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OAIC asset management policy and guidelines

This policy should be read and interpreted in conjunction with the Chief Executive’s Instructions and Financial Management Guidelines and other relevant policies and procedures of the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.

 1. Purpose

The purpose of the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (the Office) Asset Management Policy and Guidelines (the Policy) is to formalise and communicate the processes for delivery, receipt, issue, disposal and stocktake of assets across the Office. The Policy forms part of and is supported by the Office’s Chief Executive’s Instructions and Financial Management Guidelines.

The Policy outlines the responsibilities and accountabilities for asset management within the Office.

The Policy assists to:

  • maintain control over and safeguard assets purchased and owned by the Office;
  • ensure an accountable and coordinated approach when dealing with delivery, receipt, issue, disposal and stocktake of Office assets;
  • provide accurate information for monthly and annual reporting to the Department of Finance and Deregulation;
  • ensure that the Office meets its obligations under:
    • Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (FMA), FMA Regulations and FMA Orders;
    • Public Service Act 1999 and Public Service Regulations;
    • Crimes Act 1914; and
    • Chief Executive Instructions and Financial Management Guidelines (CEI’s) and other Office policies.

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 2. Background

Part 6 of the FMA Act outlines government agencies’ responsibilities in the control and management of public property.

Custody of public property involves the custodian taking delivery of the property on behalf of the Office. The custodian signs a written acknowledgement that the property has been delivered on the express condition that the custodian will at all times take strict care of the property.

Chapter 5 – Public Property and Asset Management of the CEI’s outlines the Office’s policy in relation to the control and management of all Office assets.

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 3. Responsibilities

Assistant Commissioner, Operations and Finance Manager (AHRC)[1] :

The Information Commissioner has authorised the Assistant Commissioner, Operations to be responsible for the overall accounting for Office assets. The Finance Manager (AHRC) assists with meeting this responsibility.

All Office Staff and other parties:

All staff and other parties (e.g. external providers) covered by the Policy will:

  • apply the principles inherent in the Policy when undertaking their duties and/or representing the Office;
  • take immediate action in relation to suspected non-compliance with the Asset Management Policy and Guidelines ; and
  • deal with all asset management related issues in a professional and prompt manner.

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 3. Definition of an Asset

Assets are defined in Chapter 5 of the CEI’s – in summary, they incorporate financial and non-financial assets with a purchase price:

  • Financial assets can include but are not limited to cash on hand or at bank, receivables (trade debtors) and accountable forms.
  • Non-financial assets can have a physical form and include but are not limited to items such as computer equipment, furniture and office equipment. Non-financial assets can also be intangible such as computer software or intellectual property.

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 4. Purchase and Receipt of Assets

Chapter 4.3 – Buying Property and Services of the CEI’s outlines in detail the purchasing procedures for procuring assets.

It should be noted that there are limitations applied to expenditure delegations that apply specifically to the purchase of Office assets. These can be located in the Information Commissioner’s Delegations and Authorisations on the Finance page of the intranet at:

http://thehub/Intranet/Finance/Finance.aspx (Note: this links to an internal OAIC document and can’t be accessed outside the OAIC system)

All asset purchases (generally items costing $2,000 or more) should be made using the Procurement Request/Purchase Order process which specifies that all deliveries are to be made to Finance and Services Purchasing Officer on level 8.

Upon delivery the Finance and Services Purchasing Officer will receipt the goods on behalf of the Office.

Following receipt of the goods, the Finance and Services Purchasing Officer will contact the relevant staff member to advise that the asset is available for collection and formally issue the asset to them (see Section 5 of this policy).

In exceptional circumstances, assets may be purchased directly by a staff member or Section. It is the responsibility of that staff member or Section to advise the Finance and Services Purchasing Officer immediately so that the asset can be properly recorded in the Office’s asset register.

Receipt of assets must be signed off by the Finance and Services Purchasing Officer on the invoice or attached delivery docket before payment can be approved.

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 5. Issue and Return of Assets

Issuing Assets:

Assets will only be issued by the Finance and Services Purchasing Officer after they have been bar coded and recorded in the Office asset register.

The Asset Issue form at Appendix A must be completed and signed before assets will be released from Finance and Services. Assets will only be issued to individuals and will initially be issued to the staff member or Director requesting and/or collecting the asset.

Staff who have been issued assets will continue to be fully responsible for the asset whilst it is under their control. They may be asked to produce the asset at anytime as part of an asset stocktake process.

