Appendix A—Ecologically sustainable development and environmental performance
Under section 516A of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act), government organisations must report annually on their ecologically sustainable development (ESD) and environmental performance.
Comcare is committed to advancing the principles of ESD and practicing these principles in its everyday activities and long-term projects.
We recognise that day to day activities consume resources and create waste. This year we have continued several activities to reduce our environmental impact with a focus on information and communication technology (ICT) and building operations as the major consumers of energy and other resources.
In March 2018, Comcare achieved a 4.5-star National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) Energy Tenancy rating for levels 3 to 5, 121 Marcus Clarke Street, Canberra in the ACT.
NABERS is a national rating system that measures the environmental performance of Australian buildings, tenancies and homes. NABERS measures the energy efficiency, water usage, waste management and indoor environment quality of a building or tenancy and its impact on the environment.
Comcare continues to undertake activities to reduce our environmental impact including:
- using electronic workflows aimed to reduce the use of paper and the need to retain paper copies
- using the energy saving features of the Windows Operating System
- using server virtualisation to reduce both power consumption and computer hardware requirements
- using the power saving features of computer monitors and televisions
- participating in whole-of-government purchasing arrangements for electricity
- participating in whole-of-government leasing arrangements for fleet vehicles
- installing sensor lighting systems in all office fit outs
- participating in and promoting Earth Hour 2018
- providing end of trip facilities to encourage employees to cycle to work
- purchasing 100 per cent recycled A4 paper, 100 per cent recycling of paper waste and recycling of other stationery items.
In 2017–18, Comcare replaced and consolidated its ageing server and storage infrastructure with a more modern higher performing and power efficient system. This saw Comcare reduce its datacentre rack footprint from nine racks to five and an estimated power consumption savings of 6 000KWH per month. This also resulted in an improved and more automated disaster recovery solution of Comcare’s core infrastructure.
Comcare also deployed its new Windows 10 Standard Operating Environment (SOE) with new desktops and laptops. The combination of the new workstation hardware and Windows 10 help reduce power consumption through more advanced power management settings and faster boot times which encourage users to power off their devices when not in use.
The rollout of laptops has allowed managers and mobile workers across Comcare to have electronic versions of agendas, minutes and documents when attending meetings reducing the need to print.
Comcare is committed to the National Archives of Australia Digital Continuity 2020 (DC2020) policy. In 2017–18, Comcare focused on principle two of the policy, where information is to be managed digitally.
Recent digital initiatives included the introduction of strict controls on the creation of paper files, establishing an internal service portal as an entry point to 24 new internal digital forms. The forms were supported by workflows that incorporated electronic approvals to speed up business processes and reduce the need to print and scan the approved form resulting in lower usage of the MFDs (multi-function devices) and their consumables.
Comcare continues to participate in the ACT Government ACTSmart Office Recycling Program in its Canberra office. The Canberra office at 121 Marcus Clarke Street renewed its accreditation in January 2018 and currently sends 85 per cent of its waste to a recycling centre. Comcare provides recycling streams (including co-mingled, cardboard and paper recycling) in all offices and they also have waste and recycling systems in place.
Comcare recycles 100 per cent of toner cartridges and florescent light tubes and maintains a battery recycling facility in the Canberra office.
Externally, Comcare provides the ability to download publications from its website. This allows documents to be sent and stored electronically, reducing the impact of printing and distribution of hard copy material.
Power consumption per person remained steady in 2017–18. The table below shows Comcare’s power consumption over the past four financial years.
Comcare measures paper consumption by purchases made during the financial year. In 2017–18, Comcare’s paper consumption decreased by 22 per cent from the previous year. Overall, Comcare’s paper consumption is trending down in accordance with our commitment to reducing our environmental impact.
Table 24: Comcare’s environmental performance 2017–18
Average power consumption per full-time equivalent employee (Mega joules/person/annum)
(reams of paper)
4 Amount purchased during the financial year
Appendix B—Procurement and Comcover
Comcare procurement was undertaken in accordance with the PGPA Act and the Commonwealth Procurement Rules.
Comcare actively supports the Indigenous Procurement Policy, meeting the targets set to ensure indigenous business opportunities continue to grow.
Details of contracts for consultancy services
In 2017–18, Comcare’s total consultancy expense, with an individual contract value of $10,000 or more (GST inclusive) was $376,444. During 2017–18 Comcare entered into eight new consultancy contracts and there were no consultancies that continued from 2016–17 into 2017–18.
Table 25: 2017–18 Consultancy services—at 1 July 2018
Description of services
Julia Burns Consulting
Consultancy Services CALM Alignment of Functions
Dimension Data Australia
Technical Consultant WAN (SON2501421)
10E24 PTY LTD
Strategic Asset Allocation Scoping Research - Stage 2
Synergy Group Australia Pty Ltd
Review of the 2018-19 Cost Recovery Model
Injurynet Australia Pty Ltd
Review of Comcare's IME Usage
Advice regarding Comcare's Revised Claim's Services
Callida Consulting Pty Ltd
Claims Services Project Review
Grey Advantage Consulting Pty Limited
Review of Comcare In-House Facilitation Program
More information on the value of contracts above the relevant threshold of $400,000 is available on the AusTender website www.tenders.gov.au.
