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Good Governance

Friday, 28 Jun 2013

Some people, when they talk about governance, concentrate on the process of governance. The suggestion is that filling in forms, following set-down procedures, and ticking boxes will result in good governance.

I would contend that governance procedures are indeed good and essential practice, as aide-memoires and as evidence of process, and can help to show transparency, but that  the mere process of governance is not enough to ensure that good governance has occurred.
 
Good governance is about principle, as well as process.
 
Whether it is concerned with the conduct of an ICT RFT, to ensure procedural fairness to vendors; the review of a staff member, to ensure that relevant and fair KPI’s are applied to performance; or the consideration of concerns by a stakeholder group that their interests are not being properly represented, the principles of good governance remain the same.
 
It is not good enough just to say “Is this legal”?
 
We must also ask:

  • Is this fair and transparent ?
  • Is this reasonable ?
  • Is this ethical ?
  • Is this honourable ?

If the answer to all of those questions is “YES”, then, and only then, will we have achieved good governance.
 
Ian Dennis
Chairman, ACS Victoria