B2 Internal and external scrutiny
The Directorate's activities are subject to scrutiny through a range of processes. These include internal corporate governance and auditing processes and through parliamentary committees, courts, administrative tribunals, the ACT Auditor-General's Office, the ACT Ombudsman, the Human Rights Commission and the Privacy Commissioner.
The Directorate has implemented strong governance and financial controls to ensure appropriate levels of internal scrutiny and to support its legislative functions, objectives and performance targets.
Core governance arrangements including management accountability processes are supplemented by internal audit and risk management functions and the role of the Senior Executive Responsible for Business Integrity Risk (SERBIR).
Each of these aspects of security is discussed in other sections of this annual report as detailed below:
- corporate governance framework in Section C5
- fraud control and management in Section C2
- internal audit and risk management in Section C1
- financial reporting and accountabilities in Section A6.
The Directorate's Liaison Unit welcomes and values feedback from the community relating to public schools. The Liaison Unit provides parents and the community with assistance regarding their concerns, ensuring that matters are dealt with in a proactive and timely manner.
Complaints made by members of staff about employment related matters are addressed through procedures outlined in industrial agreements; complaints about early learning are managed according to the Education and Care Services National Law.
External reviews, appeals and complaints
The Directorate's Legal Liaison Section coordinates responses to complaints made under a range of administrative law and human rights provisions. These include:
- Ombudsman Act 1989 (ACT) regarding administrative actions
- Human Rights Commission Act 2005 (ACT) regarding the provision of education services
- Discrimination Act 1991 (ACT)
- Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Commonwealth)
- Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Act 1986 (Commonwealth)
- Privacy Act 1988 (Commonwealth).
Current reporting period: 2012-13
During the reporting period the Directorate received nine new inquiries under these legislative provisions as follows:
ACT Human Rights Commission
Six inquiries were received from the ACT Human Rights Commission. Of these, three were resolved to the Commission's satisfaction, one was withdrawn, one was closed by the Commission following successful conciliation of the matters raised by the complainant and one was closed by the Commission on the basis that conciliation was unlikely to succeed.
The Directorate responded to one matter from the ACT Ombudsman during the reporting period. The matter has not been finalised.
Australian Human Rights Commission
One inquiry was received from the Australian Human Rights Commission, which was withdrawn by the complainant following receipt of information provided by the Directorate to the Commission.
Office of the Australian Information Commissioner
One inquiry was received from the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner. The Commissioner closed the matter following information provided by the Directorate, deciding no further investigation was warranted.
Previous reporting periods
Six matters that had remained unresolved from previous reporting periods were finalised in the current reporting period as follows:
ACT Human Rights Commission
Four matters were referred by the ACT Human Rights Commission. Three matters were resolved to the satisfaction of the Commission and the fourth was resolved through conciliation.
Two matters referred by the ACT Ombudsman were finalised during the current reporting period under s15(4) of the Ombudsman Act 1989 (ACT).
Applications to ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal
Five applications were lodged with the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal during the reporting period relating to decisions made by the Directorate across different areas of the Directorate's responsibilities. One application was withdrawn and one was discontinued following mediation. Three matters are continuing.
One application for a workplace protection order was made on behalf of a school to the Magistrate's Court during 2012-13.
The Auditor-General's Office (Audit Office) is an observer on the Directorate's Audit Committee. During the year, the Audit Office provided regular reports to the Audit Committee.
The Directorate participated in audits conducted by the Audit Office on Australian Capital Territory Public Service Recruitment Practices and the annual Financial Statements and Statement of Performance Audit. The audit reports are available on the Auditor General's website.
The Audit Office issued an unqualified audit report on the Directorate's 2011-12 Financial Statements, and an unqualified Report of Factual Findings on the 2011-12 Statement of Performance.
Australian Capital Territory Public Service Recruitment Practices (Report No. 8/2012)
The Report was tabled in the Assembly on 25 October 2012. The Audit Office recommended:
- improvement of recruitment timeliness by identifying potential opportunities for efficiencies
- reasons for delays in actual recruitment processes be clearly identified and documented
- improvement of records management and documentation for recruitment processes.
The Directorate agreed with the recommendations and the need to implement changes in response.
2011-12 Financial Audits (Report No. 10/2012)
The Report was tabled on 21 December 2012. The recommendations and the responses are given in Table B2.1.
Table B2.1: Recommendations and responses to the 2011-12 Financial Audits Report specific to the Education and Training Directorate
Recommendations/outcome of inquiry
Response to the outcome of inquiry
The Audit Office recommended improvements to:
The Directorate agreed with recommendations and:
Source: Information, Communications and Governance Branch
The Directorate partially agreed with:
- implementing regular reviews of MAZE
- improving the level of detail for major variance explanations in future reports.
For more information contact:
Information, Communications and Governance
(02) 6205 9328