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Protecting the birth place of civilisation Find out more on page 4-5

Risky Business WINTER 2012

In this issue: Upskilling opportunity for VPS Cashing in on risk management Fire Bell sets the tone for a social media future Ask the expert

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Risky Business

Dam good job earns IPAA award

Now on our website

The Dam Safety Reporting Program was created in 2008 as a toolkit to assist water authorities to assess their dam infrastructure and identify areas of concern on a systematic basis across the state. It focuses on 240 large dams owned by water corporations, with an average age of 65 years.

The Department of Sustainability and Environment’s Dam Safety Reporting Program was recognised at the IPAA Victoria’s Leadership in the Public Sector Awards earlier this year. The project won the Risk Management Award, sponsored by the VMIA, for its innovative state-wide risk focused project. A risk-based approach was used instead of a traditional engineering-based reporting system, because of the aging nature of the state’s dam infrastructure, says Siraj Perera, the program director, risk and resilience in the water division of the DSE. “Victoria has a lot of old dam infrastructure. Although these dams were built to the best standards of the day, most need upgrading to meet modern day standards,” he explains. “A lot of this infrastructure was built 50 to 100 years ago.”

“We adopted a risk management approach for a number of reasons, but mainly to provide a system of benchmarking and for better targeting of investment,” Siraj adds. “We have been using it for a couple of years – it is a very practical tool which can be used for continuous improvement.

Managing Clinical Risk Edition 14 managingclinicalrisk

“We are better able to identify more areas of likely risk and potential consequences.” After each water authority submits its assessment of its infrastructure the results are compiled to generate state-based profiles. Siraj says the program’s transparency was integral to generating defensible public safety decisions. Victoria is the first state to adopt a riskbased approach to the safety management of dams, with other states such as Tasmania, Western Australia and New South Wales expressing an interest in the program and its potential benefits.

VNews May Cover image: Stone wall relief from the palace of Ashurbanipal at Nineveh, showing the king pouring a libation over dead lions at the end of the hunt (by permission of the Trustees of The British Museum)

Upskilling opportunity for VPS New Diploma of Risk Management available to Victorian public sector risk professionals Victorian public sector risk professionals will be able to obtain formal accreditation with the launch of the Diploma and Advanced Diploma of Risk Management.

“We undertook a survey of risk managers across the field, and found that 70 per cent of them had learned on the job and not through formal education,” he explains.

Developed by the VMIA in conjunction with the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF), the diploma has been introduced to meet the growing need for a formal and accredited training program for risk professionals, says David Pearce, the VMIA’s Manager Client Learning Services.

“There are currently no defined competencies around risk management with a focus on the public sector, despite the growing attention to the sector and the realisation of the important role of risk management in a business partnership model.

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“The Diploma of Risk Management provides an opportunity for organisations to upskill their risk management team to deliver improved performance,” David says.

The program, commencing in August 2012, will help participants develop their understanding of risk management, risk management frameworks and how to apply it within theirs organisation through a mix of blended learning and distance-based learning modules. “Students will develop a set of competencies specifically tailored for risk professionals in the Victorian public sector,” David says. “They will also have the opportunity for learning through networking and peer-topeer activities.”

Cashing in on risk management A company’s financial performance is closely linked to its investment in risktwo recent independent studies show. Greg Thompson, the VMIA’s Corporate Planning Manager says the studies, which focused on the performance of private sector companies, also had important lessons for the public sector. “Both studies show that organisations which are very good at managing risk actually generate better financial operating results and drive better returns on investments for shareholders,” he says. After grouping companies together based on their use of risk management practices, Ernst & Young’s Turning Risk into Results study found companies in the top 20 per cent of risk maturity generated three times the level of earnings as those in the bottom 20 per cent. The authors of the Ernst & Young report stated the significant difference in performance provided a clear message to managers who were sceptical of the value of risk management to their organisation. “Making a move from being risk-averse to risk-ready may require a significant shift,” says Randall Miller, Ernst & Young Advisory Global Risk Leader. “Ultimately, risk management is about changing the culture of the business. It is about changing the lens through which leaders view the decisions they make.”

Ernst & Young’s message is that companies with more mature risk management practices outperform their peers financially. These findings echo the results of a 2011 Risk Maturity joint study by global insurance broker Aon and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, which found that companies with an increased risk maturity – for example those which had a level of understanding of risk at board level and a culture of risk identification and communication – showed increased financial results in both stock returns and return on assets. These results came from 150 companies spread across 25 industries. “We understand that public sector organisations aren’t driven by a profit motive, nor do they have traditional shareholders, however, they are still optimising their financial performance and returns on behalf of the State,” Greg adds. “Both studies identify the particular risk management practices that generate the greatest financial benefit for the organisations that adopt them. Apart from the direct cost savings of fewer adverse events and losses, these studies show that effective risk management can also lead to other efficiencies such as process enhancements and less re-work.”

