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Corporate governance

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
  • an Audit Committee and internal audit function to provide independent advice and assurance on the Bureau’s activities.

Accountable Authority

The Bureau’s Accountable Authority during the report period 2020–21 was as follows:

Name

Position title

Period as the Accountable Authority

Date of commencement

Date of cessation

Andrew Johnson

Chief Executive Officer and Director of Meteorology

1 July 2020

30 June 2021

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Executive and management structure

At 30 June, the Bureau comprised:

  • the Executive Team (CEO and Director of Meteorology, five Group Executives, the Public Services Transformation Program Director and the ROBUST Program Director)
  • five Groups, comprising 23 programs are collectively responsible for delivering the Bureau’s Strategy
  • the Public Services Transformation and ROBUST programs
  • eight State and Territory offices, located in the capital cities
  • 30 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, Enterprise Services
  • Chief Information and Technology Officer, performed by the Group Executive, Data and Digital
  • Chief Security Officer, performed by the Group Executive, Data and Digital
  • Chief Scientist, performed by the Group Executive, Science and Innovation
  • Chief Financial Officer, performed by the General Manager, Finance.

The Executive

The Bureau’s Executive Team (the Executive) comprises the CEO and Director of Meteorology (Director), five 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

​ Image of 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, Community Services

Image of Mr Piero Chessa, Group Executive, Community 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.

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Dr Peter Stone
Chief Customer Officer and Group Executive, Business Solutions

Image of Dr Peter Stone, ​Chief Customer Officer and Group Executive, Business Solutions
Peter joined the Bureau in July 2017. Peter’s work in industry and government, in Australia and abroad, has focused on understanding customer needs and creating science-based partnerships and programs that meet them. He has contributed to advances in policy, planning and practice in the fields of infrastructure, regional development, natural resource management and food processing. He has a master’s degree in agriculture and a PhD from The University of Melbourne. Peter has a decade-long commitment to Scientists in Schools and is the Bureau’s Indigenous Champion.

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Ms Nichole Brinsmead
Chief Information and Technology Officer and Group Executive, Data and Digital

​ Image of 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 Australian National Representative to UNESCO IOC. Nichole is also the Bureau’s Gender Equality Champion.

Dr Gilbert Brunet
Chief Scientist and Group Executive, Science and Innovation

​ ​ Image of 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 and STEM Champion.
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Ms Paula Goodwin
Chief Operating Officer and Group Executive, Enterprise Services

Image of Ms Paula Goodwin, Chief Operating Officer and Group Executive, Enterprise 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 Master of National Security Policy from the Australian National University, as well as a Master of Human Resource Management, a Graduate Certificate in Employment Relations, and Bachelor of Arts Information Management and Human Resource Management from the University of Canberra.

Ms Kirsten Garwood
Public Services Transformation Program Director

​ Image of 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, 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.
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Mr Alistair Legge
ROBUST Program Director

Image of 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.

Committees

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 subcommittees: the Investment Committee; the Major Transactions Committee; and the Security, Risk and Business Continuity Committee. Each committee is governed by a Charter of Responsibilities and is chaired by a member of the Executive. The Bureau’s Audit Committee provides independent assurance on the Bureau’s risks, controls and compliance.

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 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.

The Investment Committee
The Investment Committee supports the Bureau Executive in the development of organisational plans and converting strategic priorities into investment decisions. The Committee makes recommendations regarding the allocation of resources in alignment with the Bureau Strategy, customer needs, statutory responsibilities and/or international and treaty obligations. The Committee also advises the Executive Team on the performance of Group plans and associated resource allocations. In 2020–21, the Investment Committee was chaired by the Chief Operating Officer.

The Major Transactions Committee
The Major Transactions Committee supports the Bureau Executive to direct and control the Bureau’s involvement in major transactions and related matters to ensure alignment with the Strategy and that value for money is achieved from Bureau investments. In 2020–21, the Major Transactions Committee was chaired by the Public Services Transformation Program Director.

