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                    [post_content] => 

The Federal Government has released a consultation paper that outlines the government’s proposal to create a Modern Slavery in Supply Chains Reporting Requirement. This will require large corporations and other entities operating in Australia to publish annual statements outlining their actions to address slavery.

Responding to exploitation in supply chains is a key focus of Australia’s National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking and Slavery 2015-19. Consistent with this focus, the National Roundtable established an expert Supply Chains Working Group to bring together relevant stakeholders from business, civil society and government agencies. This working group subsequently recommended that government introduce a modern slavery in supply chains reporting requirement.

The proposed reporting requirement will support the business community to respond more effectively to modern slavery. It will raise business awareness of this issue, create a level playing field for businesses to share information about what they are doing to eliminate modern slavery, and encourage businesses to use their market influence to improve workplace standards and practices. The proposed reporting requirement will also improve information available to consumers and investors about modern slavery.

The Attorney-General’s Department will lead a national consultation process to refine the Government’s proposed model. This consultation process will provide an important opportunity for the business community and civil society to help design a reporting requirement that is simple, sensible and as effective as possible. It will also ensure that the proposed reporting requirement reflects community expectations.

Consultation paper available now

The consultation paper outlines the Australian government’s proposed model for a Modern Slavery in Supply Chains Reporting Requirement. The proposed reporting requirement will require large corporations and other entities operating in Australia to publish annual statements outlining their actions to address modern slavery in their operations and supply chains.

Key elements of the Government’s proposal include the following:
  • The introduction of a requirement to produce an annual Modern Slavery Statement.
  • The reporting requirement would be applicable to a range of entities:
    • with a proposed revenue threshold no lower than $100 million total annual revenue, and
    • headquartered in Australia or that have any part of their operations in Australia.
  • Entities will be required to report on their actions to address modern slavery in both their operations and supply chains (including beyond first tier suppliers).
  • Entities will be required to report, at a minimum, against four criteria (which cover the optional criteria set out in the UK Modern Slavery Act):
    • the entity’s structure, its operations and its supply chains;
    • the modern slavery risks present in the entity’s operations and supply chains;
    • the entity’s policies and processes to address modern slavery in its operations and supply chains and their effectiveness (such as codes of conduct, supplier contract terms and training for staff), and
    • the entity’s due diligence processes relating to modern slavery in its operations and supply chains and their effectiveness.
  • Modern Slavery Statements would need to be approved at board level and be signed by a director.
  • Entities would be required to publish their Modern Slavery Statement within five months after the end of the Australian financial year.
  • Entities would be required to publish their Modern Slavery Statement on their websites, with the Government also proposing a publicly accessible central repository.
  • Punitive penalties for non-compliance are not proposed but options for oversight are being considered.
  • The Government will provide guidance and awareness-raising materials for business.
The Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department will lead a national consultation process with business and civil society to refine the Government’s proposed model over August – December 2017. Submissions for the consultation will close on 20 October 2017. [post_title] => Federal Government to target modern slavery [post_excerpt] => A consultation paper outlines the government’s Modern Slavery in Supply Chains Reporting Requirement. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => federal-government-target-modern-slavery [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-08-17 19:12:05 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-08-17 09:12:05 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://governmentnews.com.au/?p=27847 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27828 [post_author] => 670 [post_date] => 2017-08-14 14:43:08 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-08-14 04:43:08 [post_content] => The Federal Government announced in the 2017-18 Budget context a number of initiatives to encourage the continued development of the SII market in Australia, including funding of $30 million. By pure coincidence, the Government also gifted $30m to Foxtel. The difference between this and Foxtel’s $30m is that Foxtel will get it over two years, while SII will have to wait ten years - Ed. The government’s package includes funding of $30 million over ten years, the release of a set of principles to guide the Australian government’s involvement in the SII market, and notes that the government will continue to separately consider ways to reduce regulatory barriers inhibiting the growth of the SII market. Social Impact Investing, the government says, is an emerging, outcomes‑based approach that brings together governments, service providers, investors and communities to tackle a range of policy (social and environmental) issues. It provides governments with an alternative mechanism to address social and environmental issues whilst also leveraging government and private sector capital, building a stronger culture of robust evaluation and evidenced-based decision making, and creating a heightened focus on outcomes. It is important to note that social impact investing is not suitable for funding every type of Australian government outcome. Rather, it provides an alternative opportunity to address problems where existing policy interventions and service delivery are not achieving the desired outcomes. Determining whether these opportunities exist is a key step in deciding whether social impact investing might be suitable for delivering better outcomes for the government and community. Government agencies involved in social impact investments should also ensure they have the capability (e.g. contract and relationship management skills, and access to data and analytic capability) to manage that investment. The principles The principles (available in full here) acknowledge that social impact investing can take many forms, including but not limited to, Payment by Results contracts, outcomes-focused grants, and debt and equity financing. The principles reflect the role of the Australian Government as an enabler and developer of this nascent market. They acknowledge that as a new approach, adjustments may be needed. They also acknowledge and encourage the continued involvement of the community and private sector in developing this market, with the aim of ensuring that the market can become sustainable into the future. Finally, the principles are not limited by geographical or sectoral boundaries. They can be considered in any circumstance where the Australian Government seeks to increase and leverage stakeholder interest in achieving improved social and environmental outcomes (where those outcomes can be financial, but are also non‑financial). Accordingly, where the Australian Government is involved in social impact investments, it should take into account the following principles:
