The Waste Authority acted to formalise and make public its governance arrangements during 2010, in accordance with Public Sector Commission guidelines. The legislative underpinning of ethical, accountable and transparent behaviour for the Waste Authority lies within several Acts of Parliament: the Public Sector Management Act 1994; Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Act 2007; Financial Management Act 2006; Auditor General Act 2006 and the Criminal Code. The Waste Authority governance framework is based on information and recommendations from the Public Sector Commission.
The Waste Authority demonstrates its accountability and transparency in several ways. It has approved a Code of Conduct and a Conflict of Interest Policy. Authority Members actively participate in considering conflicts of interest and disclose interests in accordance with their policy. While ensuring that official information remains confidential, in accordance with the Code of Conduct, the Waste Authority seeks to ensure transparency via:
- proactive disclosure of relevant information through readily accessible records on the website
- informal disclosure of information by request to the Office of the Waste Authority or the Chairman
- formal disclosure of information through FOI application, handled by the Department of Environment and Conservation on behalf of the Waste Authority.
Promoting freedom of information, consultation and community and stakeholder participation in the formulation and implementation of the Waste Strategy are major elements of the Authority’s accountability framework. These elements are proposed by international accountability agencies as the keys to demonstrating public accountability.
The Waste Authority is required to develop a business plan for expenditure on programs outlined in the Waste Strategy. All expenditure is subject to Ministerial approval and, once that approval is given, the business plan is published on the website. The Waste Authority’s grants, sponsorships and strategic partnerships are subject to the highest Government standards of governance oversight and are reported on directly and via the website.
The Waste Authority Charter outlines its role, relationships, operations and procedures. In addition, the Waste Authority provides a newsletter following its monthly meetings in order to keep stakeholders and the community informed. In accordance with Public Sector requirements and the provisions of the WARR Act, the Waste Authority provides an annual report for the Minister for Environment to table in Parliament