B3 - Scrutiny

Auditor-General Reports

AUDITOR-GENERAL'S INTERIM AUDIT MANAGEMENT REPORT FOR THE YEAR ENDED 30 JUNE 2017

On 14 August 2017 the ACT Audit Office advised there was one new audit finding identified from the interim audit work.

Recommendation No. and summary

Action

Status

The Directorate should ensure that:

i. salary reports are consistently reviewed in a timely manner (e.g. within two weeks of the end of the fortnight)

ii. documentation supporting the review of salary reports is retained, including the date of review, name and position of the reviewing officer and resolution of any issues.

The Directorate agrees that the review of salary reports should be undertaken within 2 weeks of the end of the relevant pay period to ensure incorrect employee payments or irregularities (including possible fraudulent payments) are promptly detected and investigated. The Directorate continues to deploy salary reports via Objective EDRMS with a dedicated officer administering the process with follow up where required.

The Directorate is developing payroll reporting enhancements to better support officers responsible for salary checking and will assess the incremental benefits of a proposed 'Service Now' salary checking functionality being considered by other Directorates. Revised operational guidance will be developed and implemented across the Directorate.

In progress

AUDITOR-GENERAL'S FINAL AUDIT MANAGEMENT REPORT FOR THE YEAR ENDED 30 JUNE 2017

On 8 November 2017 the ACT Audit Office advised there was one new audit finding identified from the final audit work.

Government Response/Submission title

Recommendation No. and summary

Action

Status

A new agreement between the Directorate and Suburban Land Agency (SLA) for the sale of rural land should:

i. clearly articulate the timing and basis for determining market value with reference to stages of development and responsibilities

ii. either provide responsibility for the Directorate to determine the sale price of the land or to establish appropriate safeguards to check valuations are correctly performed

iii. detail the journal entries by each agency for the sale in accordance with the agency's accounting policies and relevant accounting standards.

A draft Memorandum of Understanding between the Directorate and the SLA in relation to the sale of rural land has been prepared.

ACT Treasury is seeking technical accounting advice which is required to enable finalisation of the MOU.

The Directorate continues to lead the development of a Land Release and Development Framework for application across the Directorate, the SLA, the City Renewal Authority and the ACT Treasury.

In progress

AUDITOR-GENERAL REPORT NO. 7/2017 - Public Housing Renewal Program

Recommendation No. and summary

Action

Status

i. The Directorate should identify and report how benefits in the Public Housing Renewal Program Plan are being managed, tracked and monitored.

The Benefit Realisation Planwill be presented to the Public Housing Renewal Steering Committee and finalised in 2018-19 .

In progress

ii. The Public Housing Renewal Taskforce should remove the residual value of public housing properties from its financial model cash flows and report these values separately.

The ACT Government notes that the ACT Audit Office considers residual values should be balance sheet items that should not be included in the financial modelling. The ACT Government considers that in this case the use of residual values as cash inflows was appropriate based on better practice guidance from the Australian National Audit Office.

Complete

iii. The Taskforce should fully document the assumptions underpinning the financial model, including the basis on which inputs derived from the financial model are to be calculated.

An Economic Model User Guide has been developed for presentation to the Public Housing Renewal Steering and finalised in 2018-19 .

In progress

AUDITOR-GENERAL REPORT NO. 3/2015 - Restoration of the Lower Cotter Catchment

Recommendation No. and summary

Action

Status

i. A Code of Potable Water Catchment Management, should be developed, in consultation with Transport Canberra and City Services, Icon Water and the Environment Protection Authority.

A Code of Sustainable Land Management Practices (the Code) is in development for application to all Parks and Conservation Service (PCS) managed lands. Legislative amendment to the Nature Conservation Act and Planning and Development Act 2007 to support the implementation of the Code has been completed.

In progress

iii: The ACT Code of Practice should be implemented by the Directorate and Icon Water, giving particular attention to the information-sharing and approval processes for annual operations and works plans.

The Code will provide guidance on the embodiment of sustainable principles into all PCS activities. This will include the strategic and works planning processes, with a focus on collaboration across the Directorate and key stakeholders such as Icon Water.

In progress

iv: The status of the draft Parks and Conservation Service, Code of Sustainable Land Management should be reviewed and either finalised or rescinded by the Directorate. If finalised, this should occur by October 2016.

Subordinate to the Code is the Minor Public Works Code, which significantly improves efficiency for routine activities. The Minor Public Works Code has been finalised with a works plan template and risk assessment tool.

Refer to above.