  1. Government as market enabler and developer.
  2. Value for money.
  3. Robust outcomes-based measurement and evaluation.
  4. Fair sharing of risk and return.
  5. Outcomes that align with the Australian Government’s policy priorities.
  6. Co-design.
[caption id="attachment_27829" align="alignnone" width="216"] The Australian Government's six principles for social impact investing.[/caption]   [post_title] => Social Impact Investing to get $30m [post_excerpt] => The Federal Government has announced a number of initiatives to encourage Social Impact Investing. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => 27828 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-08-14 14:46:58 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-08-14 04:46:58 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://governmentnews.com.au/?p=27828 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27811 [post_author] => 670 [post_date] => 2017-08-14 12:55:26 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-08-14 02:55:26 [post_content] => Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) president Mayor David O’Loughlin writes that the waste fiasco exposed in the ABC Four Corners report is a complex issue that will have wide-ranging implications for local governments. For those of us who care about the environment and the efficient recycling of Australia's household and industrial waste, the ABC's Four Corners program was troubling. The factors behind the mess Four Corners exposed on Monday may be complex – but we can play a powerful role in fixing them, if we choose to. Four Corners' revelations will undermine the public's confidence in Australia’s waste management systems and, in turn, confidence in their local Council and the amount of rates they are paying for recycling services. We know, however, that the vast majority of Local Governments across Australia manage their waste collection and recycling operations professionally and in an environmentally sustainable manner, after sustained improvements in policy and practice over decades. We also know that Australia's waste management system is subject to market forces, private practice and regulation that is outside the control of our sector, with cross-border differences exacerbating local issues. What also appears to be common is a failure of other levels of governments to effectively patrol the beat - to identify, penalise and stamp out individuals or companies conducting illegal dumping or other practices that undermine the industry as a whole. And, as the Four Corners program showed, the indiscriminate imposition or removal of state landfill levies create disincentives for recycling, and encourages illegal dumping. State government-imposed levies were originally well intended: to support recycling, to reduce waste going to landfills, to remediate landfill sites, and to educate consumers. Some of this has happened, but there is much more to do and the funds appear to be more and more difficult to access to achieve this. In the absence of sufficient leadership or discipline by others, how can Local Government get the results our communities increasingly expect and demand? We may not have regulatory powers, but what we do have is procurement power. Waste management is one of our largest areas of contracted services. We spend vast amounts of money in this area and we can choose how we spend it and who we spend it with. We can also choose our contract conditions, and how we will enforce those contract conditions. As a client, we can insist on the right to inspect and audit the services we contract, to confirm they are receiving and recycling as contracted, as we are paying them to do, and as we have told our communities we are doing on their behalf. The control and enforcement of our contracted services can be in our hands, if we choose it to be. In addition, if the issue is a lack of market demand for recycled products, or products containing recycled material, our procurement powers can also be used to choose and purchase these products in preference to others. In doing so we will be making a clear statement that we want to create a sustainable destination for recyclables - and that we are prepared to trial them, to use them, and to preference them. Sustainable and valuable recycling requires a circular economy. If we want the supply side to work, we should step up and be part of the demand side. As an elected member, if you care about recycling, have you checked your Council’s procurement policies? Have you asked if your road building specifications state a preference for recycled material, including glass and construction waste? Or that your posts, fences and benches should use recycled plastics? Are your paper sources all recycled? Are you prepared to ask your Council to trial new products to help create new markets? As per my recent column, ALGA will continue to do all we can on the national front to improve results, to better design product stewardship schemes and to keep Local Government at the table as part of the solution. You can do your part locally by checking your contracts, your reporting and enforcement practices, and by ensuring your procurement policies help and don't hinder the use of recyclables. In doing so, you should ask if your own Council would survive the level of scrutiny we witnessed on the television. Let's aim to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. [post_title] => The waste problem is a problem for all [post_excerpt] => The waste fiasco exposed in the Four Corners report will have wide-ranging implications for local governments. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => waste-is-all-our-problem [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-08-14 14:05:07 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-08-14 04:05:07 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://governmentnews.com.au/?p=27811 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27743 [post_author] => 670 [post_date] => 2017-08-02 14:33:30 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-08-02 04:33:30 [post_content] => Andrew Hudson The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Peter Dutton used his opening address at the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIPB) Industry Summit on Monday morning (31 July 2017) to assure those in the private supply chain and their clients that the current work agenda would be maintained under the proposed Home Affairs department. Along with the Acting Commissioner of the Australian Border Force (ABF), Minister Dutton reiterated that the ABF would continue in its traditional ‘Customs’ role and the ABF, as part of the DIBP, would also continue its vital engagement with industry and development of trade facilitation measures to assist in the legitimate trade in goods and movement in people. At the time of the announcement of the creation of the new Department of Home Affairs (DHA), the focus of the commentary was on national and border security issues with no comment on the traditional ‘Customs’ role of the ABF or its ongoing engagement with industry and the facilitation of international trade at the border. Naturally, there were some concerns that the failure to address these important roles could mean that the importance of those roles was being downgraded and that momentum on various initiatives here and overseas could be lost with an increased focus on security and intervention in trade. Both speakers made the point that the involvement of the ABF with the DHA would allow the ABF to have access to additional information at an earlier stage than is presently the case, which would actually enhance the ability of the ABF to carry out its roles. These outcomes were all consistent with the theme of the industry summit being “Border Innovation: strengthening our nation’s economy, security and society.” In terms of the work of the DIBP and the ABF in the engagement with industry in relation to the movement of goods, there was reference to recent achievements and future commitments with such initiatives as:
  • The creation of a ‘single window’ for trade such as in Singapore and New Zealand.
  • The expansion of the Australian Trusted Trader Program (ATTP).
  • The recent completion of four Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRA) with other customs services for those in the ATTP.
  • The promise of more MRA with customs services in other trading partners.
  • The development and implementation of Free Trade Agreements (FTA) to improve the use of those current and future FTAs by the adoption of robust Rules of Origin, enhanced border clearance facilitation.
  • The increased use of more advance technology and reporting systems.
There were similar references to commitments in the migration space as relating to the movement of persons. The comments provide a degree of assurance to industry that the current work agenda would be maintained and developed and that the engagement with industry remained a priority. While the reference to the achievements and initiative represents only a reiteration of those developments currently known to industry, their clear support from the Federal Government filled in a gap in the story that arose with the announcements relating to the DHA. Industry looks forward to continued engagement on these projects and its ongoing collaborative work with government, whether the DIBP, the ABF or other agencies that have a role at the border. Andrew Hudson is Partner with Rigby Cooke Lawyers’ Litigation Team, specialising in all areas of trade including international trade conventions, dispute resolution and arbitration, trade financing options, commodity and freight contracts as well as dealing with regulation of the movement of goods at the border by all Government agencies. He is also a member of many of the consultative bodies established by Government in the trade space, including the National Committee on Trade Facilitation convened by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and the International Trade Remedies Forum convened by the Anti - Dumping Commission (ADC) as well as associated sub-committees. He is also a member of the board of directors of the Export Council of Australia (ECA) and the Food and Beverage Importers Association (FBIA) and works closely with other industry associations representing those in the supply chain. [post_title] => When all things change, Customs stays the same [post_excerpt] => Minister Dutton has assured those in the supply chain that the current work agenda would be maintained under the Home Affairs department. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => things-change-customs-stays [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-08-02 14:36:06 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-08-02 04:36:06 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=27743 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27728 [post_author] => 670 [post_date] => 2017-07-31 12:32:42 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-07-31 02:32:42 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_27729" align="alignnone" width="300"] The ACT Government was the winner of the Innovative Solutions award.