CORPORATE GOVERNANCE & ETHICS
AUSTRALIAN CORPORATE ETHICS & GOVERNANCE
“AUSTRALIA’S ETHICAL SCORE HAS TAKEN A TUMBLE, FALLING FOR THE SECOND YEAR IN A ROW”
A perspective from Kimmaree Thompson
Corporate Governance, including setting and maintaining ethical standards is at the core of what all Board Members are charged with by their stakeholders, it is a particularly strong performance measure for an Independent Board Member.
It is difficult to get Australian-specific data on how business, NGO’s and governments, at all levels, are performing when it comes to maintaining ethics and governance standards. In many ways, what constitutes good ethics and good governance changes with community expectations. What was considered acceptable in the 1950’s is unlikely to be considered acceptable behaviour in 2023, especially when it comes to equality, sustainability and human rights.
The Governance Institute of Australia provides Independent Directors and corporate leadership teams, with contemporary annual insight into how our performance is perceived by the Australian people.
As we pass the Australia Day Holiday Weekend, kids are getting ready to return to school and Australia moves out of summer holiday mode into the high productivity part of their year so it is a good time to reflect on if our organisations are giving enough priority to the issue of corporate governance and ethics. Here is a bit of a deep-dive into the 2022 Australian Governance Institute Ethics Survey from the end of 2022.
What is the 2022 Governance Institute of Australia Ethics Survey?
The Governance Institute Australia 2022 Ethics Survey is a survey conducted by the Governance Institute of Australia to gain insights into how Australians view ethical and moral practices in their society. The Governance Institute of Australia has been conducting this survey since 2002, aiming to understand changes in ethical values over time and inform public policy-makers on the most pressing ethical issues. The 2022 Survey was conducted during August/September 2022.
The 2022 Survey focused on topics such as government integrity, corporate governance, workplace ethics, environmental sustainability and social equity. It will also assess public attitudes towards current issues such as diversity and inclusion initiatives and artificial intelligence. Through responses from more than 1,000 Australians nationwide, the survey looks to provide a comprehensive snapshot of Australian societal understanding of ethics in 2022.
What are some of the Governance Institute of Australia 2022 Ethics Survey key findings?
Governance Institute CEO Megan Motto said this year’s results show a downward trend in trust in Australia, and direct action is required to reverse this trend.
‘A stabilisation in trust and ethics had been hoped for this year but it was not to be,’ Ms Motto said.
‘We are now seeing a distinct downward trend in trust and ethics. Given strong ethics are an indicator of a strong, well-functioning society, this is a major concern and this year’s results must serve as a red flag reminder of the importance of trust and ethics at all levels of our society.’
You can listen to the detailed analysis of the Survey below in the Gov Buz Podcast with commentary from the Governance Institute and Crikey.
How can the 2022 Governance Survey shape Australian business practice?
Governance Institute Australia survey found that while almost all respondents believed that ethical behaviour was essential to good governance practice, only a third reported having established procedures for assessing and managing organisational ethics.
Like most business practices, if organisations do not establish an annual program of training, or at least facilitated Leadership Team discussion, to explore the organisations current ethics framework and how well it is working to truly deliver the Corporate Culture objectives … then the issue of corporate ethics is not considered a priority, because it is not being treated as if it was a priority issue.
Governance & Ethics Support Services by Kimmaree Thompson.
If you would like to formalise your leadership team’s commitment to ethics and governance, Kimmaree Thompson can assist your organisation as an Independent Board Advisor or Corporate Consultant.
She has worked with corporations to facilitate Planning and Strategy Days and can also work with your organisation to develop and administer surveys and stakeholder engagement sessions.
The bookings page on this website allows you to book a free initial consultation time to discuss how Kimmaree Thompson may support your organisation.
Who is the Governance Institute Australia?
Governance Institute Australia (GIA) is the peak professional body for Australia’s directors and governance professionals. Established in 1929, GIA is committed to the development of strong corporate governance standards and best practices across all industry sectors, as well as a commitment to promoting excellence in the field of corporate governance.
GIA provides advanced knowledge and training opportunities for board members, company secretaries, compliance officers, risk managers and other directors responsible for corporate governance. They also advise on current topics such as sustainability reporting, social responsibility and international regulations. Their team of experts are regularly sought out by policy makers from both government departments and private organisations to provide analysis on issues related to good governance practices.
The Governance Institute of Australia works closely with board members from top ASX-listed companies to promote ethical leadership through their network of experienced professionals.
You can visit their website at https://www.governanceinstitute.com.au/
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