Statutory Reporting Requirements
APRA reports in accordance with the following Commonwealth legislation and other requirements:
- Australian Prudential Regulation Authority Act 1998;
- Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999;
- Equal Employment Opportunity (Commonwealth Authorities) Act 1987;
- Freedom of Information Act 1982;
- Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013;
- Work Health and Safety Act 2011;
- Commonwealth Fraud Control Framework; and
- Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies and other Non-corporate Commonwealth Entities.
Australian Prudential Regulation Authority Act 1998 (APRA Act)
Section 59 of the APRA Act requires APRA to report on:
- the activities of ADI statutory managers within the meaning of the Banking Act 1959 and persons conducting investigations under Division 2 of Part II and section 61 of that Act;
- the operation of Division 2AA (Financial Claims Scheme for account-holders with insolvent ADIs) of Part II of the Banking Act 1959;
- the operation of Part VC (Financial Claims Scheme for policyholders with insolvent general insurers) of the Insurance Act 1973;
- the number of times during the year that APRA determined, under subsection 13(1) of the Financial Sector (Collection of Data) Act 2001, a reporting standard that is not a legislative instrument; and
- the exercise during the year of APRA’s powers under Part 15 of the Retirement Savings Accounts Act 1997 (RSA Act) and Part 29 of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (SIS Act).
APRA did not appoint any ADI statutory managers or persons to conduct an investigation under Division 2 of Part II or section 61 of the Banking Act 1959 during 2015/16. There were no continuing appointments during the year.
There were no schemes in operation under Division 2AA of Part II of the Banking Act 1959.
On 15 October 2009, the Minister made a declaration under section 62ZZC of the Insurance Act 1973 that Division 3 of Part VC of that Act applied in relation to one general insurer1. No payments were made from the Financial Claims Scheme Special Account in 2015/16 to satisfy claims against this general insurer.
APRA did not determine any reporting standards under subsection 13(1) of the Financial Sector (Collection of Data) Act 2001 during 2015/16 that were not legislative instruments. APRA did not exercise its powers under Part 15 of the RSA Act in 2015/16.
1 Australian Family Assurance limited (in liquidation).
APRA exercised its powers under Part 29 of the SIS Act in relation to particular entities or persons as set out below:
|Exemption number||Date||Provision of SIS Act / regulations exempted|
|A5 of 2015||13/11/2015||r.9.04D(1)|
|A6 of 2015||27/11/2015||s.89(2)|
|A1 of 2016||16/02/2016||r.6.17(2)|
|A2 of 2016||22/02/2016||r.9.04D(3)|
|A3 of 2016||03/05/2016||r.6.17(2)|
|A4 of 2016||04/05/2016||s.89(2)|
|A5 of 2016||18/05/2016||r.9.04D(1) and r.9.04I(1)|
|Modification number||Date||Provision of SIS Act / regulations modified|
|A3 of 2015||16/09/2015||Variation of SIS Act Exemption A4 of 2015|
|1 of 2015||23/09/2015||Class declaration in relation to r.5.08(2)|
|A1 of 2016||16/02/2016||s.1.03|
|A2 of 2016||24/06/2016||s.1.03|
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999
Ecologically-sustainable development and environmental performance
APRA’s Environmental Policy Statement reinforces its commitment to operating in an ecologically sustainable manner. APRA actively takes steps to reduce its environmental impact and adopts environmentally-friendly options where practical. Measures include: sensor-controlled lighting; energy-efficient power management settings on office equipment; recycling of paper, cardboard, office furniture and printer cartridges; reducing waste; and fostering staff awareness of environmental issues including considering the need to print documents. The move of APRA’s Sydney Head Office to 1 Martin Place in June 2016 also enabled a shift to mobile devices and ‘follow-me’ printing. This has led to a substantial reduction in the use of paper in the Sydney office.
Equal Employment Opportunity (Commonwealth Authorities) Act 1987 (EEO Act)
Inclusive diversity at APRA
APRA has been proactive in meeting its responsibilities under the EEO Act through a comprehensive workplace diversity program. APRA is dedicated to ensuring that it continues to create an environment that fosters inclusivity and respect for all its staff. APRA believes that diverse and inclusive teams are critical for its success, because they broaden the range of perspectives that contribute to sound and well-informed judgments which are critical to the success of supervisory authorities.
As part of APRA’s ongoing commitment to workplace inclusion, the Committee on Diversity and Inclusion (CDI) has been created to promote awareness and understanding, and initiate a refreshed strategy that sets diversity of thought as the business imperative. This work involves building networks within and outside of APRA, and providing greater emphasis on diversity and inclusion within APRA’s reporting and people management policies and practices. APRA continues to be a member of the Diversity Council of Australia to help it remain current and consistent with evolving industry practices in this area.
Key activities currently underway in APRA include:
- raising awareness of specific aspects of diversity (gender, LGBTIQ, disability, indigenous and multicultural) through a series of events, a speaker series, and other staff communications;
- conducting a diversity and inclusion review of APRA’s practices to identify key areas for improvement in the coming years;
- monthly updates of APRA’s diversity profile and progress against long-term targets to APRA’s executive management; and
- data analysis and trends for specific areas of focus.
Flexibility for all – if not, why not
Underpinning APRA’s ability to develop and create an inclusive working environment is its workplace flexibility. APRA has always offered a wide range of flexible work options. However, over the past year, APRA has recognised that it needs to provide further support for staff to utilise these options to the full extent. As a result, a new flexible work initiative has been launched based on the principle of ‘flexibility for all – if not, why not’.
As well as generally adding to APRA’s employment value proposition, this initiative is intended to support diversity and inclusion within APRA by helping to attract and retain a more diverse talent pool.
Current state of diversity
Women now occupy 24 per cent of senior positions within the organisation against a target of 40 per cent by June 2019. Thirty-five per cent of APRA employees come from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
APRA diversity as at 30 June 20162
ATSI - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
CALD1 - Culturally and Linguistically Diverse, first generation
CALD2 - Culturally and Linguistically Diverse, second generation
PWD - People with disability
- Includes permanent and fixed-term staff but excludes casuals.
- Staff identifying as ATSI is unchanged between the current and preceding year.
National Disability Strategy
Since 1994, Commonwealth departments and agencies have reported on their performance as policy adviser, purchaser, employer, regulator and provider under the Commonwealth Disability Strategy. In 2007/08, reporting on the employer role was transferred to the Australian Public Service Commission’s State of the Service Report and the APS Statistical Bulletin. These reports are available at www.apsc.gov.au. APRA is no longer required to report on its performance under these various roles.
The National Disability Strategy 2010-2020, which has applied since 2010/11, sets out a 10-year national policy framework to improve the lives of people with disability, promote participation and create a more inclusive society. A high-level two-yearly report will track progress against each of the six outcome areas of the Strategy and present a picture of how people with disability are faring. These reports can be found at www.dss.gov.au.
Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act)
The FOI Act provides the public with a general right of access to documents held by Commonwealth agencies, including APRA. This general right is limited by exemptions needed to protect essential public interests or the privacy and business affairs of those who give information to APRA or the Commonwealth.
In 2015/16, APRA dealt with 62 applications for access to documents under the FOI Act, which included three applications that were on hand from the preceding year. During 2015/16, 56 applications were determined and six remained on hand as at 30 June 2016. In addition, APRA received five applications for internal review, one of which was revised on review and four were affirmed.
During the year, the FOI applications for access were dealt with as follows:
|Grant in full||4|
|Grant in part||7|
|Transferred to another agency||0|
|Ongoing at 30 June 2016||6|
Charges collected for FOI requests amounted to $15.00, while the estimated cost of handling initial FOI requests along with internal and Information Commissioner reviews was $52,958.62.
Information Publication Scheme
Part II of the FOI Act requires APRA to publish information as part of the Information Publication Scheme. APRA’s Information Publication Plan shows the information APRA publishes in accordance with the Scheme requirements and is accessible on the APRA website.
Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS ACT)
Details of investigations and other matters as prescribed
In compliance with reporting obligations under Schedule 2, Part 4 of the WHS Act, there were:
- no notifiable incidents arising out of the conduct of business of APRA;
- no investigations conducted during the year that related to undertakings carried out by APRA;
- no tests conducted on any plant, substance or thing in the course of such investigations;
- no directions to APRA by an investigator that the workplace not be disturbed; and
- no prohibition or improvements and provisional notices given to APRA.
Work health and safety measures
APRA continued to undertake a number of work health and safety measures during 2015/16 to safeguard the health and safety of its staff and visitors. These measures included:
- availability of comprehensive health assessments for senior staff and staff aged over 40;
- availability of cardiac-risk assessments for all other staff;
- an annual flu vaccination program;
- ergonomic assessments;
- an employee assistance program;
- provision of first-aid services in all APRA offices;
- mental health awareness training for people managers;
- mental health ambassadors;
- staff-elected WHS Representatives; and
- an active and responsive WHS Committee.
A key project in 2015/16 was the formalisation of APRA’s Rehabilitation Management System to support APRA’s long-term commitment to improving the physical and mental health of staff. This involves providing high quality and timely rehabilitation assistance and support to staff with injury or illness. APRA also has a Work Health and Safety Committee which focusses on issues to do with the health, safety and wellbeing of staff.
WHS policies including establishment of staff committees and selection of health and safety representatives
APRA has arrangements for consultation on all occupational health and safety issues, including maintenance of the WHS Committee with four staff and four management representatives. The WHS Committee satisfies legislative requirements, including meeting at least every three months and providing all staff with access to minutes of the meetings.
Health and safety outcomes
The number of worker compensation claims submitted by current employees remained low at just one claim in 2015/16. APRA’s health and wellbeing program has helped to ensure that personal leave, which includes leave for personal illness and carer’s leave, is not taken beyond a reasonable level. In the 2015 calendar year, APRA staff were absent for an average of 6.5 days personal leave per person, which has increased from 5.2 days in 2014. APRA’s level of staff personal leave continues to compare favourably to the overall public sector average and ‘all-industry’ averages on similar metrics for staff absences.
Statistics requiring the giving of notice under Part 3 of the WHS Act
During the year there were no incidents notified to APRA that required a report to Comcare under Part 3 of the WHS Act.
Advertising and market research
Under the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 APRA is required to report annually on the amounts paid to advertising agencies, market research and media advertising organisations.
In 2015/16, APRA paid $120,166 for recruitment advertising, of which $57,236 was paid to Linkedin Australia Pty Limited, and $49,630 to Dentsu Mitchell Media Australia Pty Ltd. APRA did not conduct any advertising campaigns during the financial year.
The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) undertook the required statutory financial audit of APRA for 2015/16. In addition the ANAO commenced a performance audit on APRA’s prudential regulation of superannuation entities. This work will continue into 2016/17.
Collective agreements and common law contracts
As at 30 June 2016, 526 staff were covered by the terms of the APRA Employment Agreement, 2015. In addition, 105 senior staff were covered by common-law agreements.
All staff are appointed under the APRA Act. APRA applies a total remuneration package (TRP) approach whereby all salary, superannuation and ‘salary-sacrifice’ benefits are included in an employee’s TRP.
The TRP ranges for non-executive staff as at 30 June 2016 were:
|Level 4||$122,298 - $203,898|
|Level 3||$86,088 - $143,412|
|Level 2||$59,364 - $98,940|
|Level 1||$39,372 - $65,688|
The APRA Employment Agreement 2015 commenced on 8 December 2015 for a three-year term.
Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines
The Chairman of APRA certifies that he is satisfied that:
- a fraud risk assessment and fraud
- control plan has been prepared and complies with the Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines;
- appropriate fraud prevention, detection, investigation, recording and reporting procedures are in place to meet the specific needs of APRA; and
- all reasonable measures to appropriately deal with fraud relating to APRA have been taken.
