The PHBG understands that the community wants to keep the costs of administering the organisation to a minimum. At the same time, the nature of the funding model under which the PHBG operates has set high expectations for reporting (relative to the turnover and size of the organisation) from members of the public, politicians and bureaucrats. New occupational health and safety legislation will create additional demands for documented processes and accountability.
In 2020, the Office of the Auditor General revisited the administration of biosecurity with the recommendation that DPIRD ‘develop an evaluation framework and performance indicators for pest management programs, including for recognised biosecurity groups (RBGs)’. DPIRD supported this recommendation with an implementation timeframe of September 2021. Subsequently, a review of funding mechanisms for biosecurity was initiated by the Biosecurity Council of Western Australia, with the outcomes yet to be publicly released. A review of the administration of the Declared Pest Account was initiated by DPIRD in mid-2021 (under the project, Strengthening Community Action to Manage Declared Pests) with additional reporting requirements presently being rolled out or in the pipeline for RBGs. This is placing additional administrative requirements on the PHBG.
This project has been put in place to accommodate additional reporting demands, particularly in relation to the submission of a highly detailed annual operational plan (The operational plan template also includes a requirement for detailed documentation of day to day communications of the organisation) which is to be made publicly available. It is important to note that the PHBG has invested considerable effort in the past to clarify reporting expectations relating to the Declared Pest Account. This effort has been replicated across the state by other RBG’s, with groups now working together to represent common concerns and seek consistent responses, particularly in relation to the presentation of financial accounts for the DPA.