Management and accountability
(at 30 June 2010)
Peter Baxter, Director General
Peter Baxter was officially appointed AusAID’s Director General on 12 May 2010 following nine months as Acting Director General. He came to AusAID as an experienced senior career officer within the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio.
Peter joined the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in 1988. He has been on a number of overseas postings including Fiji, Solomon Islands and Vietnam, and was Deputy Chief of Mission in Washington from 2002 to 2005. In 2000, he was appointed as Special Envoy of the Foreign Minister to Solomon Islands.
Before moving to AusAID, Peter headed the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Consular, Public Diplomacy and Parliamentary Affairs Division. His previous Canberra assignments with the department included senior management roles heading the Consular and Passports (2000), Corporate Management (2000 to 2001), Market Development (2001 to 2002) and North Asia (2005 to 2008) divisions.
Richard Moore, Deputy Director General—Asia Division
Richard Moore is AusAID’s Deputy Director General for Asia and Gender Advocate—positions he has held since 2007. Before this he was Alternate Executive Director on the Board of the Asian Development Bank in Manila. Richard’s corporate responsibilities include chairing AusAID’s Program Committee. He joined AusAID in 1995 and since then has worked on Papua New Guinea and the Pacific, United Nations programs, the 1997 Independent Review of the Australian Aid Program, and as Branch Head for Mekong, South Asia and Africa.
Murray Proctor, Deputy Director General—Program Enabling Division and Australian Ambassador, HIV/AIDS
Murray Proctor commenced duties as Australian Ambassador, HIV/AIDS in 2007, a role he fills concurrently with his position as Deputy Director General for the Program Enabling Division. Murray has more than 25 years experience in aid and development. Before his current role, Murray was Deputy Director General of AusAID’s Asia Division, and before that managed the AusAID Office of Review and Evaluation and Australia’s aid program to Papua New Guinea. He worked from 1999 to 2001 in the World Bank on East Timor reconstruction and public sector reform.
Catherine Walker, Deputy Director General—Africa, West Asia, Middle East and Humanitarian Division
Catherine Walker was appointed to the position of Deputy Director General in AusAID in 2008. She joined the agency in 1992 as Director Public Affairs. She has served as Director Humanitarian and Emergencies Section and was posted to Rome as Counsellor Development Cooperation from 1996 until 1999. She has also headed up AusAID’s North Asia Section. Early in 2000 she was seconded to the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor as the Chief of Donor Coordination in the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General. Catherine was appointed as the Regional Assistance Mission Solomon Islands’ Development Coordinator, based in Honiara, from January 2004 until March 2006. From March 2006 until October 2007 she was Assistant Director General, Papua New Guinea Group.
Jamie Clout, Deputy Director General—Corporate Enabling Division
Jamie Clout took up his current position at AusAID in 2007, coming from the Department of Health and Ageing where he had headed the Portfolio Strategies Division since 2006. Before that he managed the portfolio budget function from 2003. Before joining the Department of Health and Ageing he spent nine years in the Department of Finance and Administration, was seconded to work on projects in the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service, and was involved in Australian Government activity in Beijing and Port Moresby. Jamie has also worked in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, the Department of Industry, Science and Technology, and the Productivity Commission.
Robin Davies, Deputy Director General—Sustainable Development and Partnerships Division
Robin Davies was appointed as head of AusAID’s Sustainable Development and Partnerships Division in 2010 with responsibility for AusAID’s multilateral engagements, climate change and environment policies and programs, non-government organisation and other community partnerships, the Australian Civilian Corps and assistance to Latin America. He joined AusAID in 1993 and has worked in a variety of program management, multilateral and aid policy roles. Robin was AusAID’s first permanent representative on the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee from 1999 to 2002 and also served on the board of the World Food Programme in the same period. From 2003 to 2006, he was Minister-Counsellor (Development Cooperation) in Indonesia.
Blair Exell, Acting Deputy Director General—Pacific and PNG Division
Blair Exell began as Acting Deputy Director General for the Pacific and PNG Division in February 2010 following a posting in Indonesia as Minister Counsellor and AusAID’s senior representative to the Australian Embassy in Jakarta. Blair began his career in the development sector in Cambodia and Vietnam in 1993 before joining AusAID in 1997. He has worked in AusAID’s policy, program and corporate areas covering Asia and the Pacific. Blair has had postings to Cambodia, Solomon Islands and Indonesia, and was a member of the Bougainville Peace Monitoring Group in 1998.