[/caption] “A successful public service is one that can find new and better ways of doing things, and that can solve problems in new ways. It is one where new ideas are tried and tested, and where old approaches are phased out and replaced with new, more suitable and effective methods. It is one that is innovative.” And so the Public Sector Innovation Awards were created to better recognise and celebrate the innovative work that occurs within the public service and provide a platform to share and showcase innovative approaches across the Commonwealth and ACT Governments. A goal of the awards is to encourage others to adopt more innovative approaches to public administration. The annual award is celebrating the innovation taking place in the Commonwealth and ACT public services at the 2017 Public Sector Innovation Awards. Government must act as an exemplar of innovation and back the public service to innovate and experiment. The 2017 Champions The winners of the awards announced in Canberra were selected from 68 nominations, showing a widespread commitment to innovation. A panel of judges selected the five award winners: Category 1: Innovative Solutions – Renewable Energy Reverse Auctions ACT Government The ACT became the first jurisdiction to use a reverse auction process to provide guaranteed revenue and certainty for generators. The process provides financial security to renewable electricity generators to ensure projects are bankable and delivery risks are managed. Category 2: Culture and Practice – ‘ON’ CSIRO ‘ON’, powered by CSIRO’ is the only national accelerator custom designed for publicly-funded research teams with a laser focus on helping them to develop the entrepreneurial skills and capacity to convert their great science and technology research into real-world outcomes – at pace. Category 3: Digital and Data – Maritime Arrivals Reporting System, Department of Agriculture and Water Resources MARS is the first fully online system for ensuring in-coming vessels meet biosecurity regulations to minimise the risk of pests and diseases entering Australia. This innovative system has been widely embraced by the international shipping industry. Judges’ Award – Digital First Capability, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet The development of an innovative online briefing system has transformed the way the Department briefs the Prime Minister, breaking down barriers to collaboration by allowing the Prime Minister and his advisors to get information, ask questions and receive answers in real-time. Judges’ Award – Finance Transformation Program, Department of Finance Working towards becoming a truly transformative agency, Finance has embarked on an exciting journey. Staff have been challenged to think differently and allowed to build, test and refine new processes and products. By leveraging capability, mobility, new technology and design thinking every day, the department is changing – inside and out. The winners were chosen from a shortlist of 12 finalists selected from the 68 nominations from across the Commonwealth and ACT public services. The high calibre of entries reflects the great innovation taking place in the public service and will encourage others to adopt more innovative approaches to public administration. The Australian Government, through the National Innovation and Science Agenda, is committed to being an exemplar on innovation for the broader community. This reflects our continuing role to facilitate change in a way which maximises the benefits for our economy and our fellow Australians. [post_title] => Public sector innovation: who are the champions? [post_excerpt] => The awards recognise the innovative work that occurs in the public service. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => public-sector-innovation-champions [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-07-31 12:46:10 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-07-31 02:46:10 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=27728 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [5] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27640 [post_author] => 670 [post_date] => 2017-07-17 22:20:52 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-07-17 12:20:52 [post_content] => The Australian Medical Association (AMA) has conducted its latest audit of public hospital doctors’ working hours (AMA Safe Hours Audit 2016) and found that there is a high prevalence of unsafe working hours. The audit of working conditions for doctors in Australian public hospitals shows that one in two doctors (53 per cent) are working unsafe shifts that place them at a higher risk of fatigue, with one doctor reporting an unbroken 76-hour shift. Shifts of 72 hours, 59 hours, 58 hours, and 53 hours were also reported. Over a one-week period in November 2016, 716 salaried doctors and doctors in training (DiT), including 675 hospital-based doctors, kept an online diary of their hours of work, on-call hours, non-work hours, and sleeping time. AMA president Dr Michael Gannon said the 2016 audit – the fourth conducted by the AMA since 2001 – is an improvement on 2001 when 78 per cent of those surveyed reported working high risk hours, but it is worrying that there has been no improvement since the 2011 Audit, which also showed 53 per cent of doctors at significant risk of fatigue. “The audit warns that the demands on many doctors continue to be extreme,” Dr Gannon said. “It is disappointing that work and rostering practices in some hospitals are still contributing to doctor fatigue and stress, which ultimately affect patient safety and quality of care and the health of the doctor. “It’s no surprise that doctors at higher risk of fatigue reported working longer hours, longer shifts, more days on call, fewer days off, and skipping meal breaks. “We are dismayed that one doctor reported working a 76-hour shift in 2016, almost double the longest shift reported in 2011. “It is also a great concern the maximum total hours worked during the 2016 survey week was 118 hours, the same as 2006 – no improvement in a decade.” The most stressed disciplines were intensive care physicians and surgeons, with 75 and 73 per cent respectively reporting they were working hours that placed them at significant or high risk of fatigue. Research shows that fatigue endangers patient safety and can have a real impact on the health and well-being of doctors. The 2016 AMA Audit confirms that the demands on public hospital doctors are still too great. Dr Gannon said state and territory governments and hospital administrators need to intensify efforts to ensure better rostering and safer work practices for hospital doctors. “Administrators must acknowledge that fatigue has a significant effect on doctors in training, who have to manage the competing demands of work, study, and exams. “The audit found that six out of ten registrars are working rosters that place them at significant or higher risk of fatigue, compared to the average of five out of ten hospital-based doctors. “Public hospitals need to strike a better balance for doctors in training. “They must provide a quality training environment that recognises that safe working hours and conditions for teaching and training will ultimately ensure high quality patient care.” AMA vice president Dr Tony Bartone said: “What we're seeing here is that the system is under stress. We're seeing that the system overall is functioning at peak capacity and with no relief valve in that situation. There have been research reports overseas which have confirmed that errors are occurring. “What we're seeing here is that ultimately, perhaps even the transit or the journey of the patient through the health system is being retarded; things are not being coordinated in an efficient way because of tiredness, because of fatigue and, obviously, when we've got a limited amount of health resources, when we have a limited budget, we need to ensure that the hospitals are really performing at peak efficiency.” Dr Gannon said the AMA’s National Code of Practice - Hours of Work, Shiftwork and Rostering for Hospital Doctor, which was revised in 2016, provides practical guidance on how to manage fatigue and eliminate or minimise the risks associated with shift work and extended working hours, and should be adopted as the minimum standard by all states and territories. [post_title] => Hospital system in crisis: warning to governments [post_excerpt] => Governments need to ensure safer work practices for hospital doctors. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => hospital-system-crisis-warning-governments [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-07-21 10:51:14 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-07-21 00:51:14 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=27640 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [6] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27484 [post_author] => 670 [post_date] => 2017-06-27 10:23:02 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-06-27 00:23:02 [post_content] => The Board of Australia Post has selected Christine Holgate as the corporation's next managing director and group CEO, to succeed Ahmed Fahour, who is leaving in July after seven-and-a-half years in the role, following the outcry over his multi-million dollar salary package. Ms Holgate will officially start in the position mid-to-late October 2017. She joins Australia Post after a successful nine-year tenure as CEO of Blackmores and previous executive roles with Telstra, JP Morgan and Cable & Wireless. Ms Holgate, who is the inaugural Chair of the Board of the Australia-ASEAN Council, supporting the development of trade and cultural relations between Australia and the 10 member countries of the ASEAN region, joined Blackmores in 2008 and took the company some wild and turbulent years, including an aggressive expansion into China. Australia Post chairman John Stanhope said Ms Holgate’s Asian and eCommerce experience were important factors. "The Board was impressed by her experience of working very successfully in a range of different industries that are highly regulated. And, on top of that, she has a proven ability to implement strategy – and successfully grow a business in Asia. "Her knowledge of global eCommerce will be invaluable as we pursue our Asian Strategy, which is all about offering logistics support to Australian businesses that are either selling in Asia, or sourcing their products there. "Ms Holgate has a demonstrated track-record of delivering results in large, complex organisations, both here in Australia and internationally. " Ms Holgate's business philosophy is also a perfect fit for Australia Post. She is a firm believer that businesses must perform commercially, but also serve the community. And that's entirely consistent with our objectives as a community-based business that has both commercial objectives and community service standards to uphold." Ms Holgate said: "Australia Post has proven itself to be one of the most resilient and successful postal businesses anywhere in the world.  