Corporate governance and accountability

Fair Work Building and Construction (FWBC) uses a corporate governance framework comprising the agency's enabling legislation, the Fair Work (Building Industry) Act 2012(FWBI Act), and other relevant legislative instruments, policies, strategies, and managerial procedures and practices.

FWBC's corporate governance framework determines how the agency exercises authority and delivers outcomes, initiatives, and programs. The framework promotes and upholds the Australian Public Service (APS) Values and Code of Conduct.

FWBC has corporate governance practices that ensure clear lines of accountability and well-defined, effective management of its performance. These practices are overseen and supported by the following boards and committees.

Advisory Board

The FWBC Advisory Board is established by section 23 of the FWBI Act. Its role is to provide recommendations to the FWBC Director on:

  • policies to guide the performance of the Director's functions and the exercise of the Director's powers;
  • the priorities of, and programs to be implemented by, the Director; and
  • any matter that the Minister requests the Advisory Board to consider.

To date, no recommendations have been made.

Executive Team

The FWBC Executive Team is the peak decision-making body of FWBC. It comprises the FWBC Director and all SES officers. Executive Level 2 officers are invited to attend the monthly meetings on a rotational basis. Outcomes of the meetings are made available to staff through the intranet.

Regulator Performance Framework

The Regulator Performance Framework (RPF) measures the performance of regulators against a common set of six key performance indicators. As a Commonwealth entity with a statutory responsibility to administer, monitor, or enforce regulation, FWBC is subject to the RPF. FWBC will publish its self-assessment report against the RPF for the 2015–16 reporting period on its website by 31 December 2016.

Audit Committee

The FWBC Audit Committee provides independent assurance and assistance to the Director and the Executive Team on the agency's financial and performance reporting responsibilities, risk oversight and management, and systems of internal control.

The Audit Committee reviews and advises on:

  • risk management;
  • control frameworks;
  • external accountability;
  • legislative compliance;
  • internal audit; and
  • external audit.

The Audit Committee is also responsible for endorsing the annual financial statements, including facilitating resolution of any issues in a timely manner.

Table 21 outlines the membership of the Audit Committee. Representatives from the Australian National Audit Office are invited to attend each Audit Committee meeting as observers. Along with FWBC's Director and Chief Operating Officer, other FWBC officers may be invited to attend Audit Committee meetings.

#Table 21: Audit Committee members as at 30 June 2016

Position

Member(s)

Chair

Jon Isaacs (External)

Members

Lyn Baker (External)

Ben Vallence (Internal)

Secretariat

Kathryn Scully

People Committee

The People Committee provides a forum for employees to contribute to developing strategies that address people matters within the agency. The People Committee was re-established during the 2015–16 financial year.

The People Committee's role is to find innovative solutions to resolve any issues relating to people management and to proactively improve agency engagement and performance through initiatives developed in consultation with the FWBC Executive Team. The People Committee met on four occasions during 2015–16.

Major achievements include:

  • development and implementation of a Recognition Framework;
  • development and implementation of a Red Tape Reduction Committee;
  • review, development and promotion of multiple internal policies and guides;
  • introduction of a New Manager's Toolkit; and
  • promotion of key internal systems and resources that aid staff development.
#Table 22: People Committee members as at 30 June 2016

Position

Member(s)

Chair

Cathy Cato

Secretariat

Eddie Malkin

Stephanie Fry

Members

Jess Stirling

Sam Borazio

Damien Cravino

Angeliek Peters

Kate Brookes

Liz Rakitovsky

Matt Barr

Stephen Pemberton

Workplace Health and Safety Committee

The Workplace Health and Safety Committee (WHSC) advises the Director and Executive Team on policy matters concerning the health and safety of agency workers. The WHSC reviews and reports on the implementation of relevant legislation, policies and practices.

The WHSC consists of four management representatives, including the chair appointed by the Director, and nine employee representatives elected by staff. The WHSC met four times in the reporting year.

Major achievements of the WHSC:

  • development of a new Work Health and Safety Policy covering:
    • arrangements for the management, promotion and development of measures to ensure the health, safety and welfare of workers;
    • principles and safety arrangements for FWBC workers to ensure compliance with the Work Health and Safety Act 2011;
  • proposal for a Health and Wellbeing Program, including:
    • health checks and skin checks;
    • on-site educational seminars;
    • a monthly newsletter about relevant health and wellbeing issues; and
  • implementation of sit–stand workstations in all new office fit-outs.
#Table 23: Workplace Health and Safety Committee members as at 30 June 2016

Position

Member(s)

Chair

Tim Honey

Management representatives

Murray Gregor

Liz Hayes

Graeme Hogan

Employee representatives

Chris Stanley

Kelvin Mooney

Sam Borazio

Neale Smith

Adam Pascoe

Yehia Ahmed

Julie Siciliano

Seamus Flynn

Jeffrey Wong

Secretariat

Carole Griffin

Security and risk management

FWBC maintains a number of security and risk management plans. These plans are reviewed and updated regularly to take account of changes in the business activities and risk profile of FWBC.

During the reporting year FWBC maintained the following security and risk management instruments:

  • Security Plan

  • Security Policy

  • Security Classification and Information Handling Guidelines

  • Physical Security Policy

  • Designated Security Assessed Positions and Positions of Trust Guidelines

  • Business Continuity Plans

  • Fraud Control Plan and Fraud Risk Assessment

    FWBC's approach to fraud prevention and compliance with the Commonwealth Fraud Control Framework 2014 includes the Fraud Control Plan and Fraud Risk Assessment for strategic fraud risk management. Embedded in the approach is ongoing education in fraud prevention and reporting.