If an asset is subsequently transferred or passed into the care of another staff member, it will be the responsibility of the issuing staff member to ensure that the transfer of control is appropriate and an Asset Issue form is completed and forwarded to the Finance and Services Purchasing Officer. The form will then be used to update the Office asset register.

Staff should retain a copy of the documentation for asset transfers for their own records.

Returning Assets:

All assets on permanent issue to staff should be returned to the Finance and Services Purchasing Officer when the asset is no longer required.

The Finance and Services Purchasing Officer will record the date of return on the Asset Issue form, update the Office asset register and provide a receipt for the return of the asset.

Assets that have been loaned on a short term basis between staff or Sections should be returned to the original staff member or Section on the agreed date of return. The Asset Issue form should be annotated and sent to the Finance and Services Purchasing Officer who will update the Office asset register.


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 6. Disposal of Assets

The Assistant Commissioner, Operations is the only Office official who has been authorised by the Information Commissioner to approve the disposal of Office assets.

Where there is an asset that is surplus to requirements, obsolete, damaged and unrepairable, lost or in a state that for any other reason renders the asset unusable, the relevant staff member should initiate the disposal process by advising the Finance and Services Purchasing Officer.

The Asset Disposal form at Appendix B should be completed and must accompany all assets listed for disposal when they are delivered to the Finance and Services Section.

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 7. Portable and Attractive Assets

Portable and attractive assets (generally items purchased for $500 or more) are considered to be non-consumable items that cost less than the asset capitalisation threshold for an asset. However, they are still subject to full accounting controls.

Examples of portable and attractive assets include but are not limited to:

  • mobile phones and personal data devices;
  • laptop computers;
  • televisions; and
  • video equipment and cameras.

Staff who have been issued with portable and attractive assets are fully responsible for the asset whilst it is under their control.

If a staff member temporarily loans or permanently issues portable and attractive assets to another staff member it is their responsibility to complete the Asset Issue form and forward it to the Finance and Services Purchasing Officer.

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 8. Annual Stocktake

Finance and Services Section will undertake an annual stocktake of all Office assets. The stocktake will generally be conducted during May/June of each year in preparation for the end of financial year reporting.

Directors and staff will be provided with a report from the Office asset register listing those assets which have been issued to them. The Finance and Services Purchasing Officer will arrange a convenient time to physically sight and stocktake the assets.

If a discrepancy is identified it will be the responsibility of the Director and/or staff member to locate the assets issued to them individually.

The annual stocktake procedures will ensure the accuracy of the Office’s asset register and allow for any discrepancies to be investigated and adjusted.

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 9. Further Information and Contacts

Further information:

For further information on this Policy, please refer to the following:

  • Chief Executive’s Instructions and Financial Management Guidelines – Chapter 5: Public Property and Asset Management

The CEI’s are available on the Finance page of the Office’s intranet.

http://thehub/Intranet/Finance/Finance.aspx (Note: this links to an internal OAIC document and can’t be accessed outside the OAIC system)

Contacts:

Purchasing Officer – Finance and Services 02 9284 9624

Assistant Finance Manager (AHRC) 02 9284 9764

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 APPENDIX A

ASSET ISSUE FORM

ASSET DETAILS

Asset Description: ________________________________________________

Serial Number: ________________________________________________

Bar Code Number: ________________________________________________

ISSUED TO:

Name: _______________________________________________________

Position: _______________________________________________________

Section: _____________________________________________________

ISSUED BY:

Name: _______________________________________________________

Position: _______________________________________________________

Section: _____________________________________________________

PERIOD OF ISSUE:

Date of Issue: ________________________________________________

Estimated Date of Return: _________________________________________

I understand that the above asset is issued to me/us in accordance with Chapter 5: Public Property and Asset Management of the Chief Executives Instructions and Financial Management Guidelines (CEI’s) and my responsibilities as outlined in the CEI’s.

Recipient’s Signature: ______________________________________________ Date: _________

Issuer’s Signature: ________________________________________________ Date: _________

Finance Use Only

Pinnacle Updated by: _____________________________________ Date: ______________


 

 

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APPENDIX B

ASSET DISPOSAL FORM

 
 

ASSET DETAILS

ISSUED TO

PERIOD OF ISSUE

DISPOSAL

FINANCE USE ONLY

 

Asset Description

Serial No.

Brand

Model

Barcode No.

Full Name

Position

Section/

Location

Date Issued

Estimated Date of Return

Recommended by

Date of Disposal

Reason for Disposal

Asset No.


[1] AHRC – Australian Human Rights Commission


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