The Commonwealth Ombudsman did not conduct any investigation into APRA’s conduct in 2015/16.
Commonwealth Procurement Rules
The APRA Chairman’s Finance Instructions and Financial Policies, and associated operational procedures, ensure that APRA’s procurement process complies with the Commonwealth Procurement Rules (CPRs).
In particular, they ensure that the core procurement principle of value-for-money is observed.
APRA conducts its procurement processes within the CPRs, including but not limited to:
- conducting open tenders for procurement activities of more than $80,000 (unless otherwise exempted under the CPRs);
- reporting all procurements over $10,000 on AusTender; and
- providing a link on APRA’s website to the AusTender report on all purchases over $100,000.
In 2015/16, APRA had no AusTender-exempt contracts and all APRA competitively- tendered contracts over $100,000 provided for the Auditor-General to have access to the contractor’s premises, as required under the CPRs.
Procurement initiatives to support small business
APRA supports small business participation in the Commonwealth Government procurement market. Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) and Small Enterprise participation statistics are available on the Department of Finance’s website: www.finance.gov.au/procurement/statistics-on-commonwealth-purchasing-contracts/.
APRA’s procurement activities that support small business are consistent with paragraph 54 of the CPRs and include:
- using the Commonwealth Contracting Suite for low risk procurements valued under $200,000;
- prequalified panels with SME providers;
- payments via electronic systems; and
- meeting the objective of paragraph 5.5 of the CPRs on sourcing over 10 per cent of procurements through SME providers.
APRA’s Chairman’s Finance Instructions and Financial Policies, and associated operational procedures, include specific provisions on consultants.
APRA engages consultants where it lacks specialist expertise or when independent research, review or assessment is required. Consultants are typically engaged to investigate or diagnose a defined issue or problem; carry out defined reviews or evaluations; or provide independent advice, information or solutions to assist in APRA’s decision-making.
Prior to engaging consultants, APRA takes into account the skills and resources required for the task, the skills available in-house, and the cost-effectiveness of engaging external expertise. The decision to engage a consultant is made in accordance with legislation, CPRs and internal policies.
During 2015/16, APRA entered into 19 new consultancy contracts involving a total actual expenditure of $1,440,365. In total there were 24 consultancy contracts active during the 2015/16 year, involving total actual expenditure of $2,968,550.
Information on the value of contracts and consultancies is available on the AusTender website www.tenders.gov.au.
APRA consults extensively with regulated entities, industry bodies and other interested parties prior to formulating or amending prudential policies or finalising prudential standards or reporting standards.
APRA complies with the Government’s policy on best practice regulation. During 2015/16 APRA met the requirements of the Office of Best Practice Regulation (OBPR) for Regulation Impact Statements (one in number). In addition, APRA completed 23 preliminary assessments; of these, the OBPR advised that further regulatory impact analysis was required for six.
Courts and Tribunals
Over 2015/16, there were no judicial decisions that had, or may have, a significant effect on APRA’s operations, nor any court and tribunal decisions relating to enforcement action taken by APRA during the year.
The Executive Board comprises the APRA Members and meets formally on a monthly basis, and more frequently as required, to discuss and resolve the major prudential policy, supervisory and strategic issues.
* From 1 January 2016
To aid its day-to-day management of APRA, the Executive Board has established a number of committees and steering groups. During 2015/16, these groups are set out below.
Risk Management Committee
APRA’s risk management is overseen by the Risk Management Committee. Further information on APRA’s governance is provided in Chapter 2 - Governance.
Attendance at Risk Management Committee meetings from 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016
|Member||No. of meetings||No. attended|
The Audit Committee is responsible for providing independent assurance and advice to the APRA Chair on APRA’s financial and performance reporting responsibilities, systems of internal control and compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
Attendance at Audit Committee meetings from 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016
|Member||No. of meetings||No. attended|
|Peter Day (Chair)||4||4|
APRA Management Committee (AMC)
Responsible for high-level information-sharing and decisions on routine organisational matters, it met weekly or more frequently as required.