What the top performers do to enhance financial benefits • Ensure that Boards and Executive Management are actively and continually engaged in, and ultimately take responsibility for, the organisation’s risk management framework. • Utilise two-way communication about risk with all stakeholders (internal and external), particularly those staff involved in end-service delivery. • Embed risk identification and mitigation into planning, decision making and performance monitoring for all spheres of operation through clearly defining acceptable risk tolerances, and creating standardised risk management tools for use throughout the organisation. • Utilise technology to manage risk and prevent duplication of effort and resources. • Develop controls which are optimised to improve effectiveness and reduce costs. Source: Ernst & Young Turning Risks into Results 2012 Aon & Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania Aon Risk Maturity Index 2011

Common insurance questions The VMIA answers common questions regarding insurance policies. Are employees of a public hospital covered by the VMIA’s policy if they provide health services at locations away from the public hospital (such as in schools or in the home)? This will depend on a number of issues, such as: Is the provision of health services at a location away from the hospital part of the employee’s scope of activities? Is the provision of health services at a location away from the hospital part of a contractual arrangement between the hospital and a third party? Is the employee providing services on behalf of the hospital i.e. with authority and sanction of the hospital?

Is the employee billing for this work separately or receiving any additional income? The intention of the VMIA’s Medical Indemnity Insurance Policy is to extend to provide cover to hospital employees who provide health care services within the hospital and to third parties - as long as the services being provided are within the employee’s scope of activities and the services are being provided on behalf of and with the authority of the hospital. It is the VMIA’s understanding that employees will not be billing separately or receiving any additional income for this work. It is also expected that public hospitals advise the VMIA of health services being provided away from the organisation named in the Policy Schedule.

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Risky Business

Protecting the birthplace of civilisation Behind the scenes of The Wonders of Ancient Mesopotamia exhibition at the Melbourne Museum is a lengthy planning schedule and a team of experts working to minimise risks When you consider the empire of Mesopotamia, the concept of time is a recurring theme. It was, after all, the Mesopotamians who pioneered the sexagesimal system which gives us 60 seconds in a minute and 60 minutes in an hour. Time has also been a key element in Museum Victoria’s efforts to bring The Wonders of Ancient Mesopotamia exhibition to Melbourne Museum from The British Museum. The exhibition, which runs from 4 May to 7 October, has been planned for more than two years. And as Thomas Hobson, Manager Corporate Risk at Museums Victoria explains, there are a wide range of issues to consider when presenting an exhibition of ancient objects – particularly when some are more than 3000 years old.

Not that this is the first time the museum has been presented with a challenge of presentation.

risk: risk to operations, financial risk, collection risk, reputational risk and risk to people,” he explains.

“When we did the Titanic exhibition they were hanging pieces of the hull of the Titanic – over a tonne in weight – suspended from the roof,” Thomas says.

“These are our five key criteria to looking at risk management and we use ISO 31000 as our guide to planning. Everything in risk for us is about removing uncertainty from our objectives – that’s all we’re trying to do. If the organisation says it wants to do something, our job is to make sure it happens in the safest way.

“It takes a certain amount of skill to not damage the object’s heritage value and at the same time make it safe for people to walk around. Probably the key to it all is risk mitigation, and the key to this is our staff – our biggest risk mitigation strategy is ensuring that we have the right people with the right knowledge doing the right things at the right time.

“The exhibit holds significant value – it is worth a very large amount of money, but also many of the objects are priceless. They are 3000 years old, and they are part of civilisations that are completely lost now.”

“That includes everyone from the curators, conservation staff, marketing and public relations, exhibition planning and design.”

Protecting the exhibition through insurance has been critical to securing its loan from The British Museum.

“Some objects are incredibly heavy and made of stone,” he says.

The team working on the exhibition have established a broad framework to manage their risks and risk mitigation, Thomas says.

“There are some serious logistics around moving heritage artefacts that weigh hundreds of kilograms, where you need special equipment and rigging in place.”

“There are all sorts of operational risks involved with this exhibition, but when we start out we look at our strategic direction, and there are five major areas touched by

“This is where the VMIA is incredibly helpful to us. Arranging insurance for an exhibition like this is not simple, and our insurer has to mitigate the risk with re-insurance,” Thomas says. “Out of that mitigation comes the conditions under which our insurer will provide coverage.”

