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Our governance structure

The Secretary, as the accountable authority under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act), has a duty to manage DPS in a way that promotes:

  • proper use and management of public resources for which DPS is responsible
  • achievement of the purposes of the entity, and
  • financial sustainability of the entity.

The Secretary delegates some powers to certain staff. These are outlined in the DPS financial and human resource delegations. The Secretary has also established an organisational structure that clearly reflects accountabilities and the areas of responsibility assigned to senior DPS staff.

The Parliamentary Library’s services are established under the statutory office of the Parliamentary Librarian, whose primary function is ‘to provide high quality information, analysis and advice to senators and members of the House of Representatives in support of their parliamentary and representational roles'.1 The Secretary of DPS provides resources to the Parliamentary Librarian in accordance with an annual agreement. The Parliamentary Librarian reports directly to the Presiding Officers and to the Parliament. She also reports to the Joint Standing Committee on the Parliamentary Library (JSCPL).

The Library is also subject to scrutiny by the Senate Finance and Public Administration Committee as part of regular Senate estimates hearings.

Our governance structure for the reporting period is set out in Figure 23. It contains two streams: committees and boards advising the Presiding Officers, and committees and meetings advising the Secretary.

Details of accountable authority during the reporting period current report period (2019-20)

Table 32: 17AE (1)(aa) (i)–(iii)—accountable authority

Accountable authority or member during reporting period


Position Title/Position held

Date of Commencement

Date of cessation

Rob Stefanic

Secretary DPS

December 2015


Period as the accountable authority or member

Figure 22: DPS governance structure

Figure 22 DPS Governance Structure A diagram showing the department’s governance structure

Committees advising the Presiding Officers

The following information shows committee membership at 30 June 2020 and activity for the year.

Security Management Board

The board was established in 2005 under section 65A of the PS Act. It provides specialist security advice and support to the Presiding Officers on security policy, and on managing security measures for Parliament House.

Chair: Secretary DPS

Members: the Usher of the Black Rod, the Serjeant-at-Arms and a senior executive employee of the Australian Federal Police.

Invited attendees include the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Department of Finance, and the Attorney-General’s Department.

The board met four times during 2019–20.

Joint Standing Committee on the Parliamentary Library

Details on this committee can be found in the Parliamentary Library Overview

Parliamentary Information and Communication Technology Advisory Board (PICTAB)

This board provides advice and guidance on delivering the Australian Parliament Digital Strategy 2019–2022.

Chair: Secretary DPS


  • three representatives, each from the government, opposition and crossbench, and
  • one senior executive representative from the Department of the Senate, the Department of the House of Representatives, the Parliamentary Budget Office and the Parliamentary Service Commissioner.

Matters considered in 2019–20 include:

  • overseeing the Australian Parliament Digital Strategy 2019–2022, including the impact of COVID-19
  • the roll-out of Microsoft Office 365 as a cloud platform for the business of the parliament
  • cyber security, and
  • parliamentary business ICT resources.

The board met four times in 2019–20.

Art Advisory Committee

The committee’s terms of reference are to:

  • provide guidance on the Rotational Collection Acquisition Policy, and set short-term priorities for acquisitions
  • assess acquisition proposals in accordance with the acquisition policy and collecting priorities, and
  • advise on other matters related to displaying and managing artworks in the collection.

Co-Chairs: Speaker of the House of Representatives and President of the Senate.

Members: Deputy Speaker, Deputy President, Secretary DPS and an independent adviser from the National Gallery of Australia.

Matters considered in 2019–20 included:

  • the purchase of 20 art works, and
  • consideration of a number of gifts offered to the collection.

The committee met once during 2019–20.

Historic Memorials Committee

This committee was established by Prime Minister Andrew Fisher in 1911. It commissions official portraits of the Head of State, Governors-General, Prime Ministers, Presidents of the Senate and Speakers of the House of Representatives. The committee can also commission portraits of significant parliamentarians, as well as paintings of significant events in the Parliament’s history.

