FWPA receives a big tick for corporate performance

News /
20 January 2012
FWPA receives a big tick for corporate performance

Forest and Wood Products Australia Limited (FWPA) has been given a big tick in an independent review of its corporate performance. According to the report issued by SED Consulting, FWPA is a well-run company that has met all its obligations.

The review was commissioned as part of FWPA’s obligations under its 5-year Statutory Funding Agreement (SFA) with the Commonwealth Government.

The consultants, who are very familiar with the rural research and development sector, reviewed a large number of corporate documents such as strategic plans, annual reports and board papers, as well as feedback from stakeholders. They examined how FWPA manages its internal board and management processes (‘corporate governance’), how it plans and reports upon its various activities, the processes it adopts in managing R&D, marketing and other investments, how well it communicates with its members and other stakeholders, and how it measures the benefits it is delivering.

“This is a great result for FWPA,” said Ric Sinclair, FWPA’s managing director. “It shows that we are heading in the right direction in building an organisation that has strong corporate governance, focused strategic programs and is delivering value to all stakeholders.”

The SED final report stated: “Where there were some areas of relative weakness early in FWPA’s existence these have generally been addressed over the review period.” The review period covered from the time FWPA formed in 2007, replacing the government-owned statutory authority (Forest and Wood Products Research Development Corporation).

A summary of Performance Review findings are as follows:

  • Board and management structures and processes are sound, with the Industry Advisory Groups providing broad stakeholder input into planning and operations
  • Some corporate documentation could be tightened up, and the consultants have made recommendations for several governance documents to be created or upgraded
  • The planning and reporting process, from strategic plan to annual operating plan and annual report, is robust and meets all requirements, although some of the benefits arising from FWPA investments could be communicated more succinctly and clearly to stakeholders than they currently are
  • Investments in R&D, promotion, tech transfer and standards are being managed in a manner consistent with those of similar industry service bodies
  • Communication with members and other stakeholders is proactive and well regarded, especially the accessibility of senior management and the ‘R&D Works’ seminars
  • FWPA is able to demonstrate objectively that it is delivering a positive benefit to its members and to taxpayers

A copy of the consultant’s report has been published on the FWPA website.

Mr Sinclair noted that the performance review was extremely useful in having a set of independent eyes examine the company, its corporate documentation and processes, as well as seeking feedback from stakeholders.

“The FWPA board and management is committed to continuous improvement, so we have welcomed the report’s findings and have committed to acting upon the recommendations of the review over the next few months and through the next planning and reporting cycle,” Mr Sinclair said.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank my chairman, Mr Ron Adams, and fellow directors (past and present) for their commitment and contribution, and their ongoing belief that FWPA can make a difference. Also, I would like to thank the staff of FWPA, members of our advisory groups, our research providers and marketing suppliers,” he said.

“The evolution of FWPA from a statutory authority to a stakeholder focused company is very much a team effort and it is very satisfying to work with a team that shares a common purpose in building a better future for the forest and wood products sector.”

Report link: fwpa.com.au/FWPAPerformanceReview

Forest & Wood Products Australia Limited

Forest and Wood Products Australia (FWPA) is a not for profit company that provides a national, integrated research and development focus for the Australian forest and wood products industry.

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Head Office

Forest & Wood Products Australia

Level 4, 10-16 Queen Street

Melbourne, Vic, 3000

Phone: (03) 9927 3...