2014 Awards for Excellence

Winners

Risk Initiative Category

Department of Defence

Ms Jane Halton PSM, Secretary, Department of Finance; the Hon Michael McCormack MP; Brigadier John Shanahan, DSC, AM, OBE and Rear Admiral Peter Quinn, CSC, RAN accepting the Award on behalf of the Department of Defence.

Ms Jane Halton PSM, Secretary, Department of Finance; the Hon Michael McCormack MP; Brigadier John Shanahan, DSC, AM, OBE and Rear Admiral Peter Quinn, CSC, RAN accepting the Award on behalf of the Department of Defence.

Improvised explosive device ( IEDs) are a significant threat to our troops on the ground. They are a type of unconventional explosive weapon that can take any form, can be activated in many ways, and are indiscriminate, resulting in both military and civilian casualties.

Defence’s nomination impressed the Awards panel because of the way it used a risk based approach to identify and treat IED threats in an operational environment.

Defence implemented a predictive risk assessment model to enhance and tailor the identification and treatment of IEDs, rather than the previously accepted retrospective approach. This removed the element of strategic surprise that adversaries rely upon, and allowed a tactical approach to evolve and adapt to meet changing and advancing threats.

In addition, this approach helped Defence identify complementary measures such as electronic countermeasure systems targeting the activation of IEDs, and vehicle enhancements and upgrades to reduce vulnerability to IED threats.

Defence’s approach has been recognised as global best practice by Australia’s allies and importantly has resulted in reduced military casualties due to fewer IED events.

Australian Maritime Safety Authority

Ms Jane Halton PSM, Secretary, Department of Finance; the Hon Michael McCormack MP; Mr Alex Schultz-Altmann and Mr Tony Jordan accepting the Award on behalf of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.

Ms Jane Halton PSM, Secretary, Department of Finance; the Hon Michael McCormack MP; Mr Alex Schultz-Altmann and Mr Tony Jordan accepting the Award on behalf of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority was recognised for its excellent use of risk management as a tool to improve shipping practices to ensure the safe transportation of Australia’s major mineral exports, and its strong stakeholder engagement that has influenced international standards and regulations.

Australia depends almost exclusively on shipping to move its exports and imports and has, in terms of tonnes of cargo shipped and kilometres travelled, the fifth largest shipping task in the world.

One of the largest groups of Australia’s trading vessels are bulk carriers managing the risks associated with preventing the liquefaction of bulk ore cargoes is challenging. This is an extreme risk that can occur during transportation if iron ore fines come into contact with moist air or water. This causes the ore to change characteristics and act like a liquid, potentially destabilising the vessel, and causing it to capsize.

During the period 2009 to 2013, 80 lives were lost and eight ships sunk as a result of ore liquefying in bulk carriers.   

AMSA has taken a leading role to highlight this risk to the international maritime community, to develop better testing, shipping and handling processes and to ensure these processes were implemented.

AMSA’s leadership of this initiative has meant that, since implementation of the new cargo handling arrangements in 2013, only one ship has capsized due to cargo liquefaction.

Bureau of Meteorology

Ms Jane Halton PSM, Secretary, Department of Finance; the Hon Michael McCormack MP; Ms Susan Allen and Dr Rob Vertessy, Director of Meteorology, accepting the Award on behalf of the Bureau of Meteorology.

Ms Jane Halton PSM, Secretary, Department of Finance; the Hon Michael McCormack MP; Ms Susan Allen and Dr Rob Vertessy, Director of Meteorology, accepting the Award on behalf of the Bureau of Meteorology.

The Bureau of Meteorology was recognised for its risk based approach to managing workplace fatigue.

The Bureau manages and maintains a 24-hour weather service and, to ensure the accuracy and timeliness of forecasts and warnings, the Bureau has adopted an across-the-board risk approach to managing workplace fatigue.

The Bureau has adopted an across-the-board risk approach to managing workplace fatigue.

Bureau staff were consulted extensively to gain a solid understanding of current workplace practices. From this, a risk treatment plan was developed to ensure that recommendations would be understood, agreed and implemented.

Fatigue management is now a key performance indicator for the Bureau and is measured in its health and safety, strategic and operational plans.

Managing the risk of fatigue has resulted in improved staff health and safety and an 18 per cent reduction in staff absenteeism.

The Bureau’s project, like so many of these risk initiatives, can be easily applied to other government entities, in this case, to entities that experience sustained peaks in workloads.

Australian Taxation Office

Ms Jane Halton PSM, Secretary, Department of Finance; the Hon Michael McCormack MP; Mr David Porter accepting the Award on behalf of the Australian Taxation Office.

Ms Jane Halton PSM, Secretary, Department of Finance; the Hon Michael McCormack MP; Mr David Porter accepting the Award on behalf of the Australian Taxation Office.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) was recognised for its systematic approach to measuring the resilience of critical resources.

