Reserve Bank of Australia Annual Report – 2019 Statutory Reporting Requirements

The Reserve Bank has a number of statutory reporting requirements that extend beyond its policy objectives and cover areas such as equal employment opportunity, work health and safety, environmental performance, freedom of information and procurement.

The statutory reporting obligations applying to the Reserve Bank, including those that are covered elsewhere in this report, are identified in the ‘Statutory Reporting Requirements Index’.

Equal Employment Opportunity

The Reserve Bank is committed to ensuring that all employees are treated with respect and dignity, and experience equal opportunity throughout their careers with the Bank. This commitment is underpinned by a strong emphasis on embedding the Bank's values across all organisational practices and through its Diversity and Inclusion Plan. The Bank's policies and procedures embed equity, diversity and inclusion principles in work practices.

The Reserve Bank's Diversity and Inclusion Program is overseen by the Executive Committee, in consultation with the Diversity and Inclusion Council, which is responsible for monitoring the development and implementation of diversity and inclusion initiatives, policies and practices in the Bank. Full details and outcomes of the 2018/19 Diversity and Inclusion Program are provided in the Bank's Equity & Diversity Annual Report 2019, which will be tabled in the Parliament in accordance with the requirement under the Equal Employment Opportunity (Commonwealth Authorities) Act 1987.

The Equity & Diversity Annual Report 2018, which reported on the Bank's diversity profile and progress on the diversity program in 2017/18, was tabled in the Parliament on 20 September 2018.

Work Health and Safety, Compensation and Rehabilitation

The Reserve Bank is committed to maintaining and improving the safety, health and wellbeing of its employees. The Bank fosters a safety culture that focuses on the Bank's work health and safety (WHS) risk profile through preventative and proactive due diligence and practices. The Reserve Bank Board and the Bank's executives receive regular reports on WHS matters to assist them in exercising their duty of care.

During the year in review, the Reserve Bank identified several key areas of strategic focus:

  • The Bank committed to ensuring its senior leaders, particularly those new to executive roles, received due diligence training on their WHS obligations.
  • The Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategic Plan remained an ongoing initiative, with a focus on people leadership capability, mental health awareness and peer support. A range of health and wellbeing programs sought to increase employee awareness and engagement to support health and wellbeing in the workplace.
  • The implementation of a new Risk Management System has facilitated a standardised Bank-wide approach to collating and managing WHS risks and incidents.

The Reserve Bank continued to implement initiatives to maximise the physical and psychological health of employees through promotion of positive health outcomes and prevention of potential health risks, including:

  • physical health activities, such as fitness classes at Head Office, an annual health challenge, encouraging staff to take two-week blocks of leave, influenza vaccinations and health checks for senior managers and executives
  • mental health initiatives, such as mental health supportive leadership training, access to the Bank's Employee Assistance Program, awareness-raising activities and seminars on topics related to mental health and wellbeing.

There were 79 WHS incidents reported in 2018/19, 25 per cent lower than in the previous year. The most common cause of incidents were sporting injuries sustained during breaks (15 per cent), incidents involving contractors (13 per cent) and slips, trips and falls (11 per cent).

There were three accepted workers' compensation claims in 2018/19, all of which related to workplace injuries. The Reserve Bank's Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate (number of lost time injuries per million hours worked) decreased in 2018/19 to 1.8 from 2.2 in the previous year, reflecting the lower number of reported incidents.

Six internal WHS investigations were conducted in 2018/19, relating to incidents that either caused moderate harm or had the potential to cause harm to a staff member. The investigations indicated that there were no systemic issues that would point to deficiencies in the way the Bank manages health and safety. Three of these were electrical incidents and were reported to Comcare, which assessed that no investigations were warranted. As a result, no investigations were made into the Bank's businesses or undertakings by Comcare during 2018/19, and no improvement, prohibition or non-disturbance notices were issued by Comcare under Part 10 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act).

The Reserve Bank is a Licensed Authority under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 19 8 8 . This licence requires the Bank to report to the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission each year on WHS and workers' compensation and rehabilitation matters as they affect the Bank. Compliance with the relevant legislation – and the conditions of the Bank's licence as a Licensed Authority – was validated during the period by external audits of the Bank's safety, compensation and rehabilitation arrangements. The Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission subsequently confirmed that the Bank retained the highest rating for its prevention, claims management and rehabilitation practices in each area for 2018/19.

Summary of Notifiable Incidents, Investigations and Notices under the WHS Act
Action 2018/19 2017/18
Death of a person that required notice to Comcare under section 35 0 0
Serious injury or illness of a person that required notice to Comcare under section 35 0 1
Dangerous incident that required notice to Comcare under section 35 3 3
Internal investigations conducted 6 9
Investigations conducted under Part 10 0 0
Notices given to RBA under section 90 (provisional improvement notices) 0 0
Notices given to RBA under section 191 (improvement notices) 0 0
Notices given to RBA under section 195 (prohibition notices) 0 0
Directions given to RBA under section 198 (non-disturbance notices) 0 0

Source: RBA

In 2018/19, the Australian Postal Corporation provided claims management and rehabilitation services to the Bank, along with reconsideration services and Administrative Appeals Tribunal/ Federal Court representation.

