Governance and administration
What are RBG governance requirements?
RBGs will be required to have appropriate arrangements in place, the governance structures and policies as expected of any Incorporated Association receiving public funding. These include:
- recognised status as a non-profit organisation
- obtaining or be in the process of procuring public liability insurance (minimum level $10 million cover)
- being registered for GST, or have approval from Australian Taxation Office for GST exemption
- having an Australian Business Number (ABN)
- compliance with any administrative and corporate governance standards set by the DPIRD Director General
- meet with DPIRD annually to discuss the preparation of budgets and delivery of outputs, and
- report to DPIRD on the use of the funds and provide an annual audited financial statement.
Are RBGs responsible for all declared pests?
Landholders are responsible for controlling all declared pests that may occur on their property.
RBGs will need to prioritise their activities and they can undertake work to control pests declared under the BAM Act that are best addressed at a landscape scale. Expenditure must be in accordance with the priorities determined in consultation with landholders and the department.
Declared pests impacting on the viability of agriculture at an industry scale are dealt with through Industry Funding Schemes under the BAM Act.
What planning is required?
It is recommended that a RBG prepare a five-year strategic plan early in its existence. This shows landholders within the area and potential partner organisations the RBG’s purpose and what it intends to do. A strategic plan also makes preparation of annual declared pest action plan relatively easy. The department can assist in the development of strategic and operational plans where required.
The pest plan informs the determination of rates and is approved by the department; it informs what funding will be provided from the DPA. Groups may have an operational plan that provides details on declared and non-declared pests that are considered priority for control in their area, and financial information on funding sources and expenditure. While they are separate documents, information from the pest plan can be used as the basis for the operational plan or vice versa.
What administration and reporting is required?
A normal level of administration and reporting is required as for any organisation that receives public funds. With good planning, this should not be onerous. When the DPIRD transfers funds from the DPA to the group, the department issues a written direction or notice as to what the funds can be used for and what reporting is required.
Will DPIRD provide administrative support?
DPIRD is able to assist with initial development of administrative and reporting structures. RBGs must plan for their ongoing administrative functions. Funds from the DPA can be used for administrative support. Again, this will need to be included in the group’s planning processes.
Options for administrative and operational functions should be planned, costed and included in the annual budget.
Who does a RBG report to?
It is important for a RBG to keep landholders interested and engaged, as well for demonstrating value for rates. So RBGs will need to establish regular communications with their stakeholders to highlight activities and achievements.
RBGs that receive public funding are required to report to the DPIRD Director General on performance and financial expenditure. These reports are required and the performance report is published on DPIRD’s public website.