Corporate governance

The Department promotes a culture that encourages and supports all staff to be accountable for their actions and to act with integrity, trust, honesty and respect; commit to excellence; focus on performance; and ensure the efficient and ethical management of people and resources. Elements of the PM&C corporate governance framework include business planning, audit and assurance activities, risk management, fraud prevention and control, committees, Secretary's Instructions, policies, guidelines and staff performance agreements and assessments.


To support the Secretary in the achievement of objectives, the Department maintains a number of committees. These are outlined in Figure 3.1.

Figure 3.1: Departmental committees and their purpose
Committee Purpose

Executive Board

Sets strategic direction for the Department on policy and departmental matters and monitors the Department's performance in delivering its outcomes.

Audit Committee

Provides independent assurance and assistance to the Secretary and the Executive Board on the Department's risk, control and compliance framework and its external accountability responsibilities.

Operations Committee

Considers, oversees and provides advice to the Secretary and the Executive Board on matters relating to departmental operations including, but not limited to, financial management, security, corporate improvement, risk management, information technology and program management.

People Committee

Assists the Secretary when considering matters relating to people, workforce and leadership development, including the People Strategy and the Enterprise Agreement.

Inclusion and Diversity Committee

Promotes inclusion and diversity initiatives and change within the Department. The committee is supported by employee networks such as the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employee network, women's network, LGBTI employee network and disability employee network.

Risk management

The Department's risk management framework is consistent with the international standard ISO 31000:2009. The framework outlines the Department's approach to effective risk management and is the basis for integrating risk management into the Department's business activities. Risk is considered in decision-making activities, including policy development and advice; planning and implementing significant projects, procurements, major events and taskforces; outsourcing services; managing contracts; delivering programs; and providing secretariat and support services. The Audit Committee monitors risks and the implementation of risk treatments.

The Department's Strategic Risk Assessment is informed by feedback from senior managers and the Department's annual internal audit program, as well as by the views of the Operations Committee and Audit Committee members.

Operational risks are assessed at the divisional level as part of business planning processes. Division heads are responsible for the day-to-day management of operational risks and the Executive Board considers biannual divisional reviews.

Complaints management

The Department deals with complaints openly, efficiently and fairly through its complaints and feedback system. Complaints and feedback are primarily received through the complaints email address,, and the complaints hotline 02 6271 5688. During 2016–17, 16 external complaints were received compared to 30 complaints in 2015–16.

Fraud prevention and control

The Department's Fraud Control Plan outlines the ways it prevents, detects, investigates and reports fraud. Ongoing fraud risk assessments underpin the plan. The Department's fraud awareness strategy includes induction training for new staff and refresher training for ongoing staff every two years. Training is provided in a number of ways including face-to-face, video conferencing and online e-Learning packages.

The Department takes a zero-tolerance approach to internal fraud and corruption. Allegations involving departmental funds are assessed and appropriately investigated. Risks identified and lessons learned through the investigation are reported to the Compliance Subcommittee, the Audit Committee and the program and network areas. The Department encourages a culture characterised by the highest standards of ethical behaviour.