Figure 2.2 shows the key elements of the Library’s corporate governance structure.

Figure 2.2 shows the key elements of the Library’s corporate governance


The National Library Act 1960 provides that a council shall conduct the affairs of the Library. The Council has 12 members, including the Director-General, one senator elected by the Senate and one member of the House of Representatives elected by the House.

At 30 June 2012, there was one vacancy on Council. Appendix A lists Council members and their attendance at Council meetings.

In 2011–12, in addition to general administrative compliance and financial matters, Council considered a range of matters, including:

  • the Library’s Strategic Directions 2012–14
  • the implications and governance of new work health and safety legislation
  • budget trend analysis information
  • potential revenue-raising opportunities from Library activities
  • new acquisitions
  • the Digital Library Infrastructure Replacement (DLIR) project
  • the National Cultural Policy
  • the Strategic Workforce Plan
  • environmental management
  • community language newspaper digitisation
  • the Library’s Asian Collection
  • building works and maintenance plans
  • extension of legal deposit provisions
  • new key performance indicators for 2012–13 for Australian Government arts and culture agencies.

The Council has two advisory committees: the Audit Committee and the Corporate Governance Committee .

Audit Committee

The role of the Audit Committee is to:

  • support the Library and Council members in complying with their obligations under the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997
  • provide a forum for communication among Council members, senior managers and internal and external auditors
  • ensure there is an appropriate ethical climate in the Library and review policies relating to internal controls and risk management.

The Audit Committee comprises a minimum of three non-executive Council members. If required, Council may appoint external members to the Audit Committee. The Council Chair and Director-General also attend meetings. Details of Audit Committee members and meeting attendance can be found at Appendix A.

In 2011–12, the Audit Committee considered a range of matters, including:

  • financial statements for 2010–11
  • fraud risk assessment and the Fraud Control Plan 2012–13
  • harmonisation of work health and safety legislation
  • Library trust-account disbursements
  • internal assessment of Audit Committee performance
  • internal audit schedule
  • Australian National Audit Office 2011–12 financial statement audit strategy
  • compliance report
  • internal audit plan
  • internal audits of:
    • management of capital works
    • post-implementation review of the Bookshop stock control system
    • Sales and Promotion and Bookshop annual stocktake
    • control framework maturity assessment
    • GST/FBT compliance and business continuity planning
  • reports on legal services, compliance, fraud management, risk management and business continuity, contract management and training.

Corporate Governance Committee

The role of the Corporate Governance Committee is to:

  • evaluate Council’s effectiveness in its corporate governance role
  • evaluate the Director-General’s performance and remuneration 
  • oversee the development of a list of prospective members for appointment to Council, subject to consideration and approval by the Minister.

The Corporate Governance Committee comprises three non-executive Council members—the Chair, the Deputy Chair and the Chair of the Audit Committee—and has the authority to coopt non-executive Council members.

Appendix A lists the Corporate Governance Committee members. In February 2012, the Corporate Governance Committee met to consider a Council evaluation and, in June 2012,
it met to discuss the Director-General’s performance

Corporate Management Group

The Corporate Management Group (CMG), consisting of the Director-General and the six senior executive service (SES) staff, provides strategic and operational leadership for the Library.In particular, it monitors the achievement of objectives and strategies, oversees budget matters, develops policy, coordinates activities across the organisation and oversees a range of operational issues. CMG meets weekly.

A number of cross-organisational committees advise CMG in key areas, such as workforce planning, asset management, building works, collection development and management, events and education, exhibitions and publications.

Corporate Planning Framework

The Balanced Scorecard continues to be the Library’s principal planning support system, facilitating the integration of strategic, operational and budget planning. Since its introduction in 2000–01, the Balanced Scorecard has proven to be a successful performance management tool accepted by staff and other stakeholders. All scorecard achievements, initiatives and targets are reviewed regularly as part of strategic management planning and monitoring processes.

Risk Management Framework

The Library’s Risk Management Framework continues to provide effective tools for the identification and evaluation of and response to risks that may affect the collection, core business functions and resources and/or strategic decision making. The Library’s Risk Management Register, which is subject to annual review, is central to this framework. The register lists risks to the Library, as well as risk-reduction strategies. These strategies are managed through established procedures and plans, such as the Collection Disaster Plan, the IT Disaster Recovery Plan, the Business Contingency Plan for Critical Building Systems and the Business Continuity Plan.

Risk management within the Library is overseen by the Library’s Emergency Planning Committee, which is chaired by the Assistant Director-General, Corporate Services, and includes SES staff representing all business areas. The committee provides a clear control structure to identify, monitor, respond to and mitigate risks that may affect the Library.

Following completion of Strategic Directions 2012–14, the Library undertook a legal risk-management review to help safeguard the organisation against high-level risks associated with reputation, litigation and professional exposure. Although no major residual risks were discerned, the review was useful for both Trove and the Digital Library Infrastructure Replacement project.