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Governance and accountability

The museum is a statutory authority within the Arts Portfolio, and is governed by a Council to ensure the proper and efficient performance of its functions.

Corporate governance

The museum is a statutory authority within the Arts Portfolio. Its enabling legislation, the Australian National Maritime Museum Act 1990 (the ANMM Act), established a governing council to ensure the proper and efficient performance of its functions.

At 30 June 2019 the Council comprised 12 members, including the museum’s Director and a representative of the Royal Australian Navy.

The full Council met five times during the reporting period. Business is facilitated through seven committees (see Council meetings and committees). They meet in advance of each full Council meeting, and additionally if required, providing advice on the matters identified in their respective charters. Each committee apart from the Audit Committee comprises the Director and at least two other councillors, one of whom acts as chair. All councillors are welcome to attend any committee meeting in an ex-officio capacity.

The Council operates under a governance policy that includes a requirement for periodic self-assessment. The Council is committed to continuous improvement, and various changes were implemented throughout the course of the year. A number of councillors are members of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and subject to its code of conduct. All councillors are aware of the need to comply with both the letter and the spirit of relevant legislation. Operations are informed by the highest museological standards and codes of practice and all staff are bound by the Australian Public Service Values and Code of Conduct.

The museum prepares four-year corporate plans that are updated annually and annual operating plans for ministerial approval in accordance with the ANMM Act. The Minister receives reports on matters of significance, and the Chairman and Director meet with the Minister as required. A senior departmental representative attends all Council meetings as an observer and copies of the minutes are subsequently provided to the Minister and department. The museum is subject to the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act).

All museum staff are aware of the importance of good governance, and governance is a regular item on the agenda for the executive management group’s fortnightly meetings.

The names of the museum’s executives and their responsibilities, as at 30 June 2019, are:

Kevin Sumption PSM Director and CEO

Tanya Bush Deputy Director, Corporate Services and Chief Financial Officer

Michael Harvey Assistant Director, Public Engagement and Research & Commercial and Visitor Services

Paul McCarthy Executive Manager, Governance and Corporate Strategy

Malcolm Moir Head of Foundation and Development

Peter Rout Assistant Director, Operations