Sarah Collins, Curator, British Museum, unveils the Gold Cup before the exhibition opening (Courtesy Museums Victoria)

The VMIA worked with Museums Victoria to organise insurance cover for the exhibition

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Vilim Kompar, VMIA Account Manager, says there were limited re-insurance options available domestically, which meant opportunities had to be found on the international fine-arts market.

example, objects were covered in full to an agreed value. “Normally if a painting is damaged you would pay for it to be restored and for the cost of depreciation to the painting” he says.

The insurance provided all-risk, ‘wall-to-wall’ coverage of the objects from the time they leave their normal displays in The British Museum until the time they are returned. The protection includes several checks and balances to protect the artefacts – for example, it is transported in several consignments to prevent anything untoward happening to the entire exhibition.

“But how do you value a priceless object, with no equivalent object available on the market? You can’t buy another one if you lose it. This is where the VMIA is able to effect an agreed value as a basis of valuation, and pay out in full on this value if anything happens, as defined by policy’s terms and conditions.”

“It is packed by curators and conservationists and it’s sent with security – it’s not able to be unlocked,” adds Thomas.

As the exhibit moves closer to its opening date, Thomas says many of the original risks that were identified for delivering this exhibition were no longer relevant.

“This is where the VMIA is incredibly helpful to us. Arranging insurance for an exhibition like this is not simple, and our insurer has to mitigate the risk with re-insurance.” Thomas Hobson, Manager Corporate Risk at Museums Victoria

“It’s left in a storage area for a week to acclimatise, so it is not touched by anyone for a week. It’s then opened up and only British Museum, or in some cases Museum Victoria, staff can touch those objects. They are then locked in cases and not touched by another human being until they leave, unless something untoward happens.” Vilim says there were some elements of the insurance policy for museum exhibits that were different to standard policies – for

“The risks that were there at the start – that we wouldn’t have the right staff, that we wouldn’t open on time, that we couldn’t do the contracts, that we didn’t have insurance – are being retired as we move closer to the opening date,” he explains. And now the focus is shifting to providing a fantastic experience for the museum’s visitors. “The way we are marrying the old objects with new technology creates richer meaning,” Thomas says. “The way we tell these stories now is more sophisticated. It’s more about taking the audience through this journey through the civilisation: this is what the object is, and this is why it was made. “The diversity of materials being exhibited is phenomenal. There is everything from glass through to metal, jewellery, stone and ceramics. The fact they have survived 3000 years, and that we can tell so much about the culture from them is truly amazing.”

Why Mesopotamia? “Mesopotamia is the most interesting civilisation you have never heard of,” says Thomas Hobson, Museum Victoria’s Manager of Corporate Risk. “It’s the birthplace of trade, accounting, mathematics, language and law – it’s a study of invention. “The objects are from the British Museum. What we were able to do with this exhibition is take a number of artefacts from a different exhibition and then re-engineer the display to change the way the story is told to suit Australia. “This civilisation is just fascinating and full of rich stories. The name Mesopotamia might not mean a lot, but when you are talking about the Hanging Gardens of Babylon or the great library then you have all these interesting stories. It was the birthplace of civilisation. “The exhibit will include a re-creation of the Ishtar gate, through which you would have come into the city. Nomadic tribes were kept out, tradesmen were allowed in. It was a totally walled city in Babylon, and if you entered, you had to abide by the rules which were posted in the centre of the town. “There will be 3D animations showing you flying through the city, and there will be incredible stories. We’re also working on a method to help you understand what the hieroglyphics meant, teaching you how to understand them.” The exhibition features more than 170 artefacts from the Middle East collection of The British Museum, focusing on three ancient civilisations in Sumer, Assyria and Babylon – an area which covers parts of Iraq, Iran, Turkey and Syria on today’s maps.

Images from The Wonders of Ancient Mesopotamia (by permission of the Trustees of The British Museum)

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Risky Business

FireBell sets the tone for a social media future As the use of social media continues to rise, Victoria’s emergency services are developing new ways to reach out to the community during times of emergency “The ability to create a real-time emergency scenario using interactive versions of social media channels in a secure learning environment provided an invaluable opportunity for all involved to identify the strengths and weaknesses of current agency practices,” he says. Martin Anderson, CFA digital media manager, says that the use of social media during training was often problematic – ironically, because it is so social. Reading a tweet or checking a Facebook page during a fire or flood might seem odd to some people, but using social media for up-to-date information is a growing part of life for many in the community. Victoria’s emergency services joined forces late last year to conduct FireBell – a real-time emergency training scenario covering several incidents across the state – after research commissioned by the Office of the Emergency Services Commissioner (OESC) and Victoria State Emergency Service found that the community was increasingly turning to sites such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube during times of crises. For example, in the January 2011 floods there were more than 12,000 highly relevant social media items generated by the community. The FireBell program, developed by Weber Shandwick, was part of a Risk Management Partnership Program between the OESC, the VMIA and Victorian emergency services agencies. The participating agencies – the Country Fire Authority, VICSES, Metropolitan Fire Brigade, Department of Sustainability and Environment and Victoria Police – were confronted with a combined bushfire and flood scenario, with an online community quickly growing apprehensive. Agencies were required to respond to community concerns and release information where appropriate. Michael Hallowes, the Emergency Services Commissioner, says the exercise demonstrated the importance and credibility of social media as a two-way communication channel.

