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Reporting against the Framework

Flexible implementation

Under this Framework, departments are encouraged to reflect on, and work towards improving, how they enable self-determination. To do this, each department will complete an annual report against this Framework. This chapter sets out the reporting requirements and provides a guidance template.

Why an annual reporting mechanism?

Annual reports provide a way for departments to assess their contributions to self-determination reform. The reporting mechanism allows departments to collate relevant actions that are occurring across existing strategies, as well as changes being made across internal operations and service delivery, without the need to draft a new document.

This mechanism is designed to be a valuable tool for departments to identify areas of strength and gaps in strategy, as well as review whether departmental actions align with the self-determination enablers. It will also ensure that departments are all working towards the agreed whole of government priorities. It is also intended to encourage knowledge sharing across departments to develop best practice for progressing self-determination.

What if my department has already completed a Departmental Action Plan (DAP)?

Departments may choose to implement a DAP, like those completed under the previous VGAIF. This approach recognises that departments may demonstrate commitment to self-determination through a range of approaches, such as: DAPs, Aboriginal Employment Plans, Strategic Action Plans and/or Aboriginal Cultural Safety Plans.

This Framework, including the reporting template, asks departments to strategically consider how best to articulate their efforts to enable self-determination. By having a living Framework and asking departments to complete annual reporting, government has flexibility to adapt to new approaches.

Assessing against the self-determination continuum

The questions in the reporting template are designed to be reflective and ask departments to consider where they are currently in relation to enabling and implementing Aboriginal self-determination reform. Further planning and reporting may be needed to meet departmental requirements for certain actions and progress against the self-determination enablers.

To encourage reflection and innovation, whole of government and departmental actions will be considered against the self-determination continuum (articulated in the VAAF, Figure 6). The continuum recognises that government transformation is a process of continual improvement, and that government should actively build its capability to enable Aboriginal self-determination. It also acknowledges that different policies, initiatives and strategies across government are at different stages of advancing self-determination.

Figure 6. Continuum towards Aboriginal self-determination

Continuum towards Aboriginal self-determination includes inform, consult, collaborate, partnership, co-ownership and decision-making and resources control

Departmental Reporting Template

Questions in bold provide a recommended structure for departmental reporting, to
ensure consistency across government. Text is for guidance and provides
additional information.

Section 1

What do you say publicly about your commitment to self-determination?

  • How does the department demonstrate its commitment to enabling self-determination?
  • How does the department communicate and support its workforce, policies, programs and funded organisations to meet these expectations?
  • This may take the form of a variety of difference documents, such as: standalone policy, practice guide or statement.

How do you ensure the systematic application of the self-determination guiding principles in the development of policy, programs and initiatives?

  • The self-determination guiding principles (page 7) set a minimum standard for how all action to enable self-determination should be conducted.
  • For example, the department may develop an overarching policy, or a process to be applied to all departmental initiatives, to ensure the guiding principles are applied.

Do you have examples or case studies of approaches that have enabled or hindered enabling self-determination across the department?

  • Departments, policies, strategies and initiatives across government are all at different stages of advancing self-determination. There are many examples of promising practice across government, as well as initiatives that have faced challenges.
  • Sharing examples of initiatives that have enabled self-determination, as well as those that have been less effective in achieving positive outcomes, will enabledepartments to learn from each other.

Section 2
Actions – Whole of Government and Departmental

Please respond to these questions for each goal of the four reform domains (People, Systems, Outcomes, Accountability).

Consider departmental specific actions as well as the department’s contribution to whole of government actions. DPC will coordinate reporting against whole of government actions, based on departmental reports and additional requests for information as necessary.

What actions is the department currently undertaking to achieve the goal?

  • Reference relevant actions the department is undertaking in its approach to achieve the goal.
  • Consider the department’s policies, programs or initiatives related to enabling self-determination.
  • How is each action consistent with the VAAF’s self-determination enablers and guiding principles?
  • How has the department worked with the Aboriginal community to develop and implement actions?
  • Where does each action sit on the continuum towards self-determination? How will the department provide Aboriginal Victorians with the opportunity to progress each action further along the continuum in the future?

What outcomes has the department seen because of these actions?

  • Consider whether the actions have been successful and had the intended effect in enabling self-determination. If the actions have not been successful, consider why this could be.

How can the department improve its actions to achieve the goal?

  • What are the gaps between the department’s actions, and achieving the goal? What is causing these gaps, and how do you plan to address these gaps?
  • How can you add, change or stop certain actions to ensure you are better working towards the goal? What policies, programs and initiatives can you implement to progress further?

Monitoring and accountability

Annual departmental reporting

This Framework is designed to be dynamic, with actions that are updated over time as the public sector becomes more advanced and proficient at embedding approaches to enable greater self-determination into its core business. Departments will report yearly on their self-determination reform to encourage regular reflection, collaboration and innovation.

Departments will create the first report against this Framework by 30 June 2020, with regular reporting to occur annually. This will be an opportunity for departments to consider what they are currently doing to enable self-determination, and how that fits within the values of the VAAF and this Framework. Through this process, departments will then identify any strengths to build on and maintain, gaps and/or opportunities, and focus attention on planning how to achieve structural change in line with this Framework.

In addition to reporting on their departmental specific actions, each department will report on their contributions to whole of government actions. DPC will coordinate reporting against whole of government actions based on information provided by departments and further requests for information as necessary. Through this process, government will continue to engage with key stakeholders and Aboriginal governance forums to ensure that work to enable and advance self-determination remains consistent, coordinated and in line with community expectations over time.

The role of Secretaries’ Leadership Group (SLG) on Aboriginal Affairs

SLG will act as the governance body for monitoring progress and approving strategic direction under this Framework. Annual departmental reports, as well as reporting on whole of government actions coordinated by DPC, will be provided to SLG and will inform reporting under the VGAAR. SLG will then review progress towards enabling self-determination including successes and challenges across government.

The role of the Aboriginal-led Evaluation and Review Mechanism

In 2019, DPC is developing an Aboriginal-led Evaluation and Review Mechanism in partnership with Aboriginal Victorians. The VAAF states that the Mechanism will track government’s progress against the VAAF, including qualitative reporting on efforts to progress the self-determination guiding principles and enablers. The broader nature and scope of the Mechanism’s role is still to be determined in partnership with Aboriginal Victorians. However, once the Mechanism is operational, it will take on a role in evaluating and reviewing this Framework and its associated reporting, as committed to in the VAAF.