The Security, Risk and Business Continuity Committee
The Security, Risk and Business Continuity Committee supports the Bureau Executive in the effective management of strategic and operational risk, and to advise on the effectiveness of security, business continuity and resilience matters. The committee also ensures that security and business continuity activities are well planned and executed and that Bureau investments support organisational resilience. In 2020–21, the Security, Risk and Business Continuity Committee was chaired by the Chief Information and Technology Officer.

The Audit Committee

The Bureau has established an independent Audit Committee as required under Section 45 of the PGPA Act. The Audit Committee is governed by its charter (www.bom.gov.au/inside/BMAC_Charter_2019.pdf), 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 Bureau of Meteorology Audit Committee provides independent advice to the Director of Meteorology on the appropriateness of the Bureau’s financial and performance reporting responsibilities, risk oversight and management, and system of internal control. The Committee also plays a key role in providing assurance as to the adequacy of the Bureau’s risk management capabilities and practices.

Collectively, committee members possess the knowledge, skills and experience required to ensure these functions are appropriately performed. Throughout 2020–21, the committee was chaired by Mr Andrew Dix.

The Audit Committee held four meetings in 2020–21. The Audit Committee considered the Strategic Internal Audit Plan 2020–2021, internal audit reports and adopted a new internal audit protocol and processes.

Audit Committee membership and meeting attendance

Member name

Qualifications, knowledge, skills or experience

Number of meetings attended / total number of meetings

Total annual remuneration (GST inc.)

Additional Information

Andrew Dix

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 NBN Co. Ltd, 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 PricewaterhouseCoopers 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.

4/4

$30,800

N/A

Daniel McCabe

Daniel is First Assistant Secretary at the Australian Government Department of Health. Daniel leads the policy platform for Australia’s national digital health agenda and works with the Australian Digital Health Agency to implement digital health solutions for individuals and clinicians. In his role Daniel is also responsible for protecting the integrity of Australia’s Medicare payments to health providers through prevention, identification and treatment of incorrect claiming, inappropriate practice and fraud by providers, corporates and their employees and approved suppliers. Daniel has previously held the role of Chief Information Officer for Health. Daniel has a Bachelor of Information Technology and majored in media studies.

3/4

$0

N/A

Mark Tucker

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.

4/4

$24,000

N/A

Paula Allen

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 maintains various private clients.

4/4

$20,000

N/A

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Partnerships

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 Australia
  • 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
  • a strategic partnership agreement with the Australian Energy Market Operator.

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 2020–21 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 2020–21 and the outlook to 2023–24.

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 2020–21 is presented in Section 2 - Annual Performance Statement.

Enterprise risk management approach

Effective risk management is acknowledged as playing a key role in the shaping of the Bureau’s strategic direction and the successful delivery of its purpose: To provide trusted, reliable and responsive weather, water, climate and ocean services for Australia – all day, every day.

The focus on continuing to identify, assess, treat, and monitor material risks to the Bureau is crucial in enabling the organisation to manage its challenges and embrace the right opportunities.

Failure to effectively manage material risks may threaten the successful delivery of the Bureau’s Strategy, as well as adversely impact customer experience and outcomes, our reputation and financial position.

Risk-informed decision-making, aligned with the Bureau’s corporate strategy, is a key element of strategic and operational planning and decision-making.

The Bureau’s Enterprise Risk Management Framework sets out the principles, roles and
responsibilities, and expectations for the management of risk across the organisation.

On a practical level, the management of risk is supported by an enterprise risk management tool and practical supporting processes to ensure the consistent, sensible and timely identification, assessment, treatment, monitoring and reporting of risk.

The Bureau’s enterprise risk management 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
  • understanding the Bureau’s appetite for risk – providing guidance on the nature and extent of risk the Group is prepared to take.

Key Bureau risks associated with achieving the Bureau’s strategic actions have been 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

The Bureau’s practices result in fatality, injury, illness (physical and psychological), regulator intervention, regulator prosecution or cost impact associated with injuries, illness or prosecution

- Work health and safety training and processes, monitoring and reporting

- Workplace induction processes

- Workforce well-being indicators

- Incident management and response

Stable

A member of the community suffers injury or death as a result of inadequate, inaccurate or inaccessible forecasts, warnings, decision support or analysis

- Service management procedures

- National Production managing national policy and operational response

- Community Engagement National leading daily editorial meetings to coordinate communication supporting operations.