In progress

viii: The Plan of Management for the Lower Cotter Catchment should be finalised by July 2017.

The final Plan of Management for the Lower Cotter Catchment was finalised and supported by the Legislative Assembly Committee February 2018.

Completed

AUDITOR-GENERAL REPORT NO. 4/2018 (2016-17 ) Financial Audits Computer Information Systems

Recommendation No. and summary

Action

Status

i. CMTEDD, CSD, EPSDD, Health Directorate, and TCCS should obtain vendor support for operating systems that are unsupported, else perform a risk analysis with measures to minimise security and performance weaknesses.

The MAC016 server was decommissioned in August 2016. All business systems that were dependent on MAC016 were successfully migrated to either Unix (for Database) and Network Attached Storage (NAS) for all other processes. The MARS Business System (PRDAPP004vs) is still operational and is expected to be replaced under the eDevelopment Renovation Project. Due to expected delays in delivery of the eDevelopment Renovation Project and the associated risks, the Directorate has decided to progress the immediate upgrade of PRDAPP004vs. As an interim risk reduction measure Shared Services ICT have implemented security measures on this server, namely the Trend Deep Security Agent software to protect the ACTGOV environment.

In progress

AUDITOR-GENERAL REPORT NO. 3/2018 - Tender for the sale of block 30 (formerly block 20) section 34 Dickson

Recommendation No. and summary

Action

Status

The EPSDD, City Renewal Authority (CRA) and Suburban Land Agency (SLA) should:

i. brief the Minister and Cabinet on implications of risk to legislative compliance and advise on options for remedying deficiencies with the tender process, and develop mechanisms to mitigate noncompliance (EPSDD only)

ii. strengthen accountability for probity in procurement by: establishing clear standards of conduct and recordkeeping for all staff engaged in tenders that address communications, negotiations and evaluations; facilitating training on probity; and introducing controls and reporting requirements at key procurement stages

iii. strengthen governance and accountability arrangements for staff involved in land procurements by establishing controls to assure adherence to roles and responsibilities, tender negotiations and tender decisions

iv. reinforce organisational values by articulating values, providing guidance to staff, and implementing procedures.

The government tabled its formal response to the Report in the Legislative Assembly on 7June 2018, relevantly accepting all recommendations.

EPSDD has sought legal advice from the ACT Government Solicitor's Office to inform briefing to the Minister and Cabinet in accordance with recommendation 1.

EPSDD and the land entities will prepare implementation plans to guide delivery of relevant operational initiatives that address the recommendations.

In progress

AUDITOR-GENERAL REPORT NO. 1/2018 - Acceptance of Stormwater Assets

Recommendation No. and summary

Action

Status

The EPSDD should:

i. facilitate amendment of the Estate Development Code to include a gross pollutant target

ii-iii: with TCCS, update and align the Waterways Water Sensitive Urban Design Code 2009 and Design Standards for Stormwater and Municipal Infrastructure

iv: review the potential risks with accepting stormwater asset designs and prepare a mitigation strategy

v: identify options for conducting catchment-wide planning, and undertake analysis of stormwater needs

vi: with TCCS and SLA, develop stormwater management solutions for new estates and subdivisions

x: with TCCS, develop performance measures for ACT Government stormwater objectives

xvi: with TCCS, SLA, Access and other relevant entities, establish a working group to reduce the damage to accepted assets caused by building and other construction activity.

The government tabled its formal response to the Report in the Legislative Assembly on 5 June 2018.

To commence

AUDITOR-GENERAL REPORT NO. 2/2018 - ACT Government Strategic and Accountability Indicators

Recommendation No. and summary

Action

Status

ii. Strategic Indicators should be improved by various Territory entities including the EPSDD, by removing or amending them so they fully meet the criterion of Representative, Clarity, and Quantifiable.

iii. Accountability Indicators should be improved similarly by amending them so they meet the criterion of Clarity.

All Territory entities should

iv. document their procedure for review, selection and approval of Strategic and Accountability indicators, including time and engaging with other Territory entities to identify better practice

v. use the revised criteria as the basis for assessing suitability of the Indicators.

The government tabled its formal response to the Report in the Legislative Assembly on 5June 2018.

The Directorate's Audit Committee has been briefed on the findings of the Report and will oversee the implementation of initiatives to address its recommendations.