AusAID has seven governance committees which assist the Director General in the strategic oversight of program and corporate performance. The governance committees comprise the:
- Executive Committee: which is chaired by the Director General and sets the agency’s overall policy direction and development agenda, managing and overseeing corporate relationships (particularly ministerial and whole-of-government), and acting as a board of management to provide strategic oversight
- Corporate Reform Committee: which is chaired by the Director General and coordinates and directs AusAID’s reform and change agenda
- Audit Committee: which assists the Director General and the Executive Committee with legislative, corporate governance, risk management and financial responsibilities
- Resources Committee: which assists the Director General and the Executive Committee to analyse management information, and makes recommendations on financial, human and physical resources
- Postings Committee: which recommends staff placements in Canberra and for postings overseas
- Information and Communication Technology Steering Committee: which reviews, promotes and proposes activities which align information and communication technology systems, services and investments with the needs of AusAID
- Program Committee: which assists the Director General to provide high-level strategic direction and leadership to the agency’s program strategies and program quality and effectiveness.
The agency’s operating environment has changed significantly in the 15 months since the release of Building on the 2010 blueprint: a reform agenda for 2015, the key report articulating the direction of AusAID’s reform agenda. With the appointment of the new Director General, the agency is now entering a new phase in its reform agenda.
The Corporate Reform Committee, chaired by the Director General, was established in April 2010 to direct AusAID’s ambitious change agenda. The committee will oversee the cultural and business changes necessary to deliver the significantly expanded program that the agency will be required to deliver by 2015. The committee will take a driving role for both internal changes such as development of business policies, processes and externally driven processes such as implementation of the APS-wide reforms outlined in the Moran Review.
AusAID established an Executive Branch in February 2010 to provide policy, coordination and implementation support across a range of agency reform activities.
AusAID’s strategic planning framework builds a clear connection between higher-level strategic priorities right down to individual performance management. This strongly interlinked planning process clearly articulates the agency’s policy and planning goals and provides clear business objectives grounded in accountability at all levels.
The business unit planning process provides a concrete basis for managing operations, performance planning, review and reporting by all AusAID business units. It supports effective and efficient budgeting, corporate planning, workforce planning, and delivery of corporate services. It also provides the AusAID executive with an aggregated assessment of progress in achieving corporate goals and identifying critical emerging issues requiring executive attention.
AusAID’s strategic planning framework is underpinned by the following policies and strategies.
Development Effectiveness Steering Committee
The Development Effectiveness Steering Committee is a whole-of-government committee established to strengthen coordination of the aid program and to advise government on major official development assistance strategy and budget proposals. The committee is chaired by AusAID’s Director General and comprises deputy secretaries of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Treasury, Department of Finance and Deregulation, and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, as well as AusAID’s Deputy Director General—Corporate Enabling Division. The committee focuses on four themes:
- whole-of-government country and regional strategies
- official development assistance budget strategy
- implementation of policy priorities.
The committee played a central role in the development of the 2010–11 aid budget. It also reviewed and commented on the policy coherence, quality and development effectiveness of budget proposals.
Committee for Development Cooperation
The Committee for Development Cooperation is a joint AusAID-non-government organisation advisory and consultative body. In 2009–10, the committee had eight members: four from the non-government organisation community and four from AusAID. The committee meets at least three times a year to review accreditation reports and to make recommendations to AusAID on the accreditation of non-government organisations. The committee also provides a mechanism for consultation with the community sector. The committee had four official meetings in 2009–10 and considered seven accreditation reports. Forty-one Australian non-government organisations are accredited with AusAID.
Section 46 of the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 requires the Director General to establish and maintain an audit committee with functions that include:
- assisting AusAID to comply with obligations under the Financial Management and Accountability legislation
- providing a forum for communication between the Director General, senior managers and AusAID’s internal and external auditors.
In 2009–10, the committee ensured AusAID complied with its obligations under the legislation by reviewing and, where necessary, recommending improvements to management systems and key business processes, the corporate governance framework and financial reporting processes.
The committee also provided a forum for both formal and informal communication between key stakeholders, including the Director General, the executive, senior managers, the Performance Review and Audit Section, other areas of AusAID with governance responsibilities and the Australian National Audit Office.
In addition to performing these two key functions, the committee also provided independent assurance to the Director General on AusAID’s risk management arrangements (including fraud control), controls framework, public accountability responsibilities, and internal and external audit activities.
In performing these roles and responsibilities, the committee contributed to strong audit and governance arrangements for AusAID.
The committee is chaired by the Deputy Director General—Program Enabling Division and includes two external (independent) members and four internal members with responsibilities for corporate, operations policy and support, and program management.
AusAID’s Director of Performance Review and Audit Section, the Chief Finance Officer and representatives of the Australian National Audit Office attended committee meetings as observers, which were held each quarter.
