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Internal audit

Internal audit is a key component of our corporate governance. The function operates under a charter consistent with the Institute of Internal Auditors' standards and approved by the department's Director-General.

The Chief Auditor is directly accountable to the Director-General for leading an effective and efficient internal audit function and for ensuring the internal audit activity meets its objectives and adds value to TMR. This includes the implementation of risk-based strategic and annual internal audit plans, and coordinating audit activities with the external auditors, Queensland Audit Office (QAO), to best achieve appropriate audit objectives for the department.

The Chief Auditor reports regularly to the Audit and Risk Committee, which reviews the work of the internal audit function. The relationship with the committee is based on Queensland Treasury's Audit Committee Guidelines.

The Internal Audit team has a central role in improving operational processes and financial practices by:

Table – Internal Audit team experience
< 5 years 5–10 years 10–20 years > 20 years
6% 12% 47% 35%

During the past year, Internal Audit team:

The Internal Audit team seeks feedback focusing on five key facets of the audit process, the table below shows the percentage of respondents who strongly agreed or agreed with the quality of each audit facet and benchmarked to prior year results.

Table – End of audit survey results
2015–16 2016–17
Engagement 85% 100%
Professionalism 100% 95%
Report Clarity 88% 88%
Audit Results 75% 83%
Value Add 79% 93%

External scrutiny

Our operations are subject to regular scrutiny from external oversight bodies.

Auditor-General reports

In addition to his audit of the department's financial statements, during 2016–17 the Auditor-General conducted audits where recommendations were specifically addressed to the department, were for all agencies to consider or included learnings potentially applicable to the department.

These audits included:

The implementation status of recommendations relevant to the department is periodically monitored and reported.

In addition, the following audits (currently in progress) includes coverage of the department's operations:

Integrity Commissioner

On occasion, the Ethical Standards Unit (ESU) provides advice to the Queensland Integrity Commissioner about matters involving lobbyist activity between TMR officers and registered lobbyists.

We maintain a TMR Register of Contact with Lobbyists and receive notifications of contact with registered lobbyists from TMR Divisions and maintains a record of the notified instances of contact with registered lobbyists in accordance with section 72A of the Integrity Act 2009.

For the 2016–17 reporting period, ESU received nine notifications of lobbyist related activity with TMR officers.

Coronial inquests

Under the whole-of-government coronial reporting arrangements, Ministers are required to inform the Attorney General within six months of coronial findings being handed down as to whether the recommendations are supported. Ministers must also provide progress updates every six months until the recommendation is implemented.

The department's response for January – June 2017, supported by both the Deputy Premier, Minister for Transport and Minister for Infrastructure and Planning and the Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports, will be provided to the Attorney General and published on the coroner's website in the coming months. Three new recommendations were directed toward the department in the period January – June 2017. The department's report will provide an update on 18 recommendations in total.

Crime and Misconduct Commission reports

TMR and the state government maintains its commitment to the people of Queensland to act with integrity, accountability and consultation. We do this by discharging statutory obligations contained in various legislation imposed on the Director- General so that we respond appropriately to allegations of corrupt conduct and serious misconduct.

We maintain an ESU and other integrity functions within the agency to enhance public confidence and embed a culture of integrity.

The department is committed to the highest ethical standards. We have the necessary tools and resources available to our staff so that they make sound and ethical decisions while at work. Our focus is ensuring our people possess the knowledge to act ethically and to report wrongdoing should it arise.

We maintain strong partnerships with the Crime and Corruption Commission for this purpose and recognise that reducing corruption must be core business for all public sector agencies.

Queensland Ombudsman

The department also maintains a cooperative and effective working relationship with the Queensland Ombudsman. We have a central liaison and coordination point for Queensland Ombudsman inquiries – managing the interface between the two agencies – in addition to managing all 'disclosures' received by the agency pursuant to the provisions of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010.

Parliamentary committees

Parliamentary committees, review legislation, investigate specific issues and report to the Parliament. Some committees also have continuing roles to monitor and review public sector organisations or keep areas of the law or activity under review.

There are two committees which relate to the Department of Transport and Main Roads portfolio:

In relation to their areas of responsibility, the committees:

The Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources Committee conducted the following parliamentary inquiries relating to the Department of Transport and Main Roads' portfolio in 2016–17:

The Public Works and Utilities Committee conducted the following parliamentary inquiries relating to TMR's portfolio in 2016–17:

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