Corporate governance framework
The Bureau’s corporate governance framework provides a sound basis for decision-making, defines mechanisms for accountability and stewardship, and supports the Bureau’s strategic direction and leadership.
The framework is based on:
- the legislative foundation provided by the Meteorology Act 1955, the Water Act 2007, the Public Service Act 1999, and the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act);
- a clearly defined executive and management structure;
- a comprehensive planning, performance and reporting framework;
- various mechanisms for stakeholder input and review;
- detailed financial and asset management policies, procedures and guidelines;
- thorough risk management and fraud control strategies; and
- an Audit Committee and internal audit function to provide independent advice and assurance on the Bureau’s activities.
The Bureau's Accountable Authority during the report period 2019–20 was as follows:
Period as the Accountable Authority or member within the reporting period
Position title/Position held
Date of Commencement
Date of cessation
Chief Executive Officer and Director of Meteorology
1 July 2019
30 June 2020
Executive and management structure
As 30 June, the Bureau comprised:
- the Executive Team (CEO and Director of Meteorology, six Group Executives, the Public Services Transformation Program Director and the ROBUST Program Director);
- six Groups, further broken down into 28 Programs, who are collectively responsible for delivering the Bureau’s Strategy 2017–2022;
- the Public Services Transformation Program and the ROBUST Program;
- the National Operations Centre;
- seven State and Territory Offices, located in the State capital cities and Darwin; and
- 32 field observing offices across Australia, the offshore islands, and Antarctic Territory, as well as other specialist facilities.
In addition to the general Group and Program structure, several specialist roles are attached to senior positions, including:
- Chief Customer Officer, performed by the Group Executive, Business Solutions;
- Chief Operating Officer, performed by the Group Executive, Corporate Services;
- Chief Information and Technology Officer, performed by the Group Executive, Data and Digital;
- Chief Scientist, performed by the Group Executive, Science and Innovation;
- Chief Strategy Officer, performed by the Group Executive, Strategy and Performance;
- Chief Financial Officer, performed by the General Manager, Finance; and
- General Counsel, performed by the General Manager, Legal and Commercial.
The Bureau’s Executive Team (the Executive) comprises the CEO and Director of Meteorology (Director), six Group Executives, the Public Services Transformation Program Director and the ROBUST Program Director. The role of the Executive is to consider and promulgate decisions on program, policy, financial and people management issues across the Bureau and to provide leadership under the authority of the Director as the Accountable Authority for the agency (under the PGPA Act). The Executive has responsibility for setting the Bureau’s strategic policies and priorities and for optimising the use of its resources.
Dr Andrew Johnson
Chief Executive Officer and Director of Meteorology
Dr Johnson was appointed Director and CEO of the Bureau of Meteorology in September 2016. He joined the Bureau from Johnson & Associates Consulting, a firm he founded to provide environmental and agricultural knowledge services nationally and internationally. For nearly a decade Dr Johnson was a member of the CSIRO Executive Team where he led the organisation’s water, land, atmospheric, marine, biodiversity and urban research. Dr Johnson is a Non-Executive Director of the Planet Ark Environmental Foundation, a Councillor of the Queensland Futures Institute and a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Australian Agricultural Company. Dr Johnson has a PhD from the University of Queensland and a master’s from the Kennedy School at Harvard University. Dr Johnson is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technical Sciences and Engineering and Australian Institute of Company Directors. Dr Johnson is also Australia’s permanent representative to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in Geneva.
Mr Piero Chessa
Group Executive, National Forecast Services
Piero joined the Bureau in March 2020 after spending 13 years at The Boeing Company, where he held senior positions in Operations and Data Science activities. A physicist, Piero moved from theoretical physics to atmospheric dynamics and accepted the challenge to build a Regional Meteorological Service in Italy. He then moved to the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts in the United Kingdom as a Senior Scientist. Piero combines a strong domain competence and an established experience in Public Services, with a deep and varied knowledge of Operations in multinational corporations.
Dr Peter Stone
Chief Customer Officer and Group Executive, Business Solutions
Peter joined the Bureau in July 2017. Peter’s work history has included a range of roles in farm management, food industry consulting, grain marketing, science management and corporate governance. For much of the last 10 years, Peter’s work has focused on establishing partnerships that seek solutions to the management of contested resources, such as land and water in northern Australia, coal seam gas and the Great Barrier Reef.
