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Quality Compliance Standards are often not well understood by Government Departments

Updated: Mar 5, 2021

Key things that are often missed, which can have a detrimental affect on goods and service delivery, and contribute to inefficiencies, duplication/re-works and unacceptable delays, and damage to a government’s reputation include:

1. Outcomes/results/deliverables and outputs not being clearly defined and documented as measurable Quality, Safety and/or Environmental” criteria, which is compliant with relevant legislation, Australian and industry Standards.

The importance of identifying and documenting measurable outcomes/results/deliverables and outputs needs to be understood internally, such that measurable outcomes/results/deliverables’ and outputs can be included in Council contracts.

2. Inappropriate and unilateral application of Risk Severity (meaning that risk assessments are not undertaken properly or are undertaken by those who have not been trained in risk assessment and management), which results in mismanagement of resources, over-resource allocation to low risk activities and events and poor utilisation of limited budget resources.

3. Lack of performance monitoring, measurement and evaluation (against defined and documented Quality”, “Safety” and “Environmental” criteria ‘Outcomes’/‘results’/‘deliverables’ and ‘outputs’ criteria) will:

4. Underperforming service delivery aspects should be risk assessed – to determine “so what should be done in terms of corrective action” and “how soon should it be done, based on risk significance of the non-conformity/non-compliance”

5. Contracts should contain both output and outcome performance indicators that are measurable.

6. Affiliations and partnership agreements, and when services are outsourced, have the non-achievement of deliverables by the other party or the external service providers contracted deliverables been risk assessed and can their non-achievement impact on Council’s outcomes/contract deliverables and result in consequential damage to Council’s reputation?

7. External service provider performance must be pro-actively monitored and measured (the higher the residual risk the higher the level of performance monitoring required – is there evidence of this) and what action must be taken for underperforming affiliates/partners or service providers?

8. Potential fraud, bribery and corruption risk areas need to be identified and controlled.

9. robust financial reporting system which facilitates receipt and review of monthly Management Financial Reporting:

· variance at cost centre level, general ledger, YTD analysis, and reporting of exceptions – for accounts management; including solvency, debtor and creditor, revenue and cash flow, acquittals and monthly variances;

· segregation of functions or duties, to ensure that no one person can be in a position to control sufficient stages of processing a single or stream of transactions;

· transactions, offers and other representations which are made on behalf of Council are checked and validated by at least one other competent and authorised person;

· process for the identification and management of real or perceived conflicts of interest associated with supplier/staff relationships;

· effective delegations existing for transaction limits, designed to ensure that:

· there is a system for separating key duties for banking and account transactions and account reconciliations balance is achieved between operational efficiency and appropriate controls over financial expenditure;

· transactions are appropriate and authorised, and no fictitious transactions are recorded; and

· all transactions can be readily audited, if and when required.

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