Senior management committees and their roles
18.3 SENIOR MANAGEMENT COMMITTEES AND THEIR ROLES
An important feature of ABS corporate governance is the role played by senior management committees, which are active in developing policies and strategies, identifying ABS priorities, ensuring appropriate planning and implementation to address those priorities, and effective monitoring of ABS activities.
The major senior management committees are as follows:
Division Heads Meetings (DHM)
DHMs are the ABS executive meetings held weekly to address emerging corporate issues. They are attended by the Statistician, the Deputy Statisticians, and the First Assistant Statisticians, with other attendees as required for particular items. Each Assistant Statistician and Regional Director in the ABS reports, on a rolling basis, to the DHM in respect of their area of functional responsibility.
ABS Management Meetings
The Management Meetings play a major role in determining ABS strategic directions, priorities and resource allocations. They involve all DHM members, as well as the Regional Directors. The Management Meeting is held twice a year, and agrees on the ABS forward work program. Each Division and Group details their strategic directions annually to the ABS Management Meeting.
Protective Security Management Committee
The ABS maintains a comprehensive security framework, overseen by a Protective Security Management Committee chaired by a Deputy Australian Statistician. This security framework ensures that both physical and computer security are maintained. The Committee is a key means of ensuring that the ABS meets its legal requirement not to divulge identifiable information.
The ABS Audit Committee provides assurance to the Australian Statistician that: a comprehensive control framework is in place and working effectively for all business systems; the operation and management of all ABS systems are sufficiently adequate to ensure the ABS complies with all its legislative and other obligations; and externally published information generated by these systems is of appropriate quality and conforms with legislative and other obligations. The committee identifies significant issues of concern or non-compliance.
The ABS Audit Committee is chaired by a Deputy Australian Statistician, and comprises six other ABS officers chosen for their personal qualities, experience and skills including their ability to demonstrate independence on matters before the Committee. Throughout 2005– 06, the Committee included two experienced external members as well.
Information Resources Management Committee
The Information Resources Management Committee considers matters of strategic significance concerning data and information management and related policy, and major issues relating to the application of information and communication technology in the ABS. It also has responsibility for the strategic management of cost recovery activities of the information technology and technology services areas of the ABS. The Committee meets four times each year, and reports to each Management Meeting and the DHM as appropriate. It is chaired by the Deputy Australian Statistician, Population Statistics Group, and consists of the Deputy Australian Statistician, Economic Statistics Group, all First Assistant Statisticians, a nominated Regional Director, and appropriate Assistant Statisticians.
Accountability Division Heads Meeting
Accountability Division Heads Meetings (Accountability DHMs) provide a forum for reviewing the ABS financial position. They also play an important role in the planning cycle, providing the opportunity for senior managers to discuss work program priorities within the broader budgetary context, and reach agreement on allocation of funds.
Accountability DHMs are scheduled four times a year and are chaired by the Australian Statistician. Other members are the usual DHM members and the ABS Chief Financial Officer.
Human Resources Division Heads Meeting
Human Resources Division Heads Meetings (HR DHM) were introduced in November 2005. This forum replaces the Human Resources Strategy Committee, which was a discussion forum rather than a decision making body. HR DHMs provide a forum for members to actively contribute to strategic directions for human resources and guide human resource management practices to ensure the achievement of ABS goals.
Members of the HR DHM undertake a governance role in respect to people strategies by:
a. making decisions on key strategic human resource matters
A wide range of matters have been considered at HR DHMs, including workforce planning, learning and development, workplace diversity, occupational health and safety, remuneration and recruitment.
b. providing assistance in determining human resource priorities
c. monitoring progress on significant strategic human resource projects, and
d. identifying human resource opportunities, issues and risks.
HR DHMs are scheduled twice a year and are chaired by the Australian Statistician. Other members include all usual DHM members, a nominated Regional Director, the Assistant Statistician, Business Strategies Branch, the Assistant Statistician, Business Operations Branch, and an external member. Meryl Stanton, past director of the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service, is the external member of this committee.
Members of the Australian Statistics Advisory Council meeting in May 2006 to provide advice on statistical priorities