CPA Australia chairman and president Jim Dickson has announced the expansion of the independent review panel and the terms of reference to assess the governance of CPA Australia, following the recent turmoil which culminated in the sacking of its CEO Alex Malley.

The panel will consult directly with members to involve them in the governance framework and address the range of concerns raised by members, media and other stakeholders. It will review claims raised by members and other stakeholders, assess board and management compliance with by-laws and policies, and make recommendations to be brought to the annual general meeting.

Dickson said the review panel would assess a range of claims that had tarnished the reputation of CPA Australia. “We cannot allow questions of governance to go unanswered. Members, staff and the board all deserve a robust independent analysis of the questions and assertions that have been raised in recent times and CPA Australia eagerly awaits those findings,” Dickson said.

The objective of the independent review is to ensure claims that impact the reputation of the organisation, the value of the accreditation, and the confidence of members are properly reviewed and addressed. The panel will operate independently of the board and the executive, but will receive their full cooperation.

The terms of reference concerns of the independent review relate to;

• Governance – including election of directors, term limits, independence of the representative council and compliance

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• Remuneration – including disclosures, compliance with laws and accounting standards and benchmarking processes

• Marketing strategy and expenditure – including consistency with Board approved strategy and appropriateness of expenditure

The independent review panel includes expertise across accounting, governance and the law and will be chaired by the former auditor general for Australia, Ian McPhee, with panel members; Su McCluskey and Maryjane Crabtree. Chairman of the Law Committee of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD), professor Bob Baxt, will act as an expert advisor on governance.

McPhee said: “I can assure CPA Australia members this will be an inclusive review with mechanisms for members to share their perspectives. We want to fully understand the issues and look at ways to move forward.”

The panel and expert advisor are scheduled to meet on 4 July and the panel is due to provide a preliminary report on 15 September and to release a report to members detailing findings and recommendations.

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