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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 06 Hansard (Thursday, 7 June 2018) . . Page.. 2230 ..

Key elements of the governance framework for both entities include the annual statement of intent, establishing governing boards for the authority and agency, clear and direct accountability of the chair of each governing board to the responsible minister, a board-appointed and accountable chief executive officer, the use of written ministerial directions to the entities and the development of a service level agreement between the Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate and land entities to provide governance support.

A project portfolio governance committee has been established to provide advice on the development of key governance deliverables and dependencies. The committee is focusing on consolidating governance systems and frameworks, adapting project management governance, standardising records management and updating operational policy and procedures.

This committee has agreed to develop a land transactions policy to address the requirement for probity and good process across the directorate, authority and agency with regard to all types of land transactions, such as acquisitions, sales and transfers. Significant consultation has been undertaken on this policy across the portfolio.

A people and transition committee has been established to provide human resource support for the agency. The directorate and agency have conducted staff surveys to inform the development of an action plan which will outline measures to continue to support staff, reinforce organisational values and offer personal development initiatives. Employee induction training is focused on ethics, conflict of interest, integrity and corruption and fraud prevention and is offered to all staff. Training is available on goods and services procurement which includes probity considerations.

Particular initiatives in this area include the preparation of a corporate governance statement for the agency; a policy and standard operating procedure for conflict of interest in the purchase of land by portfolio staff; and the valuations policy, which reinforces the ethical behaviours expected of staff when seeking land valuations.

This government response builds on the work undertaken as part of establishing the new land entities and provides an opportunity to further test, check, enhance and refine the land transactions process and fill any gaps that have emerged. It is critical to public confidence and trust in the work of territory entities that operations are conducted properly and are open to scrutiny. Governance frameworks play a key role in ensuring that the community can be assured that territory entities operate in the public interest and to the highest standards of probity and accountability. The consistent implementation and effective adoption of these frameworks enables and promotes positive organisational culture and integrity.

The government welcomes the recommendations in the Auditor-General’s report and the opportunity this provides for continuous improvement to probity and governance practices in land transactions and to reinforce an organisational culture that promotes integrity. The audit report made four recommendations relating to remedying deficiencies in the tender process, strengthening probity, strengthening governance and assurance, and reinforcing organisational values. The government agrees with

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