Climate Change Authority

You are here

Chapter 5: Management and Accountability

5.1 Corporate Governance

The Climate Change Authority is an independent statutory authority comprising a Chair and eight board members (three positions vacant at 30 June). It is supported by a small Secretariat.

The Authority was established as a body corporate to highlight the independence of its activities, although it is able to use government resources as appropriate. As with other Commonwealth bodies where a significant degree of independence is required, the Authority is subject to ministerial direction on general matters only, not on the conduct or content of its reviews.

The Authority’s CEO is responsible for its day-to-day administration. The CEO is supported by two General Managers, and this group comprises the Authority’s executive management team.

The Authority is bound by the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 and the Public Service Act 1999.

The Authority was required to present its first corporate plan within 12 months of its commencement; this was published in June 2013 for the period 2013–15.

This document, along with the governance, direction and compliance requirements of the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 and the Public Service Act 1999 provides the Authority with a strong corporate governance environment.

5.1.1 Risk Management

The Authority defines a risk as the chance of something happening that would affect the organisation’s ability to meet its objectives. In 2013–14, the Authority consolidated the foundation work that was undertaken in 2012–13.

A major focus for the 2013–14 year was to ensure that risk management was maintained as an organisation-wide priority. To this end, risk management was made a standing agenda item for all meetings of the Authority.

The Strategic Risk Profile was reviewed in a senior management workshop in November 2013. The review included reassessing all existing risks and identifying new and emerging risks for consideration.

The results were presented to the Audit Committee and Board, which resulted in further refinement of the risks and ratings.

The Chief Financial Officer is responsible for maintaining the Strategic Risk Profile. Individual risk action plans are maintained that identify the current risk profile, current controls and agreed management actions. The Strategic Risk Profile and risk action plans are updated and reported to the Executive Management Team and Audit Committee on a regular basis.

5.1.2 Fraud Control

In 2013–14, the Authority approved a new Fraud Control Plan. The plan was developed to specifically comply with the requirements of the Commonwealth Government Fraud Control Guidelines. The Fraud Control Plan sets the standard and process for the management, control and reporting of actual fraud, suspected fraud and the risk of fraud. All matters were required to be reported to the CEO and Audit Committee.

As part of its ongoing fraud risk assessment activities, the Authority conducted a review of its financial internal controls to ensure separation of duties and approvals. The Authority has a small corporate team and both an external audit and the Audit Committee had identified maintaining appropriate separation of tasks as a potential fraud risk. A change in structure that resulted in an increased concentration of tasks had the potential to heighten this risk. The review resulted in the Authority re-mapping its ‘purchase-to-pay’ processes to ensure that the proposal and approval processes were handled separately on all occasions and that the fraud risk was minimised.

There were no incidents of suspected or actual fraud in the 2013–14 period.

5.1.3 Assets and Asset Management

In 2013–14, the Authority managed its assets in accordance with the Chief Executive Instructions and relevant accounting standards. All of the Authority’s ‘start-up’ assets were procured by the then Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (DCCEE). On establishment of the Authority, these assets were transferred to the Authority and represented as an equity injection in the 2012–13 annual financial statements. The assets transferred included the desktops, office equipment, furniture and fittings.

The Authority made no asset purchases or disposals in 2013–14.

The Authority undertook a full stocktake of its assets in June 2014, the results of which are represented in the Authority’s 2013–14 annual financial statements at Appendix A.

5.1.4 Shared Services

As a small agency, the Authority maintains agreements for the provision of corporate shared services.

As a result of machinery-of-government changes in 2013–14, the Authority has updated its arrangements for the provision of these services and currently maintains three separate Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs).

The Authority has a MoU with the Department of Industry for the provision of finance, payroll, and human resources systems and support. This was maintained from the time that the Authority was part of the Industry portfolio and has given the Authority continuity without needing to change its core finance and payroll systems.

The Authority has a second MoU with the Department of the Environment for the remaining corporate services support, including legal, freedom of information, media and travel services.

The Authority has a third corporate service MoU with the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet for its information technology systems and support.

Each of the MoUs is performed on a fee-for-service basis.

5.1.5 Internal Audit

The Authority’s Audit Committee provides independent advice to the CEO on risk management and ensures the Authority has a strong compliance framework.

