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Part 3 Management and accountability

Corporate governance

In 2015–16, we maintained two standing committees to oversee corporate governance within the agency.

Executive committee

The Executive Committee, comprising the Commissioner and Assistant Commissioners, meets weekly and oversees all aspects of the OAIC’s business.

The Executive Committee’s agenda covers business management and performance, finance, human resources, governance, risk management, external engagement and business planning.

Audit committee

Our audit committee assists the Commissioner to discharge his responsibilities on the OAIC’s finances and performance, risk oversight and management,

and system of internal control. The Audit Committee oversees the work of the OAIC’s internal auditors, ensures the Annual Work Program and ensures appropriate coverage of our strategic and operational risks.

The Audit Committee is chaired by the Assistant Commissioner Dispute Resolution and has two independent members from the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) and the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security. Representatives from the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) attend meetings of the Audit Committee as observers.

Corporate services

We have a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the AHRC that covers the provision of corporate services. This includes financial, administrative, information and communications technology and human resources services. We also sublease our premises in Sydney from the AHRC under this arrangement. More information on the OAIC’s MOU with the AHRC can be found in Appendix B.

External scrutiny

During the year, there were no judicial decisions or decisions of administrative tribunals that had a significant impact on our operations.

There were no reports on our operations by the Auditor-General, a parliamentary committee or the Commonwealth Ombudsman.

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Human resources

The OAIC began to build capacity following the 2016–17 Budget announcement in May 2016 to retain the agency. In 2015–16 we focused on building capacity within our existing workforce and ensuring training and development opportunities were made available to staff.

We are committed to excellence in people management and building a skilled workforce to perform our functions. We encourage a culture of open communication and collaboration to deliver quality outcomes for our stakeholders.

Following the Budget announcement, we have begun work on building and consolidating the necessary skillsets to ensure we meet the heightened demands for privacy and information management for the Australian public, government agencies and wider industry.

Our people

As a small agency in a competitive market, we face challenges in recruiting and retaining skilled people. To respond to this, we implemented attraction strategies including online and social media advertising and began work on creating a temporary employment register that will be deployed in 2016–17.

This year we had an average staffing level of 63.9. During the year turnover was approximately 21% per cent for ongoing staff. This involved fourteen ongoing staff resigning, retiring or being transferred to other Australian Government agencies while a further two accepted voluntary redundancies. We had 23 ongoing staff join the OAIC during the year. As of 30 June 2016, we had 67.58 full-time equivalent (FTE) staff, including ongoing and non-ongoing employees. There was one casual staff member employed as of 30 June 2016.

Table 9: Staffing profile as at 30 June 2016 (headcount)

Classification

Male

Female

Full time

Part time

Total ongoing

Total non-ongoing

Total

Statutory Office Holders

1

0

1

0

0

1

1

SES Band 1

0

2

2

0

2

0

2

Executive Level 2 ($114,537–$130,714)

3

6

4

5

8

1

9

Executive Level 1 ($98,608–$105,481)

6

10

13

3

15

1

16

APS 6 ($78,244–$86,162)

11

27

33

5

38

0

38

APS 5 ($70,958–$ 75,016)

1

4

1

4

5

0

5

APS 4 ($63,648–$67,629)

2

2

4

0

4

0

4

Total

24

51

58

17

72

3

75

Employment stats

Learning and development

Our work is increasingly becoming more technical as the digital environment becomes more complex. We are committed to ongoing learning and development to ensure our people are appropriately skilled to meet this challenge. Staff undertook specific training in information technology and legal fields to ensure that they were continuously building on their subject-matter expertise and able to access the latest information from industry and government. Our Dispute Resolution Branch were also provided training in conciliation skills as part of our commitment to assist parties to achieve a positive resolution to privacy complaints.

We consulted with staff and finalised a new learning and development plan that includes elements such as a mentor program, manager-once-removed discussions, studies assistance and access to specialist seminars.

Staff are able to access a range of learning and development opportunities in line with the Australian Public Service Commission’s 70–20–10 model of learning.

Benefits

We offer our people the following non-salary related benefits:

  • flexible working arrangements including home-based work where appropriate
  • employee assistance program
  • extended purchase leave
  • maternity and adoption leave
  • parental leave
  • leave for personal compelling reasons and exceptional circumstances
  • access to paid leave at half pay
  • flextime (APS staff)
  • study assistance
  • support for professional and personal development
  • healthy lifestyle reimbursement
  • eyesight testing and reimbursement of prescription glasses
  • family care rooms
  • influenza vaccinations.

