The missing issue: Ethics

The tragic suicide of the UK nurse who answered the 2DayFM radio show prank call has reverberated around the world.

As we have moved into the world of social media, we are now seeing a new level of abuse: witness the instant reaction of people hurling abuse at Mel Greig and Michael Christian, the two perpetrators of the prank.

The media has meanwhile raced to respond to the crisis; – maybe as an attempt to stall  moves by governments to reduce the media’s right to “self-regulation” and to shore up what they perceive as  the freedom of the press.

Over the last couple of days multiple journalists and commentators have expressed their opinions regarding both the prank call and its fallout. Continue reading

Does Corruption in the Public Sector and Resulting ICAC Investigation Decrease Effective Management?

ICAC released a report into its investigation into corruption by an IT Manager through recruitment at the University of Sydney.  ICAC made 7 recommendations, however a number of them, in my opinion the recommendations are less than optimal.

A full copy of the ICAC report released on 24 October 2012 can be found at http://www.icac.nsw.gov.au/investigations/past-investigations/article/4167.

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Appointment as a Councillor of the Medical Council of New South Wales

We are pleased to announce that Jason Masters has been appointed by the Minister of Health as a Councillor of the Medical Council of New South Wales.  In addition to his appointment to the main Council he has also been appointed to two key subcommittees, the Conduct Committee and Governance Committee.

The Medical Council of New South Wales has the responsibility to ensure that medical practitioners are fit to practise medicine. It achieves this by ensuring registered doctors maintain proper standards of conduct and competence and by providing a range of programs and services for this purpose.  For more details see http://www.mcnsw.org.au/

Lead Article in Procurement Professional – June 2012

Pleased to announce that I have been the author of the lead article in the “Procurement Professional” magazine just released for June 2012 – discussing the upcoming changes in the NSW Government procurement model and opportunities for enhancing probity in this sector.  For details see http://ppdigital.pponline.com.au/

Credit cards: the smarter approach

If there is one good thing to emerge from the Craig Thomson/HSU debacle – and surely every cloud has a sliver of silver lining – it is that a bright light has been focussed on the area of credit card control.

There are sound and legitimate reasons for organisations providing key personnel with credit cards which I strongly support: they offer flexibility and purchasing agility; can streamline the purchase of relatively inexpensive products and service; and, improve the purchase-to-pay cycles. At the same time credit cards offer organisations a clear audit trail of who bought what and when. Continue reading

Backward Guide on Best Practice for Australian Commonwealth Public Sector Audit Committees

Australian National Audit Office – Public Sector Audit Committees – Independent Assurance and Advice for Chief Executives and Boards – August 2011 – Best Practice Guide.

On 31 August 2011 the Australian National Audit Office (the office of the Australian Commonwealth Auditor-General) released its latest best practice guide for Audit Committees in the Commonwealth Public Sector.

Given the advancement in other public sector jurisdictions in Australia, and significant improvements in the private sector, this is an exceptionally disappointing body of work and may not lead to the improvement in governance in the Australian Commonwealth Public Sector. I am disappointed that the Commonwealth Auditor-General has not provided effective leadership in the Commonwealth in this area. Continue reading

Social Media – Board Perspective

I have noticed an increase in the number of articles that provide information and guidance for Board Members on the use of social media (I admit this may partially reflect my own growing interest).  Some of the discussion has been on how to provide information about ourselves appropriately (and effectively) in the corporate social media space. Continue reading

Boards and Technology

There has been some blog and notes recently around the use of technology in the board room.  Whether to use iPads or other technology to manage and communicate board and committee papers.  Whilst this is a useful development for the efficiency of the board room, I think there are more fundamental issues in relation to technology for boards to consider.

I have had a number of conversations recently in the context of strategic issues that are facing boards and have been surprised that technology has not been on the list. Continue reading