Federal Inquiry Into Corporate Responsibility
2 August 2005 at 1:08 pm
The push for the inquiry has been initiated by the Federal ALP.
Labor’s corporate governance spokeswoman Senator Penny Wong says that businesses need help to bring corporate responsibility to the core of their operations.
Senator Wong says the use of regulation alone to force change in business was not the only answer to boost corporate responsibility.
She says corporate behaviour and performance won’t improve if Australia relies solely on regulation and a broad policy response is now required to take the next step in encouraging responsible corporate behaviour, and support the international competitiveness of Australian business in the process.
She says recent regulation governing company activity has been important, but more regulation may not be the best answer.
The Labor Senator says Australia needs to think more strategically and more creatively about how it can maximise the likelihood of responsible corporate decision-making, and minimise the possibility of short-sighted decisions.
The inquiry has called for written submissions before the closing date of 15 September 2005 from both the for-profit and Not for Profit incorporated organisations under the Corporations Act.
The Terms of Reference include the extent to which organisational decision-makers currently have or should have regard for the interests of stakeholders other than shareholders and the broader community.
It asks whether current legal frame-works governing directors’ duties encourages or discourages them from having regard for the interests of stakeholders rather than shareholders.
The Inquiry is due to report to parliament in November 2005.
For submission information and a copy of the Terms of Reference click on http://www.aph.gov.au/senate/committee/corporations_ctte/corporate_responsibility/index.htm.