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Governance and accountability

External scrutiny and review

In 2013–14, no judicial decisions or decisions of administrative tribunals affected the Institute, nor were there any parliamentary committee reports or Ombudsman reports.

The AIC was selected as an agency to be audited under the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) performance audit on Managing Conflicts of Interest in FMA Act Agencies. The audit commenced in March 2013 and was tabled in June 2014, and identified a single recommendation related to the need to reduce risks posed by conflicts of interest. The AIC has commenced a review and update of its Conflicts of Interest policies and procedures.

The Institute is also subject to an annual statutory audit performed by the ANAO. In addition, regular internal audit reviews are undertaken by an independent consultant. The outcomes of all audits are presented to the AIC Audit Committee and plans are developed for the implementation of recommendations and the ongoing monitoring of actions for improving processes.

Corporate governance

In 2013–14, the AIC continued to enhance its accountability and governance practices and to implement changes in Commonwealth legislation and policy to ensure the agency’s corporate integrity. Changes in legislation and policy continue to increase administrative and legislative compliance obligations upon the Institute.

The AIC has focused resources during 2013–14 on the development of its risk management practices including a review of its security management practices in line with the government’s protective security policy framework. This review has resulted in the AIC’s development and implementation of practices to ensure compliance with the 33 mandatory security requirements. Further development and ongoing training on protective security practices will continue into 2014–15.

The AIC Corporate area has also invested significant resources into the project management of the transition to the PGPA Act, with new AAIs, delegations instruments and awareness training being developed and undertaken in the first six months of 2014.

Director (Chief Executive of the AIC)

Dr Adam Tomison was appointed Director of the AIC by the Governor-General in 2009 and also became Chief Executive of the Institute after 1 July 2011, when the AIC transitioned from a Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 agency to an FMA Act agency.

Criminology Research Advisory Council

The Criminology Research Advisory Council was established under 2011 amendments to the Criminology Research Act 1971. The Criminology Research Advisory Council and its members have no legal, management or financial responsibility for the AIC. The role of the Criminology Research Advisory Council and its members is to advise the Director in relation to:

  • the strategic priorities for criminological research;
  • the priorities for communicating the results of that research; and
  • applications for research grants made under the CRG program.

The Criminology Research Advisory Council consists of nine members representing the Commonwealth Government and state and territory governments. This composition ensures that areas targeted for research funding reflect both national and state/territory priorities.

Meeting dates for 2013–14 were:

  • 12 July 2013 by teleconference;
  • 29 November 2013 in Canberra, and
  • 14 March 2014 in Canberra.
Members of the Criminology Research Advisory Council as at 30 June 2014

Western Australia
Ms Cheryl Gwilliam, Director General, Department of the Attorney General, Chair.

Tasmania
Mr Norman Reaburn, appointed representative, Legal Aid Commission of Tasmania (Director, Legal Aid Commission of Tasmania until October 2013), Deputy Chair.

Commonwealth
Mr Iain Anderson, First Assistant Secretary, Criminal Justice Division, AGD.

Australian Capital Territory
Ms Alison Playford, Acting Director-General, Justice and Community Safety Directorate.

New South Wales
Mr Brendan Thomas, Assistant Director General, Department of Police and Justice.

Northern Territory
Mr Greg Shanahan, Chief Executive, Department of the Attorney-General and Justice.

Queensland
Ms Jenny Lang, Assistant Director-General, Strategic Policy and Legal Services, Department of Justice and Attorney-General. Nominated. To be confirmed.

South Australia
Mr Rick Persse, Chief Executive, AGD.

Victoria
Ms Julia Griffith, Executive Director, Corrections, Health and Crime Prevention, Department of Justice.

Audit committee

The Audit Committee is established in accordance with s 46 of the FMA Act. Its objective is to provide independent assurance and assistance to the Director of the AIC about its risk, control and compliance framework, and its external governance responsibilities. The Audit Committee Charter was reviewed in September 2013 in line with the revised ANAO better practice guidance.

