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Royal commission into aged care to drive focus on governance, ethics and risk management in board leadership

Governance Institute of Australia welcomes the opening of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety on Friday 18 January. Transparency from industry leaders around their governance and risk management practices will be key to addressing some of the worrying revelations exposed in the past year, says Megan Motto, Chief Executive Officer, Governance Institute of Australia.

“The aged care sector plays a vital role in our social fabric by caring for some of Australia’s most vulnerable citizens. We know aged care providers are facing increased market and regulatory pressures as population demographics press up against affordability issues. However, this is not an excuse for compromising quality of care and putting the health of our senior citizens at risk. Truly sustainable businesses are those which put their consumers front and centre.

“It is important that staff and other whistleblowers seeking to report misconduct have the tools to do so, and that an organisation’s leadership is equipped to act on this information effectively. Good governance starts at the top, and the Board is ultimately responsible for ensuring their executive is trained to the highest quality governance and risk management standards, and ensuring those that are entrusted to their care come first.

“The royal commission into financial services exposed multiple examples of misconduct, failed ethics and poor corporate culture stemming from a failure of leadership, governance and accountability. This has damaged the reputation of that entire sector, which we saw reflected in Governance Institute of Australia’s 2018 Ethics Index. Anything less than full transparency from the aged care sectors’ leaders carries that same reputational risk.

“It is excellent to see such strong input from the public already, and a proactive response from the industry itself. This bodes well for the royal commission’s investigation and will be healthy for the aged care sector as a whole. I look forward to reviewing its recommendations and I hope it will drive a strong mandate for change.”

The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety commences on Friday, 18 January with a preliminary hearing in Adelaide, and will hand down its interim report in October 2019. The final report is due in April 2020.


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Further Reading
Governance Institute of Australia’s submission to the Royal Commission [PDF]

Aged care royal commission: Silencing whistleblowers will not be tolerated

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