Governance and Management

In May 2015, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) established the Australian Water Partnership (AWP), and appointed eWater Limited (eWL) to manage the program.

The AWP strives for integrity, quality, transparency and accountability in its management of funds from the Australian Government’s international development assistance program. To ensure the transparency necessary for public and stakeholder confidence in the probity and competitive neutrality of AWP processes, eWL manages a structural separation between its business divisions. View the AWP Conflict of Interest Policy.

eWL is a not-for-profit, scientific institution jointly established and owned by the Commonwealth Government and all state and territory governments. The eWL Board maintains overall governance responsibilities on advice from the AWP Advisory Committee (AWPAC).

Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) is currently the sole funder of AWP. Primary engagement is through the Water Security Section of DFAT’s Climate Change and Sustainability Division in Canberra which provides the connection with DFAT Posts, regional staff and water specialists.

eWater Ltd Board

The eWater Ltd (eWL) Board has broad governance oversight of AWP—including appointment of the AWP CEO and senior managers—and ensuring compliance with eWL policies and procedures including risk management. eWL provides corporate, financial and human resources services to AWP. The eWL Board approves AWP annual reports and annual operational plans that are provided to DFAT. To ensure the transparency necessary for public and stakeholder confidence in the probity and competitive neutrality of AWP processes, eWL manages a structural separation between its business divisions (AWP and eWater). The eWL Board maintains overall governance responsibilities on advice from the AWP Advisory Committee. View the AWP Conflict of Interest Policy for more information.

AWP Advisory Committee

The Advisory Committee (AWPAC) operates under a Charter approved by the eWL Board in consultation with DFAT and is accountable to the Board via the Chair of the Committee, who is also a Director of the Board. The core roles of members include providing strategic guidance and performance oversight to the AWP; ensuring the full spectrum of Australian water industry expertise and capability in both the public and private sectors is taken into account in the implementation of AWP; providing a robust review of proposals and recommending their prioritisation and approval to the eWL Board; reviewing AWP annual reports and annual operational plans; and making recommendations to the Board on their approval. AWPAC meets four times each year.

AWP Expert Review Panel

The Expert Review Panel (ERP) assists with the technical assessment of partner proposals, outputs and recommendations of specialist delivery teams. The ERP is a robust mechanism consisting of members with diverse experiences and qualifications to ensure AWP proposals are independently assessed—enhancing quality and probity in AWP processes, and ensuring value for money. The ERP reviews activity proposals before assessment by AWPAC.

AWP Team

The AWP team (mostly based in Canberra) comprises the AWP CEO, senior management, operational staff, and in-country coordinators for the Mekong (based in Bangkok) and South Asia (based in New Delhi). AWP’s In-country Coordinators provide support and a direct line of contact between the senior management team and in-country partners, in turn supporting AWP’s investments and partnerships in the region. The CEO and senior management team meet regularly with DFAT’s Water Security Section and AWPAC on matters relating to the strategic planning and reporting of AWP. Senior management also reviews and rates partner proposal submissions prior to ERP and AWPAC review.

Facility Coordination Group for the Australia-Mekong Water Facility

A Facility Coordination Group (FCG) for the Australia-Mekong Water Facility enables joint management of the Facility between AWP and the DFAT Greater Mekong Water Resources Program (GMWRP). The FCG consists of four members: two representatives from GMWRP Management and two representatives from AWP Management. The FCG is chaired by the AWP CEO.

Risk Management

The AWP manages risk across multiple scales including risks to Australia’s reputation, program outcomes, activity outcomes, and safety of staff and activity teams. We continue to mitigate risks through careful management across a range of areas such as performance, funding, relationship management, governance, operations, conduct and travel. We maintain a strategic risk register that is updated at least every two months for reporting to the eWL Board and AWPAC. In response to COVID-19, we completed a comprehensive risk assessment across the AWP portfolio to assess the impacts of COVID-19 on activity delivery, the potential for adaptation, and financial implications. We also developed a COVID-19 response plan to ensure business continuity through staff protection, setting up working from home arrangements, and utilising information and communications technology (ICTs). This was a consultative process led by AWP Senior Management and eWL Corporate Services.

AWP Procurement Principles and Approach

The AWP adopts principles that recognise the Australian Government’s procurement guidelines, which include:

  • Obtaining the best expertise available;
  • Ensuring Value for Money;
  • Being accountable and transparent; and
  • Using competitive tendering where appropriate.

Five different procurement approaches are used across all AWP Grants: sole sourcing, select tender, open tender, consortia development, and partner delivery.

Detailed information on procurement and proposal development will be available soon.

Learn more about the Australian Water Partnership