It is critical that the community has confidence in the ATO’s operations and ability to manage our taxation and superannuation systems. The ATO’s resilience model is a key component of its business continuity management framework.

It is a sophisticated and dedicated system to measure and improve resilience, which is being applied across the ATO––from people, to buildings, systems, procedures and suppliers.

It provides a systematic approach to:

  • measuring the resilience characteristics of critical resources;
  • identifying resilience gaps that need to be addressed through strategic projects; and
  • identifying examples of best practice that can be shared across the organisation.

The ATO’s approach to developing a resilience model has enabled them to undertake more efficient planning and response strategies to significant events.

Civil Aviation Safety Authority

Ms Jane Halton PSM, Secretary, Department of Finance; the Hon Michael McCormack MP; Mr Ross Barnes accepting the Award on behalf of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority.

Ms Jane Halton PSM, Secretary, Department of Finance; the Hon Michael McCormack MP; Mr Ross Barnes accepting the Award on behalf of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority.

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) is responsible for regulating the safety of civil air operations in Australia as well as the operation of Australian aircraft overseas. In 2013-14, CASA managed registrations for more than 15,000 aircraft.

CASA’s Risk Management Policy and framework provides a clearly articulated and consistent approach to managing risk that is embedded across the entity.

All corporate planning initiatives and key decisions rely on CASA’s risk data to identify and rate risk exposures––including potential opportunities––and to ensure appropriate resources are allocated to undertake CASA’s duties and tasks.

The inclusion of risk management practices and principles into existing business processes has ensured that there is:

  • better targeted surveillance occurring through industry risk profiling;
  • greater engagement with industry, with increased demand for CASA to facilitate risk workshops with the aviation industry; and
  • improved project management and procurement processes.

CASA’s strong risk management culture and practices have enabled a virtually seamless transition to meet the PGPA Act requirements.

Honourable Mention

Risk Initiative Category

Department of Agriculture

Ms Jane Halton PSM, Secretary, Department of Finance; the Hon Michael McCormack MP; Ms Caroline Gibson accepting the Award on behalf of the Department of Agriculture.

Ms Jane Halton PSM, Secretary, Department of Finance; the Hon Michael McCormack MP; Ms Caroline Gibson accepting the Award on behalf of the Department of Agriculture.

 The Department of Agriculture has a vital role in relation to biosecurity management, and takes a very strong risk based approach to this role.

The Department of Agriculture was recognised for implementation of the Australian Fumigation Accreditation Scheme, which has reduced Australia’s exposure to the threat of exotic pest and disease incursions on imported cargo in trade.  

 The Australian Fumigation Accreditation Scheme operates through bilateral arrangements between the department and quarantine regulatory authorities in counterpart countries, which increases Australia’s ability to effectively manage risk.

The initiative is a good example of how a coordinated risk management approach has not only strengthened Australia’s biosecurity but has also benefited our international trading partners through capacity building and improved surety in the supply chain.

Enterprise-wide Risk Management Category

Department of Agriculture

Ms Jane Halton PSM, Secretary, Department of Finance; the Hon Michael McCormack MP; Ms Debra Schubert accepting the Award on behalf of the Department of Agriculture.

Ms Jane Halton PSM, Secretary, Department of Finance; the Hon Michael McCormack MP; Ms Debra Schubert accepting the Award on behalf of the Department of Agriculture.

The Department of Agriculture has a key role in protecting Australia’s multi-billion dollar agriculture industry.

The department has taken significant steps to embed risk management across all levels of the organisation, and developing a positive risk culture is an ongoing priority for this department.

Two of the main drivers of the department’s risk culture are:

  • Risk understanding and capability—where risk management is driven through the department’s governance framework and supported by clearly articulated accountabilities and reporting frameworks.
  • Continuous risk management learning—as risk management is an integral and routine part of everyday processes, regular risk training is provided to all departmental officers. The department also runs a risk education and awareness program as part of its graduate induction program.

National Archives of Australia

Ms Jane Halton PSM, Secretary, Department of Finance; the Hon Michael McCormack MP; Ms Wendy Cormack and Mr Ian Batterham accepting the Award on behalf of the National Archives of Australia.

Ms Jane Halton PSM, Secretary, Department of Finance; the Hon Michael McCormack MP; Ms Wendy Cormack and Mr Ian Batterham accepting the Award on behalf of the National Archives of Australia.

The National Archives of Australia (Archives) was recognised for its work on understanding the impact of fire on stored collections and identifying appropriate risk treatments to minimise potential  impacts..

The Archives is responsible for storing and caring for more than 100 years of the Australian Government’s most significant records, which document the history of individuals, communities and the nation.

While there are many safeguards in place, the risk of fire is a significant concern and the potential to damage irreplaceable archival materials is high.  In 2012, a two-year project began, to understand how fire could impact the collection, and how the Archives could better prepare, protect and respond.

Last updated: 02 January 2018