Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, 2009
Managing the department
The department's governance framework consists of strategies and controls to foster a high performance culture. During 2008-09 the department reviewed its network of executive committees, to improve policy setting and performance monitoring.
Senior executive and responsibilities
The Secretary, Ms Robyn Kruk AM, is the chief executive officer of the department. Ms Kruk is assisted in the management of the organisation by an executive team of four deputy secretaries and 17 division heads. The names and responsibilities of the division heads are shown in the organisation chart in the executive summary chapter.
Senior executive team
Ms Robyn Kruk AM was appointed Secretary of the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, from 2 March 2009. Ms Kruk has extensive experience in public policy, having been Director General of the Department of Premier and Cabinet in NSW, Director General of NSW Health and Director General of the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Services. Ms Kruk's experience includes policy development and management in the areas of environmental planning and assessment, water management and reform, resource security and endangered species protection. She spearheaded development of Australia's first state Biodiversity ConservationStrategy, has been a member of the NSW Heritage Council and Chaired the Indigenous Protected Areas Advisory Council.
Mr Gerard Early PSM has been a long-term officer in the environment portfolio; for more than twenty years at senior executive level. He was appointed as Deputy Secretary in 2007, prior to which he held a range of division head positions in the department, with executive responsibility for various aspects of natural resource management. In addition to various division head positions in the department, Mr Early has been Deputy CEO in both the Australian Heritage Commission and the Australian Nature Conservation Agency and was Head of the Territories Office. Mr Early also worked in the offices of two environment ministers (as Chief of Staff to the Hon Barry Cohen MP in 1987 and as a consultant to Senator the Hon Graham Richardson from 1988 to 1989). Mr Early has a Master of Public Administration from the University of Canberra, a Bachelor of Arts from the Australian National University and a Graduate Diploma of Administration from the University of Canberra. He was awarded the Public Service Medal in the June 2007 Queen's Birthday Honours List for outstanding public service in the protection and conservation of Australia's natural environment and cultural heritage.
Mr Mark Tucker is the Deputy Secretary responsible for the Arts Division, the Culture Division, the Heritage Division, and the National Portrait Gallery. From October 2007 he was Deputy Secretary, Arts, Sports and Indigenous at the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts. Prior to this, Mr Tucker had a long association with the environment department, holding various senior executive positions from 1995. They included responsibility for Regional Forest Agreements, development of the EPBC Act, water and environmental protection policy, Marine and Water Division, National Oceans Office, Natural Resource Management Division and Policy Coordination Division. Mr Tucker has also worked in the Departments of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and Primary Industries and Energy.
Dr James Horne is the Deputy Secretary responsible for the Water Efficiency Division, the Water Governance Division and the Water Reform Division. He transferred into that position in January 2007, from Head of the Office of Water Resources in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Dr Horne joined the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet in August 2000 as First Assistant Secretary of the Industry, Infrastructure and Environment Division. He had responsibility for advising the Prime Minister on a broad range of microeconomic policy issues. Between 1992 and 2000 Dr Horne held senior executive positions in Treasury, covering budget policy, labour markets and macroeconomic policy. He was Minister (Economic) at the Australian Embassy in Tokyo (1994-1996) and later Chief Executive of the South Australian Department of Transport, Energy and Infrastructure (2005-2006). He has a background in economics and a PhD in political science.
Mr Malcolm Forbes is the acting Deputy Secretary responsible for the Renewables and Energy Efficiency Division, Australian Government Land and Coasts Division, Marine Division, Parks Australia Division and the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD). Mr Forbes is Chair of the Indigenous Policy and Leadership Group and the Marine and Coastal Committee. Mr Forbes is a long-term officer in the environment portfolio, where he has held a number of senior management positions in policy, program or regulatory areas, especially in environment impact assessments, natural resource management and nature conservation. More recently he has headed divisions in water, natural resource management and corporate strategies. Mr Forbes holds a Bachelor of Science (honours) and a Master of Science from Monash University. Prior to joining the Australian Public Service, he worked as a consultant on resource developments in Australia and South East Asia.