I feel fortunate to be joining at a time when we can really strengthen Post's leading position in the eCommerce market – both here, in Australia, and in Asia. "I'm a passionate advocate for Australian business seizing the opportunity that's on our doorstep in Asia and that creates opportunities for everyone – our workforce, our shareholder, the community, as well as businesses across Australia. What about the pay? Ms Holgate's remuneration has been set at $1.375 million fixed annual total remuneration and the potential to earn incentive payments of up to $1.375 million, in accordance with the parameters set by the Commonwealth Remuneration Tribunal. In the meantime, current Australia Post Group chief customer officer Christine Corbett will lead the business through the CEO transition period, between Ahmed Fahour's departure on 28 July and Ms Holgate's arrival in October. [post_title] => Blackmores CEO to head up Australia Post [post_excerpt] => Blackmores' Christine Holgate has been named Australia Post's new MD and Group CEO. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => blackmores-ceo-head-australia-post [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-06-27 14:43:55 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-06-27 04:43:55 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=27484 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [7] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27473 [post_author] => 670 [post_date] => 2017-06-26 13:25:16 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-06-26 03:25:16 [post_content] => Opinion - Paul Greenberg It seems that our work loads are expanding. Our inbox is getting fuller, more meetings, more travel, more reports. So when an invitation to attend an industry conference and expo pops up in our inbox or in-tray, it is understandable that for many of us, these invitations get binned. But I would ask you to consider the following points, in support of attending these events. Don’t forget your personal brand I am often asked to have a coffee with talented professionals in logistics and supply chain. Often, they are looking for a new role, and seeking a bit of guidance. All too often, these talented and hardworking professionals have done a fantastic job in their roles and for the company, but have all too often neglected to build their profile ‘out there’. Personal branding is a big conversation, too long for this column, but I would ask you to consider that in our working careers there are two brands we must serve in equal measure. The company brand we work for, and our personal brand and professional development. Professional development I have held a registration as a psychologist in Australia for the last twenty years. And am a member of the Australian Psychological Society. This professional board, by example, demands that I attend industry events, seminars and workshops in pursuit of professional development. CPD points (continuing professional development) must be accrued and logged in order for the annual registration renewal, and many professional bodies follow similar formats. My question to you is: why should professionals in logistics be broadly exempt? After all, we manage significant capital assets and are responsible for safety in an often ‘heavy metal’ environment. Just saying. Alliances I have written quite a bit in this column about the importance of alliances in our industry. And frequently quote Carlos Slim, who states: “In this new wave of technology, you can't do it all yourself, you have to form alliances.” This quote resonates for me and my career. Some of my regrets are around not forming alliances, even with the proverbial ‘frenemies’ I competed against. Industry events and expos are the perfect opportunity to plant seeds around potential alliances. Networking See all the points above of course. But my point here is that in our corporate roles, and often regardless of our level in the organisation, there are limited opportunities in our working week to meet in the broader supply chain and logistics ecosystem. Sure we know our colleagues, and our key suppliers, and we might have a coffee from time to time with colleagues in other organisations. But what about new suppliers, new technologies, colleagues in other verticals and organisations, locally and globally? I believe industry events are actually a very effective use of time. Over a compressed two or three days, these events allow a lot of boxes to be ticked, on all the above points. Go wide Lastly, if some of the points above resonate, consider going wider than just logistics and supply chain events. In my role as founder and executive director of NORA.org.au, I am fortunate to attend and support a number of industry events. While mainly in retail, or retail-related, I often find that the real nuggets of gold can lie in those events and streams just a little ‘outside the obvious’. Happy prospecting! Paul Greenberg is the founder and executive director of NORA.org.au.   [post_title] => Industry events: to attend or not to attend, that is the question [post_excerpt] => Professional development is an essential ingredient of your personal brand. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => industry-events-attend-not-attend-question [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-06-26 15:32:59 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-06-26 05:32:59 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=27473 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [8] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 26682 [post_author] => 659 [post_date] => 2017-03-28 11:15:41 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-03-28 00:15:41 [post_content] =>     Local government experts are predicting a serious shortfall in skilled staff within ten years as Gen Y’s shun local councils and Baby Boomers clinging on until retirement start to fall off their perches. A four-year benchmarking survey led by Local Government Professional Australia, NSW involving 135 NSW, Western Australian and New Zealand councils, found that while council workforces are ageing they are finding it hard to attract and retain younger people, especially Gen Y’s. Councils analysed their own performance on a range of indicators, including service provision, finance and operations, risk management, assets and leadership but it was the makeup of local council workforces that set alarm bells ringing. Gen Y’s are woefully underrepresented in councils and they are also much more likely to quit within a year when they do get local government jobs. The situation is most acute in NSW. CEO of LG Professionals, NSW Annalisa Haskell predicted a staffing crisis within a decade if the generation gap was not addressed. “You’re looking at a major, major issue. We won’t be able to do the work in the future,” Ms Haskell said. “Due to a uniquely old age profile quite at odds with the Australian working population, NSW local government is failing to significantly attract and retain new staff, especially Gen Y, who are twice as likely to leave a council than other generations,” she said. She said the battle over forced council mergers in NSW had also sapped the sector’s energy and pulled the focus away from what was arguably a much more serious issue: staffing. “We are having the wrong conversation. We need to move from the structure debate of mergers to understanding why local government is not positioned as a vibrant place to work compared to other Australian sectors, nor the place to invest in a career.” In NSW councils, Gen Y’s represent about 40 per cent of the Australian working population in 2016 but they only make up 22 per cent of NSW council workforces. In WA it is 26 per cent and in New Zealand Gen Y’s make up 28 per cent of the council workforce. While Baby Boomers are sticking around for decades and hoarding their leave, particularly in NSW, Gen Y’s that do start working for councils often don’t stay long.   In NSW, 19 per cent of Gen Y left within a year, compared with a 9.9 per cent turnover of all staff. It was higher in WA, where one in five Gen Y’s quit within a year, but the all staff turnover was also higher, at 13.8 per cent so the gap was less.  Meanwhile, Baby Boomers represent 35 per cent of the Australian working age population in 2016 but 44 per cent of NSW council staff. In contrast, New Zealand does not have a problem with staff turnover, attracts more Gen Y’s and does a much better job at attracting women to local government, particularly at supervisory level or above. Women represent 57 per cent of new starters in New Zealand, compared with 50 per cent in WA and 43 per cent in NSW. Why is Gen Y turning away from councils? Ms Haskell says that local government in NSW has a serious image problem and Gen Y’s viewed it as staid, slow and technologically backward. Council jobs also seemed to lack economic prestige. “The sector isn’t appealing to Gen Y. They like the experience to be good,” Ms Haskell said. “Councils are by nature conservative and regulation bound and [generally] not very high tech. They are driven by compliance and the regulatory point of view.” She said Gen Y were likely to ask why things were not instant and people not engaged. They were digital natives too.  “The problems we have are here now and will take time to fix - it is most apparent that we need to better promote local government as a compelling career sector,” she said. The falling numbers of Gen Y girls taking subjects such as maths and sciences had also been felt in certain areas of council work, such as engineering and environmental jobs, which were often quite specialised. Baby Boomers entrenched in their jobs meant there was an older leadership, sometimes at odds with Gen Y’s, and no obvious stepping stones for younger people. “There is a generational split. The leadership is old and it’s not moving. Gen Y’s are likely to ask: ‘where is my career path and is this really me?’ ” Mergers may also have been partly responsible for Baby Boomers staying in their jobs and accruing leave – a real liability for councils – because of the uncertainty of job losses generated by amalgamations. In contrast, New Zealand’s councils had little leave on the balance sheet. No Plan B Worrying, Ms Haskell said that the majority of councils had no succession planning in place. Rather than training Gen X and Gen Y to step up when senior staff retired, corporate memory walked out the door when Boomers left. Only 13 per cent of NSW councils had proper succession planning in place in 2016, a drop from 20 per cent the previous year. “With the Baby Boomers it’s all in their head and they’ve been the [council’s] anchor point. They haven’t got a succession plan ready. I’m surprised,” she said. GMs sometimes had to quit suddenly because of serious health issues or accidents and external managers were parachuted into the role temporarily, rather than moving somebody into the role in-house. Many councils did not have a deputy general manager, for example. Ms Haskell said: “[We’re] dependent as a sector because of the nature of politics: ‘no-one else can do it except the GM’. That’s a real gap and we have to take responsibility.” What can be done? Ms Haskell said that encouraging Gen Y’s to network online and to share their ideas and experiences and to lead on certain issues would help. Councils also needed to change the way they worked, connected and communicated. For example, making customer experience central and working back and supporting staff to deliver on this. “Some councils are trying to get there but they’re in the minority. Gen Y’s have to drive it themselves,” she said. Councils could check in with Gen Y recruits at the three-month stage and ask them about their experiences and perceptions anonymously and exit interviews were useful to find out what had gone wrong and how it could be fixed. She said the sector needed to work together to motive people and share solutions but the threat of council mergers had hampered this spirit over the last three years and pulled councils apart, with many going into lockdown and survival mode. Succession planning had to be faced up to and people mentored and trained to take over. So what is New Zealand doing right? Ms Haskell said the Kiwis were bringing in new people from non-government sectors and attracting management skills externally. “[There are] more women in senior positions all the way up than in Australia.” “In NSW, we appear to attract less [outside] talent to the sector and less from managerial roles that can make a difference culturally.” New Zealand had also mounted a successful advertising campaign to attract young people to the sector. The Australasian LG Performance Excellence Program survey, conducted in partnership with PwC, also involved nine merged NSW councils – previously 22 individual councils – and should help give merged councils a picture of their performance before and after mergers.  PwC Partner Stuart Shinfield praised the participating councils and said CEOs and General Managers ‘have had to lay themselves bare’. “The heroes in this are the managers of the vast number of councils involved,” Mr Shinfield said. “No-one told them they had to drill-down like this – they took the front foot and said ‘Let’s do this’, whereas in the commercial sector this high-level of analytical review usually only happens when someone has been given a directive.” [post_title] => Gen Y’s shun local councils: Massive skill gap predicted in a decade [post_excerpt] => Baby Boomers won't budge. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => gen-ys-shun-local-councils-massive-skill-gap-predicted-decade [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-03-29 10:22:24 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-03-28 23:22:24 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=26682 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 4 [filter] => raw ) [9] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 25442 [post_author] => 658 [post_date] => 2016-11-01 09:14:30 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-10-31 22:14:30 [post_content] => Positive emotions of team members during staff meeting     By Tony Sandberg, Director, Solutions and Industry Marketing Asia Pacific at Polycom. I had the pleasure of hosting discussions during the OpenGov Leadership Forum in Canberra last month. It was a chance for government departments across a broad range of sectors and geographies to collaborate and share insights on how they are hoping to use technology to ‘do more with less’ – in a bid to become more collaborative, while also transforming their workspaces and culture to create a ‘workplace of the future’ today. Perhaps this need for change is not all that surprising given the Government’s current innovation agenda. Deloitte Australia also estimates that by simply collaborating more than they do right now, Australian businesses can add up to AUD$9.3 billion per year to the economy1. If this is the case, then it stands to reason that government will also reap massive rewards if they can successfully adopt a more collaborative culture inside their own departments. However, in Canberra, it became apparent very quickly that, while there is clear intent to change, there is still work to be done in order to embrace the benefits of using collaboration technologies within all levels of government. Understanding the Role of Email in the Collaborative Workspace It’s human nature. We don’t like to change and are often drawn to what’s familiar. The same applies to our technology preferences. For example, the majority of delegates said they still use email as their main collaboration tool because of its familiarity and ability to act as a record keeper of conversations and decisions. Interestingly, a recent Polycom Workplace of the Future2 survey found that, despite 97% of ANZ businesses believing technology-enabled collaboration is key to remaining competitive, most still rely on 20th century technologies such as email and phone. That said, there did seem to be a genuine desire among the government agencies present to be less dependent on emails in favour of real time communications and face-to-face collaboration. Effective Collaboration Needs ‘Location Liberation’ It was also encouraging to hear that some departments are already using collaboration tools like video to meet with their own geographically dispersed teams, other agencies, and international stakeholders. These departments already understand the benefits of using face-to-face collaboration technology to improve their service responsiveness, efficiency and productivity. Interestingly, the heavier users of video conferencing had also noticed less emails being sent and less email dependency. Today, most video collaboration within Government is still happening inside traditional meeting rooms. These spaces are often difficult to access as they are heavily booked. To overcome this meeting room bottleneck, some departments have already started using video from their desktops, mobile devices and ‘huddle rooms’ – smaller meeting spaces. For others, the need for “location liberation” was seen as key to allow them to use video more frequently outside the traditional conference room environment. Rethinking Workspace and Workplace Policies Government teams across industries and geography shared how they are starting to re-design workspaces and how workplace behaviour is also starting to adapt around them. It was no surprise that improving office design and layout was seen as an important enabler for the effective use of collaboration tools. While modern government offices have been designed with collaboration spaces in mind, many older buildings still lack the flexibility of being able to access collaboration technology outside the conference room. There was also a call for less bureaucracy and policies surrounding the use of video conferencing to move it out of the boardroom, ensuring greater flexibility and alignment with end user needs. Education Seen as a Key Driver to Workplace Adoption and Cultural Change The cultural change of using more real time communication instead of emails was recognised as one of the main hurdles to be overcome. Employee education around the ease of use was identified as a major driver for adoption. Essentially, when people start to use video collaboration and see the benefits it can drive the change in culture. One delegate summed it up by saying “people need to talk more with each other”. Over time it’s expected this work culture shift will also bring to the fore integrated solutions and workflows for ease of use such as integration with Skype for Business and Office 365. Five Key Tips for Improving Collaboration in Your Workplace Today Whether you are just starting out on your collaboration journey or actively planning the future state of your workplace, the tips below should support you on the journey:
  1. Measuring the uptake and utilisation of existing collaboration tools can help you discover quick win opportunities for improved productivity gains, e.g. number of team video conferencing meetings held in a week.
  2. Establish current collaboration usage and combine this with a strategy to address issues (such as the availability and type of tools, adoption programmes or workflows), your teams can improve their collaboration significantly.
  3. Choose a solution that is easy to use. Video collaboration adoption requires systems to be easy to use and manage, and also deliver a consistent, great experience anywhere and on any platform.
  4. Integrate and streamline, again for ease of use and quick adoption. Users need new collaboration technologies to be integrated with popular communication platforms like Microsoft Office 365 and normal day to day workflows. Choose solutions that are interoperable and provide secure access regardless of location, network or device.
  5. Work with your IT Team to update Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies to accommodate the needs of flexible workers and contract staff to ensure they remain productive and connected regardless of location.
  Looking to the Future The Australian government is in many areas ahead of other Governments within Asia Pacific in recognising the importance of collaboration tools.  Additionally and perhaps reassuringly, other governments around the world also face similar challenges in regards to cultural workplace changes, adapting policies and promoting ease of access. For now though, the focus for many Australian government departments is how to take that all-important next step for a connected workplace of the future – where internet, innovation and productivity work in unison. And, they want solutions that will improve workflow, experience and productivity – today.   About the Author: Tony Sandberg, with a background in the telecommunications / IT industry, focusing specifically on Service Providers, Enterprises and Government, is the Director, Industry Solutions and Market Development for Polycom Asia Pacific. He is a leader in collaborative workspaces and interactive videoconferencing. For two decades he has held senior roles in business development, sales and marketing, solutions management and partnerships. He holds a Master’s of Science in Business Administration and Economics from the University of Växjö Sweden.   1As summarised in their Global Human Capital Trends Report 2016. 2The Polycom Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) Workplace of the Future report captured insights from 1,500 plus employers and employees across ANZ. For many, the focus at OpenGov was on how to take that all important next step in their digital transformation. And they want organisation-focused solutions that will help them to create a true Workplace of the Future by improving workflow, experience, the workspace and ultimately, stakeholder satisfaction. [post_title] => Unlocking the benefits of collaboration for government [post_excerpt] => Shift to face-to-face technology. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => unlocking-the-benefits-of-collaboration-for-government [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-11-01 09:16:43 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-10-31 22:16:43 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=25442 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [10] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 24242 [post_author] => 671 [post_date] => 2016-06-27 11:43:33 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-06-27 01:43:33 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_24243" align="alignnone" width="239"]Rob Fitzpatrick_opt AIIA chief executive Rob Fitzpatrick.