YOU DO NOT HAVE THE STRUCTURE FOR RULE OF LAW, EQUAL PROTECTION, AND CITIZENS' VOICE IN PUBLIC POLICY.
If your pols are not shouting these policy platforms in your local, state, and national Democratic primary race-----THEY ARE CLINTON/OBAMA NEO-LIBERALS.
As Mayor, CINDY WALSH will have this agenda for the first 100 days:
1. A committee to design a system of analysis, development, and implementation of oversight and accountability in every Baltimore City agency. We will be ready to implement in 100 days. This is lots of local employment at professional and entry-level. This will expand to how state agencies affect Baltimore City revenue and economic development.
2. A committee to design a system of analysis, development, and implementation of a complete reform of policing, criminal and civil justice systems looking at both city and state agencies. We will have a focus on Federal and US Constitutional rights and will be ready to implement in 100 days. This is lots of local employment at both the professional and entry-level.
3. A committee to design a system of analysis, development, and implementation of communities surrounding city center with a focus on downsizing and removing unneeded infrastructure and replacing it with large public greening projects with acreage ready to be annexed as communities grow. This does not neglect city center-----it makes sure all surrounding communities are stabilized and citizens gainfully employed.
4. Items 1-3 will create A REAL LOCAL ECONOMY-----building the public sector paying Living Wages makes consumers and taxpayers of 600,000 citizens in Baltimore. These consumers fuel private sector growth and small business development. Add to that small, regional manufacturing factories of ordinary products that everyone needs with subsidy----AND YOU HAVE CITIZENS EARNING AT ALL INCOME LEVELS.
When you build a local economy that is not tied to Wall Street financial instruments or development deals-----when you build a local economy that is not effected if a major corporation leaves town-----when you make these corporations good citizens wanting to pay their share of taxes if they want to stay----YOU HAVE A STABLE, HEALTHY, LONG-TERM ECONOMY.
Wall Street Baltimore Development and neo-conservative Johns Hopkins never wanted any of that because their goal was to milk the city of revenue to grow their corporations and dismantle all government agencies and move control to themselves with no oversight and accountability. THAT IS A THIRD WORLD DEVELOPING NATION STRUCTURE OF GLOBAL CORPORATIONS AND NGOs. This is why Baltimore looks like a developing nation city.
STOP ALLOWING WALL STREET BALTIMORE DEVELOPMENT AND JOHNS HOPKINS TAKE BALTIMORE TO THIRD WORLD STRUCTURES. GOING GLOBAL WITH THIS WILL EFFECT EVERYONE.
2 Fundamentals of governance2.1 IntroductionPublic sector governance refers to the arrangements and practices which enable a public sector entity to set its direction and manage its operations to achieve expected outcomes and discharge its accountability obligations.
Public sector governance encompasses leadership, direction, control and accountability, and assists an entity to achieve its outcomes in such a way as to enhance confidence in the entity, its decisions and its actions. Good public sector governance is about getting the right things done in the best possible way, and delivering this standard of performance on a sustainable basis.
"Governance is the way things get done, rather than just the things that are done."5Julie Garland McLellan, 2011
A public sector which is diverse and dynamic needs to combine tested administrative practices to ensure reliable delivery of services, the flexibility to achieve outcomes most efficiently, and an accent on innovation to take advantage of new and better ways to achieve outcomes. To enable this, chief executives, directors and senior executives should establish fit-for-purpose governance arrangements and be willing to adjust them to meet changing needs. Effective governance arrangements contribute to a highly performing public sector, particularly in the light of fiscal constraints and public expectations for public sector services.
While having the right governance structures and processes in place is important, it is an entity's people who achieve excellence and drive change. A vital role for senior executives is to set the right 'tone at the top' to reinforce entity values, enthusiasm for good governance and a focus on performance and accountability.
An entity which applies these key considerations through suitable governance arrangements and in the practices and conduct of individuals at all levels demonstrates the features of better practice governance. Such an entity is well positioned to achieve strong performance with accountability and overall to establish an expectation and an environment where each individual understands and accepts their personal responsibilities in relation to good governance.