In 2013–14, the Audit Committee comprised three members, appointed by the Director; two of whom are independent:

  • Mr Norman Reaburn (Chair) (independent member);
  • Mr Kevin Patchell FCPA (independent member); and
  • Dr Rick Brown—AIC Deputy Director (Research).

The Institute’s internal audit provider for 2013–14 was Ernst & Young.

Meetings of the Audit Committee were held on 12 September 2013, 28 November 2013, 13 March 2014 and 12 June 2014. The committee considered two internal audit reports:

  • information technology security; and
  • complying with the PSPF and Information Security Manual (ISM).

A third internal audit commenced during May 2014, which focused on a review of the AIC’s Work Health and Safety practices.

Management committees

Ethics committee

The AIC Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) has been operating since 1992. Its eight members have backgrounds in law, religion, social work and research, as stipulated in the National Health and Medical Research Council guidelines for ethics committees.

HREC’s role is to advise the Director whether approval to proceed should be granted for proposed research involving human subjects. HREC regularly reviews proposed projects to ensure that appropriate safeguards exist for the conduct of the research to be consistent with ethical standards.

During the reporting period, HREC reviewed and approved 19 proposals. The Committee Chair during the year was Professor Nicolas Peterson PhD, Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia. Other members were:

  • Mr Derek Jory MA (layman);
  • Dr Tony Krone PhD (person with knowledge of, and current experience in, research regularly considered by HREC);
  • Ms Barbara Nicholson (Minister of religion or Aboriginal elder);
  • Professor Debra Rickwood PhD, MAPS (person with knowledge of, and current experience in, the care, counselling or treatment of people);
  • Ms Ruth Treyde BA/LLB (lawyer);
  • Dr Robyn Holder MA (laywoman) to March 2014; and
  • Ms Tracy Cussen MSocSc (AIC representative).
Senior Executive Committee

The Senior Executive Committee was chaired by Dr Adam Tomison, Director of the AIC. The other members were Dr Rick Brown, Deputy Director (Research) and Mr Brian Russell CPA, Deputy Director (Corporate) and Chief Financial Officer. The Committee considers and provides broad strategic advice on research directions, budget and management.

The Senior Executive Committee (or members thereof) meet regularly with the Communications Manager and Library Manager to consider strategic and operational management matters in these areas.

Research Managers committee

The Research Managers Committee meets every two months to consider both strategic and operational aspects of the AIC Research Program and provides advice to the Senior Executive Committee on research priorities and risks. The meetings are regularly attended by other senior management staff to discuss specific management topics. Its members as at 30 June 2014 were:

  • Dr Rick Brown, Deputy Director (Research) (Chair);
  • Dr Russell Smith, Principal Criminologist and Research Manager, TOC team;
  • Mr Matthew Willis, Research Manager, CJMA team;
  • Mr Anthony Morgan, Research Manager, CPER team; and
  • Dr Samantha Bricknell, Research Manager, V&E team.
Corporate Services Managers committee

The Corporate Services Managers Committee meets monthly to consider both strategic and operational management aspects of the Corporate Services functions and provides advice to the Senior Executive Committee on financial and budgetary matters, ICT, human resources administration and risk managment matters. Its members as at 30 June 2014 were:

  • Mr Brian Russell, Deputy Director (Corporate) and Chief Financial Officer (Chair);
  • Ms Karen Johnston, Manager HR and Administration;
  • Mr Adam Cooper, Financial Manager; and
  • Mr Myles Lambert, ICT Manager.
Other committees

The ICT Committee provides advice to the Executive Committee on strategic direction and emerging issues. Its members as at 30 June 2014 were:

  • Dr Adam Tomison, Director (Chief Executive);
  • Mr Myles Lambert, ICT Manager (Chair);
  • Dr Rick Brown, Deputy Director (Research);
  • Mr Brian Russell, Deputy Director (Corporate) and Chief Financial Officer;
  • Mr Colin Campbell, Communications Manager;
  • Ms Kate Hogden, Web Manager;
  • Ms Jane Shelling, Library Manager; and
  • Dr Susan Goldsmith, Principal Research Analyst, CPER team.

