Recognition of CASA reporting
The CASA Annual Report 2013–14 received a prestigious gold award in the 2015 Australasian Reporting Awards, making 2015 the third consecutive year in which CASA has received gold in recognition of the quality of its reporting.
CASA’s 2013–14 report also received the Safe Work Australia sponsored Work Health and Safety Award, and was among six finalists in the highly regarded Report of the Year category.
Public interest disclosure policy
CASA’s policy and procedures on public interest disclosure are consistent with the requirements of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013. They enable confidential disclosure of matters and protect disclosers from fear or threats of reprisal for making a disclosure. CASA provides an annual report of the number and types of disclosures to the Commonwealth Ombudsman.
Code of Conduct
As a condition of employment, all employees must comply with CASA’s Code of Conduct. The code is aligned with the Code of the Australian Public Service and reflects the values and behaviours expected of CASA employees in the course of conducting their duties or otherwise representing CASA.
CASA promotes the code through annual online training for all employees, with content such as ‘working with respect’ and ‘equity and diversity principles’.
CASA’s Ethics and Conduct Committee is advised of all code matters and actively monitors all instances of potential breaches. During 2014–15, CASA finalised three investigations of potential breaches of the code. Three employees were investigated, representing 0.36 per cent of CASA’s workforce.
Two of the three investigations found breaches of at least one element of the code. In one matter a sanction was imposed, including formal counselling and a focused development program to support the employee to improve management skills and behaviour in the workplace. The second matter’s sanction is still under consideration.
No reviews of decisions in relation to the code were requested in 2014–15.
Table 6 provides details of investigations in the past two financial years.
Table 6 Code of Conduct investigations, 2013–14 and 2014–15
|Investigations ongoing at 30 June||0||0|
|Employees who breached the Code of Conduct||2||2|
Conflict of interest
Section 58 of the Civil Aviation Act provides that a Board member must not engage in any paid employment that, in the opinion of the Minister, conflicts with the proper performance of their duties as a member of CASA’s Board. Similarly, section 78 provides that the Director of Aviation Safety must not engage in any paid employment outside the duties of their office except with the Board’s approval.
The PGPA Act and the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Rule 2014 provide that a Board member who has a material personal interest in a matter that relates to the affairs of CASA must disclose details of the interest to each of the other Board members. The notice must include details of the nature and extent of the Board member’s interest and how the interest relates to CASA’s affairs. Disclosures must be made at a Board meeting, as soon as practicable after the Board member becomes aware of the interest or, if there is a change in the nature or extent of the interest, as soon as practicable after the Board member becomes aware of that change. The details of the notice given are recorded in the minutes of the next Board meeting.
Disclosures of airline lounge memberships are included in a Board Member’s Standing Notice of Material Personal Interest, and the Board Secretary maintains a register of all information (records) concerning conflict of interest, hospitality and gifts.
CASA’s conflict of interest policy and procedures ensure that the knowledge and experience of the aviation industry brought to CASA by an employee do not improperly influence the employee’s performance of their duties and responsibilities.
All staff must complete an annual declaration form requiring disclosure of a range of issues that could potentially give rise to a conflict of interest; an assessment of the risk posed by the conflicts or perceived conflicts; and a written, management-endorsed mitigation strategy for any conflicts so identified. All staff must complete a brief online training package, which reminds them of key elements of the policy, before they make their annual conflict of interest declaration.
In addition to review and endorsement by an employee’s manager, all conflict of interest declarations are reviewed by the Industry Complaints Commissioner to ensure that the planned strategies adequately address the risks and that there is a nationally consistent approach.
All CASA employees have completed online training on fraud, and new employees must complete the training within three months of commencing their employment. CASA released its Fraud Control Plan 2015–2017 in December 2014. The plan is aligned with the new Australian Government Fraud Control Framework.
In 2014–15, CASA investigated four matters of alleged internal fraud. No finding of fraud was made. No fraud matters were referred to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.