Implementation of the Recommendations of the Review and Audit of Western Australia's Overseas Trade and Investment Offices
Implementing improvements to deliver dynamic and collaborative international offices to strengthen and diversify the WA economy.
The Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation was created in 2017 as the State’s lead economic development agency with capacity to operate effectively in both domestic and offshore markets, establishing relationships, marketing the State’s diverse capabilities and attracting investment.
The department also became responsible for managing all eight of Western Australia’s International Trade and Investment Offices, the first time they have all been managed by a single agency.
In early 2019 two independent reports were commissioned on the international offices to guide the department’s plans to strengthen the State’s ability to attract investment and grow trade. The two reports form the most comprehensive review of the offices’ operations in 20 years.
The Western Australia's Overseas Trade and Investment Offices Review analysed the purpose and function, compliance, architecture, culture and performance of all eight offices and the department.
The Internal Audit of the International Trade and Investment Offices examined expenditure over the last six years, existing controls to prevent and detect fraud, and the remuneration, entitlements and travel of all Commissioners and Agent Generals over the last ten years.
A third report was commissioned in 2019 to cover the overseas offices under the management of Tourism Western Australia. The Internal Audit of the Overseas Offices of Tourism Western Australia examined expenditure over the last six years, existing controls for expenditure and the overall level of potential fraud risk.
Following the release of the reports the then Director General, Rebecca Brown, committed to developing an implementation plan to reform the trade office network and maximise the benefits the offices deliver for Western Australians.
The implementation plan has been finalised and is being actioned by the department. The progress of the plan will be formally reviewed in June 2022.
The plan consolidates the 100 recommendations of the audits and review into 20 strategic and operational reform actions.
While long-lasting, effective change will take time, the reform journey is well underway. Initiatives to be completed by the end of 2020 include the development of market plans for each of the overseas offices and the implementation of a department-wide finance system that will facilitate financial decision-making and accountability across all international offices.