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Annual Report 2016-2017 Department of the Legislative Assembly



Annual Report 2016-2017 Department of the Legislative Assembly

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Tabled paper 405


Tabled Papers for 13th Assembly 2016 - 2020; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT






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DLA Annual Report 2016-17 Page 17 Internal and External Scrutiny Three external audits were conducted by the Northern Territory Auditor-Generals Office during 2016-2017. Agency Compliance Audit The Department of Legislative Assembly notes the Audit Opinion of the Auditor-General in relation to Departments Compliance audit that accounting and control procedures examined provide reasonable assurance that the responsibilities of the Accountable Officer, as set out in Treasurers Directions and Procurement Regulations and Guidelines, will be met if those systems continue to operate in the manner identified in the audit. The audit identified three issues relating to the DLAs registers and compliance with the Treasurers Directions requiring attention. The Department notes the recommendations and has commenced a program to address them. Fraud Assessment Framework On 20 February 2017, the Auditor-General notified the DLA that it would be subject to a Selected Agencies Fraud Assessment Framework Review, investigating fraud control arrangements in selected Northern Territory Government Agencies and analysing the responses to determine the maturity of Agencies Fraud Assessment Frameworks. As a consequence, the DLA completed a Fraud Control Survey on 10 March 2017 and established a Fraud Control Policy and associated incident reporting form on 7 March 2017. On 12 May 2017, the Auditor-Generals Review assessed the maturity of the DLAs Fraud Assessment Framework as requiring improvement. The Department acknowledges the findings and confirms that the Fraud Assessment Framework is under review. On Friday 31 July 2017, all DLA staff were briefed on fraud control issues by a senior member of the Northern Territory Police at a whole of Department staff forum. Annual and Long Service Leave Entitlements On 27 April 2017 the Auditor-General advised the DLA of the results of a review into DLA excess leave entitlements. The Review identified that at 28 February 2017, five DLA staff had excess recreation leave and four had excess long service leave. Electorate staff are employed on fixed-term arrangements at the discretion of the Member whom they work. The electorate office is a unique environment with uncertain tenure. Temporary employees working for Members of the Legislative Assembly are subject to the day to day requirements of electorate offices and may put electorate priorities in a political environment before reducing excess leave credits. This is part of a risk the Department of the Legislative Assembly manages as an agency in regards to long leave. It is difficult to insist electorate office staff take leave when those staff are consciously working on the basis they may need funds payout if their Member is defeated or resigns. The Speaker issued a Determination relating to employment conditions for electorate officers. EO4 of 2017 Fixed Term Electorate Officers provides Public Sector Employment and Management ByLaw 4 Recreation Leave (excluding clause 4.6) and By-Law 8 Long Service Leave (excluding clauses 8.3 and 8.4) applies to fixed term contracts. Excess leave for departmental staff is reported to the DLAs Audit Committee with monthly prompts given to Unit Heads through the Departments Board of Management meetings. A plan is in place for all departmental staff excess leave identified in the Auditor-Generals Review to reduce the excess.