New appointments and retirements
Farewell to Mr David Borthwick on retirement from his position as Secretary of the department.
Mr David Borthwick PSM retired from his position as Secretary of the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts on 2January 2009. Mr Borthwick was appointed Secretary of the department (then known as the Department of the Environment and Heritage) in February 2004. In a career spanning more than 36 years, Mr Borthwick worked in six departments and served six governments.
Prior to being appointed Secretary to the department, Mr Borthwick served as Deputy Secretary in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (from July 2001). In that role, he was responsible for policy advice on a broad range of matters, including economic, industry, and environmental issues, and the Cabinet Secretariat and Implementation Unit. From 1998 to 2001 he was a Deputy Secretary in the Department of Health and Aged Care, where he had oversight of the health side of the department. From 1993 to 1998 he was a Deputy Secretary in the Treasury, responsible for financial markets, corporate law, structural policy and international economic issues. Prior to that appointment Mr Borthwick headed four of Treasury's Divisions: Fiscal Policy; Structural Policy; Economic Policy; and Taxation Policy. He was first appointed to the Senior Executive Service in the Treasury in 1979. In 1991 Mr Borthwick was appointed to serve as Australia's Ambassador to the OECD in Paris. In 1972 he graduated with First Class Honours in Economics from Monash University in Melbourne.
Mr Borthwick presided as head of the department during a period of significant expansion of its responsibilities. All staff of the department join in wishing him well in his retirement.
Mr Mike Callaghan, Deputy Secretary of the department, was formally transferred back to Treasury in 19 February 2009, at the request of the Secretary of the Treasury, Dr Ken Henry AC. In late 2008 Mr Callaghan was appointed by the Prime Minister as his Special Envoy to assist in managing Australia's response to the global financial crisis. Given his expertise in international and Australian financial systems, the move was made permanent. Since Mr Callaghan's departure Mr Malcolm Forbes has been acting in the role of Deputy Secretary for the Australian Antarctic Division, Renewables and Energy Efficiency Division, Marine Division, Australian Government Land and Coasts Division and Parks Australia Division.
The Secretary and the four Deputy Secretaries make up the department's Senior Executive Management committee which meets weekly to provide key policy and management decision making. The Executive Management Group (EMG), formally the Executive Roundtable, is the key senior management forum. It meets fortnightly to monitor performance and review significant issues across the department and portfolio. Members are: the Secretary (chair), Deputy Secretaries, heads of all divisions of the department, the Chief Financial Officer and the Assistant Secretary of Strategic Advice Branch. The Director of National Parks (DNP) and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) are also members of EMG because their responsibilities cross over with the department.
In recognition of their direct responsibilities to the portfolio ministers, agencies established under the Financial Management and Accountability Act (FMA agencies) meet at least twice a year at an Agencies Roundtable meeting. Agencies will also be invited by the Chair of EMG to attend the EMG meetings, when relevant items are scheduled.
A summary of outcomes from the EMG meetings is made available to all employees onthe department's intranet and through regular meetings with staff held in each division and agency.
The department has a new framework for committee reporting, with each committee directing specific aspects of the department's internal affairs. In addition to the Executive Management Group, the department now has three departmental business committees:
- Information Management Committee
- Workforce Management Committee
- Audit Committee
Reporting to these departmental business committees and the EMG are seven sub-committees:
- Indigenous Policy Leadership Group
- Compliance Executive Committee
- Risk Panel
- Consultative Committee
- Graduate Steering Committee
- Occupational Health and Safety Committee,and
- Marine and Coastal Coordination Committee
The roles and achievements of committees in 2008-09 are summarised in the following table.
|Information Management Committee||Roles: Identifies investment priorities in information acquisition and creation, the development and maintenance of information infrastructure and systems, and coordinates the development of policies and standards for information and its management.
Achievements: Met 5 times in 2008-09 and membership was expanded to cover issues in the Arts and Culture areas.
