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Corporate governance

The Commission’s corporate governance framework promotes the principles of good governance and encourages all staff to be accountable for their actions and to focus on their performance. The framework upholds the Australian Public Service (APS) Values and Code of Conduct.

The framework supports the General Manager in meeting the responsibilities for the Commission’s performance, financial management and compliance with the PGPA Act and the Public Service Act.

Governance bodies

The Executive is the key decision-making body with strategic oversight of the Commission’s administration and resourcing. It comprises of the General Manager and three Executive Directors and formally meets fortnightly. More information about the branches and Executive Directors is provided in the Overview. The Executive is supported by the Audit Committee as set out in Table 2: Audit Committee members and the Major Projects Control Committee.

Audit Committee

The Audit Committee provides independent assurance to the General Manager on the Commission’s financial and performance reporting, risk oversight and management, systems of internal control and internal audit program.

The General Manager appoints Audit Committee members. No members of the Committee are employed by the Fair Work Commission. Representatives from the Australian National Audit Office are invited to attend each meeting as observers. In 2020–21, the Audit and Risk Committee had 4 external members (including the chair). It met 4 times during the reporting year.

The Audit Committee’s charter is located at fwc.gov.au.

Table 2: Audit Committee members

Qualifications, knowledge, skills or experience

Name

Attendance at meetings

Renumeration (inc GST)

The skills and knowledge required of an Audit and Risk Committee for a regulatory agency are adequately covered by its current membership. This includes skills, knowledge and experience in:

-risk management

-internal controls

-industry/regulatory

-government/public policy

-information technology

-financial management

-governance

-business management

-accounting

Marky Scully (Chair)

4/4

$0

Jill Jepson

4/4

$0

Adrian Walkden

4/4

$11,242

Marion van Rooden

4/4

$7,500

Major Projects Control Committee

The Major Projects Control Committee is responsible for high-level strategic governance of major organisational and capital expenditure projects. The committee comprises the Executive and senior managers and meets fortnightly.

Fraud management

The Fair Work Commission is committed to preventing, detecting, and dealing with fraud in relation to our operations. Our fraud control framework is linked to our Risk Management Framework and specifically includes our Fraud Control Plan, Fraud Risk Assessment and Register. Fraud control awareness forms part of the induction program for new employees and during 2020–21 it was mandatory for all staff to complete our online fraud awareness training module.

The Acting General Manager of the Fair Work Commission certifies that:

  • fraud control plans and fraud risk assessments have been prepared that comply with the Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines.
  • appropriate fraud prevention, detection, investigation and reporting procedures and practices that comply with the Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines are in place, and
  • the entity has taken all reasonable measures to appropriately deal with fraud relating to the entity. There were no instances of fraud reported during 2020–21.

Risk management

In 2020–21, the Commission continued to embed a contemporary risk management culture and practices across the organisation, in line with the risk management framework introduced by the PGPA Act.

As part of its risk management strategy, the Commission has developed an annual internal audit program. The program, developed in consultation with the Executive and endorsed by the Audit Committee, reflects the Commission’s purpose, and identifies strategic and operational risks and relevant regulatory requirements. Audits can cover any of the Commission’s financial and non-financial activities and performance, policies and procedures. Internal audit reports are provided to the General Manager and Executive and discussed at meetings of the Audit Committee.

Compliance with the finance law

Finance law incorporates the PGPA Act, including rules and instruments created under the PGPA Act, and Appropriation Acts. The Commission made no reports of any significant issues that relate to non-compliance with the finance law as it relates to the Commission in 2020–21.

Ethical standards

The Commission’s ethical standards are governed by a legislative framework common to non-corporate Commonwealth entities, including the PGPA Act, Public Service Act, Australian Public Service Commissioner’s Directions 2016 and Public Service Regulations 1999. Information relating to the APS ethics framework forms part of our induction process and ongoing awareness raising activities are undertaken in relation to the framework and its application.

The Commission’s Member Code of Conduct (Code) provides a guide for Members appointed to the Commission. To a significant extent, the Code is based on the Australian Institute of Judicial Administration’s Guide to Judicial Conduct. It also incorporates a number of matters relating to Member conduct in the Fair Work Act, draws attention to Members’ obligations under other laws including the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Cth) and Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth), and draws upon other publications. The Code was developed in consultation with Members and is published on the Commission’s website.