The Audit Committee met on three occasions during the year—3 September 2013, 17 February 2014 and 18 June 2014.

For the first two meetings the membership was:

  • Ms Elana Rubin (Chair)
  • Dr Helen Mignot (Deputy Chair)
  • Mr Chris Pattas
  • Mr Brett Hinkly (internal member).

As a result of the resignations of Ms Rubin and Mr Hinkly, and new appointments approved by the CEO, the membership for the 18 June 2014 meeting was:

  • Dr Helen Mignot (Chair)
  • Mr Chris Pattas
  • Ms Vicki Middleton
  • Mr John Blanch (internal member).

In 2013–14, the major business of the committee included reviewing and/or approving the:

  • annual financial statements 2012–13
  • Fraud Control Plan
  • Strategic Risk Profile
  • Financial Health and Resource Check internal audit
  • Fraud Risk Assessment internal audit
  • Governance Compliance Checklist
  • Certificate of Compliance
  • Protective Security Policy Framework
  • Abolition Transition Plan
  • transition audit.

The Authority’s internal audit services are provided by KPMG.

5.1.6 External Scrutiny

During 2013–14:

  • No judicial or administrative tribunal decisions relating to the Climate Change Authority were handed down.
  • There were no reports by the Auditor-General on the operations of the Authority, other than the report on the annual financial statements contained at Appendix A.
  • There were no reports on the operations of the Authority conducted by a Parliamentary Committee or the Commonwealth Ombudsman.
  • The Authority appeared before the Senate Standing Committee on Environment and Communications for Senate Budget Estimates.
  • The Chair and CEO appeared at the Senate Committee on Environment and Legislation’s inquiry into the government’s proposed Direct Action Plan. The Authority spoke about its work on the Targets and Progress Review. The inquiry received a number of submissions in support of the Authority’s work and against the Authority’s proposed abolition.

Ethical Standards

In managing and developing its people, the Authority is bound by the Public Service Act 1999 and the guidelines of the Australian Public Services Commission.

Values and behaviours are a key element of the Authority’s first corporate plan and the Authority’s values and behaviours align to the new Australian Public Service (APS) Values and Code of Conduct.

During 2013–14, the Authority adopted a range of measures to promote ethical standards and all employees were provided with a copy of the new APS Values and Code of Conduct.

5.1.7 Freedom of Information

Agencies subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) are required to publish information as part of the Information Publication Scheme (IPS). This requirement is in Part II of the FOI Act and has replaced the former requirement to publish a section 8 statement in an annual report.

In accordance with the IPS requirements, the Authority publishes on its website all mandatory information on activities under the FOI Act.

5.1.8 Ecologically Sustainable Development and Environmental Performance

Section 516A of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1991 requires Australian Government organisations to detail their environmental performance and contribution to ecologically sustainable development in their annual reports.

In 2013–14, the Authority implemented a range of measures contributing to ecologically sustainable measures including:

  • purchasing 100 per cent Green Power
  • providing downloadable publications on the Authority’s website to reduce the need to print and distribute hard-copy material
  • purchasing paper with a minimum 50 per cent recycled content
  • applying sustainable practices in the office aimed at reducing energy and resource consumption including:
    • mandating default two-sided printing
    • ensuring equipment such as desktop computers, photocopiers, dishwashers and printers incorporate energy efficiency features
    • recycling paper, cardboard, printer cartridges and organic waste.

5.2 Financial Overview

5.2.1 Financial Performance

The Authority met all of its financial obligations in 2013–14.

5.2.2 Resource Statement 2013–14

Agency Resource Statement 2013–14

 

Actual available appropriation 2013–14

Payments made 2013–14

Balance remaining

 

$’000

$’000

$’000

Ordinary annual services

 

 

 

Departmental appropriation 2012–131

931

 

931

Carry forward 201213

931

0

931

Departmental appropriation 2013–141

8,707

6,237

2,470

S.31 relevant agency receipts2

348

348

0

Total ordinary annual services

9,055

6,585

2,470

TOTAL RESOURCING AND PAYMENTS

9,986

6,585

3,401

 

 

 

 

1Appropriation Bill (No. 1) 2012–13 and Appropriation Bill (No. 1) 2013–14.
2Receipts received under s. 31 of the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997. Remaining balance will be applied to meeting the future settlement of current period expenses and provisions.

