Our Commitment to Transparency
We take our public accountability obligations to our beneficiaries very seriously.
These are spelled out in our governing legislation which, as well as containing Trust specific requirements, also requires us to comply with other legislative requirements. These, for example, relate to publicly notifying Trust Board meetings so that members of the public can attend if they wish and to making publicly available information relating to the matters being considered at Board meetings and to the decisions subsequently made by the Board.
As a registered charitable trust, we are also required to comply with standards of public reporting laid down by Charities Services. These regulate the scope and type of information we should disclose to our beneficiaries in our annual financial statements which must be presented at our Annual General Meeting.
Other obligations on Trustees
Trustees are also mindful as individuals of the need to be scrupulous and transparent in their dealings particularly where these may bring them into conflict with the interests of the Trust. Such conflicts are routinely declared when Trustees take up their appointments and at Board meetings where individual Trustees can elect to excuse themselves from involvement in discussion of matters in which they may have a pecuniary interest, as defined in legislation and case law.
Over and above our statutory obligations, and forming part of our commitment to transparency in our interaction with our beneficiaries, we aim to keep them informed as far as possible of what the Trust is planning for the future and any changes it may be contemplating to the way it goes about its business, particularly where this impacts the amount or distribution of the community dividend. We do this through our website, articles in local print media, discussions with affected parties and, where necessary, public meetings.
Our Meeting Schedule
Board of Trustees
Formal meetings of the Board of Trustees are set down for 5.30pm on the third Thursday of every month to discuss Trust business and make decisions on matters for implementation by the General Manager. These monthly Board meetings are held in the Trust’s Boardroom at 124 Main Street, Greytown and, subject to certain exclusions permitted by legislation (Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987), are open to beneficiaries and the general public to attend.
All monthly meetings, including any additional formal meetings such as the Annual General Meeting, and where necessary any amendments to the meeting schedule, are publicly notified in local print media as well as on this website.
Scheduled Board meeting dates for 2020 are as follows: 23 January, 20 February, 19 March, 16 April, 21 May, 18 June, 16 July, 20 August, 17 September, 15 October, 19 November, 17 December.
Currently one committee reports formally to the Board. This is the Audit & Risk Committee, which as its name implies is responsible for monitoring the conduct and outcome of the audit of the Trust’s annual performance report and reviewing the risks to the proper conduct and management of the Trust’s day to day activities from a financial, operational and internal control perspective.
The Committee comprises three trustees, chaired by the Deputy Chairman of the Board. It meets as and when required, typically three to four times a year. Meetings are publicly notified and, subject again to certain exclusions permitted by legislation (Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987), are open to beneficiaries and the general public to attend.
From time to time Trustees will also convene informal workshops where they can receive information from outside parties and/or hold free and frank discussions on matters that are relevant to the Trust’s future activities but do not involve making any decisions. These workshops are not classified as public meetings and do not require public notification.
Our meeting agendas, reports and minutes
In accordance with the provisions of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 and in advance of its Board and Committee meetings the Trust makes available the agendas and associated reports and papers that will be considered in public session. The minutes of meetings recording the decisions made in public session are similarly made available once formally adopted.
This information is recorded by date of meeting and can be accessed under the “Accountability / Meetings” tab.
The reports and papers considered in public excluded session, together with the relevant minutes of decisions made, are kept in records held in the Trust’s offices but are not published.
Our long term plan, strategies and policies
Our annual plans and reports
The Trust’s financial year runs from 1 April to 31 March.
An annual plan setting out the Trust’s budget and outline work plan for each financial year was first published for the April 2016 to March 2017 financial year.
In accordance with the Act the Trust is required to publish and present its annual report to an Annual General Meeting of beneficiaries to be held no later than 30 September.
Annual plan and report documents can be accessed via the “Accountability / Meetings” tab.