What are we learning from royal commissions and inquiries?

  • The various royal commissions and inquiries clearly show that boards need to address the problem of culture and its primary and idiosyncratic effects on quality standards within organisations.
  • The impact on governance from any outcomes of aged care royal commission, and also from the recent banking royal commission, will have implications for board members of all organisations.
  • In the face of inquiries aged care directors should jealously guard the cultural health of their organisation without becoming overwhelmed.

 Elderly hands resting on walking cane

Working steadily with broad coercive powers, numerous and highly visible royal commissions in Australia, have uncovered shocking examples of corrupted cultures in organisations that must be concentrating the minds of directors everywhere.

The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety began hearings in Adelaide last month (just as calls for a recently announced separate royal commission into abuse in the disability sector gathered force) to investigate standards and practices within the sector and ‘any matter reasonably incidental … that [the commissioners] believe is reasonably relevant to the inquiry’.1

The commissioners will submit their final report in April next year.

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