5.2.3 Purchasing

In 2013–14, the Authority sourced all goods and services in accordance with the principles set out in the Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines 2012.

The Authority’s policy outlines the core principle underlining procurement as value for money, which is enhanced by:

  • encouraging competition by ensuring non-discrimination in procurement and competitive procurement processes
  • promoting the use of resources in an efficient, effective, economical and ethical manner
  • making decisions in an accountable and transparent manner.

All competitive tenders and contracts over $10,000 let by the Authority during 2013–14 were listed on AusTender.

5.2.4 Consultancies

The Authority engages consultants only if it considers that specific specialist expertise is required and the particular skillset is not available from within existing staffing resources, or if there is a need for independent research, review or assessment.

Any decision to engage a consultant is made in accordance with the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 and related regulations, including Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines, and with relevant internal policies.

During 2013–14, the Authority did not enter into any new consultancy contracts. Annual reports contain information about actual expenditure on contract for consultancies. Information on the value of contracts and consultancies is available on the AusTender website, www.tenders.gov.au.

The Authority did not enter into any contracts or standing offers that were exempt from being published on AusTender.

All Authority contracts contain provisions that allow for the Auditor-General to have access to the contractor’s premises if required.

5.2.5 Advertising and Market Research

Under section 311A of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918, the Authority is required to report annually on payments made for the services of:

  • advertising agencies
  • market research organisations
  • polling organisations
  • direct mail organisations
  • media advertising organisations.

During 2013–14, the Authority made no payments for these services and conducted no advertising campaigns.

5.2.6 Grant Programs

The Authority did not administer any grant programs in 2013–14.

5.3 Management of Human Resources

At 30 June 2014, the Authority had 18 employees, of whom 17 were ongoing and one was non-ongoing. All Authority staff were located in Melbourne and two-thirds of employees were female.

The staffing profile reflects the Authority’s required skills and capabilities. During 2013–14, the Authority utilised a range of employees temporarily transferred from other agencies, with specialist knowledge relevant to the review work program.

The Authority’s staff numbers progressively fell over the 2013–14 financial year, as continued uncertainty about its future led to staff departures. The Authority reached its peak in terms of numbers in August 2013. Since then, 19 staff members have departed the organisation.

5.3.1 Staffing Statistics

The distribution of staff by classification and employment status is shown in Table 5.1. Authority staff remuneration bands are shown in Table 5.2.

Table 5.1: Climate Change Authority Staff Numbers by Classification, Gender and Full-Time or Part-Time Status (at 30 June 2014)

Classification

Female

Male

Total

Full-time

Part-time

Full-time

Part-time

CEO

1

0

0

0

1

SES Band 1

1

0

0

0

1

Executive Level 2

2

1

1

0

4

Executive Level 1

1

1

3

0

5

APS 6

2

0

1

0

3

APS 5

3

0

1

0

4

APS 1–4

0

0

0

0

0

 

Table 5.2: Salary Structures at the Climate Change Authority (at 30 June 2014)

Classification

Salary Range

Executive Level 2

$113,950–150,343

Executive Level 1

$95,456–121,611

APS 6

$77,558–91,877

APS 5

$70,995–76,067

APS 4

$65,029–69,802

APS 3

$57,870–63,836

APS 2

$51,997–56,677

APS 1

$43,658–50,757

 

5.3.2 Remuneration For CEO and Senior Executive Service

The CEO is a principal executive office-holder, as defined in the Remuneration Tribunal Act 1973. The position’s remuneration was set by the then Minister for Climate Change within the salary determination set by the Remuneration Tribunal each year.

One Senior Executive Service officer was employed under the Public Service Act 1999, with the conditions of service set out under the then DCCEE SES Employment Conditions handbook. The CEO determines SES remuneration in accordance with remuneration guidelines promulgated by the then DCCEE. Further details on SES officer and CEO remuneration are at Note 12 Appendix A.

5.3.3 Remuneration for the Authority Chair and Members

The remuneration of the Authority Chair and Members is governed by section 25 of the Climate Change Authority Act 2011. Authority Members’ remuneration is determined by the Remuneration Tribunal on a yearly basis. Authority Members receive an annual base fee plus meeting fees for attendance at official Authority meetings. The Authority met 14 times in 2013–14.

