- Internal audit
- External scrutiny
- Auditor-General reports
- Integrity Commissioner
- Coronial inquests
- Crime and Misconduct Commission reports
- Queensland Ombudsman
- Parliamentary committees
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:
- assessing the effectiveness and efficiency of departmental financial and operating systems, reporting processes and activities
- identifying operational deficiencies and non-compliance with legislation or prescribed requirements
- assisting in risk management and identifying deficiencies in risk management
- bringing a broad range of issues to management's attention, including performance, efficiency and economy
- monitoring whether agreed remedial actions are undertaken.
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During the past year, Internal Audit team:
- developed and delivered a risk-based annual plan of audits approved by the Director-General and completed 37 audit reports, covering assurance about, and improving effectiveness of controls, systems, project management, operations and risk management
- continued an increased audit focus on improving business performance, with 33 per cent of recommendations having a primary focus on improving operations and/or processes
- engaged with the Audit and Risk Committee about proposed audit plans and their alignment to the risks of the department
- provided advice and assistance on key projects and initiatives
- monitored and reported on the implementation of agreed audit recommendations
- maintained an effective working relationship with Queensland Audit Office.
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.
Our operations are subject to regular scrutiny from external oversight bodies.
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:
- Strategic procurement (Report 1: 2016–17)
- Follow-up: Monitoring and reporting performance (Report 3: 2016–17)
- Rail and ports: 2015–16 results of financial audits (Report 6: 2016–17)
- Queensland state government: 2015–16 results of financial audits (Report 8: 2016–17)
- Government advertising (Report 16: 2016–17)
- Organisational structure and accountability (Report 17: 2016–17).
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:
- integrated transport planning
- enforcement and recovery of unpaid fines.
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.
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.
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, 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:
- The Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources Committee
- The Public Works and Utilities Committee.
In relation to their areas of responsibility, the committees:
- examine Bills to consider the policy to be enacted
- examine the forward estimates of each department
- examine Bills for the application of the fundamental legislative principles set out in section 4 of the Legislative Standards Act 1992
- consider the lawfulness of subordinate legislation
assess the public accounts of each department in regard to the integrity, economy, efficiency and effectiveness of financial management bytextile:
- examining government financial documents
- considering the annual and other reports of the Auditor General.
consider departments' public works in light of matters including, but not limited to the:
- suitability of the works for the purpose
- necessity for the works
- value for money of the works
- revenue produced by, and recurrent costs of, the works, or estimates of revenue and costs
- present and prospective public value of the works
- procurement methods used for the works
- actual suitability of the works in meeting the needs in and achieving the stated purpose of the works.
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:
- Examination of Portfolio Subordinate Legislation
- Cross River Rail Delivery Authority Bill 2016
- Consideration of 2016–2017 portfolio budget estimates.
The Public Works and Utilities Committee conducted the following parliamentary inquiries relating to TMR's portfolio in 2016–17:
- Examination of Portfolio Subordinate Legislation
- Transport Operations (Road Use Management) (Offensive Advertising) Amendment Bill 2016
- Transport and Other Legislation (Personalised Transport Reform) Amendment Bill 2017
- Rail Safety National Law (Queensland) Bill 2016
- Heavy Vehicle National Law and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016
- consideration of 2016–17 portfolio budget estimates.