Enterprise Governance

Direction to enable good governance practices of decision-making, advisory and consultation, and promote a culture of performance accountability to support delivery of department objectives.

Document history

2021 Mar 12 - first published.

Superseded documents


  1. Policy statement
    1. Good governance, which includes a clear line of delegated authority, improves organisational performance, enables decision-making that aligns with the Strategic Plan, and helps the department achieve its strategic priorities.
    2. It is designed to strengthen the department's governance practices, as well as provide guidance on improving performance and accountability in organisational activities.
    3. Effective governance ensures that decisions are made by those with an appropriate level of authority and delegation, and promotes clarity on roles, responsibilities and expectation to deliver outcomes.
    4. Governance is defined as a combination of processes and structures implemented by the Secretary to inform, direct, manage and monitor organisational activities to achieve the department's strategic priorities. Portfolio governance is a subset of corporate governance that refers to the governance of programs and projects.
    5. The department's governance approach provides a holistic way to manage organisational performance through managing risk, resources, information and strategy. It is optimised through compliance checks, audits and reviews to ensure the department is complying with legislative and policy requirements.
    6. All the department's business areas must use the Enterprise Governance Framework (PDF 449.61 KB STAFF ONLY) and practice guidelines for implementing best-practice governance arrangements that support efficient portfolio management.
    7. The framework will help staff create fit-for-purpose structures for new governance activities and review existing governance structures for alignment with the framework.
    8. All business areas must embed the key principles of public sector governance into their governance arrangements and activities to drive stronger accountability and disciplined delivery.
    9. Business areas need to ensure their governance groups and committees have terms of reference that include clear roles and responsibilities, decision-making authority and remit, alignment to the department's strategic priorities, defined meeting procedures, a governance structure that includes reporting, escalation, and review and evaluation processes.
  2. Audience and applicability
    1. This policy applies to all corporate staff.
  3. Context
    1. Governance is a key element of how the department is oversighted and managed, and is a mechanism to monitor performance. It aims to achieve stronger accountability and transparency for improving student outcomes.
    2. This policy is one component of the Enterprise Governance Framework, which also includes guiding documents about the minimum requirements and best-practice standards for implementing effective governance practices. This includes, but is not limited to, the establishment and ongoing management of governance, advisory, and working groups and the requirements of portfolio governance.
    3. To comply with this policy, the principles of corporate governance must be integrated into governance practices consistently across the department.
  4. Responsibilities and delegations
    1. The Secretary has overall accountability for the department's governance arrangements.
    2. Deputy Secretaries (or equivalent) are responsible for ensuring their business areas comply with this policy.
    3. Executive directors and directors are responsible for leading the implementation of this policy and integrating the minimum governance requirements into their business area.
    4. The Chief Risk Officer will provide assurance on the effectiveness of the department's governance in accordance with this policy and the department's Enterprise Governance Framework.
    5. All staff are responsible for complying with this policy, the framework and other related documents to support the department's governance arrangements.
  5. Monitoring and review
    1. The Chief Risk Officer monitors the implementation of this policy, regularly reviews its content to ensure relevance and accuracy, and updates it as needed.
  6. Contact
    Chief Risk Office
    02 7814 1319
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