The Commonwealth Awards for Excellence in Risk Management (the Awards) raise awareness of the significance of risk management across the Commonwealth by highlighting examples of best practice risk management.
The Awards recognise true leadership in the field of risk management, and also highlight the substantial, ongoing benefits that managing risk has in achieving both the current and future outcomes of Australian Government entities.
The Secretary of the Department of Finance, Jenny Wilkinson PSM, presented awards to the winning entities at the awards ceremony held on Thursday 8 December in Canberra.
Photograph of the Finance Secretary delivering the keynote address.
Enterprise Wide Category
The Enterprise Wide Risk Management category recognises entities that demonstrate excellence in implementing effective risk management frameworks, practices and processes across the entity.
Winner – Services Australia
Services Australia demonstrated an effective and robust risk management framework that is supported by strong executive engagement and governance arrangements such as their monthly enterprise risk watch lists and quarterly risk reports.
Photograph of the Enterprise Wide Winners – Services Australia.
Highly Commended – Australian Taxation Office
During ‘deep dives’ by the Australian Taxation Office’s (ATO) Enterprise Risk Management Committee into a range of business processes and projects, recurring themes that were leading to increased likelihood and consequences of risks occurring were identified.
These were identified as the ‘four systemic drivers of risk’. With these drivers, the Risk Culture and Capability team were tasked to communicate the drivers, and educate staff via an ATO wide risk awareness campaign.
The team developed a communications strategy to highlight the importance of developing a common understanding of the systemic drivers of risk within the ATO. The campaign was well received across the ATO with staff finding the campaign to be engaging and memorable, leading to change in behaviour.
Photograph of the Enterprise Wide Highly Commended recipients – Australian Taxation Office.
Risk in Focus – Shared Risk Category
In 2022 the Risk in Focus category highlighted Shared Risk, a key element of the new Commonwealth Risk Management Policy. This category recognises excellence in the management of shared risk by one or more entities in a specific project or initiative.
Winner – Australian Electoral Commission (Secure Telephone Voting)
The 2022 federal election was Australia’s first federal election since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. To ensure that there was a democratic outcome from the election, the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) needed to address public health directions which prevented infected individuals from physically attending polling places.
By implementing Secure Telephone Voting as an emergency measure, this significantly expanded the capacity for all Australians to contribute to the democratic outcome of the 2022 election. The AEC collaborated with other entities, established a Tiger Team and tapped into the APS Surge, to successfully deliver the Secure Telephone Voting service.
Photograph of Risk in Focus – Shared Risk Winners – Australian Electoral Commission.
Highly Commended – Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communication and the Arts (Inland Rail Program)
The Inland Rail program is an important component of the Australian Government’s investment in infrastructure and a key component of the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy.
Together the Australian Rail Track Corporation, Department of Finance, and the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communication and the Arts established a shared risk framework to better manage significant shared program risks. The implementation of this framework has supported a greater level of collaboration and management of risk across each of the three entities to deliver this major infrastructure project.
Photograph of the Risk in Focus – Shared Risk Highly Commended recipients – Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communication and the Arts.
Risk Initiative Category
The Risk Initiative category recognises entities that demonstrate excellence in risk management for a specific program, project or service delivery initiative.
Winner – Services Australia (Business Continuity Program Reform)
Following an annual review of business continuity processes, Services Australia’s Business Continuity Team engaged and partnered with business teams across the organisation to understand their business continuity planning arrangements.
The Business Continuity Team leveraged every part of the entity’s framework, obtained buy-in from executives and conferred with other agencies across the APS to implement an effective Business Continuity Program that seamlessly aligned with Services Australia enterprise risk considerations.
This has enabled and supported the agency to enhance their approach to business continuity by streamlining processes and systems, whilst also ensuring there is a consistent approach to manage disruptions to business.
Photograph of Risk Initiative Winners – Services Australia.
Highly Commended – Department of Defence, Service Delivery Division, Security and Estate Group
Following an independent review that identified the need for a more integrated approach to the management of risk across the Service Delivery Division, the Directorate of Risk and Assurance was established.
The directorate developed an approach that enhanced the organisational workplace culture and the management of risk across the Division. They efficiently streamlined existing processes and deployed a consistent and simple methodology that has been recognised and used on a broader scale throughout the Department.
Photograph of the Risk Initiative Highly Commended recipients – Department of Defence.
Honourable Mention – Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Fraud Risk Management Methodology)
In response to evolving digital technologies, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s (DFAT) Counter Fraud Section designed and implemented a Fraud Risk Management approach to combat the complicated, contested and constantly changing environment they find themselves in.
The methodology is currently being implemented as part of the Department’s Fraud Risk Assessment Program. It is consistently applied to DFAT’s enterprise structure and demonstrates how the Department has implemented a control framework that will strengthen its approach to the management of fraud risk.
Photograph of the Risk Initiative Honourable Mention recipients – Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Honourable Mention – Defence Housing Australia (Business Continuity Management System)
Defence Housing Australia (DHA) developed and implemented a holistic Business Continuity Management system in response to a post-incident review following the 2019 Townsville floods.
The system, based on internal audit recommendations and a nine month roadmap for improving business continuity, takes a collaborative and consultative approach to empower staff to respond to incidents. It has also contributed to building organisational resilience to support DHA’s operations in an uncertain and ever-changing environment.
Photograph of the Risk Initiative Honourable Mention recipients – Defence Housing Australia.