Recent audit reports from across Australia have shown that an efficient and effective public sector requires the space to innovate and to learn through trial and error. They identify that a successful public service needs a mature appetite and approach toward risk, which has the benefit of improved outcomes (see Audit Office of NSW, 2018 and ANAO, 2017). This proactive attitude towards risk exists within pockets of the public sector and there is a significant opportunity for this knowledge and experience to be shared throughout the sector.
In 2017, the Service Priority Review identified that building risk capability within the public sector will assist in achieving better outcomes. The report highlighted that many existing structures within the sector prioritised risk aversion – risk aversion can limit innovation and outcomes.
In 2018, Grant Hehir provided a speech titled Strategic governance of risk: Lessons learnt from public sector audit (available on the ANAO website). Grant highlighted the importance of building an effective risk culture to improve outcomes, identify and manage threats, capitalise of opportunities, and enhance productivity and efficiency.
Providing a platform for agencies and non-government organisations to share their knowledge and experiences, this seminar provided insight and strategies, from the federal, state and agency perspectives, to benefit the sector and outcomes for the community.
- Understanding risk in 2020
- Risk culture
- Risk frameworks
Auditor General of Australia
Grant Hehir commenced his term as Auditor-General for Australia on 11 June 2015.
Before his appointment as Auditor-General for Australia, Grant served as the Auditor-General of New South Wales (NSW) between November 2013 and June 2015. He worked for the State Government of Victoria between 1998 and 2013 in a number of senior roles including as Secretary of the Department of Treasury and Finance and the Department of Education and Training.
Grant has also worked in senior executive roles within the Commonwealth Department of Finance. He is a fellow of CPA Australia and the Institute of Public Administration Australia.
Department of the Premier and Cabinet
Ms Rebecca Brown commenced as Acting Director General of the Department of the Premier and Cabinet on 30 March 2020.
Ms Brown has been Director General of the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation since September 2018. In this role, she is also Chief Executive Officer of Tourism Western Australia.
Ms Brown has worked across both Federal and State government agencies in a range of senior roles across revenue and economic policy, social policy, resourcing and performance. Most recently she oversaw the reform of the WA health system, including the establishment of a new governance model and the development of the Health Services Act 2016.
Ms Brown has held senior positions at both WA Treasury and the WA Department of the Premier and Cabinet, where she oversaw key reforms between the public and non-profit community sectors.
Ms Brown has an Honours Degree in Economics from the University of Western Australia and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Deputy Director General, Safety and Regulation
Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety
Ian Munns commenced in his current position of Deputy Director General Safety Regulation on 1 January 2018. Immediately prior to this Ian had been the Executive Director Building Commission. His previous roles had been as the Executive Director Corporate Governance and Services and Director of Policy and Education for WorkSafe. Ian’s earlier career had spanned 24 years in a variety of regulator roles in the Australian Public Sector.
Ian’s career has involved a diverse range of activities ranging from undertaking compliance activities and customer advice through to several positions as a national manager for functions within a Commonwealth department.
Director, Regulatory Capability
Department of Water and Environmental Regulation
Germaine Larcombe is the Director of Regulatory Capability at the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation and a Project Director on the McGowan Governments Regulatory Reform initiative: Streamline WA.
Germaine is a regulatory professional with over fifteen years’ experience across a range of national and international regulatory deliveries both in the environmental and water portfolios. Her career began implementing European environmental directives and international waste shipment regulation but has since specialised in compliance management, regulatory reform and building regulatory craft.
Germaine is on the steering committees of both the National Environmental Regulators Network and the National Regulators Community of Practice (WA). She is passionate about developing robust, agile and outcomes focused regulatory frameworks and building regulatory capability to respond to new and emerging risks and issues.