Departmental governance overview

​Governance practices

The department’s governance framework is based on an executive committee structure that provides for:

  • accountability, transparency and integrity
  • clear direction and leadership
  • effective planning
  • risk management
  • effective performance management
  • a culture of accepting personal responsibility
  • effective internal communication
  • appropriate controls.

This framework allows us to achieve our policy, program and regulatory objectives efficiently, effectively and ethically, and to address emerging strategic issues and risks. It also ensures that we meet all our statutory requirements, especially those under the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 and the Public Service Act 1999.

These arrangements are supported by our:

  • internal audit program
  • fraud control and awareness program
  • security awareness and compliance program.

We continually refine our governance framework in response to emerging needs and better governance models.

Senior management committees and their roles

Executive Management Team

The Executive Management Team advises the secretary on strategic policy, budgets and performance reporting.

The Executive Management Team is responsible for:

  • budgetary allocation and financial oversight
  • oversight of operational performance
  • oversight of business and strategic planning
  • consideration, agreement and oversight of the department’s strategies and policies on such matters as human resource management, communications, planning, information technology, information management, security and governance
  • consideration of audit matters and follow-up actions
  • identification of emerging strategic issues, corporate risks and mitigation actions.

Profiles of Executive Management Team at 30 June 2009 

Profiles of Executive Management Team at 30 June 2009

 Photo of Dr Conall O'Connell- Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

Dr Conall O’Connell Secretary, Chair
Dr Conall O’Connell has been secretary of the department since May 2007.
Before his appointment, Conall was Deputy Secretary of the Department of the Environment and Water Resources (DEW). From 1991 until he joined DEW in 1997, Conall held various positions in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
He has a PhD and a Bachelor of Arts (Hons 1) from the Queen’s University, Belfast.

A photo of Daryl Quinlivan - DAFF Deputy Secretary 

Mr Daryl Quinlivan Deputy Secretary
Daryl joined the department in 2000 as Executive Manager, Fisheries and Forestry Division. His career in the public service has included policy and corporate positions in several departments, including Transport and Regional Services and the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
Daryl Quinlivan is a previous director of the Australian Fisheries Management Authority.
Daryl has Bachelor of Arts (Hons) and Bachelor of Economics degrees.

Photo of Stephen Hunter - DAFF Deputy Secretary

Mr Stephen Hunter Deputy Secretary
Stephen Hunter was a deputy secretary of the department.
Before Stephen joined us in November 2006, he was a deputy secretary in the Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaCSIA) for three and a half years.
Before joining FaCSIA, Stephen spent five years as a deputy secretary with the Department of the Environment and Heritage, with responsibility for natural resource management and conservation. Before that he was Director of the Bureau of Transport and Communications Economics and a first assistant secretary with responsibility for Regional Development in the Department of Transport and Regional Services.
Stephen holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in political science and sociology from the Australian National University.
Stephen retired from the department on 30 June 2009.

 Photo of Phillip Glyde - DAFF Deputy Secretary and Executive Directore of ABARE

Mr Phillip Glyde Deputy Secretary and Executive Director, ABARE
Before joining this department, Phillip held positions in the departments of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Environment and Heritage, and Resources and Energy, and in the Resource Assessment Commission and the CSIRO.
Phillip has also worked at the Environment Directorate of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris, and on secondment to the Cabinet Office and the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in the United Kingdom.
He has an honours degree in natural resource management from the University of New England and a Bachelor of Economics degree from the Australian National University.