Ms Nichole Brinsmead
Chief Information and Technology Officer and Group Executive, Data and Digital
Nichole commenced with the Bureau in February 2018 as Group Executive Data and Digital, and Chief Information and Technology Officer. In this position Nichole is accountable for delivering the data, infrastructure and systems to underpin the Bureau's operations, from measurement and collection through to production and delivery. Nichole has had over 20 years' experience in a diverse range of roles across several business and technology domains in the financial services, higher education, professional services, emergency services and government sectors. This has included senior roles at PwC, ANZ, and RMIT where she has had very significant leadership and management responsibilities in operational, solution delivery and engagement environments. Nichole is the Bureau’s Gender Equality Champion.
Dr Gilbert Brunet
Chief Scientist and Group Executive, Science and Innovation
Gilbert joined the Bureau in December 2018 after 12 years as Director of the Meteorological Research Division (MRD) of Environment and Climate Change Canada. Gilbert is recognised as an expert in weather and climate dynamics with a PhD in meteorology from McGill University. From 2012–15, Gilbert was seconded to the UK Met Office as the Director Weather Science. Gilbert has also previously led the Numerical Prediction Research Section of Environment and Climate Change Canada. Gilbert is currently Chair of the WMO Scientific Advisory Panel, and Chair of the UK Met Office’s Scientific Advisory Committee. Gilbert previously chaired the Scientific Steering Committee of the WMO Research Program. Gilbert is the Bureau’s Accessibility Champion.
Mr Graham Hawke
Chief Strategy Officer and Group Executive, Strategy and Performance
Graham joined the Bureau in 2013 as the Executive responsible for the Bureau’s climate, water, research and environment functions. Graham has over 20 years of senior management experience in government and the private sector including in transport, rural water and global professional services. Graham currently serves on advisory boards to Melbourne University and Water Research Australia. Graham holds a Master of Engineering Science, is a Fellow of Engineers Australia and a Chartered Engineer. Graham also holds a Master of Business Administration, is a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a professional member of the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society. Graham is the Bureau’s Indigenous Champion.
Ms Paula Goodwin
Chief Operating Officer and Group Executive, Corporate Services
Paula joined the Bureau in March 2020 and is responsible for Organisational Development, Finance, Health, Safety and Environment, Government Relations, Corporate Communication, Legal and Commercial, and Customer Relationships. Paula has experience in leading corporate teams and supporting organisations through strategic and organisational transformations. She has previously worked with the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment and its predecessor the Department of Environment and Energy, as well as the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service and the Australian Crime Commission. Paula is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Human Resources, and has a Masters in National Security Policy from the Australian National University, as well as a Masters in Human Resource Management, a Graduate Certificate Employment Relations, and Bachelor Arts Information Management and Human Resource Management from the University of Canberra.
Ms Kirsten Garwood
Public Services Transformation Program Director
Kirsten joined the Bureau in October 2017. Kirsten is responsible for leading the Bureau's enterprise-wide initiative to design and deliver a new climatological, hydrological and meteorological services model. Prior to joining the Australian Public Service (APS), Kirsten spent 25 years within the information, communications and technology sector in technical, service delivery, customer leadership and senior leadership roles, serving both the private and public sectors, and working closely with the national security and social services sectors since 2011. Kirsten has an MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management and a Bachelor of Science (Hons) from the University of New South Wales.
Mr Alistair Legge
ROBUST Program Director
Alistair joined the Bureau in September 2017 to direct the ROBUST Program. Prior to joining the Bureau, Alistair was Chief Information Officer and General Manager Customers for United Energy and Multinet Gas. Alistair is an experienced technology and organisational change leader and has held customer, market, innovation and revenue-focused executive leadership roles across gas and electricity utilities, telecommunications providers and the entertainment industry, together with senior management consulting roles. Alistair has a Bachelor of Engineering and a Master of International Business from the University of Melbourne, and an MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management.
The Bureau Executive is the highest-level decision-making body within the organisation. Executive meetings are chaired by the Director and held once per month.
The Executive is supported by three sub-committees: the Investment Committee; the Major Transactions Committee; and the Security, Risk and Business Continuity Committee. The Bureau’s Audit Committee provides independent assurance on the Bureau’s risks, controls and compliance, and is convened by the CEO.
In addition to the subcommittees, the Bureau’s senior managers meet monthly to discuss key issues and progress. These Senior Leadership Team meetings involve the Director, Group Executives and General Managers
The Bureau partners with Australian Government agencies to manage the delivery of common outcomes. At 30 June, these partnership arrangements include:
- a strategic partnering agreement for the provision of meteorological and oceanographic services to support the Department of Defence;
- memorandums of understanding with a range of Defence stakeholders, including: the Navy, Army and Air Force; Headquarters Joint Operations Command; Defence Estate and Infrastructure Group; and the Defence Science and Technology Group;
- a memorandum of understanding and agency agreement with Airservices;
- a memorandum of understanding with the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment;
- a memorandum of understanding with the Australian Antarctic Division;
- a collaborative relationship understanding with CSIRO;
- a collaborative head agreement with Geosciences Australia;
- a strategic partnership with the ABC; and
- a strategic partnership agreement with the Australian Energy Market Operator.