Table 5.3: Remuneration of Climate Change Authority Members (at 30 June 2014)

Member Status

Base Salary—Annual

Meeting Fees

Chair

$56,320

$1,076

Members

$28,160

$861

 

Table 5.4: Climate Change Authority Member Meeting Attendance

Member

No. of meetings attended

Mr Bernie Fraser (Chair)

14

Professor Clive Hamilton

12

Professor David Karoly

12

Mr John Marlay

13

Professor John Quiggin

12

Ms Heather Ridout

9

Ms Elana Rubin

8

Dr Lynne Williams

12

 

5.3.4 Employment Arrangements

Upon establishment, the CEO of the Authority made a determination under section 24(1) of the Public Service Act 1999. The determination stated that all non-SES Authority staff were to be employed under the conditions of the DCCEE Enterprise Agreement 2011−2014.

Senior Executive Service Authority staff were employed under the Public Service Act 1999 and their conditions of service outlined in the DCCEE SES Employment Conditions handbook. In 2013–14, one staff member was employed on an individual flexibility arrangement under clause 10 of the DCCEE Enterprise Agreement 20112014.

No employee of the Authority was employed under performance-based remuneration conditions in 2013–14.

5.3.5 Consultative Arrangements

An advantage of a small agency is that direct consultation between management and employees is possible. This occurred on a regular basis in 2013–14, including through the CEO’s ‘all staff’ meetings and regular team meetings.

5.3.6 Performance Management

All employees participate in the Authority’s performance development framework. The framework seeks to:

  • clarify individual employees’ understanding of their work tasks, their responsibilities and the performance standards expected (through individual performance agreements)
  • provide feedback on performance and improve communication between supervisors and their staff (through individual performance appraisals)
  • provide a basis for determining salary advancement
  • identify learning and development needs
  • assist in identifying and managing instances of underperformance

5.3.7 Learning and Development

The Authority encourages employees to undertake learning and development to build up competencies relevant to their roles.

The Authority has a study assistance policy that sets out the assistance provided to staff to undertake learning and development opportunities. The policy provides financial and leave assistance to its staff enrolled in study or training that is relevant to the operational needs of the agency. Each staff member has the opportunity to identify and access appropriate training through the organisation’s Performance Development Program.

The Authority also provides one-on-one coaching to address particular development needs and extensive on-the-job training within the Authority. Internal seminars on written communication skills also contributed to staff development during 2013–14 and helped with the Authority’s review program.

5.3.8 Work Health And Safety

No formal Work Health and Safety investigations were conducted during the year and there were no notifiable incidents. No notices under Part 10 of the Work Health Safety Act 2011 were given to the Authority during 2013–14.

During 2013–14, work health and safety initiatives included:

  • Authority-funded flu vaccinations
  • a flexible work policy to manage and avoid staff working excessive hours
  • provision of ergonomic equipment

There were no claims for injury in 2013–14. There was one informal return-to-work program conducted.

5.3.9 Employee Assistance Program

The Authority offers its employees independent, confidential and professional counselling, consultation and training assistance for work-related or personal issues. The Authority contracted Optum (previously known as PPC Worldwide) to provide this service.

5.3.10 Workplace Diversity

The Authority continues to foster a culture that supports employees achieving their potential and values employee diversity. This was facilitated through the Authority’s enterprise agreement and related policies.

5.3.11 Disability Reporting

Since 1994, Commonwealth departments and agencies have reported on their performance as policy adviser, purchaser, employer, regulator and provider under the Commonwealth Disability Strategy. In 2007−08, reporting on the employer role was transferred to the Australian Public Service Commission’s State of the Service Report and the APS Statistical Bulletin. These reports are available at www.apsc.gov.au. From 2010−11, departments and agencies have no longer been required to report on these functions.

The Commonwealth Disability Strategy has been overtaken by the National Disability Strategy 2010–2020, which sets out a 10-year national policy framework to improve the lives of people with disability, promote participation and create a more inclusive society. A high-level two-yearly report will track progress against each of the six outcome areas of the strategy and present a picture of how people with disability are faring. The first of these reports will be available in late 2014 at www.dss.gov.au.