2015-16 Annual Report - Part 4: Management and Accountability
Part 4: Management and Accountability
The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency’s (ARPANSA) corporate governance framework is comprised of the agency’s enabling legislation, the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Act 1998 (the ARPANS Act), the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act), policies, strategies and managerial procedures and practices.
Our corporate governance framework determines how the agency exercises its authority and the way in which it will deliver outcomes, initiatives and programs. The framework promotes and upholds the Australian Public Service (APS) Employment Principles, Values and Code of Conduct.
ARPANSA has in place a number of corporate governance practices to ensure clear lines of accountability and well-defined, effective management of the agency’s performance.
These practices are overseen and supported by the following management committees.
Strategic Management Committee
The Strategic Management Committee (SMC) meets six times per year. The SMC is strategically focused and looks forward to the medium and long term future of the agency, rather than the ongoing day-to-day business.
The SMC comprises the CEO (Chair), branch and office heads, the Director, Performance and Governance and one or more external members appointed by the CEO.
During 2015-16, the external SMC members were Ms Megan Morris and Mr Michael Perry (Chair, Audit and Risk Committee).
The Executive Group (EG) meets fortnightly and is ARPANSA’s operational management forum. It comprises the CEO (Chair), branch and office heads, and the Director, Performance and Governance. The EG is responsible for monitoring the key tactics and activities used to implement agency business plans.
Audit and Risk Committee
The Audit and Risk Committee comprises an independent chair, two external members and one internal ARPANSA member. Representatives from the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) also attend committee meetings. The agency’s internal auditor, RSM Australia Pty Ltd, the Chief Financial Officer, and other senior managers attend meetings as required to report on particular matters. The CEO is an observer to the committee.
The committee met four times during 2015-16 and provided independent assurance and advice to the CEO on the agency’s risk, control and compliance framework, and its external accountability responsibilities. Additionally, the committee reviewed the agency’s financial statements and advised the CEO on their accuracy. The committee regularly reviewed the audits according to agency risks under the Internal Audit Strategic Work Plan and provided input and feedback on the financial statements and performance audits provided by the ANAO.
Emergency Preparedness and Response Steering Committee
The Emergency Preparedness and Response (EPR) Steering Committee is comprised of the branch and office heads from Radiation Health Services Branch, Regulatory Services Branch and the Office of the CEO and key staff from the Monitoring and Emergency Response, Assessment and Advice, and Parliamentary and Government Relations sections. The committee provides guidance to the SMC on issues related to EPR activities. The committee oversees the development and review of the ARPANSA EPR Strategy and the EPR Manual that details the framework, plans and arrangements for managing EPR functions across the agency. It also monitors the implementation of these plans and arrangements and the resources required to support the EPR system in order to ensure the agency can achieve its program objectives to promote radiological and nuclear safety and security and emergency preparedness.
During 2015-16 the committee met once and was briefed on resource constraints, proposed changes and implications to ARPANSA’s deployable response capability and the ARGOS consortium (ARGOS is a decision support tool for use in radiological or nuclear emergencies). The committee was advised that the EPR strategy for the period 2016-2020 was being prepared for their review and comment by mid-2016.
Work Health and Safety Committee
The Work Health and Safety (WHS) Committee is chaired by the CEO and made up of Health and Safety Representatives, management representatives, the WHS Advisor and subject matter experts who attend committee meetings as required. Health and Safety Representatives are elected by ARPANSA employees and represent designated work groups throughout the agency. A dedicated WHS Advisor is available at all times to provide specific legislative and safety system advice to the committee and ARPANSA staff. The WHS Committee met four times in 2015-16.
The Radiation Safety Committee, chaired by the Radiation Safety Officer and comprised of Radiation Protection Advisors, reports to the WHS Committee on matters relating to workplace radiation protection, safety and incidents. The Radiation Safety Committee met three times in 2015-16.
Staff Consultative Forum
ARPANSA’s enterprise agreement continues to provide for a Staff Consultative Forum as the key employee consultative body. The Staff Consultative Forum comprises the CEO, employees elected by staff and officials from unions that are party to ARPANSA’s enterprise agreement. During the year, the Staff Consultative Forum met on seven occasions to discuss a range of issues relating to management of the organisation.