The Audit Committee
The Director of Meteorology convenes the Bureau of Meteorology’s Audit Committee in compliance with section 45 of the PGPA Act. The Audit Committee is governed by its charter (www.bom.gov.au/inside/corp_documents.shtml), which requires the committee to review and provide independent assurance on the appropriateness of the Bureau’s financial reporting, performance reporting, system of risk oversight and management and system of internal control in accordance with section 17 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Rule 2014 (PGPA rule).
The Audit Committee comprises four independent members who bring a wealth of experience to their role. Throughout 2019–20, the committee was chaired by Mr Andrew Dix.
The Audit Committee held 4 meetings in 2019–20. The Audit Committee considered the Strategic Internal Audit Plan 2018–2022, internal audit reports and adopted a new internal audit protocol and processes.
Audit Committee membership and meeting attendance
Qualifications, knowledge, skills or experience (include formal and informal as relevant)
Number of meetings attended / total number of meetings
Total annual remuneration
Andrew was appointed as the first Independent Chair of the Bureau’s Audit Committee in 2015. He holds other board and audit committee roles, including at Swinburne University of Technology, Services Australia, Anglicare Victoria, Western Leisure Services Pty Ltd, and Victorian Farmers Federation. Prior to his non-executive career, Andrew spent 35 years in influential roles at Price Waterhouse followed by Telstra. Andrew is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, a professional member of the institute of Internal auditors, and a Graduate Member of the Institute of Company Directors.
Daniel is currently the Chief Information Officer and Head of the Information Technology Division at the Australian Department of Health, where he oversees modernisation of the information and communication technology (ICT) environment through initiatives such as My Aged Care and the Enterprise Data Warehouse. He has also acted as Chief Operating Officer for the Department’s corporate and enabling areas. Daniel has held senior influential roles in the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and the Department of Defence, where he has led substantial ICT modernisation and change initiatives.
Mark is a former APS Deputy Secretary. He worked in the portfolios of Agriculture, the Environment, Communication and the Arts, and Prime Minister and Cabinet. Mark has been involved in most of Australia’s natural resource management priorities over the past 30 years, providing policy advice to governments and implementing significant funding programs and legislation. He has a Bachelor of Science (Hons) majoring in marine zoology, and early in his career conducted research in Antarctic coastal marine ecosystems.
Paula has over 25 years’ experience across services, finance, technology, governance and strategy for business, government and international organisations. Paula is a Fellow Chartered Accountant, Chartered Financial Analyst, a Graduate Member of the AICD as well as holding their Advanced Diploma in Mastering the Boardroom. She has studied more broadly including across leadership, new technology, big data and ethics. She is a member of the Professional Conduct Committee for Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and maintains various private clients.
Corporate planning and evaluation
The Bureau’s Strategy 2017–2022 charts the Bureau’s course over five years, outlining strategic objectives, actions and success measures.
The Corporate Plan 2019–20 was published on the Bureau’s website in August. Prepared in accordance with requirements of the PGPA Act, the Plan set out the Bureau’s priorities, planned achievements and success measures for 2019–20 and the outlook to 2022–23.
Operational planning within the Bureau is undertaken on a Group and Program basis. The evaluation of performance against plans is an important component of the annual planning cycle. Progress against the Bureau’s success measures is regularly monitored through reports to the Bureau Executive. Overall performance against the success measures for 2019–20 is presented in the Annual Performance Statement.
Enterprise risk management approach
The Bureau’s enterprise risk management framework is closely aligned to the Strategy 2017–2022 to enable:
- a greater understanding of how the management of risks and opportunities within the Strategy will drive success;
- identification and assessment of the risks inherent within the Strategy through Group and Program plans, and where emerging and disruptive risks may affect the delivery of strategic actions;
- dynamic and constructive risk conversations between members of the Senior Leadership Team;
- monitoring of risks relating to culture; and
- monitoring of the alignment of strategy, risk controls, compliance and people.
The framework is founded on a robust governance, control and reporting system that depends on:
- leadership—communicating the risk message with a consistent tone;
- integrating risk into day-to-day business—identifying where risk needs to be managed within an activity; and
- understanding the Bureau’s appetite for risk—providing training, relevant to roles and responsibilities, on how to take the right risks.
