[LINK] FOI & Corporate Governance Re: Key NBN bill passes the Senate

Marghanita da Cruz marghanita at ramin.com.au
Sat Mar 26 14:08:39 AEDT 2011

As an Australian Company, the NBNCo has a board

Though with only one shareholder, all appointments have been
made by the government

It isn't listed so would not, I imagine, need to conform to
ASX continuous disclosure framework. But would need to meet
ASIC regulations as well as OH&S, Telecommunications Act, 
Environment, ACCC....

What we don't want is for the NBNCo to be a WorldCom or One.Tel

They would be obligated to keep their shareholder informed.
Their shareholder in the form of the Government, 
Ministers/PM could be subject to an FOI request. Presumably 
also answerable to some kind of Federal Parliamentary Committee.

I imagine it depends on how satisfactory, the responses are
to the FOI and committee requests  under the current scheme,
which will be the subject or rather should be the subject of
the review.

On a slight tangent, Future Fund ceases to be a substantial
shareholder in Telstra (PDF 75.8 KB)
See their governance

Australia Post

Note the Disclosure Logs Discussion paper also raises the
issue, of making FOI responses available to the Applicant
(eg Journalist) before the public.


rene wrote:
> On Sat, 26 Mar 2011 09:53:09 +1100, Jan Whitaker wrote:
> [...]
>> There are other groups that have been said to be outside FOI, such as
>> NEHTA. [Roger, correct me if I have this wrong.] This has been a
>> problem because of the level of reliance the country has on this
>> group for eHealth, and in particular for the last 10 years,
>> electronic health records.
>> It's like we have this second government operating, either through
>> assigned 'independent' qangos that just fall outside the compliance
>> rules or public-private-partnerships where commercial in confidence
>> comes into play.
> Indeed.
> NEHTA exempt from FOI laws, 22/2/2011
> http://www.theaustralian.com.au/australian-it/government/nehta-exempt-from-
> foi-laws/story-fn4htb9o-1226010207774
> =====
> "...Dr Popple said the [FOI] Act covered departments and prescribed 
> authorities.
> "Prescribed authorities are crucially defined to mean a body corporate, an 
> unincorporated body established for a public purpose," he said. "I 
> understand NEHTA is a public company limited by guarantee so it is not 
> covered."
> [...]
> Last month Prime Minister Julia Gillard confirmed that NBN Co, the company 
> charged with building the $36 billion broadband network, would also avoid 
> FOI scrutiny as an incorporated company. ..."
> =====
> There's also a bunch of exemptions from FOI for various entities that are 
> departments or "prescribed authorities" in Sch 2 of the Act.
> http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/foia1982222/sch2.html
> Could be other exemptions buried somewhere in it as well.
> Irene
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Marghanita da Cruz
Tel: 0414-869202

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