Significant issues impacting the agency

Preparing for the transfer of the minor misconduct and misconduct prevention and education functions

This year we progressed a significant body of work to transfer the oversight of minor misconduct by public officers, and the misconduct prevention and education functions, from the Corruption and Crime Commission (CCC) to the Commission.

Delivering these functions will strengthen the integrity, accountability and performance of the WA public sector and see the Commission increase its interaction with local governments, public universities and government trading enterprises (GTEs) beyond its current interface of the PID Act and Part IX of the EO Act.

For public authorities, the change will mean all notifications of suspected minor misconduct will be made to the Commission rather than the CCC. With each sector having different cultures and accountability frameworks, our prevention and education focus will be on developing products and programs in the appropriate statutory and cultural context to promote accountable and ethical decision making.

A number of initiatives were developed and/or implemented in preparation for the transfer of functions. Significant gains during this time included the following:

  • Group consultation sessions were held by the Commissioner with public university vice chancellors, and CEOs and senior integrity officers from local government, GTEs and public sector agencies.
  • In consultation with the CCC, the Commission developed a joint information resource to be launched on 1 July 2015, to assist public authorities understand their notification obligations.
  • A series of information products, including fact sheets and web material, were developed to assist public authorities understand the new minor misconduct jurisdiction.
  • An 'Understanding the new integrity landscape notification workshop' was developed and delivered to build the capacity of key notifiers when dealing with matters of minor misconduct which will be rolled out in the coming months.

Mal Wauchope and John McKechnie, QCCommissioner Mal Wauchope and Corruption and Crime Commissioner John McKechnie, QC

Improving productivity

The public sector is currently facing a number of significant fiscal challenges. However, the Commission believes that operating in a more fiscally constrained environment is 'the new norm' for public sector agencies. Addressing the challenges this brings will require new thinking and approaches, particularly around how we increase productivity.

From a sector-wide perspective, the Commission is working collaboratively with the Department of the Premier and Cabinet and the Department of Treasury, to progress a number of key initiatives. These identify how budgetary incentives can be more conducive to efficiency, and how we can promote cost reduction behaviours and reduce red tape. Additionally, the Commission is also partnering with the Department of Finance to implement reform to reduce red tape to build productivity, promote innovation and improve service delivery to the community.

Internally, the Commission is reviewing its functions and organisational design to allow its employees to become more mobile, and its services more flexible, as we integrate the new minor misconduct and misconduct prevention and education functions into our existing business.

Building capability

Investing in the strategic development of public sector employees provides long term benefits for the future of the sector. Through the Centre for Public Sector Excellence (the Centre), the Commission is focused on enhancing the capacity of the workforce by providing professional development programs and initiatives to build knowledge and skills.

As outlined in the 'Highlights' section, we have had some success with improving employment opportunities for Aboriginal Australians and people with disability. The Commission will continue to partner with other public sector agencies to reduce the barriers to employment and allow its diversity groups to achieve meaningful and sustained employment in the public sector.

The Commissioner and Public Service Commissioners from other jurisdictions, believe that strengthening the standing of the human resource function as a source of expertise and guidance, is a key priority going forward. Along with this interjurisdictional work, the Commission will continue with its state-based programs to build the capacity and capability of human resource practitioners. Since 2012, through our targeted human resource programs, we have administered a total of 78 events to 2357 human resource practitioners from across the sector.

Over the next year, the Commission will focus on building the capability of two other key occupational groups, chief financial and information and communications technology practitioners.

The importance and value of the work being undertaken by government boards and committees is significant, and at times, can be highly complex. In the past year, the Commissioner personally conducted 23 good governance training sessions to assist members in fully understanding their responsibilities, so that they may contribute judiciously and positively to the community. The nature of board and committee membership is cyclical, so we will continue to support this group to assist them to understand their role over time and build robust governance systems and processes.

Looking ahead

To create a high performance culture, the Commission believes it is essential to have effective systems for managing individual, team and organisational performance. To achieve this, a review of CEO performance agreement systems commenced during the year. This involved updating and amending the current system for all CEOs and in parallel, conducting a review and trial of a new performance agreement system for the future. We are particularly interested in exploring how the system can be strengthened to maximise performance and reduce red tape.

Legislation is also being drafted to alter the arrangements applying to the remuneration setting mechanisms for CEOs of GTEs. Instead of responsibility resting with the relevant management boards, GTEs will be brought under the jurisdiction of the Salaries and Allowances Tribunal to ensure remuneration is more consistent across the sector.

In the past year, the Commission implemented a number of enhancements to its online e-Recruitment system, RAMS, including increased security of applicant and agency data through additional data encryption functionalities, a shift to agency management of redeployment and severance processes, and improved reporting capabilities through the implementation of a new reporting solution. We will continue to liaise with agencies to ensure RAMS is working as efficiently and effectively as possible.

Page last updated 24 September 2015