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The Forum > General Discussion > Do we need more independent Directors in Corporations and Not-for-profit organisations?

Do we need more independent Directors in Corporations and Not-for-profit organisations?

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Given the issues with the News Corp governance, and more locally, Centro, is there a growing need for independent directors to sit on boards?

To seek the most suitable, independent and unbiased directors, it is essential for organisations to reduce the reliance on existing networks, and instead target directors openly, equitably and accessibly.

Recently launched business, BoardofDirectors.com.au, has found that more than 63% of not-for-profit organisations in Australia will be looking for new board members in the next 12 months.

Perhaps the not-for-profit sector needs to attract independent directors too?
Posted by pgupta, Sunday, 7 August 2011 12:50:41 PM
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"Given the issues with the News Corp governance, and more locally, Centro, is there a growing need for independent directors to sit on boards?"

I think the share holders are the best ones to decide who will sit on boards simply because they are the ones who own the business and a bord can additionally second appointees if they feel they will benefit from an "independent director".

in other words, for public and private companies, operating int he public domain, the current system works perfectly well

for NGOs - they are populated by activists... I suppose they are the most motivated for the cause and will do the best job (wihtin limits)
Posted by Col Rouge, Sunday, 7 August 2011 3:22:38 PM
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there is no such thing as 'independant'
in fact the nest board members..are on other boards
but then to which have they prime loyalties

independant sound's a balance
but we each have 'other' intrests
its just unreasonable to think anyone can be independant

a board is a group of trustees
the company is their trust
thats all they are meant to be serving
but human nature is weak...[often new board members go along with those who got them the nice board position]

the best systems are communal..
where the workers hare the duties and the spoils
where its about product delivery/sevice..not about 'growth'..or bottum line

or future bonus
[in truth boards could easy disappear
and workers can fill orders..that sales sells on commision

one ceo
running consultants..[depts]
that goes back to the workers..who's feed back their ideas

middle men are a waste of time..[mostly]
board positions are about meting with like minded egotists[in the main]

the cammel
was a horse
designed by a committie
ok-ed by the bored board
Posted by one under god, Sunday, 7 August 2011 3:45:45 PM
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Shareholders have no liability for the acts of the large company.

What if we simply say that "liability" is "Limited" only if the actions of the company are "legal"?

I can understand liability being limited (and creditors being shafted) if a company has been operated in good faith.

If a company has not operated in good faith, and shareholders benefited (perhaps over the odds), why should shareholder liability be limited to the (supposed) value of their shares? They are after all "owners" and such are usually required to make good for the damage caused by their dogs.

Rusty
Posted by Rusty Catheter, Sunday, 7 August 2011 4:59:10 PM
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RC Shareholder liability

If you want shareholders with unlimited liability that option exists already.

One type is called a "partnership"

However, when you float your issue, you will not get a single subscribe for your shares.

Insurance companies do have the "names" of people are paid to be exposed to unlimited liability...

they are paid handsomely for accepting the risk, a lot more than a share holder could reasonably expect by way of dividend,

but I for one would not be a "name" for an insurance group, regardless of the reward -

the risk is just too high.

Second point... illegal activity

It is the board of directors who "direct" the activities of a company, not the shareholders or the superannuants who are the ultinmate beneficiaries of superfund holdings.

I would note director can and are frequently prosecuted for the illegal activities of companies they are directors of under laws which already exist.

Some "directors" being imprisoned, many others banned from being a director or officer of a company or participating in the management of a company.

In Australia we have no specifically equivalent legislation to the US, post Enron and World Comm inspired, "Sarbanes-Oxley" laws but you will note, the subsidiary of a US company in Australia is bound by that statute.

footnote: I suggest anyone who wants to make comment in this area have a basic understanding of existing corporate laws before exposing their ignorance.
Posted by Col Rouge, Sunday, 7 August 2011 7:26:40 PM
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Wow, what a difference a few decades can make.

In the 60's 70's and 80's we had just that, it was called 'governments'.

They used to build, maintain and operate public assets. Roads, bridges, power plants, telecom ( pmg)' even banks.

They used to run these assets on a cost recovery basis, in most cases, even the banks used to pay us to use our money, unlike the leaches we have today.

All but gone. Sold to the highest bidder, often foriegn owned at that, all with only one motivator, and that's to please the shareholder.

It's a discrgrace that all governments from Keating on should hold their heads in utter shame about.

If we wish to achieve anything, perhaps we should look towards privatizing the governments. At least then if they go broke they can't take us down with them as they would be risking their money, not ours.
Posted by rehctub, Sunday, 7 August 2011 8:02:45 PM
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