The Department’s governance framework provides the structure for informed decision making, efficient and effective program management, risk management and accountability. In 2005-06, the framework consisted of the Executive Committee and four primary governance committees, as illustrated in the following diagram.
The primary responsibilities of the Executive Committee in 2005-06 were to provide leadership, strategic guidance and formalise executive level decision-making for the delivery of its responsibilities under the Health and Ageing portfolio and the internal management of the Department.
Policy Outcomes Committee
The Policy Outcomes Committee is a sub-committee of the Executive Committee. Its role is to drive strategic policy directions, establish priorities and facilitate integration across programs.
In 2005-06, the Policy Outcomes Committee focused on Indigenous health - including the whole-of-government collaborative approach to Indigenous affairs, and the long term sustainability of the health system. The committee also oversaw the Department’s research priorities and effective use of research; aged care issues, including dementia; and ethical and privacy issues associated with health technology.
Business Management Committee
The Business Management Committee is responsible for providing strategic guidance and oversight of corporate change in the Department. This includes providing guidance and monitoring of governance, planning, budgeting and risk management; and prioritising and recommending change management projects to the Executive.
In 2005-06, the Business Management Committee oversighted an internal review of the Department’s 2005-06 business planning process and related strategies (finance, people, IT and property) to improve future planning cycles. The committee also endorsed a new quarterly reporting format to monitor progress against divisional business plans, as well as a more simplified and improved 2006-07 business planning process and resource kit.
The Audit Committee is responsible for overseeing internal audit and fraud control activities within the Department. This includes enhancing the Department’s control framework; improving the objectivity and reliability of externally published financial information; and assisting the Secretary to comply with all legislative and other obligations.
Discussion relating to the Audit Committee’s achievements in 2005-06 can be found in the Internal Scrutiny section of this Overview.
Risk and Security Steering Committee
The Risk and Security Steering Committee is responsible for ensuring that the Department has appropriate risk management, security, business continuity and insurance frameworks in place. It also monitors, encourages and supports compliance with the Department’s risk, security and business continuity frameworks.
Key achievements in 2005-06 included the successful test of the Risk Management Framework within the Health Services Improvement and Ageing and Aged Care Divisions; and the review and update of the current Enterprise Risk Management Plan.
Ethical Standards - Application of the APS Values and Code of Conduct
In 2005-06, the Department continued its commitment to maintaining high ethical standards. This is reflected in the Department’s 2006-09 Corporate Plan, which guides team leaders and staff on how to approach their work. These principles are underpinned by the Australia Public Service (APS) Values.
The Department provided all new staff with a copy of the APS Values and Code of Conduct and made them aware of their responsibilities under the Public Service Act 1999
in orientation sessions. This information was also available to all staff on the Department’s intranet site.
Managers were also encouraged to use these tools in decision-making processes with individual employees; and to apply the Code of Conduct in performance arrangements, to guide staff on their responsibilities with colleagues and the public.
Top of page