Governance and risk roadmap: 2021 priorities announced by Governance Institute
The spotlight was directed on governance and risk management last year as organisations scrambled to respond to the pandemic. A series of high-profile corporate crises also ensured governance issues were firmly placed front and centre.
With these issues set to remain – and evolve – in 2021, Governance Institute of Australia today launches its Policy and Advocacy Strategy 2021 outlining its direction and key areas of focus.
“This is our roadmap for the year ahead, and beyond,” Governance Institute CEO Megan Motto said.
“After a year in crisis mode, many organisations are hoping that 2021 will be a year to reset, strengthen, and even thrive. To achieve this, we need a national governance and risk management landscape that is not just fit for purpose but allows and encourages optimal practices.
“Today we launch the key priorities that Governance Institute will focus on to help our members achieve the high standards of governance that are required in order to excel in the new landscape.”
Key Governance Institute objectives for 2021 include:
Reducing complexity and red tape
It is time to bring shareholder communications into the 21st century.
We will continue to advocate for amendments to the Corporations Act enabling organisations to hold electronic meetings and communicate electronically with shareholders.
We will continue to call for reform of the laws applying to the fundraising activities of charities and not-for-profits.
Encouraging fit-for-purpose business infrastructure
The Modernising Business Registers project, led by the ATO, to modernise the business registry system will provide the backbone for transforming the way businesses interact with government. Governance Institute will continue to consult with the modernisation project team through our membership of the project’s Business Advisory Group, advocating with government about the importance of maintaining funding and momentum on this key project.
Keeping climate change on the agenda
Thought leadership report to examine the major governance and risk issues impacting organisations when setting net zero emissions targets.
Restoring trust in public institutions
Governance Institute will advocate for the establishment of a Commonwealth Integrity Commission as a priority.
Major policy highlights from 2020 – an update
The just-launched strategy follows a year when Governance Institute responded to the impact of COVID through its work on AGMs, electronic communication with shareholders and adapting governance practices to the changing environment.
Highlights included appearing before a Senate Select Committee discussing how technology should be used to assist businesses during COVID-19, and beyond.
We also worked with key stakeholders, including our members, ASIC, and Treasury to assist companies to hold AGMs while adhering to social distancing requirements, as well as execute documents and communicate with members under temporary amendments to the Corporations Act.