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Disclosures and legal compliance

Good governance

Internal audit

The contractual arrangement with Braxford Consulting to provide internal audit services continued for the 2016−17 financial year. Internal audits were conducted on recordkeeping practices and financial statement compliance.

No high risks requiring urgent management attention were noted in respect of current procedures and compliance with the current government reporting requirement. It was  noted that as a result of the implementation of the Australian Taxation Office’s (ATO) Taxable Payments Annual Reporting (TPAR) requirements from 2018 financial year the Commissioner’s office needed to upgrade its MYOB finance system to a modern version as the current one could not generate the report in the electronic format required by the ATO. The Commissioner has since upgraded the financial system to the latest version which will comply with the TPAR requirements.

Risk management

The management of risk and associated risk mitigation strategies continued to be a focus in 2016−17. A formal review of any identified corporate risks is incorporated into the monthly Corporate Executive meeting agenda and in all project management reporting.

Financial management

A monthly financial management report is provided for endorsement at all Corporate Executive meetings. The Financial Management Manual has been reviewed and updated by the Commissioner’s Chief Finance Officer as is required on an annual basis.

As a result of changes implemented by the Department of Finance’s Government Procurement Transformation program, whereby agencies manage their low value (under $250,000), low risk procurement independently, the Commissioner’s office sought to establish a Panel of Contractors who were suitably qualified and experienced in research, consultation, evaluation and monitoring in relation to children and young people, who could be engaged to undertake discrete projects of work as the Commissioner requires.

Ministerial directives

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 2016−17.

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 2017, the Commissioner for Children and Young People employed 19 staff, the equivalent of 16.38 full-time employees (FTE). One staff member continued to be on secondment during the 2016−17 financial year (not counted in the figures) and was replaced by a contract officer. The average tenure for the Commissioner’s staff is 7.8 years, compared to 9.5 years for the WA public sector entities. 58.8% of the Commissioner’s workforce has been working at the entity for less than five years, this compares to 40.2% WA sector wide. The Commissioner’s office does not have any employees working in regional areas.

 

Staff development

Staff training and development continues to be a high priority for the Commissioner. All staff participate in two 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.

Monies spent for professional development for the Commissioner’s staff was over $9,000 for the 2016−17 financial year, this represents an average amount of $450 per staff member. 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.

In relation to Occupational Safety and Health, three First Aid Officers were provided with updated training; two senior executive staff attended OH&S Awareness training and nearly all staff received training in the use of a defibrillator conducted by St John Ambulance.

  • Conferences/seminars specific to the work of the office of the Commissioner for Children and Young People that were attended by the Commissioner’s staff included:
  • Australian Association of Social Workers WA Steady Walking and Talking: Developing Partnerships with Nyoongar People
  • Youth Affairs Council of WA Fairground Conference
  • 2nd Australasian Youth Justice Conference
  • 6th Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC) National Conference
  • AIFS Conference 2016 Registration
  • Symposium Child Sexual Abuse Prevention
  • National Policy Officers Conference - Evidence-Based Policy Development
  • WA Mental Health Conference and Awards
  • Mental Health Rights and Recourse Forum, and
  • Sexual and Gender Diversity and Mental Health.

Worker’s compensation

There were no worker’s compensation claims in 2016–17. 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 2016–17 with the latest inspection being held in June 2017. The results of these inspections are tabled at Corporate Executive meetings, and any findings or issues addressed immediately.

Governance disclosures

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.

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:

 

Disability Access and Inclusion Plan (DAIP)

Whilst the Commissioner for Children and Young people is not required by legislation to develop a compliant DAIP, the Commissioner for Children and Young People’s Disability Access and Inclusion Plan (Plan) was revised during 2016 and endorsed by the Corporate Executive in August 2016 and subsequently sent to the Disabilities Services Commission for approval.

The updated Plan contains several overarching strategies to guide the Commissioner’s office from 2016–2020 towards improving access to our services, buildings and information. A number of strategies have been implemented during the period 2009–2016, so this third edition of the Disability Access and Inclusion Plan focuses on a continuous process of dialogue and learning enabling consolidation and review with a view to improving access and inclusion for children and young people with disability. Actions to implement the strategies will be taken up through our strategic and operational plans.

The Disability Access and Inclusion Plan 2016–2020 is available to all staff. The plan 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. 

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.

  1. The office has policies, procedures and processes that support the application of:
  2. the WA Public Sector Code of Ethics
  3. the WA Public Sector Standards in Human Resources Management
  4. the Commissioner’s Code of Conduct and Management of Conflict of Interest Policy
  5. a family-friendly workplace.

During 2016–17 the Commissioner held regular staff meetings where any matters relevant to Public Sector Standards could be raised and discussed. There are standing items on the Corporate Executive Agenda that refer to Related Party Disclosures, Conflict of Interest and Integrity and Conduct matters.

Compliance with Public Sector Standards

The Commissioner has established procedures to ensure compliance with s31(1) of the Public Sector Management Act 1994. 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

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

Recordkeeping Plan

In accordance with section 19 of the State Records Act 2000 and State Records Commission Standard 2, (Principle 6) the Commissioner’s office has a Recordkeeping Plan (RKP) that provides an accurate reflection of how recorded information is created and managed within the organisation and which must be complied with by the Commissioner’s staff.

The office is currently (June 2017) revising its RKP as is required under Part 3, Division 4 of the State Records Act 2000 following an Internal Audit on the office’s RKP and the effectiveness and efficiency of record keeping operations. The Internal Audit report confirmed that the office’s day to day record keeping operations were compliant.

In 2017 recordkeeping training was brought inhouse and a new training program established. All staff are instructed on record keeping procedures during the first week of their induction program. Staff members are also reminded throughout the year of their record keeping responsibilities.

Government policy requirements

Substantive equality

The Commissioner for Children and Young People is not required to implement the Government’s Policy Framework for Substantive Equity but supports the intent and substance of the Policy Framework for Substantive Equality.

Reconciliation Action Plan

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 2016−17
  • 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. An 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
  • Standing office desks have been provided to all staff who have requested them
  • Three staff members have attended first aid training
  • OSH training for managers was conducted in October 2016, followed by a workplace hazard inspection. All recommendations were implemented immediately.

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. 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.