In progress

AUDITOR-GENERAL REPORT NO. 8/2018 - Assembly of Rural Land West of Canberra

Recommendation No. and summary

Action

Status

vi. The Suburban Land Agency should work with the Conservator Flora and Fauna (EPSDD) to:

  • finalise Land Management Agreements for rural leasehold land purchased by the former Land Development Agency by December 2018 or sooner
  • identify why Agreements for properties purchased in the Western Edge were not developed in a timely manner and identify options to prevent this in future, and
  • execute Agreements for all future rural land purchases within 6 months of transfer unless there are exceptional circumstances documented.

ix: The Chief Planning Executive (EPSDD) should undertake a planning study, to define the long term future urban form and identify the Territory's future development fronts to guide the update of the ACT Planning Strategy (2012).

The government response is expected to be tabled in the Legislative Assembly in October 2018.

Pending government response

Legislative Assembly Committee Reports

Standing Committee on Planning and Urban Renewal Report 2 Inquiry into Billboards

Standing Committee on Planning and Urban Renewal Report 2 Inquiry into Billboards (October 2017)

Government Response tabled 22 February 2018

Recommendation No. and summary

Action

Status

Recommendation 1

4.21: The Committee recommends that the ACT Government respond to the clear expression of community views throughout this inquiry with a review and potential update of the Signs General Code (ACT), Public Unleased Land Act 2013, Planning and Development Act 2007 and associated regulations and Codes of Practice. This review is to be completed by the end of 2019.

Agreed in-principle

The ACT Government agrees in-principle to the recommendations of the Standing Committee's report. However, the government will need to give consideration to the most appropriate regulatory vehicle for these recommendations to be expressed.

The government notes that the Standing Committee's recommendations were broader than the terms of reference for the inquiry into billboards. The submissions received by the Standing Committee and the recommendations made covered all outdoor advertising signage, not solely billboards.

It is acknowledged that the regulatory settings for billboards and outdoor advertising signage are complex, as demonstrated by the many and varied views received by the Standing Committee during its inquiry.

A coordinated approach across-government to implementation of the recommendations is required to reform the regulatory settings for outdoor advertising signage and billboards.

Broadly, there is an opportunity for the government to deliver community benefit, enliven the city and meet community expectations through modernising the regulatory settings for billboards and other outdoor advertising signage.

However, balancing how signs can enliven a city and deliver public messages, versus how they add to urban clutter, visual distraction and commercial advertising interests in public space, is a complex matter.

In progress

A cross-directorate working group was established to co-ordinate the implementation of the Standing Committee's recommendations.

A project plan is being developed to outline the extent of and timeframe for proposed changes.

Recommendation 2

4.22: The Committee recommends that the ACT Government, when undertaking the review outlined in Recommendation 1, consider including provisions that will apply to advertising on public transport vehicles and public transport stops.

Agreed in-principle

As noted in recommendation 1

As above

Recommendation 3

5.23: The Committee recommends that the ACT Government models the economic impact of different possible regulatory frameworks in the ACT for advertising signage if any substantive changes or additions to signage regulations are proposed following the review outlined in Recommendation 1.

Agreed in-principle

As noted in recommendation 1

As above

Recommendation 4

5.52: The Committee recommends that the ACT Government consults with relevant road and transport authorities when assessing applications for signs adjacent to and visible from arterial roads and highways, and include provisions that incorporate such a requirement when undertaking the review outlined in Recommendation 1.

Agreed in-principle

As noted in recommendation 1

As above

Recommendation 5

7.30: The Committee recommends that the ACT Government, when undertaking the review outlined in Recommendation 1:

  • modernise the content and language of all relevant rules and regulations to accommodate and incorporate digital technology
  • update the types, definitions, descriptions and criteria for signs that can be displayed in the ACT
  • incorporate technology neutral definitions of signage, including billboards;
  • increase the accessibility, transparency and consistency of the relevant rules and regulations
  • respect the role of the ACT as the national capital
  • include specific additional criteria, such as luminance, dwell time etc. for electronic/digital signs, particularly when road safety and proximity to residential areas is a factor.

Agreed in-principle

As noted in recommendation 1

As above

Recommendation 6

7.31: The Committee recommends that the ACT Government consider a precinct specific/zone specific approach to signage, including billboards.

Agreed in-principle

As noted in recommendation 1

As above

Recommendation 7

7.23: The Committee recommends that the ACT Government, in undertaking the review outlined in Recommendation 1, fully consult with the ACT community using a variety of formats and mediums.

Agreed in-principle

As noted in recommendation 1

As above

Recommendation 8

7.33: The Committee recommends that the ACT Government should not grandfather existing signage under any new or amended legislation, regulations or Codes of Practice.

