Go to top of page

Corporate governance

Agile, collaborative and accountable

The pace of digital change requires us to have the right-sized governance, appropriate for our agency and our fast-paced operating environment. Our approach ensures the DTA is adequately governed to meet our public accountabilities, and enables us to work in an agile way – forming multidisciplinary teams with partners, responding quickly to change, making small, fast improvements and delivering continuously as we learn through testing with users.

Senior leadership team

At 30 June 2020 our senior leadership team comprised our CEO, Randall Brugeaud, Chief Portfolio Officer, Joanne Hutchinson, Chief Strategy Officer, Scott Cass-Dunbar, and Chief Digital Officer, Peter Alexander. Details are in Chapter 1: Overview.

Governance framework

Our corporate governance framework includes:

  • instructions, policies and guidelines
  • governance committees
  • business planning
  • risk and fraud management
  • audit and assurance activities.

Our system of governance and accountability for public resources is shaped by the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act), and associated legislative instruments.

Our employees are obliged to adhere to standards of integrity and behaviour governed by the APS legislative, regulatory and ethical framework. Our accountability for performance, financial probity and ethical behaviour is aligned with the APS Values and Code of Conduct, set out in the Public Service Act 1999.

Instructions, policies and guidelines

We have a formal Organisational Performance Framework of policies and guidelines supported by Accountable Authority Instructions issued by the CEO that assure we comply with legislative requirements, and expectations of probity, accountability and transparency.

Governance committees

In 2019–20 we had 2 formal governance committees, our Executive Board and our Audit Committee.

Executive Board

This is our agency’s key governance body, determining strategic direction and monitoring and managing the overall performance of the organisation. Our Executive Board comprises our senior leadership team and is supported by several informal committees that meet regularly to resolve operational issues and provide advice on strategic issues.

Audit Committee

The Audit Committee reviews and gives independent advice and assurance to the CEO about the appropriateness of our agency’s financial and performance reporting and systems of risk oversight, risk management and internal control.

Our Audit Committee Charter is at: www.dta.gov.au/audit-committee-charter.

The committee is directly accountable to our CEO. It comprises an independent chair, independent deputy chair, an independent member and a Senior Executive Service (SES) officer from our agency as an internal member.

Allan Gaukroger – Independent Chair

Allan has more than 40 years’ private and public sector experience in senior financial, audit and general management positions, including 11 years as Chief Financial Officer and 4 years as Chief Audit Executive within the APS. Allan has a Bachelor of Arts (Major in Accounting) and is a Fellow of CPA Australia. He has served as Independent Deputy Chair and Independent Chair of other government agency audit committees, and joined DTA’s Audit Committee in 2017.

Karen Toole – Independent Deputy Chair

Karen is a Chartered Accountant Fellow with more 20 years’ experience in finance and risk management, program management, stakeholder management, and strategic planning and ICT management. She has worked in both private sector and government roles, and is the owner of CJZ Consulting. She has also held volunteer Board and Treasurer positions for non-profit and professional organisations. Karen has a Bachelor Degrees in Commerce and Science and is a member of several government agency audit committees, including DTA’s Audit Committee since 2015.

Christopher Atkinson – Independent Member

Chris is a lawyer with 20 years’ experience in private enterprise and public sector agencies, advising on legal, governance and accountability matters. Chris is a full-time employee of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet where he has advised on ministerial and parliamentary matters, business process, performance measurement and risk management. He has a Bachelor degree in Economics and Laws and a Post Graduate degree in Legal Practice with the Australian National University. He has been an Independent member of the DTA Audit Committee since 2017 and is a member of the Institute of Internal Auditors Australia. Chris is engaged in volunteer positions in community and sporting organisations.

Joanne Hutchinson – DTA SES Officer

Joanne is the DTA Chief Portfolio Officer and leads our Digital Governance and Investment Division. She is a member of the DTA Executive Board. Joanne has more than 20 years’ public sector experience in policy, program and service delivery roles and has worked in both central and line agencies. She holds a Master of Public Policy, a Graduate Diploma in Marketing Communications, a Graduate Certificate in Project Management and a Bachelor of Applied Science (Occupational Therapy). Joanne is also a Graduate and Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Meeting attendance and remuneration

All members attended all 5 meetings held during the reporting year, on 21 August 2019, 18 September 2019, 20 November 2019, 11 March 2020 and 17 June 2020.

In 2019–20, the Independent Chair’s remuneration was $27,500 including GST and the Independent Deputy Chair’s remuneration was $18,040 including GST. The other 2 committee members did not receive remuneration for their committee roles.

Corporate planning and reporting

Our formal Organisational Performance Framework of policies, supported by Accountable Authority Instructions, assure we comply with legislative requirements, and expectations of probity, accountability and transparency. Our Portfolio Budget Statement sets out our intended outcome for the financial year, along with resource allocation, performance criteria and targets. Our Corporate Plan is our primary planning document. It articulates our purpose, environment, priorities, capabilities and risk management over a 4-year period. By aligning these documents, we ensure our day-to-day operations contribute to our longer-term strategic direction.

Our Executive Board oversees our corporate planning and monitoring of organisational risks.

Risk and fraud management

We take a risk-based approach to treating sources of risk that may negatively affect our ability to deliver DTA priorities, while remaining open to positive risks and opportunities that support our objectives. Many of our delivery approaches, such as agile and iterative development, help to contain risk and respond quickly to changes in the surrounding environment or to feedback.

Risk management underpins our corporate planning and is also supported by our Fraud and Corruption Control Plan and internal and external assurance processes.

In accordance with the PGPA Act, we have conducted fraud risk assessments and prepared a fraud control plan, to minimise the incidence of fraud through appropriate fraud prevention, detection, investigation and reporting mechanisms. Our fraud control plan provides the basis for managing fraud for the Executive Group, management and individuals. It includes: potential internal and external fraud risks; fraud prevention and detection mechanisms; and investigation, reporting, recording and response strategies for fraudulent activities.

No instances of fraud were identified during the year.

Internal audit and assurance

Our agency has an internal audit function, established by charter to provide independent and objective assurance and strategic advice to the CEO.

In 2019–20 our agency’s Internal Audit function completed reviews of:

  • Contractor Management
  • Cross Agency Project Management
  • Procurement
  • ICT Procurement Transformation Program
  • Protective Security
  • Stakeholder Engagement.

We also started a review of:

  • Protected Desktop.