The Work Health & Safety Committee provides oversight of Work Health & Safety aspects of the organisation and advises the Deputy Director Corporate on Work Health & Safety issues and risks. Its members as at 30 June 2014 were:

  • Ms Karen Johnston, Manager HR and Administration (Chair);
  • Ms Penny Smyth, HR Administrator;
  • Mr Matthew Willis, Chief Fire Warden;
  • Dr Samantha Bricknell, First Aid Officer (and Harassment Contact Officer);
  • Mr Adam Cooper, First Aid Officer; and
  • Ms Georgina Fuller, Health and Safety Representative.

The Harassment Contact officers also meet separately with the Manager HR and Administration.

Staff consultative committee

The Staff Consultative Committee was established formally as part of the negotiation of the Agency Agreement 2011–14 both as an acknowledgment that change in the workplace is constant and also to identify, implement and encourage better practice, efficiency and productivity.

The main role of the Committee is to consult on policies that impact on employment conditions and to identify areas of productivity or efficiency gain. The Committee meets at least quarterly with the Executive and with the Manager HR and Administration as often as required to workshop draft policies. In April 2014, elections were held to refresh the membership of the Committee. As of 30 June 2014, committee members were:

  • Ms Gemma Kelly;
  • Ms Sarah Coghlan;
  • Ms Lauren Renshaw; and
  • Ms Karen Johnston (Management representative).

Risk management

The AIC’s risk management framework provides the mechanism to prevent, or at least minimise, the impact of adverse events on the ability of the Institute to achieve its outcomes. The framework aims to provide a systematic way to make informed decisions and gain assurance that risks have been identified, managed and appropriately treated. The AIC’s risk process encapsulates fraud control planning and processes in accordance with the Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines.

The primary components of the AIC’s risk management strategy are:

  • risk management policy and framework;
  • risk management plan and risk assessment registers;
  • protective security management framework;
  • business continuity management plan;
  • Chief Executive’s Instructions (AAIs from 1 July 2014);
  • finance policy and procedures;
  • project management framework; and
  • internal audit program.

The AIC also participates in the annual Comcover risk management survey, which seeks to benchmark agencies’ risk management frameworks, programs and systems against those of all participating agencies and peer group agencies. The Institute has recorded ratings at or above average for the majority of its risk management practices.

Fraud control

As required by the Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines, the Director certified that he is confident that:

  • fraud risk assessments and fraud control plans have been prepared that comply with the Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines;
  • appropriate fraud prevention, detection, investigation and reporting procedures and processes are in place; and
  • annual fraud data that comply with the Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines have been collected and reported.

The AIC’s fraud risk assessments and fraud control plans are embedded within the Risk Management Plan and risk assessment processes.

No fraud was identified in 2013–14.

Protective security

The AIC, as a Commonwealth Government agency, is required to follow the Commonwealth Government PSPF and the Commonwealth Government ISM. The AIC has undertaken significant work throughout 2013–14 to review and enhance its security management framework and embed the security management principles and controls into governance arrangements, business practices and agency culture.

The AIC has undertaken two internal audits during 2013–14, focusing on the assessment of documentation and compliance with the PSPF and ISM. The audits have assisted the AIC in reviewing, creating and updating a number of protective security policies and procedures, and developing a security training and awareness program.

The key documents output from this program of work has included a new Protective Security Management Framework, updated Information Security Policy, new Security Risk Management Plan/System Security Plan and updated Incident Detection and Response Plan.

The AIC has also identified and undertaken a significant level of training for key security designated positions, along with general security awareness for all staff and contractors.

Human resources

The AIC’s human resources management framework is designed to maintain a workforce that has the skillset, flexibility and diversity to meet the AIC’s current and future research needs. The framework incorporates access to learning and development opportunities, and notes the importance of effective communication and sharing of information. It is reinforced by effective performance development and staff management, and relevant work health and safety practices.