 Photo of Rob Delane - DAFF Deputy Secretary and Executive Directore of AQIS Mr Rob Delane Deputy Secretary and Executive Director, AQIS
Before joining the department on 3 November 2008, Rob held the position of Deputy Director General (Biosecurity and Research) in the Department of Agriculture and Food in Western Australia.
His national roles include a directorship of Plant Health Australia and membership of the Quarantine and Exports Advisory Council.
He has Master of Science (Agriculture) and Bachelor of Science (Agriculture) (Hons) degrees from the University of Western Australia. Rob received a Public Service Medal in 2007 for outstanding public service to the agriculture industries and the community of Western Australia.
 Photo of Colin Grant - DAFF Executive Director, BRS Dr Colin Grant Executive Director, Bureau of Rural Sciences
Colin is a member of the Commonwealth’s Coordination Committee on Science and Technology and the International Science Standing Committee. He has been a CSIRO research scientist and an academic at two universities, and has worked for the governments of New South Wales, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Colin was raised and educated in Kenya. He undertook university studies in science at the former Haile Selassie University in Ethiopia, in Tasmania and in Queensland, achieving Bachelor of Science (Hons) and PhD qualifications.
 Photo of Anne Hazell - DAFF Chief Operating Officer Ms Anne Hazell Chief Operating Officer
Anne joined the department in February 2009 as the Chief Operating Officer. She has a strong background in delivery of corporate services and extensive experience in chief financial officer roles in the Australian Government. She has worked in central coordinating agencies and both policy and service delivery agencies.
Anne has a Bachelor of Economics degree and is a Fellow of CPA Australia.
 A photo of David Williamson - Executive Manager, Corporate Policy Division Mr David Williamson Executive Manager, Corporate Policy Division
David has a background in policy advice and program delivery across a range of portfolio areas, and has held general manager positions in our International and Rural Policy and Innovation divisions.
David has served on a number of portfolio secretariats, including the 2005 Reference Group, which reported on future directions in Australian agriculture and food policy; the 2002 Independent Assessment of the Sugar Industry; and wheat marketing reviews in 2000 and 2004. He was Government Director of the Sugar Research and Development Corporation from 2003 to 2007.
David has a Bachelor of Arts (combined Hons) degree from the University of Melbourne.

 A photo of Karen Schneider, Executive Manager, Bureau of Rural Sciences

Ms Karen Schneider Executive Manager, Bureau of Rural Sciences
Karen has been Executive Manager of the Bureau of Rural Sciences since 4 August 2008. Before this she was Deputy Executive Director in ABARE, responsible for leadership of research and corporate programs.
Karen has 25 years experience in research and policy analysis across the agricultural, energy and minerals sectors.
She has a first class honours degree in applied science from the University of New South Wales.

 Photo of Darren Schaeffer - DAFF chief fiance officer Mr Darren Schaeffer Chief Finance Officer, Corporate Finance Division
Darren joined the department in December 2008 as the Chief Finance Officer.
Darren’s public service career has included several senior finance roles across a number of portfolios, including Environment and Finance. Before joining the public service in 2000 he worked in a variety of private sector companies, primarily in the service and manufacturing industries.
He has Bachelor of Business (Accounting) and Masters of Business Administration (Public Sector Management) degrees. He is also a Certified Practising Accountant.

Rotational Executive Management Team members for 2008–09

 Executive Manager, Business Strategy and Corporate Services, AQIS

Ms Jenet Connell Executive Manager, Business Strategy and Corporate Services, AQIS
Before joining the department in 2007, Jenet was a Group Manager with the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations. She has also held a number of senior positions in Western Australia and Victorian state departments and in the private sector.
Jenet holds a master’s degree in organisational psychology.

 Mr Ian Thompson Executive Manager, Sustainable Resources Management Division

Mr Ian Thompson Executive Manager, Sustainable Resources Management Division
Ian has worked in the department since 1986, in roles covering plant industry policy, field crop issues, plant health, native title, drought management, rural adjustment, water resources management, landcare and sustainable agriculture. Before joining the department, he worked in the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Environment, primarily on environmental impact assessment.

He has a Bachelor of Natural Resources (Hons) from the University of New England.

 

Table 24 - Audit subcommittee–role and membership at 30 June 2009
Committee Role Membership

Financial
Statements
Subcommittee

As a subcommittee of the Audit Committee, reviews production of annual financial statements and the certificate of compliance. Also reviews accounting standards and policies relevant to preparation of financial statements and the department’s implementation of these policies. Meets as needed. External member of the Audit Committee (chair)
An additional member with financial qualifications
Chief Finance Officer
An AQIS representative

Audit Committee

The department’s Audit Committee oversees and advises the secretary on financial reporting, internal control structures, risk management systems, internal and external audit functions and fraud control.

