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External scrutiny

For 2015–16 our agency was accountable to the Parliament through the Minister for the Environment. Other external scrutiny includes examination by parliamentary committees, the Commonwealth Ombudsman and Australian National Audit Office.

External decision and reports

In 2015–16 there were no relevant judicial decisions, and no significant impact on our agency from decisions by administrative tribunals or the Australian Information Commissioner.

Our operations were not the subject of any reports by the Auditor-General (other than the financial statements), parliamentary committees or the Commonwealth Ombudsman.

Parliamentary committees

In 2015–16, we appeared before the Senate Environment and Communications Legislation Committee on three occasions. We responded to 96 questions on notice, including whole-of-portfolio questions on corporate matters as well as questions on the operations of the schemes we administer.

Australian National Audit Office performance audit

The Australian National Audit Office is undertaking an audit of the Emissions Reduction Fund—Abatement Crediting and Purchasing.

The audit objective is to assess the effectiveness of our crediting and selection of carbon abatement to purchase under the Emissions Reduction Fund.

The audit commenced in September 2015 and as at 30 June 2016 was still underway. It is due to be tabled in September 2016.

Image acknowledgment: Clean Energy Regulator. Nyngan Solar Farm, New South Wales, Renewable Energy Target.

"I HAVE HAD QUITE A FEW DEALINGS WITH THE CLEAN ENERGY REGULATOR AND IN ALL CASES, STAFF ARE VERY HELPFUL, UNDERSTANDING AND KNOWLEDGEABLE."
PARTICIPANT IN THE ANNUAL CLIENT SURVEY.

Image acknowledgment: Clean Energy Regulator. Nyngan Solar Farm, New South Wales, Renewable Energy Target.

Management of human resources

We regard the skills and commitment of our people as an important part of our 'secure and enduring infrastructure', which is one of our agency objectives.

To this end, our approach to managing our people reflects the importance of attracting, retaining and developing a skilled and diverse workforce.

We foster an environment where resources and expertise are shared to maximise business outcomes and manage increased volume and complexity. We achieve this by providing opportunities for growth and development to our staff and deploying the current workforce in a way that makes best use of their skills.

Organisation restructure

During 2015–16 we consolidated our organisational structure to cement the way we work collaboratively. The new structure is designed to make the best use of our capabilities across all our schemes, without major changes to the main features of our organisation. This has ensured a structure that offers both the stability to maintain quality processes as well as the expertise and flexibility to adapt to changing requirements.

State of the Service results

Our 2016 State of the Service results showed substantial improvements compared with our 2015 results.

In total, we achieved an 80 per cent response rate, our highest to date and well above the average response rate. This year's results show an increase across job, team, supervisor and overall agency engagement.

Satisfaction with supervisors has increased, with a rating of eight out of 10 in 2016 compared with seven out of 10 in 2015. A total of 87 per cent of staff agreed or strongly agreed that they have a good immediate supervisor, representing an increase of 11 percentage points on 2015. This is also five percentage points higher than other regulatory agencies.

SNAPSHOT

87% of staff agreed or strongly agreed that they have a good immediate supervisor.

There was also an increase in satisfaction with overall job engagement. There was a significant increase in staff satisfied with the opportunities for career progression in our agency, at 47 per cent (an increase of 22 percentage points on last year). A total of 65 per cent of staff stated they would like to continue working for the agency for the next one to three years. The majority of staff (78 per cent) felt their role allowed them to use their skills and provided a sense of accomplishment. A total of 65 per cent of staff felt they were valued for their contribution, compared with 44 per cent in 2015. This is 18 percentage points higher than the Australian Public Service average.

There was a significant increase in staff satisfaction levels related to feeling consulted about change at work, with 55 per cent of staff satisfied with the level of consultation about change, compared with 33 per cent the previous year. A total of 57 per cent of staff were satisfied with how changes were communicated, which is important considering we introduced a new agency structure and a range of new systems.

In 2016, we will continue our focus on delivering improved human resources services to support the continued improvements in employee satisfaction.

Talent identification and management

Excellence awards

Each April, we hold Awards of Excellence to recognise and award staff who excel in achieving our agency's objectives of:

  • engaged, active and compliant clients
  • efficient and effective administration
  • a trusted, relevant and expert institution, and
  • secure and enduring infrastructure.

An additional Chief Executive Officer's award is presented to an individual or team that exemplifies Australian Public Service values and has made a significant contribution to our work.

FEATURE

Awards of excellence

Awarding significant contributions

In 2016 we presented two Chief Executive Officer's Awards.

Tavalea Nilon from the Scheme Entry and Entitlements Division was awarded for her work on the Emissions Reduction Fund and the Renewable Energy Target. Ms Nilon had to understand very complex legislation, determine how to effectively assess applications and develop processes to administer the scheme efficiently. Ms Nilon engages well with clients and uses her expertise to continually improve the information we provide to enhance client experiences. She also played a pivotal role in leading, mentoring and training other team members to help them understand the legislation we implement and processes we have in place.

