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Department of the Attorney General
Annual Report 2015/16
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Compliance with Public Sector Standards and Ethical Codes

The Department complied with the Public Sector Standards in Human Resource Management, the Code of Ethics and the Department’s Code of Conduct.

The Code of Conduct outlines the ethical principles, obligations and standards applying to staff. It aims to instil the values of “Excellent Service, Integrity and Accountability, Equality, Collaboration and Learning and Professional Autonomy” in all staff.

The code specifies standards of behaviour and helps inform employees how to exercise judgement and accept personal responsibility in their professional roles.

In 2015/16, 90 staff attended Corporate Induction Program which provides information on ethical conduct and raises participant’s awareness on this topic.

Recordkeeping Plan (State Records Act 2000 and State Records Commission Standard 2, Principle 6)

The Department is addressing various consolidated records projects to conform to all requirements as is required under the State Records Act 2000. The State Records Commission’s minimum compliance requirements are:

1. The efficiency and effectiveness of the organisation’s recordkeeping systems is evaluated not less than once every five years.

As prescribed in the Department’s Recordkeeping Plan (RKP) Key Performance Indicators have been implemented to define and measure recordkeeping practices and focus on continued improvement of the Department’s recordkeeping system.

2. The organisation conducts a recordkeeping training program.

To date, 98 per cent of employees have completed or are progressing through the Department’s mandatory online course for Records Awareness Training (RAT), which addresses various aspects of records management. Regular reporting of staff who have undertaken the training is provided to line managers and the corporate executive. Upon completion of the RAT course, staff are enrolled in the Good Records Information Practices (GRIP) online course. Designed to supplement RAT, this course has a Department specific focus to assist staff in understanding the recordkeeping fundamentals of the management and disposal of corporate records. In addition to these online courses, the Department conducts scheduled and ad hoc face-to-face training.

3. The efficiency and effectiveness of the recordkeeping training program is reviewed periodically.

The Department undertakes regular reviews of the efficiency and effectiveness of the recordkeeping training program. As a result of this year’s review all training materials are being updated to reflect the current recordkeeping requirements of the Department. The updated information will be provided to staff during face-to-face training sessions and will also be accessible via the Department’s intranet.

4. The organisation’s induction program addresses employee roles and responsibilities in regard to their compliance with the organisation’s recordkeeping plan.

The Department’s induction program includes an overview of recordkeeping roles and responsibilities. The course highlights the importance of capturing and managing corporate records. It also directs participants to structured training sessions that are available via the corporate training calendar.

Substantive Equality

Substantive Equality recognises that individuals have different needs, and may require different treatment to achieve equal outcomes. The Department’s Substantive Equality Policy commits to the provision of policy, planning, service delivery, employment and training that address the needs and circumstances of the individual, providing them with equitable outcomes regardless of their backgrounds or personal circumstances.

The State Government’s Policy Framework for Substantive Equality previously only aimed at identifying and eliminating racial discrimination. The Policy Framework was updated in February 2015 to include all forms of systemic discrimination where it may exist in the policies and practices of public sector services.

The Department has completed level one and commenced implementation of level two from the five levels of the framework. The five levels are:

  1. Commitment to implementing the Policy Framework for Substantive Equality
  2. Identifying clients and their needs
  3. Setting objectives/targets and developing strategies to address needs
  4. Monitoring strategies
  5. Review and evaluation

During the year the Department continued its commitment to building a diverse workforce by considering equity and diversity principles when recruiting staff. The Department also provided information to all new employees on the importance of equity and diversity in all workplace practices and provided access for all employees to cultural awareness training.

The Department conducts traineeship programs to increase diversity including Aboriginal people, African people, people with a disability and school-based trainees.

To continue the Department’s commitment and progression in implementing the other levels of the Policy Framework, work started on assessing the Needs and Impact Assessments for the Carnarvon, Kalgoorlie and Kununurra Courthouses.