At 30 June 2009 the members of the Audit Committee were:

  • Mr Daryl Quinlivan, (Chair), Deputy Secretary (see ‘Executive Management Team’)
  • Mr Craig Burns, Executive Manager, Trade and Market Access Division
    Craig Burns has been Executive Manager of the Trade and Market Access Division since 16 June 2008. He was previously was the Executive Manager of the International Division of the department.
  • Mr Tim Chapman, Executive Manager, Quarantine Operations
    Tim Chapman has been Executive Manager of Quarantine Operations in AQIS since 20 June 2008. Prior to the department’s restructure in June 2008 he was the Branch Manager of Cargo and Shipping in AQIS.
  • Ms Anne Hazell, Chief Operating Officer (see ‘Executive Management Team’)
  • Ms Mary Boydell, independent member
    Mary Boydell is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants with more than 30 years experience in commerce and audit oversight and a Bachelor of Commerce from University of Queensland.
  • Mr Michael Harris, independent member
    Michael Harris is a certified practising accountant, a Fellow of CPA Australia and a member of the Institute of Internal Auditors with more than 40 years experience in accounting and auditing.

The Audit Committee is supported by the Financial Statements Subcommittee (see Table 24).

Other governance committees

The department’s governance structure was strengthened in 2008–09. The Executive Management Team is now supported by a number of governance committees—the Business Improvement Committee, the Information and Communication Technology Committee, the Legislation and Deregulation Committee, the People Management Committee and the Biosecurity Executive Leadership Group (see Table 25).

Table 25 Governance committees—roles and membership at 30 June 2009

Committee

Role

Membership

Business Improvement Committee

Provides strategic advice to the secretary through the Executive Management Team on matters such as technology, systems and business improvement processes for the department; the governance framework, including risk management, financial management, fraud control, business continuity, and procurement; grants and project management; and Ombudsman and freedom of information matters. Makes decisions about routine matters related to the committee’s work. Meets as needed.

Deputy secretary
Chief Operating Officer
Chief Finance Officer
Five SES representatives

Information and Communication Technology Committee

Provides strategic advice to the secretary through the Executive Management Team on matters relating to strategic information and communication technology direction, performance and investment to support the department’s overall objectives. The committee provides oversight of information and communication technology within the department to ensure that decision-making is transparent, well understood and implemented in a structured and appropriately governed manner. Meets as needed.

Chief Operating Officer
Chief Information Officer
Chief Finance Officer
Biosecurity Services Group executive representative
Biosecurity Services Group regional representative from 1 July 2009
One SES representative

Legislation
and Deregulation Committee

Provides strategic guidance for the secretary, through the Executive Management Team, on the portfolio’s legislation program and priorities, and coordinates departmental action to implement the Australian Government’s deregulation agenda. Meets as needed.

Deputy secretary
Executive Manager, Corporate Policy
An SES representative from:
Agricultural Productivity
Sustainable Resource Management
Climate Change
AQIS
Product Integrity, Animal and Plant Health (PIAPH)
Quarantine and Biosecurity Policy Unit
Trade and Market Access

People Management Committee

Provides strategic advice to the secretary through the Executive Management Team on matters including human resources policies such as recruitment, performance management, rewards and recognition, learning and development, occupational health and safety, staff survey outcomes, ethics and code of conduct, and the graduate program. Makes decisions about routine matters related to the committee’s work. Meets as needed.

Deputy secretary
Chief Operating Officer
An AQIS representative
Five SES representatives

Biosecurity Executive Leadership Group

Provides strategic advice to the secretary, through the Executive Management Team, on the implementation of closely integrated biosecurity functions across AQIS, Biosecurity Australia and PIAPH. Provides leadership and coordination for the implementation of the Review of Quarantine and Biosecurity and of business improvement opportunities across the department’s biosecurity services. Meets fortnightly.