Agreed in-principle

As noted in recommendation 1

As above

Recommendation 9

7.34: The Committee recommends that the ACT Government, following the completion of the review outlined in Recommendation 1, ensure that the regulatory model for signage in the ACT undergoes regular monitoring and review.

Agreed in-principle

As noted in recommendation 1

As above

Recommendation 10

8.19: The Committee recommends that the ACT Government, following the completion of the review outlined in Recommendation 1, conduct a compliance survey of signage within the ACT in order to address concerns about 'sign cree'.

Agreed in-principle

As noted in recommendation 1

As above

Recommendation 11

8.20The Committee recommends that the ACT Government conduct and publish annual random compliance surveys of signage within the ACT.

Agreed in-principle

As noted in recommendation 1

As above

Recommendation 12

8.21: The Committee recommends that the ACT Government establish clear and accessible reporting avenues for the public to lodge complaints about signage in the ACT, and consider the potential capacity of the 'Fix my Street' portal when doing so.

Agreed in-principle

As noted in recommendation 1

As above

Recommendation 13

8.22: The Committee recommends that the ACT Government, following the completion of the review in Recommendation 1, establish information and awareness campaigns about how to make a complaint in relation to advertising content, advertising signage and advertising signage locations, and what kind of compliance action can be taken.

Agreed in-principle

As noted in recommendation 1

As above

Recommendation 14

8.23: The Committee recommends that the ACT Government ensures advertisers seeking to place advertisements in the ACT have access to appropriate advice and regulatory guidance.

Agreed in-principle

As noted in recommendation 1

As above

Standing Committee on Planning and Urban Renewal - Report 4 Draft Variation to the Territory Plan No329

Standing Committee on Planning and Urban Renewal - Report 4 Draft Variation to the Territory Plan No329: Weston Group Centre and Surrounding Community and Leisure and Accommodation Lands: Zone changes and amendments to the Weston Precinct map and code (February 2018)

Government response tabled 6 June 2018

Recommendation No. and summary

Action

Status

Recommendation 1

The Committee recommends that subject to the following recommendations, Draft Variation 329 be approved.

Agreed

Complete

Recommendation 2

The Committee recommends that future draft variation documentation and the Territory Plan express minimum and maximum building heights in metres and that if surveyor measurements are to be used, an explanatory note or clear definition is provided as to what the surveyor measurement means.

Agreed in part

Agree for non-common units, such as references to Australian Height Datum, as well as building heights generally to be described in metres and storeys where appropriate. It is preferable on occasion to use performance measures for height, particularly in mixed use areas as residential floor to floor heights differ from commercial floor to floor heights. Performance measures generally permit a measure of flexibility to design in appropriate areas.

In progress

Recommendation 3

The Committee recommends that Rule 35 of the Draft Variation is amended to include height limits specified in both storeys and metres.

Agreed

The heights specified in rule R35 will be amended to indicate storeys as well as metres.

In progress

Recommendation 4

The Committee recommends that where a draft variation to the Territory Plan proposes to amend a code, a 'side-by-side' comparison of the existing code, the proposed code and an explanatory statement of the differences between the two should be provided to facilitate public understanding of the draft variation.

Agreed

Future variations that amend existing sections of the Territory Plan will include additional material to clarify the changes with supporting statements outlining the differences.

In progress

Recommendation 6

The Committee recommends that the ACT Government meet with Weston Creek Community Council to discuss issues raised in their submission.

Agreed

Representatives from EPSDD will arrange with the community council to discuss the issues raised in their submission to the inquiry on DV329.

In progress

Recommendation 9

The Committee recommends that the ACT Government implement the proposed height limits for buildings as detailed in the Draft Variation.

Agreed

In progress

Standing Committee on Planning and Urban Renewal - Report 5 Report on Annual and Financial Reports 2016-17

Standing Committee on Planning and Urban Renewal - Report 5 Report on Annual and Financial Reports 2016-17 (March 2018)

Government response tabled 20 March 2018

Recommendation No. and summary

Action

Status

Recommendation 1

3.18: The committee recommends that the ACT Government ensure that ongoing support is provided to residents and owners affected by Mr Fluffy during the remainder of the Asbestos Response Taskforce operations and after it concludes.

Agreed

The Taskforce continues to work with residents, owners and other appropriate stakeholders to ensure that ongoing support will be available to those affected by loose fill asbestos.

In progress

This work will continue to be delivered by the Asbestos Response Taskforce through to the completion of the Scheme.

