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Corporate Governance

Governance framework

As a public office holder, the IGTO reports and is accountable to the Minister for discharging her statutory role. As the Accountable Authority (AA) of the agency, she is responsible for the operation and performance of her office pursuant to the requirements of the PGPA Act.

The IGTO has issued instruments of delegation in respect of certain functions and responsibilities. A suite of Accountable Authority Instructions (AAIs), policies, procedures, plans and guidelines offer guidance to IGTO officers in their exercise of powers under the instruments of delegation.

Our office’s Executive consists of the IGTO, the Deputy IGTO, the General Manager and the EL2 Directors. The Executive oversees the Agencies policies and operations. Committees are also established to support administrative and operational requirements, including for the purposes of research, analysis and recommendation.

Corporate governance practices

Due to our small office environment, our corporate governance and administrative practices are generally designed to align with or adapt to the administrative and governance processes of the Department of Treasury, where applicable. This approach has provided synergistic benefits and risk management due to the Treasury shared services arrangements provided to the IGTO under a memorandum of understanding (MOU) arrangement with the Treasury. The MOU provides for cost-effective delivery of services that both supports our corporate functions and facilitates deployment of available resources toward our community service outputs.

The shared service arrangements were originally due to expire on 30 June 2020 but were extended while a new MOU is negotiated between our agency and the Treasury.

The historical adoption of Treasury policies and guidelines was undertaken for administrative efficiency and to cover any potential gaps where our office did not have existing policies. We have also progressively adopted more tailored and specific policies and guidelines in areas where this is more appropriate for our office. Our culture of innovation and continuous improvement ensures that review processes of this kind are an ongoing commitment.

Corporate planning and reporting

Our Corporate Plan is an integral part of our performance framework and directly links to the FY20 Portfolio Budget Statements, the Risk Management Policy and Framework, and the Annual Performance Statements (as set out in Part 2 of this annual report). We monitor our performance against the performance measures outlined in our Corporate Plan regularly, through quarterly reporting to the executive team and the public (via the IGTO website).

The Corporate Plan for the financial years 2021–2024 has not been informed by the FY21 Budget, due to the deferral of the Federal Budget to October 2020. The Deputy IGTO as Chief Finance Officer (CFO) is responsible, with input from the IGTO (as AA), for executive management of the Portfolio Budget Statements and financial activities. Management and compliance reporting is also overseen by the CFO.

Internal processes for managing risk

Specific risk management responsibilities under the PGPA Act are met through an integrated Risk Management Policy and Framework. A suite of policies, plans and procedures has also been developed and adopted which further contributes to the mitigation of risks. Some policies and processes are aligned with those of Treasury (as service provider under the MOU), where possible, to increase efficiency and reduce operational risk.

The Accountable Authority Instructions (AAIs), Fraud Control Plan, Business Continuity Plan and the Risk Management Policy and Framework are also periodically reviewed internally by our office and by the ARC.

Our team’s awareness of risk management policies and procedures is maintained through training programs, staff notices circulated to IGTO officers and those available on the Treasury intranet which is accessible by the IGTO officers.

In the event of prolonged and/or unforeseen outages of our services, we have contingency and related strategy arrangements in place to be activated. These arrangements are set out in our Business Continuity Plan (BCP). Revisions and improvements to the BCP were identified during a test run in March 2020 — immediately prior to the implementation of working from home arrangements due to the COVID-19 social distancing arrangements.

Internal audit

Our small office environment has inherent limitations, such as segregation of duties and resource support, for an internal audit function. Accordingly, the internal audit activities for our office are carried out pursuant to the MOU with the Treasury.

In FY20, there were no Treasury internal audits conducted which were of relevance to the IGTO.

Fraud prevention and control

Our office’s Fraud Control Plan has been developed in accordance with the Commonwealth Fraud Control Framework.

Our Fraud Risk Assessment forms the basis of the Fraud Control Plan and has been developed with appropriate controls, prevention, detection and investigation, and reporting standards.

We have undertaken all reasonable measures to minimise the incidence of fraud. In FY20, IGTO officers completed fraud awareness training delivered by the Treasury as well as the ATO (due to IGTO officers having direct access to ATO systems).

No cases of fraud were identified in FY20. Fraud information data is reported annually to the Australian Institute of Criminology by responding to questionnaires issued by that agency as required.

Compliance reporting

We are required to provide details of any statements reported to the Minister under paragraph 19(1)(e) of the PGPA Act that relates to non compliance with Finance law and action taken to remedy the non compliance.

No such statements were issued in FY20.