Appendix A - Monitoring and evaluation framework

This appendix outlines the approaches and activities undertaken by the Public Sector Commission to monitor and evaluate compliance with relevant sections of the Public Sector Management Act 1994 (PSM Act) and the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2003 (PID Act).

Under ss. 21 and 22D of the PSM Act, the Public Sector Commissioner is required to monitor and report on the state of administration and management of the public sector, as well as on compliance with public sector standards and ethical codes contained in Commissioner's instructions. Appendix B - Public Sector Management Act 1994 contains further information about the PSM Act and the standards and ethical codes.

The Commission's monitoring and reporting jurisdiction under the PSM Act applies to all WA public sector bodies, which includes:

  • departments (established under s. 35 of the PSM Act)
  • SES organisations
  • non-SES organisations
  • ministerial offices.

This jurisdiction does not include employees in government bodies that do not fall into the above categories such as:

  • public universities
  • local government authorities
  • other entities listed in Schedule 1 of the PSM Act (e.g. government trading enterprises, port authorities, courts and tribunals, departments of the Parliament, electorate offices and the Police Force).

Under s. 22 of the PID Act, the Commissioner is required to report on compliance with the PID Act and the Public interest disclosure code of conduct and integrity. This builds confidence in processes under the PID Act, and promotes integrity, openness and accountability in public authorities.

The Commissioner's jurisdiction under the PID Act is broader than for the PSM Act and includes public universities, local government authorities and other PSM Act Schedule 1 entities. Appendix C - Public Interest Disclosure Act 2003 contains further information about the PID Act.

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Monitoring and evaluation framework

The Commission uses a multi-methodological approach to monitor the state of administration and management of the public sector, including surveys (of entities and employees), other workforce data collections, reviews and compliance assessments. The Commissioner may also report from time to time on specific compliance issues and may use other information sources for this purpose.

The primary components of the monitoring and evaluation framework are listed in Table A.1 and further details about the components are provided following this table.

Table A.1 Monitoring and evaluation framework components

Framework component

Period in use

Compliance assessments and general enquiries

18 years

Human resource minimum obligatory information requirement workforce data

20 years

Annual agency survey

6 years (reviewed annually)

Annual public interest disclosure survey

8 years (reviewed annually)

Employee perception survey

18 years (reviewed four times)

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Monitoring and evaluation framework components

The Commission uses the following methods to monitor and evaluate compliance with the relevant sections of the PSM Act and the PID Act.

Compliance assessments and general enquiries

Breach of standard claims

The Public Sector Management (Breaches of Public Sector Standards) Regulations 2005 provide for persons to lodge claims where they believe that a public sector standard has been breached by an entity and they have been adversely affected by that breach.

Breach claims can be made about the following standards: employment (recruitment, secondment, transfer and acting), performance management, grievance resolution, redeployment and termination (see Appendix B - Public Sector Management Act 1994 for further details).

Where breach claims are referred to the Commission and are substantiated, the Commissioner recommends appropriate relief be provided by the respective entity. In 2012/13, 116 claims were finalised by the Commission.

Matters of referral

In 2012/13, 102 new matters of referral were received or identified by the Commission. These matters included requests for advice; action and complaints about management, governance or compliance with public sector standards; and specific allegations of unethical behaviour.

These matters are subject to a preliminary assessment to determine what other action may need to be taken by the Commission. This action may include monitoring compliance with public sector standards, human resource and conduct principles and ethical codes; the use of specific oversight powers contained in the PSM Act; or referring the matter to employing authorities or other appropriate bodies to take action.

Advisory service

The Commission provides a daily advisory service to public bodies covered by the PSM Act and the PID Act, their employees and members of the community. This service provides advice on a range of matters including the public sector standards, public interest disclosure, ethical codes, and integrity. If a matter is not within the Commissioner's jurisdiction, the advisory service will appropriately direct the enquiry to another public sector body. In 2012/13, more than 2100 matters were responded to by this service.

Analysis of compliance assessments and general enquiries

Issues raised within breach claims, matters of referral or through the advisory service are analysed to determine key trends and identify areas where assistance may be required. For example, the Commissioner may direct that practices be improved where issues are identified that place an entity at risk of non-compliance with standards.

