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Appendix 5: Capability and assurance

The Integrity Commissioner is the Accountable Authority under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 and is required to govern ACLEI in a way which promotes the proper use and management of public resources, the achievement of ACLEI's purposes and its financial sustainability. ACLEI's 'enabler outputs' capable and strategic, well-governed and efficient, and lawful and fair describe how ACLEI's governance, financial and management arrangements deliver results in these areas.

Corporate governance

The governance framework that applies to non-corporate government entities is described in the PGPA Act and the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Rule 2014. During 2015–16, the following structures assisted the Integrity Commissioner to manage ACLEI.

Internal Governance Board

ACLEI's Internal Governance Board is designed to assist the Integrity Commissioner and the Senior Executive to fulfil their statutory obligations relating to the management of the agency. The Board meets monthly to receive reports about ACLEI's governance, performance, human and financial resources, and to monitor compliance with legislation.

Membership Advisers

Integrity Commissioner (Chair)

Executive Director Operations

Executive Director Secretariat

Director Corporate Services

Director Strategic Engagement

Chief Financial Officer

Assistant Director Professional Standards

General Counsel

Other Directors, by invitation

Operations Governance Board

A separate Operations Governance Board was established during 2015–16, to assist the Integrity Commissioner and Executive Director Operations to direct the efficient, effective, economical and ethical use of ACLEI's investigation and intelligence resources, having regard to risk. Subgroups are formed from time to time to give focus to higher-risk functions.

Membership Advisers

Integrity Commissioner (Chair)

Executive Director Operations

Operations Branch Directors

General Counsel

Other staff members, by invitation

Audit Committee

The ACLEI Audit Committee is established in accordance with section 45 of the PGPA Act and section 17 of the PGPA Rule. Its charter is to provide independent assurance and assistance to the Integrity Commissioner on ACLEI's risk, control and compliance framework and its financial statement responsibilities. It meets at least five times a year.

Membership Advisers

Mr Darren Box (Chair), General Manager, Department of Human Services

Ms Joann Corcoran, Assistant Secretary,
Attorney-General's Department

Brigadier James Gaynor CSC, Acting Inspector General, Australian Defence Force

Mr Nicholas Sellars, Executive Director Secretariat, ACLEI

Auditor-General representative

Director Corporate Services

Chief Financial Officer

Assistant Director Professional Standards (Secretariat)

Other ACLEI staff members, by invitation

Executive Committee

The Integrity Commissioner and Executive Directors also meet weekly, and on an ad hoc basis, to discuss strategic and emerging issues, and to ensure close collaboration across ACLEI.

Internal audit

In consultation with the Audit Committee, ACLEI focuses internal audit activity on areas which pose the greatest risk to its functions.

Business planning

ACLEI's mandate is set by the objects of the LEIC Act and the Portfolio Budget Statements. As required under the PGPA Act, a four-year Corporate Plan is prepared each year, setting out strategic priorities and intended performance for the current year and the following three years. The current year Corporate Plan is available on the ACLEI website, under Corporate Information.

Fraud and corruption control

ACLEI's fraud and corruption control arrangements were reviewed in 2015–16 to ensure their continued consistency with the requirements of section 10 of the PGPA Rule and the Commonwealth Fraud Control Policy. An independent audit of fraud and corruption risk was conducted in the reporting period to inform the review. ACLEI's Fraud and Corruption Control Plan 2016–2017 is available at www.aclei.gov.au.

The Integrity Commissioner's certification relating to ACLEI's fraud control arrangements appears in the letter of transmittal on page iii of this Annual Report.

Integrity management

Particular governance and integrity risks arise from ACLEI's role of investigating corrupt conduct in law enforcement agencies. The ACLEI Integrity Policy applies to all ACLEI staff, including secondees from other agencies and the Integrity Commissioner. The Policy is supported by eight Agency Policy Advices, as shown.

