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Corporate Governance Practices

Risk management

Our risk management framework comprises of a formal policy and protocol, a strategic risk plan and register and a risk appetite statement. Strategic risk reporting is undertaken quarterly.

The SLG regularly reviews strategic and operational risks as part of the business planning process. The Office also participates in the annual Comcover Risk Management Benchmarking Survey, which independently assesses the Office’s risk management maturity.

Additional oversight of our risk management is provided by the Audit and Risk Committee.

Business Continuity Plan

Our Business Continuity Plan sets out our strategies for ensuring that the most critical work of the Office can continue, or quickly resume, in the event of a disaster.

In 2018–19 the Office worked with Comcover and Deloitte to review our plan, approach and readiness. As a result of that advice we will update our approach in 2019–20 to cover continuity planning, emergency management and recovery (in one framework).

Accessibility

In developing and maintaining the Office’s websites, we use the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 as the benchmark.

Our online services are compliant with WCAG 2.0 (AA level). Management of the website includes authoring tools to check for accessibility issues and compliance reporting. The graphic design uses high contrast and a simple presentation of content to assist readability.

Ethical standards

Our Office promotes ethical standards and behaviours by our staff. We provide information to our staff on the Australian Public Service Commission’s Ethics Advisory Service and we have available to our staff an Ethics Contact Officer. Our intranet contains information about:

  • APS Values and Code of Conduct
  • workplace discrimination, bullying and harassment
  • conflict of interest
  • acceptance of gifts and hospitality
  • procedures for determining breaches of the Code of Conduct
  • procedures for facilitating and dealing with public interest disclosures relating to the Office.

Employee Performance Development Agreements contain the following mandatory, key behaviour: ‘In undertaking my duties I will act in accordance with the APS Values, Employment Principles and APS Code of Conduct.’

The Induction Handbook for new starters provides appropriate information on ethical standards and behaviours. We have also implemented APS Learn Hub, which contains eLearning modules on APS Values and Principles, and Fraud Awareness.

Fraud Control

The Office has a fraud framework in place to enable compliance with Commonwealth framework and legislative requirements in accordance with the PGPA Act, in respect of fraud control. The Fraud Control Plan and the Accountable Authority Instructions provide the foundations of the fraud framework and detail the activities undertaken by the Office to provide an environment free from fraudulent and corrupt acts.

The Office’s fraud control policy is reviewed biennially. All fraud allegations are reported to the Ombudsman and the Audit and Risk Committee and fraud investigations are outsourced as required.

One fraud investigation commenced in 2018–19, which will be finalised in 2019-20. We will be reviewing our fraud control framework, including our fraud control policy and fraud risk assessment in 2019-20.