Recommendation 2

3.30: The committee recommends that the ACT Government update the functionality of the Development Applications website as a matter of urgency so that interested members of the public can sign up to receive notifications of development applications in a selected area, consistent with the facilities available in the DA Finder App V2.

Agreed in-principle

EPSDD is continually seeking opportunities to upgrade its web based services.

The Development Application App Finder was specifically designed to provide functions that cannot yet be achieved using a static website.

In progress

New version of DA Finder app released in early 2018

Website enhancements considered in project to upgrade eDevelopment

Recommendation 3

3.31: The committee recommends that the ACT Government prioritise improving storage capacity so that all Development Applications can be made permanently available online with appropriate information as to their status such as: open for comment; under consideration; approved; or rejected.

Agreed in-principle

EPSDD will continue to explore options for providing development applications permanently online. This may include functionality arising from the upgrade of the eDevelopment system.

In progress

Website enhancements considered in project to upgrade eDevelopment

Recommendation 4

3.32: The committee recommends that, if it will be more efficient to do so, the ACT Government considers integrating the work on increasing Development storage capabilities and improving Development Application notification systems with the e-Development upgrade, in order to improve the accessibility of information related to current and historical Development Application processes.

Agreed in-principle

EPSDD will continue to explore options for its web based services and notification systems, and improved access to Development Applications on line.

The upgrade of the eDevelopment system in current and future releases, may provide opportunities for implementing this recommendation.

In progress

Website enhancements considered in project to upgrade eDevelopment

Recommendation 5

3.35: The committee recommends that the ACT Government conduct an audit on Development Application signage placement to determine whether signs are consistently meeting requirements and whether those requirements achieve the intended outcome of signs being clearly visible to passers-by.

Agreed

Since October 2017 the signage contractor has been required to send photos of all signage placement after installation to allow scrutiny as to whether signs have been appropriately placed.

Complete

Ongoing implementation required

Recommendation 6

3.36: The committee recommends that the ACT Government further improve Development Application notification signage, and use the changes adopted by the city of Vancouver in 2013 as guidance in how to effectively limit jargon, use everyday language and include images to make the signs easier to read and understand.

Agreed

Since mid-2017 descriptions of proposals have been made user-friendly and clearer, without the use of any abbreviation. EPSDD is giving consideration to including plans and images as part of signage.

Complete

DA signage project completed with further consideration to be given to images and plans on signage

Recommendation 7

3.43: The committee recommends that ACT Government ensure that future Territory Plan Variations in respect of suburban local centres and group centres include controls addressing overshadowing, where these are currently not explicitly stated.

Agreed in-principle

During the development of future Territory Plan variations relating to local and group centres, consideration will be given to the extent of overshadowing created by increasing development and whether specific precinct code provisions are required.

In progress

Recommendation 8

3.50: The committee recommends that the ACT Government, in its response to this report, provide a timeline for finalising the Gungahlin Town Centre Refresh.

Agreed

It is anticipated the Gungahlin Town Centre Planning refresh will be finalised following consultation in June-July 2018. Community engagement of the Gungahlin Town Centre Planning refresh occurred between March and May 2017. Traffic and urban form modelling are informing the planning refresh outcomes.

In progress

Community engagement is expected to be undertaken in the third quarter of 2018 and will include a revised concept precinct code.

Recommendation 9

4.18: The committee recommends that the ACT Government updates the way the indicative land release map is presented so that the map reflects the level of detail available in the indicative land release table, and is clear and easy to use.

Agreed

EPSDD will be uploading the next land release program in ACTmapi. This will allow users to easily identify land releases in a way that a single map cannot.

Complete

The land release program is now accessible on ACTmapi.

Recommendation 10

4.19: The committee recommends that the ACT Government considers alternative ways of updating the community with regard to the status of land releases. For example, in instances where the release of a block of land is delayed for a significant period of time, consideration should be given to ways of flagging the site for future release, while letting the community know that the release is not imminent.

Agreed

EPSDD will consider alternative ways to provide information to the community on changes to the timing of specific land releases, including releases with revised timeframes.

In progress

EPSDD will continue to be mindful of the need to provide useful information to the community on changing land release priorities.