Mary-Anne Wilson was recognised for her work as the lead negotiator of our agency's new Enterprise Agreement, her leadership of the Business Leadership Team and establishment of new Scheme Settings and Coordination Branch. Ms Wilson has helped shape our agency through strategic thinking, collaboration and attention to detail. She has played a pivotal role in a range of new innovative activities now taking place in our agency.

Training and development

Training and developing our staff is important to us. Learning and development opportunities allow staff to build on their competency and capability to effectively perform their role and deliver on agency objectives.

In 2015–16 we provided financial support and study leave to 20 staff completing tertiary qualifications study that is relevant to their employment at our agency and the wider Australian Public Service.

We also supported staff participation in numerous external workshops, seminars and conferences to further their understanding of specific industries, our clients or areas of interest. In addition, a range of technical and business training occurred across our agency to support the rollout of new business processes and new systems that we implemented.

Introducing online learning

We implemented a new learning platform, Learnhub, to provide a suite of mandatory training modules that assist staff to understand their obligations and responsibilities. This method of delivery allows staff to learn at their own pace and complements face-to-face delivery. Over the next 12 months we will use Learnhub to deliver topics developed for the whole of the Australian Public Service.

Regulatory officer development

In 2015–16 we implemented our regulatory officer development program, following last year's pilot. As at 30 June 2016 a total of 137 staff had participated in the program. The program builds fundamental knowledge and capability for staff in regulatory officer roles, to enable them to successfully perform their duties and contribute to achieving business outcomes, specifically in a regulatory context.

SNAPSHOT

137 staff participated in the new Regulatory Officer Development program.

The program commenced in November 2015 and will be delivered throughout 2016, with all staff in regulatory officer roles attending. We are evaluating the return on investment for the agency, and examining how early participants have improved performance and applied their learning in the workplace.

To build on the program, we plan to develop a recognition pathway to an industry recognised qualification during the next 12 months. We will also be developing a learning pathway for regulatory officers outlining a range of development activities that will contribute to an improved regulatory capability within our agency.

Leadership development

In 2015–16 all our supervisors and managers had the opportunity to continue to build the leadership skills through monthly leadership conversations that focused on 'hot management topics'. This series of facilitated group coaching sessions built on the leadership program that we rolled out in the previous year.

Our staff also had the opportunity to participate in two leadership programs run by the Department of the Environment. Nine staff completed the APS6 Leadership and Management course and seven staff completed the EL1 Leadership and Management Development program. Both programs consisted of pre-workshop activities, a workshop, and follow-up activities back in the workplace to consolidate learning.

We have also been working closely with the Australian Public Service Commission Centre for Leadership and Learning to leverage the leadership programs currently being developed for use across the public service.

Change Management Capability Review

The purpose of our Change Management Capability Review was to recommend a pathway to a strong change management capability in our agency and our people. The review involved internal consultation, with information gathered through more than 75 face-to-face and online engagement activities between February and April 2016. The Business Leadership Team endorsed recommendations from the Change Management Capability Review in May 2016. We have started implementing the recommendations, including allocating funds to establish a Change Excellence Unit in 2016.

Workforce profile

As at 30 June 2016, our agency had a total of 374 employees, comprising 337 ongoing and 40 non-ongoing employees.

SNAPSHOT

We had a total of 374 employees in 2015–16.

Appendix D provides details of our workforce profile by level, gender, full-time and part-time, ongoing and non-ongoing, and diversity.

Figure 9: Workforce profile by level and gender as at 30 June 2016 (by headcount)

Figure 9: Workforce profile by level and gender as at 30 June 2016 (by headcount) 

ClassFEMALEMALEGrand Total
GRAD235
APS1123
APS381119
APS4211031
APS5462672
APS65152103
CEO11
EL 1444185
EL 2192544
SES B1448
SES B2123
Grand Total198176374

Graduate recruitment and development

Our Graduate Development Program provides a range of professional and personal development opportunities to attract graduates with qualifications and experience highly relevant to our work.

In 2015 we employed five graduates. We partnered with the Australian Public Service Commission to deliver graduate training programs. This, coupled with on the job experience, provides our graduates with the skills, knowledge and experience for future leadership roles in the Australian Public Service.

Indigenous trainees

In 2016 we employed three Indigenous trainees. The traineeship is a 12-month program and includes placements in two operational teams. We have partnered with the Australian Public Service Commission and the Canberra Institute of Technology to provide a structured learning program. Our trainees have also received additional support and networking opportunities through participation in the Department of the Environment's Indigenous Network.

