Except under Section 26 of the Commissioner for Children and Young People Act 2006 the Commissioner is not subject to direction by a Minister, or any other person in the performance of his functions.
There were no directions under Section 26 of the Act in 2015−16.
Other Financial Disclosures
Board and Committee Remuneration
The Commissioner for Children and Young People does not have any State Boards or Committees as defined in the Premier’s Circular 2010/02 – State Government Boards and Committees.
Employment and Industrial Relations
At 30 June 2016, the Commissioner for Children and Young People employed 20 staff, the equivalent of 16.02 full-time employees (FTE). There is one vacant position that has not been counted in this figure.
One staff member was released on secondment in May to the end of December 2016, and two staff members were seconded in to cover staff on maternity/parental leave. The recruitment freeze on public sector staffing from December 2015 to 12 May 2016 impacted on the Commissioner’s office as the office was unable to appoint the recommended applicant for the position of Aboriginal Community Engagement Officer until the freeze lifted.
Staff training and development continues to be a high priority for the Commissioner. All staff participate in three Performance Appraisal and Development (PAD) agreement sessions with their line manager throughout the year. The PAD sessions provide a framework for planning, developing, reviewing and appraising the work of individual staff members with reference to the Commissioner’s strategic directions, Our approach and priorities 2016 – 2020 and the Commissioner’s annual business/operational plan. The public sector’s Capability Frameworks, Capability profile: levels 1–6 and the Leadership Capability profiles (level 7 to class 4) are also used as part of the appraisal process.
The Commissioner’s staff have attended a range of professional development seminars/conferences and training associated with corporate governance, finance and procurement, human resource management and information, communication and technology, and research skills development throughout the year.
There were no worker’s compensation claims in 2015–16. The Commissioner’s Injury Management Policy was reviewed in April 2016 to reflect the current structure of the Office, and recent training in injury management and procedures that was attended by the Senior Finance Officer and Manager Corporate Services. The changes were approved by the Corporate Executive and communicated to staff. The policy is included in the induction pack for new employees and available at all times to staff through the office’s electronic document management system.
The Commissioner’s office complies with the Workers Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981 and Public Sector Commissioner’s Circular 2012/05 and ensures any work-related injuries are managed and reported in accordance with these requirements.
The Hazard Identification Checklist and quarterly inspections have continued during 2015–16 with the latest inspection being held in May 2016. The results of these inspections are tabled at Corporate Executive meetings, and any findings or issues addressed immediately.
The Commissioner has no Governance Disclosures to make.
Contracts with Senior Officers
At the date of reporting, no senior officers, or firms of which senior officers are members, or entities in which senior officers have substantial interests, had any interests in existing or proposed contracts with the Commissioner for Children and Young People other than normal contracts of employment of service.
Unauthorised use of credit cards
The Commissioner's office has had no unauthorised use of Western Australian Government Purchasing Carrds (credit cards).
Other Legal Requirements
Expenditure on advertising, market research, polling and direct mail
In accordance with s175ZE of the Electoral Act 1907, the Commissioner for Children and Young People incurred the following expenditure in advertising, market research, polling, direct mail and media advertising:
Media advertising organisations
Total expenditure for 2015–16 was $1,475 for a Mental Health Week supplement advertisement in The West Australian in September. There was no other expenditure in this area.
Disability Access and Inclusion Plan
The Commissioner for Children and Young People’s Disability Access and Inclusion Plan 2013-2016 was approved by the Corporate Executive in May 2013.
The comprehensive plan addresses requirements of public authorities under the Disability Services Act 1993, as well as access and inclusion requirements under the WA Equal Opportunity Act 1984 and the Federal Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA).
The Disability Access and Inclusion Plan 2013–2016 is available to all staff. It forms part of the Commissioner’s standard induction information and is available in the records management system of the Commissioner’s office and on the website.
The Commissioner’s new website launched in early 2016 complies with the WA Government Website Accessibility Policy and meets Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 Level AA.
The Commissioner for Children and Young People notes the Government’s six desired outcomes for people with disabilities and is committed to ensuring these are incorporated and addressed in all operations.
The office’s outcomes for children and young people with disability are as follows:
– The services of, and any events organised by, the Commissioner for Children and Young People identify children and young people with disability as a priority group, consult with them and seek their active participation.
– Children and young people with disability have equal opportunity to make complaints to the Commissioner for Children and Young People.
– Children and young people with disability have equal opportunity to participate in any public consultation by the Commissioner for Children and Young People.
– Access to the buildings and other facilities of the Commissioner for Children and Young People is designed to meet the special needs of children and young people with disability.
– Children and young people with disability have access to information from the Commissioner for Children and Young People in a suitable format.
– Children and young people with disability receive equal service from the staff of the Commissioner for Children and Young People.
Compliance with Public Sector Standards and ethical codes
The Commissioner for Children and Young People has a strong commitment to promoting integrity in official conduct and is committed to achieving high standards of monitoring and ensuring compliance with the Public Sector Standards, the Western Australian Public Sector Code of Ethics and the office’s Code of Conduct. The Corporate Executive, which includes the Commissioner, leads and promotes these standards within the office.