The AIC seeks to promote a cooperative and harmonious work environment through:

  • integrity—ethical and honest behaviour;
  • professionalism—serving clients and stakeholders in a practical, diligent, thorough and objective manner;
  • openness—being accessible and responsive to staff, clients and stakeholders in order to build trust and confidence; and
  • fairness—treating all people equitably and justly, and respecting the diversity of ideas, backgrounds and cultures of staff, clients and stakeholders.

The AIC’s strategic and corporate direction is being communicated to staff throughout the reporting year at meetings and via the intranet, email and internal blogs informing and updating staff on research projects and on corporate issues and direction. Staff have been encouraged to provide feedback on the AIC’s Strategic Plan.

The AIC and APS Values and Code of Conduct set out the behaviour expected of all AIC employees as they carry out their responsibilities. The APS Values and Code of Conduct were updated in July 2013 and staff were required to attend an information session on the new code and values. The code and values form part of the compendium of documents providing guidance to employees and also form part of the online and in-house induction program.

The AIC continued to outsource its payroll functions in 2013–14.

Human resources policies

During 2013–14, the Institute continued its cyclical review of human resources policies to ensure compliance with legislation and relevance to the current workforce needs.

A number of policies are reviewed and updated in consultation with the Staff Consultative Committee. Between 1 July 2013 and 30 June 2014, the following policies had been revised:

  • travel policy;
  • learning and development policy;
  • salary packaging guidelines;
  • rehabilitation policy and procedures;
  • Personal Interest Disclosure procedures for Principal Officers;
  • study assistance policy;
  • procedures for managing probation; and
  • intern policy and procedures.

Workforce planning

The AIC’s Senior Executive Committee continually monitors workforce requirements. Staff are employed on the basis of the output requirements arising from both appropriation funded and fee-for-service research and support activities. The AIC also takes account of outsourcing opportunities in the university research and corporate sectors. Flexibility in staffing arrangements is essential for meeting research outputs through a collaborative approach and suitable appointments. This includes engaging leading national and international research organisations and individuals.

The Institute undertakes workforce planning on an ongoing basis due to the constantly changing environment in which it operates. Structured planning occurs as part of the strategic planning and development process. This includes consideration of budget priorities for the upcoming year and the resources required to meet those priorities. Various committees have input into ensuring that the needs of the organisation can be achieved.

The Institute undertook a workforce planning audit, completed in November 2012, to review its workforce planning capacity. Based on the audit’s recommendations, the Institute has developed a workforce planning framework to better align strategic direction with policies such as performance management, work-level standards and learning and development. The Institute is continuing to improve and assess the Employee Value Proposition, and to focus on clarifying roles, progression milestones and development needs for existing employees in line with the agencies strategic priorities.

The Institute aims to be an organisation that values fairness, equity and diversity and is therefore committed to preventing and eliminating discrimination.

In 2014, the AIC extended its commitment to increasing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment within the AIC. The Institute appointed an Indigenous cadet and is seeking to embed and possibly expand this program, as well as continuing to encourage applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander interns for an identified position.

Performance development scheme

Under the Public Service Act 1999 (Cth), the AIC is required to focus on achieving results and managing performance. The AIC’s performance and development scheme requires clearly defined performance goals, fairness and transparency in rewarding good performance, and prompt and appropriate management of underperformance.

The AIC supports these principles and is committed to fostering a performance improvement culture within an organisation that values its most important resource—its people.

The scheme emphasises continuous feedback, a strong focus on developing employees and encouraging improvements in productivity and efficiency. The scheme promotes fairness by clearly defining expectations that align with the agency’s outcomes and objectives. It includes:

  • transparent appraisal of outcomes for all staff;
  • individual training and development plans;
  • use of review processes at six-monthly cycles; and
  • use of structured underperformance provisions and strategies.

At the beginning of 2013–14, the Institute implemented a new Performance Development Agreement (PDA) for staff. The new PDA was introduced in conjunction with training for staff and supervisors. The focus was shifted to improve the quality of feedback and enhance the development of staff across the Institute.

