Corporate governance

As a public office holder, the IGT reports and is accountable to the Minister for meeting his statutory role. As the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the IGT office, the IGT is responsible for the operation and performance of his office pursuant to the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (FMA Act).

The corporate governance practices of the IGT office are designed to take into account the small size of the office. The IGT governance processes align with those of the Treasury to provide synergistic benefits under the Service Level Agreement (SLA) entered into by the two agencies.

The IGT as CEO and the Deputy IGT as Chief Finance Officer (CFO) together act as the agency Executive (the Executive). They have developed a range of governance policies, plans and procedures appropriate to the agency’s staffing level of nine people, as at 30 June 2014, operating out of a single office location.

Fraud prevention and control

No cases of fraud were reported to the Australian Federal Police in 2013–14.

The IGT office’s Fraud Control Plan accords with the Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines and the ANAO’s Fraud Control in Australian Government Entities — Better Practice Guide.

The IGT office:

  • has prepared fraud risk assessments and fraud control plans;
  • has appropriate fraud control, prevention, detection, investigation, reporting and data collection procedures and processes in place;
  • reports annual fraud data information to the Australian Institute of Criminology; and
  • has taken all reasonable measures to minimise the incidence of fraud and to investigate and recover the proceeds of fraud against the agency.

Audit and risk committee

Pursuant to section 46 of the FMA Act, the IGT continues to maintain an Audit and Risk Committee. The committee is independent and provides valuable assurance and advice to the CEO. The committee met on four occasions during 2013–14.

Remuneration committee

The IGT and the Deputy IGT comprise the Remuneration Committee. The IGT has an enterprise agreement with non‑SES employees under the Fair Work Act 2009.

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 report directly 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 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 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.

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

For the IGT’s work program of reviews, reference should be made to Parts 1 and 2 of this report.

Risk management

The IGT meets specific risk management responsibilities under the FMA Act through the application of an integrated risk management framework. A suite of policies, plans and procedures have also been developed and adopted by the IGT which further contribute to the mitigation of risks.

The following are the key components of the risk management framework:

  • Chief Executive’s Instructions (CEIs) provide the policy and procedural framework for financial management in the IGT office and put into effect the requirements of the FMA Act. They also contain topics relating specifically to risk management and internal accountability.
  • The Fraud Control Plan complies with the Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines issued under regulation 16A of the Financial Management and Accountability Regulations 1997.
  • The Business Continuity Plan includes processes for identifying and assessing risks and contingency plans for events that disrupt normal IGT office operations.
  • Security Risk Management is managed in accordance with the requirement of the Australian Government Protective Security Policy Framework.
  • Risk assessments are to be reviewed annually as part of the process of applying for insurance renewal. The program 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.

The IGT’s CEIs, Fraud Control Plan, Business Continuity Plan and the risk management framework itself are periodically reviewed by the IGT Audit and Risk Committee.

Information technology

The IGT has strategies in place to ensure that risks associated with the delivery of information technology (IT) services are identified and managed. The IGT office uses Treasury’s IT infrastructure, governance and support systems under the SLA. Examples of such use include:

  • the IT Disaster Recovery Plan (including Business Continuity Planning) which sets out strategies and processes to restore service disruptions;
  • the Information Security Policy which sets out the technical requirements for the protection of electronic data and the expectations of all users of IT resources for the secure operation of IT systems. This overarching policy covers acceptable internet and email use as well as information storage, access and maintenance in conformity with Australian Government and legislative requirements; and
  • website development standards and guidelines based on Australian Government Information Management Office guidelines, the Information Security Manual and Australian Signals Directorate guidelines. The standards ensure compliance with best practice in relation to website security.

Staff awareness of risk management policies and procedures is maintained through training programs 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 embraces the Australian Public Service (APS) Values and this is reflected in relevant corporate documents.

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

External scrutiny

Audit

Other than annual financial statement audit activity, there have not been any audits of the IGT office undertaken by the ANAO. The IGT has an independent Audit and Risk Committee as part of the agency’s governance framework.

Internal audits

The SLA with the Treasury includes provision for internal audit services. The Audit and Risk Committee established by the IGT may seek input from the Treasury regarding internal audit matters relevant to the IGT office.

Reports on the operations of the IGT

There were no reports in 2013–14 on the operations of the IGT by the Auditor‑General (other than the report on financial statements contained in Part 4), a Parliamentary committee or the Commonwealth Ombudsman. There was no agency capability review regarding the IGT in 2013–14.

Judicial, administrative tribunal or Australian Information Commissioner decisions

No judicial decisions, decisions of administrative tribunals or decisions by the Australian Information Commissioner were made that have had, or may have, a significant impact on the operations of the IGT.

Management of human resources

The IGT office consists of a small number of staff and 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 skill 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 an informal half‑yearly review.

