Appendix A:The APVMA’s Advisory Board and Audit Committee

Advisory Board

An Advisory Board supports the CEO. The Advisory Board, either on its own initiative or at the request of the CEO, provides advice and makes recommendations on issues of relevance to the execution of the functions of the APVMA. The Advisory Board does not have any decision-making power, but it advises the CEO and provides an expert consultative mechanism. Arrangements for the Advisory Board’s appointment, function and procedure, as well as its interaction with the CEO, are prescribed by legislation.

The Advisory Board consists of up to nine part-time members who are appointed by the Minister for their experience in areas associated with the APVMA’s stakeholder community. Individual members are appointed for their ability to contribute at the highest level to the national regulation of chemicals in Australia. The experience of Advisory Board members has been selected to represent, as far as possible, each key stakeholder sector, including the regulation of chemical products at state and territory level, the agricultural chemical industry, the veterinary medicine industry, primary production, environmental toxicology, protection of consumer interests, public health and occupational health and safety. In addition, the Minister also has the discretion to appoint an Advisory Board member who has experience in a field relevant to the APVMA’s functions.

The Secretary of DAFF, or a person authorised by the Secretary, may attend meetings. The CEO may also invite a person, other than an Advisory Board member or the Secretary, to attend a meeting for the purpose of advising or informing it on any matter.

The current Advisory Board was appointed on 10 January 2011 for one year. At 30 June 2011, the Advisory Board comprised the following members:

Mark Allison is the Chief Executive Officer of Grain Growers Limited and holds a non-executive director role with Elders Limited. Previously, Mr Allison was the CEO of Farmoz, Wesfarmers Landmark, Wesfarmers CSBP, CropCare Australasia, the Chairman of CropLife Australia, and he is a former Director of the APVMA. Mr Allison has been appointed for his experience in the agricultural chemical industry and has also been appointed as Chair of the APVMA Advisory Board.

Wayne Cornish is a farmer, former Chair of ChemCert Australia and former Chair of the National Farmers’ Federation Farm Chemicals Subcommittee and DrumMUSTER. Mr Cornish was the President of the South Australian Farmers’ Federation for six years and has been heavily involved in natural resource management, education and training, and local government. He has broad expertise in primary production. Mr Cornish has been appointed as a member of the Advisory Board for his experience in primary production.

Lyn Fragar AO was previously the Director of the Australian Centre for Agricultural Health and Safety (University of Sydney). Dr Fragar was awarded Officer of the Order of Australia in recognition of her work in farm health and safety at local, state and national levels, and she continues her association with the Centre. Dr Fragar is Chair of the Board of Hunter New England Local Health District, and is a Director of the Boards of GPSYnergy (responsible for vocation training of general practitioners) and Chemcert Ltd. Dr Fragar has been appointed as a member of the Advisory Board for her experience in public health and occupational health and safety.

Claude Gauchat is Managing Director of direct2 Pty Ltd, chairman on Agrifood Awareness Australia Ltd and director of ChemCert (Australia) Ltd. He is the former Executive Director of Avcare Ltd. He has extensive experience in all aspects of agricultural chemical and veterinary medicine regulation. Mr Gauchat has been appointed as one of two members with experience in the regulation of chemical products under the law of a state or territory.

Jenni Mack is the Chair of CHOICE (Australian Consumers’ Association) and former Chair of the APVMA’s Community Consultative Committee. She is also a member of the Board of Food Standards Australia and New Zealand. Ms Mack has been appointed as a member of the Advisory Board for her experience in protecting consumer interests.

Michael R. Moore is Chair of Water Quality Research Australia and Past Director of the National Research Center for Environmental Toxicology. He has broad experience in environmental and health issues, including chemical scheduling. Professor Moore has been appointed as a member of the Advisory Board for his experience in environmental toxicology, including his knowledge of the effect of chemicals in ecosystems.

Simon Robinson is a Life Member and former President of the Animal Health Alliance. He was appointed as a member of the Advisory Board for his experience in the veterinary chemical industry.

