Governance, risk management and accountability


​​​​Governance refers to the structures and processes to set the strategic direction and manage operations to achieve strategic objectives, manage risk, discharge accountability obligations and deliver outcomes for Queenslanders and their communities.

Customer complaints management

We are committed to responding to customer complaints in an accountable, transparent, timely and fair way, compatible with human rights.

Our complaints process is customer-focused, accessible, responsive and objective. Customer complaints are managed in accordance with the customer complaint management framework, policy and procedure.

Further information and resources​ about how customer complaints are managed, including a report on customer complaints for 2022–23, is available.

Human rights

The department’s Strategic Plan 2021–25 outlines our commitment to create a stronger, fairer Queensland by respecting, protecting and promoting human rights in everything we do.

In 2022–23, we furthered the objectives of the Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld) by:

  • undertaking a review into the department’s implementation of the Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld) to assess our progress and identify opportunities for improvement
  • developing an Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property Protocol for teaching Aboriginal languages and Torres Strait Islander languages, which supports access to education, recognition and equality before the law, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ cultural rights
  • supporting schools to strengthen their human rights culture through school review reports, which identify opportunities for inclusion, diversity and supportive and productive education environments
  • balancing human rights considerations in legislative reform, including amendments to the Education (General Provisions) Regulation 2017 (Qld) that improved equality of kindergarten access in Eidsvold and Kumbia, and modernised arrangements for Parents and Citizens’ Associations to promote participation in public life
  • completing a review of procurement documentation and updating resources to include human rights considerations
  • engaging with internal and external stakeholders to provide human rights training for staff to support statutory decision-making and build their capability, including privacy awareness sessions
  • continuing to support principals, teachers and educators to understand and consider human rights when making decisions at schools
  • continuing to provide contemporary human rights training as part of Mandatory All Staff Training and Management Foundations Training, completed by staff annually and on induction
  • delivering initiatives that promote human rights and access to education, including through Equity and Excellence
  • considering human rights as part of the development and ongoing review of policy, procedures, programs and service delivery to ensure staff are provided with clear guidance about how to consider human rights when making decisions.

Human rights complaints

As a large department delivering frontline services to the Queensland community, the decisions we make day-to-day provide us with opportunities to build a strong human rights culture.

During 2022–23, the department refined its approach to recording and managing human rights complaints across a number of the department’s complaints processes. In 2022–23, the department received 1,256 complaints where human rights were engaged with 14 assessed as upheld/substantiated (either in full or in part) and incompatible with human rights. These complaints were managed in accordance with our complaints policies and procedures.

Actions taken for substantiated complaints in 2022–23 included the department overturning a decision, giving an apology, changing a practice or process and referring the issue for system improvement.

Information systems and recordkeeping

During 2022–23, the department worked closely with Queensland State Archives (QSA) to lead the review and update of the Education Sector retention and disposal schedule. The updated schedule, once approved by QSA, will enable the department’s strategic records team to provide advice and guidance to corporate business units, regional offices, schools and storage providers in disposing of physical and digital records that have met their destruction date.

Other activities undertaken during the reporting period included the following.

  • A proof of concept to standardise the practices of classification, and storage and retention of school administrative records. A deliverable of this initiative included an updated technology-agnostic business classification scheme to be implemented in departmental information and record-keeping systems.
  • Liaising with secondary storage providers used by the department to ensure a consistent user experience and improved service delivery.
  • Contributed to QSA reviews to the modernisation of the Public Records Act 2022 (Qld), management of personal identity information and proposed changes to the general retention and disposal schedule for administrative records.

Information security attestation

During the mandatory annual information security reporting process, the Director-General attested to the appropriateness of the information security risk management within the department to the Queensland Government Chief Information Security Officer, noting that appropriate assurance activities have been undertaken to inform this opinion and the department’s information security risk position.

During 2022–23, the department completed the following initiatives:

  • established a 24x7x365 capability to proactively monitor cybersecurity threats
  • upgraded the capability within the email system for users in schools, regions and corporate offices to report suspicious emails
  • launched a centralised cybersecurity portal for the users to find all relevant information about cybersecurity in one online location.

Risk management

The department’s Enterprise Risk Management Framework (ERMF) (PDF, 372KB) is a comprehensive approach to identifying, assessing, responding to and governing risk based on the department's risk appetite within the context of our risk environment and provides a solid foundation to enable staff to better understand risk and be more confident in applying it to their daily work and decision-making.

Our enterprise risk management policy supports the department’s approach to risk management as set out in the ERMF and is compliant with the Australian Standard on risk management – guidelines (AS/NZS ISO 31000:2018). Our enterprise risk management procedure sets out a consistent approach for managing risk across the department.

Risk management information is reported to our Executive Leadership Team (ELT)​ through a quarterly risk report to support the delivery of good governance and accountable decision-making as required under the Financial and Performance Management Standard 2019 (Qld).

Audit and Risk Management Committee

The Audit and Risk Management Committee (ARMC) provides independent advice to the Director-General to help fulfil his responsibilities under the Financial Accountability Act 2009 (Qld).

The ARMC meets 6 times per year and has given due consideration to all audit recommendations by the Queensland Audit Office (QAO) in accordance with its Terms of Reference. A full list of QAO audits relevant to the department is included under the heading 'external oversight'.