Deputy secretary and Executive Director, AQIS
Executive Manager, Business Strategy and Corporate Services, AQIS
Executive Manager, Quarantine Systems, AQIS
Executive Manager, Quarantine Operations, AQIS
Executive Manager, Exports, AQIS
Executive Manager, PIAPH
Chief Executive, Biosecurity Australia
Executive Officer, AQIS

Senior executives’ responsibilities

Table 26 lists the department’s senior executives and their responsibilities at 30 June 2009.

Senior executive remuneration policy

The secretary’s remuneration and other conditions are determined by the Prime Minister, as specified under the Public Service Act 1999. The secretary determines the remuneration for the department’s senior executives, having regard to the annual Australian public service remuneration survey conducted by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.

The department’s remuneration policy allows variation in remuneration between individual jobs, based on market and work value considerations. This is vital to our ability to compete effectively for the best people in the employment market.

Note 13 on page 318 in the financial statements in this annual report provides specific information on senior executive remuneration for the department; note 12 on page 405 provides information on AQIS executive remuneration.

Table 26 - Senior executives of the department at 30 June 2009
Position Person Responsibilities

Secretary

Dr Conall O’Connell

Efficient and effective operation of the department
Director of Animal and Plant Quarantine
Chair of the Executive Management Team
Chair of the Primary Industries Standing Committee
Co‑chair of the Natural Resource Management Standing Committee
Member of the Food Regulation Standing Committee of the Australia and New Zealand Food Regulation Ministerial Council
Chair of the National Emergency Animal Disease Management Group
Chair of the National Emergency Plant Pest Management Group
Departmental representative on the Food Regulation Standing Committee
Ex officio member of the Quarantine and Exports Advisory Council

Deputy Secretary

Mr Daryl Quinlivan

Assistance to the secretary across a broad range of issues and functions
Member of the Executive Management Team
Chair of the Audit Committee
Chair of the Legislation and Deregulation Committee
Oversight responsibility for the work of the Climate Change and Corporate Policy divisions
Government director of the Australian Fisheries Management Authority
Deputy Secretary

Executive Director, AQIS

Mr Rob Delane

Assistance to the secretary across a broad range of issues and functions
Oversight responsibility for the work of the Product Integrity, Animal and Plant Health (PIAPH) and AQIS divisions
Member of the Executive Management Team
Chair of the Biosecurity Executive Leadership Group.
Member of the Quarantine and Exports Advisory Council

Deputy Secretary
Executive Director, ABARE

Mr Phillip Glyde

Assistance to the secretary across a broad range of issues and functions
Efficient and effective operation of ABARE
Provision of timely and relevant briefing and advice to the department and government on economic issues affecting portfolio industries
Member of the Executive Management Team
Chair of the Business Improvement Committee from 1 July 2009
Chair of the People Management Committee
Disability Champion

Deputy Secretary

Mr Stephen Hunter

Assistance to the secretary across a broad range of issues
Member of the Executive Management Team
Security Executive—responsibilities under government policy
Chair of the Business Improvement Committee until 30 June 2009

Executive Director, Bureau of Rural Sciences

Ms Karen Schneider

Efficient and effective operation of BRS
Provision of timely and relevant briefing and advice to the department and government on scientific issues affecting portfolio industries
Member of the Executive Management Team
Member of the BRS Executive Committee
Member of the Coordination Committee on Science and Technology
Member of the International Science Standing Committee
Member of the advisory board of the Australian Centre of Excellence for Risk Analysis

Chief Operating Officer

Ms Anne Hazell

Assistance to the secretary across a broad range of issues and functions
Efficient and effective operation of the Corporate Services Division
Member of the Executive Management Team
Chair of the Information and Communication Technology Committee
Member of the Business Improvement Committee
Member of the People Management Committee

Chief Finance Officer

Mr Darren Schaeffer

Member of the Executive Management Team
Member of the Business Improvement Committee
Member of the Information and Communication Technology Committee
Efficient and effective operation of the Corporate Finance Division