Chair: Prime Minister

Members: Leader of the Opposition, the Vice-President of the Executive Council, the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

The DPS Secretary is also secretary of the committee. The DPS Art Collections section provides secretariat services to the committee and manages the portrait commissioning process.

In 2019–20 the committee conducted all business by correspondence.

Committees advising the Secretary

Under the PS Act and the PGPA Act, the Secretary is accountable for DPS’ performance and compliance. The Secretary is assisted in managing these responsibilities by the DPS Executive Committee and the DPS Audit Committee.

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee is the primary governance board for DPS. It considers development and implementation of the DPS governance framework and associated strategies, including financial planning and budgeting, performance, risk management, business planning, design integrity, organisational issues, and any other matters relating to managing the department delegated by the Secretary.

Chair: Secretary DPS

Members: Deputy Secretary, (Chief Operating Officer and Chief Security Officer); Parliamentary Librarian; Chief Information Officer, Information Services Division; First Assistant Secretary, Finance and Property Services Division (Chief Finance Officer); and First Assistant Secretary, Corporate Services Division.

The Executive Committee meets fortnightly.

DPS Audit Committee

The DPS Audit Committee provides independent advice and assurance to the Secretary on the appropriateness of DPS’ financial and performance reporting responsibilities, system of risk oversight and systems of internal control and compliance. The Audit Committee Charter is available on the DPS website.

The committee has five members: three independent members and two management-appointed DPS officials.

Richard Windeyer’s term (independent member) ended in August 2019. To meet the majority independent membership requirements of the PGPA Rule, Jo Schumann (independent member) was appointed to the Audit Committee on 3 September 2019.

Representatives of the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) and DPS’ internal auditors KPMG attend DPS Audit Committee meetings to provide information to members. Information and advice is also provided by invited DPS officials, including the Chief Security Officer and Chief Operating Officer, Chief Information Officer and Chief Finance Officer

Table 33: DPS Audit Committee attendance

Member name

Qualifications, knowledge, skills or experience (include formal and informal as relevant)

Number of meetings attended / total number of meetings

Total annual remuneration

Mr Michael Harris, Independent Chair

Michael Harris is a Fellow of CPA Australia and, until his retirement in 2000, was an Information Technology (IT) Audit Partner at Ernst & Young, Canberra. Michael has extensive experience across the IT, audit and risk management environments. During his 40 year career, he held senior management positions in both the public and private sector. This includes 20 years’ in the public sector with agencies such as the Australian National Audit Office and Department of Finance. Since his retirement Michael has been an independent member of numerous ACT and Commonwealth government agency audit committees, and commenced as Chair of the Department’s Audit Committee on 9 July 2013. He was reappointed in July 2018. Michael has an Accounting Certificate from the Canberra Technical College.



Mr Allan Gaukroger, Independent Deputy Chair

Allan Gaukroger has over 40 years of private and public sector experience in senior financial, audit and general management positions. This includes 11 years as chief financial officer in the Australian Public Service, four years as chief audit executive with the Department of Human Services (now SA) and eight years as regional manager with NRMA Ltd. Allan has in-depth knowledge of financial management, audit, risk and business management, as well as strong communication skills and a high degree of IT literacy. Allan has a Bachelor of Arts (Major in Accounting) and is a Fellow of CPA Australia (FCPA).



Ms Jo Schumann, Independent Member

Jo Schumann has extensive experience in the public sector having worked in both the ACT and Commonwealth government, and for the Canadian government. During her 30 year career, she held senior executive positions responsible for corporate services at the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (1998–2009), the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (2010–2015), and Murray Darling Basin Authority (2015–2017). Jo’s experience encompasses a broad range of areas including risk management, governance and assurance, finance, human resources, information technology, media and communications. She holds a number of Board Chair and non-executive positions in the government and community sectors, and is currently the independent Chair of the Climate Change Authority Audit Committee and chairs the Infrastructure Project Finance Agency Audit Committee. Since 2017, Jo has run her own business as a qualified coach and mentor, providing services to senior executives within the public sector. She also volunteers as a mentor for young juvenile justice offenders. Jo has a Masters of Arts (Urban Geography), is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and holds accreditations in executive coaching and emotional intelligence assessment



