The WHS Act requires the Agency to provide statistics of any notifiable incidents of which it became aware of during the year that arose out of the conduct of business or undertakings by the entity, and any investigations conducted and notices given. Table 16 provides a summary in accordance with the WHS Act.
Table 12: Summary of incidents pursuant to section 38 of the WHS Act
|Death of a person that required notice to Comcare under s 35||0|
|Serious injury or illness of a person that required notification to Comcare under s 35||0|
|Dangerous incident that required notification to Comcare under s 35||0|
|Investigation conducted under Part 10||0|
|Notice given to NDIA under s 90 (provisional improvement notice)||0|
|Notice given to NDIA under s 191 (improvement notice)||0|
|Notice given to NDIA under s 195 (prohibition notices)||0|
|Directions given to NDIA under s 198 (non-disturbance)||0|
The Agency’s workers’ compensation premium for 2015–16 was $2.1 million.
Ecological sustainable development
The Agency has continued to introduce ecological and sustainable measures that reduce energy and consumption costs at each of its sites including:
- installing energy-efficient T5 fluorescent lights and LEDs for open-plan areas and meeting rooms together with motion sensor control for the lighting
- installing energy-efficient variable refrigerant flow (VRF) air-conditioning systems that are operated via time clock
- installing low-flow sanitary fixtures
- supplying general waste and recyclable waste bins to suit the size of the tenancy.
No energy or green ratings have yet been awarded to any Agency site. The Agency will endeavour to achieve energy or green ratings for stand-alone sites in the future.
In addition, the Agency has commenced changing its vehicle fleet to hybrid vehicles. The environmentally friendly vehicles will be transitioned in over the coming year. The vehicles use both a conventional engine and electric motor to achieve significantly better fuel efficiency than their non-hybrid counterparts. In terms of greenhouse emissions, the hybrid vehicles selected reduce tailpipe CO2 emissions and stationary noise and will considerably reduce annual fuel costs.
Consultancies, contracts and purchasing policies
During 2015–16, 54 new consultancy contracts were entered into involving total actual expenditure of $4.7 million (GST inclusive).
In addition, 30 ongoing consultancy contracts were active during 2015–16, involving total actual expenditure of $10.9 million (GST inclusive) in 2015–16.
In total, during 2015–16, the Agency spent $15.7 million (GST inclusive) on consultancy contract costs. In the 2014-15 financial year, the Agency spent $12.3 million (GST inclusive) on consultancy contracts.
This comparison is represented in Table 13.
Table 13: Consultancy contract costs 2014-15 and 2015-16
|New consultancy contracts|
|Number of new consultancy contracts||63||54|
|Actual expenditure for new consultancy contracts (GST inclusive)||$8 945 746.75||$4 708 476.80|
|Ongoing consultancy contracts|
|Number of ongoing consultancy contracts||13||30|
|Actual expenditure for ongoing consultancy contracts (GST inclusive)||$3 378 035.35||$10 950 350.31|
As the Agency rolls out full Scheme, there is a continuing requirement for specialised services from consultants to support this transition. Contracts for consultancy services provided to the Agency included:
- the Scheme Actuary role and actuarial advisory services
- internal auditing services
- assistance and support for building the ICT platform
- strategic planning and advice on risk management, property design and documentation services
- strategic analysis for rolling out full Scheme
- external legal services.
Consultancy contracts are undertaken in line with the Agency’s commitment to conduct procurements in accordance with the Commonwealth Procurement Rules (CPRs). The Agency has procurement policies that govern procurement of all goods and services. The Agency is committed to achieving value-for-money outcomes for all procurement activities. This includes encouraging competition, ensuring efficient, effective, economical and ethical use of resources and ensuring accountability and transparency in decision-making.
The Agency undertakes a range of procurement and contract management activities in accordance with Agency policies but does not report these contractual arrangements via AusTender as this is not a requirement for a non-prescribed corporate Commonwealth entity.
The Agency supports small business participation in the Commonwealth Government procurement market through its commitment to undertake procurement activities in line with the CPRs. Small and medium enterprises and small enterprise participation statistics are available on the Department of Finance’s website:
Additional ways the Agency’s procurement practices support small businesses include:
- encouraging credit card payment for purchases under $10 000
- communicating with vendors in clear, easily understood language and providing access to information in a consistent, accessible format
- providing a rolling training program to support awareness for Agency staff who conduct procurement activities.
The results of the Survey of Australian Government Payments to Small Business are available on the Treasury website: www.treasury.gov.au.
Australian National Audit Office Access clauses
The Agency does not have any contracts let during the reporting period, which do not provide for the Auditor-General to have access to the contractor’s premises.