Ecologically Sustainable Development and Environmental Performance

The Reserve Bank is committed to improving the environmental performance of its operations. The Bank has developed policies and practices that are consistent with the principles of ecologically sustainable development as set out in the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. These policies serve to minimise the impact of the Bank's activities on the environment by:

  • increasing the use of renewable energy sources
  • creating a culture of continuous environmental improvement, with an initial focus on energy utilisation
  • exploring and implementing initiatives to enhance the Bank's sustainability and environmental performance
  • incorporating sustainability and environmental aspects in the Bank's building designs and operations
  • improving management of waste streams.

Specific improvements to the performance of the infrastructure of the Reserve Bank's buildings in 2018/19 included:

  • continued energy data monitoring and analysis to enable energy usage optimisation
  • progressive implementation of efficiency improvements to optimise energy usage for data centres at the Bank's Head Office and Business Resumption Site
  • ongoing implementation of LED lighting across all sites, reducing electricity consumption for lighting needs.

Electricity consumption at the Reserve Bank-operated sites increased by 1.2 per cent in 2018/19, compared with the preceding year.[1] This reflects higher usage associated with the continued increase in operational loads at the National Banknote Site and the Bank's data centres as a result of new systems coming into operation. Gas consumption in 2018/19 was 2 per cent lower compared with the previous year, as a result of further optimising the heating and domestic hot water systems. Water consumption in 2018/19 was 17 per cent lower than the previous year, reflecting the continuous improvement focus for site operations.

Freedom of Information (FOI)

The Reserve Bank is an Australian Government agency subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act). As required by Part II of the FOI Act, the Bank publishes information as part of the Information Publication Scheme (IPS). Details of the Bank's obligations under the FOI Act and the IPS can be found on the Bank's website.[2]

The Bank received 25 requests for access to documents under the FOI Act in 2018/19. Access was granted in part in relation to three requests, and was denied in relation to two requests. No relevant documents were found in response to seven requests and five requests were withdrawn. Eight requests (all received in June 2019) were outstanding at the end of the financial year and were finalised by the end of July. Information that was released in response to FOI access requests was published on the Reserve Bank's website, as required by the FOI Act, with RSS feeds to these releases also available.

One application was received for the internal review of an FOI decision made by the Reserve Bank in 2018/19. In accordance with the FOI Act, a fresh decision was made (affirming the original decision).

The estimated amount of staff time spent dealing with all aspects of FOI requests in 2018/19 was around 212 hours, compared with around 171 hours in 2017/18. The total cost to the Reserve Bank of administering the FOI Act in 2018/19 is estimated to have been about $61,500, compared with $44,800 in the previous year. Processing charges of $150 were received in 2018/19.


The Reserve Bank is one of the corporate Commonwealth entities ‘prescribed’ under section 30 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Rule 2014, and is therefore required to apply the Commonwealth Procurement Rules (CPRs) when performing duties relating to certain procurements with an expected value exceeding $400,000 for non-construction services and $7.5 million for construction services. The CPRs require public reporting of certain activities on the Commonwealth's AusTender website. For the reporting period, the Reserve Bank notified the award of 28 contracts and three procurement opportunities. The reported procurement opportunities were for co-sourced IT audit services, an IT network security application and data centre cabling.

For other procurements, the Reserve Bank follows the principles contained in the CPRs. Their broad objective is to ensure that all goods and services procured by the Bank support its policy and operational responsibilities in an efficient and cost-effective manner, and that effective process accountability and probity applies.

The Bank is also subject to new legislation that came into force in 2018/19, namely the Government Procurement (Judicial Review) Act 2018 and the Modern Slavery Act 2018. Relevant policies and procedures have been amended to incorporate the requirements of the new legislation.

Other Statutory Reporting Obligations

Ministerial directions

The Reserve Bank received no directions from its responsible Minister (the Treasurer) or from any other Minister during 2018/19.

Government policy orders

No government policy orders under section 22 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act) applied in relation to the Reserve Bank during 2018/19.

Compliance with finance law

No issues relating to non-compliance by the Reserve Bank with the finance law were reported to the Bank's responsible Minister (the Treasurer) under paragraph 19(1)(e) of the PGPA Act.

Transactions with related entities

In accordance with the PGPA Act, the Reserve Bank is required to disclose certain transactions with related entities. During 2018/19, the Reserve Bank donated $50,000 to the Financial Markets Foundation for Children, which is managed by a Board of Directors chaired by the Governor of the Reserve Bank. The Bank has made an annual donation of $50,000 to the Foundation since 2002/03; the decision to continue making this donation is subject to annual review by the Bank.

Significant activities or changes affecting the Reserve Bank

There were no significant activities or changes that affected the operations or structure of the Reserve Bank in 2018/19.

Judicial decisions or decisions of administrative tribunals

There were no judicial decisions or decisions of administrative tribunals made during 2018/19 that have had, or may have, a significant effect on the operations of the Reserve Bank.


Melbourne office data have been excluded from the comparisons following the divestment of this property. [1]

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