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Governance across our activities

We are committed to governance practices by establishing arrangements and practices to manage our operations, achieved expected outcomes and discharge our accountability obligations as a means of protecting our reputation.

Our governance practices include:

Organisational performance

Using our strategic and business planning processes we deliver, measure and report on each of our 6 core objectives. Reports are prepared and delivered to our senior leaders quarterly and included in our Annual Report. Performance against these objectives are also reported against our service standards. Every month we develop a safety report for the department and branches. This report looks at how safety is managed and where improvements can be made. A Safety and Wellbeing Plan report for the department and branches is released every 6 months.

Strategic Maintenance Plan

We currently own 108 facilities across Queensland ranging from offices to customer service centres. Every 3 years these facilities undergo an audit program that assesses their maintenance needs. The capital works and maintenance budgets are reviewed monthly with additional funding requirements available to ensure all risks are appropriately managed in a timely manner. Maintenance works are prioritised taking into consideration all risks and ensuring facilities are safe to use for both our staff and customers.

Risk management

Risk management is a key element of good corporate governance and is a fundamental part of managing our business. We are developing capabilities to ensure a consistent and effective assessment of risk across our department.

Measuring procurement performance

A first of its kind among Queensland Government agencies our Procurement Performance Management Framework sets in place how measures are created, success is measured, report requirements and governance criteria. This framework directly supports us in achieving our objectives outlined in our Strategic Procurement Plan 2016-2020.

Queensland Procurement Policy implementation

On 31 July 2017, a revised Queensland Procurement Policy was introduced. This policy is aimed at prioritising Queensland businesses by focusing on local economic and employment opportunities.

External scrutiny

Our operations are subject to regular scrutiny from external oversight bodies.

In addition to his audit of the department’s financial statements, during 2017–18 the Auditor-General conducted audits where recommendations were either specifically addressed to the department, were for all agencies to consider, or included learnings potentially applicable to the department.

These audits included:

  • Integrated transport planning (Report 4: 2017–18)
  • Fraud risk management (Report 6: 2017–18)
  • Confidentiality and disclosure of government contracts (Report 8: 2017–18)
  • Finalising unpaid fines (Report 10: 2017–18).

The implementation status of recommendations are periodically monitored and reported.

Coronial inquests and recommendations

Under the whole-of-government coronial reporting arrangements, ministers are required to inform the Attorney-General, within 6 months of coronial findings being handed down, as to whether the recommendations are supported. Ministers must also provide progress updates until the recommendations are implemented.

Where recommendations are directed to more than one department, the government is required to produce a single, coordinated response to the recommendation.

During June 2017—June 2018 we received 30 new recommendations. Our response, supported by the Minister for Transport and Main Roads, will be provided to the Attorney-General and published on the coroner’s website by the Department of Justice and Attorney-General in the coming months. Our report will provide an update on 38 recommendations in total.

Parliamentary committees

Parliamentary committees review legislation, investigate specific issues and report to the Parliament. Some committees also have continuing roles to monitor and review public sector organisations or keep areas of the law or activity under review.

The committee which relates to the Department of Transport and Main Roads’ portfolio is the Transport and Public Works Committee.

Integrity Commissioner

The Integrity Commissioner provides with written advice to the Director-General and senior executives on ethics or integrity issues. The commissioner also maintains a strong commitment to raise public awareness of ethics or integrity issues by contributing to public discussions of these issues relevant to the Integrity Commissioner’s functions.

Our Ethical Standards Unit provides advice to the Integrity Commissioner about matters involving lobbyist activity between TMR officers and registered lobbyists. We maintain a TMR Register of Contact with Lobbyists and receive notifications of contact with registered lobbyists from TMR divisions and maintain a record of the notified instances of contact with registered lobbyists in accordance with section 72A of the Integrity Act 2009.

For the 2017-2018 reporting period, the Ethical Standards Unit received 2 notifications of lobbyist-related activity with TMR officers.

Crime and Corruption Commission reports

In conjunction with Queensland Government we maintain our commitment to the people of Queensland to act with integrity, accountability and consultation. We do this by discharging statutory obligations contained in various pieces of legislation administrated by the Director-General so that we respond appropriately to any allegations of corrupt conduct and serious misconduct.

We maintain an Ethical Standards Unit and other integrity functions within the agency to enhance public confidence and embed a culture of integrity.

We are committed to the highest ethical standards. We have the necessary tools and resources available to our staff so that they make sound and ethical decisions while at work. Our focus is ensuring our people possess the knowledge to act ethically and to report wrongdoing should it arise.

We maintain strong partnerships with Queensland’s Crime and Corruption Commission for this purpose and recognise that eliminating corruption must be core business for all public sector agencies.

Ethical decision making

We illustrate our commitment to ethical decision-making by offering an online and mandatory ethical decision-making training tool, Which Way Would You Go. This tool provides annual education and training about making good decisions which are based on the ethics principles and values contained in the Public Sector Ethics Act 1994.

This tool and our online ethics resources advance our commitment to the public service principles and values as outlined in the code of conduct for the Queensland public service. We also deliver an ethical awareness program of work named Ethics at TMR–Your Reputation, Your Choice, which involves face-to-face ethical standards training for staff at which key ethics massages are shared and discussed.

These ethics initiatives assist in improving the ethical profile of our department and enhance our zero-tolerance stance to wrongdoing and corrupt conduct. These tools discharge a statutory obligation imposed upon the Director-General to make available ethics education materials to all TMR officers so they can all make decisions that are open, honest and can withstand scrutiny.

Annual report awards

We received a gold award from the Australasian Reporting Awards for the 2016–17 Annual Report. This award recognises transparency and excellence in reporting by setting best practice benchmarks. We’re the only department in the Queensland Government to receive 5 gold awards. This exemplifies our commitment to Queenslanders to act transparently and optimise our performance.

The full list of TMR annual report awards include:

  • Gold Award: 2016–17, 2015–16, 2014–15, 2013–14, 2010–11
  • Silver Award: 2012–13, 2009–10
  • Special Category—Governance: 2015–16 Finalist.

Queensland Ombudsman

We maintain a cooperative and effective working relationship with the Queensland Ombudsman. We have a central liaison and coordination point for Queensland Ombudsman inquiries—managing the interface between the agencies—in addition to managing all disclosures received by the agency pursuant to the provisions of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010.

We also provided submissions to the strategic review of the Queensland Ombudsman assisting this independent inquiry in to their operational efficiency and functionality.

Associated authorities

We work collaboratively with 2 statutory authorities, 4 government-owned corporations and 1 publicly owned private company.

Statutory authorities

  • Gold Coast Waterways Authority
  • Queensland Rail

Government-owned corporations

  • Far North Queensland Ports Corporation

Government-owned corporation with shareholding ministerial obligations

  • Limited (Ports North)
  • Gladstone Ports Corporation Limited (GPCL)
  • North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation Limited (NQBP)
  • Port of Townsville Limited (POTL)

Publicly-owned private company

  • Transmax Proprietary Limited

The Director-General of TMR is the company's sole shareholder for Transmax.

Right to information

We are committed to providing the community with open and transparent access to information and supports the proactive release of information. Published on various publications and pages detailing the type of information that is available via an administrative access or publication scheme, or our disclosure log. 

Proactive disclosure increases the flow of information into the community without the need to make a formal application under a legislative authority such as the Right to Information Act 2009 (RTI Act) or the Information Privacy Act 2009 (IP Act).

Applications for documents not containing an applicant’s personal information are processed under the RTI Act, and requests for documents for an applicant’s personal information being processed under the IP Act. Details on how to make a formal application requesting access to documents under the RTI Act or the IP Act are available on our website.

Details of the applications received by the department under the RTI Act are published on our disclosure log. Where possible, released documents are also published.

Information privacy

We are committed to protecting the personal information we hold in accordance with the obligations under the Information Privacy Act 2009. The Act regulates how personal information is collected, stored, used and disclosed by all Queensland Government agencies and its contracted service providers.

In providing our services we ensure the personal information entrusted to us is managed in a fair, secure and ethical manner.

To ensure compliance with the Information Privacy Principles, the we actively conduct privacy impact assessments to factor in privacy when planning and delivering projects that involve personal information. In 2017–18, over 20 Privacy Impact Assessments were conducted and, by doing so, we have strengthened our commitment to best privacy practice.

Complaints management

We recognise constructive feedback is essential to help us provide excellent services to the community at every interaction. We are committed to managing complaints effectively to improve decision making and increase accountability in government.

Our complaints management system complies with the Public Service Act 2008 (Section 219A) and the guiding principles of the Australian/New Zealand Standard Guidelines for complaint management in organizations (AS/NZS 10002:2014). The Office of the Queensland Ombudsman reviewed the operation of our compliant management system for the 2017−18 period and found it to be compliant with all legislative and standard requirements.

As required under the Act, we publish information about complaints for each financial year period. For 2017–18, we received 45,820 customer complaints, which is consistent with the annual complaint volumes over the past 5 years.


Complaints received by TMR

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Internal audit

Internal audit is a key component of our corporate governance. The function operates under a charter consistent with the Institute of Internal Auditors’ standards and approved by our Director-General.

The Chief Auditor is directly accountable to the Director-General for leading an effective and efficient internal audit function and for ensuring the internal audit activity meets its objectives and adds value to TMR. This includes the implementation of risk-based strategic and annual internal audit plans, and coordinating audit activities with the external auditors, Queensland Audit Office, to best achieve appropriate audit objectives for the department.

The Chief Auditor reports regularly to the Audit and Risk Committee, which reviews the work of the internal audit function. The relationship with the committee is based on Queensland Treasury’s Audit Committee Guidelines.

During the past year, internal audit:

  • developed and delivered a risk-based annual plan of audits approved by the Director-General and completed 29 audit reports, covering assurance about, and improving effectiveness of controls, systems, project management, operations and risk management
  • continued an increased audit focus on improving business performance, with 39 per cent of recommendations having a primary focus on improving operations and/or processes
  • engaged with the Audit and Risk Committee about proposed audit plans and their alignment to the risks of the department
  • provided advice and assistance on key projects and initiatives
  • monitored and reported on the implementation of agreed audit recommendations
  • maintained an effective working relationship with Queensland Audit Office.

Read more in our annual report