Our billable staff productivity (the percentage of total staffing hours that we charge to our audit work) in 2016–17 decreased from 60 per cent to 57 per cent, below our 70 per cent target. This drop in productivity can be largely attributed to the expansion of our mandate in October 2016 to audit local government. We invested significantly in 2016–17 setting up our office to audit local government. This set-up investment has not been charged to councils, but instead has been absorbed by the Audit Office.
Total staffing hours include time worked by all staff, including those responsible for administration and governance.
Enhancing technology infrastructure and systems
In 2016–17, we continued to enhance audit delivery through improved systems and processes. Technology achievements included:
- migrated all email to Office 365 to increase capacity and availability
- started the process to replace our on-premise data centre
- replaced our laptop fleet, including an upgrade to Windows 10 and 4G access for staff
- upgraded our Wi-Fi network to enhance security and speed
- implemented an enterprise service management platform to improve issue tracking and reporting across Corporate Services
- rolled out our bring your own device (BYOD) program for staff to use their personal mobile devices to access office resources
- engaged an external organisation to conduct a cyber security maturity review.
We also continued to meet compliance and operational stability requirements by:
- maintaining the ISO27001:2013 security standard
- maintaining systems availability above the target of 99 per cent
- delivering self-paced information security training
- enhancing our data centre monitoring capability
- conducting an external and Wi-Fi penetration test.
Embedding our performance management framework
The performance, behaviour and conduct of our employees are integral to our success. The Audit Office promotes a transparent performance management approach that aligns personal goals and individual development with the Audit Office strategy and vision.
In 2016–17, we continued embedding our performance management framework by:
- cascading the Audit Office strategic plan down into branch plans and individual performance agreements
- strengthening our performance management process, including performance conversations, two-way feedback and the link between performance and remuneration
- completing the implementation of the MiCareer human capital management system
- ensuring 100 per cent of staff have performance agreements in place.
Fair and responsible remuneration
Our approach to remuneration is focused on being procedurally fair and fiscally responsible, and in line with the NSW Government’s wages policy.
Employee performance is assessed twice annually through a mid-year and end-year performance assessment. The results of the performance assessment are moderated across branches through leadership collaboration sessions. Employee remuneration is then assessed once per year immediately following the end-year performance assessment.
The Remuneration Committee met twice during 2016–17 to consider auditor progression and the end-year remuneration review. The committee reviews recommendations to the Auditor-General on the application of the Audit Office’s remuneration policies and practices. These recommendations have improved the remuneration assessment process.
The year ahead
In 2017–18, we will continue to:
- improve our performance management framework
- cascade the updated Audit Office strategic plan to branch plans and individual performance agreements
- ensure our approach to remuneration remains procedurally fair and fiscally responsible, and in line with the NSW Government’s wages policy.