the COVID-19 Health Campaign complies with the Guidelines on Information and Advertising Campaigns by non-corporate Commonwealth entities (Guidelines).

This certification takes into consideration the Report of the Independent Communications Committee.  It also takes into consideration advice and evidence provided by officers within the Department of Health with responsibility for the design, development and implementation of the COVID-19 Health Campaign and advice provided by AGD on compliance with legal requirements. 

Dr Brendan Murphy
Secretary, Department of Health
26 November 2020

Principle 1: Campaigns should be relevant to government responsibilities.

The campaign directly relates to policies or programs underpinned by:
legislative authority; or
appropriation of the Parliament; or
 a Cabinet Decision which is intended to be implemented during the current Parliament.

Suitable uses for government campaigns include to:    
inform the public of new, existing or proposed government policies, or policy revisions; 
 provide information on government programs or services or revisions to programs or services to which the public are entitled; 
inform consideration of issues;
 disseminate scientific, medical or health and safety information; or
provide information on the performance of government to facilitate accountability to the public.

Principle 2: Campaigns should be presented in an objective, fair and accessible manner and be designed to meet the objectives of the campaign.

 The campaign enables the recipients of the information to distinguish between facts, comment, opinion and analysis.

 Where information is presented as fact, the information is accurate and verifiable. 
Where factual comparisons are made, the campaign does not attempt to mislead the recipient about the situation with which the comparison is made, and the basis for the comparison is explicit.

 Pre-existing policies, products, services and activities are not presented as new.     

 Special attention has been paid to communicating with any information disadvantaged individuals or groups identified as being within the target audience. Particular attention has been paid to meeting the information needs of Indigenous Australians, the rural community, and those for whom English is not a convenient language in which to receive information.

  Imagery used in the campaign reflects the diverse range of Australians.  The interests, lifestyles and contributions of women, Indigenous and culturally and linguistically diverse communities are realistically portrayed and their participation and contribution to Australian society is recognised.

 The campaign has been tested with target audiences to indicate that it is engaging and performs well against the objectives of the campaign. 

Principle 3: Campaigns should be objective and not directed at promoting party political interests.

 The campaign is presented in objective language and is free of political argument.

 The campaign does not try to foster a positive impression of a particular political party or promote party political interests.

 The campaign:

  • does not mention the party in Government by name;
  • does not directly attack or scorn the views, policies or actions of others such as the policies and opinions of opposition parties or groups;
  • does not include party political slogans or images;
  • has not been designed to influence public support for a political party, a candidate for election, a Minister or a Member of Parliament; and
  • does not refer or link to the websites of politicians or political parties.

Principle 4: Campaigns should be justified and undertaken in an efficient, effective and relevant manner.

 The campaign was instigated on the basis of a demonstrated need, target recipients are clearly identified and the campaign has been informed by appropriate research and/or evidence.

 Campaign information clearly and directly affects the interests of recipients.

 The medium and volume of the advertising activities is cost effective and justifiable within the budget allocated to the campaign. 

 Distribution of unsolicited materials will be carefully controlled.

 The campaign will be evaluated to determine effectiveness.

Principle 5: Campaigns must comply with legal requirements and procurement policies and procedures.

 The manner of presentation and the delivery of the campaign complies with all relevant laws including:

  • laws with respect to broadcasting and media;
  • privacy laws;
  • intellectual property laws;
  • electoral laws;
  • trade practices and consumer protection laws; and
  • workplace relations laws.

Procurement policies and procedures for the tendering and commissioning of services and the employment of suppliers were followed, and there is a clear audit trail regarding decision making.