Annual Report 2007-08 Part 3 Effective management
CASA continued its outsourcing of internal audit service provision to external professional organisations, with a senior CASA manager providing coordination. The 2007–08 year was the second of a three-year contract for the provision of internal audit services with two professional audit organisations. The audit function has benefited from the expertise and independence of auditors external to CASA.
The internal audit program focuses on high-risk areas throughout CASA. It provides independent review of policies, procedures and practice and recommends ways in which to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of CASA operations. By monitoring and reviewing compliance with statutory obligations, the program is a key element in the corporate governance of CASA.
Outcomes of each internal audit review are provided to the group or officers involved and are reported to the Audit and Risk Committee.
In 2007–08, the internal audit function focused on CASA’s key financial and business risk exposures. Individual risk management plans from CASA’s groups, strategic risk workshops and individual interviews with senior executives and internal and external auditors were used to develop priorities for the ongoing CASA-wide internal audit program.
The internal audit charter was reviewed during the year to ensure it reflected best practice and to emphasise the focus on a risk-based approach to the audit function. A program to monitor the implementation of audit recommendations continued to work well, and was backed by a comprehensive database of audit information.
Many of the 20 audits completed during 2007–08 focused on CASA’s core business and corporate functions, processes and systems. The following audits were completed during the year:
- Uhrig transition project assurance engagement (from 2006–07 program; completed in 2007–08)
- Commonwealth Authorities and Companies (CAC) compliance certification – Outcome 3 (from 2006–07 program; completed in 2007–08)
- payroll system – review (Peoplesoft), phases 1 & 2
- instruments of appointment – quality assurance review
- administration of flight crew licensing cyber exams
- review of post-audit implementation
- self-service project (Internet portal)
- post-implementation audit of Bevington (Personnel Licensing) Review
- aviation medicine (including the Medical Records System)
- compliance with statutory obligations
- credit card access and usage
- travel policy
- aerodrome safety inspection
- regional office compliance reviews
- contract management
- oversight of foreign operators
- records management
- property and security review.
Risk management services
It is critical that CASA, as Australia’s aviation safety regulator, understands the nature and full dimension of the risks it oversees. CASA is systematically identifying and analysing a wide range of issues and risks to make informed decisions that contribute to its vision of Safe skies for all.
All aviation activity involves risks. CASA faces a variety of possible risks including, but not limited to: the failure to detect breaches of safety and maintenance standards; incorrect or inconsistent application of regulatory standards; and failure to properly carry out statutory responsibilities. Risks can arise from a range of sources such as the introduction of new and advanced technologies, availability of a suitably skilled workforce, or natural events.
The identification and management of risk, in conjunction with other CASA management functions, is integral to achieving CASA’s performance goals. Consequently, CASA needs to understand the nature and context of risk in its immediate area of responsibility in order to systematically identify, assess, treat, monitor and review those risks.
CASA manages its risks in accordance with best practice and adheres to the principles outlined in the current Australian and New Zealand Standard for Risk Management (AS/NZS 4360).
During 2007–08, CASA implemented a revised Risk Management Framework to enhance the effectiveness of the existing practices and to embed a consistent and comprehensive enterprise-wide approach to risk management.
A measure of the success of the revised approach is the high score that CASA achieved in Comcover’s risk management benchmarking survey. CASA’s score of 8.1 out of 10 will result in an 8.1 per cent discount in CASA’s insurance premiums for 2008–09.
As Australia’s aviation safety regulator, CASA will always face decisions of where best to apply its resources to achieve the most effective industry oversight and to ensure public accountability for the resources it uses. For this reason, CASA continues to implement specific initiatives such as risk-based surveillance, which allocates priority to the sectors, operations and operators that pose the greatest safety risk.
CASA legal staff prepare between 50 and 70 legislative and other instruments in any given month, not including amendments to the Civil Aviation Orders (CAOs). They are also responsible for producing compilations of the amending orders, the Civil Aviation Regulations 1988 (CARs) and the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998 (CASRs) for the CASA website. CASA prepared more than 700 instruments during 2007–08.