1. Purpose of policy
To ensure the University’s operations are conducted in accordance with legal and internal policy requirements.
2. Policy scope and application
2.1 This policy applies to staff and members of University decision-making or advisory bodies.
2.2 This Policy conforms to the Australian Standard AS ISO 196000:2015: Compliance Management Systems. It is supported by the related procedures, as well as the Register of Compliance Obligations which lists the University’s primary compliance obligations. The Compliance Management Framework Governing Policy should be read in conjunction with those documents.
Please refer to the University’s Glossary of Terms for policies and procedures. Terms and definitions identified below are specific to this policy and are critical to the effectiveness of it:
Compliance meaning all the organisation’s compliance obligations (Australian Standard AS ISO 196000:2015).
Management system means set of interrelated or interacting elements of an organization to establish policies and objectives and processes to achieve those objectives (Australian Standard AS ISO 196000:2015 Compliance management systems).
4. Regulatory background
4.1 The University of the Sunshine Coast Act 1998 establishes the University as a statutory body, and the Council as its governing body with general powers to do anything necessary or convenient to govern the University provided this is in the University’s interests.
4.2 Universities undertake a wide range of activities and as such are subject to a vast range of regulatory obligations to multiple State and Commonwealth agencies, including as specified in the Higher Education Support Act 2003, Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011 and the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000.
4.3 Queensland Treasury have developed the Statutory Body Guide to assist statutory bodies in assessing obligations under Financial Accountability Act 2009 (the Act), Financial and Performance Management Standard 2009 (the Standard) and Financial Accountability Handbook (the Handbook). While the Guide is not mandated, it is considered best practice and recommends agencies establish a compliance framework to ensure that the requirements of all legislation applicable to the agency are complied with.
a. Section 7 of the Standard requires agencies to establish an appropriate governance framework to outline the way the agency manages the performance of its functions and operations.
b. The Handbook identifies various foundation principles which underpin the Act including the requirement to administer agencies in the most efficient, effective and economical manner within legislative requirements.
4.4 An integral element of the University’s Governance Framework is compliance, and though a compliance policy is not a legislative requirement, the University wishes to promote a culture of good corporate governance and compliance practices.
5. Policy statement
5.1 The University, as a public entity, is committed to ensuring that it complies with all international, national and state legislation, accountability frameworks, regulations, codes of practice, standards and similar that are applicable to the operations and governance of the University and its activities. The University will maintain the highest standards of diligence in all areas of public accountability, through its policies, in meeting its legal obligations, in the maintenance of the Compliance Management Framework and in the promotion of a ‘compliance culture’.
6. Compliance Management Framework
The University’s Compliance Management Framework is founded on the following principles:
a. the sponsorship and support from University’s Council and Audit and Risk Management Committee for the University's compliance program;
b. the active engagement of senior management in the identification and management of compliance issues and risks; and
c. the allocation of resources throughout the University to manage compliance obligations.
The University’s Compliance Management Framework (refer Diagram 1) comprises:
a. commitment from Council and Executive to promote effective compliance practices across the University;
b. compliance policy that is approved by Council and aligns to the University’s strategic objectives;
c. an Audit and Risk Management Committee which is responsible to Council for ensuring the effective monitoring of compliance with legislative and regulatory requirements and for promoting a culture committed to lawful and ethical behaviour;
d. a senior University officer who is responsible to oversee the implementation of the Compliance Management Framework, this person will be the Chief Operating Officer;
e. a University Register of Compliance Obligations created to identify and record the key compliance requirements for and within the University, and will assign relevant responsibilities for these obligations;
f. Cost Centre Managers who are primarily responsible for the management of compliance obligations which affect their area of responsibility, this includes workplace health and safety and equity obligations;
g. a process of continual improvement to be undertaken with any reporting of non-compliance matters;
h. a regular review of the Compliance Management Framework as part of the annual Compliance Reporting process, that is in line with legal requirements and industry standards, with improvements implemented wherever it is deemed necessary.
Diagram 1 – Compliance Management Framework
7. Potential compliance failure
7.1 The University encourages the proactive reporting of potential compliance breaches, issues, incidents and complaints.
7.2 Staff who knowingly and recklessly breach the University’s compliance obligations may be subject to applicable legislative penalties and/or disciplinary action.
|Responsible to ensure the effective monitoring of compliance with legislative and regulatory requirements and promote a culture committed to lawful and ethical behaviour||Audit and Risk Management Committee|
|Responsible for all compliance matters and is accountable to Council for compliance across the whole of the University||Vice-Chancellor and President|
|Responsible and accountable to the Vice-Chancellor and President to oversee implementation of the Compliance Management Framework across the University, the Register of Compliance Obligations and annual and ongoing Compliance Reporting to ARMC||Chief Operating Officer|
|Responsible and accountable to the Vice-Chancellor and President for: - management of cost centre’s compliance obligations and compliance reporting; - appointing or designating at least one person for compliance reporting unless otherwise recorded in the Register this person will be the cost centre manager; - review and update each obligation at least annually as part of the Compliance Reporting process and identify new obligations or changes in obligations by monitoring legislation or advice from staff; - assisting with the organisation and coordination of risk assessments, internal audits and compliance reviews that involve their cost centre; - identifying and arranging for the provision of appropriate training that may be needed to improve or ensure compliance within their Cost Centre.||Cost Centre Managers|
|Responsible and accountable to the relevant cost centre manager for compliance as it pertains to their work, cost centre or area of operation.||All Staff|