A skilled and capable workforce is a key enabler of the Commission’s performance, directly affecting our ability to respond to a changing environment while continuing to deliver services of the highest standard. A key strategy within this plan is to develop workforce capability by using cross skilling as a key capability driver, improving our performance framework to place greater importance on developing staff to build the next cohort of leaders including a strong focus on succession planning.
Capital investment and ICT capability
The Commission is replacing its case management system. The new system will provide added functionality and improve workflow efficiency and timeliness while improving data quality, accessibility and reporting. The new case management system, called eCase, will also enable the public to lodge, monitor and manage their cases through a portal.
While the most common matter type, unfair dismissals, will launch in eCase in 2019, continual development to build all matter types in eCase will remain a key focus for the Commission over the next year.
Risk oversight and management
As the Accountable Authority, the General Manager is responsible for ensuring the Commission meets the requirements of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013. The Commission will ensure that high standards of governance, performance and accountability are met, that public resources are managed properly and that meaningful information is provided to Parliament and the public, including through the Commission’s annual report.
The Commission will continue to embed a contemporary risk management culture and practices across the organisation, in line with the risk management framework introduced by the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013. We actively manage risk, including through our risk register, internal audit program and by maintaining a majority of our Audit Committee members as external to the organisation.
The Commission’s risk management framework establishes processes for managing risk at the operational and strategic level. The main elements of the risk management framework adopted by the Commission are the Risk Management Plan, the internal audit function, the Work Health and Safety Management System and the Fraud Control Plan.
The Commission assesses its risk maturity level annually through the Comcover Benchmarking Survey. Over the next four years covered by this plan, the Commission aims to improve on the risk maturity target outlined in the 2018–19 survey results.
The risk that is most relevant to the Commission’s day to day operations is maintaining our reputation as an independent and expert workplace relations tribunal that is accessible to all Australians. We maintain our reputation by performing statutory functions and exercising associated powers according to our legislative mandate in a manner that is fair and just; quick, informal and avoids unnecessary technicalities; open and transparent; and that promotes harmonious and cooperative workplace relations.
Members of the tribunal are supported in performing their statutory functions by Commission staff. This makes the attraction, retention and promotion of quality staff an associated risk, mitigated by building and maintaining workforce capability.
Another significant and associated risk concerns ensuring that the information we provide to tribunal users and to the Australian community is accurate, up to date and relevant to their needs. By continuing to improve the quality of our information, we help tribunal users understand our processes and their likely outcomes so they can participate with confidence in cases before the Commission.