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The Institute of Public Administration Australia WA’s (IPAA WA) 35th Annual W.S. Lonnie Awards for excellence and accountability in annual reporting was held at the Hyatt Regency Perth on Friday 30th of October 2020.

IPAA WA President Mike Rowe welcomed guests including Ms Lisa Baker MLA, Member for Maylands and representing IPAA WA Vice-Patron, the Hon. Mark McGowan MLA; and the Hon. Bill Marmion MLA, Deputy Leader of the Opposition, and representing IPAA WA Vice-Patron, the Hon. Liza Harvey MLA.

The Awards attracted CEOs, Directors General and Commissioners from across State government agencies and statutory bodies, all hoping to take out the prestigious W.S. Lonnie Memorial Trophy – awarded to the best annual report for the year.

The primary vehicle for accountability in the Public Sector has been and always will be the way agencies report their performance. The W.S. Lonnie Awards recognise the importance of Annual Reports being accountable and transparent in a succinct and independent way. All State agencies are eligible and are automatically considered as part of the judging process.

W.S. Lonnie Memorial Trophy

Awarded to the best annual report for the year.

WINNER: Zoological Parks Authority

Judges’ Comments:
This report captured judges’ attention for the overall quality of its content and presentation and hence was judged a worthy winner of the W.S. Lonnie trophy. In particular, judges welcomed the logical approach to the structure of the report, the clear outline and the comprehensive index. The result was an easy to navigate, engaging report with a thoughtful approach to reporting performance, particularly related to research and conservation and sustainability strategies. The concise complaints section including direct quotes was highlighted in judges’ comments.

Margaret McAleer Special Commendation

The award is presented at the discretion of the panel for an outstanding report that, in some respect, establishes a benchmark to which others should aspire.

WINNER: WA Country Health Service

Judges’ Comments:
Judges noted the quality of the presentation and layout, the clear and concise language in the text, the effective use of images and graphs and the innovative and appropriate use of videos and external links. The coverage of the agency’s work and performance were impressive, as was the focus on patient outcomes and evaluations as the bases for improving services.

Allan Skinner Trophy

Awarded to the best annual report in the General Government Sector.

WINNER: Office of the Auditor General

Judges Comments:
Judges were unanimous in their conclusion that the Office of the Auditor General should be the overall winner in the General Government Sector. As previously noted, the report was clearly presented, comprehensive and well-referenced and achieved a good balance between detailed analysis and accessibility for its intended audience. Achievements and shortcomings were frankly outlined, audit and risk management well covered, and complaints handling procedures clearly outlined.

The Margaret Nadebaum Trophy

Awarded to the best annual report in the Government Enterprise Sector.

WINNER: Fremantle Port Authority

Judges Comments:
In the Financial Sector, the Fremantle Port Authority again stood out as a worthy winner. As already indicated, the report was well-designed, comprehensive and linked performance management to objectives related to financial sustainability, workforce development and community engagement.

Category 1 – Agencies with < 100 FTEs

Gold Award Winner: Small Business Development Corporation

Judges’ Comments: 
The presentation was praised as comprehensive, logical and focussed, with a good use of figures and graphs. Performance objectives were clearly enunciated and case studies contributed to ease of understanding. The approach to corporate governance was exemplary.

Silver Award Winner (Joint): South West Development Commission

Judges’ Comments: 
The report was noted for its attractive visual presentation and well-laid out format, with good use of examples of the agency’s work. The overview of performance indicators and corporate governance was logical and clear.

Silver Award Winner (Joint): Commissioner for Children and Young People

Judges’ Comments: 
The Commissioner again presented a praiseworthy report which was clearly written with a general audience in mind. It was coherent and well organised with easy navigation via links. Achievements were well covered and internal audit, risk and financial management were concisely outlined.

Bronze Award Winner: Economic Regulation Authority

Judges’ Comments:
Judges agreed this was an impressive report, with a contemporary look and feel. The key information was readily available and the Authority’s role well explained, as were the challenges facing the agency.

Category 2 – Agencies with 101 – 1,000 FTEs

Gold Award Winner: Office of the Auditor General

Judges’ Comments: 
This report was clearly presented, comprehensive and well-referenced. Judges commented on the effective balance between detailed analysis and accessibility. Achievements and shortcomings were frankly outlined and audit and risk management well covered. Complaints handling procedures were clear.

Silver Award Winner: Zoological Parks Authority

Judges’ Comments: 
Judges commented on the effective use of the graphics, photographs and tables which made the report a pleasure to read. The key indicators on financials, governance and objectives were comprehensive and easy to follow, with reporting on performance regarded as informative and thoughtful.

Bronze Award Winner: WorkCover WA

Judges’ Comments: 
The report struck a good balance between text, pictures and graphics and was easy to read while providing comprehensive information about the agency’s work. Judges liked the inclusion of the Good Governance Guide Checklist and commented favourably on the coverage of risk and complaints management.

