The Agency Capability Program has three capability streams: improving outward focus, strengthening people and enhancing systems and processes.

 

What will the program achieve?

The ACP will strengthen Communities’ capability so it can better deliver services to, and restore the trust and confidence of, the Western Australian community.

Our people, our partners and our community will all continue to be critical in this endeavour.

The ACP has three capability streams: improving outward focus, strengthening people and enhancing systems and processes.

Improving our Outward Focus

An outward focus is intrinsic to the work of the agency and incredibly important right now as we drive the social recovery work for WA following COVID-19. Communities’ purpose ‘to collaborate to create pathways to enable individual, family and community wellbeing’, especially in this recovery phase, can only be realised through engaging and working with our partners effectively.

Strengthening our People

Communities’ outcomes and relationships are delivered by its workforce. Well-managed, supported and developed staff are critical to the delivery of our services.

Enhancing our Systems and Processes

An organisation as large as Communities cannot function effectively without adequate systems and processes that support leaders and teams to make robust, evidence-based decisions, and ensure the consistent delivery of services.

How we will work

We are supporting our staff to:

  1.  Commit to different and diverse ways of working that deliver results; agile project teams that are iterative, responsive and with a continuous improvement focus.
  2.  Demonstrate continued growth in cultural competence.
  3.  Exemplify ethics and values, acting with integrity at all times.
  4. Celebrate and recognise diversity and inclusiveness, to better reflect the community we serve.
  5. Undertake a strengths-based approach that celebrates and builds on our agency’s and partners’ expertise and collective strengths.
  6. Work in collaboration and partnership with internal and external stakeholders and experts; overcoming silos and valuing diversity of knowledge and experience and the benefits of inclusive practice.

The Key ACP Actions to date

The Department has:

  • Implemented improved governance including:
    • Appointment of an Independent Chair and Independent member of the Audit and Risk Committee.
    • Established a new Finance and Investment Committee with an Independent Chair (John Langoulant) and Independent members to provide significantly stronger governance over Communities’ finances and funding and ensure they are effectively and transparently managed in accordance with legislative requirements, appropriate accounting standards, policies and procedures.
    • Established an improved governance framework and reviewed all internal governance committees.
  • In December 2019 commissioned our own internal forensic financial audit following the incident of alleged corruption to quickly identify learnings to rectify control weaknesses.
  • Finalised and commenced a “Better Financial Management Roadmap” program to strengthen internal financial controls, including:
    • improved vendor management
    • creating a single financial management manual and improved policies and guidelines
    • accounts payable remediation
    • a program of ongoing fraud risk analytics monitoring
    • improved single Communities Purchasing Card Policy and system
    • progressing delivery of a single Finance system.
  • Appointed a Chief Risk Officer who has led the Risk Branch to deliver improved risk management, strengthened the Communities Risk Management Framework and associated policies and standards and overseen improved emergency management and business continuity planning.
  • Sought feedback from stakeholders on the potential roles and functions of a Specialist Child Protection Unit.
  • Finalised Communities Integrity Governance Framework and updated Conduct and Integrity policies that align with the Public Sector Commission’s Integrity Strategy for WA Public Authorities 2020–2023.
  • Prioritised staff understanding of expectations, responsibilities and accountabilities to contribute to an enhanced culture and behaviours through more regular quality communication, an enhanced Accountable and Ethical Decision-Making training package and clearer options for reporting potential misconduct.
  • Established an Aboriginal Cultural Council, formed in October last year, to strengthen the Department's commitment to Aboriginal outcomes and improve cultural understanding through an enhanced program of cultural competency training.
  • Used the COVID-19 response opportunities to trial new partnership mechanisms with the community services sector and our government colleagues, with the focus on building this further in the social recovery planning and delivery.
  • Implemented a new senior leadership structure with new Chief Financial Officer, Chief People Officer and Deputy Director General Governance, Integrity and Reform roles at the leadership table. And we have signalled our focus on our partners with new Aboriginal Outcomes and Strategy and Partnerships Divisions. Integrated and effective community service delivery led by a new Deputy Director General and improved asset management round out the new leadership structure, where everyone is working to enhance our controls, governance and oversight while ensuring every part of the organisation is focussed on improving our services and delivering better outcomes to the people we serve.

The ACP is not intended to be a time-limited program, but rather, a continuous cycle of reviewing, monitoring and improving Communities’ capability.

Feedback

Feedback and engagement with our ACP team is welcome via agencycapabilityprogram@communities.wa.gov.au.