Table 25 notes
Explanation of selection process terms drawn from the Commonwealth Procurement Rules (January 2018).
Open tender: A procurement procedure in which a request for tender is published inviting all businesses that satisfy the conditions for participation to submit tenders. Public tenders are generally sought from the Australian Government AusTender internet site.
Prequalified tender: A procurement procedure in which the procuring agency selects which potential suppliers from the Legal Services Multi User list are invited to submit tenders. This procurement process may only be used under certain defined circumstances for Legal services only.
Limited tender: A form of restricted tendering, available only under certain defined circumstances, with a single potential supplier or suppliers being invited to bid because of their unique expertise and/or their special ability to supply the goods and/or services sought.
Panel: An arrangement under which a number of suppliers, initially selected through an open tender process, may each supply property or services to an agency as specified in the panel arrangements. Quotes are sought from suppliers that have prequalified on the agency panels to supply to the Government. This category includes standing offers and supplier panels where the supply of goods and services may be provided for a pre-determined length of time, usually at a prearranged price.
Justification for decision to use consultancy:
A—Required specialist skills not available in-house
B—Independent review, research or assessment required
C—Independent agent or facilitator required.
During 2017–18, Comcare conducted no advertising campaigns or market research.
Professional indemnity insurance, purchased from Comcover indemnifies Comcare, the CEO, and all employees for damages, and defence costs awarded for breach of duty, there were no claims in 2017–18.
In 2017–18 Comcare paid $71,935 ($74,561 in 2016–17) for directors’ and officers’ insurance, and there were no claims.
Members of the The Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission (SRCC) are covered under a separate insurance policy. Directors and Officers liability insurance cover the consequences of any wrongful act by these employees.
Appendix C—Compliance index
The annual report has been prepared in accordance with section 46 of the Public, Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 and Subdivision B of Division 3A of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Amendment (Corporate Commonwealth Entity Annual Reporting) Rule 2014.
These requirements were approved on behalf of the Parliament by the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit on 2 May 2016.
Table 26: Annual reporting compliance index
PGPA Rule Reference
Annual Report page (refer to print version)/comments
Letter of transmittal
Approval of annual report by accountable authority
Parliamentary standards of presentation
YES – confirmed
Plain English and clear design
YES – confirmed
Contents of the annual report
Details of enabling legislation
Summary of objects and functions
Electronic address of report
Directions by the Minister
Government policy orders (including details of non-compliance)
Significant non-compliance with finance law
Details of accountable authority members
Main corporate governance practices
Decision making for procurement, tenders and contracts (including details)
Significant activities affecting operations or structure
Judicial decisions and administrative decisions
Obtain information from a subsidiary
Indemnity and insurance
Index and list of requirements
Disclosure requirements for government business enterprises
Changes in financial conditions and community service obligations
Information that is commercially prejudicial
Entity’s performance reports
Annual performance statements
Annual performance statement in accordance with paragraph 39(1)(b) of the Act.
Financial performance overview
A discussion and analysis of the entity’s financial performance.
A table summarising the total resources and total payments of the entity.
43(4) PGPA Act
Inclusion of the annual financial statements in accordance with subsection 43(4) of the Act.
Additional statutory requirements
Regulator statistics—Work health and safety
Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Schedule 2, Part 3)
Comcare’s statistics—Work health and safety
Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Schedule 2, Part 4)
Directions by Minister
Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (section 73)
Ecologically sustainable development and environmental performance
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (section 516A)
Advertising and market research
Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (section 311A)
Comcare’s Accessibility Action Plan
Administrative Appeals Tribunal—The AAT can, on request, review administrative decisions by most Australian and Australian Capital Territory Government departments and authorities. This includes reviewing reconsideration decisions made by Comcare. Either an employee or an employer may request a review of a decision.
New Zealand Accident Compensation Corporation
Australian Defence Force
Affirmation rate is the percentage of original decisions which were upheld following a request for reconsideration.
Australian National Audit Office
Australian Public Service
Australian Public Service Commission
Principles, standards and qualities in accordance with which the Australian Public Service operates.
Asbestos-related Claims (Management of Commonwealth Liabilities) Act 2005
Australian Taxation Office
Australian WHS Strategy
Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012–2022
BWA Group Services Pty Limited
Responsible for workplace-based management of an injured employee’s return to work plan, as well as for initiating, coordinating and monitoring the rehabilitation process. The employer is responsible for providing case managers, who are usually employees of the agency.
Chief Executive Officer
Any claim for compensation, for example, the initial injury claim, claim for payment of medical expenses, or claim for incapacity benefits.
Claims Manager (CM)
Claims Managers are employees with a role in managing claims for workers’ compensation—formerly known as Claims Services Officers (CSOs).
Comcare Portfolio Budget Statements (PBS)
Departmental portfolio budget statements provide information on the proposed allocation of funds to achieve government outcomes. They include budget statements for the department as well as agencies working under the department.