Chief Executive Biosecurity Australia

Dr Colin Grant

Member of the Executive Management Team
Ex officio member of the Quarantine and Exports Advisory Council
Member of the Biosecurity Executive Leadership Group
Efficient and effective operation of Biosecurity Australia

Executive managers and deputy executive directors

Mr David Williamson
Corporate Policy

Efficient and effective operation of the Corporate Policy Division
Member of the Executive Management Team
Member of the Legislation and Deregulation Committee

 

Mr Tom Aldred
Product Integrity, Animal and Plant Health

Efficient and effective operation of the PIAPH Division
Development and implementation of PIAPH policies and programs for food and product safety, animal and plant health, and animal welfare
Member of the Audit Committee

 

Mr Ian Thompson
Sustainable Resource Management

Efficient and effective operation of the Sustainable Resource Management Division
Development and implementation of policies and programs for Landcare, sustainable production, Caring for our Country, and domestic fisheries and aquaculture
Government member of the National Rural Advisory Council
Rotational member of the Executive Management Team

 

Mr Allen Grant
Agricultural Productivity

Efficient and effective operation of the Agricultural Productivity Division
Development and implementation of policies and programs for the food, horticulture, wine, livestock and cropping industries and the agricultural innovation, research and training sectors

 

Mr David Mortimer
Climate Change

Efficient and effective operation of the Climate Change Division
Development and implementation of policies and programs for drought, climate change, farm adjustment and forestry
Government member of the Wheat Export Authority

 

Mr Craig Burns
Trade and Market Access

Efficient and effective operation of the Trade and Market Access Division
Development and implementation of policies and programs to advance portfolio interests in multilateral and bilateral trade, international fisheries and the live animal trade
Oversight of technical market access issues across relevant areas of the department

 

Ms Jenet Connell
Business Strategy and Corporate Services, AQIS

Efficient and effective operation of AQIS business strategies and corporate and information services
Rotational member of the Executive Management Team

 

Mr Greg Read
Export Programs, AQIS

Efficient and effective operation of AQIS Export Services and animal programs
Delivery of AQIS business strategies
Chair of the Export Meat Industry Advisory Committee
Chair of the Codex Committee on Food Import and Export Inspection and Certification Systems

 

Ms Jenni Gordon
Quarantine Systems, AQIS

Efficient and effective operation of AQIS quarantine systems
Delivery of AQIS business strategies
Member of the Audit Committee
Chair of the AQIS Assurance Subcommittee

 

Mr Tim Chapman
Quarantine Operations, AQIS

Efficient and effective operation of AQIS quarantine programs
Delivery of AQIS business strategies

 

Ms Fran Freeman
Quarantine and Biosecurity Policy Unit

Provision of timely and relevant briefing and advice to the department and government on quarantine and biosecurity issues

 

Dr Terry Sheales
Deputy Executive Director, ABARE

Efficient and effective operation of ABARE
Provision of timely and relevant briefing and advice to the department and government on economic issues affecting portfolio industries
Member of the ABARE Executive Committee

 

Mr Don Gunasekera
Chief Economist, ABARE

Leadership of ABARE research programs

Chief Veterinary Officer

Dr Andy Carroll

Adviser to the secretary on a range of animal health issues
Departmental representative on the:
animal health quadrilateral group
Animal Health Committee
Member of the Australian Animal Health Laboratory Strategic Policy Group
Chair of the Primary Industries Standing Committee and Primary Industries Ministerial Council Consultative Committee on Emergency Animal Diseases
Chair of the Council Consultative Committee on Emergency Aquatic Animal Diseases
Member of the SAFEMEAT Partnership
Chair of the Aquatic Animal Health Committee

Ethical standards

In 2008–09 the department advanced several initiatives to improve and maintain appropriate ethical standards.

We continued to train staff in fraud control, governance, ethics and security, particularly through the induction process. Our training promotes the Australian Public Service (APS) Values and Code of Conduct. We maintained procedures for reporting and investigating fraud and serious misconduct.