2.2 The objectives of good governanceMost public sector entities receive public funding to achieve outcomes for government through the delivery of programs and services under their charters. In this context, good governance generally focuses on two key requirements of public sector entities (Figure 2.1):
- performance—governance arrangements and practices are designed and operate to shape the entity's overall results, including the successful delivery of government programs and services
- accountability—governance arrangements and practices are designed and operate to provide visibility of results, to the entity's leadership, the government, the Parliament and the community and conform with applicable legislative and policy requirements as well as public expectations of openness, transparency and integrity.
Figure 2.1: Performance with accountability
2.3 Legal and policy frameworkThe governance of Australian Government entities is shaped by various legislative and policy arrangements which regulate their governance, management, resource use and accountability and specify their functions.
In addition to entity-specific legislation, two overarching Acts determine a range of governance matters for most entities. The Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (the PGPA Act) encapsulates core elements of contemporary governance with its focus on performance, accountability, engaging with risk and collaborating effectively in pursuit of outcomes. It provides two broad governance structures for public sector entities.6 A key difference between the two concerns executive-level accountability:
- In one group of entities, the emphasis is on accountability residing with the chief executive.7 While chief executives can choose to appoint an advisory committee to help with management, ultimate accountability for decisions still resides with the chief executive.8
- In the other group of entities, a board of directors (or similar) generally governs the entity.9 Boards have wide-ranging powers, which can extend to the appointment and removal of the chief executive, setting strategic direction, supervising management, defining the values and culture of the entity, managing and overseeing risk issues, monitoring the performance of the entity and holding management accountable for its performance.
The Public Service Act 1999 (the Public Service Act) applies to departments of state, many listed entities and some corporate Commonwealth entities. It sets out expectations in respect of the following key public sector governance matters:
- the roles and responsibilities of the Secretary of a department
- the role of the Senior Executive Service
- the APS Values and Code of Conduct, which apply to all members of the APS
- the APS Employment Principles.
- the responsibilities of the Secretary of a department include providing leadership, strategic direction and a focus on results for the department
- the APS Values include a statement that the APS is professional, objective, innovative and efficient, and works collaboratively to achieve the best results for the Australian community and the government
- the APS Employment Principles include the principle that decisions relating to engagement and promotion are based on merit, and the APS recognises the diversity of the Australian community and fosters diversity in the workplace.
Because legal and policy frameworks are subject to change, well-governed entities work to ensure that their understanding of legislation and government policies remains current, comprehensive and properly reflected in their systems and processes. This includes keeping in communication with the entities responsible for developing the legislation and policies and seeking specialist advice about obligations where necessary. Entities should, as a minimum, identify and review periodically, the legislative and policy requirements which it must meet. Better practice entities also implement appropriate educational and learning and development programs aimed at providing relevant staff with sufficient knowledge and understanding of their specific responsibilities.
2.4 Fundamentals of governanceWithin the overall legal and policy framework, entities will have different mandates and operating circumstances. However, there are fundamental elements that underpin the achievement of good public sector governance. These include:
- developing strong leadership at all levels of the entity, with a focus on ethical behaviour and continuous improvement (discussed in section 2.5 of this chapter)
- maintaining governance systems and processes that are fit for purpose (discussed in section 2.6 of this chapter)
- optimising performance through planning, engaging with risk, innovation, and performance monitoring, evaluation and review (discussed in Chapter 3, Performance orientation)
- focusing on openness, transparency and integrity, engaging constructively with stakeholders and promoting accountability through clear reporting on performance and operations (discussed in Chapter 4, Openness, transparency and integrity)
- where appropriate, participating in collaborative partnerships to more effectively deliver programs and services, including partnerships outside government (discussed in Chapter 5, Effective collaboration).
Leadership support is also essential to ensuring the integration of acceptable behavioural standards and values into an entity's approaches, processes and procedures.10 Leaders need to make an active and visible commitment to the core principles of public sector governance and promote them consistently—both internally and externally—to encourage good governance practice in the pursuit of a high level of performance with accountability.
Create a positive and ethical cultureAs noted by the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC), a '...values-based culture is at the heart of a high performing and trustworthy public service.'11 By modelling ethical conduct and behaviours consistent with agreed public sector values, leaders contribute to a positive workplace culture and the effective achievement of outcomes in a manner consistent with expectations. The workplace culture should encourage all members of the organisation to accept a personal responsibility to identify and manage risk, be alert to issues that need to be addressed, contribute to innovative approaches to achieve outcomes and escalate issues as appropriate in the organisation.
