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CFA Board communique March 2019

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The CFA Board held its third meeting for 2019 on 18 March.

Complaint management at CFA

The meeting began with an in camera session. It was subsequently reported in session that the Board discussed the need for CFA to provide responsive and robust complaints management processes in line with our Integrity Framework to ensure that all members are confident the Board and management will act on issues which impact the organisation's integrity.

The Chair of the Board, Mr Greg Smith AM, noted that former Fair Work Commissioner Julius Roe had been engaged on behalf of the Board to conduct a review of CFA’s current complaint handling system, and that this external, independent review will enable staff and volunteers to provide anonymous feedback which will inform how we deal with complaints into the future.

The Board noted that the review will not be looking at new or existing complaints, but the systems and processes which are currently in place across the organisation. It was noted that the outcomes of the review will include recommendations about any changes which need to be made to ensure the highest levels of integrity.

CEO update

The Chief Executive Officer updated the Board on work being undertaken by CFA management to prepare the organisation for the Victorian Government’s proposed reforms to fire services.

The Chief Executive Officer spoke to his monthly report to the Board, highlighting:

  • the forthcoming roll-out of the Child Safety Awareness Campaign from 22 March 2019
  • the Fair Work Commission had approved the CFA DMO/TO Agreement 2018, which applies to 79 DMOs and Tower Overseers located at 13 workshops, and commenced operation on 26 February
  • CFA has agreed to participate in the People Matter Survey for 2019, and executives, PTA staff and DMOs and Tower Overseers will be offered the opportunity to participate
  • The 2019 Residential Smoke Alarm Campaign.

Chief Officer Update

The Chief Officer spoke to his report, highlighting:

  • fire sprinkler protection in residential apartments and buildings
  • the online training module, Bushfire Safety for Workers
  • the number of volunteer operational members trained in Minimum Skills, entrapment drills and hazardous tree awareness
  • CFA trainers and assessors are upgrading their qualifications prior to 1 April 2019, in line with new requirements for the delivery of national units of competency
  • CFA has offered enhanced support for suitably qualified personnel to take up long-term operation Officer vacancies
  • Recruitment activity for 60 new CFA recruits is underway. 

CFO report

The Chief Financial Officer introduced the CFO Report for the period ended 28 February 2019, noting particularly that capital expenditure is in line with the budget.

Risk Profile Quarterly Report    

The Board considered the Risk Profile Quarterly Report, and noted that the Board Chair had written to the Chairs of each Board Committee requesting that they discuss as a standing item on each agenda those risks that are relevant to the Committee.

Child safety    

The Board discussed a detailed risk assessment on child safety, which has been undertaken to support actions to ensure that CFA is a child safe organisation.

Contracts for building works    

The Board approved contracts for building works at the Central Highlands Training Centre and the new Morwell Fire Station.