The legal framework for Screen Australia’s corporate governance practices is set out in the Screen Australia Act 2008, the Public Governance Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (the PGPA Act) and the Public Service Act 1999.
Screen Australia congratulates Deborah Mailman AM on her appointment to the Board for three years, with her first term ending 11 March 2022, and the reappointment of Board members Claudia Karvan, Michael Hawkins and Richard King for a further three years to 23 August 2022.
Board members are appointed by the Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts by written instrument. A member holds office for the period specified in the instrument of appointment. The period must not exceed three years. Members may be reappointed but the total period of Board membership must not exceed nine years.
The Board is responsible for the governance practices of Screen Australia.
ATTENDANCE AND REMUNERATION
The Board is paid such remuneration and allowances as determined by the Remuneration Tribunal, out of the monies of Screen Australia. Board members’ attendance at Board meetings and Audit Committee meetings is set out on pages 58 and 60.
ROLE OF THE BOARD
The Board is responsible for performing its functions and exercising its powers consistent with the Screen Australia Act 2008. The Chief Executive Officer is appointed by the Board in consultation with the Minister, but is not a member of the Board.
The Board acts in accordance with its Charter and Code of Conduct, set out on pages 58 and 60. In accordance with Section 46 of the PGPA Act, the Board is responsible for preparing the Annual Report and for giving it to the Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, The Hon Paul Fletcher MP.
CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
Board members’ obligations are provided for in a number of legal instruments, including the Screen Australia Act 2008 and the PGPA Act. Board members are also subject to Screen Australia’s Code of Conduct and Values (which are consistent with the Australian Public Service’s Code of Conduct and Values), as well as Screen Australia’s Board Conflict of Interest Policy.
Board members who have a material personal interest in a matter under consideration by the Board or the Audit Committee are required to declare that interest. A Board member with a material personal interest in a matter being considered by the Board is required to leave the meeting while the matter is considered and a decision is made, and is not permitted to vote on other projects under consideration in that round. Disclosure of such interests and departure from the meeting are recorded in the minutes of the meeting.
The Manager, Governance is responsible for maintaining a register of Board members’ interests, which is updated annually or as private interests are declared.
The Audit Committee was established in accordance with Section 45 of the PGPA Act, to assist the Board in the discharge of its responsibilities. During 2018/19, the Audit Committee consisted of Richard King (Chair), Claudia Karvan, Jenny Taing and Megan Brownlow (from 21 February 2019).
The Audit Committee provides a forum for communication between the full Board, senior management and Screen Australia’s internal and external auditors.
Pursuant to the Charter of the Audit Committee, the Committee must satisfy itself that the internal management and accounting controls are operating effectively, review the risk management strategy, consider external audit reports, and monitor management’s implementation of recommendations and regulatory compliance.
The Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer have a standing invitation to attend each meeting as observers only, with representatives of internal and external auditors also invited to attend as observers. The Audit Committee met on four occasions during the year (see page 58 for details).
Under Section 43 of the PGPA Act, the Auditor-General is the external auditor of Screen Australia.
Screen Australia maintains an internal audit function, which reports to the Audit Committee. The current internal auditor is RSM. The role of the internal auditor includes monitoring the risk management plan, and providing assurance regarding the accuracy of financial and management information, asset protection, regulatory compliance and fraud control.
The audit strategies of the internal auditor are subject to review by the Audit Committee on an annual basis. The internal audit report of operations is reviewed at meetings of the Audit Committee.
No control or compliance deficiencies constituting unacceptable risks to Screen Australia were identified during the RSM audits.
Screen Australia’s Risk Management Policy and plan provide a formal framework for effectively managing the agency’s business risks. The plan categorises Screen Australia’s business risks using methodologies derived from Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS ISO 31000:2018 Risk Management.
The Board has a current Fraud Risk Assessment and Fraud Control Plan in place, in accordance with Section 10 of the Public Governance Performance and Accountability Rule 2014 and the Commonwealth Fraud Control Framework (2017) issued by the Attorney-General.
The plan verifies Screen Australia’s general status as a low-risk agency. This assessment was based on the adequacy of the controls that are in place or are being implemented.
The agency has in place appropriate fraud prevention, detection, investigation and reporting procedures that meet its specific needs and comply with The Fraud Guidance.