The Standing Committee on Environment and Transport and City Services Report 3 - Draft Lower Cotter Catchment Reserve Management Plan 2017

The Standing Committee on Environment and Transport and City Services Report 3 - Draft Lower Cotter Catchment Reserve Management Plan 2017 (November 2017)

Government response tabled 20 February 2018

Recommendation No. and summary

Action

Status

Recommendation 1

The Standing Committee on Environment and Transport and City Services, having considered the matters required of it by Section 181 of the Nature Conservation Act 2014, recommends that the Minister for Environment and Heritage approve the Draft Lower Cotter Reserve Management Plan 2017.

Agreed

The Minister for the Environment and Heritage intends to approve the Lower Cotter Catchment Reserve Management Plan.

The approved plan will be presented to the Legislative Assembly as a Disallowable Instrument under section 184 of the Nature Conservation Act 2014.

Complete

The Lower Cotter Catchment Reserve Management Plan 2018 was approved by the Minister for the Environment and Heritage and presented to the Legislative Assembly as a Disallowable Instrument on 20 February 2018.

Select Committee on Estimates 2017-18 Inquiry into Appropriation Bill 2017-18 and Appropriation (Office of the Legislative Assembly) Bill 2017-18

Select Committee on Estimates 2017-18 Inquiry into Appropriation Bill 2017-18 and Appropriation (Office of the Legislative Assembly) Bill 2017-18 - July 2017 Report 1

Government response tabled 1 August 2018

Recommendation No. and summary

Action

Status

The Committee recommends the ACT Government increases the current land development program to ensure a sufficient supply of land is available to stabilise peaks and troughs of supply.

Agreed in-principle

The ACT Government's Indicative Land Release Program is designed to supply the market with a stable pipeline of land over and above the anticipated level of demand based on demographic growth.

In the long term, the ACT Government will continue its efforts to ensure that there is a planning pipeline of future dwellings through both urban renewal and new land release fronts.

In terms of developing next year's program, the government will assess supply and demand and market conditions as part of determining the appropriate amount of land for residential release.

In progress

The Government's Indicative Land Release Program 2018-19 to 2021-22 provides for 17,000 dwelling sites over four years. This is an increase from the 2017-18 to 2020-21 program, which provided for 16,250 dwellings over four years.

Recommendation 89

The Committee recommends the ACT Government take steps to ensure that closed development applications are accessible online.

Agreed in-principle

EPSDD is exploring ways to increase the capacity of business systems that would permit more completed development applications remaining online and publicly accessible. EPSDD is currently upgrading the eDevelopment business system to improve functionality and will consider storage capacity in addition to that upgrade.

In progress

Website enhancements considered in project to upgrade eDevelopment

Recommendation 90

The Committee recommends the ACT Government examine options that could be implemented to improve development application processing times and quality of processing applications.

Agreed in-principle

EPSDD has implemented simpler notices of decision for minor development applications and introduced a gateway team to provide assistance to those who wish to lodge development applications. EPSDD is currently focussing on further improvement to the development application process, noting that many development applications are incomplete, complex, require further information from proponents and are subject to representations of third parties.

Complete

ESPDD is always looking at ways to improve processes and allocate resources most effectively.

Recommendation 91

The Committee recommends that the ACT Government reports to the Legislative Assembly on a quarterly basis on the status of Master Plans currently under development.

Agreed

EPSDD is progressing the final three master plans in the Master Plan Program, for the Curtin and Kippax group centres and Tharwa village.

In progress

Feedback from the final stage of community engagement is being considered to finalise the Kippax and Curtin group centre master plans. A village plan for Tharwa is in the final stages of preparation.

Recommendation 92

The Committee recommends that the ACT Government continue to report in the Budget Papers the completion and publication of Master Plans.

Agreed.

The Directorate will re-instate the accountability indicator for Master Plans. The indicator will be 3 master plans for 2017-18.

Completed

Master plans for the Kippax and Curtin group centres, and a village plan for Thawra will be released in 2018-19, informed by community and key stakeholder feedback.

Recommendation 93

The Committee recommends that the ACT Government provide better detail for Output 1.2 Planning Policy, in future Budget Papers, with respect to accountability indicators and key performance indicators.

Agreed

Planning Policy

In progress

The Performance and Accountability Framework in EPSDD is being reviewed as part of the development of the Directorate Strategic Plan

Recommendation 94

The Committee recommends that the ACT Government continue to keep the Dickson community informed on the progress of consultation and planning for Section 72, Dickson.

Agreed

EPSDD is using the ACT Government's Your Say web portal as the main information source for the community on upcoming engagement activities and to report back on the outcomes of engagement processes. A link to this web page is also included on the EPSDD website. Lessees and key stakeholders will also be contacted and updated as work activities on the site are undertaken.

