On 24 March 2023, the AICD made a submission to the Review of Public Sector Board Appointments led by Ms Lynelle Briggs AO.
The review is considering standards and processes for appointment of board members to government boards, with the final report expected by mid-2023.
The key points of our submission were:
- Appointments to public sector boards should be transparent, rigorous and independent. Skills matrixes should inform selection,
- Recruitment processes should be as transparent as possible, with board positions being advertised and including clear selection criteria. Appointees and reasons for appointment should also be made publicly available.
- Public sector governance frameworks should reflect the distinct nature of public sector organisations and the unique constraints, challenges and accountability mechanisms relevant to each public sector entity. Candidates should be made aware that the primary focus of public sector entities is to deliver against their statutory or public sector mandate and objectives.
- Governance structures should ensure that public sector boards can provide independent leadership distinct from management and/or the relevant Minister, within well-defined mandates.
- Reappointment should not be automatic, and be subject to director performance. A balance should be struck between ensuring board consistency and stability, and bringing in fresh perspectives through new director appointments.
- Boards should conduct regular performance reviews including use of external assessment. Ongoing professional development and regular review of skills requirements should be features of public sector board calendars.
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