ACLEI integrity policy framework

a diagram showing the ACLEI integrity policy framework

The performance, governance and accountability features of the framework are intended to create a workplace in which professional standards and accountability are valued and reinforced.

ACLEI's Assistant Director Professional Standards–who also performs the role of Agency Security Adviser–assists staff members to understand and comply with ACLEI's integrity standards and personnel security requirements. In addition, this officer maintains ACLEI's information security and audits information-handling and access to external databases.

The Assistant Director Professional Standards reports monthly to the Internal Governance Board and direct to the Executive Director Secretariat on risk, governance and integrity matters.

External assurance

Parliamentary Joint Committee on ACLEI

The Parliamentary Joint Committee on the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity reports to both Houses of Parliament on matters relating to ACLEI. The Committee monitors and reviews the performance of the Integrity Commissioner's functions, and examines each Annual Report and any special reports produced by the Integrity Commissioner.

This external scrutiny gives ACLEI a valuable external view of each year's efforts and achievements, and a basis to inform improvements to its work.

During 2015–16, the Committee comprised Mr Russell Matheson MP (Chair), Senator Catryna Bilyk (Deputy Chair), Senator Sean Edwards, the Hon Justine Elliot MP, Mr Steve Irons MP, Senator Barry O'Sullivan, Senator Glenn Sterle, Mr Jason Wood MP and Mr Tony Zappia MP. Senator O'Sullivan resigned from the Committee on 10 September 2015 and rejoined on 4 February 2016. Senator the Hon David Johnston served as a Committee member between those dates.

The Committee dissolved on 9 May 2016 with the prorogation of the 44th Parliament.

Examination of the Integrity Commissioner's Annual Report

The Committee presented its examination of the Integrity Commissioner's 2014–15 Annual Report to the Parliament on 2 March 2016. The report signalled the Committee's intention to continue to monitor ACLEI's management of the number of investigations carried forward over multiple years, and asked ACLEI to reconsider how it reports statistics relating to this issue (see new tables in Appendix Four).

The Committee also observed that it is "...clear from evidence gathered throughout the committee's work that corruption-enabled border crime remains a significant concern and one that ACLEI is actively engaged with, together with its agency partners".

A copy of the Committee's report can be obtained from its website at www.aph.gov.au.

Inquiries

On 5 May 2016, the Committee presented to the Parliament its report of the Inquiry into the Jurisdiction of the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity. The Committee made three recommendations for the Government's consideration:

  • include the entire Department of Agriculture and Water Resources in ACLEI's jurisdiction
  • initiate an independent assessment of the Australian Taxation Office's corruption risk profile, together with an examination of the feasibility of including that agency within ACLEI's jurisdiction, and
  • consider transferring the responsibility for vetting Aviation Security Identification Cards and Maritime Security Identification Cards to an agency within ACLEI's jurisdiction.

The report observed that "...although the committee notes that Australia is generally regarded as one of the least corrupt countries in the world, the committee is not opposed to calls for the further examination of advantages and disadvantages of a broad-based federal anti-corruption agency".

A second Inquiry–into the integrity of Australia's border arrangements–lapsed on
9 May 2016 with the prorogation of the 44th Parliament.

Inquiry reports, terms of reference, published submissions and hearing transcripts can be found on the Committee's website at www.aph.gov.au.

Corruption issues relating to ACLEI

The Law Enforcement Integrity Commissioner Regulations 2006 (at Regulation 22) require particulars of corruption issues relating to ACLEI staff to be published in the Integrity Commissioner's Annual Report. One ACLEI corruption issue was concluded during 2015–16.

Special Investigation 01/2016 Prescribed particulars

Corruption of any other kind [s 6(3)(c)]

The Integrity Commissioner received an anonymous report raising a concern that ACLEI may have, in conjunction with an agency within the LEIC Act jurisdiction, acted inappropriately in supporting a staff member from that agency for an important external learning opportunity. The staff member was recruited to ACLEI approximately two years later.

