Corporate governance

In 2009-10 the IGT maintained established governance arrangements. Governance processes continued to be based on many of the well-established policies and processes in place in the Department of the Treasury.

The IGT has two distinct roles. As a public office holder, he reports, and is accountable to, the Assistant Treasurer and the Treasurer for meeting his statutory role. As the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Office of the IGT (the agency), the IGT is responsible for the operation and performance of the operation of his Office.

The corporate governance practices of the Office of the IGT are designed to take into account that the agency is quite small and that it is inextricably linked with the governance processes of the Treasury. This is as a result of the service level agreement (SLA) entered into by the two agencies. The SLA with Treasury was re-negotiated during 2009-10.

The IGT as CEO and the Deputy IGT as Chief Finance Officer (CFO) together act as the agency Executive. They have developed a full range of governance policies and procedures appropriate to the situation of the agency comprising seven people in a single office location.

Audit Committee

Pursuant to section 46 of the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (FMA Act), the IGT continues to maintain an Audit Committee with an independent chair. The Audit Committee met on three occasions during 2009-10.

Remuneration Committee

The IGT and the Deputy IGT comprise the Remuneration Committee. The IGT has entered into employment agreements with employees which provide for performance and remuneration review processes.

The IGT’s performance management system provides for performance being reviewed formally on an annual basis and informally on a six-monthly basis. The small size of the agency allows for regular and continual discussion of performance with all staff members. Since all staff directly report to the Deputy IGT, and have direct involvement with the IGT, they are provided with ongoing informal feedback on their performance.

Corporate planning and reporting

Corporate planning is undertaken by the IGT Executive throughout the year, including the development of a work program which shapes and determines the activities of the agency.

Corporate reporting is reviewed and overseen by the IGT Executive.

Administratively, the agency draws heavily on the facilities of the Treasury under the SLA. All day-to-day account processing is undertaken by Treasury utilising its accounting system infrastructure. However, a financial controller (part-time) is employed on a contract basis and reports directly to the CFO (Deputy IGT).

The Deputy IGT (as CFO) is responsible, with input from the IGT (as CEO), for settling portfolio budget statements, ongoing maintenance of cash flow and monthly reporting of financial position. Periodic corporate management and compliance reporting is also completed as required.

In relation to the Office’s review reporting, reference should be made to Part 2.

Risk management

The Office of the IGT’s meets its specific risk management responsibilities under the FMA Act through the application of an integrated risk management framework. The following are the key components of the framework:

  • Chief Executive Instructions (CEIs) provide the policy and procedural framework for financial management in the IGT’s office and put into effect the requirements of the FMA Act.
  • Physical security risk reviews continue to be arranged, and the office design and associated access security meet required standards and have been reviewed and approved by ASIO Group 4.
  • Risk assessments are to be reviewed annually as part of the process of applying for insurance renewal. The programme is based on the Risk Management Standard AS/NZS ISO 31000:2009 and will measure the IGT’s performance in implementing risk management processes and policies against the national benchmark.

Comprehensive Business Continuity and Fraud Control plans are maintained by the Office of the IGT. The Audit Committee periodically reviews these plans.

Information technology

The Office of the IGT has strategies in place to ensure that risks associated with the delivery of information technology (IT) services are identified and managed. This is against a background of the nature of the IGT’s work and flexible operating environment, creating a relatively low-risk environment. The IGT utilises the IT infrastructure and support systems of the Treasury under the SLA. Components of the Treasury IT governance that the IGT leverages includes:

  • The IT Disaster Recovery Plan sets out the strategies and processes to restore services if a complete or partial loss of the Treasury central computing infrastructure occurs. The plan aims to restore services within an appropriate timeframe.
  • Business Continuity Plans apply to all of the Treasury IT application systems.
  • The IT Security Policy developed by Treasury addresses the requirements to protect information holdings and secure operation of IT resources. The policy is based on the protective security policies and standards in the Australian Government Protective Security Policy Framework and the Australian Government Information Security Manual.
  • The Treasury Internet and Email Acceptable Use Policy sets out individual user’s responsibilities for the appropriate use of the internet and email facilities and services. This policy refers to the Australian Public Service Values and Code of Conduct, the Public Service Act 1999, other relevant Australian Government legislation and the IT Security Policy.
  • Website Development Standards and Guidelines are based on ISO 9001, the Information Security Manual and Defence Signals Directorate Guidelines. The standards ensure compliance with best practice in relation to website security.
  • IT Change Control Guidelines are an internal IT management tool which assists with quality assurance control over proposed changes to the IT technical environment and facilities. This change control process involves reviewing proposed variations and clearing them before releasing changes in the production environment.
  • An IT Risk Management Strategy has been developed in accordance with Defence Signals Directorate Guidelines and identifies technical risks associated with IT infrastructure and IT management practices.

Staff awareness of risk management policies and procedures is maintained through training programmes and staff notices circulated to Treasury and IGT officers and also made available through access to the Treasury intranet.

Ethical standards and accountability

The IGT’s values embrace the Australian Public Service (APS) values. In particular, the IGT Employment Conditions refer prominently to the current APS values.

The IGT has taken steps to establish and maintain ethical standards through developing policies such as the CEI’s and by actively adapting relevant policy documentation developed by Treasury. This includes such matters as the use of the internet email, conflict of interest guidelines, consultant engagement and management guidelines.

Senior Executive Service remuneration

Remuneration of senior executive staff is determined by reference to a pay model identifying pay points. Allocation to a pay point is determined on the basis of experience and performance review.

At 30 June 2010, there was one permanent Senior Executive Service employee in the Office of the IGT engaged under an employment agreement.

External scrutiny

Audit

Other than annual financial statement audit activity, there have not been any audits of the Office of the IGT undertaken by the ANAO.