Roger Toffolon is the Manager, Biosecurity, Business and Legislation within the NSW Department of Primary Industries. He is an expert in the regulation of farm chemicals. Mr Toffolon has been appointed as one of two members with experience in the regulation of chemical products under the law of a state or territory.

Table A-1: Advisory Board attendance at meetings (including teleconferences)

Member

Meetings attended

Meetings Eligible to attendED

Mr Mark Allison

5

5

Mr Claude Gauchat

4

5

Ms Jenni Mack

3

5

Mr Wayne Cornish

4

5

Dr Lyn Fragar

4

5

Professor Michael Moore

5

5

Mr Simon Robinson /span>

5

5

Mr Roger Toffolon

5

5

DAFF Secretary’s Representative

3

5

Mr Allen Grant

1

1

Mr Greg Williamson

1

1

Mr Tom Parnell

1

1

Invited Persons

Mr Peter Cone

1

1

Mr Gavan Cattanach

1

1

Highlights

The Advisory Board meetings listed include a briefing session, one face-to-face meeting and three teleconferences. The Advisory Board provided advice to the CEO on the following matters:

  • Advisory Board framework for advice including a review of the Advisory Board Advice Alignment matrix
  • the Information Publication Scheme
  • the draft operational plan and budget for 2011–12
  • regulatory options for finalising the reconsideration of diuron
  • spray drift review processes and stakeholder engagement
  • the APVMA’s regulatory posture and risk framework.

Workshops

In July 2010, the Advisory Board participated in an APVMA workshop to provide input to the development of an APVMA Regulatory Posture.

On 17 February 2011, two Advisory Board members participated in an APVMA workshop that focused on improving the current agricultural active constituent approval and ongoing integrity and quality assurance framework.

On 23 February 2011, two Advisory Board members participated in an APVMA workshop that focused on the issues and principles relating to the administration of permits.

Declarations of interest

In 2010–11, there were no declarations of direct or indirect financial interest made by any member in relation to matters considered at Advisory Board meetings that could conflict with the proper performance of the Advisory Board’s function. Records of declarations are maintained by the APVMA.

Audit committee

The APVMA Audit Committee is an essential part of the APVMA’s governance and risk framework. It provides independent assurance and advice to the CEO in relation to its risk control and compliance framework, financial and management responsibilities and its external accountability responsibilities. The Chair of the Committee meets with the CEO following each meeting and minutes of the meeting are put on the intranet for all staff to access.

Committee members include an independent chair and representatives from the APVMA Advisory Board, the APVMA executive and non-executive APVMA staff members. Committee observers include representatives from the Australian National Audit Office, an internal auditor and the APVMA Finance Manager.

The committee met four times (August and November 2010, March and May 2011). Attendance at the committee meeting is shown in Table A-2.

Table A-2: Attendance at APVMA Audit Committee meetings 2010–11

Member

Meetings attended

Meetings Eligible to attendED

Meetings Eligible to Attend

Len Early

Independent Chair

4

4

Claude Gauchat

Advisory Board

4

4

Bruce Johnson

APVMA non-executive

4

4

Neville Matthew

APVMA executive

4

4

Joanne Mitchell /
Tony de la Fosse (replaced)

Program Manager, Corporate Services

4

4

Highlights

Significant achievements for the Audit Committee in 2010–11 were that it:

  • reviewed the 2009–10 Annual Financial Statements and Certificate of Compliance
  • monitored the financial performance of the APVMA
  • monitored the schedule for the preparation of the 2009–10 Annual Financial Statements
  • monitored the review of the APVMA’s Operational Imrovement and Quality System Group
  • monitored the review by Comcare’s of the APVMA’s insurable risk profiling
  • oversighted the audit of the APVMA’s cyber intrusion strategies
  • monitored the APVMA’s progress in implementing new security policies that align to the Protective Security Policy Framework
  • monitored the internal audit program
  • monitored the tender process for the APVMA’s internal auditors
  • monitored the preparation of a new risk management plan, fraud control plan and operational plan
  • monitored progress in implementing the reforms flowing from the Better Regulation reform agenda
  • monitored the Quality System audit.

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