Leaders in public sector entities need to ensure the implementation, evaluation and improvement of good governance structures and processes; and enact good governance through their own performance and behaviours. To fulfil these responsibilities, it is important that leaders:
- clearly set out the entity's core values
- set the right tone and lead by example
- make an active and visible commitment to sound public sector governance and a high performing entity
- communicate consistent and appropriate messages—both internally and externally—to encourage good governance practice in the pursuit of a high level of performance with accountability.
- Impartial (apolitical and provides advice that is frank, honest and timely)
- Committed to Service (professional, objective, innovative, efficient and works collaboratively)
- Accountable (open and accountable to the Australian community)
- Respectful (respects all people including their rights and heritage)
- Ethical (demonstrates leadership and trustworthiness, and acts with integrity)
The fostering of innovation and how it is dealt with in relation to leadership styles, organisational culture and risk management are important considerations for chief executives, directors and senior executives.
Similarly, evaluation and review enable an entity to identify strengths, learn lessons, and maintain and improve its capacity to serve government and the community over time. A key focus of evaluation and review is to assess the impact of government policies and activities, which assists government decision-making and priority setting and contributes to improved accountability for results. Entities should ensure that consideration is given to the evaluation of significant programs over time to assess whether the intended objectives are being achieved and to identify any opportunities for improvement in policy design or service delivery.
'...the APS—like all organisations—needs regular review and reassessment, and incremental change and improvement to keep it in top condition, among the very best in the world.'Dr Ian Watt, Secretary, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, 2012 13
Evaluation and review activities may be internally or externally driven. Prominent examples of entity-led activities are internal audits and program evaluations. Examples of external assessments are parliamentary committee inquiries, the Auditor-General's financial and performance audits, and the Commonwealth Ombudsman's investigations into complaints made by people who consider they have been treated unfairly or unreasonably by an Australian Government entity. The government also instigates evaluations, reviews and inquiries to address specific issues of concern and inform major changes in program design and delivery.
For cross-entity, whole-of-government and cross-sectoral initiatives, appropriate evaluation, review and audit mechanisms are of particular importance.14 In such situations, multiple entities may be seeking to address a complex problem through a range of strategies. Evaluation and review are likely to be necessary to ascertain the quality of government interactions and the impact of government activities and to inform policy advice. In this respect, the leadership of all participating entities needs to demonstrate a positive position in relation to learning from reviews.
Facilitate and respond constructively to evaluation and reviewThe general approach taken by entity leadership to evaluation and review strongly influences the conduct and outcome of those activities. Key governance considerations include:
- planning for evaluation from the outset of major programs, projects and activities, including by identifying timeframes, resources, baseline data and performance information
- aligning internal review activities with external requirements to reduce reworking of similar material, and establishing internal arrangements on the basis of broader standards and expectations15
- treating and preparing for external scrutiny as integral to the entity performing its role as part of government, rather than as something that happens 'to' the entity16
- assigning responsibility for implementing the recommendations of evaluations and reviews to the appropriate business area of the entity, including identifying the responsible senior executive and establishing an agreed timeframe within which action should be taken
- ensuring an appropriate role for governance boards or advisory committees in monitoring the implementation of recommendations and their impact on performance and outcomes.
While there are many facets of governance that must be addressed, unclear delineation of roles and responsibilities, and the creation of unnecessary layers of governance or excessive 'red tape', hinder effective program administration and service delivery.17 Chief executives have a key role in shaping governance arrangements to best meet specific legislative and program requirements and circumstances. Scale is an important consideration—approaches that may be appropriate in a large department could be unnecessary and unwieldy in a relatively small entity.
A tailored governance structure, which is nevertheless consistent with whole-of-government governance policy18, lays a solid foundation for management oversight by focusing capability and effort to efficiently and effectively implement programs and services. The structure should also be sufficiently flexible to enable timely responses to new responsibilities and challenges.
Governance structures, together with its policies, strategic and operational planning, shape the way the entity implements government programs and services, achieves results and complies with requirements. Key governance structures include the entity's divisions, branches and teams, internal audit and other assurance activities, committees, including audit committees, control systems, and financial and performance reporting regimes.
The precise nature of governance structures and arrangements will be a matter for the entity's accountable authority to determine. However, the structures and arrangements selected need to facilitate effective strategic planning, risk management and performance monitoring, including of financial performance.
