Business plan 2014–15
The Registrar identified seven priorities in the ORIC business plan 2014–15 to align with the ORIC strategic plan 2014–17. These priorities acknowledge that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations play an important role in communities and Australian society.
In line with the business plan and the Registrar’s core functions, ORIC will continue to increase public confidence in the standards of corporate governance and viability of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations.
1. Reducing red tape
The Registrar developed guides to assist state/territory registered organisations to transfer their incorporation to the CATSI Act.
The Australian Government amended CATSI Regulations to widen the pool of eligible qualified accountants that can audit financial reports of certain small and medium-size corporations. Providing these corporations with a greater choice for auditing services.
2. Stronger organisational governance for corporations
The Registrar developed an online service, Independentdirectory, to match suitable candidates to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations looking for an independent director.
The Registrar also worked with PM&C to strengthen the governance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations. The Indigenous Advancement Strategy introduced a requirement for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations receiving significant Commonwealth funding to transfer their registration to the CATSI Act. The Registrar has provided a range of information, resources and direct assistance to organisations looking to transfer their registration. This included expanding the scope of the pro bono legal assistance scheme, LawHelp, to include help for organisations needing legal assistance to transfer.
The Registrar issued guidance on the preferred accounting treatment for unexpended grants in financial statements prompted by concerns that some accounting treatments of unexpended government grants had in recent years resulted in a mis-statement of a corporation’s true financial position.
3. Strengthen our working relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
The Registrar continued his priority to provide more resources in regional locations. New regional officer positions were allocated to assist corporations during the year—in Darwin, Coffs Harbour and Perth.
4. Enforce the law
The Registrar concluded 16 minor regulatory prosecutions against corporations that failed to meet their reporting obligations; the Registrar also concluded two major civil actions, one minor civil action and one major criminal prosecution.
5. Regulation and compliance
For the sixth consecutive year the Registrar has exceeded the target of 90 per cent of corporations compliant with their reporting obligations, with 97.3 per cent of corporations meeting this requirement during the year.
The Registrar carried out examinations of 59 corporations, exceeding the initial plan to carry out 45 examinations during the year.
Seven special administrations ended during 2014–15. Three were completed within six months. A successful business turnaround was achieved in five corporations.
The Registrar assisted the liquidators of Ngoonjuwah Council Aboriginal Corporation (ICN 631) (under liquidation) to locate owners of unpaid wages from the corporation (see p. 57).
6. Capacity development
The Registrar provided corporate governance training to 886 people from 169 corporations, exceeding the target of 750 people. Ninety per cent of participants reported a significant increase in governance knowledge and skills—in line with the performance indicator.
A new corporate governance training program for native title corporations was developed and trialled.
7. Publications and analysis
The Registrar continued to contribute to sector knowledge by providing regular statistical reports.