Advertising and market research
The Agency placed advertising for staff recruitment totalling $15 963 (GST inclusive) through Adcorp Recruitment Advertising, via the Whole of Government arrangement.
Three sets of grants were administered by the Agency in the 2015-16 financial year:
- Community Inclusion and Capacity Development (CICD) grants
- grants to support Local Area Coordination (LAC) Activities
- miscellaneous NDIA grants.
The individual CICD grants awarded in 2015-16 are listed within Program 1.2 Community Inclusion and Capacity Development Grants page 102.
Following an extended community consultation process, the Agency has developed the Information, Linkages and Capacity Building Framework that will inform the grants provided under the Community Inclusion and Capacity Development Grants Program from 1 July 2016.
Australian National Audit Office
The ANAO conducts an annual audit of the Agency’s financial statements under the PGPA Act and their audit report is included in Section 4 of this annual report. During 2015-16, the ANAO has also conducted a performance audit on market transition activities, however the report has not yet been released.
In developing and monitoring the Agency’s operating model and financial management framework, the Agency has regard to the ANAO’s publications and reports including better practice guides on various topics of administration and internal control, as well as other examples of best practice in the Commonwealth, including resource management guides in support of the Commonwealth Resource Management Framework.
The Agency had an internal audit program in place throughout 2015–16. The program is based on identified areas of significant financial or operational risk and contributes to the effectiveness of controls and governance processes in place to manage those risks.
The objectives of the Agency’s internal audit program are to provide assurance to the CEO and Board that the Agency’s financial and operational controls are functioning efficiently, effectively, economically and ethically whilst assisting management in improving the Agency’s business performance.
The Board’s ARFC has overall responsibility for the internal audit program, including determining the audits to be conducted, receiving reports, and monitoring management action taken to address audit findings. The ARFC has endorsed a two-year internal audit plan covering 2016 to 2018, which is reviewed and updated annually.
The 2015–16 internal audit program focused on transition to full Scheme, and included the Agency’s participant self-management processes, property management, readiness for transition, and fraud control processes.
The Agency has a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Department of Social Services (DSS) for the provision of corporate and ICT services, which ended on 30 June 2016. DSS will continue to provide a range of other services to the Agency. During the 2015–16 financial year, the provision of ICT services (e.g. End User Computing) was transferred to the Department of Human Services (DHS). From 1 July 2016, the majority of the Agency’s corporate services will be provided by the DHS through a shared services arrangement.
The Agency also has bilateral agreements with states and territories that outline how the Scheme is expected to operate in sites including the roles and responsibilities of the Commonwealth and respective state and territory governments.
The approach adopted by the Board is set out in the Agency’s risk management strategy that has been developed to comply with the NDIS Risk Management Rules 2013 (RMR). Consistent with the RMR, and reflecting the insurance basis of the Scheme, the Board uses the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority’s Prudential Risk Standard (CPS220) as the standard by which risk management activities are assessed in the Agency.
The risk management strategy:
- outlines the risk governance relationship between the Board, committees of the Board and Agency senior management
- sets out specific risk management roles and responsibilities
- describes the processes for identifying and assessing risks, for how the Agency raises staff risk awareness and develops an appropriate risk culture, and for the annual review process by which the Agency assesses the effectiveness of its risk management framework.
The Board and the Agency focus extensively on risk identification, monitoring and mitigation, in particular for strategic risks that could materially impact on the success of the Scheme.
The Agency has in place a Chief Risk Officer and associated Risk and Assurance Team, who are operationally independent and are responsible for implementing the risk management strategy.
- The Board regularly considers advice from management on how the Agency tackles risks to the delivery of the corporate plan. This includes oversight of the status and progress of major projects and service delivery operations.
- The Board has established an Audit, Risk and Finance Committee to provide relevant assurance and advice.
- The Board has also established a Sustainability Committee to assess, monitor, report and manage Scheme financial sustainability. This role of the committee includes oversight of Scheme sustainability risks.
- The Scheme legislation (NDIS Act) establishes the role of the Scheme Actuary who is responsible for financial sustainability and risk management. The Scheme Actuary produces regular financial sustainability reports and has implemented a continuous evaluation framework of Scheme performance.
- In addition, the Agency has appointed a Chief Risk Officer to assist the Board and its executive by providing objective risk review, oversight, monitoring and reporting. This oversight role has independent reporting access to the Board through the Audit, Risk and Finance Committee.
Operational and project risks are monitored and managed by the Agency’s senior executives regularly. Senior executives are supported in this task by an Agency wide framework which facilitates the rigorous identification and reporting of risks for consideration and action.