Access and equity

Workplace diversity

We are committed to supporting diversity in our workplace, and providing an environment free from discrimination, patronage and favouritism. This is supported by:

  • implementing our Indigenous Traineeship Program
  • participating in the Department of the Environment Indigenous Network
  • establishing our Women in Clean Energy Regulator Network
  • holding specific events to celebrate and engage with workplace diversity (such as Harmony Day)
  • participating in events such as the International Women's Day luncheon
  • encouraging flexible working arrangements, including reduced hours and job-sharing
  • providing reasonable adjustment to support people with a disability
  • providing appropriate facilities, including a prayer room and parent's room
  • providing mandatory training for bullying and harassment prevention, and
  • appointing workplace Harassment Contact Officers.

Appendix D details the representation of equal opportunity employment target groups in our workforce profile.

Access to information

We make our online services and information accessible to as many people as possible regardless of ability. We are implementing the Australian Government's Web Accessibility National Transition Strategy (WANTS).

Over time all internal and external web-based systems will be upgraded, to conform to the WCAG 2.0 Level AA standard, or will be replaced with new systems that conform. We have divided our approach into four categories. Within each of these categories we will focus on the four principles of WCAG 2.0 (text alternatives, keyboard access, readability and input assistance):

  • System/platform—our business and technical owners of current web-based applications are required to assess accessibility compliance, and define ways to support people whose specific accessibility needs are not met. They are also required to consider accessibility in future development work.
  • Content—all new or revised content published in existing Clean Energy Regulator systems will be accessible within the limitations of the given web-based system/platform where possible.
  • Documents—all new or revised documents will be provided in multiple formats where possible, with enhanced accessibility.
  • Media—we will make transcripts available for new or revised multimedia presentations where possible. This includes videos, sound recordings or other multimedia presentations.

Employment conditions

Terms and conditions for agency employees are governed by our Enterprise Agreement (including Individual Flexibility Arrangements made in accordance with the Fair Work Act 2009 that vary conditions of the agreement), individual section 24(1) determinations in accordance with the Public Service Act 1999, and decisions of the Remuneration Tribunal.

Enterprise Agreement

In December 2015 a total of 52.75 per cent of eligible employees voted in favour of the Clean Energy Regulator Enterprise Agreement 2016–2019.

SNAPSHOT

52.75% of eligible employees voted in favour of the Clean Energy Regulator Enterprise Agreement 2016–2019.

The Fair Work Commission approved our agreement on 6 January 2016 and it commenced on 13 January 2016, with a nominal expiry date of 5 January 2019.

This is the first single Enterprise Agreement to cover our employees, replacing our two previous legacy agreements from the former Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency and the former Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator.

This agreement covers all employees except those on individual flexibility arrangements, our Senior Executive Service (SES) and Chief Executive Officer.

Individual Flexibility Arrangements

At 30 June 2016 eight non-SES employees were covered under Individual Flexibility Arrangements.

Individual determinations under the Public Service Act

At 30 June 2016 terms and conditions for our 11 Senior Executive Service officers were outlined in individual determinations under section 24(1) of the Public Service Act 1999, made by the Clean Energy Regulator's Chief Executive Officer.

Appointment of Chief Executive Officer

The position of Chief Executive Officer is a statutory appointment with conditions of employment determined by the Remuneration Tribunal.

Remuneration and benefits

The details of our remuneration and process for salary advancement are outlined in our Enterprise Agreement.

Appendix D provides details of the available salary ranges by classification level, and progression through the available salary points is determined by the results of annual performance assessments.

Non-salary benefits available to our employees include:

  • individual flexibility agreements
  • health and wellbeing programs
  • coaching and mentoring
  • learning and development opportunities
  • studies assistance (study leave and financial assistance)
  • options for flexible hours and time off in lieu, and
  • flexible working conditions such as part-time employment, job sharing and working from home.

Performance pay

In 2015–16 no Clean Energy Regulator employee was awarded performance pay.

Performance management

In 2015–16 we maintained our 'Continuing Conversations' approach to performance management. This approach emphasises the importance of individuals and their managers having ongoing conversations about performance throughout the year.

In 2016 we implemented a new performance management policy to complement the establishment of the Clean Energy Regulator Enterprise Agreement 2016–2019. This agreement included a restructured rating scale system and aligned the performance management cycle with the financial year. Eligible employees now receive salary advancement on 1 July each year.

Security

There was a 38 per cent reduction in detected security breaches during 2015–16, with some minor security breaches discovered. This follows a 25 per cent reduction in breaches during 2014–15. The reduction is attributed to a concerted effort to increase awareness and compliance across our agency.

We have also worked to achieve and maintain compliance with the mandatory requirements of the Protective Security Policy Framework and will be reporting full compliance against this framework for the 2015–16 year.

Facilities and accommodation

In 2015–16 we maintained the appropriate level of facilities for our staff to provide a safe and productive working environment and we continued to achieve 6-star energy rating under the National Australian Built Environment Rating System.

The lease on our building expires in May 2017 and we have begun an assessment of potential renewal or relocation options.

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