Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, 2010
Corporate Outcome - Improving organisational effectiveness (continued)
The department's governance framework during 2009-10 consisted of strategies and controls to allow it to achieve policy, program and regulatory objectives efficiently, effectively and ethically, and to address emerging strategic issues and risks. During 2009-10 the department reviewed its reporting framework and management of risks to improve policy setting and performance monitoring. The department was committed to continuous improvement of the governance framework in response to emerging needs and better governance models.
Senior executive and responsibilities
The Secretary, Ms Robyn Kruk AM, was the Chief Executive Officer of the department. Ms Kruk was assisted in the management of the organisation by an executive team of four deputy secretaries and 18 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 Conservation Strategy, has been a member of the NSW Heritage Council and Chaired the Indigenous Protected Areas Advisory Council.
Mr Gerard Early PSM was the Deputy Secretary responsible for the Biodiversity Group. Mr Early 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 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 was the Deputy Secretary responsible for the Arts, Culture, Heritage, Antarctic, Waste and Corporate Group. 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 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 conservation, natural resource management programs and corporate policy. Mr Tucker also had agency responsibilities for the National Oceans Office and National Film and Sound Archive. Mr Tucker has also worked in the Departments of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and Primary Industries and Energy. He has a Bachelor of Science Honours degree in Zoology.
Dr James Horne PSM was the Deputy Secretary responsible for the Water Group. 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. He was awarded the Public Service Medal (PSM) as part of the Australia Day 2010 Honours for his outstanding public service in the area of water policy, use and management in Australia.
Sally Basser was Acting Deputy Secretary responsible for Arts Division, Culture Division, the National Portrait Gallery and Heritage Division. Prior to this role, Ms Basser worked as First Assistant Secretary Culture Division and for two years in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet where she was responsible for coordination of social policy advice to the Prime Minister on families and children, employment, housing, people with disabilities, carers, the aged, veterans and assistance to Australian individuals, families and communities following both domestic and international disaster. Ms Basser has over 20 years' experience in public policy, program and operations management. This has included areas as diverse as child protection, child support, family assistance, children's services, arts and sport. Sally has represented Australia at UNESCO and other international and national forums. She has a Master of Public Administration from the University of Canberra and a Bachelor of Social Work (First Class Honours) from the University of New South Wales.
The secretary and the four deputy secretaries made up the department's Senior Executive Management committee, which met weekly to provide strategic oversight and decision making on significant policy, program and operational issues. The Executive Management Group was the key senior management forum. It met fortnightly to monitor performance and review significant issues across the department and portfolio. It comprised: the secretary (Chair), deputy secretaries, the heads of all divisions of the department, the chief financial officer, legal counsel and the assistant secretaries of the Strategic Advice and Communications and Ministerial Services branches. The Director of National Parks and the Chair of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority were also members of the Executive Management Group because their responsibilities crossed over with the department.
In recognition of their direct responsibilities to the portfolio ministers, agencies established under the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (FMA Act agencies) and those under the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 (CAC Act bodies) met at an agencies roundtable meeting. Agencies were also invited by the Chair of the Executive Management Group to attend the Executive Management Group meeting, when relevant items were scheduled. FMA Agencies were provided with the minutes from Executive Management Group meetings.
A summary of outcomes from the Executive Management Group meetings was made available to all employees on the department's intranet and through communications within each division.
In addition to the Executive Management Group, under the department's framework for committee reporting there were three departmental business committees that directed specific aspects of the department's internal affairs:
- Information Management Committee
- Workforce Management Committee
- Audit Committee.
Reporting to these departmental business committees and the Executive Management Group were seven sub-committees:
- Indigenous Policy Leadership Group
- Compliance Executive Committee
- Risk Panel
- Consultative Committee
- Graduate Steering Committee
- Occupational Health and Safety Committee
- Marine and Coastal Coordination Committee.
The roles and achievements of committees in 2009-10 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. It coordinates the development of policies and standards for information and its management.
Achievements: N/A - The IMC has been inactive since the establishment of the Science and Information Review.
|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.
Oversighted recruitment improvement activities, including streamlining and the establishment of a panel of recruitment services providers.
Endorsed departmental action plans implementing outcomes of the 2008 Staff Survey.
Sponsored SES involvement in leadership development workshops.
Endorsed a number of workforce policies (dress, outside employment, fitness for duty, use of social networking sites, drugs and alcohol, health checks) plans (diversity) and programs (Investors in People, induction/orientation).
|Departmental Audit Committee||
Roles: Oversight of the internal audit program, risk management, fraud prevention, financial and management reporting, and compliance with legislation.
