Vol 10 Issue 2 February 8 2012

  • Date:08 Feb 2012
  • Type:Boardroom Report

Reforms still stuck at the starting line 

The Australian Institute of Company Directors supports new efforts by the Federal Government to amend director liability provisions in Australia, but has expressed extreme frustration at failure of the states and territories to move ahead with previously proposed reforms in this area.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer David Bradbury released for public comment amendments to director liability laws in an exposure draft of the Personal Liability for Corporate Fault Reform Bill 2012. These will form the first part of the Commonwealth’s implementation of the Council of Australian Governments’ (COAG) Director Liability reform project.

Super strong arguments for independent directors

The Australian Institute of Company Directors believes that the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) should put more thought into how it could ensure independent directors and chairs are included on superannuation trustee boards.

In its Discussion Paper: Prudential standards for superannuation, APRA does not propose that Registrable Superannuation Entity (RSE) licensees should have a minimum number of independent directors on their boards or that the chairman be independent.

However, in its response to this discussion paper, Company Directors points out that many organisations, including the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, ASX Corporate Governance Council, Australian Council of Super Investors and Financial Services Council, have stressed the importance of having independent or non-executive directors on boards.

One way to exit your business

Revenue royalty financing (RRF), which has been used in the US for decades, may help business owners exit their businesses in the current tough climate.

Five talent strategy questions

Boards of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) encounter many challenges when planning their strategies. But without the right quantity and quality of talent now and in the future, the execution of those strategies will be constrained, warns Dianne Jacobs, founding principal of The Talent Advisors.

To ensure business and talent strategies are tightly fused, she advises directors to start with the outcome in mind.

Schools swelter as the reform temperature rises

Directors sitting on the boards of private school boards may be forgiven for feeling overwhelmed by the pace of regulatory reform. As the deputy executive director of the Independent Schools Council of Australia (ISCA) Barry Wallett points out, there are currently a large number of reform activities that will affect the management of independent schools.

In addition to educational reforms, school boards have to keep up to speed with the Gonski review, early childhood reforms with a new regulator (Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority), a new vet regulator (Australian Skills Quality Authority), amendments to international student legislation (ESOS Act and Visa’s) and now the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC).

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