Performance pay

Under the AIC’s current Agency Agreement, employees may qualify for a one-off performance bonus where they have achieved a performance rating of Superior or above. Eligible APS level to Executive Level 1 employees are able to receive a bonus of between two and three percent, and eligible Executive Level 2 and SES employees may qualify for a bonus of between two and 10 percent.

In 2013–14, 15 employees received a performance bonus relating to the preceding 12 months’ performance. The total amount of performance bonus paid was $56,233 (2012–13: $51,076).

Learning and development

In 2013–14, as part of the Executive’s response to staff feedback, the Learning and Development Policy was formalised and implemented in consultation with staff. The AIC is committed to the ongoing investment in the training and development of its employees. This commitment will help to embed the Learning and Development program in a cohesive and consistent manner across the Institute, so as to maximise the benefits of the program for the organisation and its employees.

The policy aims to facilitate a working environment that enables employees to develop their skills, knowledge and effectiveness, and to promote improved performance in delivery of the AIC’s goals and priorities.

As part of the structured approach to learning and development, the AIC implemented a three-part induction program complemented by the Australian Public Service Commission’s online modules. Training was also provided on performance management, focused on the provision of feedback and developing new PDAs. Senior staff were provided with a two-day supervisor workshop in June 2014. All staff were provided with training in Preventing Workplace Bullying and Changes to the Public Service Act including the APS Values and Code of Conduct.

As a small agency, the Institute needs to take advantage of training days and briefing sessions offered by other government departments and agencies such as the Department of Finance and Deregulation, Comcover, the National Archives of Australia and the Australian Government Solicitor. Wherever possible, AIC staff internally develop and deliver relevant training to minimise costs and to make the best use of existing expertise. Corporate staff have undertaken a number of these programs in order to facilitate the administration of the FMA Act and Public Service Act 1999 (Cth). Recently, several members of senior staff also attended training on the Public Interest Disclosure legislation and on the transition to the PGPA Act.

Other development opportunities provided to staff include:

  • the opportunity to author (or co-author) research publications;
  • the opportunity for staff to present their work at internal lunchtime seminars and/or external conferences (both national and international), and other organised events;
  • an in-house program of training in research methods, statistics and criminological theory; and
  • the opportunity to be provided with study leave or other support to undertake relevant studies. As part of the support of formal study, the Institute supported two staff undertaking PhD studies in 2013–14.

Highlight 10: AIC Australia Day awards

Four staff members were the recipients of the annual AIC Australia Day medallions in recognition of their contribution to the AIC.

Accounts & Administration Officer, Chinh Nguyen, Research Analyst, Georgina Fuller, Conference Coordinator Kate Sweeney and Senior Research Analyst Sarah McGregor were each recognised for their efforts in enhancing the standing and operation of the Institute.