Strategic planningPlanning is integral to the establishment of the organisation's strategic priorities, its management of budgets and its program and service delivery approach. In this respect, a well-governed entity will develop effective corporate and business planning approaches, a clear and robust internal budgeting system and a structured and regular system of performance reporting. This is particularly relevant in periods of fiscal restraint.
The planning process provides an opportunity to review current data and trends, consider stakeholder needs and budgets, and set priorities. Corporate plans should give a high-level view of the organisation's objectives, major strategies and key activities to be undertaken in the short and longer terms. Strategies and activities need to be developed with appropriate regard to the prevailing budgetary environment, and their delivery needs to be underpinned by strong approaches to budget management and the ability to adjust strategies and activities when policy and/or budget priorities change.
Well-governed entities typically demonstrate the alignment of their corporate plan with business and operational plans, risk plans and individual performance agreements. Entities are better positioned to meet their objectives where resources are deployed consistent with organisational priorities. Closely aligning internal budget processes with strategic planning processes will help achieve this and assist the entity to more readily identify and respond to changes in government policies and the operating environment.19 Supported by relevant performance information, such alignment also aids performance monitoring and reporting by providing visible links between planned outcomes and actual performance.
From 1 July 2015, all Commonwealth entities and Commonwealth companies will be required to prepare a corporate plan. The preparation of an annual performance statement, and its inclusion in an entity's annual report to Parliament, will also be required under the PGPA Act, commencing in respect of the 2015-16 financial year. This is intended to provide a clear line of sight between planned and actual performance and enable an assessment of an entity's achievements.
Planning is also an essential component of program implementation. Many problems encountered during the implementation of programs can be alleviated through planning processes that include:
- adequate stakeholder involvement, to assist policy development and program design
- proper analysis, consideration and communication of risks
- early identification of key goals, milestones, resources and specific deliverables
- consideration of the degree of executive oversight required, including the use of steering committees or other regular monitoring mechanisms for major programs, projects and activities
- careful design of performance information to measure program effectiveness and efficiency.
Risk management establishes a process of identifying, analysing, treating, monitoring and communicating risks. Such risks could either prevent the entity from achieving its business objectives or provide the opportunity for extra benefits to be realised.20Formal responsibility for risk management ultimately lies with the chief executive or board of directors and s16 of the PGPA Act creates an explicit duty of accountable authorities to establish and maintain systems relating to risk and control. However, all managers and staff have a responsibility to manage risk, and better results are more likely to be achieved where ownership of risk identification and treatments is strong.21
Good risk management practice includes:
- governing boards and executive committees including in their deliberations the consideration of significant risks facing major programs, projects and activities and the entity as a whole22
- the establishment of appropriate processes and practices to monitor and manage risks associated with the entity's programs, projects and activities
- regular analysis and review of risk management approaches and controls
- the active involvement of all staff in the entity in adopting a true risk management culture.
The entity's management of risk can not be isolated from its strategies for innovation and these two facets of governance are not mutually exclusive. By its nature, innovation necessarily involves taking risks because it changes the status quo or contributes towards an alternative future. As such, an appetite for risk and risk management is essential; and risk avoidance is an impediment to innovation.23
Performance monitoringEarly consideration of performance information needs, particularly in relation to program effectiveness, positions an organisation to assess the impact of policy measures, adjust management approaches as required, and provide advice to government on the success, shortcomings and/or future directions of programs. This information also allows for informed decisions to be made on the allocation and use of public resources. The work of the ANAO highlights that more attention is required to develop better performance information to effectively assess the extent to which expected policy outcomes are being achieved. This matter is discussed further in Chapter 3, Performance orientation.
'Measuring government performance has long been recognised as necessary for improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the public sector. Following the fiscal and economic crisis that began in 2008, however, accurate and timely data are needed more than ever to help governments make informed decisions about how and where to prioritise spending, reduce costs and promote innovation in public administration.'OECD, 201124
Performance monitoring also includes overseeing the financial performance of an entity, and meeting the requirements of the Australian Government's resource management framework. Entities should have in place a range of delegations, policies, instructions and procedures that outline in a clear and consistent manner the responsibilities and accountabilities within the entity for resource management.