As required by the LEIC Act, the Integrity Commissioner notified the Minister, who appointed Ms Mary Brennan as Special Investigator to investigate independently.

After her investigation–which involved using information-gathering powers under the LEIC Act, interviews with relevant personnel in both agencies and reviewing the related recruitment documentation–the Special Investigator concluded that no corrupt conduct had occurred.

The Special Investigator observed that all parties had acted reasonably and appropriately in relation to the learning opportunity and that it had been open to ACLEI to recruit the staff member.

No disciplinary, criminal or civil proceedings were commenced as a result of this investigation.

Costs disclosure

ACLEI reimbursed the Attorney-General's Department $25,288.45 (GST inclusive) for the cost of Special Investigation 01/2016.

Safeguards for the use of statutory powers

A range of checks and balances is in place to ensure that ACLEI uses investigation powers accountably and within the law. Some safeguards are administered by the Integrity Commissioner as head of ACLEI and others take the form of statutory external authorisation or reporting. In combination, these processes help ensure that ACLEI deploys investigation powers lawfully, proportionately and ethically.

Public reports into ACLEI's use of powers can be found on ACLEI's website, www.aclei.gov.au.

As a transparency measure, the Integrity Commissioner has also published ACLEI's standard operating procedures relating to surveillance device warrants, telecommunications interception, controlled operations and integrity testing. Additionally, ACLEI publishes guidelines for people responding to the Integrity Commissioner's coercive powers.

External scrutiny in 2015–16

Commonwealth Ombudsman–
inspection of records and practices

  • Surveillance Devices Act 2004
  • Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979
  • Part IAB of the Crimes Act 1914
    (controlled operations)

The Ombudsman made no recommendations in the reporting period.

Commonwealth Ombudsman–
complaints and own-motion investigations

In June 2016, the Ombudsman alerted ACLEI to a complaint by a member of the public. After considering information provided by ACLEI, the Ombudsman decided that no further investigation was warranted and closed the complaint in August 2016.

The Ombudsman did not contact ACLEI in relation to any own-motion investigations.

Judicial reviews, decisions of administrative tribunals, and reports by the Information Commissioner

There was no judicial or administrative tribunal review of an ACLEI decision or action in 2015–16, and no report by the Information Commissioner.

Auditor-General

The Auditor-General did not undertake any performance audits relating to ACLEI during 2015–16. ACLEI's audited financial statements for 2015–16 are presented in this Annual Report.

Agency capability reviews

No capability reviews of ACLEI were released or in progress during 2015–16.

Human resource management

Staffing profile and remuneration

The Integrity Commissioner deploys ACLEI's staff according to strategic priority and to make the best use of their capabilities and skills and the most efficient use of government resources.

At 30 June 2016, 40 positions were filled on an on-going or temporary basis. ACLEI has a maximum staffing cap of 52 full-time equivalent staff. ACLEI's Average Staffing Level in 2015–16 was 38.7. The deficit in staffing reflects a staged approach to recruiting for specialised positions as well as normal staff movements, such as secondments to other agencies. Recruitment continues into 2016–17.

ACLEI's staffing profile is weighted to Executive Level staff, due to the experience and skill levels required to investigate hard-to-detect law enforcement corruption, lead joint investigations under the LEIC Act, and manage and coordinate taskforces.

ACLEI also uses flexible workforce strategies–including partnering with other agencies, and maintaining a pool of appropriately security-cleared casual staff–to respond to fluctuations in workload and maximise productivity. For different periods during the year, ACLEI seconded additional staff from other agencies to assist in specific investigations.

