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Friday 13 December 2019
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Small: Board directors breaching Govt standards

Independent Senator David Small is claiming that non-executive directors and chairmen are “running roughshod” over management personnel in State companies.

Contributing on Wednesday to debate on the 2018 budget, Small said the scenario constituted a challenge in governance which has led to what he called “a failing State sector.”

“We have State enterprises and we have directors on boards and chairmen. My understanding, having been in that portfolio myself, is that you are a non-executive director.

“But Madam President (Christine Kangaloo), given my experience in the State Enterprises Committee, you have a situation where you have non-executive directors and chairmen running roughshod over the management and no one seems to want to be able to deal with it. No one wants to deal with it.

“It is a real issue. You have chairmen and directors instructing the management. You have chairmen and directors inserting themselves into active negotiations.”

Small said this represented “a complete breach of governance standards.”

“You are a non-executive director. You take the report from the executive. You don’t sit in the room and negotiate contracts. That is not supposed to happen. But we see it happening all the time and I am amazed that no one is talking about it. It seems that it is not happening.”

Insisting he will not be silenced on the issue, Small read an excerpt from a state enterprises manual, which outlined the role of a non-executive chairman.

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