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SBS Governance

Statement of Governance

SBS business practices are governed by clear delegations of authority; project (program) management; policies for statutory compliance; codes of conduct; review processes; budget information linked to all planning processes; and regular monitoring and reporting to the SBS Board and its Committees.

Good corporate governance at SBS is also based on an acceptance by all staff that the highest standards of integrity and ethical behaviour are expected of them, as well as transparency and consistency, in all their actions.

SBS Board and its Committees

The SBS Board has three standing committees: the Audit and Risk Committee, the Codes Review Committee and the Remuneration Committee. Refer to SBS Board of Directors for details.

External and Internal Audit

The audit of SBS’s financial statements is carried out by the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO). The ANAO gave an unmodified opinion on the 2019-20 financial statements of SBS.

SBS has an agreement with EY for the delivery of the Internal Audit for SBS. EY performed audits throughout 2019-20 in accordance with the Internal Audit Plan approved by the SBS Audit and Risk Committee. Where applicable, recommendations for improvements to the control environment were brought to management’s attention and remediation plans are in place as agreed with management to address issues raised.

The following internal audits were conducted in 2019-20: Expense Management System, Editorial Content, Advertising Sales, Incident Management (IT), Terrorism and Physical Security and Third-Party Risk Management.

SBS Finance Manual

SBS’s financial policies and procedures are contained in the SBS Finance Manual which is available to all staff on the SBS Intranet.

SBS Risk Management Plan

The SBS Risk Management Plan and risk assessment identifies and addresses the major risks and opportunities associated with SBS activities. This includes the consideration of risk in achieving SBS’s strategic objectives. The SBS Risk Management Plan is reviewed annually and was approved by the Board in August 2019.

Risk management at SBS aims to:

  • Provide assurance that SBS has identified its highest-risk exposures and has taken steps to properly manage these.
  • Ensure that SBS’s business planning processes include a focus on areas where risk management is needed.
  • Ensure the integration of the various and many risk control measures that SBS already has in place.
  • Be comprehensive and effective.
  • The SBS Audit and Risk Committee receives regular reports on the management of identified ‘highest risks’ facing SBS, with identification of risks allowing for the redirection or refocusing of resources to address key issues.

SBS Disaster Recovery Plan, Business Continuity Plan and Incident Management

SBS maintains a Disaster Recovery site at Next DC which has significantly enhanced SBS’s television broadcast resilience capabilities, providing redundancy to facilities in Melbourne and Canberra and enabling continued operations in the event of any issue impacting on broadcasting capabilities from its Sydney or Melbourne facilities.

SBS maintains a Business Continuity Plan, which is reviewed, tested and updated annually, to ensure business recovery in the event of a full or partial loss to the SBS premises. In May 2019, the testing exercise considered the impacts of a pandemic on the business. The learnings and implementation of recommended actions from that exercise meant SBS was better prepared for the unexpected global COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

SBS’s Emergency Control Organisation allocates head wardens and area wardens for each SBS office, comprised of management, security and staff members. Annual training ensures on-site incidents and evacuation protocols are managed with consistency.

SBS Security

In 2019-20, SBS continued to strengthen its security operations across key sites with the implementation of a framework to build out continuous improvement. This included the introduction of a seven day a week security/concierge at SBS’s Federation Square facility in Melbourne, as well as commissioning an annual independent audit of Security policy, procedures, manpower and infrastructure, tested against Australian and New Zealand Standards. Safety and security training modules were provided to all employees through the SBSU online learning platform, increasing general security and safety awareness.

SBS Fraud Control Plan

The SBS Fraud Control Plan reflects SBS’s responsibility to effectively manage the risk of fraud and demonstrates its commitment to the requirements of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (the PGPA Act) and section 10 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Rule 2014 (the fraud rule) as well as the Public Interest Disclosure (PID) Act 2013.

The SBS Fraud Control Plan was developed using the methodology outlined in the International Standard for Risk Management, (AS ISO 31000:2018). The SBS Fraud Control Plan is reviewed biennially and was most recently approved by the Board in August 2019 The Board is satisfied that SBS is taking all reasonable measures to prevent, detect and deal with fraud and is meeting its obligations under the fraud rule.

SBS’s fraud control arrangements were developed in the context of SBS’s overarching risk management framework, in accordance with the Commonwealth Risk Management Policy, and SBS has reviewed and aligned its fraud control frameworks and systems to the Commonwealth Fraud Control Policy.

Indemnities and Insurance Premiums for Officers

As part of its general insurance protection, SBS has a Directors and Officers Liability Insurance Policy in place. The cost of this policy for 2019-20 was $76,185 (GST excluded).

Ministerial Directions and Notifications

SBS has not been notified by way of a government policy order under the PGPA Act of any general policies of the Australian Government that apply to SBS.

No ministerial directions have been issued under the SBS Act.

Compliance Report

Management provides a Quarterly Compliance Report to the Audit and Risk Committee (ARC) which includes details of compliance against the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act). In addition, a biannual assessment of SBS’s compliance status against its Corporate Compliance Obligations is reported to the ARC. There have been no significant issues reported in relation to non-compliance with the PGPA Act.

Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and sustainability initiatives

SBS seeks to mitigate the adverse environmental impacts of its business activities through sustainability initiatives including recycling, improvements to energy efficiency, water conservation measures and the purchase of products made from recycled materials.

SBS maintains a proactive approach and responsive energy strategy to mitigate the effects of ongoing cost increases within the Australian retail energy market. Energy consumption at SBS’s Sydney premises declined by almost 0.6 MWh during 2019-20, reflecting an ongoing commitment to improve overall energy efficiency through the installation of more efficient building equipment, the progressive replacement of general office lighting with LEDs, improvements to the Building Management Control System and decommissioning of retired broadcasting equipment. The consolidation of the Federation Square facility in Melbourne from two floors to one floor has yielded energy saving of approximately 45 per cent.

The performance of the Sydney premises’ heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system is continuously monitored to maximise energy efficiency, with changes contributing to SBS’s ongoing reduction in energy usage.

In 2019-20, the general office recycling program was expanded to include organics as a fourth waste stream. Within this period, of the waste generated by the Sydney premises, 95 per cent of paper and cardboard, 88 per cent of comingled, 75 per cent of organic and 52 per cent of general waste was either recycled or diverted from land fill. The consolidation of the Federation Square facility provided an opportunity to design into the office amenity segregated waste streams.

In addition, 12.22 tonnes of e-waste were recycled, comprising aged and redundant broadcasting and production equipment, including lighting and dimmers replaced during the refurbishment of Studio 2 in Sydney. Dedicated programs continued to encourage staff to recycle toner cartridges, mobile phones, and phone batteries, redundant electrical and data cabling, and fluorescent lighting tubes.

The SBS Green employee group, established in 2019, continued to build awareness with employees about their individual environmental footprint, encouraging staff to play an active role in reducing SBS’s energy consumption and waste creation. The group facilitated the installation of cigarette butt recycling bins outside the Sydney office, halved the use of plastic liners in office bathrooms and implemented the collection of paper towels for recycling.

SBS continues to purchase recycled paper for printing, photocopying, hand towels and toilet paper, in addition to products made from recycled materials for pin boards, acoustic panelling and furniture. A composting area at SBS’s Sydney premises further reduces organic waste.


SBS Headquarters are located at 14 Herbert Street, Artarmon, NSW. SBS maintains an office and broadcast facilities in Federation Square, Melbourne, and an office at Parliament House, Canberra, ACT. It leases space for sales teams in Brisbane (ABC Centre, South Brisbane, QLD), Adelaide (Glenside, SA) and Perth (Subiaco, WA).