Identified critical corporate functions that could be improved (e.g. strategic planning and divisional support) lending support to the secretary's initiatives for change.
Provided advice on the restructuring of the department's risk management framework.
|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.
Provided ongoing input and support on whole-of-government issues on the government's Closing the Gap agenda.
Instituted internal processes to review Indigenous programs delivered by DEWHA.
Consulted with the EPBC Act Indigenous Advisory 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.
Developed and adopted Compliance Management Committee processes for all higher level investigations.
Initiated business analysis to specify requirements for a departmental compliance and enforcement case management and database system.
Reviewed all departmental legislation with enforcement powers.
Continued to implement the Authorised Officer Procedural Guidelines, and facilitated the rationalisation of authorised officer numbers.
Developed and adopted uniform departmental procedures for referrals to the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service.
Developed and adopted Compliance Media Communications Protocols.
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: Ensured all divisions completed divisional risk assessment plans.
Reviewed and updated the department's Enterprise Risk Management Plan, which was then submitted to the Departmental Audit Committee and senior executive.
Risk Management Policy and Guidelines updated to comply with the new risk management standard, ISO 31000:2009: Risk management - Principles and guidelines, and reflect the organisation's changing business needs.
Roles: Promote good workplace relations in the department by providing a forum for consultation and exchange of information between management and employees and their representatives.
Achievements: Terms of reference updated to: reflect the new Enterprise Agreement and the Australian Government Employment Bargaining Framework, articulate roles and parameters for operation, define reporting requirements and make the general consultation processes more transparent.
Considered and endorsed a range of workplace policies, including: Working arrangements guidelines, drug and alcohol policy, first aid policy and a social networking personal use policy.
|Graduate Steering Committee||
Roles: Provide strategic policy and direction for the graduate program. Review and assess the appropriateness and quality of graduate placements and their learning and development activities.
Achievements: Guided the continued recruitment of high quality graduate employees.
Identified and approved challenging rotations for the graduate cohort.
Placed all of the graduates in appropriate jobs at the end of the program.
Reviewed and revised the learning and development program including sponsoring the graduate field trips.
|Departmental Occupational Health and Safety Committee||
Roles: Consider Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) specific issues of a strategic nature that affect the department as a whole.
Review and approve OHS policies and policy improvements.
Oversee local OHS committees.
Achievements: Reformed the Departmental OHS Committee (DOHSC) in accordance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1991 and the DEWHA Health and Safety Management Arrangements. Health and safety issues in the department were previously addressed through the Workforce Management Committee.
Endorsed changes to the Australian Antarctic Division and local OHS committee structure.
Endorsed a National Portrait Gallery local OHS committee.
Endorsed the reviewed and updated OHS policy documents.
Reviewed OHS statistics across the department.
|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 Natural Resource Management Ministerial Council and its committees on marine and coastal issues.
Coordinated portfolio information sharing and engagement on national whale and dolphin sanctuaries, the Timor Sea oil spill, coastal policy, Antarctic marine issues and marine bioregional planning.
Corporate and operational planning
The 2009-10 Strategic Plan - Directions to 2014 brought together the department's corporate and operational planning into a single strategic planning document. It provided a high-level view of the department's role, mission and objectives and a basis for all its business planning.
The plan drew on the Portfolio Budget Statements and the government's election commitments and priorities identified by the ministers and the department's senior executive. It established the department's direction for the next five years and set out a blueprint of concrete and measurable action for the 2009-10 financial year. The strategic plan is a public document and is made available to all employees on the department's intranet.
The plan is also a living document and is reviewed annually as part of the department's ongoing commitment to strategic planning. The updated plan for 2010-15 will reflect the ongoing reform of the department's planning and reporting processes. The strategic plan identifies high-level strategic priorities against each of the department's outcomes and describes the approach to achieving those priorities. The plan will be complemented by an internal Annual Operational Plan 2010-11, which will present a more detailed work plan for action.
These governance documents provide the framework for all departmental planning and reporting and will support continued improvements in organisational effectiveness.
Audit, risk and fraud control
Protiviti Pty Ltd's contract to provide independent internal audit, risk management, fraud control and investigation services, and advice to the department's Audit Committee, was due to expire in November 2009. However, it was extended to provide the services under a transitional agreement for the rest of the financial year. A request for tender process was undertaken and resulted in the appointment of Pricewaterhouse Coopers in June 2010 to provide the above services to the department for a two-year term.
