Tag Archives: 01 Understanding governance
|Members||The people who decide to set up an organisation for a specific purpose.|
|Directors or governing body members||Usually elected by the members of the corporation.|
|Chief Executive Officer (CEO)||Usually appointed by the directors or governing body.|
|Other managers and staff||Usually appointed by the CEO and/or directors.|
Looking after the corporation
1. Ensure your board has the right people on it.
To add value to your board, make sure:
- board members have the right skills
- board members are committed to their responsibilities
- the board is the right size for the corporation.
2. Keep an up-to-date register of members.
Make sure the register has the following information for each current and former member:
- their name and current address
- the date they became a member
- the date they stopped being a member.
An up-to-date register will help to resolve any disputes about who is a member.
3. Know your rules and your constitution.
- Know and understand your organisation’s rules and its constitution.
- Encourage your members to learn about them.
- Propose changing the rules and constitution if they don’t work for your corporation.
4. Promote responsible decision making.
Ensure that the people who make the decisions have the best interests of the corporation, community and the corporation’s members at heart.
5. Manage risk.
Have plans and controls in place for recognising and managing risk. Risks can be in relation to:
- management and staff members
- the environment (such as community, buildings or location).
Looking after the people
6. Know your role and your duties.
Make sure the board members fully understand their role and duties.
- As a whole, the board oversees the goals and direction of the corporation, while the manager is responsible for day-to-day management
- Board members’ duties include:
- acting with loyalty, good faith, care and diligence
- not trading while insolvent
- managing conflicts of interest
- respecting and upholding the rights of members.
7. Review staff performance
Be fair in your reviews and encourage good performance.
8. Pay people fairly
- Pay people fairly and responsibly.
- Make sure that their pay is sufficient, reasonable and aligned with their individual performance.
- Make sure staff members know exactly what is expected of them.
Looking after the money
9. Know your finances.
Make sure you know your corporation’s financial status. If you are worried, ask your auditor to check every three months that your staff members are managing the money properly (a good auditor will do this for the board).
10. Pay your taxes.
- Make sure taxes are handled correctly, especially Goods and Services Tax (GST), Pay As You Go (PAYG) and Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT).
- Make sure all your staff superannuation guarantee contributions are paid.
- For more information, visit the Australian Taxation Office website at www.ato.gov.au. You can also call 13 28 66 for business tax enquiries, or 13 10 20 for superannuation enquiries.
11. Insure your corporation’s property.
- Make sure the corporation’s property—such as cars, buildings and equipment—is insured.
- Check that insurance policies are renewed on or before the due date.
12. Be careful how you use the corporation’s assets.
Ensure that the corporation’s assets and income are used in the way the funding agency has set out. Better still, make a policy about this for everyone to see and use. Make sure you report openly to your members and to the funding agency about how the money is spent.
Looking after meetings
13. Keep minutes of all meetings.
- Make sure you keep minutes of every meeting of the corporation.
- Minutes should say:
- what type of meeting you had (for example, annual general meeting (AGM), special general meeting or board meeting)
- the day the meeting was held
- who came
- what decisions were made.
14. Hold an AGM.
Make sure you have an AGM every year (usually before 30 November).
15. Attend meetings with the funding agency.
Build a good relationship with the funding agency. Make sure someone from the board is at every meeting when the funding agency comes to visit.