The ARPANS Act establishes the Radiation Health and Safety Advisory Council (RHSAC), the Radiation Health Committee (RHC) and the Nuclear Safety Committee (NSC) to advise the CEO of ARPANSA. Members of the council and committees are appointed under the ARPANS Act. The Act provides for the appointment of a chair for the council and each committee. Appointments to the council are made by the Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care, while members of the committees are appointed by the CEO. Appendix 2 contains membership details and a summary of key topics reviewed and discussed by our advisory bodies in 2015-16.
Radiation Health and Safety Advisory Council
The RHSAC advises the CEO on emerging issues and matters of major public concern relating to radiation protection and nuclear safety. During 2015-16, the RHSAC met on four occasions: 2-3 July 2015, 5-6 November 2015, 10-11 March 2016 and 23-24 June 2016.
Radiation Health Committee
The RHC advises the CEO and the RHSAC on matters relating to radiation protection, including formulating draft national policies, codes and standards for the promotion of uniform national standards of radiation protection. During 2015-16, the RHC met on three occasions: 18 November 2015, 26 March 2016 and 15 June 2016.
Nuclear Safety Committee
The NSC advises the CEO on matters relating to nuclear safety and the safety of controlled facilities, including developing and assessing the effectiveness of standards, codes, practices and procedures. During 2015-16, the NSC met on three occasions: 30 October 2015, 18 March 2016 and 17 June 2016.
Performance and Governance
As a Commonwealth entity, ARPANSA’s operations and governance arrangements are subject to the provisions of the PGPA Act. The CEO of ARPANSA is the accountable authority under the PGPA Act. A key element of the PGPA Act is the implementation of an enhanced whole-of-government performance framework which came into effect on 1 July 2015. Ensuring compliance with the PGPA Act and supporting rules and guidance was a major area of focus for ARPANSA this financial year. In October 2015, ARPANSA established a new Performance and Governance Section, located within the Corporate Office, to align its operational frameworks and corporate governance arrangements to meet the requirements of the PGPA Act.
Planning and Reporting
With the establishment of the new Performance and Governance Section, ARPANSA commenced work to achieve a more integrated planning and reporting approach. This approach combines business planning with budgeting, risk management, and performance monitoring and reporting. This approach has contributed to better alignment of our strategic objectives, business activities, resource allocation and performance measures and has resulted in clear linkages between our key planning documents, including the Corporate Plan, Portfolio Budget Statements and agency business plans.
Our Corporate Plan contains key performance measures for each of our strategic objectives. Achievement against these performance measures is outlined in the Annual Performance Statement within this report (at Part 3). The focus this year was on updating and aligning our Corporate Plan and Portfolio Budget Statements to reflect this work, and to ensure we meet the requirements of the PGPA Act and the Regulator Performance Framework (effective 1 July 2015).
During 2015-16 ARPANSA developed and implemented an enterprise performance planning software solution to assist and improve the effectiveness of its performance measurement
and reporting capability within the agency.
In early 2016 we undertook a review of our performance measures to better align with the requirements of the enhanced Commonwealth Performance Framework. Enhancement of our performance measurement and reporting framework will continue to be a key focus for ARPANSA in 2016-17.
ARPANSA is focused on reducing, to reasonably practicable levels, the risks originating from a variety of areas, including staff safety, fiscal management, reputational, and nuclear and radiation safety regulatory objectives. The agency integrates its risk management practice with broader management processes and improvements.
In line with AS/NZS ISO 31000:2009 Risk Management – Principles and Guidelines, ARPANSA has a comprehensive Risk Management Framework that aligns responsibility and accountability for risk across the agency. The Framework complies with the Department of Finance’s Commonwealth Risk Management Policy and enables effective identification and management of risks that could impact on the agency achieving its outcomes or otherwise cause it harm.
During 2015-16, ARPANSA commenced work to review its internal management systems in preparation for future plans to develop and implement an ISO 9001:2015 compliant quality management system. This will be a key project for the agency in 2016-17.
NATA Accredited Services
Seven of ARPANSA’s laboratories maintain National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) accreditation and are regularly assessed by NATA. During the year, NATA conducted technical reassessments of the quality systems in place in each of ARPANSA’s chemical testing services.
As required by the quality standard AS ISO/IEC 17025, all service activities were internally reviewed by qualified auditors selected from the ARPANSA Quality Assurance Team made up of technical experts of the services. Operational procedures and aspects of the management requirements of the standard are audited in accordance with an approved schedule.