With the introduction of the new framework and methodology, all Bureau risks have been reviewed. Risks associated with achieving the Bureau’s strategic actions were identified including risks shared across Groups and Programs as well as any emerging risks. Collectively, these are referred to as key business risks, and are outlined in the table below.
Risks and impacts
Risk mitigation processes
Change in risk level during the year
Failure or damage to instruments and equipment, or obsolete inventory, impacting service delivery, customer confidence and reputation
Asset and inventory management policies and procedures
Equipment calibration and quality assurance procedures
Field Inspection and Meteorological Manuals
Instrument checking, testing and maintenance schedules and logs
Major projects and programs fail to deliver their objectives, impacting the delivery of customer benefits
Project management training and education and tools to ensure adoption
Implement the Bureau Delivery Model to support all project types and confirm business processes
Monitoring of and early escalation of risks and issues that impact schedule, quality and cost
Failure to attract, engage and retain workforce capability now and into the future in order to deliver the Bureau's Strategy
Commencement of good faith negotiations for an enterprise agreement six months prior to expiry of current agreement
Investment in talent attraction and retention activities and investigation of new pathways for future staff
Workforce plans in place with accompanying capability and learning and development frameworks to support training and certification for career and succession planning opportunities
A significant overspend impacts the Bureau's budget, financial standing and reputation
A robust budgeting framework and process based on long-term financial sustainability
Delegations, underpinned by Commonwealth Procurement Rules, Accountable Authority
Regular program and project monitoring and reporting of budget and expenses
Failure to sustain a safe and positive workplace culture leading to breaches of the Code of Conduct and incivility impacting the ability to deliver on the Bureau's strategy
Improved people management capability through Management Essentials training for all managers
Mandated training in Code of Conduct and Employment Obligations.
Socialisation and education of workforce in relation to new and revised Policies and Procedures relevant to employee conduct and behaviour expectations
A Bureau worker is infected with COVID-19
Active case management
COVID-19 Response Plan Fact Sheets
Ongoing advice – hygiene, social distancing, travel to office, notification protocols
The Bureau is committed to its role in enabling a safe, prosperous, secure and healthy Australia, and has established mechanisms to ensure it can continue to thrive in a rapidly changing environment. Enhancing the Bureau’s adaptive capacity and its ability to manage transformation requires many components that assist in increasing resilience.
Throughout 2019–20, the Bureau has been building its resilience framework to anticipate and adapt to disruptive events and incidents, and to continue operating where uncertainty affects strategic objectives. The framework uses a risk-based approach, and a common terminology and structure to avoid confusion during the management of disruptive events. It incorporates crisis management, incident control, business continuity, IT disaster recovery, security risk management and communications. A robust Business Resilience Framework will support the Strategy through ensuring continuity of service for important Bureau activities as well as establishing an effective and efficient means to return disrupted services to operation.
Responding and adapting to COVID-19
The national response to the COVID-19 pandemic had a significant effect on the Bureau's workforce. Working together, the Bureau responded to the fast-moving changes brought by the crisis and remained 'open for business' and delivering impact and value for Australia.
During the final weeks of March, teams began facilitating Bureau staff working from home, packing and dispatching kits across Australia, and assisting with the relocation of in-office staff. These logistical activities were conducted in a very short period by committed staff.
Between March and May, 1192 staff or 77 per cent of the Bureau worked from home, ensuring their safety and the delivery of essential services to the Australian community.
In June, Bureau staff outside Victoria began to return to workplaces, which was also a large and complex undertaking. The Bureau worked hard to ensure that all its offices were COVID-19 safe and phased the return of staff to the workplace to enable consideration of circumstances in different States and Territories and in different functional areas of the Bureau.
The disruption of COVID-19 led to a rapid adaptation of the Bureau's ways of working, which challenged the Bureau to be innovative in its operations. There was a significant uplift in the Bureau's IT, connectivity, and security to ensure resilient operations during flexible work arrangements.
In April, the Bureau operated a Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre remotely for the first time as severe tropical cyclone Harold, a large and powerful Category 5 tropical cyclone, formed in the Pacific and started tracking towards Vanuatu. In mid-May, one of the deepest lows Western Australia has formed, just as the COVID-19 travel restrictions were being eased in the State, providing a stern test for the Bureau's resilience.