Mr Richard Windeyer, Independent Member

Richard Windeyer is a Deputy Secretary in the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications (previously Department of Communications). He has worked in the Australian public service for 20 years in various roles, with much of his career in the Communications portfolio. Richard has extensive experience and strong capabilities in strategic operations and project management. In his current role, Richard’s group is responsible for broadband and telecommunications industry, infrastructure investment and consumer policy, radio-communications policy, as well as oversight of the Government’s interests in Australia Post and the National Broadband Network. His group is also responsible for policy and regulatory advice around public interest communications issues relating to provision of emergency calls, access to communications services by people with disability, and communications network resilience. Before his current role, Richard worked as a chief of staff for two Australian ministers for Communications. Richard has a Bachelor of Arts (Hons).



Mr Constantinos Sfyris, DPS Official

Con Sfyris is Assistant Secretary of the Digital Customer Services Branch at the DPS, and commenced as a member of the department’s Audit Committee on 6 May 2019. Con has worked in a variety of ICT and Information Services leadership roles for over 20 years and joined the DPS in 2013. He previously worked in state health and public transport sectors with a focus on governance, IT operations and service delivery. Con holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science.



Ms Leanne Tunningley, DPS Official

Leanne Tunningley is Assistant Secretary of Security Branch at DPS. She has extensive experience spanning over 18 years, including in security management, governance and finance, and 10 years’ in the public sector working in law enforcement. She has been with DPS for two years. Before joining the public sector, Leanne was an audit and assurance manager at KPMG (2002–2008). Leanne is a Chartered Accountant (Australia and New Zealand) and holds a Bachelor of Economics, Bachelor of Commerce, is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants (Australia and New Zealand).



  • Apologies were received from absent members

Coordination between Parliamentary Departments

Parliamentary Department Heads

The Parliamentary Department Heads meet quarterly to identify opportunities for collaboration, consideration and decision-making, and to strengthen the effectiveness of the parliamentary administration.

The forum reflects a commitment by the parliamentary departments to work together for our common purpose of supporting Australia’s Parliament and parliamentarians.

Chair: 12 month rotation

Members: Clerk of the House of Representatives, Clerk of the Senate, Parliamentary Budget Officer, Secretary DPS.

The group met four times during 2019–20.

Our internal audit arrangements

Primary responsibility for departmental internal audit functions rests with the Head of Internal Audit (HIA), the Assistant Secretary, Corporate Operations Branch. The HIA provides independent assurance to the Secretary and Executive Committee through the DPS Audit Committee, and ensures that internal controls operate in an efficient, effective and ethical manner. The HIA also implements the annual internal audit program, which is endorsed by the DPS Audit Committee and approved by the Secretary. The annual internal audit program assists the department in managing operational or financial risks and provides assurance on whether key projects, systems and governance structures operate as intended. Implementation of recommendations from the internal audit program is reported regularly to the Executive Committee and the DPS Audit Committee. The internal audit work plan is reviewed for relevance by the DPS Audit Committee at the mid-year point, and any subsequent amendments are recommended to the Secretary for approval. The HIA also liaises with the ANAO as the external auditor.

Under its outsourced service delivery model, DPS has engaged KPMG to provide internal audit services. During 2019–20 the internal audit program was delivered in line with the annual internal audit plan.

Our planning and reporting framework

DPS continues to strengthen its internal planning, processes and controls to support broader corporate planning requirements.

In accordance with the PGPA Act, DPS develops a corporate plan outlining our purpose and providing clear direction on how we intend to achieve it.

The 2019–20 Corporate Plan is based on the commitments DPS made in the Portfolio Budget Statements (PBS) for 2019–20, including the outcome statement, objectives and deliverables. Performance criteria, performance measures and targets enable DPS to gauge how effectively it has delivered on its purpose.

The corporate plan is underpinned by divisional and branch business plans that outline how each branch will contribute to achieving our purpose. These key documents are then linked to individual work plans, which articulate managers’ expectations.

