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Part 3: Management and accountability

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 2013, operating out of a single office location.

Fraud Prevention and Control

No cases of fraud were reported to the Australian Federal Police in 2012-13.

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

The IGT office:

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 three occasions during 2012-13.

Remuneration Committee

The IGT and the Deputy IGT comprise the Remuneration Committee. The IGT has entered into 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. However, a financial controller (part-time) is engaged on a contractual basis and reports directly to the CFO (Deputy IGT).

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 review reporting, reference should be made to Part 2.

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:

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 utilises Treasury’s IT infrastructure, governance and support systems under the SLA. Examples of such use include:

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 embraces 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 2012-13 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 2012-13.

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 a less formal half-yearly review.

The IGT has utilised the design features and infrastructure of the Treasury Performance Management System in its own 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 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 incorporates a pay model (see Tables 4 and 5 for salary scales for non-SES and SES staff, as at 30 June 2013). 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
Classification 30 June 2013
Minimum
$
Maximum
$
APS5 68,997 73,414
EL1 101,522 116,457
EL2 124,006 142,316

The IGT may provide alternative remuneration arrangements in specific circumstances.

At 30 June 2013, there was one permanent SES employee in the IGT office engaged under an employment agreement.

Table 5: Salary scales — SES
Classification 30 June 2013
Minimum
$
Maximum
$
SES Band 2 226,900 265,576

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 2012-13, 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 by 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 2013)
Classification Male Female Total
APS5   1 1
EL1 5   5
EL2 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 2012-13, consultancy contracts were entered into that involved total actual expenditure of $156,564 (inclusive of GST). Information on contracts and consultancies is available on the AusTender website.

Australian National Audit Office access clauses

The IGT is required to provide details of any contract entered during 2012-13 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.

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.

Table 7: Operative staff by Equal Employment Opportunity target group
(as at 30 June 2013)
Classification Female Born Overseas ESL AATSI Disability
APS 5 1   1    
EL1   3 2    
EL2          
SES Band 2          
Inspector-General   1 1    
Total 1 4 4 0 0

Disability Action Plan

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

The Commonwealth’s new National Disability Strategy 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 2014.

The Commonwealth’s Social Inclusion Measurement and Reporting Strategy includes some disability reporting in the How Australia is Faring report and, where appropriate, in agency Annual Reports. More information on social inclusion can be found at www.socialinclusion.gov.au.

Indigenous Employment Strategy

The IGT has evaluated the Treasury Indigenous Employment Strategy and will continue to consider options available to a small agency.