2016 Awards for Excellence


Enterprise-wide category

Department of Agriculture and Water Resources – Highly commended

L – R: Ms Rikki Martin , Ms Sara Reti , Ms Victoria Anderson , Mr Daryl Quinlivan, Secretary, Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, Mr Jey Hoole and Ms Jane Halton AO PSM, Secretary, Department of Finance accepting the award on behalf of the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources

Risk management in the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources supports all Departmental activities, ranging from policy management, scientific and research advice, service provider and market access negotiator and regulator.

The department has continued to improve its risk management maturity through the implementation of a number of new initiatives. These include quarterly monitoring of the department’s strategic risks by senior management, the introduction of risk champions and the appointment of a chief risk officer at the SES-level responsible for building a positive risk culture across the department.

Risk influences the outputs and outcomes of all work undertaken in the department, enabling officials to understand, accept and manage risks as part of everyday decision-making. The department’s risk culture emphasises the benefits of effective risk management in supporting achievement of the organisation’s objectives. The Secretary and the Executive lead this culture by encouraging genuine and open conversations about risk at all levels in the organisation.

Risk initiative category

Australian Taxation Office – Honourable mention

Mr Brendan Jones and Ms Jane Halton AO PSM, Secretary, Department of Finance accepting the Award on behalf of the Australian Taxation Office.

Over the past six years, the ATO has developed a business continuity capacity, which incorporates highly developed simulation exercises to test the ATO’s risk methodologies and practices.

As a result, ATO has developed a level of organisational resilience enabling them to ensure continuity of business during a crisis, as well as be able to respond to changing business requirements more efficiently and effectively.

The ATO leads a whole-of-government Business Continuity Community of Practice (COP) and assists other entities in developing their business continuity frameworks and systems, ensuring consistency and maturity of Business Continuity Management across government. Members of the COP are provided with coaching and mentoring and have been able to develop their own simulation exercises based on this support.

Department of Agriculture and Water Resources – Winner

L – R: Ms Rosanna Carr , Mr Chris Parker, Ms Marion Healy, Mr Daryl Quinlivan, Secretary, Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, Ms Karina Keast, Ms Jenny Dunn and Ms Jane Halton AO PSM, Secretary, Department of Finance accepting the award on behalf of the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (Agriculture) works across the export industry to monitor export certification requirements under the Export Control Act 1982 and maintain a strong foundation for Australia’s $44.3 billion per annum agricultural export industry. In 2009 industry and government agreed to work together to explore delivery arrangements for the biosecurity grain exports service and position Australia as a world leader in export certification systems. This resulted in the creation of the Export Certification Reform Program (ECRP) and a commitment to fund improvements to export certification processes by July 2011.

Agriculture commenced a reform agenda aimed at achieving a more efficient and cost effective inspection system that maintained market access and enhanced supply chain efficiency.

At stake was a plant export market valued at up to $20 billion. Both industry and government were mindful that any changes to the inspection model should ensure that inspections continued to be conducted to the highest standard and that markets were not put at risk.

The Plant Exports Authorised Officer model was then developed. The model provides flexibility and efficiencies for industry, while ensuring confidence that Australia’s plant and plant product exports are of high quality and meet importing country biosecurity requirements.

The project showcased how the department’s strong risk management focus has delivered real benefits across government, industry and to Australia’s global reputation as a producer and exporter of clean, green and safe agricultural products.

A review of existing processes was conducted, with a key objective to find solutions that enhanced market access; improved supply chain efficiencies and flexibility; provided a risk-based approach to auditing; and shared responsibility between industry and government.

The Authorised Officers model contributes to the department’s strategic objective of managing biosecurity and imported food risk through certification of exports to meet importing countries’ requirements. The model enables industry representatives to become Authorised Officers in order to perform an agreed range of export inspection tasks that had previously been the responsibility of departmental officers, delivering a number of benefits and with no negative impact on Australia’s export markets.

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