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Professional public administration - key initiatives

Professional public administration - key initiatives | Department of Premier and Cabinet Annual Report 2018-19

This objective fosters and promotes a high‑performing public service. It ensures effective whole of government performance and outcomes. It protects the values of good public governance in support of public trust.

DPC’s outcomes on the following key initiatives have helped us achieve the Professional public administration strategic objective.

Implementing security upgrades for government buildings

In 2018–19 the Office of the Governor completed a significant projects program, including security and conservation upgrade works. This program of works will continue into 2019–20.

Office of the Governor initiatives

In addition to constitutional and ceremonial duties, the Governor hosted a wide range of events in 2018–19, making Government House and grounds available in new ways for events, community programs and groups that might not have previously had the opportunity to visit Government House.

In 2018–19 the Governor undertook extensive international engagement on behalf of the state both locally and overseas. The Governor also attended numerous events and activities across Victoria.

Chief Parliamentary Counsel services

In 2018–19 the Office of the Chief Parliamentary Counsel (OCPC) drafted a range of legislation to implement major government policy initiatives and reforms across a wide range of law, including the Environment Protection Amendment Act 2018, Firefighters’ Presumptive Rights Compensation and Fire Services Legislation Amendment Act 2019, Guardianship and Administration Act 2019 and Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2018.

OCPC also drafted legislation to implement key professional public administration, electoral and integrity reforms including the Electoral Legislation Amendment Act 2018, Audit Amendment Act 2019, Integrity and Accountability Legislation Amendment (Public Interest Disclosures, Oversight and Independence) Act 2019 and Victorian Independent Remuneration Tribunal and Improving Parliamentary Standards Act 2019.

Other legislation drafted in 2018–19 has been to support the continued implementation of law and order and family violence reforms including the Corrections Amendment (Parole) Act 2018, Justice Legislation Amendment (Terrorism) Act 2018, Justice Legislation Amendment (Family Violence Protection and Other Matters) Act 2018, Prevention of Family Violence Act 2018, Victims and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2018 and Justice Legislation Amendment (Police and Other Matters) Act 2019.

Throughout 2018–19 OCPC continued providing drafting services to parliament to facilitate the passage of Victorian Government legislation, the preparation of House amendments and the introduction of Private Members’ Bills.

Securing public records by access to customised storage facility

During 2018–19 Public Record Office Victoria (PROV) has undertaken a redevelopment of internal work spaces to create additional storage capacity. This redevelopment will create an estimated 2,500 linear metres of new storage capacity.

PROV has also maximised current storage capacity through relocating parts of the collection to more appropriate storage solutions. During 2018–19 PROV installed additional shelving to its storage capacity, adding capacity for more than 3,000 flat maps and 650 linear metres of general-purpose storage capacity.

Planning has been completed to transfer 10,000 linear metres of records to the State Library Victoria storage facility in Ballarat. This transfer will occur in 2019–20.

The transfer of records from PROV’s Ballarat collection to the State Library storage facility has been completed. This will ensure the collection remains accessible to the public.

Establishing an independent remuneration tribunal

Parliament passed the Victorian Independent Remuneration Tribunal and Improving Parliamentary Standards Act 2019 in March 2019. This established the Victorian Independent Remuneration Tribunal (VIRT) to support independent and impartial decision making about Member of Parliament salaries and allowances and VPS (and prescribed public entity) executive salary bands.

VIRT’s first determination for Members of Parliament and VPS executive officers must be made by mid-September 2019, with VIRT’s first determination for executive officers employed by prescribed public entities to be made by mid-March 2020.

Fostering innovation in the public sector

DPC drives innovation activity across the VPS, directly engaging on programs and projects and building capability uplift in innovation methodologies.

In 2018–19 DPC supported the establishment of seven new Public Sector Innovation Fund projects, with a total commitment of approximately $2.5 million.

DPC also established the Agile Delivery Office in 2018–19. The office has provided agile coaching and customised advice to 44 project teams and delivered training and support to 588 members of the VPS.

In 2018–19 more than 6,000 additional members of the VPS joined the DPC-run Innovation Network, bringing total membership to more than 9,500. The Innovation Network’s resource-rich digital platform includes free workshops, news, toolkits, case studies and an accessible digital space for collaboration and communities of practice.

In February 2019 DPC held the VPS Innovation Immersion event, which brought together more than 500 participants from across the public service to attend practical workshops and keynote speeches to build innovation skills across the VPS.

DPC also fosters innovation by supporting the VPS to understand and apply behavioural interventions. In 2018–19 DPC delivered 20 behavioural insights workshops attended by approximately 850 staff and supported 40 behavioural projects from across the VPS.