Planning day held to better understand how information management issues are being addressed elsewhere in government agencies, and ensure that the department's information management focus is aligned with its evolving business requirements.
Approved a strategy for progressing information management within the department.
|Workforce Management Committee||Roles: Provides strategic oversight for workforce issues, such as workforce planning, recruitment, performance management, learning and development, and occupational health and safety.
Achievements: Initiated the DEWHA 2008 Staff Survey and commenced implementation, across the department, of improvement strategies linked to the 2006-09 Workforce Plan.
Commenced negotiation of the 2009 Collective Agreement.
Endorsed the DEWHA Disability Action Plan 2008-2010.
Undertook a review of Occupational Health and Safety practices across the department, including amending the Health and Safety Management Arrangements to ensure legislative compliance.
Endorsed continuation and expansion of the leadership program.
Undertook a review and streamlining of recruitment practices.Undertook implementation of the Indigenous Employment Capability Strategy.
Reviewed the Graduate Recruitment Program and increased the intake for 2009.
Endorsed continuation of the School Leaver Traineeship.Continued the Indigenous secondment program across the department.
|Audit Committee||Roles: Oversees the internal audit program, risk management, fraud prevention, financial and management reporting, and compliance with legislation.
Achievements: Developed the 2009-10 audit priorities, guided by the department's Enterprise Risk Management plan.
Implemented a program of progressive assessment of the department's internal controls.
|Indigenous Policy Leadership Group||Roles: Provides guidance and coordination to the portfolio on the development of policies, and the effective implementation of programs that affect Indigenous peoples, in line with whole-of-government policies.
Ensures effective coordination and appropriate engagement with stakeholders across the department.
Achievements: Developed and endorsed a portfolio-wide Indigenous strategy. Provided advice on the development of an Indigenous National Caring for Country Strategy being championed by the Indigenous Advisory Committee.
Revised and endorsed the department's Reconciliation Action Plan.
Supported and provided advice on whole of government issues, such as Closing the Gap and the Northern Territory Emergency Response.
|Compliance Committee||Roles: Sets departmental policy and direction for legislative compliance, endorses operational policies and practices, sets performance measures and reviews performance on compliance and governance.
Achievements: Expanded a centralised compliance support capability for the department, which came to be recognised as a core function.
Established a centralised intelligence/collation function.
Implemented a common framework for the management and oversight of authorised officers under departmental legislation.
Initiated work upon the department's first Strategic Plan for Compliance and Enforcement.
Oversight of a review of the department's compliance and enforcement database requirements.
Initiated a review of the department's compliance and enforcement policy.
|Risk Panel||Roles: Continue to improve the department's enterprise-wide risk management policies and practices. The goal is to establish a culture where employees routinely use risk management to implement the department's responsibilities.
Review key risks for the department and advise senior management about those risks.
Provide assurance to the Secretary, through the department's Audit Committee that risk management is contributing to the successful operation of the department.
Achievements: All divisions completed divisional risk assessment plans.
The department's Enterprise Risk Management Plan (ERMP) was updated at six-monthly intervals and given to the Audit Committee and executive.
|Consultative Committee||Roles: Promote good industrial relations in the department by improving mutual understanding. Provide a forum for consultation and exchange of information between management and employees.
Achievements: Facilitated consultation and discussion on a range of issues affecting departmental staff members, including: the DEWHA policies on travel and clothing; the Enterprise Agreement; and the new building project.
|Graduate Steering Committee||Roles: Provide strategic policy and direction for the graduate program. Monitor the appropriateness and quality of learning and development activities and rotation bids.
Achievements: Conducted a review of the graduate program, resulting in a better funding model, an enhanced learning and development program, and improved policies and processes for rotations and final placements.
Selected useful rotations for the graduate cohort.
Placed all of the graduates in fulfilling jobs at the end of the program.
Guided the continued recruitment of high quality employees.
|Occupational Health and Safety Committee||Roles: Consider Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) specific issues of a strategic nature that may impact on the department as a whole.
