Risk Management

The Commission is committed to establishing and maintaining an effective risk management process. This provides the foundations and organisational arrangements for designing, implementing, monitoring, reviewing and continually improving risk management for all election events and business processes. Risks are at their peak at the time of major electoral events. Incidents relating to the activities of election officials and the attendance of electors at polling places are mitigated via training programs for election officials that emphasise risk management activities.

Audit and Risk Committee

The Audit and Risk Committee reviews significant risks and the approach for managing these risks. The committee has independent status within the Commission. It has complete access to both the internal and external auditors and to senior management and the authority to consult independent experts where this is considered necessary to carry out its duties. The Audit and Risk Committee’s responsibilities comply with the NSW Treasury Internal Audit Policy (TPP09-05).

The Committee also has a responsibility to provide external scrutiny and independent assurance to the Commission on the robustness of the risk management framework and project related mitigation strategies. In the coming year the Commission’s risk mitigation strategies will include:

  • Formalising notifications to the Audit and Risk Committee on any matters of non-compliance to legislation;
  • Finalising IT policies and procedures including defining roles and responsibilities and ensuring user-access rights are commensurate with job responsibilities. Segregation of duties will ensure development and production systems are independent. Documentation to record user changes will have retention requirements communicated to staff. Training will be provided and reviews will be conducted to ensure compliance with IT controls;
  • Undertaking some system enhancement for Centralised Postal Voting to allow for voter status changes, and review of statistical reporting; and
  • Consolidation of procedures and communications to provide an ‘info pack’ for council administered elections in anticipation of the 2016 Local Government Elections.

During the year the Committee met on six occasions: July 2012, August 2012, September 2012, December 2012, February 2013 and June 2013. Committee members consist of Brian Suttor as Chairperson, and John Gordon and Kathleen Haddock as Independent Members.

Other attendees may include the NSW Electoral Commissioner, the Commission’s Chief Audit Executive, and the external and internal audit service providers. The following people attended meetings of the Audit and Risk Committee by invitation:

  • Mr Peter Coulogeorgiou, Audit Office of New South Wales;
  • Mr Robert Hayek, Audit Office of New South Wales;
  • Mr Sivarajah Jeyapalan, Audit Office of New South Wales;
  • Mr Mark Driessen, PricewaterhouseCoopers;
  • Mr Alan Murray, PricewaterhouseCoopers; and
  • Ms Alexandra Filipe, PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Committee members are required to declare all conflicts of interest. During the year the following declarations were made:

Brian Suttor:

  • Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee, Audit Office of NSW;
  • Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee, Board of Studies; and
  • Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee, Department of Attorney General and Justice.

John Gordon:

  • Committee member, NSW Ambulance Service;
  • Committee member, NSW Health Infrastructure; and
  • Committee member, South Western Sydney Local Area Health District Board.

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LETTER

Internal Audit and Risk Management Attestation for the 2012-13 Financial Year for the New South Wales Electoral Commission

I, Colin Barry am of the opinion that the New South Wales Electoral Commission has internal audit and risk management processes in place that are, in all material respects, compliant with the core requirements set out in Treasury Circular NSW TC 09/08 Internal Audit and Risk Management Policy. These processes provide a level of assurance that enables the senior management of the New South Wales Electoral Commission to understand, manage and satisfactorily control risk exposures.

I, Colin Barry am of the opinion that the Audit and Risk Committee for the New South Wales Electoral Commission is constituted and operates in accordance with the independence and governance requirements of Treasury Circular NSW TC 09/08.

The Chair and Members of the Audit and Risk Committee are:

  • Brian Suttor, Independent Chair (term four years to 1 December 2013).
  • Kathleen Haddock, Independent Member (term four years to 13 May 2014).
  • John Gordon, Independent Member (term four years to 13 October 2014).

I declare that this Internal Audit and Risk Management Attestation is made on behalf of the following entities:

  • New South Wales Electoral Commission and the controlled entity Office of the New South Wales Electoral Commission

Colin Barry
Electoral Commissioner
New South Wales Electoral Commission
Dated: 11/7/13

Internal Audit and Risk Management Policy Attestation

Internal audit is a fundamental element of our corporate governance structure and processes within the Commission. For the period ending 30 June 2013 the Audit and Risk Committee agreed to the following internal audits. The status of these is outlined below.

Figure 15 – Risk Management, internal audit status as of 30 June 2013
AuditStatus (30 June)Risk Rank @ LowRisk Rank @ MedRisk Rank @ High
IT General ControlsComplete023
Legislative Compliance ReviewComplete010
Centralised Postal VotingComplete200
Council Administered ElectionsComplete200
WHS Legislative ComplianceIn progressN/AN/AN/A
Total for the year 433

External Audit

Each year the Audit Office of New South Wales conducts an audit of the Commission to obtain reasonable assurance that the financial statements are free from material misstatement and other matters of governance interest. The Management Letter issued by the Audit Office on the audit of the Commission for the year ended 30 June 2012 raised two risks, one as a low level risk assessment and the other a moderate risk assessment. The two risks were:

  • Excessive annual leave balances (moderate risk); and
  • Legislative classification for Financial Reporting (low risk).

The Audit Office of New South Wales judged that both matters were satisfactorily addressed by the Commission’s management during the year.

Insurance Arrangements

The Commission maintains insurance under the risk management system of the Treasury Managed Fund, namely, public liability, workers compensation, motor vehicle, property and miscellaneous insurances.

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