Governance? Are we really for real

As we closed out 2015, the report on certain aspects of the Trade Union Movement was in the process of being handed down and many were still reeling from some of the issues it has exposed. Realistically, it continues as further discussion comes up about other payments that people believe warrant further investigation.

It all brought back memories of a public examination I was involved in many years ago. Effectively the business of one entity was “evolved” into a new entity and the old entity fell on foul ground, I know you’ve heard it all before. What was peculiar about this case was the fact that the monies were effectively processed through an accountant’s Trust Account! In the witness box the accountant was quizzed about numerous transactions and the ultimate impact of the combined effect; the response was stunning, essentially it was: – “Oh it’s an accountants trust account not a lawyers trust account, we’re not bound by the same rules that lawyers trust accounts have to comply with.” I was stunned.

Governance is all about the preservation, management and protection of communal assets. Communal in that they may be family, corporate, community, government or association. The fundamental rules apply to all and to simplify things, we should be seeking to build commonality in the legislation, thus the underlying philosophies of governance for companies equally apply to associations and other organisations, including Trade Unions. All have members regardless of whether they are individuals, corporates or shareholders. It may even have a minimising or reducing effect on the number of insolvencies that occur.

Once this is achieved then it may just be possible that we could commence the elementary (if not more substantive) phase of governance training within the school curriculum, with everyone learning the same thing regardless of whether they were going to be a Union Official, Director, Trustee or even possibly a Politician.

Darn there I go again; lost somewhere in dream land!