Staffing profile at 30 June 2016

Ongoing Non-ongoing
Classification Male Female Male Female Total
Statutory office holder
(Integrity Commissioner)
1 (1) - - - 1 (1)
SES Band 1 ($200,904) 1 (1*) 1 (1*) - - 2 (2)
EL 2 ($116,397 – $131,157) 4 (3) 2(2) 0 (1) - 6 (6)
EL 1 ($94,682 – $115,062) 12 (4) 4 (2) 0 (4) 0 (0) 16 (10)
APS 6 ($74,232 – $85,274) 4+1* (1+2*) 3** (1) 0 (1) 0 (0) 8 (5)
APS 5 ($68,733 – $72,882) 1 (0) 3 (3) - 1 (0) 5 (3)
APS 4 ($61,621 – $66,909) - 2 (1) - 0 (1) 2 (2)
Sub-total 24 (12) 15 (10) 0 (6) 1 (1) 40 (29)
Total 39 (22) 1 (7)
Staff members based in Canberra 29 (22) 1 (4) 30 (26)
Staff members based in Sydney 10 (0) 0 (3) 10 (3)

The table does not include casual or seconded staff members, or staff on unpaid or workers' compensation leave.
No staff members identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander during 2015–16.

Figures in (brackets) are for staffing numbers at 30 June 2015.

* Higher duties or acting appointment.

** Two staff members were employed on a part-time basis.

Employment agreements and conditions in 2015–16

Integrity Commissioner remuneration

The salary and allowances of the Integrity Commissioner are determined by the Remuneration Tribunal,
www.remtribunal.gov.au.

Senior Executive Service remuneration and agreements

The Integrity Commissioner determines remuneration for Senior Executive positions in ACLEI, taking into account experience and qualifications and comparisons with other agencies. There was no change to remuneration in the 2015–16 reporting period.

Both Senior Executive positions at ACLEI are covered by determinations made under s 24(1) of the Public Service Act 1999.

Non-SES workplace agreements

The conditions of the ACLEI Enterprise Agreement
2012–2014 remained in place during 2015–16. Three employees had Individual Flexibility Arrangements in place to take account of specific circumstances.

Non-salary benefits

  • Employee assistance program
  • Influenza vaccinations
  • Reimbursement program for spectacles
  • Study assistance policy
  • Conference and study leave
  • Financial assistance for approved health and well-being activities

Performance payments

ACLEI does not have a system of performance bonus payments.

Security clearances

Employment at ACLEI is contingent upon maintaining a satisfactory security assessment.

Workplace diversity

ACLEI's Workplace Diversity Program 2015–19 and Reconciliation Action Plan 2016–2018 are published on its website.

Information required under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011

WHS initiatives in 2015–16

  • Ergonomic workstation assessments
  • Employee assistance program
  • Risk assessments for ACLEI operations and exercise of powers
  • WHS considerations included in design of new Canberra premises

Health and safety outcomes in 2015–16

No WHS incidents were reported in 2015–16.

Notifiable WHS incidents and investigations

None

Notices given to ACLEI under Part 10 of the WHS Act

None

Staff performance and development

ACLEI aims to maintain a multi-disciplinary and flexible workforce to enable the agency to deal effectively with the types of corruption issues that may arise in law enforcement. For these purposes, ACLEI maintains core skills in investigation management, intelligence collection and analysis, technical surveillance monitoring, legal counsel (for example, as counsel assisting at coercive information-gathering hearings), corruption prevention, policy development and corporate management.

ACLEI's Program for Personal Performance links personal development with organisational needs and provides the mechanism for supervisors to manage staff performance. A rolling program of mandatory training for all staff includes topics relating to meeting ethical standards, governance, financial responsibilities, health and safety, and security.

In 2015–16, ACLEI staff members received external training or refresher courses in topics such as conflict management, financial and operational systems administration, financial management, and leadership. Investigations and intelligence staff members also received technical training relevant to their roles.

Management of other corporate issues

Information and Communications Technology

ACLEI has a shared service arrangement with the Attorney-General's Department relating to ACLEI's ICT and records management requirements.

