Risk Management

Risk Management is an integral component of the Department's operations and is the ongoing requirement to identify and address risk that may impact on the achievement of objectives and the delivery of services.

Risk Management Overview

A risk management framework was implemented across the Department in 2001. Since then, the fundamentals of the framework have been firmly incorporated into management practices. The Department's risk management framework is based on the Australian/New Zealand standard AS/NZ 4360:1999 Risk Management, as updated by AS/NZ 4360:2004. The Department is assessing its risk management framework against the revised standard.

The risk management framework is overseen by the Department's Assurance Board, which comprises the Chief Executive and external appointees. The Department also operates a number of separate control mechanisms, including the Internal Audit and Prison Inspectorate functions within the Strategic Services Group, peer review of processes within the Public Prisons Service and an internal control framework.

Risk to Achieving Outcomes

The management of risk is integral to the Department's operational approach on a day-to-day basis. It uses a series of short-term tactical strategies to manage unexpected risks, with longer-term risk management factored into its strategic planning processes. Identification and management of risk is an integral part of the strategic framework. Each of the risk areas outlined in the table on the next page is linked to departmental outcomes.

These links are best illustrated when the implications of failure in the mitigating strategies are identified against each risk. Being aware of the mitigating strategies and their implications is key to the Department's overall achievement of departmental outcomes.

Risk Identification Process

The risk management process involves the identification, analysis and evaluation of risks, and the implementation of effective risk mitigation strategies. The table on the next page identifies the most significant risk areas and describes the mitigating strategies in place to ensure the risks do not eventuate.

Risk Management Strategies

Risk Area

Mitigating Strategies

Effectiveness of rehabilitative interventions designed to contribute to reducing re-offending

Ongoing development, implementation and improvement of evidence-based specialist rehabilitative programmes.
Meeting demand for prisoner beds within the Department's physical and staffing capacity The Department is implementing measures to provide additional temporary and permanent capacity to address current and future demand.
Effective management of high-risk offenders The Department has implemented policies for the identification, notification, and management of high-risk offenders.
Public confidence in the corrections system The Department has implemented appropriate communications and media-management policies.
Regional Prisons Development Project Ongoing project monitoring and assurance activities are in place.
Performance requirements for Corrections Inmate Employment

Ongoing monitoring and review of prisoner employment activities are in place.

Sufficient staff capability and capacity to deliver effective offender management

Resources have been dedicated to:

  • training and development of staff, and monitoring achievement of standards
  • recruitment campaigns.

Increased litigation by offenders

Implementation and ongoing monitoring of national compliance processes for core operational management systems.

Collective bargaining round

Bargaining will be undertaken in good faith and contingency plans will be prepared in case of industrial action.

Recruitment and retention of staff

The Department has implemented a major recruitment campaign both domestically and internationally and has established a working party to consider recruitment and retention issues.

Maintenance of physical security at prison sites

The Department is improving its reporting mechanisms for physical security issues and is ensuring appropriate resourcing to improve facility design.

Asian bird influenza pandemic

Contingency planning is being undertaken in accord with the government-wide approach.
Capacity to manage the most disordered high and complex needs of offenders who are a danger to themselves or others, who are not eligible for compulsory treatment under the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992 and the Intellectual Disability (Compulsory Care and Rehabilitation) Act 2003

The Department is implementing a project to develop guidelines on managing prisoners with high and complex behaviour needs, as a first step to the identification, notification and management of high-risk offenders.