Our risk management

The department is committed to good risk-management practice, supported by leaders who foster an operating environment that balances well-managed risk-taking against the achievement of objectives.

We will prioritise those initiatives that support the continual improvement of risk-management practices, including the further integration of risk management into business planning and the development of strategic objectives.

DPC aims to build a positive risk culture in which risk is routinely considered at all levels of the department. DPC’s leaders are responsible for driving the risk culture, through strong leadership that provides clarity on the department’s direction, its values and purpose.

As the first minister’s department, DPC will continue to prioritise the protection and advancement of Victoria’s interests through policy development, advocacy and service delivery. The department commits to uphold the values of the Victorian public sector and build public trust and confidence in government.

We need to anticipate and respond to changing environments and scenarios. Strong risk management supports the department to deliver important social and economic reforms and pursue policy options that will deliver long-term benefits. The department’s commitment to risk management means that:

  • risks are regularly identified, assessed and monitored at all levels of the department and considered against DPC’s risk appetite
  • risk management is integrated into other departmental business processes, including in policy formulation, business planning, decision making and project management
  • risks are managed by those best placed to manage risks, guided by the department’s risk appetite
  • branches and project teams identify and manage risks and take appropriate steps to escalate risks to senior executives if the risk requires additional mitigation or exceeds DPC’s risk appetite
  • executives escalate the management of risks that exceed the department’s risk appetite to ensure that appropriate mitigations are in place
  • regular communication is provided to executives and key stakeholders regarding risks.

Risk principles

We apply the following principles against our risk categories when making complex decisions:


Adopt a confident approach when taking risks that support significant policy reform and improve outcomes for Victorians. Reduce exposure to risks that could negatively impact the achievement of long-term strategic objectives.

Operational / service delivery

Be confident when making improvements to service delivery and performance, acknowledging the potential for short-term disruptions in the pursuit of long-term benefits.


Work collaboratively across the public service at all levels, to ensure consistent communication and delivery of programs and reforms that achieve departmental and government objectives. Avoid options and decisions that may result in sustained or material loss of public or government trust.


Manage within budgets and avoid the risk of cost overruns by reallocating existing resources to deliver priority work. Always comply with ministerial financial management directions or relevant financial requirements.

Compliance and legal

Comply with the department’s legal and statutory obligations. Misbehaviour and intentional non-compliance are taken seriously at all levels.


Foster and promote professional public administration, good governance and accountability to achieve public value, whilst being responsive to government demands. All employees are required to always adhere to the Code of Conduct for Victorian Public Sector Employees.

All staff are responsible for risk management at DPC. Staff also support efforts to identify and manage shared or state significant risks.