Australian Government: Indigenous Business Australia
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GovernanceInternal governance


The CEO oversees the day-to-day administration of IBA and is supported by the Executive Management Team, internal management committees, IBA employees, and consultants and contractors.

Internal governance arrangements include policies and procedures for risk management, ethical behaviour and fraud control, audit, compliance assurance, business continuity and credit.

The organisational structure of IBA at 30 June 2016 is set out in Figure 25.

FIGURE 25: Organisational chart

Organisational chartClick image to view larger version in new window.

Risk management

In the pursuit of its purposes and functions, IBA operates in a commercial environment that exposes it to higher levels of risk than are faced by many other government entities and financing organisations. Appropriate management of risk is essential for IBA to achieve its objectives and meet its obligations to its customers and the Australian Government. Individually, managing risk is the responsibility of each staff member. At an organisational level, risk is embedded into business processes (such as strategic planning, project management and decision making by the Board and delegates).

In order to achieve its objectives, IBA is mandated to accept some level of risk in delivering its equity and lending programs. The guiding principles are that risk must be identified at an early stage, assessed and appropriately treated.

IBA’s risk management policy and framework provide an integrated and structured process to identify risk exposures across all of IBA’s activities, and assurance that those exposures are adequately controlled and addressed.

The policy and framework include:

  • effective articulation of organisational risk appetite and a series of risk tolerance indicators that assess whether IBA is operating within its defined risk appetite tolerance
  • effective understanding of responsibilities for risk management
  • evidence of risk management across organisational decision making and planning (risk analysis is conducted on all programs, projects and board agenda papers, to inform decision making)
  • a risk register (including key strategies for addressing strategic and business risks), which is regularly reviewed by the Board
  • a business continuity plan that ensures that when some event occurs to disrupt operations those operations are not interrupted beyond acceptable limits.

Results of the Comcover Risk management Benchmarking Survey 2016 show that IBA has a sound approach to risk management and business continuity. The survey found that IBA had an ‘advanced’ risk maturity (the second highest rating, and above the average across all entities). Further enhancement is planned in relation to risk culture, shared risk and risk capability (including risk training).

Ethical behaviour and fraud control

The standards of behaviour for IBA are specified in the Chief Executive Instruction on Code of Conduct, which includes managing conflicts of interest. The IBA Enterprise Agreement commits staff to complying with the instruction.

The IBA fraud control plan is in accord with section 10 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Rule 2014 and relevant guidelines. It includes a fraud risk assessment system and appropriate fraud prevention, detection, investigation and reporting procedures. The Audit and Risk Committee reviews the plan every two years. The last review was in June 2016.

On 15 January 2014, the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013 came into force. The Act provides public officers with indemnity to liability where they make a public interest disclosure, within certain requirements. The term ‘public officer’ includes a wide range of people, such as former staff and contractors. IBA has put in place the required systems and processes to ensure that IBA public officers can make public interest disclosures.

There were no incidents of serious fraud during 2015–16.


IBA’s external auditor is the Auditor-General (through the Australian National Audit Office). The audit of IBA’s financial statements is conducted in accordance with an audit strategy as agreed to by the Auditor-General and IBA.

IBA’s internal auditor, Deloitte, is responsible for conducting IBA’s internal audit program. The program aims to provide assurance that key risks are being managed effectively and efficiently, in compliance with regulatory requirements and policies.

Reducing red tape

IBA has an ongoing program of continuous improvement to reduce red tape and optimise its performance. It includes strategies to optimise internal resources to meet IBA’s purpose and functions and improve service delivery for its customers.

IBA is responsive to stakeholder and customer needs. Policies that may affect customers are reviewed regularly by the IBA Board.

In 2016–17, IBA and the Indigenous Land Corporation will look for opportunities to improve their efficiency by sharing services. IBA has identified potential legislative changes to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of IBA and reduce red tape.

Compliance assurance

To ensure that IBA complies with legislative requirements, IBA has a control framework that consists of:

  • a compliance strategy and register
  • board policies, Chief Executive Instructions and procedures
  • relationship management systems for interacting with customers and stakeholders
  • a program for training and development, monitoring and assurance in relation to compliance (both internal and external)
  • a compliance program for the ATSI Act and PGPA Act.

In 2015–16, there were no significant issues reported to the responsible minister under section 19 of the PGPA Act that related to non-compliance by IBA with the PGPA Act or a related Rule or an Appropriation Act.

Complaints handling

The IBA customer service charter outlines IBA’s commitment to quality service and details processes for receiving and handling complaints.

The complaint management process ensures that any concerns that customers may have in relation to IBA’s services or decisions or IBA-funded service providers are taken seriously and dealt with promptly. The standards of response are consistent with the recommended timeframes outlined in the better practice guide published by the Commonwealth Ombudsman.

By adhering to these processes, IBA can learn from mistakes and continuously improve its practices, ultimately improving its customers’ experiences.

Purchasing and procurement

Staff are encouraged to directly support the growth of Indigenous businesses by sourcing goods and services from known Indigenous suppliers when purchasing the everyday goods and services IBA needs. The IBA procurement policy includes a requirement to assess the potential for Indigenous participation arising from the procurement activity.

In addition, IBA supports small business participation in the Australian Government procurement market.


IBA procured approximately $1.4 million worth of goods and services from Indigenous suppliers in 2015-16

Consultants are distinguished from other contractors by the nature of the work they perform. A consultant is an individual, a partnership or a corporation engaged to provide professional, independent and expert advice or services.

Section 178 of the ATSI Act enables IBA to engage specialist consultancy services when skilled expertise is unavailable within IBA or when independent advice is required.

Details of consultancies in 2015–16 are in Appendix A.

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