C1 - Risk management and internal audit

Risk management

ESDD has a formal Risk Management Plan in place which establishes the overarching principles, framework and processes for risk management in ESDD.

The objectives of the plan are to:

  • minimise ESDD’s exposure to significant risks through the identification, assessment, management and reporting of risk and
  • enhance ESDD’s ability to capitalise on opportunities through minimising risk and improving overall performance.

In response to recommendations from the ACT Auditor-General’s Office, the Directorate revised its strategic risk register to clearly describe and define risks, and ensure that risk assessments meet the requirements of the risk management standard (AS/NZS 31000:2009). While the Directorate has developed additional risk mitigation strategies for risks assessed as high risk, in response to the Auditor-General’s findings the Directorate will be undertaking further work to ensure that risk mitigation strategies have specific implementation or review dates.

During 2012–13 the Executive endorsed implementation of the Planning and Reporting Framework across the Directorate following its successful trial implementation throughout the Corporate Branch. The framework has direct linkages with ESDD’s Corporate Plan and Risk Management Plan. The framework requires managers to provide quarterly updates to their executive directors/directors. A key part of the framework is the identification, management and escalation of risk within the Directorate, with ‘high’ and ‘extreme’ risks to be escalated to the Executive quarterly.

Audit Committee

The role of the committee is to oversight the Directorate’s governance, risk and internal control environment on behalf of the Director-General.

The committee does not have executive powers, but undertakes a review and advisory role to ensure corporate governance, expressed through management processes and control measures, remain effective.

The committee comprises six members—an external chairperson, deputy chairperson, an external member and three internal members appointed from the agency’s executive and management group.

Audit Committee membership

The committee met six times during the 2012–13 financial year. Membership is as follows:

Name of Member

Title of Member

Duration of Membership of Audit Committee

Meetings attended during Financial Year

Will Laurie


2 years


Michael Harris

Deputy Chair

2 years


Liesl Centenera

Director, Public Sector Management Group, Chief Minister and Treasury Directorate

2 years


Kathryn Tracy

Senior Manager, Natural Environment

21 months (commenced 7 September 2011)


Adrian Walsh

Director, Corporate

17 months (commenced 23 January 2012)


Karen Wilden

Senior Manager, Ministerial and Government Services

9 months (commenced 1 October 2012)


Maggie Chapman

Senior Manager, Leasing

10 months (resigned 26 September 2012)


In response to recommendations from the ACT Auditor-General’s Office, the Directorate has improved the independence of the internal audit function by ensuring the Internal Audit Manager reports directly to the Director-General for internal audit matters and does not have other operational responsibilities. This arrangement, reflected in the organisation chart, is directed towards improving internal audit’s capacity to provide impartial and independent reporting on corporate governance issues to the Director-General.

With the appointment of a new Internal Audit Manager, the Directorate also improved its arrangements for monitoring the implementation of audit report recommendations by ensuring all recommendations from internal and external audits were included on its recommendation status report, and that implementation of recommendations was resolved in a timely manner.

Audit program

The committee developed a one year audit program for the 2012–13 period. RSM Bird Cameron, Moore Stephens and Oakton were selected from a whole-of-government panel to provide internal auditing services.

The reports presented to the committee during 2012–13 were:

  • Audit of the ESDD Governance Framework
  • Financial Delegations Audit
  • Internal Audit of Workforce and Succession Planning.

Audits still in progress:

  • Review of Fraud/Corruption Prevention in the Environment and Sustainable Development Planning Approvals Process
  • Credit card use.


The Director, Corporate is the ESDD’s Senior Executive Responsible for Business Integrity and Risk (SERBIR).