Modernising and simplifying government’s online presence

DPC has been implementing the Single Digital Presence project since August 2017. This is an action of the Victorian Government’s Information Technology Strategy 2016–2020. DPC is:

  • consolidating the department’s content onto a single platform, making content publication easier and website builds faster and cheaper
  • organising associated events and training to enable skills uplift across the VPS in the areas of writing for the web, measuring content performance, content management system use and accessibility compliance.

In 2018–19 DPC redesigned and delivered vic.gov.au, the top domain for the Victorian Government. Fifteen DPC websites were combined onto vic.gov.au, including DPC’s corporate website.

Another eight DPC websites have been redesigned and moved to the platform. Fourteen more websites will be moved to the platform before February 2020.

Modernising and simplifying the government’s online presence helps Victorians to access, understand and act on Victorian Government policy and program information.

Driving a new information culture across Victoria through supporting the Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner

Established as the primary regulator and source of independent advice to the community and the Victorian Government about how the public sector collects, uses and shares information, the Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner (OVIC) has combined oversight of freedom of information (FOI), privacy and data protection.

In August 2019 OVIC measured the information security maturity across the VPS through the high-level protective data security plan attestation process, where 96 per cent of public sector bodies (that are subject to Part 4 of the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014) submitted on time. OVIC also met with 60 government agencies to provide feedback on their submissions. OVIC aimed to educate these organisations on information security, encourage continuous improvement and foster a security culture across the public service.

OVIC supports the VPS to give effect to the right to privacy, educates the Victorian community about their privacy rights, and works towards achieving the objectives of the Privacy and Data Protection Act. In 2018–19 OVIC:

  • issued a new Privacy Impact Assessment template and accompanying guidelines
  • published Managing the Privacy Impacts of a Data Breach, a comprehensive guide to handling privacy issues
  • held a workshop about data breach response, attended by approximately 200 VPS employees
  • launched new information privacy awareness training targeting VPS agency staff.

Enhancing public sector integrity and governance capability through the Victorian Public Sector Commission

The Victorian Public Sector Commission’s (VPSC) initiatives to enhance public sector integrity and governance capability have included providing caretaker advice and support in the lead up to the November 2018 state election, the roll out of new guidance to support board performance assessments, including a dedicated series of workshops to regional agencies and boards, and the development of a comprehensive induction program for all VPS executives for implementation in 2019–20.

The VPSC has also led the development and adoption of consistent standards and guidance material for the VPS to address sexual harassment in the workplace through the Respectful Workplaces Framework and the Sexual Harassment Model Action Plan, which will be issued in July 2019.

Integrity system and public information reforms

In 2018–19 DPC supported the Special Minister of State to develop the following legislation to reform the integrity system:

  • The Integrity and Accountability Legislation Amendment (Public Interest Disclosures, Oversight and Independence) Act 2019 makes a range of improvements to the operation of the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC), the Ombudsman and the protected disclosure system. Most of these improvements take effect from 1 January 2020.
  • The Audit Amendment Act 2019 modernises and simplifies the Audit Act 1994 , as well as making targeted improvements to the operation of the Act. These improvements began on 1 July 2019.

Leading whole of government freedom of information activities

OVIC has a key focus in promoting understanding and acceptance of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 across the VPS. Initiatives OVIC led in 2018–19 included:

  • publishing notices of decisions to promote increased openness and transparency of decision making
  • publishing proposed Professional Standards to enhance government agency practice
  • delivering professional development, training and education for FOI principal officers and practitioners (through face-to-face and e-learning modules)

In 2018–19 OVIC actioned recommendations from the 2017–18 review of business processes in privacy and FOI including implementing the ICT platform Resolve to streamline, integrate and enhance OVIC’s case management performance.

Progress towards achieving the objective

The output performance measures that provide information on DPC’s progress in achieving the ‘Professional public administration’ strategic objective are outlined below.

Objective indicator: A values-driven, high-integrity public service characterised by employees who collaborate across government and in partnership with the community and other sectors, and who use evidence to support decisions that drive the progress of Victoria socially and economically.

Unit of measure

2015–16

2016–17

2017–18

2018–19

Education and training activities delivered by OVIC

27

42

73

109

Client satisfaction with data security and privacy training provided

99%

99%

98%

98%

Recommendations accepted by agencies upon completion of investigations by the Victorian Ombudsman

100%

95%

98%

98%

Further details on DPC’s 2018–19 performance against its output performance measures are covered in the section Performance against output performance measures.

Reviewed 21 October 2019

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