Policy Development Committee (PDC)
Responsible for providing guidance and direction on prudential policy and supervisory matters.
Enforcement Steering Group (ESG)
Responsible for ensuring that: a whole-of-APRA perspective is brought to potential and actual investigation and enforcement actions; a consistent approach is taken to any significant use of enforcement powers by areas within APRA; and there is effective oversight of ongoing enforcement actions.
Infrastructure Steering Group (ISG)
Responsible for overseeing the development of APRA’s physical and IT infrastructure and its business, financial and resource planning systems.
People and Culture Steering Group (PCSG)
Responsible for addressing initiatives on management and leadership, performance management, rewards and recognition, and APRA culture.
Supervision Steering Group (SSG)
Responsible for overseeing the development and integration of APRA’s supervisory approach, systems and tools.
Other committees and groups
Reporting to the above groups and committees are other more focused committees and groups, typically chaired by a General Manager. These include the following:
Reporting to the SSG, there are industry groups comprising representatives of the various divisions of APRA, covering each of APRA’s regulated industries:
- general insurance;
- life insurance (including friendly societies); and
- private health insurance.
These groups monitor industry developments so as to identify emerging risks and issues and act as a sounding board for prudential policy issues in the different industries.
Reporting to the SSG, this Committee provides APRA-wide guidance on issues that need to be considered in licensing submissions and, after consideration of an application, recommends action to the relevant delegate.
Reporting to the SSG, two committees coordinate APRA’s involvement with international bodies — one for banking and one for insurance. Their purpose is to: prioritise the allocation of resources for APRA’s involvement in international activities; coordinate consistent and timely responses to issues raised in the relevant international forums; and ensure information from international sources is communicated effectively within APRA.
Work Health and Safety Group
Reporting to the PCSG, this Group focusses on issues to do with the health, safety and wellbeing of staff, and ensures that these are integrated into broader management systems and practices.
Staff Consultative Group
Reporting to the PCSG, this Group facilitates communication and consultation with all APRA staff below the senior management level on the terms and conditions of their employment (including the Human Resources Policy Manual) and the impact of these on APRA’s organisational culture and values.
Reporting to the ISG, this Group is the key forum for maintaining strategic and operational oversight of APRA’s security policy and initiatives, and their implementation. Its main priority is to develop an overarching policy and governance strategy on all security matters affecting APRA and to take the measures necessary to implement the strategy.
The Commonwealth Grants Rules and Guidelines require agencies to publish details of grants on their websites within 14 working days after the funding agreement for the grant takes place. Details must remain on the websites for at least two financial years. Grant programs, including discretionary grant programs, that APRA either jointly administered or participated in during 2015/16, including previous recipients of the Brian Gray Scholarship and the University of New South Wales Cooperative Actuarial Scholarship, are available on APRA’s website at www.apra.gov.au/AboutAPRA/WorkingAtAPRA/Pages/brian-gray-scholarship-program.aspx
Information on grants awarded by APRA during 2015/16 is available at: www.apra.gov.au/AboutAPRA/Pages/StatutoryReportingRequirements.aspx Indemnities and insurance premiums APRA Members and officers are covered by the professional indemnity insurance cover of the Commonwealth-managed insurance scheme, Comcover. The generic terms and conditions of the insurance cover provided by Comcover to Commonwealth agencies are available on the Comcover website www.finance.gov.au/comcover. Under the conditions of the cover, APRA has an obligation to not disclose the nature and limits of liability and the amount of the premium.
Legal Services Directions 2005
The Legal Services Directions 2005 require Commonwealth agencies to make publicly available information on records of their legal services expenditure for the previous financial year. During 2015/16, APRA’s total expenditure on external legal advice and litigation services was $346,412.48 (excluding GST).
Avenues through which APRA is accountable to the Parliament include Parliament’s ad hoc and standing committees, and specific references on legislation or issues of particular interest to parliamentary committees.
