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Corporate Governance

The AIATSIS Council meets four times each year to consider strategic directions and matters of operational significance. It operates under a charter.

A number of committees are established to provide the AIATSIS Council and the CEO with advice about particular issues and areas of business. These committees are listed, along with their membership during 2018–19, in Appendix A.

The Senior Executive Board is the organisation’s main internal governance forum. It comprises the group heads from across AIATSIS, with other members and attendees by invitation of the CEO. The board meets monthly to advise the CEO on strategy and operational matters.

In 2018–19, AIATSIS did not make any related entity transactions.

In 2018–19, AIATSIS did not issue any indemnities to the AIATSIS Council, to its members or to any officers of AIATSIS.

Policy, business and operational environment

There were no government policy orders in effect that applied to AIATSIS during 2018– 19, including significant judicial decisions or decisions of administrative tribunals; or reports by the Auditor-General, any parliamentary committee, the Commonwealth Ombudsman or the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.

AIATSIS was not subject to any ministerial directions made under an Act or Instrument during 2018–19.

Corporate planning and evaluation

The AIATSIS Corporate Plan is updated in line with the PGPA Act and published on our website by 31 August each year.

A quarterly evaluation and assessment of targets and measures is completed by the AIATSIS Council and the Senior Executive Board.

External audit

The Australian National Audit Office is responsible for auditing AIATSIS’ annual financial statements. An unqualified audit opinion precedes the annual financial statements (see page 119).

Fraud management

AIATSIS is subject to the Commonwealth Fraud Control Framework 2017. As a Corporate Commonwealth Entity we must also comply with the Fraud Rule and follow Resource Management Guide 201—Preventing, Detecting and Dealing with Fraud as better practice guidance. The key governance elements of our Fraud Control Framework are the Fraud Control Policy, Fraud Control Plan, Fraud Risk Assessment and AIATSIS Code of Conduct.

  • Overseen by our Senior Executive Board, AIATSIS promotes fraud prevention and awareness to staff through mandatory fraud awareness training and executive messaging on a regular basis. We use a range of strategies to prevent and respond to internal fraud through internal and external reporting, rigorous exercise and monitoring of delegations, and by using established systems and processes for prevention, detection, monitoring, evaluation and reporting of and response to fraud within the organisation. During 2018–19 the Fraud Control Framework, including the Fraud Risk Assessment, was reviewed and updated.

There were no instances of fraud in 2018–19.

Work health and safety

AIATSIS ensures the Work, Health and Safety (WHS) of employees through annual health and wellbeing surveys, an active and proactive WHS committee, regular face-to-face and online WHS training, walkarounds, and dedicated WHS resources on the online HR Hub.

During 2018–19 there were no notifiable incidents or investigations under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Cth).

Financial resource management

AIATSIS’ total financial result is a surplus of $1,192 million. The financial results show that AIATSIS has effectively allocated resources to achieve a balanced position in 2018–19.

The Minister received no reports resulting relating to noncompliance with the finance law involving AIATSIS in 2018–19.

Advertising and market research

AIATSIS made no payment to advertising agencies, market research organisation, media advertising organisations, polling organisations or direct mail organisations that are reportable under section 311A of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (Cth).

Ecologically sustainable development and environmental performance AIATSIS contributes to ecological sustainability through both collection and research programs.

Our research activity includes projects related to land and water, culture and heritage and native title that continue to contribute providing understanding of social, cultural and economic factors.

The Collection Group continues to use conservation and management practices and products that meet world’s best practice and, where possible, are environmentally responsible. For example, our motion picture film cleaning solvents are water based and represent the lowest possible impact on the environment both in their use and in their eventual disposal.

AIATSIS maintained its accreditation under the ACT Government ACTSmart Business Recycling Program in 2018–19.

People management

AIATSIS’ people management services, including recruitment, workforce planning, reporting, performance and incident management, Work Health and Safety policy, learning and development program, staff entitlements, Shared Services payroll services and negotiations on the AIATSIS Enterprise Agreement (EA), are overseen by the Director, People and Assurance, reporting to the Senior Executive Board.

After nearly five years and significant effort from all bargaining parties, negotiations on the EA were completed. Eighty-four per cent of staff took part in the ballot, which resulted in an 80 per cent ‘Yes’ vote. The agreement was signed on 13 September 2018 and subsequently approved by the Fair Work Commission.

In 2017–18 a Learning and Development Plan and Indigenous Pathway Project were developed and approved for implementation in the second half of 2018, but implementation has been delayed due to other priorities. It will be updated as appropriate and implemented in 2019–20.