Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 6 Hansard (22 June) . . Page.. 2125..
MS GALLAGHER (continuing):
The effect of this amendment will be to ensure that territory-owned corporations will disclose in their annual reports the remuneration details of each director and the remuneration of details of up to five of the most highly paid senior managers or executives in the corporation. This is in contrast to the current level of disclosure, which is confined to reporting the remuneration of key management personnel in aggregate.
The bill also defines the term "senior manager"in similar terms as the definition found in the Corporations Act 2001 to mean a person who makes or takes a part in making decisions that affect all or a large part of the business of the corporation or may significantly affect the financial standing of the corporation.
It is my intention that the new disclosure requirement will apply to the 2009-10 annual reports. That will only be possible if this bill is passed in the Assembly during this June sitting period. Publicly listed companies are already required to report remuneration details in the manner prescribed in this bill, and I consider it is in the public interest for territory-owned corporations to provide a similar level of disclosure.
Although the public sector consists of a diverse range of entities with varying degrees of independence, it is incumbent that they are all transparent in and accountable for their operations. I can see no good reason that the need for the public sector organisations to conduct their operations with an appropriate degree of openness and transparency should not apply to territory-owned corporations. As the government is the sole owner of these entities and ultimately bears the risk, there is the general expectation that the public is entitled to be kept properly informed of their actions and operations.
This particularly applies to the directors and executives of territory-owned corporations, as they hold positions of significant responsibility within the corporation and their decisions can have a major impact on the community. As it stands, unlike their public service counterparts, the executives of territory-owned corporations are not required to have separately disclosed their remuneration details, as only limited aggregate remuneration disclosures are required under the relevant accounting standards and prevailing legislation.
Without any statutory obligation for the information to be disclosed publicly, the commonwealth's Privacy Act also prevents the separate disclosure of remuneration without the prior consent of the individual concerned. This bill will effectively overcome these barriers and provide improved transparency about the level and types of remuneration that is being paid to key executives of territory-owned corporations, and I commend the bill to the Assembly.
Debate (on motion by Mr Smyth) adjourned to the next sitting.
Independent reviewer of government advertising
MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra-Chief Minister, Minister for Transport, Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Land and Property Services, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs and Minister for the Arts and Heritage) (12.12), by leave: I move: