Assurance and accountability – we keep the Commission safe

The past year has been an important test of our business continuity plan as we have continued to adapt to changes in alert levels and keep our people safe and productive during the global pandemic. We are committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for our people and continue to enhance and mature our health and safety practices. During 2020/2021, we took the next steps to continuously improve our internal health, safety and wellbeing systems. Work towards combining the Health and Safety Committee and Wellbeing Committee into a single fit-for-purpose business partner will help us mature and support our strategic planning. Health and Safety representatives are regularly involved in developing process improvements and refining the tools necessary for good worker engagement. We have grown our organisation’s capability by providing internal training for health and safety representatives and floor wardens and participating in government health and safety lead initiatives.

This year, we have undertaken a stocktake of our organisational assurance activities, using the Three Lines Model. This model provides a framework designed to help organisations identify the structures, processes, roles and responsibilities that will best help them achieve their objectives and facilitate strong governance and risk management. This has informed the development of our internal audit plan, as well as a robust education and awareness programme, which helps us to strengthen our internal controls and continuously improve our internal policies and practices. We have observed an increased maturity in both our security and privacy systems. We also participated in an audit, under the Public Records Act 2005, of our information management maturity. The Chief Archivist found that we are operating mostly at the Managing and Maturing levels and have a sound view of our maturity with our self-assessment matching the auditor’s view.

We take pride in our financial management and ensure we continue to get the best value for our funding in the pursuit of our mission and vision for the Public Service. Our high ambitions for the Public Service are demanding on our available resources. The Government has recognised this increasing demand and granted us some additional funding in 2020/2021. However, we still need to work through our priorities carefully to ensure we can deliver on our core requirements, provide system leadership and meet Government expectations. This requires a flexible and adaptive approach to resources where we can redistribute both people and funding to priority areas, and analytical and advisory teams can lend their services across the organisation. Additional investment is still required to realise our ambition for the Public Service.

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