Purpose 4—Efficient and Effective Operations

Working together to achieve our outcome

Increased satisfaction with corporate operations measured through responses to a survey conducted annually.

Corporate Plan 75 per cent satisfaction rates

The Corporate Management Group client satisfaction survey (January 2017) showed an 81 per cent satisfaction with service delivery of Corporate Management Group.

The table below provides the average percentage of client satisfaction for five specific performance measures across all of the Corporate Management Group teams.

Table 13: 2017 Corporate Management Group client satisfaction survey results

Performance measure Client satisfaction (percentage)
Response times 84 78.8
Professionalism and customer service 84 77.4
Consistency of response 83 73.4
Resolution of their enquiry 84 77.4
Quality of communication 80 72.2

Maintain employee levels of engagement which are higher than those in similar sized agencies, measured through ratings on the leadership category questions in the APSC State of the Service Survey.

Corporate Plan
  1. Comcare employees rate their job engagement at higher than 7.5
  2. Comcare employees rate their team engagement at higher than 7.2
  3. Comcare employees rate their supervisor engagement at higher than 7.9
  4. Comcare employees rate their agency engagement at higher than 6.4

Table 14: APSC State of the Service Survey results—Elements of engagement

Elements of engagement Comcare 2017 score Comcare 2016 score Similar agencies
Job engagement 7.5 7.5 7.2
Team engagement 7.3 7.2 6.9
Supervisor engagement 8.0 7.9 7.6
Agency engagement 6.4 6.4 6.2

Comcare employees have the knowledge and skills to meet operational needs, measured through results of the APSC State of the Service Survey results.

Corporate Plan 75 per cent of staff indicate that they have the skills and knowledge to undertake their job

93 per cent of employees responded positively to the question ‘I have the appropriate skills, capabilities and knowledge to do my job now and into the future’ in the 2017 APS Employee Census.

Comcare achieves efficiencies by reducing its operational costs by $6.3 million (20 per cent) on the 2014–15 baseline by 30 June 2017.

Corporate Plan $6.3 million savings target achieved

Across Comcare, a range of strategies were put in place to achieve the target by introducing Whole of Government travel, implementing improved finance systems, the reduction of office overhead costs, the rationalisation of Corporate Services, securing improved information communication technology (ICT) services for lesser cost and reducing technology overheads.

Further savings were gained from commencing to implement the Optimal Management Structure throughout the Corporate Group, lower insurance, a discontinuation of some services and renegotiation of property leases. As a result, Comcare achieved a savings of $6.668 million by 30 June 2017.

Comcare’s workers’ compensation premium is below the premium payer average (1.1 per cent) by 2018, achieved through improving:

  • injury and harm levels
  • recovery and early return to work rates of Comcare employees.
Corporate Plan Comcare’s workers’ compensation premium is 4.4 per cent

Note: Premium delivery date 30 June 2017

For 2017–18, Comcare’s workers’ compensation premium rate decreased to 2.67 per cent from 4.44 per cent in 2016–17. The table below shows the percentage change and dollar value of Comcare’s premium. Comcare has seen a decrease in the dollar value of its premium (prescribed amount) between 2016–17 and 2017–18 of 32.8 per cent.

Table 15: Premium rates

Premium 2016–172017–18
Comcare premium rate (prescribed rate)1 4.44% 2.67%
Total premium (dollar value)2 $2,742 215 $1,203 926
Prescribed amount (dollar value)3 $2,383 099 $1,601 094

Percentage change in dollar value (prescribed amount) 2016–17 to 2017–18

Commonwealth average premium rate 1.72% 1.23%

1Premium rate excluding GST
2 Total premium (excluding GST) includes bonus or penalty and additional margin
3 Prescribed amount excluding GST.

For 2016–17, Comcare saw an improvement in claims performance and therefore a bonus amount of $397,168.

In 2016–17, nine Comcare employees received incapacity payments. The table below shows the continuance rate (reported by time period) for Comcare employees who received an incapacity payment in 2016–17 compared to 2015–16.

Table 16: Comcare employees on reduced income, continuance reported by time.

Number of employees
Number of employees
Less than 4 weeks 2 (8.7%) 2 (22.22%)
4 weeks 4 (17.4%) 2 (22.22%)
13 weeks 3 (13.0%) 1 (11.11%)
26 weeks 4 (17.4%) 0 (0.0%)
52 weeks 10 (43.5%) 4 (44.44%)

Table 17 shows the mechanism of injury for claims between 2014–15 and 2016–17.

Table 17: Mechanism of injury for Comcare accepted claims from 2014–15 to 2016–17.

Mechanism of injury 2014–152015–162016–17
Falls, trips and slips 1 0 2
Hitting objects with body 0 0 1
Being hit by moving objects 0 0 0
Sound and pressure 0 0 0
Body stressing 1 0 0
Heat, electricity and other environmental factors 0 0 0
Chemicals and other substances 0 0 0
Biological factors 0 0 0
Mental stress 7 2 0
Vehicle incidents 0 0 0
Other and unspecified 4 0 1
Total 13 2 4

Analysis of performance against Purpose 4

People plan

In January 2016, the Comcare Executive endorsed the Comcare People Plan 2016–2019 (People Plan). The focus of the People Plan is on creating a high performing organisation making Comcare an employer of choice. Comcare will achieve this by delivering a number of strategies and projects within the five key strategic people themes of leadership, capability, cohesiveness, health, safety and wellbeing and innovation.