Review and approve OHS policies and policy improvements.Oversight the local committees including:
The OHS committee did not meet in 2008-2009 due to issues identified with the existing structure of the committee, namely non-compliance with the requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1991. Due to the suspension of OHS Committee meetings, health and safety issues in the department were addressed through the Workforce Management Committee and local committees continued to operate. Refer to the Workforce Management Committee listing in this table for coverage on OHS issues.
|Marine and Coastal Coordination Committee||Roles: Coordinate domestic and international marine and coastal policies and programs across the portfolio.
Achievements: Coordinated portfolio engagement in the NRM Ministerial Council's Marine and Coastal Committee.
Progressed the finalisation of the Threat Abatement Plan for Marine Debris.
Progressed the development of a Dugong Wildlife Conservation Plan.
Coordinated the portfolio's contribution to implementation of the NRM Ministerial Council's National Cooperative Approach to Integrated Coastal Zone Management.
Considered the implications for the portfolio of the extension of Australia's Continental Shelf.
Corporate and operational planning
The department's 2008-09 strategic plan provided the business planning framework for the work plans of each division, branch, section and individual. The strategic plan is made available to all employees on the department's intranet.
The annual strategic plan was prepared on the basis of the department's three-year corporate plan. The corporate plan provides a high level view of the department's role as part of the Australian Government and a succinct statement of its mission. The corporate plan contains information about our values and how the department works with its stakeholders.
The department will take a fresh approach to corporate and strategic planning in 2009-10. Corporate and operational planning will be focused in a single strategic planning document. This new strategic plan will be reviewed and updated annually, to better reflect government and departmental priorities, while also giving clear direction for business planning.
Committees of the Executive Management Group (formerly Executive Roundtable) develop additional operational plans for specific aspects of the department's work. Atthe direction of the executive, major activities are required to be addressed in specific project plans.
Protiviti Pty Ltd provides independent internal audit, risk management, fraud control and investigation services, and advice to the department's Audit Committee.
The Audit Committee provides independent assurance to the Secretary on the integrity and reliability of the department's management of financial processes, risk and fraud control. The committee also evaluates the robustness of the department's internal controls and legislative compliance frameworks, to ensure that it is able to meet its accountability responsibilities. The committee seeks to maintain an effective and efficient internal audit function in the department.
The committee has five members, as set out in the table below. Ms Evelyn Bosak was appointed in December 2008, replacing Ms Jenny Morrison whose term expired in August 2008. Seven meetings were held during 2008-09.
Observers at the committee meetings include the Chief Financial Officer, the First Assistant Secretary of Corporate Strategies Division, the Chair of the Risk Panel, the Chief Governance Officer and representatives of the Australian National Audit Office and the internal audit service provider.
The committee's major activities in 2008-09 are reported in the table on the Roles and achievements of the departmental business committees and sub-committees 2008-09.
|Member||Role||Number eligible to attend as member||Number of meetings attended|
|Andrew Podger||Independent Chair||7||7|
|Rod Shogren||Independent Member||7||6|
|Evelyn Bosak||Independent Member||4||4|
|Jenny Morrison||Member until August 2008||2||2|
The Risk Panel was established by the Secretary in October 2006, under the Chief Executive's Instructions to oversee risk management in the organisation. It was planned to have up to six executives and four to six meetings per year. The membership was maintained at four regular executive members and four regular observers. The panel's objectives are to improve enterprise-wide risk management, policies, procedures, practices and reporting schemes.
An Enterprise Risk Management Plan was established in 2008. Ensuring that risk management practices were incorporated into projects was a major achievement over the last half of 2008-09.
|Member||Role||Number eligible to attend as member||Number of meetings attended|
Summary of achievements
After implementing the first Enterprise Risk Management Plan in May 2008, the panel performed two six-monthly reviews (November 2008 and April 2009):
- The Enterprise Risk Management Plan was presented to the department's Audit Committee following the reviews, in December 2008 and May 2009. The Audit Committee used the plan to prepare for the 2009-10 internal audit work. It was submitted to the Secretary in May 2009.