The office has policies, procedures and processes that support the application of:
- the WA Public Sector Code of Ethics
- the WA Public Sector Standards in Human Resources Management
- the Commissioner’s Code of Conduct and Management of Conflict of Interest Policy
- a family-friendly workplace.
During 2015–16 the Commissioner held regular staff meetings where any matters relevant to Public Sector Standards could be raised and discussed.
Compliance with Public Sector Standards
The Commissioner has established procedures to ensure compliance with s31(1) of the Public Sector Management Act 1994 and organised for an internal audit of the Office’s recruitment and selection procedures and processes by an external agency. The internal audit found no discrepancies in the Commissioner’s recruitment and selection procedures.
No Breach of Standard Claims were lodged in the current reporting period.
Compliance with the Western Australia Public Sector Code of Ethics
There has been no evidence of non-compliance with the Public Sector Code of Ethics.
Compliance with the Commissioner for Children and Young People Code of Conduct
The Commissioner’s Code of Conduct was reviewed during 2016, and two new versions were created, one for the Commissioner’s website and one for internal staff use.
There has been no evidence of non-compliance with the Commissioner’s Code of Conduct. There were no public interest disclosures about the activities of the Commissioner’s office.
The Commissioner’s Recordkeeping Plan and its supporting documents (including the functional Retention and Disposal Schedule, Business Classification Scheme and Recordkeeping Policies and Procedures) were developed in accordance with Section 19 of the State Records Act 2000 and approved by the State Records Office in December 2014.
The office of the Commissioner for Children and Young People has operated an electronic document records management system, with very limited storage of hard copy documents, since the commencement of operations in 2007–08.
Every member of the Commissioner’s staff is responsible for ensuring they are aware of, and comply with, the recordkeeping standards outlined in the State Records Act 2000.
The Commissioner’s Records Awareness Training program is an important whole of agency professional development instrument. All staff are provided with self-paced online training modules in both recordkeeping standards and in the electronic document records management system. The online training is mandatory for all staff.
New staff are provided access to the training at induction and also meet with the Records Management Administrator to learn their recordkeeping responsibilities as a government officer.
Recordkeeping information and procedures are also included in induction packs.
Government policy requirements
The Commissioner for Children and Young People is not represented on the Strategic Management Council but supports the intent and substance of the Policy Framework for Substantive Equality.
Reconciliation Action Plan
The Commissioner for Children and Young People’s Reconciliation Action Plan 2016–2018 was in draft form at 30 June 2016, awaiting final endorsement by Reconciliation Australia. The plan contains strategies and actions to deliver realistic, achievable and measurable actions that support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people.
All work undertaken by the Commissioner for Children and Young People is underpinned by the legislative requirement to have special regard for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people, which ensures that the principles identified within the Reconciliation Action Plan are integrated into all office procedures and practices. These include:
- acknowledgement of traditional ownership in all speeches by the Commissioner in 2015−16
- staff awareness training integrated into the Performance Appraisal and Development System
- all submissions to the Corporate Executive are reviewed to consider and identify any implications for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people
- any consultations conducted by or on behalf of the Commissioner for Children and Young People must include young Aboriginal people or their representatives where appropriate
- occasionally organisations that represent or work with Aboriginal children and young people are invited to speak to the Commissioner’s staff to promote a greater understanding of issues
- display of art by young Aboriginal people in the Commissioner’s office.
Occupational safety, health and injury management
The Commissioner for Children and Young People and staff have a strong commitment to occupational safety and health and injury management. A monthly occupational safety and health report is a standing agenda item at the Corporate Executive meetings.
There are formal and informal mechanisms in place for consultation with the Commissioner’s staff on occupational safety and health matters:
- All staff are issued with the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) policy and procedures during their induction process, and an officer conducts a one-to-one discussion on these procedures
- The OSH policy is easily accessible for reference by staff at all times on the office’s document management system
- All work stations have posters regarding office ergonomics and 10 easy office moves to remind staff about posture and movement
- Health and safety issues are discussed at staff meetings as issues arise
- New employees and existing employees (when required) are given a workplace ergonomic assessment to ensure that their work station set-up and posture are conducive to best practice
- Standing office desks have been provided to staff on request
- Three staff members have attended first aid training
- Two staff members have attended training on injury management.
An Occupational Health and Safety Audit of the Commissioner for Children and Young people was conducted in May 2012, within the office review period. All items identified in the audit as requiring action have since been implemented.
The Commissioner’s office has an injury management policy that documents how the office complies with the Workers Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981 and Public Sector Commissioner’s Circular 2012/05. This ensures that any work-related injuries are managed and reported in accordance with these requirements. The policy was updated in 2016 to reflect the injury management training that two staff members attended. CCYP staff have access to this document through the records management system. Should any injury occur requiring staff to be away from work, a proactive return-to-work program will be developed in accordance with the Act.
There have been no critical incidents to report for the 2015–16 year.