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“In the past, people have put ‘exercise’ or ‘training’ in a tweet, but it still causes confusion and concern in the community,” he explains. “What the FireBell exercise did was create a safe environment they could use to respond to realistic emergency scenarios. “Putting people under that pressure, in terms of intensity, was really good, because people got to see how quickly they would need to be responding,” agrees Belinda Hayes, Online Communications Manager at the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE). “Unlike many of the other roles in the state control centre, it is quite hard to recreate a social media situation without using something like FireBell.” Martin says the speed of social media highlighted the challenge for those who are asked to manage the emergency services’ social media accounts. “It is quite difficult in the emergency services ‘world’, where there is a strict authorisation process for releasing information and that can sometimes make information flow quite slowly,” he says. “With social media and the tools and techniques the community have for sharing and communicating from the scene of an emergency, it makes it quite difficult working in a hierarchical command and control structure.” “There is an established view that we need to be involved in the social media sphere, but it is exercises like this and ongoing experience that helps us figure out how best we can do that at the same time as maintaining the accuracy and credibility each agency has.

“At the same time we need to look at how we can engage the more immediate nature of social media.” Martin Anderson, CFA digital media manager

As a member of the team that developed the scenario, Ben Edwards, MFB Multimedia Manager, says it was designed to involve several agencies. “We wanted to test how to use social media in an emergency situation and also from an inter-agency and inter-operability perspective,” he says. “There was a lot of interest from all the agencies and other areas of government involved in emergency management, because it bought up a good discussion about social media and how it is used in emergency management.” One of the suggested improvements would be to provide extra training for social media staff, Martin says. “Because it is a direct interface with the community there are some quite stressful situations you could encounter, such as people who are in dangerous situations asking for help or life-or-death advice,” he says. “It is similar, in a way, to Triple Zero operators.” After conducting the program in the lead up to the 2011/12 bushfire season, the agencies involved are working to establish a standardised methodology for dealing with social media. “Ultimately the alignment with public information needs to be consistent and not deviating too much from that the facts are,” says Ben. “It’s about making sure that the people manning the social media give and receive factual information in a timely and tailored manner.”

Online service boost for VMIA clients VMIA clients will soon be able to access their organisation’s documents and details directly online Chris Tsoukalas, Manager, Client Services General Government for the VMIA, says clients will also have access to new online functions that will simplify dealing with the VMIA. “Logged in users will be able to submit claims forms online, lodge incident notifications and be able to request insurance policy modifications online,” he says.

Insurance policies, risk reports and other client-specific documents will soon be made available to VMIA clients directly through our website. Set to launch late May, the secure login area of the VMIA website will host a range of innovative features, allowing clients secure and direct access to their organisationspecific documents and information. These documents will include risk reports such as Site Risk Surveys and Risk Framework Quality Reviews, claims reports, and insurance documents such as policy schedules and Certificates of Currency.

“They will have the ability to update their organisation information online, and through nominated administrators, will be able to self-manage web-access and set appropriate security levels.” Documents are automatically updated in the new system, meaning clients will be able to download the most current documents at all times.

Engagement survey requesting more personalised and business-specific tools from the VMIA,” Chris said.

What you can access: • Site Risk Surveys • Risk Framework Quality Reviews • Claims reports • Policy schedules • Master policy wordings • Certificates of currency

What you can do:

“To sign up to the secure area of the website, clients need to simply visit the VMIA website, click on the ‘Client Login’ button and follow the ‘Request access’ links,” Chris says.

• Update organisation’s and personal information

“They will then be able to fill in their details to register for the system. The secure area of the website was developed as a result of client feedback in the 2011 Client

• Request a policy modification

• Lodge a claim • Lodge an incident

VMIA takes shine to Shrine

Last month saw the Shrine of Remembrance once again take centre stage as part of the Anzac Day memorial services. Daniel Mulqueen, Shrine of Remembrance Trust Manager Administration, says the VMIA works closely with the Shrine to ensure it is adequately protected by insurance and any risks are minimised. Its grounds cover 29 acres of parkland, with the main issues caused by environmental hazards such as falling trees or flooding, together with the risks associated with large numbers of people crossing the grounds. “We have 600,000 visitors to the Shrine each year, including 45,000 students,” Daniel says.

