Senior Management Committees and their Roles
Management Board is Finance's peak decision-making body. The Secretary chairs the Committee, and all General Managers are members. Management Board establishes strategic directions and manages the Department's overall performance. It meets weekly, and holds half-day off-site meetings to discuss longer-term strategic issues as necessary.
The Finance Audit Committee reviews, monitors and recommends improvements to risk management, internal controls and financial reporting processes. In addition, the Committee oversees Finance's internal and external audit processes. The Audit Committee reports regularly to, and receives feedback from, the Secretary and Management Board. Specifically, through the Internal Audit Unit, the Audit Committee reviews key processes, systems and financial accountabilities across Finance, and provides comments and recommendations relating to effectiveness, efficiency and control of departmental activities.
The Audit Committee has built upon progress in previous years to develop a mature corporate governance framework in Finance. This framework, which is in line with the Australian National Audit Office's (ANAO) Better Practice Guide for Audit Committees, has a number of key elements including: focussing on areas of high risk to the Department; maintaining a close working relationship with the ANAO; actively following-up the implementation of Internal Audit Unit and ANAO recommendations (at the end of 200102 there were no outstanding recommendations); and including on the Audit Committee an independent member with specialist skills in professional risk management and audit experience.
During the year, the Audit Committee successfully managed the transfer of the internal audit arrangements from Andersen to Ernst & Young.
The Audit Committee and the Internal Audit Unit reviewed several key areas of Finance's operations during 200102 including: records management; internal management reporting and monitoring of financial performance; contract management; human resources management; project management; probity of procurement and asset and property sale transactions; and fraud control. The Audit Committee and the Internal Audit Unit also reviewed and endorsed the Department's financial statements.
As foreshadowed in the 200001 Annual Report, Finance established an Ethics Committee on 1 July 2001. It acts as a reference committee for high-level ethical issues within the Department and as a forum for the discussion and resolution of ethical issues that arise from time to time. All matters for consideration are referred to it by, or through, the Secretary, General Managers or Management Board.
Finance established a Remuneration Committee in August 1999. This Committee reviews new Australian Workplace Agreements (AWAs), variations to existing remuneration arrangements (including those under the Certified Agreement and AWAs) and the remuneration of all new employees. It also considers other remuneration and employment issues, such as superannuation, study assistance and executive vehicles. The Secretary chairs the Committee, and its membership includes all General Managers.
Leadership Development Committee
The Leadership Development Committee was established in August 2000 to ensure Finance maintains its focus on leadership development. The Committee is chaired by the Secretary.
The Committee is responsible for the Department's Future Leaders' Programme and for coordinating other leadership development initiatives, including the Department's participation in the Leadership Consortium and in Australian Public Service Commission courses.
Information Technology Steering Committee
The Information Technology (IT) Steering Committee, established in October 2001, is a reference group for the discussion of strategic IT issues in the context of Finance's business needs and directions. The Committee considers reports on the progress of major IT projects against milestones and budgets, and reviews performance reporting from the Department's IT service providers against agreed service levels.