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Internal and external scrutiny

Internal audit

An external service provider, RSM Bird Cameron, delivers internal audit services to the Museum under a service contract. The major reviews completed by the internal auditors during 2009–10 included:

  • financial compliance
  • certificate of compliance
  • asset management
  • review of general IT environment controls
  • review of risk controls.

External audit

The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) is responsible for auditing the Museum's annual financial statements. An unqualified audit opinion precedes the annual financial statements in Part Four of this report.

Risk management and fraud control

The Museum's risk management framework has been developed in accordance with the Australian Standard 4360: Risk Management. The aim of the risk management framework is to assist all managers and supervisors to incorporate formal risk management processes into their work to enable the efficient and effective delivery of the Museum's programs, and to promote sound business practices. The Museum's risk management framework focuses on categories including occupational health and safety (OHS), preservation of the National Historical Collection, damage to the building and infrastructure, financial loss, loss of reputation and damage to the environment.

A new International Standard on Risk Management was released in late 2009 and the Museum engaged a consultant to assist in the review and upgrade of its existing risk management framework to ensure that it meets the new standard, ISO31000, as well as Comcover's Better Practice Guide on Risk Management. The review was completed in June 2010 and the Museum will implement the recommendations during 2010–11.

The Museum's dedicated Risk Management unit is committed to fostering a culture of risk management throughout the organisation and, within an overall risk management framework, maintains and advises on:

  • risk management policy
  • strategic and corporate risk registers
  • business unit risk management planning
  • event risk management
  • guidance material, including risk management plan templates and a risk ratings matrix.

The Museum's Strategic Risk Management Plan was reviewed during the year by the Council's Audit, Finance and Risk Committee. Divisional and business unit risk management plans were also reviewed as part of the annual review process and the Museum also participated in Comcover's Annual Risk Management and Insurance Benchmarking program.

The Museum has in place fraud prevention, detection, investigation, reporting and data collection procedures and processes which, together with the Fraud Risk Assessment and Control Plan, meet the specific needs of the Museum and comply with the Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines.

The Museum's Fraud Risk Assessment and Control Plan is endorsed by the Council's Audit, Finance and Risk Committee and reviewed every two years. The Museum provides fraud awareness training to staff as part of its induction training program and general awareness training to all staff.

Freedom of information

The Freedom of Information Act 1982 requires each Commonwealth Government agency to publish a statement setting out its role, structure and functions; listing the documents available for public inspection; and advising how to access such documents. This statement is available in Appendix 8. There were no formal requests for access to documents under Section 15 of the Act during 2009–10.

Privacy legislation

The Museum provides information as required to the Privacy Commissioner for inclusion in the Personal Information Digest. No reports by the Privacy Commissioner under Section 30 of the Privacy Act 1988 concerning actions or practices by the Museum were received during 2009–10.

Formal decisions/notifications/ministerial directions

The Museum received no formal notifications or ministerial directions from the Finance Minister during 2009–10.

Ministerial directions that continue to apply in 2009–10 from previous financial years relate to the:

  • Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines
  • Certificate of Compliance Report requirements.

Significant events

The Museum did not advise the Minister of any significant events during 2009–10 in accordance with the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997.

Legal actions

In 2009–10 the Museum did not settle any claims as a result of any legal action.


No new issues or matters about the Museum were referred to, or raised with, the Commonwealth Ombudsman's Office.

A museum visitor host explains the Garden of Australian Dreams to two visitors. Behind them them is an open area with markings on the ground - a miniature asphalt roadway is painted on the ground and runs diagonally across the image. The Museum's building in the background with the orange loop visible above the roofline.
Museum host, Vicky Rovolis, interprets the Garden of Australian Dreams for visitors.

A focus on client service

The Museum's Client Service Charter (see Appendix 9) is available to the public as a brochure and on the Museum's website.

During the year the Museum received 281 written comments from visitors using the Client Service Charter feedback form. Comments covered services, programs, exhibitions, the building and facilities. This represents a decrease of 42 per cent over the number received in 2008–09. The decrease can be attributed to a reduced number of comments on the new Australian Journeys gallery and the redeveloped Circa theatre as well as an increase in feedback received through the info@nma email address, which increased by 59 per cent to 1067 in 2009–10.

The majority of the feedback was positive, reporting successful visits to the permanent galleries and temporary exhibitions. Visitors also commented on the positive contribution the Museum was making to reconciliation in Australia through Indigenous exhibitions and programs. Wayfinding issues again represented the largest proportion of negative feedback.

Some changes to the Museum's services, amenities and exhibitions were made as a result of visitors' comments, including:

  • improved accessibility for visitors with special needs
  • further improvements in lighting in permanent and temporary exhibition areas
  • expansion of cloakroom facilities.

Positive references to the service provided by the visitor services hosts were the most common visitor comments recorded through the Charter, accounting for over 19 per cent of all feedback received in 2009–10.

All new employees are made aware of the Client Service Charter in the Museum's Orientation Day New Starters program, and it was included in detail in the induction and training sessions provided to new and existing visitor services staff.

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