Departmental Audit Committee
The Departmental Audit Committee provided 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 evaluated the effectiveness of the department's internal controls and legislative compliance frameworks to ensure that it was able to meet its accountability responsibilities. The committee sought to maintain an effective and efficient internal audit function in the department.
The committee had five members, as set out in the table below. Dr Diana Wright and Mr Alexander Smith were appointed to replace Ms Virginia Mudie and Mr Rod Shogren whose terms expired in September 2009 and October 2009 respectively. Seven meetings were held during 2009-10.
Observers at the committee meetings included 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(s).
The committee's major activities in 2009-10 are reported in the table on the: Roles and achievements of the departmental business committees and sub-committees 2009-10.
|Member||Role||Number eligible to attend as member||Number of meetings attended|
|Andrew Podger||Independent Chair||7||5|
|Evelyn Bosak||Independent Member||7||7|
|Alexander Smith||Independent Member||3||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. The panel's objectives were to improve enterprise-wide risk management, policies, procedures, practices and reporting schemes. The Risk Panel met four times during 2009-10.
The Enterprise Risk Management Plan was reviewed in September 2009 and April 2010. Ensuring that risk management practices were incorporated into projects was a major focus during 2009-10.
The Risk Panel's major activities in 2009-10 are reported in the table on the: Roles and achievements of the departmental business committees and sub-committees 2009-10.
|Member||Role||*Number eligible to attend as member||Number of meetings attended|
*Including attendance by nominated proxy.
Corporate Project Management Office (CPMO)
The role of the CPMO was to develop and maintain a strong project management framework that met the needs of the department. In 2009-10, 14 Tier 1 projects and 48 Tier 2 projects registered with, and delivered sponsor approved project plans to, the CPMO. The CPMO facilitated 32 scoping and risk workshops and provided one-on-one advice to many line areas. The department's project management capability increased via the delivery of a two-day in-house project management fundamentals training course to over 260 departmental staff members throughout the country, and 64 graduates received a Certificate IV in Project Management. The development and implementation of a corporate project management software system, to support the framework, will be finalised in November 2011.
The department investigated or took action on all allegations of fraud and/or serious misconduct related to the business of the department. Where appropriate, it worked 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's Fraud Control Plan, which set out actions to reduce the risk of fraud against the department, was updated in 2009-10. The plan was based on a fraud risk-assessment.
Of four cases of suspected fraud during 2009-10, two cases were referred to the Australian Federal Police, as was one case from 2008-09. Fraud cases concerning the transferred Energy Efficiency program are covered in the annual report of the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency.
Business Continuity Plan
The department's Business Continuity Plan described the arrangements to be used to ensure the continuity of key services after a major, unexpected and disruptive incident. It detailed the management structure, staff roles and responsibilities and actions that are to be implemented after a major incident. The need for developing and maintaining the Business Continuity Plan arose from the department's commitment to sound risk management and corporate governance practices.
During 2009-10 an audit was conducted of the department's 2008-11 Business Continuity Plan. The audit included a simulation of a business interruption event. The audit outcomes highlighted the need to conduct a comprehensive review of the plan. As a consequence of this review, and the significant changes to the department, an in-depth review will be undertaken in the 2010-11 financial year.
The department had a separate pandemic plan, which was implemented during the outbreak of H1N1 Influenza during 2009 and substantially revised following that event. Whether this will continue as a stand-alone document or be integrated into the Business Continuity Plan will be considered during the plan's review.
Certificate of Compliance
The department's financial control framework includes the Certificate of Compliance. The department undertakes a self assessment process which is conducted three times a year. Results of the self assessment are provided to management and the Departmental Audit Committee. Steps taken by the department to improve its performance in this area include: revision of its Chief Executive's Instructions and financial delegations, development of a new finance policy and procedures manual, enhancements to the department's financial management system, establishment of a new Governance Branch, and increased emphasis on financial training.
In this section
- Letter of transmittal
- Executive summary
- Outcome 1 - Conserving our natural assets
- Outcome 2 - Living and working sustainably
- Operation of the Hazardous Waste (Regulation of Exports and Imports) Act 1989
- Operation of the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989
- Operation of the product stewardship arrangements for oil including the Product Stewardship (Oil) Act 2000
- Operation of the Fuel Quality Standards Act 2000
- Outcome 3 - Protecting Antarctica
- Outcome 4 - Adapting to a future with less water
- Outcome 5 - Protecting and enhancing Australia's culture and heritage
- Corporate Outcome - Improving organisational effectiveness
- Financial statements
- List of requirements