The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
Picture of Chris Bowen

Chris Bowen

Minister for Financial Services, Superannuation and Corporate Law

9 June 2009 - 14 September 2010

Media Release of 18/08/2009

NO.011

Guidance for Australia's Company Directors

The Minister for Financial Services, Superannuation and Corporate Law, Chris Bowen MP, has asked the Corporations and Markets Advisory Committee (CAMAC) to examine options for providing company directors with clearer guidance to help them understand their role and responsibilities.

"Australia has a world-class system of corporate governance and some of the best company directors in the world," Mr Bowen said.

"Being a company director has many rewards and the Rudd government is keen to ensure that the bright and entrepreneurial minds who lead Australia's companies – both large and small – are fully-informed of the responsibilities that come with their role.

"The government is committed to ensuring Australia's directors are well prepared to meet the requirements expected of them."

Mr Bowen said industry bodies, such as the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Financial Services Association, do a good job of educating directors but noted there is limited formal guidance available to directors, unlike in countries such as the United Kingdom.

CAMAC will consider what guidance can be offered to directors, and particularly non-executive directors, about the performance of their duties.

Mr Bowen has asked CAMAC to:

  • examine the guidance or codes of conduct that are available overseas for corporate directors;
  • examine whether there is sufficient guidance provided to executive directors and non-executive directors in Australia to ensure that they have a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities; and
  • advise whether the performance of directors would be enhanced by the introduction of guidance for directors, for example through a code of conduct or best practice guidance by a relevant regulator – and, if so, what form that guidance should take.

CAMAC will report back to the government by 30 April 2010.

18 August 2009