Designing a governance framework for a new public sector program

Designing a governance framework for a new public sector program
The Client: Commonwealth Government Department

Overview

With the launch of an industry funded collection and recycling scheme imminent, the Department of Environment sought to ensure it had a governance structure in place to mitigate risks associated with a public-facing program

The National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme was established in 2011 to provide Australian households and small businesses with access to industry-funded collection and recycling services for televisions and computers.

The Department is responsible for administering the Scheme, however industry itself plays a key role in monitoring and regulating the operation of the Scheme. As such, the Department sought to develop governance arrangements for the Scheme and its associated regulations to ensure the Scheme operated fairly, impartially, consistently and transparently, and free from conflict of interest.

Grosvenor was asked to help the Department identify risks and risk mitigation strategies, develop a probity framework, and identify effective policy and procedures to support the proper governance of the Scheme.

 

How We Helped

With 15 years’ experience working with Australia’s public sector at the commencement of this project, we brought both a technical and practical understanding of program operation and the governance structures that actually work in practice, not just tick the boxes.

 

 

Expecting a future audit of the implementation and operation of the scheme, the department was eager to ensure its governance arrangements aligned with better practice. The framework to be designed by Grosvenor was to provide a practical foundation for achieving the highest standards of probity and accountability, as expected of the department by the public.

With a focus on plain-English drafting and practicality, Grosvenor created a detailed governance framework structured around the following good governance principles:

For each of the three principles, we identified elements (for e.g. accountability, transparency, integrity) and built a framework structured by phase and identifying key tasks, guidance, actions to be taken, action owners and timeframes.

 

Key tasks in our methodology included:

  • building a more detailed understanding of the Scheme, its enabling legislation and regulations
  • compiling better practices in public sector program governance, including from sources such as the Australian National Audit Office
  • conducting detailed risk workshops with key program stakeholders
  • developing a detailed risk management framework
  • building a practical governance framework structured against the program phases

 

Results

Upon project completion, the Department had a comprehensive understanding of key program risks as well as mitigation strategies. It also had evidence-based probity and governance guidelines for the practical administration of the Scheme, which were accepted by the Board and fully implemented.

The probity and governance policies and procedures were designed by Grosvenor to withstand public scrutiny and preserve the public’s confidence in the Australian Public Service’s capability and integrity, as well as employees’ satisfaction levels.

We delivered a robust risk management tool, including a detailed risk matrix and risk management plan in accordance with AS/NZS ISO31000:2009 Risk Management – Principles and Guidelines.

The project highlighted not only the importance of effective, efficient and ethical governance arrangements but also the difficulty and effort involved in ensuring governance and probity principles are applied when implementing and managing a new program.