Climate Change Authority

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MANAGEMENT AND ACCOUNTABILITY

5.1 CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

The Climate Change Authority (the Authority) is an independent statutory agency comprising a chair and eight board members and is supported by a 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 has a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) who is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the Authority. The CEO is supported by three General Managers. This group comprises the executive management team for the Authority.

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

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

In the absence of a published corporate plan in 2012-13, the Authority drew on the specific requirements of the Climate Change Authority Act 2011 and the Climate Change Authority section of the Climate Change and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Budget Statement 2012-13 for guidance on the operations of theAuthority, its outputs and timetable for delivering those outputs.

These documents, along with the governance, direction and compliance requirements of the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 and the Public Service Act 1999, provided the Authority with a strong corporate governance environment in the first year of its operation.

5.1.1 RISK MANAGEMENT

During 2012-13 the Authority engaged internal auditors (KPMG) to facilitate the development of a Strategic Risk Profile to identify the risks that may impact delivery of the Authority’s strategic priorities.

The Authority defined a risk as the chance of something happening that would impact on the organisation’s ability to meet its objectives.

To develop the Strategic Risk Profile the Authority held a facilitated workshop with the executive management team and the Chief Financial Officer (CFO). The Strategic Risk Profile included the probability and consequences of each risk. It also identified the acceptable level of risk the Authority was prepared to accept.

The CFO had responsibility for maintaining the Strategic Risk Profile. Individual risk action plans were developed which identified the current risk profile, current controls andagreed management actions. The Strategic Risk Profile and risk action plans were updated and reported to the Executive Management Team and the Audit Committee on a regular basis.

5.1.2 FRAUD CONTROL

During 2012-13 KPMG was engaged to undertake a fraud risk assessment of the Authority. The objectives of the assessment were for the Authority to: identify the inherent fraud risks within the Authority, outline the internal controls currently in place to mitigate the fraud risks identified, assess the overall effectiveness of those controls, and to specifically develop fraud mitigation strategies to address those risks with an unacceptably high rating or where it is identified that control enhancements are possible.

The risk assessment was conducted in accordance with the Australian and New Zealand Risk Management Standard (AS/NZ ISP 31000:2009) and the Fraud and Corruption Control Australian Standard (AS 8001-2008).

The Authority also redrafted its Fraud Control Plan. The fraud risk assessment included a review of the draft Fraud Control Plan to ensure its compliance 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 the Audit Committee.

There were no incidents of suspected or actual fraud in the 2012-13 period.

5.1.3 ASSETS & ASSET MANAGEMENT

The Authority managed its assets in accordance with the Chief Executive Instructions and relevant accounting standards. All of the Authority ‘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 undertook a full stocktake of its assets during the year, the results of which are represented in the Authority’s 2012-13 annual financial statements at Appendix A.

5.1.4 SHARED SERVICES

As a small agency, the Authority entered into an arrangement for the provision of corporate shared services with the DCCEE.

This arrangement provided corporate systems and support including finance, human resources, payroll, and information technology. This arrangement was managed under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and was performed on a fee for service basis. This original MOU ceased on 25 March 2013 with the machinery of government change that resulted in the Authority moving to the Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education portfolio (DIICCSRTE). At that time, the DIICCSRTE assumed the responsibility under the previous MOU.

5.1.5 INTERNAL AUDIT

The Authority’s Audit Committee was established during the first year of operation. The Committee’s role was to provide independent advice to the CEO on risk management and to ensure the Authority had a strong compliance framework.

The Committee comprised four members:

  1. Ms Elana Rubin (Chair)
  2. Dr Helen Mignot (Deputy Chair)
  3. Mr Chris Pattas
  4. Mr Brett Hinkly (internal member).

The Audit Committee held its first meeting in May 2013 and was scheduled to meet at least twice a year. The Committee approved the Internal Audit Charter, the Annual Internal Audit Plan and Strategic Risk Profile and commended them to the CEO for endorsement.

In 2012-13, two internal audits were commissioned to provide a Financial and Resources Health Check as well as a Fraud Risk Assessment.

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

5.1.6 EXTERNAL SCRUTINY

No judicial or administrative tribunal decisions relating to the Climate Change Authority were handed down during 2012-13.

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 in 2012-13.

The Authority appeared before the Senate Standing Committee on Environment and Communications for Senate Budget Estimates in 2012-13.