“There are also, of course, a lot of older people visiting the Shrine. Our risks grow purely from the number of people using the site.” While Anzac Day is one of the busiest days of the years, it generally passes without major incident because people were respectful of their surroundings, Daniel says. “We have 40,000 people here, it’s dark, there are a lot of steps and some of our visitors are quite old,” he says. “We leave the lights on as long as we can before turning them off. But people do take care.”

Given the Shrine’s construction was finished in 1934, Daniel says the only ongoing issue is the balancing act between heritage and safety concerns – for example, installing contemporary safety equipment such as hand rails in a heritage environment.

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Risky Business

Ask the expert Risky Business asked museum consultant and art collections manager Freda Matassa about the issues surrounding public exhibitions of art and artefacts. environmental conditions for the object on display and tries to keep these stable. Light can severely damage organic materials so drawings, textiles, and wooden objects must be kept at low light levels. How are these risks managed? Museums practice risk management on a daily basis and any project is carefully evaluated to estimate the risks to the works of art. All museums have to have an emergency plan and an evacuation plan that will be implemented if the objects are in danger. This applies to all kinds of risks including fire, flood, failure of power and accidental damage to objects. An emergency plan will include contingencies, such as conservators on call to respond to damaged objects, or lists of local companies to supply emergency equipment.

What are the main risks that museums face? The biggest risk to the objects is loss or damage. In permanent collections and loaned exhibitions, the primary aim is to keep the objects safe. This ranges from security – making sure that shipments are kept confidential, or travelling in unmarked vans, for example – to careful handling and installation, which is, in fact the period of highest risk to the objects. They can travel thousands of miles through many different climates but when they are out of their cases, sitting on the floor waiting to be hung or placed on a shelf, they are at their most vulnerable. Art technicians and curators breathe a sigh of relief when everything is safely fixed on the wall or securely placed in the display case. The other risk is damage due to fluctuations in temperature or humidity, which can have an adverse effect on some objects. The museum always takes advice on the optimum

“The risk assessment for a loan would take into account the fragility of the object, the journey, the facilities at the borrowing museum and their ability to treat it with the appropriate level of care.” Freda Matassa, Museum Consultant and Art Collections Manager

When cultural objects travel to exhibitions they are particularly at risk and any loan request has to be very carefully considered. This is why museums ask for a minimum of six months notice to consider a request to borrow a work of art and large exhibitions are two or more years in the planning. The risk assessment for a loan would take into account the fragility of the object, the journey, the facilities at the borrowing museum and their ability to treat it with the appropriate

level of care. And the risk to the museum of obtaining or borrowing a stolen object can be managed by careful research of the history of the object. What are the emerging risks in handling art objects? The main issue at the moment is sustainability. Like all businesses, museums have to find sustainable, low-carbon ways of working while ensuring the safety and longevity of their objects at all times. The last generation of museums to be built were largely sealed boxes with high-energy air conditioning, heating and cooling systems. New museums are far more energy-efficient with natural ventilation and energy recycling. As well as constructing more sustainable buildings and adapting existing ones, there is considerable research underway by conservation scientists to determine exactly what the effects of temperature and humidity fluctuations are on cultural objects. The parameters we use today have long been accepted without question and now there is a move to be more flexible. There is also a move to do more recycling, such as of exhibition materials, and to share or pool resources. Apart from that, there is increasing demand on our museum objects to be more accessible and to work harder. More and more people are going to exhibitions, which is a wonderful success story but of course puts more pressure on resources, particularly in the current economic climate. We are seeing for the first time countries such as Korea, China and Brazil entering the league tables of most visited exhibitions. This is an interesting development and suggests the directions that we might be going in the future in terms of cultural exchange.

Freda Matassa’s book Museum Collections Management: A Handbook is published by InBooks Australia.

We value your feedback Please provide any feedback to or contact us on 03 9270 6900. Visit for previous editions. The information provided in this document is intended for general use only. It is not a definitive guide to the law, does not constitute formal advice, and does not take into consideration the particular circumstances and needs of your organisation. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of this document at the date of publication. The VMIA cannot be held responsible and extends no warranties as to the suitability of the information in this document for any particular purpose and for actions taken by third parties.

© VMIA 2012

Risky Business Edition 55  

Risky Business Winter edition 2012

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