Governance – risk management and accountability


​​We use the term governance to refer to the structures and processes used to set our strategic direction and govern our operations to achieve our objectives, manage risk, discharge our accountability obligations and deliver outcomes for Queensland children, students, families and the community.

Human r​ights

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

During 2020–21 we continued to implement the Human Rights Act 2019 across the department with a focus on building employee awareness and understanding, and strengthening capability in human rights consideration. Some of the actions taken to further the objectives of the Human Rights Act 2019 included:

  • development of a Department of Education Human Rights Framework to highlight our commitment to human rights and provide a coherent, unified framework for activities contributing to meeting our obligations
  • provision of human rights in education training to staff across the department’s 7 regions and central office
  • partnering with the Queensland Human Rights Commission to deliver train the trainer sessions across all regions to support sustainable capability development
  • delivery of 3 human rights in education communication campaigns to both internal and external audiences
  • release of a suite of targeted human rights resources for staff including animations, fact sheets, case studies, assessment tools, frequently asked questions and a training kit
  • integration of human rights materials into P–10 curriculum to build teacher capability and support student learning
  • ongoing review of policies, procedures, programs and practices to ensure compatibility with the Human Rights Act 2019
  • assessment of 15 human rights complaints 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 the department’s customer complaint management framework. 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.

Information systems and recordkeeping

The department has several legislative obligations when making and maintaining public records. The Public Records Act 2002 and the Financial and Performance Management Standard 2019 require the department to have regard to the Queensland Government Enterprise Architecture and Records Governance policy​.

During 2020–21, we undertook the following activities to improve our recordkeeping practices:

  • upgraded the corporate electronic document records management system, associated online training and knowledge-base articles
  • undertook a full review of the corporate electronic document records management system to ensure the solution is positioned to meet future digital legislative requirements
  • progressed the review of the Education and Training Sector Retention and Disposal schedule through Queensland State Archives
  • continued to improve records management practices, including digital records management due to COVID-19.

Risk management

Our Enterprise Risk Management Framework (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 our staff to better understand risk and be more confident in applying it to their daily work and decision-making. Our executive is provided with a quarterly risk profile as part of our reporting obligations under the Financial and Performance Management Standard 2019.

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.

The ARMC 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’.

The ARMC meet at least quarterly in accordance with its Terms of Reference. Details about our ARMC including membership and a description of the committee’s role, functions, remuneration and achievements are available in Appendix D​.

Information security atte​​station

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.

Internal A​udit

Internal Audit contributes to improving internal service delivery by identifying improvements in risk management, control and governance processes.

Internal Audit complies with its charter developed in accordance with the International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing and the Financial Accountability Act 2009 to ensure the effective, efficient and economical operation of the branch.

Internal Audit continues to remain agile in its service delivery, and develops a 6+6 Month Audit Plan using various inputs including departmental priorities, strategic and operational risk and stakeholder consultation. The plan is endorsed by the ARMC and approved by the Director-General.

Internal Audit is responsible for the provision of audit and advisory services across the department including centralised functions, information systems, frontline service delivery areas, and programs and projects.

During 2020–21, Internal Audit undertook:

  • 225 school audits including full scope and follow-up audits
  • 127 school health checks
  • 13 general and operational audits
  • 3 information system audits
  • 1 grant acquittal
  • 5 operational audits for the Office of Industrial Relations.

Education Improvement Branch

The Education Improvement Branch (EIB) undertakes quality assurance and reviews across Queensland’s 1,280 state schools and education centres. The reviews provide insights into practice and contribute to improved education outcomes across early learning, schooling, regions and the system for children and young people across Queensland.

​​The EIB builds relationships with key partners and stakeholders, and undertakes:

  • annual performance assessments
  • school reviews and priority support case management
  • regional and system reviews.

In 2020–21, the EIB:

  • reviewed 399 Queensland state schools and centres
  • conducted 2 regional reviews, 1 regional self-assessment and 3 system reviews
  • undertook 198 school check-in visits as part of the priority support case management process.

Extern​al scrutiny

The department is subject to several external reviewers established by legislation that provide independent views and/or assurance of our performance to 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 7-year term. The QAO enables the Auditor-General to fulfil this role under the Auditor-General Act 2009 by providing professional financial and performance audit services to both parliament and the public sector on behalf of the Auditor-General.

The following reports are applicable to the department:

  • Report 1, 2020–21: Family support and child protection system
  • Report 2, 2020–21: Effectiveness of audit committees in state government entities
  • Report 3, 2020–21: Queensland Government Response to COVID-19
  • Report 7, 2020–21: Delivering successful technology projects
  • Report 13, 2020–21: State entities 2020
  • Report 15, 2020–21: State finances 2020
  • Report 18, 2020–21: Education 2020.

Office of the Information C​​ommissioner

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

The following reports are applicable to the fepartment:

  • Audit report—Disclosure logs—Queensland Government departments
  • Privacy and Public Data Audit Report
  • Minimum reporting requirements: Personal interests, gifts and benefits, overseas travel.

Crime and Corrup​tion 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.

The following report​ is applicable to the department:

  • An investigation into allegations relating to the appointment of a school principal.

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. We manage complaints in accordance with our customer complaints management framework (PDF, 1.3MB), policy and procedure.

Information about the department’s customer complaints for 2020–21 is available on the compliments and customer complaints page​.

Statutory bodies and portfol​​io entities

The department supports the statutory bodies and portfolio entities identified in the Department of the Premier and Cabinet register. Statutory bodies, including universities and grammar schools, prepare their own reports. Information about the bodies and entities can be found on the Department of the Premier and Cabinet search by department page and the department's annual report page​.

Open data

A number of reporting requirements are published online in lieu of inclusion in this report. The following information requirements are reported on the Queensland Government’s Open Data portal:

  • consultancies
  • overseas travel
  • Queensland Language Services Policy.​
Last updated 02 November 2021