We maintained our governance framework by updating information and providing training on new and revised Chief Executive Instructions, and improving the interface between the department’s delegations database and human resource management system. We improved communication to all staff on governance matters and the APS Values by revising and reissuing our Code of Conduct brochures.

Training focused specifically on the APS Code of Conduct was provided for all employees of the department in 2008–09, and continues to be delivered as part of the formal induction process.
We completed the implementation of the 2006–08 fraud control plan, which was prepared to meet the requirements of the Australian Government’s fraud control policy and the Financial Management and Accountability Act.

The department’s revised fraud control plan (approved by the Audit Committee in June 2008) includes improved fraud controls for grants management, intellectual property management, human resource management, vehicle management, destruction of seized imported food, and audit arrangements for quarantine approved premises. Regular reports were provided to the Audit Committee in 2008–09.

Risk management

In 2008–09 we built on the work done in 2007–08 to embed risk management more deeply into our decision-making and planning processes.

We continued to deliver training using the risk management training package developed in 2007–08 to improve understanding of risk management across the department. A review of the risk management training package was commenced and redevelopment of the package is scheduled for 2009–10.

The department showed continuous improvement in risk management according to the results of the 2009 Comcover Risk Management Benchmarking Survey. Our risk management performance remained strong in comparison with other comparably sized agencies—the department was awarded a score of 7.9 out of a possible 10, which was an increase on last year’s score of 7.6.

Each division of the department included six-monthly risk reports in their performance reviews provided to the Executive Management Team. In 2008–09 we refined the template and the process to reduce the reporting burden for divisions and to improve the clarity of the divisional risk reports.

We conducted exercises on 30 September 2008 and 1 October 2008 to test the department’s Critical Incident Response Plan and the Business Continuity Plan for response and recovery of business functions in the event of a disruption to our business.

The Business Continuity Plan was activated in response to a critical incident in the department’s national office on 23 June 2009, when business was interrupted and staff members were evacuated. Two hours later all staff were able to resume normal business operations, except for those located on level seven in the Marcus Clarke Street building. These staff were temporarily relocated to other areas in the building and were able to resume normal business operations the following day.

Corporate performance planning and reporting

The department’s accountability and performance for 2008–9 was documented at a number of levels.

The Portfolio Budget Statements, Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements and Portfolio Supplementary Additional Estimates Statements stated the portfolio agencies’ planned outcomes, appropriations and revenue, and the purpose of the portfolio budget measures.

The 2008–2011 Corporate Plan set out our plans for four calendar years.

Our Client Service Charter provided information on our service responsibilities and the standard of service stakeholders could expect from us.

Annual divisional business plans documented how each division set out to deliver individual outputs through projects.

Individual work plans and learning agreements documented the work staff members agreed to undertake, the work standards they agreed to meet, the skills they needed to use and develop, and how they would improve those skills through agreed learning and development activities.
Financial reports, reviewed at each Executive Management Team meeting, reported on year-to-date and end-of-year projections against budget.

Biannual business performance reviews for each division (in December and June) reported risks and achievements against the Portfolio Budget Statements’ performance indicators and government priorities.

The department’s operations in 2008–09 were also supported by our Communications Strategy, Governance Framework, Internal Audit Plan, Fraud Control and Awareness Plan, Chief Executive Instructions, Risk Management and Business Continuity Framework, Workplace Diversity Plan, Collective Agreement 2006–09, Capability Framework, and Learning and Development Strategy.

Assets management

The department has several classes of assets:
  • land and buildings
  • plant and equipment
  • intangibles (software)
  • leased IT equipment.

We manage some 1100 non-IT assets around Australia and have 13 000 IT‑related assets under a leasing arrangement. The value of our assets is $89 million. Our major asset investments are in land, buildings and intangibles.

Our asset register is centrally managed. We have a specialist team to provide guidance on management and disposal of assets. Our land, buildings and leased assets are managed by third parties under outsourcing contracts.

To achieve departmental objectives and business requirements, we control acquisitions of and enhancements to assets through a capital budgeting process approved by the Executive Management Team. Divisions submit capital budget proposals for consideration and approval as part of the annual budget process.

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