While this analysis provides information about compliance and performance risks, the number and nature of matters do not, in isolation, constitute a valid measure of an entity's performance or extent of compliance. For example, public sector bodies that promote the compliance reporting process through staff education and awareness programs may have a higher number of matters reported, and entities with effective internal grievance, breach and complaints resolution processes may have fewer matters escalated to the Commission.

Human resource minimum obligatory information requirement (HRMOIR) workforce data

The HRMOIR process was developed to ensure access to information for the strategic management of the public sector workforce. On a quarterly basis, the Commission collects and reports HRMOIR workforce data from public sector entities through the Workforce Analysis and Collection Application (WACA). The data includes demographic information such as age, gender, diversity status and occupation.

The HRMOIR process aims to provide high quality data for entity and sector-wide workforce analysis, planning and reporting and helps to ensure that a consistent methodology is applied across entities.

The State of the sector statistical bulletin 2013 lists key statistics collected through the HRMOIR process.

Annual agency survey (AAS)

Pursuant to s. 31 of the PSM Act, public sector entities are required to report to the Commissioner on the extent of compliance with public sector standards, codes of ethics and codes of conduct. The AAS is designed to assist entities to meet this requirement by requesting information about these matters for 2012/13, as well as other areas of administration and management such as workforce planning, occupational health and safety and innovation.

Additionally, pursuant to s. 23 of the PID Act, entities are required to provide information annually to the Commissioner on the extent of compliance with the PID Act. The AAS requests information about the entity's designated PID officers, internal procedures to ensure compliance, and any disclosures received in 2012/13.

This year's AAS has been streamlined to assist entities to provide high quality information in a timely manner. For example, when asked to describe the maturity of governance systems, entities selected from multiple choice options rather than using a separate response matrix as in previous years.

The AAS provides entities with an internal planning and diagnostic tool. Sector-wide results from the survey are presented throughout this report and entity-level responses are published in the State of the sector statistical bulletin 2013. This enables entities to compare their responses to those of similar entities and the sector as a whole.

As the AAS has evolved considerably over the past six years, trends across time may not be available for some items or may be limited to a smaller number of years.

Surveyed entities

In 2012/13, 110 public sector bodies within the jurisdiction of the PSM Act and PID Act were requested to complete the AAS. All entities complied with this request.

Appendix D - Structure of the government sector provides a list of public sector bodies within the jurisdiction of the PSM Act and PID Act. This year, only public sector entities were asked to complete the AAS; previously, some other government entities listed in Schedule 1 of the PSM Act have been invited to complete relevant parts of the survey.

Some small entities have a shared administrative arrangement with another public sector body. These entities have reported in the AAS that they do not have some systems in place although they access such systems through their shared arrangement. Therefore, the survey results presented in this report may slightly underestimate the implementation of some systems across the public sector.

Categorisation of survey results

Within this report, AAS results are typically presented for all public sector entities. However, for selected items, results are presented by entity size based on the following categories:

  • very small: entities with fewer than 20 full-time equivalents (FTE)1
  • small: entities with between 21 and 200 FTE
  • medium: entities with between 201 and 1000 FTE
  • large: entities with between 1001 and 10 000 FTE
  • very large: entities with greater than 10 000 FTE.

AAS results have also been presented by entity function for some items. These functional categories have been developed by the Commission for illustrative purposes only and are not tied to legislation or other specific definitions. Entities have been classified according to the following functional categories:

  • service: entities involved in direct provision of products/services to the community
  • policy, development and coordination: entities that provide policy direction and/or industry coordination/development
  • oversight, regulatory and sector administration: entities involved in management and/or coordination of regulatory regimes for industry, or for the broader sector through an oversight role.

Entities are listed by size and function in Appendix D - Structure of the government sector.

Response options for selected survey questions

In Chapter 3 of this report, data is presented from AAS questions relating to strategic planning, operational planning, internal audit and evaluation, and risk management. The full questions and response options are shown in Table A.2.