While day-to-day financial management is the province of CFOs and their staff, senior management are responsible for reviewing and approving the entity's internal annual budget, major financial plans and strategies and significant investments, that should be directed at ensuring the entity's longer term financial sustainability25. Once budgets are in place, regular monitoring of actual performance against approved budgets is an important responsibility of those governing the entity to ensure that actual expenditure and revenue is in line with budget estimates.
Similarly, while day-to-day management of internal controls is the responsibility of entity staff, those governing an entity are responsible for the entity's overall control environment, including controls to manage organisational risks, including financial risks, and controls aimed at ensuring compliance with legal and policy requirements. These controls should be reviewed periodically in light of changes to organisational arrangements or the risk profile of the entity.
Appropriate delegation of decision making is central to an entity's governance arrangements. A key consideration for entities, having regard to their risk profile, is ensuring that decision-making is delegated to the most appropriate level in the entity and that there are sufficient controls and reporting requirements in place for entity management to have sufficient visibility of decisions being made.
Effective financial performance also has an external focus. Arrangements should be in place that enable an entity to meet its financial reporting responsibilities to government, the Parliament and the public.26
2.7 Adjust governance arrangements to meet changing needsProgram design and service delivery approaches evolve in response to government priorities, changing needs and public expectations, as well as in response to innovation and government entities' improved understanding of the issues they are seeking to address.
For example, program delivery has commonly been the responsibility of individual government entities, working within the applicable financial and reporting frameworks to pursue the efficient and effective achievement of desired outcomes. Increasingly, however, the outcomes sought by government for the community depend on the contribution of multiple parties, including public sector entities, other governments and entities, and citizens.
Good public sector governance therefore facilitates engagement with stakeholders, collaboration with partners (where appropriate) and innovation in the pursuit of better outcomes, consistent with government policies. Public sector entities which elicit the active participation of stakeholders harness capability and build ownership, responsiveness and resilience in individuals and the community.
Against this evolving background, governance arrangements in individual entities and across the public sector should be regularly reviewed, and adjusted as required, to allow public sector entities to continue to operate efficiently and effectively.
'[Corporate] governance is not static and, like all disciplines, needs to be refined in the light of developments in the environment, and developments directly affecting entities.'Auditor-General for Australia, 2008
Strategies to achieve well-attuned governance arrangements include:
- regular horizon scanning as part of executive management discussions and corporate planning activities, in order to identify important developments and emerging risks and opportunities, and gauge their potential influence on the entity and its performance
- the establishment of timelines and mechanisms for the review of the terms of reference of the board and major committees, and for the review of corporate and risk plans
- communication with other entities to identify and share successful governance strategies and refine current approaches.
Table 2.1: In pursuit of good governance: key focus areas
Efficient and effective program and service delivery are central to the performance of public sector entities. Efficiency is the best use of resources to further the aims of the entity, with a commitment to evidence-based strategies for improvement. Effectiveness is the extent to which the entity's activities and deliverables make positive contributions to specified government outcomes.
Efficiency and effectiveness require a clear understanding of objectives, a willingness to engage with risk to foster innovation, a clear understanding of how outcomes and achievements will be measured and assessed, and a willingness to tailor governance arrangements and program and service delivery approaches to achieve better outcomes.
Openness, transparency and integrity
Accountability is the process by which public sector entities, and the individuals within them, are held responsible for their overall results, decisions and actions and are subject to appropriate external scrutiny. Appropriate levels of openness, transparency and integrity are required to ensure that stakeholders have confidence in public sector decision-making processes and actions.
Openness and transparency involve meaningful consultation with stakeholders and the consistent communication of reliable information, having regard to charter responsibilities, privacy obligations and other legal and policy requirements. They are supported by good information and records management practices.
Collaboration is about engaging effectively with others to achieve mutual benefits and to build entity and community resilience. It allows entities to exchange information, make the best use of resources and consolidate knowledge for the benefit of more effective governance, and ultimately program development and service delivery. Successful collaboration requires an appreciation of the responsibilities of other parties. It benefits from clear purpose, defined outcomes, and the recognition of shared risks and accountabilities.
Commitment to these key areas will aid in developing entity cultures and systems that consistently deliver good governance, enabling strong performance with accountability and enhancing stakeholder confidence in the public sector (see Figure 2.2).
Figure 2.2: Key focus areas contributing to overall good governance outcomes