Performance Review and Audit Section
The Performance Review and Audit Section focuses on improving the quality, accountability, efficiency and effectiveness of the functions and processes used to manage, administer and account for the Australian aid program.
The section develops and manages the delivery of an internal audit and review program which is designed to identify areas for improvement of AusAID’s administrative and program functions and processes. The internal audit and review program is delivered using a combination of internal resources and external providers.
In 2009–10, the annual internal audit and review program included:
- nine reviews of business processes, systems and internal functions
- compliance audits of seven commercial contractors, four non-government organisations and two tertiary institutions
- 11 performance audits of program administration.
The section provides support and advice to the Audit Committee and reports to the committee on the outcome of audit and review activities.
Effective management of risk enables AusAID to work successfully in a complex, challenging and changing environment to achieve aid and development outcomes. Risk management is used by AusAID to identify and be conscious of the risks it faces, make informed decisions about managing those risks and to identify and harness potential opportunities. The Performance Review and Audit Section is responsible for developing and disseminating risk management polices, guidance, training and high level plans. The section performs compliance assessments by sampling the implementation of risk management throughout the agency.
The Performance Review and Audit Section is responsible for AusAID’s fraud control framework.
In 2009–10, the section monitored the implementation of AusAID’s Fraud Control Plan VII (2009–2011). The plan, including a fraud risk assessment, was developed in accordance with the Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines 2002. It emphasises AusAID’s zero-tolerance towards fraud and the requirement that all cases of suspected and detected fraud be reported to the Director of Performance Review and Audit Section. The section oversees the management of suspected and detected fraud cases to ensure that:
- cases are investigated
- offenders are prosecuted where possible
- misappropriated funds and assets are recovered and penalties are applied wherever possible.
Fraud control data is reported to the AusAID executive each quarter, and to the Australian Institute of Criminology each year.
In 2009–10, the Performance Review and Audit Section participated in a survey as part of the Australian National Audit Office’s Fraud Control in Australian Government Agencies Audit.
In accordance with AusAID’s Fraud Control Plan VII, the section also provided training to staff and implementing partners in Australia and overseas on fraud awareness and their responsibilities for fraud control.
Certification of compliance with the Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines 2002
I certify that I am satisfied that for the 2009–10 financial year, AusAID has complied with the requirements of the Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines 2002, including the agency’s responsibilities for:
(a) fraud prevention
(b) fraud investigation case handling
(c) reporting of fraud information
(d) fraud control training.
AusAID continues to promote the ethics and values contained in the Australian Public Service Values and Code of Conduct, as set out in the Public Service Act 1999, and AusAID’s Enterprise Agreement 2009–2011.
The agency supports the importance of ethics and values in the workplace including a workplace that encourages diversity and is free from discrimination and harassment. Internal policies and circulars providing guidance for staff include procedures for dealing with:
- offers of gifts, benefits, hospitality and sponsored travel
- conflict of interest and SES declaration of personal interests
- AusAID’s code of conduct for overseas employees
- contracting close relatives
- workplace harassment and anti-bullying.
The need to maintain high ethical standards is promoted through induction courses for new AusAID employees, training for employees before postings overseas and for whole-of-government officials deployed overseas by AusAID, and through individual performance management agreements. All AusAID personnel in Australia and overseas are responsible for ensuring strong, robust and effective fraud control. AusAID maintains a ‘zero tolerance’ attitude towards fraud and requires that any case of suspected or detected fraud must be reported immediately to the Director, Audit. Fraud awareness training is also provided to staff in Australia and overseas.
AusAID also continues to implement existing policies and guidelines that support the importance of ethics and values in the workplace by training staff in Australia and overseas on how to comply with AusAID’s child protection policy, enhancing AusAID’s capacity to manage and reduce risks of child abuse associated with delivering aid activities.
AusAID’s relationship with its implementing partners is based around shared values and a commitment to achieving the objectives of the aid program. AusAID’s agreements and contracts clearly define the agency’s expectations that its partners meet the highest standards of ethical behaviour. In agreements with contractors and other government agencies, AusAID stipulates that contractor personnel and whole-of-government deployees working on AusAID’s projects must be of good fame and character and must conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the Public Service Act 1999, and in accordance with Australian Public Service Values and the Australian Public Service Code of Conduct. Similarly, AusAID includes provisions in its agreements with non-government organisations, which require them to comply with relevant government policies in implementing the Australian aid program. Agreements with non-accredited non-government organisations also incorporate a statement of international development principles, which articulates the minimum standards and commitments AusAID expects from all not-for-profit organisations that it funds.