Examination process set for improvements

The Registrar of Indigenous Corporations, Mr Anthony Beven, has announced improvements for the examination process.

The Registrar has the power to allow an authorised officer to examine the books of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation under section 453-1 of the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006.

This power is unique in that it allows the Registrar to check the standard of governance and the financial environment of a corporation at any time. The Registrar uses examinations to check that corporations are running well and to intervene when required. They are the main driver to substantiate further regulatory action by the Registrar.

To assist the Registrar with examinations a panel was established in 2005. The panel was renewed in 2008 by a public tender process.

During 2009 the Registrar convened two forums of members of the examination panel. The first was held in Brisbane on 24–25 February 2009 and the second in Adelaide on 27–28 July 2009. The forums discussed ‘improving the examination process’.

The four main outcomes from the forums were:

  1. Corporations would benefit from having a ‘best practice’ manual on governance. This would include templates for the basic records and registers needed by a corporation, such as the register of members, minutes of directors’ and general meetings, notices of meetings and consent forms for directors. This recommendation has been accepted and is on the Registrar’s work plan for the 2009–10 financial year.
  2. The Registrar will examine the introduction of electronic lodgment systems and procedures for the submission of examination reports to reduce the need for paper.
  3. The Registrar and examiners have agreed on procedures to reduce the time taken to complete an examination.
  4. The Registrar will work with examiners to trial joint examinations. The joint examinations are seen as a way for both parties to build knowledge by drawing on each other’s expertise and to improve recommendations from examinations.

‘I would like to thank the examiners who volunteered their time to attend the examination forums’, Mr Beven said.

Lisa Donnelly
02 6219 7611
1 October 2009
ORIC MR0910-09