DPS has developed a 2020–21 Corporate Plan to guide our work for the coming financial year

Figure 23: DPS framework overview

Figure 23 DPS Framework Overview A diagram showing the department’s planning and reporting framework
How to manage risks

Work continued in 2019–20 to develop and improve the DPS risk management capability. This included:

  • embedding a risk management strategy to inform staff of their risk management obligations, and
  • outlining a program of work for 2019–20 to embed risk management across the department. Activities focused on:
    • developing a positive risk management culture
    • improving communication and consultation about risk, and
    • improving risk management capability.

Figure 24: DPS Risk management framework

Figure 24 DPS Risk Management Framework A diagram showing the department’s risk management framework

Strategic risks and risk appetite

The strategic risks and risk appetite statement are reviewed annually as part of the risk management framework review. During the reporting period a new risk appetite statement and strategic risk profile were developed for the department. The strategic risks articulate the key risks DPS faces that could impact on our ability to achieve our purpose, strategic themes and objectives. The strategic risks are identified and managed by senior officers, with ownership at the DPS Executive Committee level.

The risk appetite statement articulates the amount and type of risks DPS is willing to accept to achieve our objectives. It supports a shared understanding of our attitude to risk-taking—both within DPS and with our stakeholders—to enable informed and transparent decision-making.

Operational risks

During each branch business planning cycle, a risk assessment is integrated into the planning process to:

  • ensure that risk management is embedded in business-as-usual activities, and
  • build further risk management capability within DPS.

Business Continuity Management

Throughout 2019–20 DPS implemented a Business Continuity Management Framework, including:

  • updating the Business Continuity Management Policy and Framework, in line with the operating environment of the DPS
  • facilitating exercises, including desktop exercises in conjunction with other parliamentary departments, and
  • continuing to develop individual business recovery procedures and other associated documents.

In 2020–21 DPS will progress the work plan developed as part of the Business Continuity Management Framework and continue engagement with other parliamentary departments and stakeholders.

Fraud prevention

DPS is committed to ensuring compliance with section 10 of the PGPA Rule.

The department’s established fraud and corruption control framework was developed in accordance with the Commonwealth Fraud Control Framework 2017 and is reviewed every three years.

The Fraud and Corruption Control Plan provides the framework for detecting, reporting and investigating fraud within the department.

Fraud awareness training is available on the DPS Learning Management System. As at 30 June 2020, 98 per cent of DPS staff had completed this training.

In 2019–20 DPS undertook a number of activities related to fraud control, including reviewing fraud risks, undertaking fraud risk assessments and updating the DPS Fraud and Corruption Control Framework.

No fraud investigations were undertaken in 2019–20. Three potential fraud incidents were reported to the fraud control officer. In one report the allegation was substantiated and the matter was treated administratively. For the remaining two reports, the allegations were not substantiated and no further action was required.

Ethical standards and behaviours

DPS is committed to the standards of integrity, good governance and ethical practices reflected in the PS Act.

All alleged breaches of the Code of Conduct are taken seriously and managed in accordance with the Parliamentary Service Code of Conduct contained in section 13 of the Parliamentary Service Act 1999. In 2019–20 seven employees were found to have breached the Code of Conduct.

Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013

The Commonwealth’s Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013 (PID Act) promotes integrity and accountability in the Australian public sector by:

  • encouraging the disclosure of information about suspected wrongdoing
  • protecting people who make disclosures, and
  • requiring departments and entities to take action.

DPS provides readily accessible information to staff on the PID Act, including links to information provided by the Commonwealth Ombudsman.

In 2019–20 four DPS authorised officers were approved to handle public interest disclosures.

Statement of significant non-compliance with the finance law

In 2019–20 DPS did not report any significant issues to the Presiding Officers under paragraph 19(1)(e) of the PGPA Act that related to non-compliance with the finance law in relation to DPS.

Table 34: Statement of significant non-compliance with the finance law

Description of non-compliance

Remedial Action




  1. Parliamentary Services Act 1999, subsection 38B(1).