The IGT has utilised the design features and infrastructure of the Treasury Performance Management System in its own 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

IGT staff are employed under an employment agreement. The employment terms and conditions are consistent for all staff within the IGT office. Employment conditions and remuneration are determined by reference to the Employment Guidelines which incorporate a pay model (see Tables 4 and 5 for salary scales for non‑SES and SES staff, as at 30 June 2014). This arrangement provides underlying consistency for all employees while providing flexibility in recognising individual circumstances. In 2011, non‑SES staff entered into an enterprise agreement under the Fair Work Act 2009.

The IGT’s employment agreements specifically refer to the APS Values in the context of setting out expected performance and behaviour.

Table 4: Salary scales — non‑SES
  30 June 2014
Classification   Minimum
$
Maximum
$
APS6 79,777 96,651
EL1 104,060 119,369

The IGT may provide alternative remuneration arrangements in specific circumstances.

At 30 June 2014, there was one permanent SES employee engaged under an employment agreement and one under a determination.

Table 5: Salary scales — SES
  30 June 2014
Classification   Minimum
$
Maximum
$
SES Band 1 189,757 220,540
SES Band 2 232,573 272,215

The IGT’s remuneration package is determined by the Remuneration Tribunal.

Workplace relations

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

The format and content of the IGT office’s workplace and individual arrangements reflect government policy at the time of implementation.

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 IGT is very important particularly given the small size of his office. The opportunity exists under the IGT Act to second staff to the office. The IGT also takes part in graduate development through secondee arrangements within the APS. During 2013–14, there was one such secondee.

Learning and development

The IGT’s employment management policies reinforce the IGT’s commitment to staff learning and development. As well as providing internal agency staff training on a periodic basis where possible, the IGT financially supports individual staff members who wish to complete post‑graduate courses or attend specific learning and development opportunities where appropriate.

Staffing information

Table 6 details the number of staff employed in the IGT office, by classification and gender. All staff are employed under the Public Service Act 1999. However, the IGT is a statutory appointee.

Table 6: Operative staff by classification and gender
(as at 30 June 2014)
Classification Male Female Total
APS6   1 1
EL1 5   5
SES Band 1 1   1
SES Band 2 1   1
Inspector-General 1   1
Total 8 1 9

Note: IGT staff are employed on an ongoing full‑time basis in the IGT’s Sydney office.

Procurement and assets management

Procurement

The IGT has adopted the Treasury’s procurement policies and utilises the Treasury’s services under the SLA. For example, IT procurement is undertaken by the Treasury IT Procurement Unit. These policies and procedures are consistent with the IGT’s CEIs and the Commonwealth Procurement Rules (CPRs).

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

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

The IGT publishes information about significant procurements the agency expects to undertake during the following year in an annual procurement plan, available on the AusTender website.

Assets management

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

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

Consultancies

The IGT agency engages consultants where it requires specialist expertise or when independent research, review or assessment is needed. Consultants are typically engaged to investigate or diagnose a defined issue or problem, carry out defined reviews or evaluations or provide independent advice, information or solutions to assist in the agency’s decision making.

Prior to engaging consultants, the agency takes into account the skills and resources required for the task, the skills available internally, and the cost‑effectiveness of engaging external expertise. The decision to engage a consultant is made in accordance with the FMA Act and related regulations including the CPRs and relevant internal policies.

During 2013–14, consultancy contracts were entered into that involved total actual expenditure of $66,767 (inclusive of GST). Information on contracts and consultancies is available on the AusTender website www.tenders.gov.au.

Australian National Audit Office access clauses

The IGT is required to provide details of any contract entered during 2013–14 of $100,000 or more (inclusive of GST) that does not provide for the Auditor‑General to have access to the contractor’s premises.

The IGT has entered into no such contracts in this reporting period.

Exempt contracts

The IGT has not exempted any contracts or standing offers from being published on AusTender in this reporting period on the basis that it would disclose exempt matters under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act).

Workplace diversity

The IGT, as noted, recruits its small workforce based on merit and current competence. 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.

The IGT evaluates the Treasury’s policies and plans regarding workplace diversity and will continue to consider options available to a small agency.

Table 7: Operative staff by Equal Employment Opportunity target group
(as at 30 June 2014)
Classification Female Born Overseas ESL AATSI Disability
APS6 1   1    
EL1   3 2    
SES Band 1          
SES Band 2          
Inspector-General   1 1    
Total 1 4 4 0 0

Disability action plan

The Commonwealth’s National Disability Strategy 2010–2020 sets out a ten year national policy framework to improve the lives of people with disability, promote participation and create a more inclusive society. A high level two‑yearly report will track progress against each of the six outcome areas of the strategy and present a picture of how people with disability are faring. The first of these reports will be available in late 2014 and can be found on the Department of Social Services website.