Search This Blog

Monday, May 25, 2009

Continuous disclosure a private sector concept for some NSW agency CEOs

The NSW Auditor General last week reported on a review of Corporate Governance Arrangements in Large Government Agencies and Universities based on the 17 measures used as reference points for ASX listed companies.The review covered 50 agencies and the 10 universities.

The conclusion was that "most agencies and universities surveyed have many of the 17 key governance components" with the Auditor General citing gaps in key stakeholder communication, continuous disclosure of performance, management sign-offs on the adequacy of internal controls, and managing compliance with laws and Government directions fraud control.

The findings on
compliance with the continuous disclosure component illustrate the culture change challenge to open government that lies ahead in NSW. It's remarkable that the Auditor General felt the last two sentences needed to be said:
Some CEOs have suggested that continuous disclosure is purely a private sector concept and has no place in the public sector. Others are of the view that continuous disclosure is different in the public sector. I welcome this debate. Continuous disclosure in listed companies is about keeping the market informed of events and developments that a reasonable person would expect to have a material effect on the value of a company’s securities. The equivalent in the public sector would be a State Owned Corporation keeping the shareholder ministers advised of such events. At the very least, all government agencies should regularly keep the public aware of the ongoing performance against its key performance indicators. Importantly, the public expects to be kept fully informed on how well their taxes are being spent."

No comments:

Post a Comment