The current focus is on identifying a means of capturing and reporting on data for culturally and linguistically diverse people and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. This involves working with other agencies to obtain relevant demographic data to ensure future substantive equality work achieves a tangible outcome and assist service delivery throughout justice complexes in Western Australia.

OSH and Injury Management

This reporting is used to assist in the monitoring of the Western Australian public sector’s performance in the occupational safety, health and injury management fields as well as in the development of strategies aimed at improving public sector agencies’ safety, health and injury management systems and practices. Agencies are to report on their occupational safety, health and injury management performance and commitment in relation to the following minimum requirements:

  • A statement of the agency’s commitment to occupational safety and health and injury
  • management with an emphasis on executive commitment
  • A description of the formal mechanism for consultation with employees on occupational safety and health matters
  • A statement of compliance with injury management requirements of the Workers’ Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981, including the development of return to work plans
  • A statement confirming that an assessment of the occupational safety and health management system has been completed (within the past five years or sooner depending on the risk profile of the agency) using a recognised assessment tool including the percentage of agreed actions completed. A report of annual performance for 2015/16 against the following:

A report of performance against the following targets:

Measure Actual ResultsTargetComments (1)
2013/14(1)2014/152015/16 (2)
Number of fatalities  0 0 0 0
Lost time injury and/or disease incidence rate  0.376 0.655 0.935 0 or 10% reduction (actual target can be stated) An increase from the 2013/14 year
Lost time injury and/or disease severity rate  28.57 33.33 35.71 0 or 10% reduction (actual target can be stated) A 7% increase over the 2013/14

Percentage of injured workers returned to work:
(i) within 13 weeks 
(ii) within 26 weeks

100% wihtin 13 weeks 66% within 13 weeks
20% within 26 weeks
60% within 13 weeks
20% within 26 weeks
Greater than or equal to 80% % of injured workers returned within 26 weeks which exceeds target
Percentage of managers trained in occupational safety, health and injury management responsibilities  75% 75% 92% Greater than or equal to 80% Achieved result above.. 

Note (1) this is a three-year trend and as such the year is to be three years prior to current reporting year (ie current year is 2015/16 and comparison year is 2013/14).

Note (2) the current year ie 2015/16.

Freedom of Information

The Department received 73 Freedom of Information (FOI) applications in 2015/16. Five applications from the previous period were also processed in this period.

During this time, 32 applications were completed and 29 transferred to other agencies.

There were 14 applications withdrawn and three were in the process of being completed. In this period, there was one request for external review by the Information Commissioner and this is currently outstanding.

One review from the previous period was conciliated and finalised by the Information Commissioner.

Two decisions were reviewed internally on request by the applicants with the decision being upheld on both occasions.

Summary of FOI applications for 2015/16

Applications Processed

Personal information requests - 17
Non-personal information requests - 15
Amendment of personal information - 0
Applications transferred in full - 29
Total - 61


Applications completed - 32
Applications withdrawn - 14
Internal reviews completed - 2
External reviews completed - 1
Applications being processed - 1

The Office of the Public Advocate, the Public Trustee and the State Administrative Tribunal are not listed as part of the Department in the Freedom of Information Regulations 1993 and compile separate FOI statistics.

Customer Feedback Management System

The Department’s Customer Feedback Management System (CFMS) records and tracks complaints, compliments and suggestions from customers. Feedback can be provided in various formats including:

  • online
  • CFMS brochure We Welcome Your Feedback
  • letter
  • telephone
  • fax
  • in person
  • email.

During 2015/16 the Department received 285 complaints, 81 compliments and 39 suggestions. More than 86 per cent of feedback was answered within 10 working days. Court and Tribunal Services received the most feedback, accounting for 60 per cent of all feedback.

Various business improvements have been implemented as a result of the feedback received. Resultant improvements include enhanced business processes and procedures, updated website information and publications and further staff training in relevant areas.

The Customer Service Charter and CFMS brochure has been updated to better meet accessibility guidelines and to ensure the information provided reflects modern, corporate practice. In addition, the online feedback system has been updated to meet web accessibility guidelines to assist people with visual impairments.

Last updated: 27-Sep-2016

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