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Good governance is essential to the department achieving our purpose and outcomes—it helps us determine the direction of our work, drives organisational stewardship and supports high performance.

Our governance structure

The department’s governance committee structure was reviewed in December 2016. A new committee structure, comprising six senior committees and the Executive Board, was introduced in 2017, with the objective of supporting the department to identify priorities and achieve objectives.

The Executive Board, the department’s decision-making body, focuses on strategic discussion and the delivery of outcomes, while the six senior committees are advisory bodies. The Executive Board and senior committees form a coordinated and unified structure that aims to inform new policy design, drive evidence-based strategies and act as a forum for sharing ideas and best practice. The structure provides support and assurance to the way the department plans, consults, and makes and communicates decisions.

Forward work strategies enable committees to identify priorities, manage risks and support the Secretary to meet statutory obligations and facilitate planning and consultation. This includes meeting the requirements of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act) and the Public Service Act 1999.

Governance committee structure

This image shows the governance structure within the department. The Secretary is supported by six committees; Audit and Assurance; Executive Board; Policy, Strategy and Risk; Digital, Communication and Technology; People and Change; and Indigenous Business is Everyone's Business Committee.

Improving our business planning and performance monitoring

The department has introduced a new internal business planning process, aligned with our corporate planning. In 2017–18 we will also introduce a new quarterly reporting framework to support internal monitoring and reporting on the corporate plan and internal business plans. The new monitoring framework will help the department develop better performance measures over the period of this plan, as well as contribute to a better understanding of what leads to policy and program success.

Business planning is strongly linked to risk management, including using risk management as a tool to make sound business decisions that support achievement of our purpose. More information on the department’s approach to risk management is outlined in Risk oversight and management.

Our planning process also reflects our purpose of maximising opportunity by ensuring our external business and internal services are accessible by all—in line with the Government’s Multicultural Access and Equity Policy.