[/caption]   [By Rob Fitzpatrick, Chief Executive, Australian Information Industry Association] Government use of digital technology is booming, if the number of entries in this year’s iAwards are any indication. The iAwards is Australia’s leading awards for innovation in ICT, honouring organisations, researchers and students at the cutting edge of technology innovation in Australia. With over 600 entries this year, the number has almost doubled from last year, boosted by a very strong showing from the public sector, at all levels of government. Hosted by the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) for the last 22 years, the awards recognise and reward ICT innovations that make a positive impact on the community. There have been many entries from government in the past, but this year they comprise the majority. It is not hard to see why. The movement to open data – where governments make their information available to developers to build new applications – is revolutionising the way governments interact with citizens. This year’s record number of entries display the great diversity of applications that employ digital technology, but perhaps the most remarkable thing is the proportion that come from government (31 per cent of overall award entries came from one or more government-owned entities) and in particular public health. These days it is hard to be innovative without using digital technology. Governments at all levels are embracing the technology in a big way. When citizens and businesses get better access to the data generated by governments, which ultimately belongs to the public in any case, all sorts of applications are made possible. Open data enables better supply and demand management, more responsive emergency services, and the more timely and targeted delivery of a whole range of other government services.   Collaborative momentum grows There is a growing momentum around the connections between Australian ICT developers and government authorities. A lot of communities are really latching on to the wider availability of broadband and smartphones to build applications that provide better services to the community. Consider the work that the federal government has been doing around the NationalMap, putting all manner of spatial data into the public domain and letting people determine the best places to do things like plan community events, build schools and sell homes or just finding their way to get to work. We have reached something of a tipping point in Australian society. We have a government and an opposition both talking about innovation. It’s almost as if we have been given permission to have ideas. It’s something people want to talk openly and proudly about. And it’s not just the way governments are interacting with citizens. Government departments are working differently between themselves as well. That’s one of the areas the new Digital Transformation Office is targeting, improving efficiency and the way government departments work together. We're seeing examples at the federal level, with MyGov, and in most of the states. New South Wales in particular is really showing the way, as the number of entries about NSW government services in the iAwards show. In NSW you can walk into a government service centre and talk to any of their staff about different services, including some federal government services like Medicare.   Pervasive Digitalism All levels of government are digitising. The delivery of digital services is happening across the board. A look at some of the entrants in this year’s iAwards shows the diversity of applications. Hume City Council has developed a digital workflow and decision support system, a single application that captures forms, approvals methods and workflows across all local government services. Melbourne developer Ladoo has developed the Know Your Council website in conjunction with Local Government Victoria, which uses custom web services to handle and present data submitted by councils, allowing the government and the community to assess and benchmark individual council performance. There are so many examples. Addinsight is a traffic intelligence system built around a network of Bluetooth receivers that measure travel time on Adelaide roads, monitoring for unusual conditions, alerting traffic managers to potential problems and broadcasting congestion information to drivers via a smartphone app. Also from South Australia is BlueBays, a free mobile phone app to help people with disability locate and share information about accessible car parking spaces. Child Protection Intake Monitoring provides Victorian Health and Human Services staff with information about clients that will assist them to make better, quicker and more informed decisions about vulnerable children. Common Ground makes it easy to access maps and gives simple explanations of mining and exploration titles. The Federal Government Free Trade Agreement (FTA) portal helps business to seize export opportunities flowing from Australia's FTAs with China, Japan and the Republic of Korea.   Health e-Nation But perhaps the biggest revolution is in the application of digital technology to public health. There are dozens of entrants from the sector this year. Examples include Better Health Explorer (BHX) to help users to find online health information, ClinTrial for collaboration and better access to clinical research trials, DoseMe for clinicians to determine a patient's ability to absorb and process drugs, 3D training simulation for nursing, and a number of electronic patient record systems. The range of applications, from all parts of government and from local, state and federal, is astonishing. The growth in the number of entries from the public sector is a great thing for the iAwards, and for Australia. In the past, the public sector hasn’t often shone a light on the good things it has been doing. That has really changed – people feel good about these new applications. A revolution is underway in how governments deliver services to their citizens.   Rob Fitzpatrick is CEO of the Australian Information Industry Association [post_title] => Government projects dominate Australia’s biggest tech innovation awards [post_excerpt] => Public sector solutions stand out. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => government-innovations-dominate-iawards-2016 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-06-28 10:29:45 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-06-28 00:29:45 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=24242 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 1 [filter] => raw ) [11] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 23359 [post_author] => 659 [post_date] => 2016-03-16 15:59:05 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-03-16 04:59:05 [post_content] => Handcuffs   Women are fast catching up with men and increasingly committing serious fraud within the Australian Public Service (APS), a new report has found. The Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) investigated the most serious cases of internal Commonwealth fraud in its report, Fraud within the Commonwealth: A census of the most costly incidents, 2010 to 2013, released this month, and found that women made up 46.6 per cent of suspects in 2012-13 compared with 40 per cent being men. A total of 7,809 incidents were reported by 137 Commonwealth departments or agencies over the three years and the report drills down into the 124 costliest cases, which are estimated to have cost the federal government almost $3.2 million. All Commonwealth agencies are legally required to complete an online questionnaire about fraud and stipulate their fraud control arrangements, although a few did not bother. One of the research paper’s aims is to build up a profile of APS occupational fraudsters by examining how and why the most costly fraud is committed and who is doing it. Gaining a deeper understanding of what drives people to commit fraud and how suspects rationalise their actions can improve fraud control and prevention and deter those who may be at risk of committing fraud, or reoffending. The AIC report said: “The evidence available from fraud profiling can be used to identify those at highest risk of offending who can then be provided with additional support and advice to help them to act honestly in the workplace. “As with other areas of crime control, intervening at the earliest opportunity has considerable benefit in terms of reducing losses and harms and enabling otherwise productive employees to continue to pursue risk-free patterns of work." The revelation that female suspects overtook males in the final year of research contrasts to earlier research into public sector fraud, which normally identifies men as being more likely to commit fraud. While men tend to commit larger frauds, the largest single incident of fraud reported in this study was perpetrated by a woman. But the AIC figures should be viewed in context. Many government agencies and departments failed to specify a suspect’s gender and the proportion of women working in the APS is relatively high, at 57 per cent. Cases One of the most serious cases of internal fraud, from 2012-13, involved a female employee aged 45-54 working at APS level 1-4 who swindled a Queensland government organisation out of $240,000 over five years by creating a fictitious identity. The woman got five years in prison without parole. Only $2,800 of this has been recovered. Another case involved a man who stole nearly $130,000 of money - including petty cash – over almost four years and tried to cover his tracks using online accounting. The man was aged between 55 and 64 and lived in NSW. When confronted he admitted his crime but none of the money appears to have been recovered yet. A female suspect employed at APS5/6 with a top secret security clearance, ran up $15,000 in one month on a government credit card without authorisation. The 35-44 year-old NSW resident was caught after an external audit and subsequent internal investigation. No money was ever recovered but legal proceedings remain incomplete. In 2010, an ACT man employed at EL1/EL2 level, with a security clearance of "secret", stole telecommunications and other government equipment by illegally accessing information held on a computer over six months. He was aged 45-54 and living in the ACT and at the time of the incident and had worked there for more than four years. The amount lost was $5,076, with $2,688 recovered. Seven people were implicated in another case of internal fraud, where stock was stolen and government equipment misused by “manipulation of a computerised accounting system” and “other misuse of IT.” The government organisation lost $15,638 and recovered only $64. The suspect had also accepted kickbacks and abused his power. The