Audit and Fraud Control
Primary responsibility for internal audit arrangements within the agency rests with the Corporate Office under the broad direction of the agency’s Audit and Risk Committee. ARPANSA has a robust internal governance and control framework to establish and maintain appropriate systems of risk oversight and management and an appropriate system of internal controls.
The agency undertakes self-assessment for annual compliance sign-off and has developed a risk based compliance assessment questionnaire to guide management in their review.
In 2015-16, ARPANSA’s internal auditors, RSM Australia Pty Ltd conducted audits and reviews based on the strategic internal Audit Work Plan approved by the Audit and Risk Committee.
Six internal audits were undertaken during the year covering the following topics:
- implementation of ANAO recommendations to regulatory activities
- physical security
- data analytics
- Australian National Radiation Dose Register
- workforce and succession planning
- emergency preparedness.
Fraud Minimisation Strategies
During 2015-16, the agency continued a rolling program to assess fraud risks embedded in ARPANSA’s overarching risk management framework. Treatment strategies are developed and monitored as part of that process. Results of the fraud risk assessment process are used to inform the development of the internal audit schedule. No instances of fraud were identified during 2015-16.
The ARPANSA Business Continuity Plan was tested during 2015-16. This included functional testing of information and communication technology services.
Changes to Disability Reporting in Annual Reports
Since 1994, Commonwealth departments and agencies have reported on their performance as policy adviser, purchaser, employer, regulator and provider under the Commonwealth Disability Strategy. During 2007-08, reporting on the employer role was transferred to the Australian Public Service Commission’s State of the Service Report and the APS Statistical Bulletin. These reports are available at the Australian Public Service Commission website. From 2010-11, departments and agencies have no longer been required to report on these functions.
The Commonwealth Disability Strategy has been overtaken by the National Disability Strategy 2010 to 2020, which sets out a ten year national policy framework to improve the lives of people with disability, promote participation and create a more inclusive society. A high level biennial report will track progress against each of the six outcome areas of the strategy and present a picture of how people with disability are faring. The first of these reports can be found at the Department of Social Services website.
During 2015-16, the agency was not involved in any matters before the Full Federal Court, the Federal Court or the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
Reports by the Auditor-General, Parliamentary Committees or Commonwealth Ombudsman
As at 30 June 2016, no reports were made by the Auditor-General regarding ARPANSA for the year 2015-16.
During 2015-16, there were no complaints made to the Commonwealth Ombudsman against the agency. There are no earlier complaints which remain open.
Freedom of Information
Agencies subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) are required to publish information to the public as part of the Information Publication Scheme. This requirement is in Part II of the FOI Act and has replaced the former requirement to publish a section 8 statement in an annual report. Each agency must display on its website a plan showing what information it publishes in accordance with the Information Publication Scheme requirements.
ARPANSA, as an Australian Government agency, is subject to the FOI Act and is required to comply with the Information Publication Scheme provisions. ARPANSA has developed an agency plan describing ARPANSA’s compliance with Information Publication Scheme provisions as required by section 8(1) of the FOI Act.
Feedback on this plan can be provided by contacting the Freedom of Information (FOI) Coordinator at:
The FOI Coordinator
ARPANSA PO Box 655
MIRANDA NSW 1490
(03) 9433 2211.
Documents released by ARPANSA in response to FOI requests can be found on the Disclosure Log.
ARPANSA received two FOI requests during the reporting period.
ARPANSA’s People and Culture section is responsible for the delivery of a wide range of people services including workforce planning, recruitment, pay and conditions, performance management, learning and development and workplace diversity.
During 2015-16, the section continued to support the development of ARPANSA’s organisational capability through a renewed learning and development program and introduction of more effective people management practices designed to support the agency in achieving its operational and strategic goals.
During the reporting period, an internal audit was undertaken to review the suitability of controls within the workforce and succession planning processes. The findings of the audit were generally positive; however it did recommend the development of a high level statement of policy and support for workforce planning as one component of agency business planning processes. The agency has accepted all recommendations including this and will prepare a policy statement endorsed by the CEO, along with associated procedural arrangements to support the implementation of
During the previous reporting period a major change initiative involving the structure, functions and location of the Office of the CEO was noted. In June 2016, the Canberra-based Parliamentary and Government Relations (PGR) function of the Office of the CEO was permanently relocated to ARPANSA’s Victorian office in order for better coordination and oversight of functions carried out by PGR. Considerable recruitment action has seen the establishment of a more robust and fit-for-purpose staffing structure designed to ensure the ongoing efficiency and effectiveness of the Office of the CEO in the provision of high quality policy advice and professional support to government.
