Our corporate governance framework guides how we manage our business, minimise our risks, and meet our legislative obligations. Our systems are based on strong ethical foundations and our commitment to fairness, accountability and transparency.
The following committees oversee our corporate governance:
- Executive Management Group
- Advisory Council
- Audit and Risk Management Committee
- Information Steering Committee.
The executive management group (EMG) assists the Ombudsman in the stewardship of EWOQ and plays an important role in:
- setting and monitoring the strategic direction
- monitoring financial and non-financial performance
- promoting innovation, research, continuous improvement and quality client service
- ensuring the optimal use of human, financial and information resources and infrastructure.
In 2019-2020, our executive management group members were:
Energy and Water Ombudsman
Jane Pires was appointed Energy and Water Ombudsman in December 2016 and has more than 30 years of experience in customer service and complaint management, including extensive senior executive experience in dispute resolution, mediation
As Energy and Water Ombudsman, Jane is committed to providing all Queenslanders with access to a free, fair and independent dispute resolution service, contributing to improved service delivery in the energy and water sectors, and fostering a culture of excellence within the team.
With a Master of Business Administration majoring in dispute resolution, Jane is the Australian representative on the committee for international standard ‘ISO 10002:2018 Quality management — Customer satisfaction — Guidelines for complaints handling in
organizations’. She chairs the Queensland chapter of the Thriving Communities Partnership, and served on the board of the ociety of Consumer Affairs Professionals Australia (SOCAP) for 10 years.
General Manager – Strategy, Operations and Governance
Eleanor Bray oversees our strategy, governance and operations, including finance, risk and compliance, IT, policy and research, and reporting. With an extensive background in finance, IT and customer experience, Eleanor has worked in both the public and private sector, predominantly in water, energy and mining.
She joined EWOQ in April 2020 following the retirement of Lyn Stevens, who had managed corporate services at EWOQ since the scheme was established as Energy Ombudsman Queensland in 2007.
General Manager – Assessment, Investigation and Resolution
John Jones leads the complaint investigation and dispute resolution functions of the office, providing a timely, effective and independent way of resolving disputes.
He also represents EWOQ at forums with state and national jurisdictional regulators, and industry and consumer representatives.
He first joined the organisation in July 2007 as General Manager Operations for Energy Ombudsman Queensland.
Manager – People, Capability and Culture
Leonie Jones joined the newly formed People, Capability and Culture team in March 2019 as Manager. Having
previously worked in a human resources management role for our shared service provider, and with over 25 years’ experience within the public service, Leonie brings with her a depth of management and HR experience.
Leonie is accountable for managing and implementing a range of strategic human resources, organisational culture and development initiatives that support EWOQ’s strategic objectives.
Manager – Communications and Engagement
Sonia Cahill has led the newly formed Communications and Engagement team since its inception on 1 July 2019 and is responsible for raising awareness of the scheme.
She joined EWOQ in August 2017 and has a background in corporate communications, media relations, publishing, and website and social media management in both public and private sectors in Australia and abroad.
Advisory Council to the Energy and Water Ombudsman
The Advisory Council monitors the independence of the Energy and Water Ombudsman scheme and provides advice to the Energy and Water Ombudsman and the Minister responsible for energy and water on policy, procedural and operational issues relating to the Energy and Water Ombudsman Act 2006. This helps to ensure the scheme is fair and effective for consumers and suppliers.
The Advisory Council meets every quarter and includes an independent chair and at least six other members appointed by the Minister on the Chair’s recommendation and after consultation with scheme participants, consumer groups and community welfare organisations.
There must be an equal number of other members representing industry and consumer interests. Under the Act, at least two of the industry members must represent the interests of energy retailers, at least one must represent the interests of energy distributors, and at least one must represent the interests of the water entities.
The Chair may hold office for up to five years, however, there is no restriction on the length of terms of ordinary members. On appointment to the Advisory Council, members receive an induction to help them understand the scheme and how the office operates. Council members represent the interests of the sector and must act in the best interests of the scheme when exercising their council responsibilities.
The EWOQ Advisory Council Handbook details the roles and responsibilities of council members, while the Advisory Council Code of Conduct helps council members discharge their responsibilities under the Public Sector Ethics Act 1994. While not a prescriptive code, it contains the ethics, principles and values which council members have agreed to put into practice.
Council members are entitled to meeting fees approved by the Governor-in-Council, and reimbursement of reasonable costs incurred for attending council meetings, based on the Remuneration Procedures for Part-time Chairs and Members of Queensland Government Boards.
View details of fees paid to council members during 2019-2020.
Code of conduct and ethics
At EWOQ, we are required to make ethical decisions, be accountable for our actions and demonstrate integrity.
We are committed to fostering a positive organisational culture that values and promotes ethical leadership and decision making.
All employees are required to observe the Code of Conduct for the Queensland Public Service. The principles and values in the Code are incorporated into our policies and procedures as well as individual performance plans. All new team members undertake ethics and code of conduct training during their induction.
Refresher training for code of conduct is provided annually. Mandated training in fraud control and corruption prevention was completed to all team members during 2019-2020, along with a tailored online program about bullying and harassment for employees.
EWOQ is committed to acting in a way that is compatible with our human rights obligations when we promote our services and interact with the community.
View this section as a PDF
See the official copy of the 2019-20 annual report, as tabled in the Legislative Assembly of Queensland, on the Queensland Parliament's tabled papers website.