Commissioner for Superannuation
2010-11 Annual Report
Section 2B: Corporate governance
In this section:
During 2010-11, ComSuper's Project Management Office continued to review areas for improvement to the processes and governance framework of project management.
One of these improvements was the approval of ComSuper's P3M3 Capability Improvement Plan. This Plan was prepared in response to an Australian Government directive that agencies undertake an assessment and prepare a plan to commission, manage and realise benefits from Information Communications Technology (ICT) enabled investments. ComSuper's P3M3 Capability Improvement Plan includes the activities that need to be completed to achieve the targeted ratings in Portfolio, Programs and Projects.
A review of the Project Management Framework was also undertaken in order to adopt a stronger focus for the implementation of good project management practices. ComSuper's PMO has incorporated the strengths of both PRINCE2 and the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) as part of this revised framework to be applied across projects.
Superannuation Administration Reform (SAR) Program
On 26 November 2009, the then Minister for Finance and Deregulation, The Hon. Lindsay Tanner, announced the outcomes of a review (scoping study) into the administration and governance of Australian Government superannuation schemes. Key announcements were:
- The administration of the Public Sector Superannuation Accumulation Plan (PSSap) scheme would be outsourced to an
- The legislative base for ComSuper's operations would be clarified and updated
- The government would invest $22.4m to improve member data, IT infrastructure and administration systems.
The review complemented other announced reforms in public sector superannuation arrangements – notably, the formation of a single trustee board – the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation (CSC).
The Department of Finance and Deregulation (Finance) has overall and financial responsibility for the Superannuation Administration Reform (SAR) Program and chairs a SAR Steering Committee comprising Finance and ComSuper officers which oversights the Program. The SAR Program of work covers five concurrent projects as set out below.
1. Outsourcing of the Public Sector Superannuation Accumulation Plan (PSSap)
Following a comprehensive tender and evaluation process conducted in late 2010/early 2011, ComSuper entered into a contract with the Pillar Administration to provide administration services for the PSSap scheme.
Pillar, a NSW state-owned corporation with its main operations centre in Coniston, Wollongong, will commence providing administration services for the PSSap scheme in late 2011.
On contract signing, ComSuper and Pillar commenced a detailed transition process.
2. Data quality
During 2010-11, an external data quality adviser provided a detailed assessment of the quality of ComSuper's data holdings. Remediation work for the PSSap scheme was given highest priority to facilitate the successful transition to a new administration services provider in late 2011. Analysis and remediation continued during 2010-11 for the balance of the identified data quality risks and issues. Three transformational projects are being developed to address data quality and system risks and issues.
These projects comprise:
- Contributions Transformation Project – to address data quality issues relating to contributions from employer agencies
- Capital Transformation Project – to upgrade system platform and functionality (Capital is the administration system used for military schemes and pensions)
- ComSAS Transformation Project – to upgrade system platform and functionality (ComSAS is the administration system used for the CSS and PSS schemes).
3. Business continuity and disaster recovery
ComSuper fully achieved and tested a robust business continuity and disaster recovery capability during 2010-11.
The focus during 2010-11 was to finalise the integration of business continuity and disaster recovery and test these arrangements. ComSuper conducted three auditor observed tests for the Incident Management Team (IMT) and Disaster Recovery during November – December 2010. In March 2011, ComSuper successfully tested all critical business systems.
Key features of the improved capability include detailed business continuity plans, a second system and data centre, and a reciprocal agreement for emergency accommodation with Department of Finance and Deregulation.
ComSuper was rated the highest in our peer group for business continuity and disaster recovery in the Comcover Risk Management Benchmarking Survey in 2011.
4. IT business case
In 2010-11, ComSuper undertook detailed analysis for the preparation of an IT Business Case to support the case for upgrading our superannuation administration IT systems. Consideration was deferred for the 2011-12 budget process and will be further considered for the 2012-13 process.
The output from this process will lead into a number of projects aimed at upgrading critical Superannuation administration platforms to support ComSuper's technology needs into the future.
ComSuper made a number of process and organisational improvements in 2010-11. Management structures have been streamlined and several functions have been consolidated to achieve improved efficiency and effectiveness. Functions consolidated include the Customer Information Centre, compliance and quality functions and legal services.
To implement the government's reforms, three Acts were passed by Parliament and received Royal Assent in June 2011. The three Acts are:
- Governance of Australian Government Superannuation Schemes Act 2011
The Act establishes a single trustee body – the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation (CSC) – from 1 July 2011 to be responsible for the main Commonwealth civilian and military superannuation schemes. CSC was formed through the merger of the Australian Reward Investment Alliance (ARIA) Board, Military Superannuation and Benefits Board of Trustees (MSB Board) and Defence Force Retirement and Death Benefits (DFRDB) Authority.
- ComSuper Act 2011
The Act establishes ComSuper as a statutory agency for the purposes of the Public Service Act 1999, consisting of its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and staff. ComSuper is a prescribed agency for the purposes of the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997.
- Superannuation Legislation (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Act 2011.
The Act makes the necessary consequential amendments to a range of Commonwealth Acts to take account of the changes to governance arrangements for the Commonwealth superannuation schemes, as well as providing transitional arrangements.
Last updated December 21, 2011