Special Commendations:

Department of Finance

Department of Water and Environmental Regulation

Category 3 – Agencies with > 1,000 FTEs

Gold Award Winner: Main Roads Western Australia

Judges’ Comments: 
This was judged as a well constructed report incorporating professionally produced graphics and photographs. The narrative approach to describing the agency’s activities and performance was appreciated. At the same time, the financials and KPIs were clearly and concisely presented, allowing a reasonable assessment of performance.

Silver Award Winner: WA Country Health Service

Judges’ Comments: 
Judges agreed that this was a very comprehensive report covering all the relevant criteria in an informative, easy-to-read style. Patient outcomes were emphasised and incorporated into the governance and financial assessments. Noteworthy too was the engaging coverage of future challenges and opportunities for improvement.

Bronze Award Winner: East Metropolitan Health Service

Judges’ Comments: 
This report clearly depicted performance outcomes and provided understandable links  to effectiveness indicators and WA government goals. Judges commented favourably on the fact that the report also explained why some targets were missed.

Category 4 Government Trading Enterprises

Gold Award Winner: Fremantle Port Authority

Judges’ Comments: 
Judges agreed that the report was easy to read and engaging, with a clear presentation of financial and economic objectives and the performance related to them. Significant issues and challenges were addressed and a proactive approach to stakeholder engagement outlined clearly.

Silver Award Winner: Western Australian Treasury Corporation

Judges’ Comments: 
This was judged a very competent report with easy to read text and good use of graphics and photographs. The performance of the agency was clearly described and comprehensively presented with a business-like distillation of performance against targets. Judges also welcomed the coverage of feedback and request handling procedures.

Bronze: Water Corporation

Judges’ Comments:
This was a crisp report with a simple, but effective layout and design. The structure was logical and the language clear and concise. Judges appreciated the quality of the section on governance, the easy-to-follow format of the financial summary and the clear information relating to customer experiences.

Special Commendations:

Bunbury Water Corporation

Western Power

There are seven Specialist Awards presented on the day.

Office of the Auditor General Award for Transparency and Accountability

WINNER: Office of the Auditor General

Judges’ Comments:
It is a model for other agencies demonstrating: effective communication of results; good interactivity; comprehensive coverage of highlights and challenges; and informative coverage of corporate governance, audit and risk management, all anchored to enunciated values and performance objectives.

Special Commendation:

Department of Fire and Emergency Services

WorkCover WA, Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety, and Insurance Commission of Western Australia Award for Occupational Safety Health and Injury Management

WINNER: Department of Fire and Emergency Services

Judges Comments:
The DFES Annual Report was comprehensive and articulated specific strategies well. Was integrated and easy to read. The commitment of the leadership team was evident. A quality report that covered all aspects of safety. Presentation was good with a clear style and good use of photographs and video.

State Records Commission Award for Excellence in Compliance Reporting

WINNER: Western Australian Treasury Corporation

Judges’ Comments:
The WATC has again provided a comprehensive, well-structured account of excellence in information management as required under State Records Commission Standards. The judging panel was impressed by how the agency addressed not only what information management and training was implemented, but how they support agency business. The State Records Commission commends the recognition of information as a valuable corporate asset given the importance of recordkeeping in demonstrating the integrity of decision-making.

Special Commendations:

Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority

Department of Justice

Ombudsman Western Australia Award for Complaints Handling

WINNER: Fremantle Port Authority

Judges’ Comments:
Judges noted that the Authority was one of the few agencies to detail complaints handling procedures and outcomes. The incorporation of complaints into the scorecard assessing performance and the detailed analysis presented indicated the importance the Authority attached to these complaints and the imperative to act upon them.

CPA Australia Award for Performance Reporting

WINNER: Fremantle Port Authority

Judges’ Comments:
The report is presented simply and has an excellent strategic focus without being pitched at too high a level.  Evidence that performance information is used in strategic and operational decision-making is well shown through presentation of future growth. The report has an excellent customer focus, particularly through case studies.

Public Sector Commission Award for Good Governance

WINNER: WorkCover WA

Judges Comments:
WorkCover WA’s report reflects a high attention to detail in reporting of governance systems and processes aligned with the principles. The report scored highly across all nine governance areas assessed, with relevant content clearly expressed, accessible and easy to navigate.

Special Commendations

Metropolitan Cemeteries Board

Ombudsman WA

Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand Award for Chief Financial Officer of the Year

WINNER: Nick Sarandopoulos – Pilbara Ports Authority

Judges Comments:
Nick joined PPA in August 2014, one month after the amalgamation of the Port Hedland and Dampier port authorities. Nick’s ability to lead numerous significant change management processes has enabled PPA to achieve its trade facilitation objectives and strong financial results. Nick has a proven track record of continually delivering significant value for PPA and the State. The initiatives that have been executed have required considerable engagement across senior members of Government, private enterprise, professional associations and internally within PPA. Nick has managed to achieve these outcomes with the strong functional support of the Finance and ICT teams.

Thank you to the Sponsors of the Specialist Awards.

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