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Disclosures and legal compliance

 "Now that I am '10' years old, I have higher expectations and more responsibilities. I have found that when you are 10 you have to work a lot harder to get what you want but that's how I like it!"

Good governance

Internal audit

The contractual arrangement with Braxford Consulting to provide internal audit services continued for the 2017–18 financial year.

Internal audits were conducted on procurement compliance and financial operations compliance.

No high risks requiring urgent management attention were noted in respect of current procedures and compliance with the current government reporting requirement.

Risk management

The management of risk and associated risk mitigation strategies continued to be a focus in 2017–18. A formal review of any identified corporate risks (e.g. human resources, integrity and conduct, ICT governance including cyber security) is incorporated into the monthly Corporate Executive meeting agenda and in all templates for project management.

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.

Policies and procedures

The policies and procedures are reviewed, updated regularly and added to the Commissioner’s Corporate Governance Framework. The Commissioner is presently developing an LGBTI Inclusion policy, and has developed a Safe Spaces – Family and Domestic Violence Policy in line with WA State Government Premier’s Circular. A Leave Policy providing guidance to all staff regarding their taking and clearing of annual and long service leave was developed.

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 2017–18.

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 2018, the Commissioner for Children and Young People employed 16 staff, the equivalent of 13.35 full-time employees (FTE) which is a decrease in staff from the previous year.

In 2017–18 one staff member took a Voluntary Targeted Separation Scheme for Public Sector Renewal 2017 under regulation 16 of the Public Sector Management Redeployment and Redundancy) Regulations 2014, and one other staff member’s position was abolished through a review of the structure and functions of positions in the office.

The average tenure for the Commissioner’s staff is 6.6 years, compared to 8.7 years for the WA public sector entities. 68.8% of the Commissioner’s workforce has been working at the entity for less than five years, this compares to 46.1% WA public sector wide.

Females comprised 93.8% of the Commissioner’s workforce compared to 72.4% within the Western Australian public sector entities.

The Commissioner’s office has a younger workforce profile compared to the WA public sector; 50% of its employees are aged 45 and over (52/1% WA public sector wide) and 12.55% are aged 55 and over (26% WA public 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 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 $26,000 for the 2017–18 financial year, this represents an average amount of $1,600 per staff member.

The Commissioner’s staff have attended a range of professional development seminars/ conferences and training associated with corporate governance, freedom of information, finance and procurement, human resource management and information, social media, communication and technology. All staff attended the Opening Closets LGBTI training by Living Proud (the main LGBTI training provider in Perth) to build capacity of staff to support LGBTI children and young people’s needs and to be inclusive in Commissioner’s office practices and processes.

In relation to Occupational Safety and Health, nearly all staff received updated 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:

  • Sexual and Gender Diversity and Mental Health
  • PSC/ANZOG SES Workshop with Dr Scott Douglas – Collaborating to solve wicked problems: the case of child protection
  • 2017 CREATE Conference Sydney
  • Mental Health, Housing and Homelessness Event
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution for Professionals
  • Child Sexual Abuse Prevention
  • Youth Futures WA Engagement forum
  • 2018 Australian Early Development Census National Conference
  • Birthing on Noongar Boodjar Research Symposium
  • WACOSS Early Years

Worker’s compensation

There were no worker’s compensation claims in 2017–18. 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 2017–18 with the latest inspection being held in June 2018. 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

Section 175ZE of the Electoral Act 1907 requires public agencies to report details of expenditure to organisations providing services in relation to advertising, market research, polling, direct mail and media advertising. The agency has not incurred expenditure of this nature.

The Commissioner for Children and Young People’s Disability Access and Inclusion Plan 2016–2020 was revised during 2016 and endorsed by the Corporate Executive and the Disabilities Services Commission.

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.

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

During 2017–18 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, Integrity and Conduct matters and ICT Governance issues.

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 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.

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 2017−18
  • 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.

The Commissioner is currently working to finalise a new Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan to continue to review and improve the practice of the 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. Occupational safety and health is a standing item on the monthly Corporate Executive meeting agenda and on the monthly staff meeting agenda. A new occupational safety and health staff representative has recently been appointed. Workplace safety hazard inspections are conducted every three months and are tabled at Corporate Executive meetings for notation.

As well as the measures indicated above 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 ten 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
  • Four staff members have attended first aid.

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. 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 2017–18 year.