The statements provide information to assist parliament to understand the purpose of each proposed outcome.
The Comcare Portfolio Budget Statements are contained within the Portfolio Budget Statements for the Department of Jobs and Small Business.
Comcare’s Enterprise Agreement 2016–19
Principle instrument that sets out the terms and conditions of employment for non-SES employees
Compensation Policy and Return to Work Effectiveness project
The process by which agencies are directed and controlled. It is generally understood to encompass authority, accountability, stewardship, leadership, direction and control.
Comcare Corporate Plan 2017–18
Date of Injury
Date of occurrence (injury), date first sought medical treatment, or first resulted in incapacity or impairment (disease).
The written assignment of authority and responsibility to another person to carry out specific activities.
A decision to accept or reject a claim.
Organisation responsible for making a decision on a claim
From 13 April 2007 any ailment suffered by an employee, or the aggravation of such an ailment, that is contributed to, to a significant degree, by the employee’s employment.
Employee assistance program
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999
Ecologically sustainable development
An estimate of future payments to be made in relation to an individual claim
Freedom of information
Freedom of Information Act 1982
Full-time equivalent, in the context of staffing levels
Goods and services tax
Green Vehicle Guide
Health Benefits of Work Programme
Health and safety representative
Heads of Workers’ Compensation Authorities
Heads of Workplace Safety Authorities
Information communication technology
The loss, the loss of use, or the damage or malfunction, of any bodily system or function or part of such system or function. A permanent impairment is one that is likely to continue indefinitely.
A diminished ability to earn.
A payment made directly or indirectly, by way of income maintenance.
Refers to either an injury or disease. An injury can be a physical or mental injury and includes aggravation of a pre-existing ailment.
Information Publication Scheme
Institute for Safety, Compensation and Recovery Research
Key performance indicator
Licence Compliance and Performance Model. The LCPM provides the regulatory framework under which the SRCC monitors and assesses licensee performance, and replaced the previous Licensee Improvement Program and Tier Model.
The effect of a determination, creating a legal obligation to pay compensation under the SRC Act.
A Commonwealth authority or a corporation that is a holder of a licence under Part VIII of the SRC Act.
Licensee Key Performance Indicators
Licensee Improvement Program
Learning management system
Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004
Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission
National Australian Built Environment Ratings Scheme
Office of the Australian Information Commissioner
Medal of the Order of Australia
Occupational health and safety
Occupational Health and Safety Act 1991—Provides for the health, safety and welfare at work of employees of Australian Government departments and authorities, and licensed self-insurers.
Occupational Health and Safety (Maritime Industry) Act 1993
Portfolio Budget Statements—key purpose is to inform Senators and Members of Parliament of the proposed allocation of resources to government outcomes by agencies within the relevant portfolio.
Performance Development Plan
Comcare’s People Plan
Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013
Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Rule 2014
A contribution made to Comcare in respect of the estimated costs of a customer agency’s workers’ compensation costs for a given financial year. It is based on fully funded principles and is designed to be responsive to the employing agency’s claims experience.
Claim with a date of injury after the introduction of Comcare’s premium system on l July 1989. Also referred to as an ‘insured’ claim.
Premium paying employers
Commonwealth departments, agencies and the ACT Government who pay a workers’ compensation premium under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988.
The rate, expressed as a percentage of wage/salary dollar, which, when multiplied by the estimate of wage/salary, will provide the premium payable by that agency.
Claim with a date of injury before the introduction of Comcare’s premium system on l July 1989. These claims and the resultant expenditure may also be called ‘uninsured’.
Privacy Act 1988
Person or organisation providing medical, rehabilitation or health services in relation to a work-related injury or disease.
Public Service Act
Public Service Act 1999
Comcare’s Reconciliation Action Plan
An employee or employer, who is dissatisfied with a decision made under the SRC Act, may ask for that decision to be reviewed by an officer not involved in the making of the decision in question. The result of such a review is called a reviewable decision.
A managed process involving early intervention with appropriate, adequate and timely services based on injured worker’s assessed needs.
Rehabilitation Case Manager (RCM)
The RCM works for the employer and is responsible for arranging and managing rehabilitation for injured employees of their agency. All determinations and correspondence sent to an employee by a Claims Manager (CM) is also provided to the employer through the RCM.
Return to Work Survey
Survey used to measure return to work outcomes of injured employees receiving workers’ compensation.
Return to work
The Seafarers Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Authority
Seafarers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1992
Senior Executive Service
Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988—the legislation which established Comcare and defines how the workers’ compensation function is to be administered for the Australian and ACT Governments and a corporation that is a holder of a licence under Part VIII of the SRC Act.
Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission. See also ‘The Commission’.
Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Directions 2002
The Commission’s Strategic Plan 2017–18
Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission—responsible for issuing licences for self-insurance and claims management, and for various regulatory functions under the OHS legislation. Until 1992 it was referred to as the Commission for the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation of Commonwealth Employees. It reports to the Minister for Employment.
Regulator Performance Framework
The Comcare scheme
Work health and safety
Work Health and Safety Act 2011
Work health and safety managers