5.1.7 ETHICAL STANDARDS

The Authority is bound by the Public Service Act 1999 and the guidelines of the Australian Public Services Commission for the management and development of its people.

Values and behaviours were a key element in 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.

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.

5.1.8 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 regarding activities under the FOI Act.

5.1.9 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 2012-13 the Authority implemented a range of measures that contributed to ecologically sustainable measures including:

  1. purchasing 100 per cent Green Power;
  2. providing publications for download from the Authority’s website to reduce the need to print and distribute hard copy material;
  3. purchasing paper with a minimum 50 per cent recycled content; and
  4. applying sustainable practices in the office aimed at reducing energy and resource consumption including default two sided printing, ensuring equipment such as desktop computers, photocopiers and printers incorporate energy efficiency features; and 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 2012-13.

The 2012-13 annual financial statements represent a retained surplus arising from the Statement of Comprehensive Income. The Authority has also maintained a balance of unallocated appropriation to meet commitments made in the 2012-13 year that is required for future obligations. This includes future obligations for creditor and salary accruals (settling in July 2013) and the balance of employee entitlements.

Based on the Climate Change Authority Portfolio Budget Statement 2012-13 information and the Authority’s budget planning for 2013-14, the Authority fully expects to meet all financial commitments again in 2013-14.

The Authority has a monthly reporting and variance analysis process in place to monitor progress against budget. As a result of the above, the Authority has no known or expected risks to its financial sustainability.

Further information on the Authority’s financial performance is available in the 2012-13 annual financial statements and accompanying notes at Appendix A.

5.2.2 RESOURCE STATEMENT

TABLE 1: AGENCY RESOURCE STATEMENT 2012-13

Actual Available Appropriation

2012-13

Payments Made

2012-13

Balance Remaining

$'000

$'000

$'000

Ordinary Annual Services

Departmental appropriation1

Departmental appropriation 2012-13

6 206

5 275

S.31 Relevant agency receipts2

105

105

Total ordinary annual services

6 311

5 380

931

Total Resourcing and Payments

6 311

5 380

931

1 Appropriation Act (No.1) 2012-13.

2 Receipts received under section 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.Note: During 2012-13 the Authority entered into a MOU with the then Department of Business and Innovation (Victorian State Government) for grant funding to meet part of the establishment of the Authority. This funding ($316 350 ex GST) will be received in 2013-14.

5.2.3 PURCHASING

In 2012-13 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:

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

All competitive tenders and contracts over $10 000 let by the Authority during 2012-13 have been listed on AusTender.

5.2.4 CONSULTANCIES

The Authority engages consultants only if it is considered 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, related regulations, including Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines, and with relevant internal policies.

During 2012-13 the Authority let three new consultancy contracts. The total value of these contracts was $723 780. The total value and actual spend against these contracts in 2012-13 was as follows:

  • Energy sector modelling to inform the Review of the Renewable Energy Target
  • . The contract with Sinclair Knight Mertz commenced on 27 August 2012. The value of the contract was $131 780 and it was fully expended in 2012-13.
  • Decomposition of Australia’s electricity demand.
  • The total value of the contract was $161 000. The contract with Vivid Economics commenced on 28 June 2013 and was due to complete in August 2013. As at 30 June 2013 no payments were made against this contract.
  • Tracking Australia’s progress on transition to a low carbon economy
  • The Authority, DCCEE and Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism (DRET) jointly funded this project. The total value of the contract was $440 000. The contract with Monash University, acting through ClimateWorks Australia, commenced on 12 February 2013 and was due to complete in September 2013. As at 30 June 2013 $275 000 had been billed by Monash University, with $27 500 paid prior to year end with a further $247 500 accrued into 2012-13 and was to be paid in July 2013. Of the total contract payments, $213 000 has been recouped via the other Commonwealth Government parties to the contract (DCCEE and DRET) as at 30 June 2013.

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.

1. Annual reports contain information aboutactual expenditure on contracts for consultancies. Information on the value of contracts and consultancies is available on the AusTender website www.tenders.gov.au.

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; and
  • media advertising organisations.

The Authority made no payments for these services in 2012-13. The Authority conducted no advertising campaigns in 2012-13.

5.2.6 GRANT PROGRAMS

The Authority did not administer any grant programs in 2012-13.