Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates from the Australian Government

Organisational capability


Policy capability

Consistent with the Treasury Portfolio Budget Statements 2017‑18, the Treasury strives to provide high-quality, timely, accurate and evidence-based advice and briefs to the Government. Treasury’s policy capability will be measured by the ability to meet the Government’s needs in administering its responsibilities and making and implementing decisions; its objective understanding of the issues and with a whole‑of-government perspective; and the degree of client satisfaction with the quality and timeliness of the advice provided is assessed through formal and informal feedback mechanisms.

People capability and culture

We will continue to source a pipeline of qualified talent with a real passion for economics and economic policy development, including through an enhanced graduate program. Our talent sourcing approaches aim to be competitive and contemporary, for example lateral recruitment from the private sector, short-term engagement of external expertise, and special measures in the diversity context.

The Sydney, Melbourne and Perth offices seek to attract high caliber localised talent and remove Canberra relocation barriers. Our secondment program and international postings continue to grow our links with all sectors both domestically and globally, including academia and policy focused institutions.

Priorities for 2017-18 include the implementation of a new performance development system, the development of organizational effectiveness and talent strategies and the design of a capability framework to inform those strategies. The ongoing measure of success will be fit for purpose and active capability strategies and initiatives; evaluated by relevant governance committees and trend analysis following the annual APS employee census.

Stakeholder engagement

The Treasury has a responsibility to engage with the community about its work as the leading economic adviser to the Government. While the role of the Treasury is understood by those who have direct contact with the department, we recognise the opportunity to build the agency’s reputation more broadly both in Australia and internationally.

In leveraging our presence in Sydney, Melbourne and the newly established Perth office, we will work to strengthen the Treasury’s links with the business community, non-government organisations, academia and other policy-focussed institutions and consumers. Engagement at regional and local levels including with Indigenous communities will continue, enabling us to see firsthand the economic potential of regional Australia. Providing greater opportunities for stakeholders to contribute directly to policy development will also improve our policy development advice and outcomes.

The Treasury will continue to deliver significant government communication to the Australian public on major policies and initiatives and Budget information. A best practice approach will guide this work and formal evaluation and reviews will inform the ongoing effectiveness of our communication.

The priority activity for 2017-18 will be the implementation of a comprehensive stakeholder engagement strategy to embed engagement within the culture and functions of the Treasury. We will measure our success through an ongoing cycle of review and feedback with our key stakeholders.

Information and communications technology capability

The efficient acquisition, processing, analysis and publication of information are essential to the Treasury providing quality and timely policy advice. Achieving the desired level of organizational performance and responsiveness requires reliable access to advanced capabilities in information and communications technology (ICT).

Increasing our efforts to deliver high-quality ICT services will advance the Treasury’s business capabilities while minimising operational resources and risks. The Treasury will ensure that it meets its performance and accountability obligations in relation to ICT by maintaining effective controls over the management of ICT strategy, planning and operations.

Shared services

The Treasury delivers a select number of corporate functions to portfolio agencies and a wider audience through Treasury Shared Services (TSS). The Treasury has been funded to further develop its capability and capacity to deliver shared corporate services from 2017‑18 to 2019-20, through the Public Service Modernisation Fund. This work forms part of the Shared and Common Services Program led by the Department of Finance.

TSS aims to deliver efficient and reliable corporate services, enabling agencies to focus on their core business. To achieve both quality service and cost-efficiency, services are delivered in partnership with the private sector; standardised systems and processes are offered for each service; and services are provided to similar agencies (typically small-to-medium agencies who undertake ‘like’ business activities to the Treasury and have similar existing corporate systems and processes).

In 2017-18 TSS will seek to deliver ongoing improvements to client service, strengthen our governance arrangements and improve the way we work through enhancements to systems and processes.

Managing risk

The Treasury aspires to a risk culture which is opportunity-driven and where undesirable risk is well managed. Positive risk behaviours are promoted and supported through the processes set out in the Risk Management Policy and Framework.

We do not seek to eliminate all risk; risk management informs what we do and how we do it. Staff are encouraged to use risk management to inform day-to-day planning and decision‑making. Risk discussions are live and ongoing, recognising the changing environment in which we operate.

  • The Executive Committee maintains oversight of the Risk Management Policy and Framework and provides direction on the Treasury’s strategic risk environment and risk appetite.
  • The Audit Committee provides independent assurance and advice to the Executive Committee on the Treasury’s governance, risk and compliance framework.
  • The Chief Risk Officer leads continuous improvement of the risk culture, and delivers risk reports to both the Audit and
    Executive Committees.
  • A Risk Working Group champions a positive risk culture and facilitates regular conversations about operational risks and

Priority activities for 2017-18 include implementation of a revised Risk Management Policy and Framework; a Fraud Risk Assessment and a review of the Fraud Control Plan; and implementation of fit-for-purpose risk tools, guidance and training across the Treasury. Ongoing success will be measured through the results of the annual Comcover Risk Management Benchmarking Survey and internal and external audits relating to risk management.