NSW Maritime's Governance Framework has been developed to ensure the management and control of the agency and its activities are both effective and appropriate, and are undertaken in accordance with the principles of good governance.
The framework details NSW Maritime's oversight systems and processes, the structures through which organisational objectives are identified and delivered, and the mechanisms for performance and compliance monitoring. The framework also codifies the rules and processes for decision-making and delegated responsibilities.
The framework's success is dependent upon the organisation's culture and values being aligned to it, and it being actively implemented. An action plan for the implementation of the framework has been developed and is monitored by NSW Maritime's Executive.
NSW Maritime's ethical framework is detailed in policies and guidelines relating to ethical conduct, managing complaints and allegations, preventing fraud and corruption and making public interest disclosures.
The Code of Conduct and Ethics applies to all employees, contractors, volunteers and anyone representing NSW Maritime. The code embraces values that NSW Maritime upholds and describes the ethical framework that guides actions, decisions and behaviour. Minor amendments were made to the Code of Conduct and Ethics as a result of an annual review.
Training for managers and supervisors on ethics and accountability was developed and delivered in 2010-2011 as a component of the NSW Maritime program for managers.
During 2010-2011, all NSW Maritime managers attended the ICAC Corruption Prevention for Managers Course and the Executive Management Committee attended an ICAC workshop for executives.
NSW Maritime conducted workshops for all staff on corruption prevention, which covered secondary employment, the use of public resources and recruitment. The workshops were delivered by the Chief Executive. A finance-specific fraud and corruption prevention workshop was delivered to ensure finance staff were alert to the possibility of fraud and corruption, including awareness of the process to alert and report irregularities.
A Corruption Prevention Strategy has been developed, which communicates NSW Maritime's corruption prevention principles and corruption prevention plan. The strategy was issued to staff via the intranet.
NSW Maritime maintains organisational arrangements that provide additional assurance, independent from operational management, on risk management and internal audit, consistent with NSW Treasury Circular TC 09/08 Internal Audit and Risk Management Policy.
It has developed an enterprise-wide risk management framework, which provides information on the roles, responsibilities, processes and procedures, standards, tools and documentation to be used for managing risk at NSW Maritime. The Framework applies the International Standard for Risk Management (AS/NZS ISO 31000:2009).
The risk management framework is supplemented by policies, procedures and plans that deal with specific categories of risk, such as occupational health and safety and incident management.
The NSW Treasury Managed Fund provides NSW Maritime's cover for its insurable risks in the areas of workers' compensation, motor vehicles, liability, property, travel and personal accident. No major changes to insurance activities occurred in 2010-2011.
NSW Maritime's comprehensive internal audit program helps to ensure NSW Maritime's programs and processes comply with legislation and best practice. Audits conducted during the year found that systems were predominantly sound. There were no areas with 'extreme' risk ratings. The areas identified with 'high' risk ratings were all controlled by the acceptance of a range of recommendations.
NSW Maritime adopts an outsourced internal audit delivery model. During 2010-2011, NSW Maritime undertook a tender process to appoint an internal auditor for a new term.
The Audit and Risk Committee provides independent assistance to the Chief Executive by overseeing and monitoring NSW Maritime governance, risk and control frameworks, and its external accountability requirements. The Audit and Risk Committee met five times during 2010-2011.
NSW Maritime built on the procurement framework developed in the previous year and drafted a series of guidelines for staff to assist in the procurement process.
The guidelines reflect the General Purchasing Delegation made under Clause 10 of the Public Sector Employment and Management (Goods and Services) Regulation 2010, with separate guidelines drafted for procurement under $3000, procurement from $3000 to $30,000, and procurement from $30,000 to $250,000.
Audit and Risk Committee
In August 2009, NSW Treasury issued the Internal Audit and Risk Management Policy for the NSW Public Sector (TPP09-5). The Policy and Guidelines paper includes six core requirements:
- — An operationally independent internal audit function
- — Appointment of a Chief Audit Executive
- — An Audit and Risk Committee (ARC) with an independent chair and a majority of independent members appointed from the central register of 'pre-qualified' individuals established by DPC Circular C2009-13 Prequalification Scheme: Audit and Risk Committees
- — Consistent application of a 'model charter' for Audit and Risk Committees
- — Adoption of current standards for enterprise risk management
- — Adoption of current standards for professional practice in internal audit.
NSW Maritime's Audit and Risk Committee has five members:
- — Dr Liz Coombs (Independent Chair)
- — Ken Barker (Independent Member)
- — Alex Smith (Independent Member)
- — Howard Glenn (Internal Member – General Manager Maritime Operations)
- — Melinda McCabe (Internal Member – General Manager Policy, Risk and Governance).
Regular meeting observers include:
- — Steve Dunn (Chief Executive)
- — Brian Stanwell (General Manager, Corporate Services and Chief Audit Executive)
- — Kelly McFadyen (Executive Director, Governance and Risk)
- — Audit Office of NSW
- — Internal Audit Bureau.
Members are appointed for an initial period of three years, after which they are eligible for extension or re-appointment for a further maximum term of three years, after a formal review of their performance.
In accordance with NSW Maritime's Internal Audit Manual, the Internal Auditors are appointed to a maximum five-year term. During 2010-2011 the contract for the provision of internal audit services was tendered and the Internal Audit Bureau retained the contract for a further period of up to five years, subject to performance.
During 2010-2011, NSW Maritime's ARC met five times to consider the findings of reviews on NSW Maritime's systems of internal controls. Audit recommendations for improvements in systems and procedures are considered by management, and when agreed, are compiled in a recommendations register to manage progression on the recommendation's implementation.
In April 2010, the Independent Commission of Against Corruption (ICAC) conducted a public enquiry into the misuse of resources by a NSW Maritime Legal Services Branch Officer. NSW Maritime fully cooperated with the ICAC during the process. The ICAC released its report in September 2010 and made seven corruption prevention recommendations to NSW Maritime.
NSW Maritime accepted the ICAC recommendations and is committed to implementing them and regularly reporting the progress of implementation to the ICAC. NSW Maritime submitted its first progress report to the ICAC in April 2011 and is on track to complete the implementation of the corruption prevention recommendations.
NSW Maritime commenced a review of its Privacy Management Plan during the year. The plan is required by the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998, which sets out how all NSW public sector agencies must manage personal information and specifies how personal information is to be collected, stored, accessed, used, disclosed and destroyed.