Table A.2 Complete response options for selected AAS questions

AAS questions

Response options

Which of the following options best reflects the nature of strategic planning in your agency?

  • The agency does not have a strategic plan but processes are underway to develop one.
  • The agency has a strategic plan that includes clear, achievable and measurable objectives and strategies. However, its objectives and strategies need to be refined to address either changes in policy direction or changes in the operating environment.
  • The agency has a strategic plan and is confident that its objectives and strategies are relevant to the agency's policy direction and operating environment, and that they are clear, achievable and measurable. As yet, there has been limited formal evaluation of progress against the plan.
  • The agency has a strategic plan and is confident that its objectives and strategies are relevant to the agency's policy direction and operating environment, and that they are clear, achievable and measurable. Established systems are in place to periodically evaluate progress against the plan.
  • The agency has a strategic plan and is confident that its objectives and strategies are relevant to the agency's policy direction and operating environment and that they are clear, achievable and measurable. Established systems are in place to regularly evaluate progress against the plan. These evaluation systems include reference to a variety of stakeholder perspectives.
  • None of the above reasonably reflect the nature of strategic planning in the agency.

Which of the following options best reflects the connection between strategic and operational planning in your agency?

  • The agency does not have an operational plan and/or strategic plan.
  • The agency does not have a common operational plan and/or strategic plan. However, business units have developed operational and/or strategic plans to align their particular area of activity to strategic goals and these are shared at the executive level.
  • The agency has a common operational plan to optimise the alignment of business activity to the common strategic plan. There is some common internal reporting against strategic objectives but this could not be considered to be uniform, comprehensive or highly integrated.
  • The agency has a common operational plan to ensure the alignment of business activity to the common strategic plan. All business units apply the operational plan in a consistent way and common internal reporting against strategic objectives provides for uniform, comprehensive and centralised monitoring of progress.
  • The agency has a common operational plan to ensure the alignment of business activity to the common strategic plan. All business units apply the operational plan in a consistent way with uniform, comprehensive and centralised monitoring of progress. Relevant performance metrics have been established for all business functions and these are connected to whole-of-agency key performance indicators.
  • The agency has a common operational plan to ensure the alignment of business activity to the common strategic plan. All business units apply the operational plan in a consistent way with uniform, comprehensive and centralised monitoring of progress. Relevant performance metrics established for all business functions and connected to whole-of- agency key performance indicators are routinely used as an integral part of continuous improvement activities in the agency.
  • None of the above reasonably reflect the connection between strategic and operational planning in the agency.

Which of the following options best reflects the scope of your agency's internal audit and evaluation program?

  • The agency's internal audit and/or evaluation program is non-existent or ad hoc.
  • The agency has an internal audit and/or evaluation function and a plan that is based on identified risks. Activity is limited to testing essential compliance controls.
  • The agency has a well-established internal audit and/or evaluation function with a program of activity addressing internal controls and systems auditing. This does not routinely extend to more comprehensive evaluation activity to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of programs or activities.
  • The agency has a well-established internal audit and/or evaluation function with a program of activity addressing internal controls and systems auditing. More comprehensive evaluation activity does occur from time to time via separate processes not connected to the internal audit and/or evaluation function.
  • The agency has a well-established internal audit and/or evaluation function with a program of activity addressing internal controls and systems auditing, using a range of internal and external expertise. Separate processes are in place to regularly assess the effectiveness and efficiency of key programs or activities.
  • The agency has a well-established internal audit and/or evaluation function with a program of activity addressing internal controls and systems auditing, using a range of internal and external expertise. This includes more comprehensive program evaluation that assesses the effectiveness and efficiency of key programs or activities. The internal audit and/or evaluation function is integrated and connected to both risk management and continuous improvement processes.
  • None of the above reasonably reflect the nature and scope of the internal audit and evaluation program in this agency.

Which of the following options best reflects the nature of risk management in your agency?

