National Blue Print for Good Governance
Thursday, 18th September 2003 at 1:09 pm
Standards Australia has published a series of five new Australian Standards to help organisations develop and implement effective corporate governance practices with special reference to the Not for Profit Sector.
From tackling fraud and corruption to implementing systems designed to help blow the whistle on corporate crooks the new Standards offer organisations a comprehensive governance tool kit.
At the launch of the Standards in Sydney recently the Chairman of Standards Australia’s Business Governance Committee MB-004,Henry Bosch A0, said the Australian Standards have been devised to provide a blueprint for the development and implementation of a generic system of governance suitable for a wide range of entities.
The Chief Executive of Standards Australia, Ross Wraight says that unlike other governance guidelines these Australian Standards are non-prescriptive and have been designed as an easy to understand framework for small, large, public, private and not-for-profit organisations.
Wraight says as a national framework they also pull together a number of the key elements in corporate governance including the OECD Principles of Corporate Governance and guidelines produced by IFSA, ASX Corporate Governance Council.
According to Standards Australia’s Director of Business Standards, Mark Bezzina these Standards are the first national consensus based guidelines for corporate governance in the world and were developed with the involvement of all major Stakeholders.
The Australian Standards in the corporate governance series include:
– AS 8000 Good Governance Principles
– AS 8001 Fraud and corruption control
– AS 8002 Organisational codes of conduct
– AS 8003 Corporate and social responsibility
– AS 8004 Whistleblower protection programs for entities
The first Standard in the series, AS 8000 Good Governance Principles, defines key aspects of good governance, provides an outline of the major objectives and gives guidance on how to apply the principles. It also gives advice on;
– Developing a governance Policy
– Education and training for the Board and senior management.
– Strategies for continuous improvement of governance performance
– Dealing with governance breaches ¡V detecting, recording and dealing with governance breaches and complaints
– Record keeping
– Internal reporting ¡V process of identifying, evaluating and managing key risks
– Board Directors induction programs.
The Standard outlines the role and responsibilities of the Board including the development of a remuneration policy, development of measurable performance indicators and adherence to a code of conduct.
It provides advice on disclosure and transparency obligations including information on financial and operating results, organisational objectives, shareholder ownership and voting rights, Board and executive remuneration, major organisational risks and annual reporting on governance systems.
The Standard also defines the term independent director and outlines what is expected of an individual in their Chairperson, CEO, Director and Company Secretary and has special informative appendix covering issues for consideration in the governance of not-for-profits.
Copies of the Standards can be downloaded from Standards Australia’s website www.standards.com.au or purchased through its Customer Service Centre on 1300 65 46 46.