The People Plan aims to:

  • ensure everyone in Comcare models leadership behaviours that drive and facilitate high performance
  • enable all our employees to have the capability and capacity to deliver organisational objectives, now and in the future
  • engage all of our employees to participate in creating a collaborative workplace culture
  • promote Comcare as a leader and role model in WHS behaviours, systems and practices
  • encourage our employees to be adaptable and engage in building an innovative workplace.

In 2016–17, key People Plan strategies and projects achieved include the development and implementation of the:

  • Capability Framework
  • Leadership, Learning and Development Strategy
  • Attraction and Retention Framework
  • Business Area Workforce Plans
  • Change Management Framework
  • Leadership Development Series
  • Mentoring Programme.

Work health and safety

Comcare is committed to the continuous improvement of its work health and safety performance. A number of initiatives were implemented in 2016–17 to continue to drive improvements in Comcare’s WHS performance to achieve a 32.8 per cent reduction in our 2017–18 workers’ compensation premium.

Comcare has continued to make strong progress, driven by the reduced number of claims, the ongoing provision of mandatory WHS training for all Comcare staff, and mandatory early intervention training for managers to reduce the potential for harm.

In 2016, Comcare completed a full review and update of its Rehabilitation Management System including the development of an internal rehabilitation case management manual and policies and procedures to ensure currency and best practice. This system was audited in June 2017 to identify additional improvements to ensure continuation as a high-quality system and received a 100 per cent rating with no non-conformances and seven observations noted.

Digital transformation

Comcare continues to transform its business by implementing a number of key initiatives in 2016–17. These include:

  • a new Integrated Regulatory Information System to underpin the efficient operations of our regulatory work
  • a Legal Practice Management System to facilitate the provision of high quality legal services by Comcare’s Legal teams
  • an online premium calculator to assist agencies in better understanding Comcare’s premium model and how changes in agency claim experience flow through to their premium
  • increased self-service capability to enable stakeholders to interact with Comcare online which aligns to our customer centric digital strategy.

Implement outcomes from organisational reviews

During the 2016–17 financial year Comcare undertook a functional alignment review and found that there are corporate, support and administrative services being duplicated across the business. The Executive agreed to review functions across Comcare to identify opportunities across the business to better use resources, capitalise on our capability and help us to work more collaboratively to achieve Comcare’s goals and objectives. Four functions have been reviewed—fraud, business planning, data and education.

These reviews have identified further work to be done in each area in order for Comcare to transition to an organisation which delivers services using a holistic and aligned approach. Each of the reviews provided options which have been agreed by the Comcare Executive. The implementation of the agreed options will be completed in the 2017–18 financial year. It is expected that implementation of improved alignment will provide improved service delivery within Comcare, optimise the use of our data resources, and improve connectivity across the business for the delivery of fraud prevention and education services.

Implement best practice governance frameworks

A centre of excellence for project management has been developed and embedded across the organisation in 2016–17. The role of the project management office is to provide advice, guidance and services to all areas of the business to assist them managing and delivering their projects. The project management office has developed a range of policies and frameworks to ensure that Comcare projects are delivered on time and on budget, ensuring benefits for Comcare are realised.

A significant part of this was the development of a web-based tool to support project managers to manage their resources, timelines and tasks in order to deliver the projects. This web tool also provides access to automatic work flow tools which streamline business and approval process. The tool also includes a comprehensive reporting function which will ensure that the Comcare Executive have improved visibility of projects across the organisation. This tool has been trialled across Comcare for six months and during July 2017 will be available for use across Comcare for all projects.

In 2016–17, Comcare put in place a Planning Sub-Committee to oversee the business and financial planning processes for 2017–18 and forward years.

As a direct result of this oversight the cost recovery process, Portfolio Budget Statements, Corporate Plan and internal budget were delivered well within timeframes.

The close alignment of the processes proved beneficial and enhanced information for, and engagement with, stakeholders.


Improving leadership across all aspects of Comcare’s business is identified in both the Comcare 2016–17 Corporate Plan and People Plan 2016–19: to work more effectively together to achieve Comcare’s Outcome. The 2017 Leadership Development Series was endorsed by Comcare’s Executive in December 2016.

The 2017 Leadership Development Series is a year-long programme for all ongoing employees at the EL 1 level and above. High performing and high potential APS 6 employees by nomination are also invited to participate. The Leadership Series consists of four cultural priority subject matter areas, with the third priority area in the series currently underway. There are 182 participants currently enrolled in this programme. Feedback on the Leadership Series so far has been positive with 90 per cent of participants providing an overall workshop satisfaction rating of 7 or above out of 10 at the conclusion of each priority area.

The Comcare Mentoring Programme was launched in July 2016 with the first cohort of mentors and mentees occurring from August 2016 to February 2017. Twenty-two mentoring relationships commenced in the first cohort. Evaluation at the conclusion of this programme showed that 77 per cent of participants believed that this programme was valuable and worthwhile. As a result of this positive feedback, a second cohort of the mentoring programme commenced in May 2017 and will conclude in November 2017. A total of 10 mentoring relationships commenced in the second cohort.

Comcare experienced an overall improvement in our 2017 APS Employee Census results as compared to the 2016 results. There was a significant improvement in engagement scores across all elements of the survey, which has been attributed to the implementation of numerous strategies across the organisation. These strategies included the establishment of a reference group in 2016 to look at a cohesive and collaborative whole of organisation approach to improving engagement and communication.