Staffing summary at 30 June 2014

All staff by classification
Table 13: All staff by classification level (at 30 June 2013 and 2014) (actuals)
Classification 2013 2014
SES Band 1 (equivalent) 2 2
Executive Level 2 5 6
Executive Level 1 9 7
APS 6 6 8
APS 5 8 10
APS 4 6 5
APS 3 6 11
APS 2 0 0
APS 1 0 1
Total 42 50
Average staffing level
Table 14: Average staffing level by financial year
Financial year Average staffing level
2011–12 50.9
2012–13 48.5
2013–14 45.2
Employment status
Table 15: All staff by employment category, employment status and gender (at 30 June 2013 and 2014)
Employment category/status Male (n) Female (n) Total (n) Females as % of total
2013 2014 2013 2014 2013 2014 2013 2014
Ongoing
Full-time 8 7 15 16 23 23 65 70
Part-time - - 1 1 1 1 100 100
Sub-total 8 7 16 17 24 24 67 71
Non-ongoing
Full-time 6 8 10 18 16 26 63 69
Part-time - - 2 0 2 0 100 100
Sub-total 6 8 12 18 18 26 67 69
Total 14 15 28 35 42 50 67 70
By gender
Table 16: All staff by APS level and gender
Classification Male Female Total Females as % of total
2013 2014 2013 2014 2013 2014 2013 2014
SES Band 1 2 2 0 0 2 2 0 0
Executive Level 2 5 5 0 1 5 6 0 17
Executive Level 1 3 2 6 5 9 7 67 71
APS 6 0 2 6 6 6 8 100 75
APS 5 1 0 7 10 8 10 88 100
APS 4 2 2 4 3 6 5 67 60
APS 3 1 2 5 9 6 11 83 82
APS 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
APS 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 100
Total 14 15 28 35 42 50 67 70
Employment arrangements
Table 17: Employment arrangements covering staff (at 30 June 2013 and 2014)
Employment arrangement Staff 2013 (n) 2014 (n)
AIC agency agreement SES (equivalent) 0 0
Non-SES 40 48
Common Law contracts SES (equivalent) 2 2
Non-SES 0 0
Individual flexibility arrangements SES (equivalent) 0 0
Non-SES 2 3
Staff separations
Table 18: Staff separations by classification level and employment category 2012–13 and 2013–14
Classification Ongoing Non-ongoing Total
2012–13 2013–14 2012–13 2013–14 2012–13 2013–14
SES Band 1 (equivalent) - - - - - -
Executive Level 2 2 1 - - 2 1
Executive Level 1 2 1 1 - 3 1
APS 6 - - - 2 - 2
APS 5 - 1 3 - 3 1
APS 4 1 - 3 3 4 3
APS 3 - - 3 3 3 3
APS 2 - - - - - -
APS 1 - - - - - -
Total 5 3 10 8 15 11
Remuneration
Table 19: Salary ranges at 30 June 2014
Classification Position Salary range
APS 1 Trainee $39,900–45,580
APS 2 Admin assistant $47,540–52,520
APS 3 Research Officer I/Admin Officer I $54,210–57,000
APS 4 Research Officer II/Admin Officer II $60,110–65,410
APS 5 Research Analyst/Senior Admin Officer $68,310–75,410
APS 6 Senior Research Analyst/Senior Admin Officer II $76,500–92,102
Executive level 1 Principal Research Analyst/Admin Specialist $94,000–122,511
Executive level 2 Research Manager/Admin Executive $108,080–136,600
SES SES Band 1 $140,000+

2014 Internship program

Applications were invited for research internships from undergraduate and postgraduate students entering their final year of university in 2013–14 or from students who had completed their studies in 2013. Students in criminology or criminal justice at an Australian university were eligible, as were students in law or social science areas whose subjects included criminological themes. One of the internships was designated as an Indigenous placement and operated in the same way as all other internships.

The internship program was restructured in 2014 to allow continual receipt of applications and placements over the course of the year as relevant projects were identified. In 2013–14, the internships attracted over 50 applications and continue to receive strong interest. Three AIC-led internships were granted in 2014, plus the AIC accepted a further three interns placed through programs run by their university. In addition to this, three internship applicants were subsequently offered non-ongoing contracts of nine to 12 months in duration.

Each of the interns was assigned to one of the AIC’s research teams and given the experience of working on AIC research projects.

Staff communication

The AIC contributed to the 2012–13 State of the Service employee census. These surveys provided staff with the opportunity to communicate issues, and perceived weaknesses and strengths to management in an anonymous way. The results of the survey showed some improvement in addressing issues around perceived bullying and harassment, and internal communications.

All-staff meetings are scheduled on a bi-monthly basis and provide the opportunity for managers to advise staff of achievements or events over the past two months. These meetings also provide an open forum to discuss any issues impacting staff.

The AIC blog continued to provide an online information-sharing facility providing a faster, easier and more efficient method of internal communication. It enables news posts from the Director or any of the work areas to be made at any time to all staff.

The intranet is the AIC’s main vehicle for sharing and developing knowledge. It links to information in the public domain, the library catalogue and to the external databases to which the library subscribes. By providing access to research projects, datasets and presentations, the intranet encourages researchers to build on and extend previous AIC research.

Information and communications technology services

Network and infrastructure

The AIC runs a stable and secure ICT network in accordance with Commonwealth Government PSPF and related information security requirements.