Flexible Working Arrangements
The agency’s flexible working arrangements aim to provide a balance between employees’ work and personal lives, and opportunities for improved organisational productivity. The following types of working arrangements available under the agency’s Enterprise Agreement offer flexibility to employees and opportunities for improved productivity: flex time and compressed working patterns; part-time work; working from home; use of generous leave provisions including Christmas closedown and access to purchase additional annual leave; and individual flexibility arrangements.
ARPANSA provides a number of items that can be salary sacrificed through the agency’s selected provider, including superannuation and car leases.
Learning and development
ARPANSA is committed to developing:
- a work environment that attracts and retains employees, has a positive culture and supports delivery of service
- people who are committed to ARPANSA’s strategic direction, work well in their team, and are engaged in building their capability and skills
- leaders who model ARPANSA’s culture, are respected, and guide employees in delivery of the agency’s objectives.
Employees are able to address their individual development needs through:
- on-the-job experience to develop specific skills and capabilities
- coaching provided through team leaders and more experienced team members
- attendance at internal and external courses, programs or events
- formal mentoring program.
During 2015-16, ARPANSA continued to provide a range of learning and development opportunities covering corporate compliance responsibilities, targeted agency-wide activities and training to meet the specific developmental needs of individuals.
Examples of activities include:
- bullying and harassment awareness information sessions
- training for staff participating in selection advisory committees
- work health and safety risk management
- UVR and skin cancer prevention conference and workshop
- publishing with impact
- quality management in the laboratory.
In addition to a broad range of existing training courses, in 2015-16 ARPANSA made significant investments in ongoing skills development for our leaders. A two day leadership retreat was held in November 2015 for SMC members, Executive Level 2 staff and a number of Executive Level 1 staff who report directly to a branch or office head. A follow-up workshop was held in March 2016.
The retreat is one component of an ongoing focus on developing a more effective and truly collaborative leadership team: one that is characterised by effective decision making, willingness to put forward smart ideas, and an ability to drive improvements through proper management of people and other resources.
As at 30 June 2016. ARPANSA employed 130 employees under the 2011-2014 Enterprise Agreement (EA), three SES officers by common law contracts and one statutory office holder.
With the exception of the CEO, all staff are employed under the Public Service Act 1999.
The agency EA came into operation on 15 December 2011 and nominally expired on 30 June 2014. Negotiations for a new enterprise agreement commenced following the release of a Notice of Employee Representational Rights in June 2014.
Since that time, ARPANSA has been bargaining in good faith and trying, genuinely, to reach agreement with all parties to the Agreement. Despite multiple meetings, the parties had not been able to reach agreement by 30 June 2016. Nonetheless, ARPANSA remains committed to continuing to bargain and reaching an appropriate agreement.
The EA contains an individual flexibility arrangements clause, which enables the agency to provide additional or varied terms and conditions to non-SES staff where necessary and appropriate. There are currently nine such arrangements in place.
The agency’s SES staff are provided with comprehensive terms and conditions of employment made under Common Law Contracts. These contracts are negotiated following discussions between the SES staff member and the CEO.
There is no provision for the payment of performance pay in ARPANSA’s EA or Common Law Contracts.
Staff awards and initiatives
The ARPANSA Award was first instituted in 2001 to recognise and celebrate significant contributions to the work of ARPANSA by an individual or team. Since then it has been established as an annual event with the presentation being made in conjunction with Australia Day. The 2015 ARPANSA Award was presented to the Cost Recovery Team: Alex Kalaiziovski, John Templeton, Leon Railey, Selva Kumar and Jim Scott for their collaboration and persistent efforts in developing a long-term plan for cost recovery and implementing simplified annual charges for three of the largest organisations that ARPANSA regulates.
Three high achievement certificates were also awarded in recognition of individuals or teams who achieved outstanding performance:
- Tony Ainsworth and the Property team for their outstanding performance in ensuring ARPANSA premises are maintained and enhanced to provide a supportive and effective work environment for ARPANSA staff and activities.
