The Auditor-General Annual Report 2010-2011

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The ANAO has a comprehensive human resource management framework that is designed to recruit, develop and retain a high-quality workforce.

Staff surveys

Our assessment of our performance against our Business Plan targets is set out in Table 9.

Table 9 Measures of staff satisfaction and performance

Table 9 Measures of staff satisfaction and performance
Key performance indicators 2010–11 target 2010–11 result
Staff satisfaction is at an acceptable level. >70% (measured by staff surveys) 62%a
Staff turnover is at an agreed level. <25% turnover 21.8%
Public sector organisations acknowledge understanding and skills of ANAO staff through client satisfaction surveys. 90% of agencies agree that ANAO staff have the necessary skills to carry out the audit work Assurance Audit Services: 88%b
Performance Audit Services: 86%c
Professional development programs result in an improvement in the level of performance of staff. Staff and supervisors acknowledge an improvement in the level of on-the-job performance (measured by staff surveys) 67%
Staff acknowledge ANAO values and behaviours are exhibited in the workplace. 85% (measured by staff surveys) 72%d

a The staff satisfaction rating has reduced from 65% in 2009–10. Follow-up research is being undertaken to better analyse this change.

b Assurance Audit Services Group Client Survey, March 2011.

c Performance Audit Services Group Client Survey, August 2011.

d The ANAO has an aspirational target of 85% of staff agreeing that the ANAO values and behaviours are exhibited in the workplace. Our results in 2010–11 were broadly consistent with the previous year’s results (75%). Assessments of behaviours form part of our performance management regime and are integral to our client management.

Workforce planning

Planning approach

Workforce planning is integrated into our business planning framework; we establish strategic workforce planning priorities when developing our annual business plan. Service groups and branches also develop operational workforce plans to meet their particular requirements.

To inform the development of strategic priorities, the ANAO relies on a detailed analysis of qualitative and quantitative information from a range of sources, such as human resource metrics, exit surveys, staff surveys and staff focus groups. Assessment of ‘people risks’ with the potential to affect our ability to attract and retain skilled staff is an important element of our approach.

The Executive Board of Management receives regular reports on workforce planning which include an in-depth analysis of the state of our workforce capability. The People and Remuneration Committee monitors and evaluates the implementation of strategic priorities and the progress of service groups and branches in addressing their workforce planning priorities.

Staff turnover

Staff turnover in the ANAO for 2010–11 was around 22 per cent (ongoing staff only), and the average length of tenure for staff was 5.3 years. Table 10 highlights the differences in length of tenure across the various classifications for ANAO staff.

Table 10 Length of tenure across various classifications at 30 June 2011

Table 10 Length of tenure across various classifications at 30 June 2011
Classification Average length of tenure (years)
Australian Public Service 1–3 5.2
Australian Public Service 4–6 3.2
Executive Level 1– 2 6.6
SES 12.2

Staff recruitment and retention

Competition for qualified and experienced staff remains one of the ANAO’s key challenges, and we are facing an increase in turnover as our staff are highly attractive to employers in both the public and private sectors.

The ANAO also relies on a cadre of mature-aged staff at the management and senior management level who have a depth of experience and skills. This grouping will have the option of retirement over the next five years.

During 2010–11, we focused on these challenges and adopted a range of strategies to recruit and retain skilled employees. Those strategies included:

  • greater investment in graduate recruitment and development
  • revitalising our learning and development three-year rolling strategy, including by identifying priorities for each year. This includes our continual refinement of technical training and the provision of non-technical activities to broaden the capabilities of our staff. Staff are also supported through a formal mentoring program.
  • establishing a taskforce to identify innovative approaches to attracting and recruiting highcalibre applicants and increasing our retention of staff
  • building relationships with Australian universities to encourage potential graduate applicants
  • providing overseas secondment and international professional engagement opportunities for staff

Our workforce is supplemented by contracting private sector auditing firms through competitive tendering processes.

Staff induction

While we have continued to provide a structured induction process, a comprehensive review of the ANAO’s induction practices and procedures, which began in 2009–10, has continued with the aim of further enhancing our processes. We have plans to introduce an e-induction tool and interactive modules to guide prospective recruits and new employees through the initial phases of their employment. Under the new approach, managers and work areas will interact to facilitate a smooth and successful transition for new recruits into the ANAO.

Workforce management

Enterprise agreement

The ANAO’s Enterprise Agreement 2009–10 came into effect on 13 January 2010 and notionally expired on 30 June 2011. Work to develop a new three-year agreement commenced in November 2010.

Strategies to improve productivity by increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of our operations were an integral part of the ANAO’s Enterprise Agreement 2009–11. They included:

  • an increase in the hours of work from 36.75 hours per week to 37.5 hours per week
  • the implementation of a practice management system to provide enhanced reporting of project and resource scheduling and financial management
  • improvements in project management methods and tools across the service groups, to better align resources to outputs and outcomes
  • reviews of processes and approaches, across service groups and support areas, to reduce time frames for the completion of audits.

