Overview

At IP Australia we look at risk and its management from two perspectives; one that considers events that may have a negative impact on our business (i.e. threats), and one that considers embracing some level of risk as an opportunity.

Under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013, the Director General has overall responsibility for ensuring an appropriate risk management framework is in place and managing our risk performance.

IP Australia’s risk management framework comprises:

  • Accountable Authority Instructions—sets out instructions from the Director General regarding managing risk within IP Australia.
  • Risk Management Policy and Framework—defines IP Australia’s approach to the management of risk, including our attitude to and objectives for risk management.
  • Risk Management Plan—ensures that risk management processes are efficiently integrated into day-to-day work.
  • Risk objectives, appetites, and tolerances—the framework used by IP Australia to measure risk.
  • Information sheets—provide a pragmatic, simple and consistent approach to help staff manage risk.

IP Australia’s Executive Board is responsible for overseeing implementation of the risk management framework, with all staff responsible for the day-to-day management of risk. The Executive Board reviews strategic risks on a quarterly basis, identifying, managing and monitoring strategic risks that could impact agency objectives. IP Australia’s Audit Committee also provides the Director General with independent advice and assurance as to the appropriateness of IP Australia’s system of risk oversight and management in accordance with the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Rule 2014.

IP Australia reviewed its risk management framework in 2020–21, as a part of ongoing efforts to raise its level of risk maturity. The revised framework was endorsed by the Executive Board in February 2021 with enhancements to the framework to be implemented throughout 2021–22.

Risk appetite

IP Australia’s risk appetite involves effectively managing uncertainty, not only avoiding or eliminating risk. Our risk appetite allows us to consider opportunities that involve the acceptance of some risk. Accordingly, IP Australia is prepared to pursue, retain or accept risk that has been well considered, thoroughly assessed and is managed and monitored appropriately. This is done in an open and transparent manner to reduce threats and seize opportunities for the benefit of the organisation.

Strategic risks

IP Australia faces a broad range of risks reflecting its responsibilities as an administrator and service provider for Australia’s IP rights system. The following categories of strategic risk are used by the Executive Board to measure and monitor threats and opportunities that may impact the achievement of IP Australia’s strategic objectives and purpose.

Risk Category Risk Definition Risk Response

IP ecosystem IP Australia is committed to fostering a thriving IP ecosystem that inspires and encourages innovation, achieves government objectives relating to jobs and growth and adds value to the global IP community. We uphold the integrity of the system and keep it safe from abuse. We have established processes for the identification and prioritisation of policy issues to ensure the IP legislative framework keeps pace with what we are doing, and what is happening within the broader IP ecosystem, including through our International Engagement Strategy.
 

Confidence

In carrying out our responsibilities as an administrator and service provider for Australia’s IP rights system, we are committed to maintaining public confidence in our delivery of high-quality IP rights. Our customers must have trust in the value of IP, have confidence in our ability to meet their needs, be able to easily interact with our services, and have access to accurate information and data.

The production of high quality IP rights is critical to our work and is supported through the implementation of our Quality Management System. Our strong commitment to customer service is measured annually against our Customer Service Charter commitments.

IP Australia’s Information and Data Committee is responsible for the governance of information and data management within the Agency.

 

Customer and Stakeholder Engagement IP Australia must engage effectively with a diverse range of customers and stakeholders, domestically and internationally. Our approach is to focus on collaboration and meaningful engagement to improve our effectiveness, performance, and expand our sphere of influence. IP Australia’s Communication and Partnerships Committee is responsible for the growth and sustainment of relationships with customers, stakeholders and partners.
 

Governance IP Australia is responsible for meeting and administering our legislative responsibilities, fulfilling the Commonwealth’s policy agenda, adhering to our Accountable Authority Instructions, and maintaining relevant certifications. We have established frameworks, and underpinning policies and procedures, to govern IP Australia in accordance with our legislative obligations. The Executive Board has responsibility for overseeing implementation, and we make use of our annual internal audit program to provide independent advice and assurance.
 

Financial IP Australia’s mandate as an agency is cost recovery rather than profit. We take a strategic approach to investment to ensure our long-term sustainability and build our capacity to adapt to the changing needs of our customers and stakeholders. Our established governance arrangements, financial management practices and internal controls, enable us to monitor, manage and report on our entity’s financial performance, sustainability and deliverables against strategic objectives. These activities are overseen by IP Australia’s Investment, ICT and Property Committee.
 

Workforce IP Australia utilises its diverse, agile and capable workforce to deliver value to the Australian community, and international partners. We aim to be an employer of choice at the forefront of flexible working solutions. We have established a Strategic Workforce Plan and People Strategy to inform leveraging our existing workforce and determining how we can meet future workforce needs. The Workforce Strategy Committee oversees the governance of workforce issues.