- Rick Tinker and the ‘Talk to a Scientist’ team for their outstanding performance in supporting and enhancing ARPANSA’s provision of expert information and advice to the public and other stakeholders on radiation issues, through the ‘Talk to a Scientist’ program and other activities.
- Alan Mason for his outstanding performance in promoting ARPANSA’s responsibility and contribution for radiation protection of the patient while successfully engaging with multiple important stakeholders.
The ARPANSA Social Club
The ARPANSA Social Club endeavours to create a healthy workplace and provide a range of social functions to allow all staff to be involved in events throughout the year. The social events are an opportunity for staff from different sections to meet and mingle.
The social club hosts a range of events, including BBQ’s and fundraising activities. None of the events would happen without the hard work of those staff who volunteer their time and effort to be a part of the Social Club Committee to ultimately benefit all staff.
As at 30 June 2016 ARPANSA employed 133 staff (not including the CEO). No employee identified themselves as indigenous.
Table 2.1 sets out the salary ranges as at 30 June 2016.
|Table 2.1: Salary ranges as at 30 June 2016|
|APS Classification||Salary Range ($)|
|ARPANSA Graduate||58 524 – 76 221|
|APS Level 1||43 901 – 49 901|
|APS Level 2||51 398 – 56 424|
|APS Level 3||58 524 – 65 484|
|APS Level 4||67 449 – 70 481|
|APS Level 5||72 596 – 76 221|
|APS Level 6||78 507 – 89 800|
|Executive Level 1||96 987 – 111 593|
|Executive Level 2 lower||118 512 – 134 581|
|Executive Level 2 upper||139 963 – 150 329|
Table 2.2 sets out employees by location, gender and APS classification. The table shows that 83% of staff are located in the Victorian office.
|Table 2.2: Staff by Location, Gender and APS Classification|
|New South Wales|
|Australian Capital Territory|
Table 2.3 shows that of the 133 employees (not including the CEO), 124 are ongoing and nine are non-ongoing. Nine ongoing staff are part-time and one non-ongoing employee is part-time.
|Table 2.3: Distribution of Staff by Full or Part-time status|
|June 2015||June 2016||June 2015||June 2016||June 2015||June 2016||June 2015||June 2016||June 2015||June 2016|
Table 2.4 shows that as at 30 June 2016 Radiation Health Services is the largest branch with 43 staff, followed by the Corporate Office (38), Regulatory Services (23), Medical Radiation Services (20), Office the CEO (8) and the Legal Office (1).
|Table 2.4: Distribution of staff by Branch/Office|
|Jun 2015||Jun 2016||Jun 2015||Jun 2016||Jun 2015||Jun 2016||Jun 2015||Jun 2016||Jun 2015||Jun 2016||Jun 2015||Jun 2016|
|Office of the CEO||5||5||1||0||5||3||0||0||10||8||1||0|
|Medical Radiation Services||3||4||3||3||11||11||2||2||14||15||5||5|
|Radiation Health Services||13||14||2||2||25||27||0||0||38||41||2||2|
Work Health and Safety
ARPANSA is committed to creating a healthy and safe working environment for all employees, contractors and visitors. During 2015-16 ARPANSA worked closely with Comcare to enhance our safety management system. Significant time was spent this year to review and improve our WHS documentation. A Comcare audit of the ARPANSA safety management system was conducted in May 2016. The audit identified several areas for further improvement of our safety management system. A corrective action plan has been implemented to address the audit recommendations and support continual improvement in our safety systems and performance. This will remain a key focus of the WHS program of work for 2016-17.
Key WHS activities undertaken in 2015-16 include:
- influenza immunisations for all staff
- WHS due diligence training for management
- WHS contract management training
- mental health and challenging situations training
- baseline noise monitoring in relevant work areas
- preparation for the transition to the Globally Harmonised System for classifying and labelling chemicals.
During 2015-16 eight hazards were reported: two due to system failure, four due to poor design or manufacture and two were related to housekeeping. This was significantly lower than the previous year. A new simpler system to promote hazard reporting will be implemented in 2016-17.
Nine incidents and one near miss were reported during 2015-16. Five of these incidents were people injuries, one lost time injury, two medically treated and two first aid cases. Two incidents were reported to Comcare.
Two compensation claims were made during this reporting period for a total loss of 95.59 days. The total cost of the claims was $28 578.45.
Investigations or Notices Given
There were no improvement, prohibition or non-disturbance notices given in 2015-16.