In progress

A first stage of engagement concluded in March this year, with key stakeholder activities continuing. An engagement outcomes report and workshop outcomes report has been made available on the Your Say website. A second stage of engagement is anticipated to commence shortly, with full details to be made available via the Your Say website. Lessees and key stakeholders will also continue to be advised by the Directorate as work progresses.

Recommendation 95

The Committee recommends that the ACT Government include more accountability indicators for heritage matters in future budgets, so as to provide a greater level of clarity about the number of nominations received, assessed and the length of time taken to assess them.

Not Supported

Criteria are established under the ACT Audit Office's ACT Government Strategic and Accountability Indicators Report No.2 (the Report) for developing accountability indicators.

EPSD has addressed the Committees recommendation against the Report.

Indicators based on the number of nominations assessed would not represent accurate measures of performance as required by the Report, as heritage decisions do not reflect an outcome that can be determined by EPSD. Decisions are the responsibility of the ACT Heritage Council (the Council), a body independent of government.

The Report dissuades indicators that are based on technical processes. Delays to heritage assessments are often highly technical, requiring detailed research by a body of experts in varied disciplines (the Council).

Once active assessment commences on a nomination, unforeseen research and community engagement complexities often necessitate delays or pauses in the process. As such, the length of time taken to actively assess a nomination is not an accurate measure of performance as required by the Report.

Completed

EPSDD has assessed the merits of this recommendation and determined that it does not accord with ACT Government criteria for effective, accurate and appropriate accountability indicators.

Recommendation 96

The Committee recommends that the ACT Government engage more with the ACT heritage stakeholders, and give consideration to their input into heritage decisions.

Agreed

Provisions for who must be notified and consulted with, the timeframe and method in which to notify and consult are determined under the Heritage Act 2004.

ACT Heritage also informs other key interest groups of decisions such as the National Trust, the Canberra and District Historical Society and United Ngunnawal Elders Council.

The Heritage Council notifies nominators and other interested parties when a nomination is received and additionally when a decision is made whether to accept or reject the nomination.

As a courtesy, interested parties are also notified when assessment commences or a pending decision is likely in the coming months.

Additionally these parties are again notified of decisions such as provisional registration where they are also invited to make comment and final registration.

In progress

In 2018, ACT Heritage adopted additional measures to facilitate engagement with stakeholders and increase clarity surrounding heritage issues and decisions.

ACT Heritage has commenced work with EPSDD Communications to boost outreach and publicity surrounding Council decisions on provisional registration. Specifically, Council decisions to provisionally register are now publicised on social media to increase community 'buy in' on heritage matters.

ACT Heritage has contacted nominators of places that have been nominated longer than one year to inform them of assessment status. Nominators were also invited to provide new or additional information on nominations to assist the Council with expediting assessments in the future.

In 2017-18, ACT Heritage updated the Register to include detailed contextual information on nominated places/objects to provide clarity for property owners and nominators.

Recommendation 97

The Committee recommends that the eastern grey kangaroo fertility control program be reviewed to examine whether it contributes, or has the potential to contribute, in any significant way, as part of the overall control program, to the management of kangaroo populations in the ACT and whether it is fiscally responsible and sustainable method of control.

Agreed

The 'Fertility Control of Eastern Grey Kangaroos in the ACT: Assessing efficacy of a dart-delivered immunocontraceptive vaccine' report was published on the EPSDD website in March 2018. This report details the results of the research program to date. Monitoring of treated kangaroos and populations is continuing to assess the long-term efficacy of the method.

In collaboration with NSW DPI, a population model is currently being developed to compare the cost and effectiveness of fertility control vs shooting. The model and a report will be completed by the end of 2018.

In progress

Recommendation 98

The Committee recommends that the ACT Government consult with relevant recreation groups (for example, mountain bike riders, anglers, etc), relevant environmental groups, and other stakeholders to seek resolution of issues arising with regard to management of, and access to, reserves.

Agreed

Complete

The ACT Government convenes a Recreational Users Stakeholders Group meeting four times a year. Attendance includes a wide cross section of recreation users and issues of interest are discussed and resolved.

Issues such as management of, and access to, reserves are discussed in the preparation of all reserve management plans. Relevant environmental groups and other key stakeholders are identified and involved in the development of the draft plan.

The Nature Conservation Act 2014 requires formal public consultation of a draft plan for a minimum of 6 weeks. A consultation report responding to issues is required to be produced as part of the statutory process.