Workplace Consultative Forum

The Workplace Consultative Forum plays an important role in facilitating consultation on a range of operational and strategic issues affecting staff in the workplace. The forum comprises six staff-elected representatives and three management-appointed representatives. In 2010–11, the forum met formally three times and informally on two other occasions to discuss and consider a range of employment-related issues, including a review of the remuneration model and pay parking arrangements for ANAO staff.

Performance assessment and performance pay

Our Performance Assessment Scheme provided for two levels of performance pay in 2010–11. Staff rated as ‘more than fully effective’ were eligible to receive a 3 per cent performance bonus and staff rated as ‘outstanding’ were eligible for a 7 per cent performance bonus.

A summary of ratings for the reporting cycle is set out in Table 11. Graduates, non-ongoing staff and ongoing staff with less than six months employment during the performance cycle are not eligible for a performance bonus.

Table 11 Summary of performance ratings for the period ending 31 October 2010

Table 11 Summary of performance ratings for the period ending 31 October 2010
Rating Outstanding More than fully effective Fully effective Unsatisfactory Total
ANAO Bands 3 and 4 (EL 1 and 2) 7 55 76 0 138
ANAO Bands 1 and 2 (APS 1–6) 4 46 96 2 148
Total 11 101 172 2 286
Percentage of total (4%) (35%) (60%) (1%) (100%)

APS = Australian Public Service, EL = Executive Level

In 2010–11, a total of $0.553 million in performance bonuses was paid to eligible staff ($0.546 million in 2009–10). Aggregated information on performance pay is set out in Appendix 2, Table A2.8.

Senior executive remuneration

The salary ranges for Senior Executive Service (SES) staff are determined by the Auditor-General and Deputy Auditor-General, who are informed by public sector benchmarks, notably the annual APS remuneration survey. The nature of the work, specific skills and individual contributions to our business outcomes are key factors in setting individual SES salaries. SES remuneration payments are set out under Note 10 of our financial statements, which are presented in Appendix 1. Our SES officers are covered by common law contracts.

Professional development

Learning and development

The ANAO continued to commit considerable resources to training staff and enhancing key in-house capabilities. In 2010–11, with strategic guidance provided by our Learning and Development Committee, we undertook a review of our learning and development activities. A rolling three-year strategic plan is now in place, having been endorsed by the Executive Board of Management in December 2010.

The development of our staff remains one of our key workforce planning priorities. A rich learning environment assists us in delivering our services, providing staff with both technical proficiency and a range of skills in client management and stakeholder engagement.

As part of this approach to professional development, a number of new developments are in progress. They include developing a workbook for the graduate cohort to facilitate and assess learning on the job. We are exploring the benefits of introducing alternative approaches to professional development, including computer-based e-learning options for technical and corporate training.

During 2010–11, the ANAO also instigated a senior executive leadership forum. The forum meets on a regular basis to discuss contemporary approaches to human resource management and leadership. The agenda for forum meetings takes into account our workforce planning strategic priorities.

Secondment and exchange program

The secondment and exchange program provides an opportunity for our staff to work in other organisations to enhance their skills and knowledge. Exchange placements provide participants with a range of valuable experiences and are viewed as an important development opportunity. This arrangement is also a reward for sustained high performance and forms part of our retention strategy.

The diverse knowledge and experience of incoming program participants, as well as their potential to supplement the workforce during peak periods, bring many benefits to the ANAO.

Details of the secondments and exchanges to and from the ANAO are outlined in Table 12.

Table 12 Secondment and exchange program participants in 2010–11

Table 12 Secondment and exchange program participants in 2010–11
Exchange type Organisation Participant
ANAO staff visiting other organisations Papua New Guinea
Auditor-General’s Office
Ray The
Paul Howe
Audit Office of New Zealand Peta Martyn
Staff from other organisations visiting the ANAO Papua New Guinea
Auditor-General’s Officea

Indonesian Board of Audit
Ellina Iamu
Mesuke Warigi
Wiwid Mulyadi
Amin Bangun
Prima Ginting
Rahmi Istanti
Board of Audit and Inspection, Korea Jae Hyuk Choi

a In addition to the staff based at the ANAO, Lucas Poiya and Benley Micah were based at the Audit Office of New South Wales in Sydney, and Michael Wek and Cedric Oaeke were based at the Queensland Audit Office in Brisbane.