Refer to the tables below for details about our ARMC, including its role, functions, membership, remuneration and achievements.​

​​​​Audit and Risk Managem​ent Committee
​​Function​s​​​The ARMC provides i​​ndependent audit and risk management advice to the Director-General, as a requirement under section 35 of the Financial and Performance Management Standard 2019 (Qld)​
​Achievements 2022–23
  • Reviewed and endorsed the depart​ment’s financial statements for 2021–22
  • Noted the Chief Finance Officer Statement of Assurance for 2021–22
  • Endorsed the Mid-Year Review of the 6+6 Month Audit Plan 2022–23 in November 2022
  • Reviewed and endorsed the Internal Audit Charter and monitored Internal Audit’s key performance indicators and measures during the year
  • Retained oversight of the implementation status of overdue audit actions from Internal Audit and QAO
  • ​Reviewed and maintained oversight of key risks to the department
  • Reviewed and endorsed the department’s Information Security Annual Return and the supporting external assurance review, as well as monitored the department’s progress towards implementing the Information Security Management System and actions
  • Attended various meetings with stakeholders during the year including meeting with new departmental executives
Current​ membership​Percentage of scheduled meetings attended​​Membership duration​
​Helen Moore, External Chair100% (6 out of 6 meetings) ​12 months​
​John Catford, External Member​100% (6 out of 6 meetings)12 months​
​Marie Kavanagh, External Member​100% (6 out of 6 meetings)12 months​
​Sharon Schimming (member from July 2022 to December 2022)​0% (proxy attended 3 of 4 meetings)​6 months
​Stacie Hansel (member from January 2023 to June 2023)​100% (2 out of 2 meetings)​6 months​
Remuneration​Fees paid (GS​T exclusive)
​Helen Moore, External Chair​$12,000​
​John Catford, External Member​$8,000
Marie Kavanagh, External Member​​$8,000

Internal Audit​

Internal Audit contributes to improved service delivery by identifying opportunities to improve and strengthen our processes, with a particular focus on risk management and governance. Internal Audit’s focus includes frontline service delivery areas, information systems, and programs and projects.

Internal Audit’s activities are guided by its 6+6 Month Audit Plan and align with the International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing and the Financial Accountability Act 2009 (Qld).

During 2022–23, Internal Audit finalised:

  • 212 school audits including full scope and follow-up audits
  • 150 school health checks
  • 10 business, operational and performance audits
  • 5 information system audits
  • 9 payroll verifications
  • 1 operational audit for Office of Industrial Relations (OIR)​.

School and Region Reviews

As part of our organisational re-alignment, the former Education Improvement Branch transitioned to the School and Region Reviews (SRR) Branch.

Aligned to our vision within Equity and Excellence, our approach to school reviews has been revitalised to support systemic improvements to ensure we can lift outcomes, achieve our system priorities and target investment and support for schools. Our approach is tailored to meet the unique needs of every Queensland state school and is informed by evidence and input from school staff, students and communities.

Every Queensland state school and centre is reviewed at least once every 4 years using the Australian Council for Educational Research National School Improvement Tool as the evaluation framework.

During 2022–23, the SRR Branch:

  • reviewed 339 Queensland state schools and centres
  • conducted 1 system review
  • undertook more than 257 school check-in visits as part of post-review case management.

Further information about school reviews including professional learning programs for school, regional and corporate staff is available on the school reviews website​.

External ov​ersight

The department is subject to several external reviewers established by legislation that provide independent advice and assurance about our performance to our customers, stakeholders and the community. The following reviewers produced reports relevant to the department in 2022–23.

Queensland Audit Office

The Auditor-General, supported by the QAO, is the independent auditor of Queensland’s state and local government public sector entities under the Auditor-General Act 2009 (Qld).

The following QAO reports​ released in 2022–23 include findings and recommendations applicable to the department.

  • Report 2: 2022–23 Improving grants management
  • Report 4: 2022–23 2022 status of Auditor-General’s recommendations
  • Report 5: 2022–23 Keeping people safe from domestic and family violence
  • Report 6: 2022–23 Managing workforce agility in the Queensland public sector
  • Report 11: 2022–23 State entities 2022
  • Report 16: 2022-23 Education 2022
  • Report 17: 2022-23 Implementing Machinery of Government changes.

Office of the Information Commissioner

The Office of the Information Commissioner is Queensland’s independent statutory body established under the Right to Information Act 2009 (Qld) and the Information Privacy Act 2009 (Qld) to promote access to government-held information and to protect people’s personal information held by the public sector.

The following reports released during the reporting period are applicable to the department.

  • Audit on effective and responsive data breach plans – building public confidence
  • Audit on publishing OFFICIAL information assets: Supporting the push model through proactive disclosure
  • Audit on publishing information about waste management
  • Audit on mitigating the risks of privacy breach through staff education

These reports can be accessed on the Office of Information Commissioner website​.

Crime and Corruption Commission

The Crime and Corruption Commission is a statutory body set up to combat and reduce the incidence of major crime and corruption in the public sector in Queensland. Its functions and powers are set out in the Crime and Corruption Act 2001 (Qld).

The following report was released in 2022–23 and is applicable to the department.

Statutory bodies and portfolio entities

The department supports a number of Queensland Government bodies and entities, including statutory offices, boards, committees and statutory authorities.

Statutory bodies supported by the department, including universities and grammar schools, report directly to the Minister and prepare their own annual reports.

These bodies/entities manage and oversee specific requirements for education (including tertiary), industrial relations and racing portfolios in Queensland.

Information about the Electrical Safety Board, Persons Affected by Work-Related Fatalities and Serious Incidents Consultative Committee, and Work Health and Safety Board and their related sub-committees is included in Appendix B.

For other statutory bodies and portfolio entities that we support, their information is published in the department’s government bodies report​ and can be accessed on the annual report page.

Open data

A number of reporting requirements for the department are published online on the Queensland Government’s Open Data Portal in lieu of inclusion in this report, including:

  • consultancies
  • overseas travel
  • Queensland Language Services Policy.

Last updated 12 October 2023