During 2015/16, APRA Members and officers made themselves available for public hearings before the:
- House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics Inquiry into Home Ownership (6 August 2015);
- House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics reference on APRA’s Annual Report (23 October 2015 and 18 March 2016);
- Senate Standing Committee on Economics Inquiry into Matters Relating to Credit Card Interest Rates (27 August 2015);
- Senate Economics Legislation Committee (sitting as Senate Estimates) (22 October 2015 and 10 February 2016);
- Senate Economics Legislation Committee Inquiry to the Superannuation Legislation Amendment (Trustee Governance) Bill 2015 (28 October 2015);
- Senate Economics References Committee Inquiry on Cooperative, Mutual and Member Owned Firms (26 February 2016); and
- Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services, Inquiry into Impairment of Customer Loans (16 February 2016).
Copies of Opening Statements of APRA’s appearances delivered by APRA Members may be downloaded from APRA’s website www.apra.gov.au, and transcripts of APRA’s appearances and copies of its submissions to parliamentary committees are available from the Parliamentary website www.aph.gov.au.
APRA has a performance bonus system, designed in consultation with staff and management and covering all eligible employees. For 2015/16, the aggregate bonus pool was $5.68 million. Under deferred bonus arrangements introduced in the APRA Employment Agreement, 2015/16 bonuses are only paid to eligible staff still in APRA’s employ at the payment date.
There were no investigations by the Privacy Commissioner under section 40 of the Privacy Act 1988 during 2015/16. No reports were served under section 30 of the Act. The Privacy Commissioner made no determinations under section 52, nor did APRA seek any under section 73. There were no adverse or favourable comments made by the Privacy Commissioner in respect of APRA’s operations.
Privacy inquiries relating to APRA sent by post should be addressed to:
Freedom of Information Coordinator
Australian Prudential Regulation Authority
GPO Box 9836
Sydney NSW 2001
Or by phone: 02 9210 3000; fax: 02 9210 3424; or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Hon Scott Morrison MP, Treasurer of the Commonwealth of Australia, has portfolio responsibility for APRA. He is assisted in this role by the Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP, Minister for Revenue and Financial Services.
Additional statistics on APRA’s staffing are presented in Chapter 5 – APRA’s Resources and Risk Management.
Staff by location and full-time/part-time as at 30 June 2016
Staff by division and full-time/part-time as at 30 June 2016
|Policy and Advice||69||10||79|
* From 1 July 2015 a new organisational structure was introduced.
Full-time equivalent (FTE) staff strength as at 30 June 2016
Agency resources and expense by outcome
Under the Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies and other Non-corporate Commonwealth Entities, issued by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, APRA must provide information outlining its various funding sources during the financial year and total expenses for each agency outcome. To this end, APRA’s Agency Resource Statement and Expenses by Outcome Statement for 2015/16 are set out below.
Agency Resources Statement
|Actual available appropriation
|Ordinary annual services|
|Total ordinary annual services||9,846||11,023||(1,177)|
|Total available annual appropriations and payments||A||9,846||11,023||(1,177)|
|Special appropriation receipts||125,295|
|MoG change - Private health insurance (cash)||3,794|
|MoG change - Private health insurance (equity)||(2,821)|
|Total Special Account||B||202,730||143,500||59,230|
|Total resources and payments|
|Less appropriations drawn from annual or special appropriations above and credited to special accounts||9,846||11,023||(1,177)|
|Total net resourcing and payments for APRA||202,730||143,500||59,230|
Expenses by Outcome Statement
Outcome 1: Enhanced public confidence in Australia’s financial institutions through a framework of prudential regulation which balances financial safety and efficiency, competition, contestability and competitive neutrality.
|Program 1.1: Australian Prudential Regulation Authority|
|Other services (Appropriation Bill No. 2)||-||-||-|
|Total expenses for Outcome1||125,118||135,411||(10,293)|
|Actual 2015/16||Actual 2014/15||Variation|
|Average staffing level (number)||599||566||33|
1 Departmental appropriation combines ‘Ordinary annual services (Appropriation Bill No.1) ‘and ‘Revenue from independent sources’.