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Case Study: Assessing a Chair’s Performance

A business unit within a state government department was required to review the performance of the Chair of a public sector board as part of a regular governance assessment.

Situation

The term of the Chair of a Public Sector Board was up for renew. The Board sat at the intersection of several areas of potential social sensitivity and while not responsible for policy across these areas was tasked with ensuring a range of critical compliance including significant field work and in a highly complex industry. The department sought an external review of the Chair’s performance to provide independent insight into the performance of the Chair over the term of their appointment.

Action

FPL Advisory’s approach to the review aligned closely with the Department of Premier and Cabinet Appointment Guidelines and the Victorian Public Sector Commission Board and Director Performance Assessments Guide.

FPL Advisory was engaged due to our experience working with public sector Boards and statutory authorities which provides us with a platform to take a holistic view of organisational performance across operational, governance and stakeholder matters and match this against defined and common criteria.

To conduct the review, we undertook a desktop review of the Board’s enabling legislation and Board meeting minutes alongside considerations under the Public Administration Act 2004 which provides ‘a framework for good governance in the Victorian public sector and in public administration generally in Victoria’ and outlines a range of policy and procedures to be in place including code of conduct, conflict of interest, gifts, benefits and hospitality, board meetings and decisions and performance assessment.

We also engaged with key stakeholders and related parties to secure an informed view on performance whilst maintaining an agnostic and independent view.

Outcome

The findings of this assessment were presented through a framework of the strengths and weaknesses of the Chair and considered the performance in the context of external environment which has a number of opportunities and threats which must be managed. In addition, the review identified a number of other operational factors for consideration by the Department and Minister more generally.

As aligned with the process, the findings were an independent assessment of the current situation and past performance rather than to draw any specific recommendation on reappointment.

FPL Advisory supports clients across many industry sectors to resolve risks, create opportunities and support government engagement

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