Governance – risk management and accountability


​Governance refers to the structures and processes to set the strategic direction and manage operations to achieve strategic objectives, manage risk, discharge accountability obligations and deliver outcomes for Queensland children, students, families and the community.

Human rights

We are committed to creating a stronger, fairer Queensland by respecting, protecting and promoting human rights in everything we do.

During 2021–22, the implementation of the Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld) continued with a focus on building employee awareness and understanding, and strengthening capability to make decisions in accordance with human rights. Some of the actions taken to further the objectives of the Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld) included:

  • providing human rights training across the department, including a human rights module as part of mandatory all staff training
  • presenting information on human rights obligations as part of principal induction programs and an event for teachers’ aides and early childhood educators
  • supporting a commitment to human rights by ensuring consideration of human rights takes place as part of both decision-making and the development or review of all policies and procedures
  • releasing a new Students with disability—reasonable adjustments resourcing model, which resources schools based on the adjustments students with disability need to access and participate in education on the same basis as their peers without disability, in support of human rights of recognition and equality before the law and the right to education
  • balancing human rights considerations in legislative reform, including the Personal Injury Proceedings and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2022 to protect vulnerable groups from claim-farming
  • reviewing more than 20 policies, procedures, programs and practices, including the Student dress code procedure, Student discipline procedure, Cancellation of enrolment procedure and Refusal to enrol – risk to safety or wellbeing procedure
  • considering human rights requirements when developing the P-12 Curriculum assessment and reporting framework, including embedding examples of how human rights apply to schools' work in capability development sessions to ensure staff understand their obligations
  • adding responsibilities to consider human rights in key integrity resources, including the Conflict of interest procedure and Recruitment and selection policy and procedure.

During 2021–22, 6 human rights complaints were assessed as upheld/substantiated (either in full, or in part) and an action or decision found to be incompatible with human rights. These complaints were managed in accordance with our complaints policies and procedures. Action taken for substantiated complaints may include the department overturning a decision, giving an apology, changing a practice or process, providing a service not previously provided or addressing or referring the issue for system improvement.

Customer complaints management

We are committed to responding to customer complaints in an accountable, transparent, timely and fair way that is compatible with human rights. Customer complaints are managed in accordance with the customer complaint management framework, policy and procedure.

Further information and resources about how customer complaints are managed, including a report on customer complaints for 2021–22 and the framework, policy and procedure is available.

Information systems and recordkeeping

We maintain an Information Management Toolkit​ site as a one-stop resource to better manage our information. Continuously improving our information management practices supports us to leverage trusted information in accordance with legal and ethical obligations.

During 2021–22 the following activities improved recordkeeping practices:

  • conducting a records management maturity assessment, comparing against best practice and identifying areas for improvement
  • investigating digital documents systems, and identifying improvements to ease the transition from paper-based records to digital recordkeeping
  • revising the record disposal program, and preparing for a lifting of the department’s disposal freeze.

Information security attestation

During the mandatory annual information security reporting process, the Director-General attested to the appropriateness of the information security risk management within the department to the Queensland Government Chief Information Security Officer, noting that appropriate assurance activities have been undertaken to inform this opinion and the department security risk position.

Risk management

The department’s Enterprise Risk Management Framework (ERMF) (PDF, 364KB) is a comprehensive approach to identifying, assessing, and treating risk based on the department's risk appetite within the context of our risk environment, and provides a solid foundation to enable staff to better understand risk and be more confident in applying it to their daily work and decision-making.

Our Enterprise risk management policy supports the department’s approach to risk management as set out in the ERMF and is compliant with the Australian Standard on Risk management – Guidelines (AS/NZS ISO 31000:2018). Our Enterprise risk management procedure sets out a consistent approach for managing risk across the department.

Our Executive Management Board are informed of risk management across the department through a quarterly risk profile as part of the reporting obligations under the Financial and Performance Management Standard 2019 (Qld).

Audit and Risk Management Committee

The Audit and Risk Management Committee (ARMC) provides independent advice to the Director-General to help fulfil his responsibilities under the Financial Accountability Act 2009 (Qld).

The ARMC meet at least quarterly and has given due consideration to all audit recommendations by the Queensland Audit Office (QAO) in accordance with its Terms of Reference. A full list of QAO audits relevant to the department is included under the heading, 'External Scrutiny'.

Details about our ARMC, including membership and a description of the committee's role, functions, remuneration and achievements, are available in Appendix D.

Internal audit

Internal Audit contributes to improved internal service delivery by identifying improvements in risk management, control and governance processes. Areas of focus for Internal Audit include information systems, frontline service delivery areas, and programs and projects.

Internal Audit’s charter aligns with the International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing and the Financial Accountability Act 2009 (Qld), which ensures audit activities are effective, efficient and economical.

Internal Audit develops a 6+6 Month Audit Plan, which is informed by departmental priorities, strategic and operational risk and stakeholder consultation. The plan is endorsed by the ARMC and approved by the Director-General.

During 2021–22, Internal Audit finalised:

  • 187 school audits including full scope and follow-up audits
  • 205 school health checks
  • 14 general and operational audits
  • 2 information system audits
  • 1 grant acquittal
  • 11 payroll verification reviews
  • 4 operational audits for the Office of Industrial Relations.

Education Improvement Branch

The Education Improvement Branch (EIB) supports the department in driving education improvement for children and young people across Queensland.

The EIB supports continuous improvement, accountability and system-wide collaboration across Queensland’s state schools and education centres through school, regional and system reviews that are informed by the Australian Council for Educational Research National School Improvement Tool evaluation framework.

Every Queensland state school and centre is reviewed at least once every 4 years.

In 2021–22, the EIB:

  • reviewed 285 Queensland state schools and centres
  • conducted two regional reviews and three system reviews
  • undertook more than 200 school check-in visits as part of the priority support case management process.

Further information about school reviews, including professional learning programs for school, regional and corporate staff, is available on the school reviews website.

External scrutiny

The department is subject to several external reviewers established by legislation that provide independent advice, assurance and observations of our performance to our customers, stakeholders, and the community. The following reviewers produced reports relevant to the department.

Queensland Audit Office

The Auditor-General is an independent officer of parliament, appointed for a fixed seven-year term. The QAO enables the Auditor-General to fulfil this role under the Auditor-General Act 2009 (Qld) by providing professional financial and performance audit services to both parliament and the public sector on behalf of the Auditor-General.

The following QAO reports include findings and recommendations applicable to the department:

  • Report 1, 2021–22: Enabling digital learning
  • Report 4, 2021–22: 2021 Status of Auditor-General's recommendations
  • Report 13, 2021–22: State finances 2021
  • Report 14: 2021–22: State entities 2021
  • Report 16: 2021–22: Contract management for new infrastructure
  • Report 18: 2021–22: Enhancing government procurement
  • Report 19: 2021–22: Education 2021.

Office of the Information Commissioner

The Office of the Information Commissioner is Queensland’s independent statutory body established under the Right to Information Act 2009 (Qld) and the Information Privacy Act 2009 (Qld) to promote access to government-held information and to protect people’s personal information held by the public sector.

The following report is applicable to the department:

Crime and Corruption Commission

The Crime and Corruption Commission is a statutory body set up to combat and reduce the incidence of major crime and corruption in the public sector in Queensland. Its functions and powers are set out in the Crime and Corruption Act 2001 (Qld).

The following report is applicable to the department:

Statutory bodies and portfolio entities

Statutory bodies supported by the department, including universities and grammar schools, prepare their own annual reports. For other statutory bodies and portfolio entities that we support, information including membership, purpose and reporting requirements is available at the Department of the Premier and Cabinet website and on the annual report page.

Open data

A number of reporting requirements for the department are published online on the Queensland Government’s Open Data portal​ in lieu of inclusion in this report, including:

  • consultancies
  • overseas travel
  • Queensland Language Services Policy.​​
Last updated 01 November 2022