The AIC undertook a full desktop upgrade during 2013–14 to replace existing desktop PCs with portable Microsoft Surface tablets. This has enabled greater flexibility for users when travelling and has increased the security of information for travellers. The AIC has also continued its upgrade program for internal servers, which now run SSD (solid state drives) hard disk drives, greatly improving performance, reliability and drastically reducing power consumption in compliance with the Government Greenhouse Energy Reporting.

A VOIP (voice over internet protocol) telephone solution was rolled out in late 2013, with a failover ISDN (integrated services digital network) backup. The solution allows the AIC to take advantage of considerably cheaper call costs, while still maintaining the reliability of ISDN as an automatic failover option.

In addition to the AIC’s website, support and hosting are provided on a fee-for-service basis to other organisations, including the ACVPA Board and NDLERF. The Crime Stoppers Australia website is also hosted on a fee-for-service basis.

ICT security

The AIC has undertaken a number of projects during 2013–14 focused on the assessment and treatment of risks security hazards and enhancing the agencies ICT security practices. This has included a compliance audit against the PSPF and ISM controls, penetration testing for websites, implementation of application whitelisting, the introduction of Janus Seal for documents and a review of disaster recovery practices.

These processes have contributed the development, review and update of the AIC’s protective security policies and procedures to treat and control the security risks relevant to the AIC ‘s business practices and ensure compliance with the PSPF.

Statutory reporting requirements

Work health and safety

The Agency Agreement included a commitment to promoting a productive workplace that provides employees with a fair, flexible, safe and rewarding workplace, characterised by respect, courtesy, inclusion and equity, and early intervention and resolution in instances of workplace harassment, bullying or discrimination and the fair treatment of employees involved.

Under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act), the AIC is required to report in its annual report on the following matters:

  • initiatives taken during the year to ensure the health, safety and welfare of workers who carry out work for the AIC;
  • health and safety outcomes achieved as a result of the initiatives mentioned;
  • statistics of any notifiable incidents of which the Institute became aware during the year that arose out of the conduct of businesses or undertakings by the agency;
  • any investigations conducted during the year that related to businesses or undertakings conducted by the Institute, including details of all notices given to the entity during the year under Part 10 of the WHS Act; and
  • such other matters as are required by the guidelines approved on behalf of the Parliament by the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit.
Health and safety initiatives

The Work Health and Safety Committee has a legislative function pursuant to s 77 of the WHS Act, as summarised below:

  • to facilitate cooperation between the AIC and workers in instigating, developing and carrying out measures designed to ensure the workers’ health and safety at work;
  • to assist in developing standards, rules and procedures relating to health and safety that are to be followed or complied with; and
  • any other functions prescribed by the regulations or agreed between the AIC and the committee.

The Work Health and Safety Committee met on three occasions during 2013–14. Regular workplace audits were conducted and key work health and safety roles were advertised and filled as quickly as possible.

During the year, the Institute undertook a range of initiatives including:

  • The development of Rehabilitation Policy and Procedures, which promote early intervention and outline the case management procedures in compliance with Comcare requirements.
  • An internal audit of the Institute’s work health and safety practices, which commenced in May 2014 and is due to be completed in July 2014. The AIC will consider all recommendations until finalisation of this process.

The AIC continued to provide:

  • first aid training to nominated first aid officers within the Institute;
  • training for fire wardens and health and safety representatives;
  • influenza vaccinations to employees and contractors;
  • access to professional counselling services via the Employee Assistance Program; and
  • ergonomic (workplace) assessments.
Health and safety outcomes

No incidents were reported to the Deputy Director Corporate, in accordance with the AIC’s incident notification and reporting procedures.

Notifiable incidents

Under the WHS Act, a notifiable incident is one involving death of a person, serious injury or illness of a person, or a dangerous incident. The AIC had no notifiable incidents during 2013–14.

Investigations including details of all notices

Under the WHS Act, improvement, prohibition or non-disturbance notices may be issued to the agency. The AIC was not issued with any notices and there were no investigations undertaken during 2013–14.