The Bureau also worked closely with other Australian government agencies to continue to provide support and capacity for critical Government functions during the COVID-19 crisis. In April, nine Bureau staff were seconded to Services Australia to assist in its response to the unprecedented demand in claims driven by the adverse impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2019–20, the Bureau of Meteorology did not identify any significant issues or incidents of fraud. The Bureau’s Fraud Control Plan, last updated in 2019 and published on the Bureau’s intranet, provides the basis for its fraud prevention, detection and investigation activities in compliance with the Commonwealth Fraud Control Framework and section 10 of the PGPA Rule. The Bureau conducts fraud risk assessments annually as part of its overall risk management framework.
The Bureau uses various strategies and mechanisms to prevent fraud which include:
- an Audit Committee to provide independent assurance to the Director about a range of matters including fraud control and developing and implementing an internal audit plan;
- preparing a fraud risk assessment that is reviewed annually;
- providing a dedicated Fraud Liaison Officer as a central referral point on fraud-related matters, and a Fraud Control Officer to assess allegations of potential incidences;
- ensuring every employee completes online induction training modules before accessing the Bureau’s internal data systems; modules include the Fraud Control Framework, Accountable and Ethical Decision-Making, ICT Security and APS Values, Code of Conduct and Employment Principles;
- assigning financial delegations to positions, requiring co-authorisation of spending and assurance that the amount is allocated in the approved budget;
- maintaining an up-to-date fraud risk register as an integral part of the Bureau’s fraud control mechanism within the risk management framework;
- participating in Commonwealth fraud activities including Fraud Forums and recognised training; and
- developing a new Framework and Control Plan with the Attorney-General's Department Commonwealth Fraud Prevention Centre to undertake a Fraud Capability Assessment.
The Bureau has several mechanisms in place to detect any incidents of potential fraud, including:
- the Bureau’s internal auditors undertaking historical financial ledger audits to identify and report any concerns in transactional behaviour by employees or contractors;
- scrutinising a vendor master listing and ledger, and verifying listed or disclosed business registrations with the Australian Taxation Office and the Australian Securities and Investment Commission;
- commissioning an independent consultant to provide data-mining analysis to highlight outliers and further investigate each item of concern;
- the Australian National Audit Office auditing the Bureau’s financial statements;
- encouraging employees to report suspected fraud to their direct supervisor or to the Fraud Liaison Officer or Fraud Control Officer;
- a new travel and expense solution with inbuilt audit capability;
- quality assurance of sample transactions conducted monthly; and
- regular reporting and analysis for breaches of compliance and patterns.
Where the Bureau determines that an allegation of potentially fraudulent activity needs to be investigated, it will:
- seek the advice of the Fraud Liaison Officer and Fraud Control Officer;
- follow the Australian Government Investigations Standards 2011 for all fraud investigation activities;
- investigate the allegation using an internal (or outsourced) investigation officer or through referral of serious or complex fraud matters to the Australian Federal Police; and
- maintain a fraud register for the purposes of registering incidents of possible fraud. All known incidents are investigated and any material matters, as diagnosed by the Fraud Control Officer, are formerly reported to the Bureau’s Audit Committee.
The following matters were dealt with in 2019–20, with the Bureau providing submissions and evidence to the:
- Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements which was established in response to the extreme bushfire season of 2019–20 which resulted in loss of life, property and wildlife and environmental destruction;
- New South Wales Bushfire Inquiry into the causes of, preparation for and response to the 2019–20 bushfires to provide input ahead of the next bushfire season;
- South Australian Government's Independent Review into South Australia’s 2019–20 bushfire season, with a focus on the Kangaroo Island and Cudlee Creek bushfires. The review looked into South Australia’s preparedness for dealing with significant bushfire activity and what can be done to mitigate the impact of bushfires on communities into the future. The review's final report was released in June; and
- Australian Parliament's Senate Inquiry into Lessons to be learned in relation to preparation, planning, response and recovery efforts following the 2019–20 Australian bushfire season.
The Bureau also provided input to a range of other jurisdictional inquiries into the 2019–20 summer bushfires.
Freedom of information
Entities subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) are required to publish information to the public as part of the Information Publication Scheme (IPS). Part II of the FOI Act requires each agency to display on its website a plan showing what information it publishes in accordance with the IPS requirements. The information provided by the Bureau in response to the IPS is available at www.bom.gov.au/foi/ips.shtml
In 2019–20, the Bureau received 22 requests under FOI and carried over 1 request from 2018–19. Of these, 22 were completed by 30 June 2020 and 1 remained in progress.
An error in the reporting of APS Act employees has been identified in the 2018–19 Annual Report. The number of part-time ongoing employees for 2018–19 should have been 172, not 171 as reported (page 135).