A number of ANAO staff have roles outside the organisation that contribute to the auditing and accounting profession in general:

  • The Auditor-General, Ian McPhee, is a member of the Australian Accounting Standards Board.
  • Peter Kerr was appointed to the CPA Australia ACT Divisional Council, effective from 1 January 2011.
  • The Deputy Auditor-General, Steve Chapman, completed a three-year term as a director of the CPA Australia National Board and is past president and a member of the CPA Australia ACT Divisional Council.
  • Michael Watson completed a three-year term as a director of the National Board of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia and is a past member of the institute’s ACT Council.
  • Brian Boyd was a member of the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) Working Group on the Audit of Privatisation, Economic Regulation and Public–Private Partnerships.
  • Keith Allen is a member of the INTOSAI Working Group on IT Audit.
  • Nathan Williamson is a member of the INTOSAI Sub-Committee on Performance Audit.
  • Jodi George is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia ACT Council.
  • Peter McVay is a member of the INTOSAI Working Group on Environmental Auditing.

A list of papers and presentations by the Auditor-General and other senior staff members is set out in Appendix 5.

Professional qualifications and studies assistance

During 2010–11, the ANAO supported 64 staff members in undertaking study programs: 45 who are participating in Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia or CPA Australia programs, and 19 who are undertaking postgraduate university study. Table 13 lists staff members who successfully completed ANAO-supported studies during the year.

Table 13 Summary of studies completed by staff members in 2010–11

Table 13 Summary of studies completed by staff members in 2010–11
Qualification Staff member
Australian and New Zealand School of Government— Executive Masters of Public Administration Kristian Gage
Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Australia—CPA Program Racheal Kris and Vandana Singh
Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia—Chartered Accountants Program Connie Liu
Bachelor of Commerce Connal McInnes
Masters of Business Administration Michael Probets
Masters of Management Matt Tolley
Masters of Professional Accountancy Alicia Hall

Graduate and undergraduate programs

The ANAO recruited 18 graduates who commenced employment in the agency on 31 January 2011. Following a one-week orientation program, the graduate recruits were placed in roles in:

  • the Assurance Audit Services Group—Annette Ewart, Joanna He, Rubana Huda, Ellina Iamu (PNG graduate), Jennifer Lenard, Bradley Medina, Peter Nguyen, Natasha de Noskowski, Colin Oke, Susan Su, Mesuke Warigi (PNG graduate), Wen Zhang and Tanja Zivkovic
  • the Performance Audit Services Group—Nathan Callaway, Eloise Lovegrove, Anna Peterson, Philip Rebula and Benjamin Siddans.

During their 12-month program, the graduates undertake:

  • either financial or performance audits in small teams (usually comprising two to five staff)
  • an intensive learning and development program, including technical skills, people management and general training and skill development
  • a short-term rotation within the ANAO, which is intended to enhance their overall development and provide an appreciation of the ANAO’s broader operations.

At the end of the year, all graduates may apply and be assessed on merit for promotion in the ANAO.

During 2010–11, we continued to foster a productive relationship with the Australian National University, the University of Canberra and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia to recruit students for the ANAO undergraduate program. The program involves the ANAO employing students studying for tertiary qualifications on a part-time basis. It is an excellent vehicle for transitioning undergraduates into the ANAO graduate program; two undergraduates were advanced into the 2011 graduate intake.

The Auditor‑General, Ian McPhee, with some of the 2011 graduates and secondees from Indonesia and Papua New Guinea
The Auditor-General, Ian McPhee, with some of the 2011 graduates and secondees from Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.

Awards and recognition

The ANAO supports an awards system that recognises and rewards individual staff and teams who make a significant contribution to achieving our business objectives, including in such areas as client service, people management, business management, and audit management and innovation.

The award system comprises the Auditor-General’s Annual Awards for Outstanding Achievement, the National Australia Day Council’s Australia Day Achievement Medallions, and the Auditor-General’s Certificate of Appreciation.

Auditor‑General’s Annual Awards for Outstanding Achievement recipients with the Auditor‑General. Left to right: Nathan Williamson, Laura Campbell, Niki Strachan and Ian McPhee
Auditor-General’s Annual Awards for Outstanding Achievement recipients with the Auditor-General. Left to right: Nathan Williamson, Laura Campbell, Niki Strachan and Ian McPhee.

Table 14 lists the recipients of achievement awards and medallions in 2010–11.

