Australia’s largest publicly listed companies generally meet all aspects of best practice guidelines for corporate governance; however full independence still remains a key issue for some major companies.
Areas highlighted included some companies having audit, remuneration or nomination committees that were either not made up of all independent directors or the chair was not independent. The survey findings are based on the 2007 annual report disclosures of the 20 largest Australian listed companies by market capitalisation as at 13 March, 2008.
Several companies (15%) were also found to be paying a high proportion of non-audit fees to their statutory auditors. News Corporation and Newmont Mining were the only companies not to have a formal Share Trade Policy. Also, 40% of the top 20 companies did not have a dedicated Risk Management Committee.
However, despite some of the largest caps needing to improve in certain areas, the broad finding for Australia’s biggest listed companies is that their corporate governance structures are robust and in most areas meet best practice guidelines.
For further information click here. For further information about corporate governance in Australia, see here. For BDO Kendalls 2007 mid-cap corporate governance report, see here.