Fair and responsible remuneration
The Audit Office has undergone significant changes to performance and remuneration processes over the last twelve months to improve the transparency of these processes.
Employee performance is now assessed twice annually through a mid-year and end-year performance assessment. The results of the performance assessment are moderated across branches through leadership collaboration sessions.
Employee remuneration is then assessed once per year immediately following the end-year performance assessment. In 2015–16, a new online compensation tool was used to administer the remuneration assessments. This was highly successful in streamlining the assessment process and making the process more transparent.
The Remuneration Committee that was first formed in 2014–15 met twice during the year to consider auditor progression and the end-year remuneration review. The purpose of this newly established Remuneration Committee is to review and make recommendations to the Auditor-General on the application of the Audit Office’s remuneration policies and practices. These recommendations have ensured improvement in the remuneration assessment process.
In 2016–17, we will:
- continue to cascade the Audit Office strategic plan down into branch plans and individual performance agreements
- embed improvements to our performance management process, including performance conversations, two-way feedback and the link between performance and remuneration
- implement the new Audit Office Award, including clarification of remuneration level requirements and auditor progression criteria
- continue to ensure our approach to remuneration is procedurally fair and fiscally responsible, and in line with the NSW Government’s wages policy
- complete the implementation of the MiCareer human capital management system.
The vision of the Audit Office is ‘Making a difference through audit excellence’, so the result of our work needs to make a difference to the State’s performance.
Professional standards and expectations grow continually, and our staff productivity (the percentage of total staffing hours that we charge to our audit work) in 2015–16 increased from 67 per cent to 70 per cent, above our 65 per cent target.
Total staffing hours include time worked by all staff, including those responsible for administration and governance.
During 2015–16, we successfully embedded some major technology and infrastructure strategic initiatives which have resulted in greater efficiencies.
Enhancing technology infrastructure and systems
In 2015–16, we continued with our technology strategy of enhancing audit delivery through improved systems and processes. Technology achievements included:
- delivering a fully interactive online version of the 2014–15 annual report
- conducting a major upgrade to our records management system from TRIM to HP Records Manager
- enabling greater visibility of information in the Elite practice management system by developing one-click reports
- implementing a collaborative document review tool for our Auditor-General’s Reports to Parliament
- launching several human capital management system tools via the MiCareer Project including performance management, compensation, recruitment and learning tools
- upgrading our audit management system, Teammate
- completing the implementation of a resource scheduling platform, Retain, to simplify the management and allocation of our people resources.
We also continued to meet compliance and operational stability requirements by:
- re-certifying the ISO27001:2013 security standard
- maintaining systems availability above the target of 99 per cent
- developing a robust and future-focused cloud strategy
- testing our disaster recovery plan
- participating in the Microsoft SAM (Software Asset Management) review.
Improving our performance management framework
The performance, behaviour and conduct of our employees are integral to our success. The Audit Office promotes a transparent and consistent performance management approach that aligns personal goals and individual development with the Audit Office strategy and vision.
In 2015–16, a new Performance Management Policy and supporting process was launched with an emphasis on employees and managers sharing responsibility for open, two-way communication and feedback on performance. This policy is based on the NSW Public Service Commission’s Capability and Performance Framework which is being rolled out across the NSW public sector.
The Audit Office has managed to achieve one hundred per cent of staff having performance agreements in place in 2015–16.
See here for the case study on our performance management framework.