- Incident Management Team in place supported by appropriate training and processes

- National Operations Coordination Team established to coordinate national staff resourcing, rosters and surge support

Stable

The Australian Government’s and the Bureau’s reputation are irreparably harmed as a result of a manifest/material failure of the Bureau to meet its obligations

- Internal audit

- Security information and event management

- Engagement with key stakeholders

- Engagement with elected officials

Stable

The Bureau cannot deliver functions and services required and expected due to inadequate, inappropriate or unviable enterprise capabilities

- Delegations, Commonwealth Procurement Rules, Accountable Authority Instructions

- Performance measurement and monitoring

- Oversight by Investment Committee and Major Transactions Committee

- Workforce planning

- Budget forecasting and management

Stable

The Bureau cannot deliver functions and services required and expected due to inadequate, inappropriate or unviable asset capabilities

- Asset management capability, processes, and systems

- Service management capability, processes, and systems

- Security information and event management

- Physical security monitoring

- Eligibility and suitability requirements for staff

Stable

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Resilience

The Bureau is committed to its role in contributing to a safe, prosperous, secure and healthy Australia. Throughout 2020–21, the Bureau has faced large-scale, nation-wide disruptive events to include the COVID-19 pandemic and multiple severe weather events which have served as a timely reminder of the importance of ensuring the Bureau is equipped to anticipate and respond to disruption. Specifically, the Bureau Incident Management Team and Crisis Management Team have been diligently working to support the Bureau workforce through active case management, COVID-19 Response Plan Fact Sheets and situational updates, ongoing advice – hygiene, social distancing, travel to office, notification protocols – and by acting as a contact for employees’ concerns regarding pandemic responses. Continuing to build and expand the Bureau’s resilience and business continuity capacity is a key focus for the organisation.

Incident management plans, guidelines and training have been updated to include industry best practices for preparing for, identifying and addressing a range of disruptive situations, ensuring that Bureau response personnel can enact a quick and well-informed recovery of business operations. Additionally, the Bureau has incorporated structure and terminology used across Australia to enable the Bureau to efficiently communicate and coordinate with government at all levels (federal, State/Territory and local), the private sector and non-governmental organisations. This ensures it can work together with these entities to prepare for, prevent, respond to, recover from and mitigate the effects of incidents regardless of the incident’s cause, size, location or complexity.

Fraud control

In 2020–21, the Bureau of Meteorology did not identify any significant issues or incidents of fraud. The Bureau’s Fraud Control Plan is published on the Bureau’s intranet and 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 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
  • 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
  • participating in Commonwealth fraud activities including Fraud Forums and recognised training.

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
  • a new travel and expense solution with inbuilt audit capability
  • quality assurance of sample transactions conducted monthly
  • 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:

  • 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
  • maintain a fraud register for the purposes of registering incidents of possible fraud. All known incidents are investigated and any material matters are formally reported to the Bureau’s Audit Committee.

External scrutiny

The following matters were dealt with in 2020–21:

  • The Bureau participated in a Productivity Commission inquiry into progress on reforming Australia’s water resources sector. The final report was provided to the Government in May. The draft report, released in February recognised that while national accounts are generally providing practical, credible and reliable information, largely without duplication of efforts by jurisdictions, there is scope to improve them.
  • The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s review of Water Markets in the Murray–Darling Basin, released in March, made two recommendations relevant to the Bureau. These involve adding ‘reason for trade’ and ‘strike date’ data to the Bureau’s water market information dashboard, once this data is supplied by New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia, and working with relevant government, industry and academic bodies to improve hydro-economic modelling capability and research.

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 2020–21, the Bureau received 18 requests under FOI and carried over one request from 2019–20. Of these, all 19 were completed by 30 June.

Corrections

An error in the National Weather Event Summary has been identified in the 2019–20 Annual Report. An intense dust storm swept through a large area of South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria from 23–24 January, not across the Northern Territory from 23–24 February, as reported (page 12).

An error in the Annual Performance Statement has been identified in the 2019–20 Annual Report. Female staff comprised 34.2 per cent of the Bureau’s workforce, not 33.6 per cent, as reported (page 32).