The department's governance framework has five key elements:
- effective leadership
- capable management
- diligent performance monitoring
- responsible risk management
- clear accountability and responsibility
The Executive Leadership Group provides long term direction and clear performance expectations for the organisation. The development and promotion of the department's Corporate Plan (2009 - 2012) and organisational values is one of the primary mechanisms through which this is achieved. The inclusion of performance targets is a central component of business planning and the ongoing monitoring of performance against these targets encourages the effective and efficient achievement of objectives. Responsibility and accountability for the achievement of performance targets is further reinforced through the devolution of financial and human resource delegations to supervisory and middle level managers. This enables managers to take local responsibility and be accountable for their decisions. This devolution of authority is strongly supported by the provision of management training across the organisation.
Collaboration with stakeholders and accessing a broad range of specialist advice are essential inputs for effective governance. Considerable benefit is obtained from a range of specialist groups consisting of departmental and non-departmental members: Clinical Reference Groups, Department and Unions Consultative Committee and the Audit Committee. Also providing vital expert advice are a number of high level advisors: Principal Medical Advisor, Principal Nursing Advisor, Principal Aboriginal Health Worker, and Principal Allied Health Advisor. These groups and individuals complete a comprehensive governance structure that actively influences policy and the strategic direction of health and community services.
Clinical governance, a particularly important component of the department's overall governance, is considered as a 'framework which ensures the highest possible safety and quality of clinical care'. Care is delivered by front-line staff with a strong sense of professional responsibility. Executive and senior management accept that they have a key responsibility for the quality of services delivered by DoH and that accountability for this is shared with those clinicians and other professionals providing services. Where possible, services should be based on locally applicable evidence of effectiveness and safety. The Executive and managers at all levels (including senior clinicians and other professionals with management responsibilities) ensure that:
- an environment promoting evidence-based practice and fostering safety, quality and continuous improvement, operates across the department
- critical incidents are monitored, effective responses are developed to address these and regular reports on quality are provided to managers
- the risk of deficiencies in service quality are identified and unacceptable risks are effectively addressed
- independent accreditation/certification is sought where appropriate
- DoH works collaboratively with staff and all stakeholders, including consumers, to improve safety and quality across the organisation.