Follow up of Oversight and Accountability of Committees of Management

Tabled: 5 September 2018

Appendix B. Survey of CoMs, June 2018

We conducted a survey of CoM volunteers to inform this audit. This appendix provides an overview of the methodology and a profile of survey respondents and the response rate.

Methodology

The survey contained 29 questions:

  • 12 multiple-choice questions
  • five questions that used rating scales
  • three open-ended questions, requiring thematic analysis
  • nine demographic profile questions.

Eighteen questions were directly repeated, with permission, from a survey conducted by Victoria University as part of a research project commissioned by the former DEPI—Understanding volunteer motives in public land management, published in June 2012. These questions had been developed from a series of focus groups.

We emailed an invitation to complete the survey to both the chair and 'main contact' of each CoM in DELWP's Portal database, as provided to us in March 2018. DELWP's database did not contain an email address for 334 CoMs (28 per cent). For these CoMs, we mailed a letter to both the chair and the 'main contact' inviting them to complete the survey, offering both an online option and a phone number they could call to complete the survey with one of our auditors.

Response rate

In total, 462 people completed the survey. This represents 26 per cent of people directly invited to participate in the survey, but less than 6 per cent of the total CoM volunteer population. The ambiguity in calculating the exact response rate arises because DELWP cannot report the number of people who are members of Category 4 CoMs, so the total number of CoM volunteers from which to calculate the response rate is unknown.

The response rate, by category of CoM, is detailed in Figure B1.

Figure B1
Response rate to VAGO survey of CoM volunteers, June 2018

Category

Number
of CoMs

Number
of CoM members

Invitations

 

Survey respondents

By post

By email

Total(a)

 

Number

Percentage
of total invitations

Percentage
of total
committee members

Category 1

8

56

0

16

16

 

9

56%

16%

Category 2

37

267

2

60

62

 

68

110%

25%

Category 3

1 000

7 382

476

1 040

1 516

 

362

24%

5%

Category 4

122

Not recorded

166

39

205

 

23

11%

Unknown

Total

1167

>7 705

644

1 155

1 799

 

462

26%

<6%

(a) Invitations sent to chair and 'main contact' for CoMs listed in DELWP's Portal database.
Note: While we invited the chair and main contact to share the survey invitation with the members of their CoM, 80 per cent of the survey respondents were office bearers. It is not clear how many other members received the invitation to complete the survey, so we have reported the response rates as both percentage of respondents and percentage of total population.
Source: VAGO.

Profile of respondents

There is not a current demographic profile of all CoM volunteers that we could use as a comparison. We interpreted the survey results as consistent with general characteristics of the CoM volunteer profile in terms of age, years on committee and hours spent, but some groups are over-represented—females, office bearers and two regions.

Figure B2 shows the characteristics of the respondents to our survey.

Figure B2
Characteristics of CoM survey respondents, June 2018

Characteristic

Respondent profile

Comments

Membership

Current member of a CoM
Office bearers

98%
80%

Office bearers significantly over‑represented

Years on committee

Range
Average
Mode

0–40 years
10.7 years
10 years

 

Hours per month spent on CoM work

Range
Average
Mode

0.5–230 hours
14 hours
10 hours

 

Region

Gippsland
Hume
Loddon Mallee
Grampians
Barwon
Port Phillip

23%
20%
15%
15%
15%
11%

Gippsland and Port Phillip over-represented; Grampians under-represented

Gender

Male

63%

Females may be slightly over-represented if demographics unchanged from Victoria University's 2012 analysis of DELWP's database which showed 67 per cent of CoM members were male

Age

20–29 years
30–49 years
50–69 years
70+ years

0.5%
14%
59%
26%

 

Note: Totals may not add up to 100 per cent due to rounding.
Source: VAGO.

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