    FWBC has appropriate procedures in place for recording and reporting fraud. All reports must be forwarded to the Agency Security Adviser (ASA). An officer can make such reports by completing the fraud reporting form or by email, and can receive the protections (such as identity protection) under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013 by making the disclosure to an Authorised Officer.

    Should a matter of suspected fraud require investigation, the FWBC ASA is suitably qualified to investigate alleged incidences of fraud. Alternatively, FWBC has an inter-agency agreement with the Shared Services Fraud Investigation Unit to conduct investigations. The appropriate law enforcement agency will be notified in the event of serious or complex fraud against the Commonwealth.

    There were no incidents of fraud reported at FWBC in 2015–16.

  • Internal Audit Plan

    The agency has appointed the Manager of the Professional Standards Unit (PSU) as Head of Internal Audit to manage the internal audit function and report to the FWBC Audit Committee. Areas of significant operational, reputational or financial risk are identified in consultation with the Audit Committee and the Director. FWBC has adopted a ‘mixed approach' to internal audits: some are carried out by external service providers, while others are conducted by PSU staff as appropriate. A program of quality assurance reviews is also conducted by PSU staff, and results are passed to the Audit Committee for consideration.

  • Intellectual Property (IP) Policy and IP Register

    The IP Policy and IP Register comply with the Australian Government IP Principles and are regularly reviewed and updated to take account of any significant changes to FWBC's IP.

  • Records Management Policy

    Regular checks are undertaken to ensure compliance with the policy and guidelines for handling information within FWBC.

  • Commonwealth Protective Security

    During the reporting year, FWBC continued to monitor compliance with the Commonwealth Protective Security Policy Framework. Policies and procedures to protect employees, information and assets are in place, and a Security Awareness Strategy has been implemented to improve staff understanding of security risks and procedures.

  • Risk Management Framework and Strategic Risk Register

    FWBC maintains a Strategic Risk Register that allows the Executive Team and Audit Committee to monitor the agency's risk environment. A comprehensive revision of the FWBC Risk Management Framework is underway to ensure ongoing compliance with legislative and policy obligations. This will embed better practice risk management in planning, governance and operational processes. The Comcover Risk Management Benchmarking Programme 2016 has assessed FWBC's risk maturity levels against the Commonwealth Risk Management Policy 2014 as having improved from ‘Developed' in 2015 to ‘Systemic' in 2016.

Additionally, FWBC's Agency Security Adviser reports to the Director and Executive Team as required.

Ethical standards

In line with the Public Service Act 1999(PS Act), all FWBC staff are expected to comply with the APS Values and Code of Conduct to maintain high standards of ethical conduct.

The APS Values and Code of Conduct are published on the FWBC website and intranet and are included in job information kits provided to prospective employees. New staff are made aware of the APS Values and Code of Conduct, and this policy underpins the FWBC Business Plan and a number of internal policies and procedures. These include:

  • determining breaches of the APS Code of Conduct;
  • email and internet use protocol;
  • conflict of interest policy; and
  • hospitality and gifts

FWBC provides staff with ongoing information and training in the APS Values, Code of Conduct and Workplace Diversity program.

FWBC is represented on the Australian Public Service Commission's Ethics Contact Officer Network by Murray Gregor, General Manager Operations (Eastern). This network focuses on enhancing ethics and accountability in the APS.

Reconciliation Action Plan

FWBC is committed to working collaboratively with other government agencies and departments to improve opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples – as staff and for those within the building and construction industry.

FWBC's 2013–15 Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) identifies the steps taken to progress reconciliation and learn from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in the building and construction industry.

FWBC's RAP was designed to be accessible and achievable, and involve as many people across the agency as possible. Key actions relate to relationships, respect and opportunities. There is a Reconciliation Portal on the intranet that contains a range of resources to promote awareness.

A review of the RAP will be carried out during 2016–17.

Changes to disability reporting in annual reports

Since 1994, non-corporate Commonwealth entities have reported on their performance as policy adviser, purchaser, employer, regulator and provider under the Commonwealth Disability Strategy. In 2007–08, reporting on the employer role was transferred to the APSC's State of the Service Report and the APS Statistical Bulletin. These reports are available at www.apsc.gov.au. From 2010–11, entities have no longer been required to report on these functions.

The Commonwealth Disability Strategy was overtaken by the National Disability Strategy 2010–2020, which sets out a 10-year national policy framework to improve the lives of people with disability, promote participation and create a more inclusive society. A high-level biennial report will track progress against each of the six outcome areas of the strategy and present a picture of how people with disability are faring. The first of these progress reports was published in 2014, and can be found at www.dss.gov.au.

Ecologically sustainable development and environmental performance

Australian Government agencies are required to report on their performance in regard to the environment and ecologically sustainable development, in line with section 516A of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

FWBC implements best practice in environmental management and ecological sustainability to ensure the most efficient use of energy resources practicable.

Energy-efficient lighting systems are installed in all new FWBC offices. In existing offices, when light globes malfunction they are replaced with low-energy lighting. Standalone office suites are fitted with light switches that are independent of the automated lighting so that power can be switched off when the office is not in use.

FWBC purchases office equipment with low-energy use and power-saving modes. The agency uses multifunction devices for copying, printing and scanning. The devices are set by default to duplex printing and use print-on-demand facilities so that uncollected prints are automatically deleted, reducing paper usage and unnecessary toner costs. All print toner cartridges are recycled.

FWBC offices participate in paper and plastic recycling programs and use office paper with 100 per cent recycled content. When placing stationery orders, FWBC staff preference environmentally friendly options.

FWBC procures vehicles in accordance with the environmental efficiency requirements of Australian Government policies. Bicycle parking is available at FWBC's Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra and Perth offices.