Corporate governance

The Commission’s corporate governance framework promotes the principles of good governance and encourages all staff to be accountable for their actions and to focus on their performance. The framework upholds the Australian Public Service (APS) Values and Code of Conduct.

The framework supports the General Manager in meeting her responsibilities for the Commission’s performance, financial management and compliance with the PGPA Act and the Public Service Act.

Corporate governance

Governance bodies

The Executive is the key decision-making body with strategic oversight of the Commission’s administration and resourcing. It comprises the General Manager and three Branch Executive Directors and meets fortnightly. More information about the branches and Executive Directors is in the Overview. The Executive is supported by five specialist bodies, set out in Table 40.

Table 40: Governance bodies, 2017–18
Body Function
Audit Committee The Audit Committee provides independent assurance to the General Manager on the Commission’s financial and performance reporting, risk oversight and management, systems of internal control and internal audit program.
The General Manager appoints Audit Committee members. Three of the four committee members (including the Chair) are independent, satisfying the requirement that a majority of committee members not be Commission officials.
Representatives from the Australian National Audit Office are invited to attend each meeting as observers.
The Audit Committee meets quarterly.
Major Projects Control Committee The Major Projects Control Committee is responsible for high‑level strategic governance of major organisational and capital expenditure projects. The committee comprises the Executive and senior managers and meets monthly.
Information Management and Governance Committee The Information Management and Governance Committee is responsible for all information matters, including information risks, compliance and opportunities. The IMGC also deals with whole-of-government initiatives such as Digital Continuity 2020.
The IMGC is appointed by the General Manager and reports to the General Manager and Executive.
It is made up of senior staff whose roles involve key information responsibilities or obligations.
During 2017–18, the IMGC met six times.
Procurement Committee The Procurement Committee is responsible for ensuring that approaches to market at or above $80,000 (including GST) are consistent with the Commonwealth Procurement Rules and Commission policies. The committee is managed by the Manager, Finance, and includes three other senior Commission employees.
During 2017–18, the Procurement Committee met six times.
Security Working Group The Security Working Group supports the Commission in meeting the requirements of the Australian Government Protective Security Policy Framework. It is a forum for review and development of relevant policies, plans and arrangements, principally concerning personnel, information and physical security. The working group consists of the Commission’s security executive (the Executive Director, Corporate Services), security adviser, information technology security adviser and managers and staff who are routinely responsible for local security arrangements in offices across the organisation.

Fraud management

The Commission has a fraud control plan and conducts fraud risk assessments regularly, including when there is a substantial change in the Commission’s structure, functions or activities. The fraud control plan and fraud risk assessments establish mechanisms for preventing, detecting, investigating and reporting on fraud and suspected fraud within the Commission.

There were no known instances of fraud committed against the Commission in the 2017–18 financial year.

Fraud control certification

In accordance with s.10 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Rule 2014, I hereby certify that I am satisfied that the Fair Work Commission:

  • has prepared fraud risk assessments and fraud control plans
  • has in place appropriate mechanisms for preventing, detecting incidents of, investigating or otherwise dealing with, and recording or reporting fraud that meet the specific needs of the Commission
  • has taken all reasonable measures to appropriately deal with fraud relating to the Commission.


Bernadette O’Neill

Bernadette O’Neill
General Manager

18 September 2018

Risk management

In 2017–18, the Commission continued to embed a contemporary risk management culture and practices across the organisation, in line with the risk management framework introduced by the PGPA Act.

As part of its risk management strategy, the Commission develops an annual internal audit program. The program, developed in consultation with the Executive and endorsed by the Audit Committee, reflects the Commission’s purpose and identified strategic and operational risks and relevant regulatory requirements. Audits can cover any of the Commission’s financial and non-financial activities and performance, policies and procedures. Internal audit reports are provided to the General Manager and Executive and discussed at meetings of the Audit Committee.

In 2017–18, the Commission’s internal auditors were RSM. The following internal audits were undertaken during the year:

  • risk management framework review
  • information management and governance review—part 1
  • project management review—eCase project
  • PGPA Act compliance review.

Those audits presented opportunities for the Commission to update its policies and practices in a number of areas.

Compliance with the finance law

The Commission made no reports of any significant issues that relate to non-compliance with the finance law as it relates to the Commission in 2017–18. Finance law incorporates the PGPA Act, including rules and instruments created under the PGPA Act, and Appropriation Acts.

Ethical standards

The Commission’s ethical standards are governed by a legislative framework common to non-corporate Commonwealth entities, including the PGPA Act, Public Service Act, Australian Public Service Commissioner’s Directions 2016 and Public Service Regulations 1999.