Figure 2.2 shows the principal elements of the Library's corporate governance structure.

Figure 2.2: Corporate Governance Structure, 2014–15

2015 figure 2.2


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 2015, there was one vacancy on Council. Appendix A lists Council members and their attendance at Council meetings. On 16 June 2015, the House of Representatives appointed the Member for Werriwa, Mr Laurie Ferguson MP, to the Council.

In 2014–15, in addition to general administrative, compliance and financial matters, Council considered a range of matters, including:

  • the Corporate Plan 2015–2019;

  • the Enhanced Commonwealth Performance Framework;

  • implications of the PGPA Act;

  • shared services arrangements;

  • the DLIR project;

  • the 2015–16 Budget;

  • use of Library trust accounts;

  • new acquisitions;

  • integration of the Library’s reading rooms;

  • Libraries Australia

  • Strategic Workforce planning;

  • work health and safety;

  • environmental management;

  • the activities of the Library’s Foundation Board;

  • Council’s evaluation of its performance;

  • changes to services and opening hours.

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

Audit Committee

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

In 2014–15, the Audit Committee considered a range of matters, including:

  • financial statements for 2013–14;
  • Library trust account disbursements;
  • internal assessment of the Audit Committee’s performance;
  • review of the Audit Committee’s role and charter;
  • the internal audit schedule;
  • the Australian National Audit Office’s 2014–15 financial statement audit strategy;
  • the compliance report required under the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997
  • the Public Management Reform Agenda and the PGPA Act;
  • the Internal Audit Plan 2015–16;
  • internal audits of:
    • the Fraud Risk Assessment and Fraud Control Plan
    • stocktake of Sales and Promotion, and the Bookshop
    • information and communication technologies (ICT) governance
    • the Building Works project (Reading Room Integration project);
  • Australian National Audit Office reports and recommendations;
  • valuation of the collection;
  • reports on legal services, compliance, fraud and ethics, risk management and business continuity, insurance, whistleblower complaints, public interest disclosures, contract management and training, audit committee training, the DLIR project and shared services.

Corporate Governance Committee

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 other non-executive Council members.

Appendix A lists the Corporate Governance Committee members. In February 2015, the Corporate Governance Committee met to consider the results of the 2014 Council Self-Evaluation Survey and, in June 2015, 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 areas such as workforce planning, asset management, building works, emergency planning, 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 proved 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. In 2014–15, the Library completed a review of its performance indicators and explored alternative reporting systems to the Balanced Scorecard. This work was initiated to assist the Library to develop and implement performance frameworks under the PGPA Act.

Risk Management Framework

The Library’s Risk Management Framework continues to provide effective tools for identifying, evaluating and responding to risks that may affect the collection, core business functions and resources, staff and visitors, and/or strategic decision-making.

The Library’s Risk Management Register, which is subject to annual review, is central to this framework. The register records risks to the Library, as well as risk mitigation and 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 Framework.

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 officers representing all business areas. The committee provides a clear control structure to identify, monitor, respond to and mitigate risks that may affect the Library.

Section 16 of the PGPA Act, which came into effect on 1 July 2014, provides that accountable authorities of all Commonwealth entities must establish and maintain appropriate systems of risk oversight, management and internal control for the entity. The Commonwealth Risk Management Policy was introduced to support the PGPA Act framework and is supplemented by a draft Risk Management Better Practice Guide. The goal of the policy is to embed risk management within the culture of Commonwealth entities, so the shared understanding of risk leads to well-informed decision-making.

Corporate Commonwealth entities, such as the Library, are not formally required to comply with the policy but should review and align their risk management frameworks and systems with the policy as a matter of good practice. The Library has commenced a review of internal arrangements and risk management practices to assess performance in relation to the policy and in relation to the recommendations and guidance provided in the Better Practice Guide.

An internal audit review of the Library’s Risk Management Framework is scheduled for 2015–16, which will provide further assurance that the Library’s framework is in alignment with the requirements of the PGPA Act.