Table 14 Recipients of awards in 2010–11

Table 14 Recipients of awards in 2010–11
Award Recipient Reason
Auditor-General’s Annual Awards for Outstanding Achievement Laura Campbell For consistently producing high-quality work under very tight deadlines on graduate and non-graduate recruitment.
Niki Strachan For her consistently demonstrated high level of energy and commitment to improving the business of the Assurance Audit Services Group.
Nathan Williamson For his leadership of audits and the delivery of the annual audit work program as well as his support to the ANAO’s representations to parliamentary inquiries.
Australia Day Achievement Medallions Barbara Cass For her valuable contribution to the professional standing of the ANAO through her leadership, high-quality audit reports, strong support and mentoring of junior staff, and work as graduate coordinator over many years.
Mary-Ann Kava For her valuable contribution as ANAO Records Manager in building effective working relationships with staff across the ANAO by providing support and assistance in a courteous, helpful and professional manner and in contributing to the implementation of our electronic records management system.
Mary Murphy For her valued contribution to the ANAO Records Management Unit in providing a friendly and professional service to staff in the areas of records management and mail services.
Mark Vial For his major contribution to the Software Methodology and Support project and the upgrade of the Teammate software platform.
Peter White For his significant contribution to the professional standing of the ANAO through his leadership, delivery of high-quality audit reports, mentoring and empathy with staff, and contribution to the social fabric of the ANAO through his involvement in the ANAO Social Club.
National Australia Day Council medallion recipients with the Auditor‑General. Left to right: Mark Vial, Mary Murphy, Ian McPhee, Mary-Ann Kava, Barbara Cass and Peter White
National Australia Day Council medallion recipients with the Auditor-General. Left to right: Mark Vial, Mary Murphy, Ian McPhee, Mary-Ann Kava, Barbara Cass and Peter White.

Occupational health and safety

Commitment to the safety and welfare of staff

The ANAO is committed to uphold the agency’s health and safety management arrangements (HSMAs) and accompanying occupational health and safety (OH&S) policies. The Auditor-General and all ANAO managers are accountable for OH&S outcomes and the actions taken to implement OH&S policies and guidelines.

The ANAO recognises that it has a duty of care to provide for the health, safety and welfare of its staff, contractors and certain other third parties who work at the ANAO. This includes taking appropriate action in relation to any reported concern.

We integrate safe working practices into all areas of operations. Managers consult and cooperate with their staff and others to maintain a safe and healthy workplace and strive to attain OH&S best practice.

Health and safety management arrangements

The HSMAs, which have been in place since August 2008, provide a comprehensive framework for our commitment and actions in relation to the safety and welfare of our staff. The HSMAs:

  • provide mechanisms for consultation between staff and managers on OH&S matters
  • establish the roles and responsibilities of our designated work groups, health and safety representatives, diversity and harassment officers and fire wardens
  • provide policy guidance on compensation coverage for staff and visitors
  • contain dispute settlement procedures (to date, there have been no disputes).

The Occupational Health and Safety Committee is responsible for monitoring and reviewing the HSMAs and advising the ANAO on OH&S matters. The committee is chaired by the Executive Director, Corporate Management Branch, and its members are the ANAO’s health and safety representatives. The committee met four times in 2010–11.

Health and safety representatives are nominated and elected by ANAO staff in accordance with the HSMAs and OH&S guidelines. All health and safety representatives are required to attend appropriate, accredited training.


OH&S was promoted widely throughout the office. A dedicated site on our intranet includes the minutes of the meetings of the Occupational Health and Safety Committee.

All new staff attended induction courses which included information on OH&S. We contracted a Comcare-accredited registered training organisation to provide our OH&S officers with training on their responsibilities.

During 2010–11, the ANAO offered ergonomic work station assessments to all staff and new starters, and completed 36 ergonomic work station assessments. We provided staff with access to influenza vaccinations, and offered health assessments to all staff.


Two incidents were reported in 2010–11 under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1991 (a decrease compared to the nine incidents reported in 2009–10). Both incidents occurred on ANAO premises. Neither resulted in an ongoing compensation claim.

In 2010–11, the ANAO did not:

  • experience any accidents or dangerous occurrences that required the giving of notice under section 68 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1991
  • receive any notices under sections 29, 46 or 47 of the Act.

Employee Assistance Program

The Employee Assistance Program provides access to confidential professional counselling services to assist staff and their families with any personal or work-related problems. In 2010–11, members of staff and their families used the service for both work-related and personal circumstances.

The service also offers guidance and advice to managers on issues relating to staff management.

The program is promoted as part of our induction for new staff, and our monthly staff newsletter includes a regular feature on the program.

Workplace diversity

We are committed to promoting and supporting social inclusion, equity and diversity in the ANAO. We achieve this by actively building a working environment that supports and encourages staff with a range of skills and life experiences and different cultural and social backgrounds.

Our Workplace Diversity Program is a three-year commitment with six key initiatives to provide a productive and safe workplace.

A network of diversity contact officers champions diversity across the ANAO, with a focus on building a positive workplace culture, and provides informal and confidential support to staff members who are seeking assistance and guidance on harassment and bullying issues.The diversity contact officers met regularly in 2010–11, to share information and keep informed about latest developments.

Awareness of workplace diversity is an important part of our induction training and our graduates are provided with more in-depth training on workplace diversity and, in particular, working in a harassment-free environment. Courses on ethics and conduct are also provided to staff and managers.