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Corporate governance

Corporate governance provides the framework of authority, accountability, direction and control through which the Clean Energy Regulator delivers its outcomes in a controlled, transparent and accountable manner. It is designed to ensure that all officers understand their accountabilities as employees under the Public Service Act 1999 and, where applicable, as delegates of the Clean Energy Regulator.

The Clean Energy Regulator's governance processes and policies include:

  • risk management
  • business planning and performance reporting
  • performance agreements
  • audit
  • fraud prevention
  • Chief Executive Directions and Chief Executive Instructions.

This framework supports the Clean Energy Regulator's culture, which promotes and upholds the Australian Public Service Values and Code of Conduct. It enables the Clean Energy Regulator to monitor and improve its performance and ensures compliance with relevant legislation.

We continue to build leadership capability and an agile and responsive culture that enables us to respond effectively as and when new requirements are placed on us.

– Chloe Munro

Committees

The Clean Energy Regulator's committee structure supports the governance of the agency and provides leadership and oversight of the agency's operations and performance.

Executive Board

The Executive Board comprises the Chief Executive Officer (Chair), the General Counsel, and all executive general managers. It is responsible for planning and reviewing matters that will be referred to the Regulator for information and decision-making.

The Executive Board meets monthly before each meeting of the Regulator.

Senior Leadership Team

The Senior Leadership Team has the same membership as the Executive Board, but a different mandate. The Senior Leadership Team leads the strategic direction of the agency through policy setting and allocation of resources. It makes decisions on the business of the Clean Energy Regulator and issues relating to finance, people and operations management.

The Senior Leadership Team meets at least fortnightly.

Extended Leadership Team

The Extended Leadership Team comprises the Chief Operations Officer (Chair), the General Counsel, all executive general managers, and all general managers. The Extended Leadership Team enables divisions to share information and collaborate and focuses on the operational concerns of line managers.

The Extended Leadership Team meets fortnightly.

Audit Committee

The Audit Committee consists of an independent member (Chair), a member of the Regulator, and two senior executive officers. It provides independent assurance and assistance to the Chief Executive Officer on the agency's risk, control and compliance framework, and the agency's external accountability responsibilities under legislation. The Audit Committee provides assurance on the preparation of the annual financial statements and oversights the internal audit work programme.

The Audit Committee meets quarterly.

Procurement Review Committee

The Procurement Review Committee comprised the Manager Finance and Procurement Section (Chair), the General Counsel, and two senior executive officers. The committee's role was to:

  • ensure that major procurement activities were conducted in accordance with the Australian Government's financial and procurement policies
  • review the establishment of any standing offer, multi-use list or memorandum of understanding related to sourcing goods or services from an Australian Government department.

In December 2013, the Procurement Review Committee was disbanded and its role was integrated into business practices within the Finance and Procurement Section, Operations Division. The Procurement Team provides guidance to officers to ensure that procurements are conducted in accordance with the Australian Government's financial and procurement policies.

Security Management Committee

The Security Management Committee consists of the Agency Security Executive (Chair), the Chief Information Security Officer, the Chief Information Officer, the General Manager Investigations and Enforcement, the Information Technology Security Advisor, the Agency Security Advisor, and the Assistant Agency Security Advisor.

The committee is a centralised source of strategic direction and advice on the Clean Energy Regulator's protective security and information technology policies and practices. It ensures that the agency is compliant with relevant statutory obligations, including the Protective Security Policy Framework and the Australian Government Information Security Manual.

The Security Management Committee meets quarterly.

Project Portfolio Board

The Project Portfolio Board consists of the Chief Operations Officer (Chair), executive general managers, the Chief Information Officer, the Financial Controller, the Manager Portfolio Management Office, and the Manager Project Delivery.

The Project Portfolio Board is accountable to the Senior Leadership Team to ensure the agency's investment in projects is achieved. The Project Portfolio Board supports the Senior Leadership Team in providing assurance to government and other key stakeholders that projects will achieve the agreed outcomes of the agency.

The Project Portfolio Board meets every three weeks.

Managers Forum

The Managers Forum consists of the Chief Operations Officer (Chair) and all Executive Level 2 managers. The forum provides an opportunity for information sharing and consultation on business and operational priorities.

The Managers Forum meets monthly.

Staff Consultative Committee

The Staff Consultative Committee consists of the Chief Operations Officer, the Manager People, Performance and Support Section (Chair), and representatives from management, each division, the Community and Public Sector Union and the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance. The committee provides a forum for consultation on workplace issues, and allows the views of officers to be sought in the decision-making process.

The Staff Consultative Committee meets monthly.

Work Health and Safety Committee

The Work Health and Safety Committee consists of the Chief Operations Officer, the Manager People, Performance and Support Section (Chair), seven health and safety representatives, and representatives from management, each division, the Community and Public Sector Union and the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance. The committee provides for a participatory approach to the prevention of work-related injury and illness and considers any matter relevant to workers' health and safety raised by managers, health and safety representatives or other officers.

The Work Health and Safety Committee meets quarterly.

Planning and performance

The Clean Energy Regulator's planning framework integrates a number of interdependent activities, including the development of portfolio budget statements; investment and internal budget allocations; strategic and business planning; annual reporting; and monthly and quarterly performance management.