Facilities

The lease for ACLEI's premises in Canberra expired in June 2016. ACLEI designed and fitted-out a purpose-built secure facility during the reporting period, and moved into the new premises in July 2016. The ACLEI/AFP joint taskforce, based in Sydney, is presently housed by the AFP. This latter arrangement will be reviewed ahead of the 2017–18 Federal Budget.

Disability reporting–Commonwealth Disability Strategy (to 2009–10)

The 2006–07 Annual Report–at www.aclei.gov.au–contained ACLEI's first report under the Strategy. Subsequent reports are in the relevant Australian Public Service Commission State of the Service reports and the APS Statistical Bulletin, available at
www.apsc.gov.au.

Disability reporting–National Disability Strategy 2010–2020

A high level two-yearly report tracks progress against six outcome areas to present a picture of how people with disability are faring. The first of these reports was published in 2014 and is available at www.dss.gov.au.

Environmental performance

ACLEI endeavours to recycle, reduce energy consumption and promote sustainability. Energy-saving technologies (such as
motion-sensor lights, on-demand printing and teleconferencing facilities) are incorporated in ACLEI's business practices. ACLEI is continuing a project to digitise existing paper records and minimise paper use.

Advertising and market research

ACLEI did not conduct any general advertising, market research, polling, direct marketing or any other form of advertising campaign.

Freedom of information (Part II, Freedom of Information Act 1982)

ACLEI's Information Publication Scheme Statement and Freedom of Information disclosure log can be accessed at www.aclei.gov.au/about/corporate-information/freedom-information.

Financial management

Australian Government entities are accountable for their financial practices and use of relevant money. Accordingly, transparency measures and independent auditing are used to monitor ACLEI's adherence to guidelines and ensure that financial management arrangements are robust and conducted with propriety.

Purchasing

The Commonwealth Procurement Rules, the Integrity Commissioner's Accountable Authority Instructions, the PGPA Act and PGPA Rule provide the framework for ACLEI's decisions concerning the purchase of goods and services.

ACLEI uses procurement methods which are efficient and
cost-effective and which take account of ACLEI's security needs, specialised role and size. Value for money is always the guiding principle in selecting providers of goods and services. ACLEI also participates in mandatory whole-of-government coordinated procurement, such as travel.

Procurement initiatives to support small business

ACLEI supports small business participation in the Commonwealth Government procurement market. Small and Medium Enterprises and Small Enterprise participation statistics are available on the Department of Finance's website, www.finance.gov.au.

ACLEI's procurement practices support Small and Medium Enterprise participation by using the Commonwealth Contracting Suite for low-risk procurements valued under $200,000, and using payment cards when possible and appropriate, to allow more-timely payment to suppliers.

Consultancies–engagement policies and procedures

The decision to engage a consultant is made in accordance with the PGPA Act and PGPA Rule, the Commonwealth Procurement Rules and relevant internal policies, including the Accountable Authority Instructions. ACLEI takes into account the abilities and resources required for the task, the skills available internally, and the cost-effectiveness of engaging external expertise.

Consultancies–main categories

Consultants are engaged to investigate or diagnose a defined issue or problem, carry out defined reviews or evaluations (such as internal audits), or provide independent advice or information to assist in ACLEI's decision-making.

Consultancies–numbers and expenditure

During 2015–16, 12 new consultancy contracts were entered into involving total actual expenditure in 2015–16 of $213,340
(including GST). In addition, five ongoing consultancy contracts were active during the period, involving total actual expenditure of $129,849 (including GST).

Annual reports contain information about actual expenditure. Information on the value of government contracts and consultancies is available on the AusTender website,
www.tenders.gov.au.

Australian National Audit Office access clauses

No contracts over $100,000 were let that did not provide for the Auditor-General to have access to a contractor's premises.

Exempt contracts

No contracts were exempted from publication in AusTender because publication would disclose exempt matters under the Freedom of Information Act 1982.