Improvements in the commercial performance of Government agencies should go hand-in-hand with increased accountability, according to Microeconomic Reform Minister Geoff Gallop.
Dr Gallop said accountability provisions needed continual evaluation as the State's trading agencies replaced 'representative' boards with more commercially-oriented boards on which participation was determined by the business expertise of members.
Suggested accountability provisions for Government boards and liability provisions for directors were included in a public discussion paper released by the Minister today.
Dr Gallop said the Government wanted to stimulate widespread community discussion before finalising its policy on directors liabilities provisions and accountability of Government boards.
"The aim of improving the performance of Government trading enterprises is to lower the real cost of the services they provide to the community and to boost international competitiveness," he said.
"Our preferred approach to participation on Government boards parallels normal commercial practice where nowadays much more stringent accountability is expected of board members.
"However, there are differences between government and private sector agencies and it is not necessarily appropriate that directors' liabilities mirror those detailed in corporations law. In some instances, directors' liabilities need to be stricter for public sector board members."
Dr Gallop said public submissions on the discussion paper `Accountability and Responsibility' would be accepted for six weeks.
Copies of the discussion paper could be obtained from the Microeconomic Reform Branch, Department of the Cabinet, 15th Floor, 197 St George's Tce, Perth - 222 8933; Fax: 222 9509.