Internal audits

The SLA with the Treasury includes provision for internal audit services. No internal audits of the Office of the IGT were undertaken during 2009-10. The Audit Committee established by the IGT regularly seeks input from the Treasury internal audit on any matters relevant to the Office of which there were none in 2009-2010.

Reports by the ANAO, the Ombudsman and others

Administration of the Office of the IGT was not mentioned in any reviews undertaken by the ANAO that were tabled in 2009-2010. There have not been any comments by the Commonwealth Ombudsman on administrative matters within the Office of the IGT in 2009-2010.

Judicial decisions

In 2009-10, no matters relating to the Office of the IGT were the subject of judicial proceedings or tribunal hearings.

Management of human resources

The Office of the IGT consists of a small number of staff. The Office seeks to provide a collegiate environment for staff to develop through their work and participation in a broad range of agency activities and corporate obligations. The nature of the work provides for a clear sense of achievement and satisfaction in performing an important community function. However, given the office’s small size and specific skills requirements, staff are recruited on the basis of merit and current competence with the expectation that career progression will generally occur in the wider public service/professional environment. Staff are encouraged and supported to provide their best performance while in the service of the IGT.

Performance management

The Performance Management System is based on an annual performance cycle with a formal annual review and a less formal half-yearly review.

The Office of the IGT has utilised the design features and infrastructure of the Treasury Performance Management System in the establishment of the Performance Management System. An important feature is transparency in the process used by the Executive in measuring performance and communicating to each individual staff member. All staff report directly to the Deputy IGT. Within a very small office environment, monitoring and assessing performance on an individual basis is relatively direct. Comparative analysis is also considered for individuals against inter-agency benchmarking where this is appropriate.

Employment agreements

All Office of the IGT staff are employed under employment agreements. The employment terms and conditions are consistent for all staff within the Office of the IGT. Employment conditions and remuneration are determined by reference to the Employment Guidelines which incorporate a pay model (see Tables 5 and 6 for salary scales for SES and non-SES staff). The employment agreements do not provide for payment of performance pay. This arrangement provides underlying consistency for all employees while providing flexibility in recognising individual circumstances.

The Office of the IGT employment agreements specifically refer to the Australian Public Service Values in the context of setting out expected performance and behaviour.

Workplace relations

The Deputy IGT consults with employees on matters in the workplace.

Recruitment and succession planning

The IGT recruits staff based on merit and current competence. The ability to make an immediate contribution to the role of the Office is very important particularly given its small size. The opportunity exists under the IGT Act to second staff to the Office.

Training and development

The Office of the IGT’s Employment Guidelines reinforce the IGT’s commitment to staff development. As well as providing internal agency staff training on an ad hoc basis where possible, the IGT financially supports individual staff members who wish to complete post-graduate courses or attend specific development opportunities where appropriate.

Staffing information

Table 4 details the number of staff employed by the Office of the IGT, by category and gender. All staff are employed under the Public Service Act 1999. However the IGT is a statutory appointee.

Table 4: Operative and paid inoperative staff by classification and gender

(as at 30 June 2010)

Table 4: Operative and paid inoperative staff by classification and gender

Note: IGT staff are employed on an ongoing full-time basis.

Remuneration of SES staff

Table 5: Salary scales — SES

Table 5: Salary scales — SES

SES officers also have access to airline lounge membership, mobile phones, and some home office facilities.

The IGT has his remuneration package determined by the Remuneration Tribunal.

Remuneration of non-SES staff

Table 6: Salary scales — non-SES

Table 6: Salary scales — non-SES

The IGT may provide alternative remuneration arrangements in specific circumstances.

Procurement and assets management

Procurement

The Office of the IGT has adopted Treasury procurement policies and utilises services under the SLA. For example, all IT procurement is undertaken by the Treasury IT Procurement Unit. These policies and procedures are consistent with the Office of the IGT’s CEI and the Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines.

To maintain procurement expertise and procedural compliance with the guidelines, all internal procurement documentation is available to the Office of the IGT’s staff on the Treasury intranet.

Treasury regularly updates the intranet site to incorporate contemporary procurement practice.

Assets management

The Treasury, for and on behalf of the Office of the IGT, manages both current and non-current assets in accordance with the guidelines set out in the IGT’s CEI and the Australian Accounting Standards.

Non-current assets are subject to an annual stocktake to ensure the accuracy of asset records.

Consultancies

Consistent with the CEI and the Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines, the Office of the IGT engages consultants and contractors on the basis of:

  • value for money;
  • open and effective competition;
  • ethics and fair dealing;
  • accountability and reporting;
  • national competitiveness and industry development; and
  • support for other Australian Government policies.

Typically, consultants are engaged to carry out defined research, provide independent advice or provide information or creative solutions to assist the IGT complete particular reviews or for him to undertake his statutory function. The most common reasons for engagement of consultancy services are:

  • unavailability of specialist in-house resources in the short timeframe available;
  • the need for an independent study or review; and
  • specialist skills and knowledge are not available in-house.

Providers of consultancy services are selected through open tender, select tender, direct sourcing or panels.

During 2009-10 no new consultancy contracts were entered into involving expenditure over $10,000 (inclusive of GST).

Workplace diversity

The IGT as noted, recruits its small workforce based on merit. In doing so it also seeks to take account of workplace diversity, recognising gender, age and ethnicity in that process. In this regard, a reasonable balance has resulted. Broader community involvement is encouraged, with staff members being supported in their professional association activities.

Table 7: Operative and paid inoperative staff by EEO target group

(as at 30 June 2010)

Table 7: Operative and paid inoperative staff by EEO target group

Disability Action Plan

The IGT has evaluated the Treasury Disability Action Plan and will continue to consider options available to a small agency.