The agency undertakes an annual business-planning process at the branch and division levels, centred on agency-wide and divisional objectives, human resources allocation, investment, and risk management and performance measurement.

The Clean Energy Regulator measures and reviews its performance to evaluate its progress in achieving objectives throughout the year. Performance measures are based on the annual business plans, and focus on achievement of legislated milestones, organisational priorities, resource usage, and the administration of schemes. The reporting approach reflects the different phases in the life cycle of each of the schemes and enables the agency to identify trends and provide comparisons across reporting periods.

Risk management

The Clean Energy Regulator's risk management framework is based on the
Australian–New Zealand standard for risk management, AS/NZS ISO 31000:2009. In 2013–14, the agency reviewed the framework to ensure that it was tailored to the Clean Energy Regulator's operating environment.

Management of strategic risks is undertaken by the Executive Board, reporting to the members of the Regulator. These risks shape the Clean Energy Regulator's business priorities and its identification and management of operational risk.

Fraud prevention and control

The Clean Energy Regulator released an updated fraud control plan in March 2014, to ensure continued legislative compliance and reflect changes to the agency structure and the implementation of a new fraud control structure.

The revised fraud control plan provides information on:

  • preventing, detecting and responding to fraud
  • the ongoing alignment of risk management with business planning
  • agency roles and responsibilities.

The plan also integrates improvements to fraud controls, such as:

  • a fraud governance framework
  • an investigations manual with supporting processes
  • templates and procedures
  • security management principles for information and communications technology.

The Clean Energy Regulator has several means of receiving allegations of fraud from internal or external sources. The Clean Energy Regulator treats all allegations of fraud seriously and is committed to maintaining confidentiality and protecting those who provide information concerning alleged fraud. Any alleged, apparent or potential fraud and non-compliance incidents are recorded and addressed in accordance with the Australian Government Investigations Standards.

Providing feedback and education to scheme participants and industry is an important part of the Clean Energy Regulator's commitment to a culture of compliance. Online resources are regularly updated and include statistics and enforceable undertakings along with extensive assistance materials.

To avoid conflicts of interest, a direction under the Public Service Act 1999 requires officers to refrain from acquiring or disposing of interests in an organisation when the Clean Energy Regulator is considering making a decision that affects that organisation.

Business continuity management

The Clean Energy Regulator has developed a business continuity framework which includes policies, processes and responsibilities to assist business areas and the agency to respond and recover from a business disruption.

The implementation of the business continuity arrangements, including test exercises, is overseen by the Management Response Team, which consists of the Chief Operations Officer (Chair), the Chief Information Officer, and executives from each division. The team assesses the outcomes of the exercise programme to monitor the agency's level of preparedness.

Internal audit

The Chief Internal Auditor is responsible for the efficient and effective operation of the Clean Energy Regulator's internal audit function, reporting directly to the Chief Executive Officer and the Audit Committee.

Details of the Audit Committee's role and membership are provided on page 62. During 2013–14, the Audit Committee held quarterly meetings in September, December, March and June, and a financial statements meeting in August 2014. The committee endorsed the internal work programme and internal audit reports on performance and compliance issues, and reviewed the Clean Energy Regulator's fraud control plan, risk management framework, business continuity plan, financial statements and certificate of compliance.

Oakton Services Pty Ltd provides internal audit services to the Clean Energy Regulator. During 2013–14, Oakton Services completed nine internal audits. The internal audit reports were:

  • protective security and unauthorised information disclosure
  • fraud prevention and detection
  • risk management
  • Clean Energy Regulator access controls
  • Australian National Registry of Emissions Units implementation
  • Financial Management Information Systems implementation and agency financial reporting
  • Clean Energy Regulator contact centre operations
  • small-scale technology certificates validation
  • Clean Energy Regulator record keeping.

Audit findings include recommendations that are categorised according to the level of operational risk associated with them. The Chief Internal Auditor is responsible for monitoring and reporting on the actions arising from the recommendations.

Regulatory reform

The Australian Government is implementing a comprehensive reform agenda to reduce the burden of regulation. The agenda aims to reduce the costs of clients engaging with government as well as the costs imposed on suppliers through procurement and cost-recovery frameworks; improve transparency; and enhance efficiency in administering regulations. The reforms require additional levels of rigour in the assessment of the impact of proposed legislation and routine audits of feedback from clients and suppliers about their experiences of doing business with government.

The reform agenda will not significantly affect the Clean Energy Regulator's practices, because a majority of the regulatory principles are already part of the agency's day-to-day operations.

In everyday scheme administration, the agency assesses the potential burden on clients and implements practical, flexible solutions which appropriately balance the needs of both parties. Whenever possible, the agency engages with clients early and effectively.

During 2013–14, the agency proactively contributed to the Environment portfolio's audit of its legislative footprint and associated client burden; introduced activities associated with the Government's regulatory reform agenda into its business planning process; and incorporated clients' feedback on their experiences of doing business with the agency as part of the client communications survey. Work is ongoing to ensure that the agency collects appropriate data for reporting against the goals of the Government's reform agenda.

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