Disability reporting

The National Disability Strategy sets out a 10 year national policy framework for improving life for Australians with disabilities, their families and carers. Disability reporting occurs though a number of mechanisms; for example, the Australian Public Service Commission’s State of the Service Report and the Australian Public Service Statistical Bulletin, to which the AIC contributes. The AIC makes every effort to ensure that all its policies and procedures comply with the principles of the National Disability Strategy.

Carer Recognition Act

The AIC is compliant with its obligations under the Carer Recognition Act 2010.

Ecologically sustainable development and environmental performance

This report on ecologically sustainable development and environmental matters is provided in accordance with s 516(a) of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

The Institute’s Executive and staff are committed to the principles of ecologically sustainable development.

In accordance with government guidelines, the AIC participated in Earth Hour during the year, although it is worth noting that it is Institute practice to always turn off non-essential lighting and appliances.

In 2013–14, electricity consumption within our tenancy (causing emissions to the air and use of resources) increased by less than 0.4 percent compared with the previous period. The Institute uses 10 percent green energy and recently installed new servers, having solid state hard drives that drastically reduce power consumption in compliance with the Government Greenhouse Energy Reporting.

Initiatives to reduce environmental impacts include:

  • Staff are encouraged to use web-based and teleconference facilities where possible rather than undertake air travel, which has adverse effects.
  • Selected seminar presentations are made available electronically so that people do not have to travel to the Institute to hear them.
  • The majority of Institute publications are being produced in an e-book format, reducing the need for hardcopy, printing and paper usage.
  • Waste generation (resource waste and emissions to the air) is reduced by recycling paper, cardboard, glass, plastics and metals.
  • The AIC continues to look for ways in which it can continue to reduce its impact on the environment when undertaking new procurements.

Advertising and marketing

The AIC did not carry out any campaign advertising in 2013–14.

Information publication scheme

Agencies subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 are required to publish information to the public as part of the Information Publication Scheme (IPS). This requirement is in Part II of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 and has replaced the former requirement to publish an s 8 statement in an annual report. Each agency must display on its website a plan showing what information it publishes in accordance with the IPS requirements. The AIC has complied with IPS requirements. The Freedom of Information log can be found on the website in the Corporate Information section at http://aic.gov.au/about_aic/corporate%20information/foi.aspx.

Purchasing

All purchasing is carried out in line with the requirements of the Commonwealth Procurement Rules, as detailed in the AIC’s Chief Executive’s Instructions and procurement policy. All procurements in excess of $10,000 are recorded in Austender and contracts in excess of $100,000 are reported in accordance with the requirements of Senate Order 192 and detailed on the AIC website, www.aic.gov.au.

Australian National Audit Office access clauses

The AIC’s contract templates contain standard clauses to provide for the Auditor-General to have access to the contractor’s premises. All contracts let during the reporting period contained these standard clauses.

Exempt contracts

The AIC has not entered into any contracts or standing offers that have been exempted from being published in AusTender.

Consultancy services

Consultants are generally engaged when particular specialist expertise is necessary, sufficiently skilled expertise is not immediately available in-house, or independent advice on a matter is required. The services provided by new and continuing consultants in the reporting period included internal audit services, legal advice, valuation services, counselling services and independent IT analysis.

During 2013–14, four new consultancy contracts were entered into (including those to a value of less than $10,000), involving total actual expenditure of $13,883 (excluding GST). In addition, three ongoing consultancies were active during the year, involving a total actual expenditure of $101,018 (excluding GST). Expenditure for the year totalled $114,901 (excluding GST) (2012–13: $55,721).

Information on the value of contracts and consultancies is available on the AusTender website, www.tenders.gov.au. Contracts in excess of $100,000 are reported in accordance with the requirements of Senate Order 192 and detailed on the AIC website, www.aic.gov.au.


Legal services

The AIC engages legal services from the Legal Services Multi-Use List (LSMUL) framework in accordance with the Legal Services Directions 2005. Legal services include both contract and consultancy services in relation to legislation, governance, contracting and human resource matters.

During 2013–14, the AIC ‘s total expenditure for legal services was $7,960 (2012–13: $19,146).