Corporate governance

PM&C promotes a culture that encourages and supports accountability, integrity, trust, honesty and respect. Underlying our culture is the PM&C corporate governance framework, which includes:

  • a governance committee structure (see Table 3.1)
  • business planning
  • audit and assurance activities
  • risk management
  • fraud prevention and fraud control
  • Secretary’s Instructions
  • business continuity
  • performance agreements.

This corporate governance framework assists us in achieving our objectives.


PM&C has a number of committees that support the Secretary. These are outlined in Table 3.1.

Table 3.1 Departmental committees and their membership and purposes
Committee Purpose
Executive Board Provides senior leadership and strategic direction over the delivery of government and other departmental priorities. It makes key decisions and reviews risks with a primary focus on strategic planning in policy and operational matters, performance monitoring, culture and resource allocation.
Audit Committee Provides independent advice and assistance to the Secretary and the Executive Board on PM&C’s risk, control and compliance framework and its external accountability responsibilities.
Operations Committee Provides assurance to the Secretary and Executive Board regarding PM&C’s performance and compliance with internal and external requirements.
People Committee Provides whole-of-department direction and input into organisational development, cultural and human resources matters. The committee supports the Chief People Officer and Chief Operating Officer to provide advice and make recommendations to the Secretary and the Executive Board on key human resources issues.
Inclusion and Diversity Committee Drives and promotes inclusion and diversity initiatives and change within PM&C. The committee also provides strategic advice on PM&C’s inclusion and diversity strategy and objectives, as well as their alignment to business goals.

Risk management

PM&C operates in a complex and dynamic environment. We manage risk to maximise opportunity and innovation while protecting the interests of PM&C and its principal stakeholders.

The Secretary and the Executive Board have oversight of the management of risk exposures in PM&C. The risk management framework assesses and manages risk at the strategic level in response to the purposes and priorities of the Corporate Plan and, at the enterprise level, operational risks that might affect the achievement of PM&C’s objectives. The Chief Risk Officer champions a positive risk culture through regular communication and participation in decision- making as a member of the Executive Board and the Operations Committee.

PM&C has continued to improve our management of risk by strengthening the security framework and work health and safety management system; and improving fraud awareness. To ensure a robust system, the Audit Committee and the Operations Committee monitor risks and the effectiveness of controls.

Climate risk

Across the world, governments, authorities, businesses and communities are considering what it means to live in a world with a changing climate. For PM&C, this includes the physical risks to our assets and operations from increasingly variable and extreme weather. It also means our advice to Government needs to take account of the impacts a changing climate could have on the planning and implementation of the government’s policies and programs.

PM&C has taken steps to consider its exposure to climate risk and the related enterprise and policy implications, consistent with our broader risk management and governance obligations, to ensure we continue to provide the best possible advice to Government and support effective service delivery to the Australian public.

During 2018–19, with support from the Department of the Environment and Energy, PM&C conducted a preliminary scan to identify its exposure to the effects of a changing climate. This scoping exercise promoted an increased awareness of climate risk and provided insight on potential areas of exposure, with a particular focus on the service delivery and policy development functions of the Indigenous Affairs Group.

PM&C also supports the Department of the Environment and Energy and the Department of Home Affairs to promote awareness of climate risk as it relates to governance, accountability and decision-making across the Australian Public Service.

Complaints management

PM&C manages complaints impartially and transparently through our complaints and feedback system. Complaints and feedback are usually received through the online portal on the PM&C website, the complaints email address ( and the complaints hotline (02 6271 5688).

During 2018–19, 93 complaints were received, compared with 50 complaints in 2017–18. This increase comes as a result of improved capture of data, including through complaints received in PM&C’s Regional Network.

Following the commencement of the Government Procurement (Judicial Review) Act 2018 in April 2019, PM&C also developed a guideline for dealing with procurement complaints. This guideline sets out the requirements for handling complaints we receive that concern an alleged actual or proposed breach of the Commonwealth Procurement Rules relating to covered procurements.

Fraud prevention and control

PM&C’s Fraud and Corruption Control Plan articulates how we prevent, detect, investigate and report on fraud and links to our risk management framework. PM&C takes a zero-tolerance approach to internal and external fraud and corruption. We encourage a culture characterised by the highest standards of integrity.

Our fraud awareness strategy includes induction training for new staff, followed by refresher training every two years. The training is delivered in a number of ways, including online e-learning and face-to-face. Training can be tailored to meet the needs of individual branches or divisions and is available on a needs basis.

Suspected fraud (both internal and external) can be reported to or our Fraud and Advice Hotline (02 6152 3598). All allegations, including those involving departmental funds, are assessed and, if required, investigated. The fraud risks and lessons learned, identified throughout the investigation process, are recorded and communicated to the relevant program area, the Regional Network and the Audit Committee.