Transparency, openness and honesty are key traits of excellence in business and government. New Zealand’s transparency ranks very well in most global surveys but we cannot be complacent.
(As the Guest Speaker at the Seventh Annual Indian Newslink Sir Anand Satyanand Lecture to be held on August 7, 2017 at Alexandra Park, Greenlane, Auckland), I will reflect on this taonga, drawing on my wide experience as Controller and Auditor General, Deputy Police Commissioner and a public servant. I will make comparisons from my global experience, particularly to our neighbouring Pacific countries.
As a Chartered Accountant, in my opinion, high quality financial and performance reporting are key elements of transparency and a vital tool for good governance.
But they are not enough on their own.
This Lecture will cover my reflections on other important features of governance.
One such feature is the ethical standards and integrity expected of governors, including the example they set for those around them.
Obviously, my career has been devoted to upholding the highest standards of integrity and dealing with those who fall short of those standards.
Virtues of Auditing
You would expect an ex-Auditor General to expound the virtues of auditing.
I will, not just from a New Zealand perspective, but also as a new member of the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board.
It might be more interesting than you expect!
This lecture will make use of a range of real life stories bringing to life transparency, governance and our future challenges.
Lyn Provost retired as Controller & Auditor General of New Zealand on January 31, 2017. She will be the Guest Speaker at the Seventh Annual Indian Newslink Sir Anand Satyanand Lecture on Monday, August 7, 2017 at Alexandra Park, Greenlane, Auckland. Medtech Global Executive Chairman Vino Ramayah will be the Master of Ceremonies with Nirvana Health Group Director Ranjna Patel providing ‘Perspectives’ and former Member of Parliament Dr Rajen Prasad offering his ‘Reflections’ on the proceedings.
The following was filed by Indian Newslink Editor.
If there was one good effect of the Global Financial Crisis, it was the awakening of governments, top managements of large companies and organisations (such as airlines and banks) whose failure would have varied ramifications.
Since the Crisis revealed widespread flaws in corporate governance, shareholders have flexed their muscles more often. There has been public outrage over high executive pay, while regulatory reforms have given shareholders greater power and the media has placed more scrutiny on how they use it.
All this has created a climate where even the most profitable companies can be targets of activism if their corporate governance is not up to scratch.
The context for corporate governance in Asia is evolving, with firms becoming subject to greater pressure from shareholders, who demand increased transparency and accurate information about financial performance, ownership, incentives and accountability.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Liberal Democratic Party recently drew up Corporate Governance rules for hundreds of Japanese firms and their shareholders, the first of their kind in Japan.
Following the formation of the ASEAN Economic Community at the end of 2015, South-east Asian companies will also need to demonstrate good governance to lure investors to new opportunities in the region.
Questions for Corporates
Law enforcement agencies such as the Accountant General, Auditor General, Inland Revenue, Financial Markets Authority, Central Banks and others need to monitor market movements and performance of corporates. They need to ask a number of questions for their effective functioning.
They are: (a) To what extent do investors now demand more accountability from the companies in which they invest? (b) Socially responsible investing: How are investors’ expectations shaping corporate governance in the region? (c) Should corporate governance follow models developed in Western countries, or should Asia develop its own? (d) How is the changing economic climate affecting risk management? And (e) Has the regulatory climate changed significantly since 2008?
Economic integration in ASEAN will offer new challenges as well as opportunities. Given this precarious environment, risk is constantly an important topic in the boardroom. Changes in corporate governance that are afoot in Asia only reinforce this. Several of the region’s globally minded firms are increasing transparency and accountability as they boost their balance sheets abroad. Increasingly, businesses are aware that post-crisis and in an era of shareholder activism, even the most profitable companies can become targets if their corporate governance is not up to scratch.
Tickets to the Seventh Annual Indian Newslink Sir Anand Satyanand Lecture, priced at $150 plus GST per person and $1500 plus GST for a Table of ten persons, are now available. Please call (09) 5336377 or 021-836528; Email: editor @indiannewslink.co.nz
The cost includes Cocktails and Networking, Dinner and Lecture.
Former MP Dr Rajen Prasad, Nirvana Heath Group Director Ranjna Patel and Medtech Executive Chairman Vino Ramayah will also provide their take on accountability and transparency based on their own professional experience in government and private sector at our Annual Lecture.
(File Picture by Creative Photography)
The Seventh Annual Indian Newslink Sir Anand Satyanand Lecture has the honour and privilege of a number of premier organisations about whom we had highlighted in our May 1, 2017 issue. We are happy to report here the activities of the Auckland District Law Society, which has been supporting us over the past three years.
Auckland District Law Society
The Auckland District Law Society (ADLS) is an independent membership organisation representing the New Zealand legal profession.
It is renowned for its programmes for fostering collegiality, thought leadership and professional development, for the advancement of the profession.
Supported by a membership of around 4000 members, with an unsurpassed knowledge of the law and a commitment to make that available to the public, ADLS operates 16 legal Committees, delivers a highly regarded CPD programme, produces and maintains over 150 widely used legal forms including the Agreement for Sale and Purchase of Real Estate and the Commercial Deed of Lease, operates a successful online WebForms portal, as well as an inspired calendar of collegiality events to connect the profession.
In addition, it produces a weekly legal publication, Law News, and a weekly e-bulletin. Both publications are provided free to ADLS members.
Editor’s Note: Other Organisations supporting the Seventh Annual Indian Newslink Sir Anand Satyanand Lecture are the Institute of Directors Auckland Branch, Global Women, Co.OfWomen and India New Zealand Business Council.