  • While the agency recognises the importance of risk management, the systems in place for assessing and managing risk are limited. The agency relies on experience and managerial expertise to identify and manage risks.
  • Some policies and procedures are in place to ensure a common approach to assessing and managing risk. There are pockets of good practice across the agency however other areas rely on experience and managerial expertise to identify and manage risks.
  • The agency has a common risk management framework and promotes a consistent approach to the identification and assessment of risks. All business units are expected to apply the framework in a consistent way. An overall risk profile exists for the agency that documents material risks, controls and planned mitigation strategies.
  • The agency has a common risk management framework which is consistently applied. Some employees have been trained in the identification and assessment of risks and/or in the development of appropriate mitigation strategies. There is periodic monitoring and reporting on the overall risk profile.
  • The agency has a common risk management framework which is consistently applied. All relevant employees have been trained in the identification and assessment of risks and in the development of appropriate mitigation strategies. There is integrated monitoring and reporting on the overall risk profile.
  • None of the above reasonably reflect the nature of risk management in the agency.

Annual public interest disclosure survey (PID survey)

Under s. 23 of the PID Act, public authorities are required to provide information annually to the Commissioner on the extent of compliance with the PID Act and the Public interest disclosure code of conduct and integrity. The PID survey is designed to assist authorities that are not public sector entities (and therefore not required to complete the AAS) to meet this requirement by asking whether they have designated a PID officer to receive disclosures, whether they have prepared and published internal procedures and whether they have received and investigated any disclosures in 2012/13.

Surveyed authorities

Some entities listed in Schedule 1 of the PSM Act (e.g. local government authorities, public universities and government trading enterprises) and government boards and committees registered with the Department of the Premier and Cabinet were asked to complete the PID survey. The following response rates were achieved:

  • 100% of local government authorities (140 surveys sent)
  • 100% of public universities (4 surveys sent)
  • 100% of government trading enterprises and other Schedule 1 entities (19 surveys sent)
  • 36% of government boards and committees (145 surveys sent).

The Commission has taken a phased approach to monitoring compliance with the PID Act for boards and committees. Many boards and committees were not sent the PID survey as their obligations under the PID Act are administered by another entity. There was also no requirement for boards and committees to complete an annual boards and committees survey this year.

All public authorities that were invited to complete the survey are listed in Appendix D - Structure of the government sector.

Employee perception survey (EPS)

The EPS evaluates employee views about entity management and administration, ethical behaviour, equity and diversity, and employment conditions. This information helps the Commission to understand workplace culture and is critical in identifying areas of concern and acknowledging good practice. The EPS is also a valuable tool for entities to assess employee awareness of codes of ethics and conduct, the PID Act and the public sector standards.

Surveyed employees

In 2013, 17 entities completed the EPS. These entities comprised a range of sizes and portfolios; typically, the EPS is conducted in each entity with more than 20 employees approximately once every five years.

All employees within an entity are invited to respond and the average response rate was 38% for 2013.

This report assumes there is no significant bias between those who responded to the EPS and those who did not respond. However, some care should be taken in considering the EPS results as they may not be entirely representative of the views of the broader public sector.

Appendix E - Employee perception survey provides further information about the survey methodology and the EPS respondents.

Benchmarking of survey results

EPS data in the report includes comparison data for other Australian state and territory governments and the Australian Government where available and comparable. Several EPS items are included within employee surveys in these other jurisdictions and these items enable comparison of performance. The survey items were developed by an interjurisdictional working group on survey design and analysis.

Care should be taken in making comparisons between jurisdictions because there may be differences in wording of items or different response scales. These are noted where applicable throughout the report.

The sources of this comparison data are:

  • Australian Public Service Commission: State of the service report 2011-12
  • State Service Management Office, Tasmania: '2013 Tasmanian state service workforce survey'
  • State Services Authority, Victoria: The state of the public sector in Victoria 2011-12
  • Officer of the Commissioner for Public Employment, Northern Territory: Northern Territory public sector employee survey report 2011
  • Public Service Commission, New South Wales: People matter employee survey 2012 - Main findings report.

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1 Includes all current employees, except for casuals not paid in the final pay period fortnight of the financial year. One FTE equals one person paid for a full-time position at the end of the financial year.


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Appendix B - Public Sector Management Act 1994


Page last updated 10 December 2013