- An improved and updated corporate risk assessment tool was approved for divisional risk assessments.
- The department undertook a review of its risk framework, as part of Comcover's Risk Management Assessment Service. Comcover is the Australian Government's general insurer.
- A Risk Management Working Group was established, to focus on improving the tools, policies and procedures for better business.
- Risk assessments were incorporated into the department's project management tools and training.
In 2009-10, the focus for the panel will be on improvements to communications and training and on review and monitoring.
Corporate Project Management Office (CPMO)
The Corporate Project Management Office (CPMO) was established in August 2008. Its role is to develop and maintain a robust project management framework that meets the needs of the department. The department hasanincreasing number of large and complex projects.
The department's Executive Management Group approved the framework which was then released in a staged approach from October 2007 to June 2009.
Release 1 identified and classified departmental projects into a three-tiered project classification system, with corresponding templates and sponsorship levels. For example, Tier 1 projects have a sponsor at Deputy Secretary level, and Tier 2 projects a sponsor at First Assistant Secretary level.
Release 2 saw the introduction of a comprehensive in-house training program, including: a two-day fundamental course; Certificate IV Project Management for graduates; e-learning modules; and sponsor information packages.
Release 3 rolled out the major component of the framework, including: process maps; toolkits; templates and guidelines; list of external consultants; and status reports linking to departmental outcomes and the new corporate reporting framework.
The CPMO is currently working on Release4, the development and implementation of a corporate project management software system, to support the Framework.
Prior to establishment of the CPMO, an internal audit on project management used a standardised project management maturity model to measure the department's project management maturity. The department received a 1.2 out of 5. It is envisaged that the first three releases will see this measurement rise to 3.7.
The department's anti-fraud program is supervised by both the Audit Committee and the Risk Panel.
The department investigates or takes action on all allegations of fraud and/or serious misconduct related to the business of the department. Where appropriate, it works with other law enforcement agencies. The department has a large and varied workforce and a comprehensive plan and processes to control internal fraud and corruption.
The department is updating its fraud control plan, which will set out actions to reduce the risk of fraud against the department.
Of 13 cases of suspected fraud during 2008-09, 10 cases were referred to the Australian Federal Police.
Business Continuity Plan
The department's Business Continuity Plan describes the arrangements that it will use to ensure the continuity of key services after a major, unexpected and disruptive incident. It details the management structure, staff roles and responsibilities, and actions that are to be implemented after a major incident.
The need for developing and maintaining theBusiness Continuity Plan has arisen fromthe department's commitment to soundrisk management and corporate governance practices.
The current plan has been endorsed by the Secretary for the period 1 January 2008 to 31December 2011. It applies to the department's operations conducted from, or using facilities located at, the its premises at the John Gorton Building, Canberra. It will be regularly reviewed and updated as necessary during this period.
The department has a separate pandemic plan which was implemented during the outbreak of the H1N1 Influenza 09 (Human Swine Flu).
Certificate of Compliance
Beginning in 2006-07, chief executives of Australian Government departments and agencies were required to provide a completed Certificate of Compliance to their portfolio minister and a copy to the Minister for Finance and Deregulation by 15 October each year.
The certificate focuses on agencies' compliance during the previous financial year with the following:
- Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997
- Financial Management and Accountability Regulations 1997
- Financial Management and Accountability Orders 2005
- Financial Management and Accountability (Finance Minister to Chief Executives) Delegation 2007 (No. 2), as amended from time to time
- Australian Government's foreign exchange risk management requirements
- Legal and financial requirements for the management of Special Accounts
- The financial management policies of the Commonwealth.
The certificate integrates these requirements, allowing chief executives to certify compliance with the financial legislation and associated policies in a single document.
For the financial period 2008-09, the department identified 107 breaches in the annual Certificate of Compliance process. The Secretary will provide a completed Certificate of Compliance for the department, covering 2008-09, to the relevant ministers by 15 October 2009.
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