Governance is set to be a key pillar of the federal government’s actions coming out of the aged care royal commission, reinforcing its importance for business countrywide.
The final report of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety was released by Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Monday, 1 March 2021, which put governance front and centre of needed changes to the sector.
Governance Institute of Australia welcomed the release of the 2,828 page-long report, which contained 148 recommendations – at least seven of which relate directly to provider and system-wide governance issues. The Morrison government has identified governance of one of five pillars in its “five-year roadmap” to respond to the report’s findings.
The final report detailed the need for an ongoing training program for aged care industry directors to help improve their governance arrangements, suggestions how aged care boards should be structured, argued for better protections for whistle-blowers, and called for a “thorough systemic redesign” including “new, robust governance arrangements”.
In light of such governance failures in aged care, the government will, among other things, have approximately 3,700 senior leaders – including board members and senior executives – undergo governance training.
Governance Institute chief executive Megan Motto said that such training is a “much-needed start” in addressing governance issues in aged care, but added that more action will be required.
“Good governance is driven from the top and the targeted training for directors and executives announced today is an excellent initiative,” she said.
“However, looking at the scale of governance failure unearthed in the report, there is clearly much more to be done.”
It is clear, Ms Motto continued, that a “governance-led recovery” must take place.
“Values and behaviour determine and define organisational culture. Governance arrangements reflect and promote the culture of an organisation,” she proclaimed.
Ms Motto said that Governance Institute will await the federal government’s full response to the report, which the royal commission has requested by 31 May 2021.