Workplace relations

The OAC’s Enterprise Agreement 2016–19 was approved by the Fair Work Commission on 5 May 2016.

In 2015–16, no staff received performance pay or were under any individual flexibility arrangements, Australian workplace agreements or common law contracts.

Statutory Office Holder and SES remuneration

The terms and conditions of the OAIC’s statutory office holder is determined by the Remuneration Tribunal. Remuneration for the OAIC’s Senior Executive Service (SES) officers is governed by determinations made by the Commissioner under s 24(1) of the Public Service Act 1999.

Workplace diversity

We recognise the importance of reflecting the community we serve through diversity in staffing. Currently 21% of staff have a non-English speaking background and 1.3% identify as Indigenous.

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, government agencies have no longer been required to report on these functions.

Work health and safety

We share expertise and resources on Work Health and Safety (WHS) issues with the AHRC. Our WHS representatives are members of the joint agencies’ WHS Committee. We conduct regular site inspections as a preventative measure and there have been no incidents reported over the last year. All new staff are provided with WHS information upon commencement and ongoing support and assistance is offered to our people.

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Procurement

In 2015–16, we complied with the government’s purchasing policies as stated in the Commonwealth Government Procurement Rules. We encourage competition, value for money, transparency and accountability.

All contracts were awarded after ensuring the efficient, effective, economical and ethical use of Australian Government resources.

In 2015–16, no contracts were exempt from reporting on AusTender on the basis that publishing contract details would disclose exempt matters under the FOI Act. All awarded contracts valued at $100,000 (GST inclusive) or greater contained standard clauses granting the Auditor-General access to contractor’s premises.

Annual reports contain information about actual expenditure on contracts for consultancies. Information on the value of contracts and consultancies is available on the AusTender website.

Consultants

We engage consultants where we lack specialist expertise or when independent research, review or assessment is required.

Typically, we only engage consultants to:

  • investigate or diagnose a defined issue or problem
  • carry out defined reviews or evaluations
  • provide independent advice, information or creative solutions to assist with our decision-making.

During 2015–16, we entered into one consultancy contract. The total actual expenditure for this contract was $9,350. No consultancy contracts from previous periods were continued into this period.

Prior to engaging consultants, we take into account the skills and resources required for the task, the skills available internally and the cost-effectiveness of engaging external expertise. Additionally, all the decisions that we make relating to consultancy contracts are made in accordance with the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 and related regulations including the Commonwealth Procurement Rules.

This report contains information about actual expenditure on contracts for consultancies. Information on the value of contracts and consultancies is available on the AusTender website.

Small businesses

We support small business participation in the Commonwealth Government procurement market and engage with small businesses wherever appropriate during our work. Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) and Small Enterprise participation statistics are available on the Department of Finance’s website. We also recognise the importance of ensuring that small businesses are paid on time. The results of the Survey of Australian Government Payments to Small Business are available on the Treasury’s website.

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Other requirements

Advertising and market research

We did not have any advertising or market research contracts in 2015–16.

Grant programs

No grant programs took place during 2015–16.

Fraud

We have a fraud control plan, fraud control policy and guidelines which are made available to all staff through internal communication channels.

Memoranda of understanding

We receive funding for specific services under a range of memoranda of understanding. Details can be found at Appendix B.

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, government 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 ten-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 can be found at www.dss.gov.au.

Ecologically sustainable development and environment performance

Section 516A of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 requires the OAIC to report on how its activities accord with the principles of ecologically sustainable development (ESD). Our role and activities do not directly link with the principles of ESD or impact on the

environment other than through our business operations in the consumption of resources required to sustain our operations. We use energy saving methods in the OAIC’s operation and endeavour to make the best use of resources.

Information Publication Scheme

As required by the Freedom of Information Act 1982, we have an Information Publication Scheme entry on our website (www.oaic.gov.au) that provides information on our structure, functions, appointments, annual reports, consultation arrangements, FOI officer, information we routinely release following FOI requests and information we routinely provide to the Australian Parliament.

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Long text descriptions

Employment stats — long text description

Our staff

  • Total staff: 75

Employment type

  • Full-time: 58
  • Part-time: 17

Gender

  • Female: 51
  • Male: 24

Diversity

  • Non-English speaking background: 21%
  • Indigenous: 1.3%

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