deception involved collusion between the principal suspect and six others and was referred to the Australian Federal Police for investigation. How widespread is internal fraud in the APS? Departments were asked to name one incident each year that had cost them most dearly and to give as much information as possible about the suspect: their age, sex, level of seniority, length of service and motivation for committing the crime. They were also asked what area the fraud was in, how it was committed and what action was taken. The greatest single loss was $598,000 committed in 2012-13 by a woman who paid it all back. Other departments had less luck. One public servant netted just over half a million dollars but he paid back only $13,330. In 2012-13, a woman defrauded her work of $239,000. None of this money could be recovered. Who is doing it? According to AIC’s research, the average APS fraudster is male, works full-time, is aged between 25 and 34 and employed at APS 5-6 level. He lives in the ACT and has been employed for more than four years. Public servants aged between 35 and 44 are the next most likely group to commit internal fraud; young people (under 25) and those over 45 are the least. Although there were slightly more male than female suspects, this changed in 2012-13, where more female suspects were reported. Prior fraud research has generally found that more men than women commit fraud. However, to get the whole picture, it is useful to note that Australian Bureau of Statistics labour force statistics indicate that the percentage of female staff went up and male participation dropped in the 2012-13 financial year. “Generally most of the suspects were assessed as being of ‘good character’ with a high proportion having some level of security clearance,” said the report. In 2011-12 the biggest group of suspects were employed at APS 1-4 (39 per cent) but in 2012-3 employees at APS Levels 5 and 6 made up 40 per cent of the suspects. Most had been in the job more than four years, indicating "that suspects had sufficient time to discover security weaknesses in management or other opportunities that could be used to perpetrate fraud." Interestingly, the research found that no senior managers were involved in the most costly 124 single incidents of fraud. This contrasts with other studies of internal fraud in the public sector, where fraudulent behaviour was detected at all levels of management and the most senior managers were responsible for the costliest frauds. How and why is it happening? The most common target areas for fraud were stealing equipment and fiddling entitlements and financial benefits and this was done most often by forging or altering documents. Failing to submit a leave application or falsifying one were also common. The most frequently given motive that respondents attributed to suspects was “personal and family financial problems”, closely followed by “greed and desire for financial gain” but a high proportion of survey respondents said they simple didn’t know why the suspect had done it. Other reasons advanced were: “to avoid staffing cuts”, the “belief it was common practice” and as “payback for unrelated alleged incident.” Other reasons put forward included drug and alcohol addiction, gambling problems and being unduly influenced by others. Some thought suspects had not intended to commit fraud but had misunderstood the rules and done something accidentally, e.g. misusing a government credit card. Another respondent said a suspect’s medical condition was behind the crime. How is fraud detected and dealt with? Most crimes were detected by an internal audit, including by the colleagues of fraudsters flagging their duplicity. Other methods included a tip-off from a family member, staff self-reporting and irregularities found during the re-evaluation of an employee’s security clearance. The most common outcomes were that the suspect was sacked or they resigned. Some were warned but kept their jobs. A handful of the most costly cases were referred to the police or for prosecution. Most people admitted the allegation in full when they were confronted. [post_title] => Making of a fraudster – ripping off the Australian Public Service [post_excerpt] => Women increasingly defrauding the APS. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => the-making-of-a-fraudster-internal-fraud-in-the-australian-public-servic [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-03-17 21:30:54 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-03-17 10:30:54 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=23359 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [12] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 23318 [post_author] => 659 [post_date] => 2016-03-10 13:05:50 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-03-10 02:05:50 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_23321" align="alignnone" width="536"]Hurst3 Hurstville councillor and former mayor Con Hindi ... in happier times.[/caption]   Hurstville Council has reinstated its General Manager, Victor Lampe, after suspending him almost a year ago in a closed council meeting last night (Wednesday). Mr Lampe was suspended at a heated meeting in May last year, hours before he was due to comment on a staff report which recommended taking “possible enforcement action” against former Hurstville Mayor Con Hindi – who is still a councillor - for allegedly not remediating asbestos on a site he owned in Crump St, Mortdale. Shortly before Mr Lampe was due to give evidence, Labor Councillor Vince Badalati introduced a shock motion to suspend Mr Lampe. The vote was tied but Mr Hindi used his casting vote as mayor to push the suspension through. The Office of Local Government (OLG) carried out an investigation into the suspension and its timing and released a report on February 18 which concluded that the council had acted inappropriately when it suspended Mr Lampe on full pay in May 2015 and ordered that he be immediately reinstated. Despite Mr Lampe's reinstatement yesterday, some Hurstville councillors argue that it is just a front and the General Manager will be bullied into resigning. Labor Councillor Brent Thomas said: "Con Hindi and his cabal have made it clear they won't work with Mr Lampe going forward. "They continue to threaten and intimidate Mr Lampe through their public comments alone, saying the environment would be "toxic" and talking about terminating his employment if he were to come back. This bullying behaviour seems designed to intimidate the General Manager into resigning." He called on NSW Local Government Minister Paul Toole, who threatened to suspend the council last year, to address what he called the pro-developer "Hindi cabal." "Our community has had a gutful," Mr Thomas said. "What will it take for Minister Toole to stop making hairy chested comments and actually start acting?" Over the last five years, Hurstville councillors have given the Kardashians a run for their money in the dysfunctional family stakes. There have been allegations and counter allegations of sexual harassment, volleys of poison pen letters, illegally taped conversations, heavily redacted reports and media leaks. The OLG report said there had been a “serious breakdown and deterioration in the working relationship between councillors.’’ There are two voting blocs in the council but unusually, they do not vote along party lines. One bloc, “the seven", is made up of three Labor councillors, three Liberals and one from Unity party. The other block, “the five” is equally mixed, with two ALP members, two Independents and a Liberal. The bitter in-fighting which has pitted councillors against one another seems to be rooted in old grudges, broken alliances, jealousy and power-grabbing. Fights over the mayoralty and party pre-selection have played a major party in the split. The OLG report said:  These voting blocs had obviously not formed along party lines, but appear to have been based on opportunism and personalities” and noted this risked “oligarchic control”, where one councillor could wield a great deal of power by controlling the dominant bloc. The OLG investigation also found that:
  • The council did not have proper procedures in place to deal with the fact that Mr Hindi was wearing “two hats”, as a property developer and a councillor, which gave the impression that he had preferential access to senior staff
  • Mr Hindi gave councillors a last minute report at the meeting, too late for them to make an informed decision and contravening normal procedure followed by a property developer
  • Complaints about Mr Lampe were not handled properly and breached the local government code of conduct
The report recommended that the council immediately reinstate Mr Lampe and that councillors had formal training in their responsibilities and codes governing meetings, procedures and conduct. It also said that Hurstville Council should review its financial delegations and the amount it spends on legal advice. A spokesperson for Mr Toole said that Hurstville City Council had until March 16 to report to the Minister on its implementation of the report’s recommendations. “Under the Local Government Act, the Minister has the power to order the implementation of the recommendations. Should the council fail to comply, the Minister has a number of options available to him under the Act to address any non-compliance. “While the report into the council has been tabled, that report suggested that Councillor Hindi’s conduct be subject to further scrutiny by the Office of Local Government. “Given that is now occurring, and given the impending report from the council on its implementation of the report’s recommendations, it would be inappropriate for the Minister to engage in speculation concerning the council.” NSW government has proposed a merger between Hurstville and Kogarah Councils but an alternative St George Council has been proposed involving Rockdale, Kogarah and Hurstville Councils.     [post_title] => Hurstville Council reinstates wrongly suspended GM after a year [post_excerpt] => Bitter in-fighting continues among councillors. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => 23318 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-03-10 18:15:14 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-03-10 07:15:14 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=23318 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 3 [filter] => raw ) [13] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 22982 [post_author] => 671 [post_date] => 2016-02-04 16:43:34 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-02-04 05:43:34 [post_content] => myservicensw_opt   New South Wales has come good on its promise to launch its own digital identifier and centralised customer account log-in for online government services, a move that will allow citizens to access services, transactions and payments across multiple agencies from one screen and session. Minister for Finance, Services and Property, Dominic Perrottet on Thursday announced that the “first phase” of the MyServiceNSW online account facility had gone live, with key players the Roads and Maritime and the Office of State Revenue being the initial agencies to plug-in customers. The go-live for the new digital identifier is a watershed moment for the state government because it begins the unification of customer access to all state government services online. That move in turn collapses the legacy of customers being forced to use dozens of individual log-ins and passwords for each agency they deal with. It’s also set to be a major cost saver for councils, now in the unpopular process of being forcibly amalgamated, because the NSW government has previously indicated it has no quibble with local governments in the state also using the service. But it’s not such great news for Canberra however, which has been experiencing its own difficulties with online service delivery. The launch of a new state-based digital identifier potentially competes with plans to expand the Centrelink created myGov online credential across multiple jurisdictions and potentially into the private sector. The revelation that NSW was planning to launch its own digital identifier last year took federal authorities, including the newly launched Digital Transformation Office, by surprise and laid bare significant differences between the states and Canberra in how government issued digital identifiers would be developed. By far the biggest sticking point between Mr Perrottet and the federal myGov credential is the amount of time it is taking to stabilise and extend the digital identifier across jurisdictions. Despite having broadly similar and sometimes almost identical visions for online service delivery, Mr Perrottet and the NSW Government have made it clear they are simply not prepared to wait on Canberra to create a single identifier to serve the state’s citizens, opting to go it alone and be the first to market. “Too often online services for different government agencies require different websites and multiple accounts,” Mr Perrottet said. “But good service means putting the customer at the centre of the experience.” “Our citizens should only have to ‘tell us once’, and that’s what we are aiming for with MyServiceNSW.” https://youtu.be/0Uh3Vd7HqmM Although NSW taking the lead will undoubtedly benefit its citizens, the move runs the risk of recreating a digital version of the infamous ‘rail-gauge’ fiasco between Australia’s states where trains had to stop at the border because of different width tracks. That scenario poses a potential nightmare for citizens because it means they could have to traverse multiple log-ins across federal, state and local government platforms when in reality many of the transactions and services are linked in one way or another – especially in areas surrounding health, welfare property and finance. As Communications Minister, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was adamant duplications should where possible be avoided. The burn for businesses operating across multiple states is even worse if the online landscape for the Australian public sector Balkanises. That’s because they will potentially have to navigate close to a dozen interfaces for compliance and other regulatory requirements governments are trying to automate in the name of cutting red tape. Businesses that have ‘Know-Your-Customer’ regulatory requirements or rely on secure online transaction and identity credentials – particularly banks – have been hoping for years that a single government issued digital identifier will become a reality because it could massively streamline customer enrolment and verification at the same time as wiping out billions of dollars of fraud. They include the ANZ bank that last year openly pushed-back against efforts to create a so-called federated digital identity framework that operates by cross checking credentials issued across multiple sources.Speaking after a presentation at the Gartner Symposium 2015 ANZ’s Chief Technology Officer Drs Patrick Maes was adamant a move to secure digital identities had to happen, but his institution didn’t need to play the role of an identity issuer. “Identity is extremely important. If we want to become a digital bank or if you want to become a digital economy it all starts with identity,” Drs Maes said. “We [ANZ] do not want to be an identity provider; that is not our role as a bank.” Despite the robust discourse, there is still clear potential for Canberra, the states and industry to collaborate on an interoperable national framework for digital identifiers with the DTO, NSW and some banks all known to be open to cooperating. Meanwhile, the NSW Finance Minister remains intent on leading by example. Mr Perrottet said the MyServiceNSW initiative formed part of the pursuit of the Baird Government’s ‘State Priority’ of digitising 70 per cent of government transactions conducted via Service NSW by 2019. [post_title] => NSW launches its own government digital identifier [post_excerpt] => MyServiceNSW isn't waiting for myGov. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => nsw-launches-its-own-government-digital-identifier [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-02-04 20:04:46 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-02-04 09:04:46 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=22982 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 14 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27847 [post_author] => 670 [post_date] => 2017-08-17 16:27:31 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-08-17 06:27:31 [post_content] => The Federal Government has released a consultation paper that outlines the government’s proposal to create a Modern Slavery in Supply Chains Reporting Requirement. This will require large corporations and other entities operating in Australia to publish annual statements outlining their actions to address slavery. Responding to exploitation in supply chains is a key focus of Australia’s National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking and Slavery 2015-19. Consistent with this focus, the National Roundtable established an expert Supply Chains Working Group to bring together relevant stakeholders from business, civil society and government agencies. This working group subsequently recommended that government introduce a modern slavery in supply chains reporting requirement. The proposed reporting requirement will support the business community to respond more effectively to modern slavery. It will raise business awareness of this issue, create a level playing field for businesses to share information about what they are doing to eliminate modern slavery, and encourage businesses to use their market influence to improve workplace standards and practices. The proposed reporting requirement will also improve information available to consumers and investors about modern slavery. The Attorney-General’s Department will lead a national consultation process to refine the Government’s proposed model. This consultation process will provide an important opportunity for the business community and civil society to help design a reporting requirement that is simple, sensible and as effective as possible. It will also ensure that the proposed reporting requirement reflects community expectations. Consultation paper available now The consultation paper outlines the Australian government’s proposed model for a Modern Slavery in Supply Chains Reporting Requirement. The proposed reporting requirement will require large corporations and other entities operating in Australia to publish annual statements outlining their actions to address modern slavery in their operations and supply chains. Key elements of the Government’s proposal include the following:
  • The introduction of a requirement to produce an annual Modern Slavery Statement.
  • The reporting requirement would be applicable to a range of entities:
    • with a proposed revenue threshold no lower than $100 million total annual revenue, and
    • headquartered in Australia or that have any part of their operations in Australia.
  • Entities will be required to report on their actions to address modern slavery in both their operations and supply chains (including beyond first tier suppliers).
  • Entities will be required to report, at a minimum, against four criteria (which cover the optional criteria set out in the UK Modern Slavery Act):
    • the entity’s structure, its operations and its supply chains;
    • the modern slavery risks present in the entity’s operations and supply chains;
    • the entity’s policies and processes to address modern slavery in its operations and supply chains and their effectiveness (such as codes of conduct, supplier contract terms and training for staff), and
    • the entity’s due diligence processes relating to modern slavery in its operations and supply chains and their effectiveness.
  • Modern Slavery Statements would need to be approved at board level and be signed by a director.
  • Entities would be required to publish their Modern Slavery Statement within five months after the end of the Australian financial year.
  • Entities would be required to publish their Modern Slavery Statement on their websites, with the Government also proposing a publicly accessible central repository.
  • Punitive penalties for non-compliance are not proposed but options for oversight are being considered.
  • The Government will provide guidance and awareness-raising materials for business.
The Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department will lead a national consultation process with business and civil society to refine the Government’s proposed model over August – December 2017. Submissions for the consultation will close on 20 October 2017. [post_title] => Federal Government to target modern slavery [post_excerpt] => A consultation paper outlines the government’s Modern Slavery in Supply Chains Reporting Requirement. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => federal-government-target-modern-slavery [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-08-17 19:12:05 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-08-17 09:12:05 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://governmentnews.com.au/?p=27847 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [comment_count] => 0 [current_comment] => -1 [found_posts] => 473 [max_num_pages] => 34 [max_num_comment_pages] => 0 [is_single] => [is_preview] => [is_page] => [is_archive] => 1 [is_date] => [is_year] => [is_month] => [is_day] => [is_time] => [is_author] => [is_category] => 1 [is_tag] => [is_tax] => [is_search] => [is_feed] => [is_comment_feed] => [is_trackback] => [is_home] => [is_404] => [is_embed] => [is_paged] => [is_admin] => [is_attachment] => [is_singular] => [is_robots] => [is_posts_page] => [is_post_type_archive] => [query_vars_hash:WP_Query:private] => e2cf9d9158ac75cf0dfde6add1d0f391 [query_vars_changed:WP_Query:private] => 1 [thumbnails_cached] => [stopwords:WP_Query:private] => [compat_fields:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => query_vars_hash [1] => query_vars_changed ) [compat_methods:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => init_query_flags [1] => parse_tax_query ) )

Management