Recommendation 99

The Committee recommends that the ACT Government consider including additional accountability indicators related to the Conservator of Flora and Fauna in the 2017-18 ACT Budget.

Agreed in Principle

Complete

The Directorate included additional indicators in the 2017-18 Budget following the Committee's recommendation in the last Budget. Additional indicators will be considered again in the 2018-19 Budget.

Recommendation 100

The Committee recommends that the ACT Government consider how they plan to maintain 100% renewable electricity post 2020.

Agreed

The ACT Government is developing a comprehensive policy framework (the Our Canberra by 2050 - A vision for a smart, sustainable and liveable city) towards achieving net zero emissions by 2050 at the latest. Within this framework, options for reduced emissions from the electricity sector including maintaining post 2020 the 100% renewable electricity target will be considered.

In progress

The ACT Government is continuing to consult the ACT community on the development of the AC's next climate change strategy to address emissions post-2020.

Recommendation 101

The Committee recommends that the ACT Government inform ACT residents that load shedding may be required in the forthcoming summer months and that households need to prepare a plan to manage their own power needs and use over the hot summer months.

Agreed in Principle

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) is working with the energy sector on its preparedness for the summer of 2017-18 . The ACT Government will continue to monitor this work, and the outlook for summer, and determine what public communications are appropriate in consultation with NSW and other jurisdictions through the COAG Energy Council.

Complete

EPSDD undertook a Summer readiness media campaign to ensure that ACT consumers were aware of the possible need to manage their energy usage in the case of energy shortages over the 2017-18 summer.

EPSDD maintained communication with AEMO to monitor electricity availability and was ready to enact appropriate communications in case of an energy shortfall.

Recommendation 102

The Committee recommends that the ACT Government support the Office of the Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment to reexamine its role and functions, to ensure best practice and effective use of resources for review of matters in the environmental space.

Agreed

In progress

The following actions and outcomes have been achieved in 2017-18 in relation to the office reviewing its roles and functions and implementing improvements:

Restructured staffing profiles to increase senior project management capacity in line with workflow requirements

Process mapping of complaints process, introduction of a legislated complaints form and guidance notes on webpage, improved records management processes

Risk Management Planning and Business Strategy planning has commenced and will be completed in early 2018-19

Strategic Workflow Projections to 2022, business case budget bid developed (unsuccessful), business improvements initiatives identified

Produced technical reports with engaging and meaningful infographics to assist in communication of issues to the public

Actively using social media to communicate with the public about the role of the office

The Commissioner has provided EPSDD legal with observations of weaknesses in the Act (Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment Act 1993) for their consideration and action as they see fit.

Recommendation 103

The Committee recommends that the ACT Government continue to update the Assembly on the status of the demolition program being undertaken by the Asbestos Response Taskforce.

Agreed

In progress

Regular Eradication Scheme updates (which include updates on the status of the demolition program) are provided to the Assembly.

Recommendation 104

The Committee recommends that the ACT Government continue to engage and consult with public housing tenants who are being relocated, as well as residents in suburbs where additional public housing is being considered within Community Facility Zones, on the changes that will impact on them as a result of the housing renewal process.

Agreed

In progress

Housing ACT engages with public housing tenants before their relocation. Individual support plans are offered to each tenant to guide the relocation process and provide support to individuals in their new communities.

The ACT Government continues to work with the community on the development of new public housing, this includes meeting with community councils, key stakeholders and local residents as needed, and providing regular updates on progress.

Recommendation 107

The Committee recommends that the ACT Government publish how the City Centre Marketing Improvements Levy is spent, as part of relevant directorate annual reports.

Agreed in-principle

The performance and accountability framework for the City Centre Marketing and Improvements Levy is currently being developed. An appropriate reporting process and location will be developed as part of this.

In progress.

The Performance and Accountability Framework is currently being developed in consultation with levy payers. Once completed this framework will set where annual reporting is published.

Recommendation 108

The Committee recommends that the ACT Government develop strategic and accountability indicators for initiatives funded by the City Centre Marketing Improvements Levy and that these are documented in the EPSDD Annual Report.

Agreed in-principle

The performance and accountability framework for the City Centre Marketing and Improvements Levy is currently being developed. An appropriate reporting process and location will be developed as part of this.

In progress.

The Performance and Accountability Framework is currently being developed in consultation with levy payers. Once complete KPI's identified in the Framework will be used to report on the CRA's performance in administering the levy and the outcomes delivered.

Ombudsman Complaint Management

During 2017-18 there were no complaints to the Ombudsman in relation to the Directorate.