Good governance principles for WA boards and committees

How to use this gui​de

This guide is structured around the seven principles of good governance for Western Australian boards and committees. The principles set out high-level statements to guide boards and are accompanied by explanatory information that provides more specific guidance on particular topics and issues contained within each principle.

Where applicable, each principle is also accompanied by a list of resources that provide practical information to help boards undertake their role. The aids include specific instructions, tools and templates, as well as links to key legislation and other public sector sources that contain important information on good governance.

The principles are not mandatory. They are a resource to assist boards to establish and maintain good governance practices. Application of the principles must be flexible to suit the nature of the each board and there is no ‘one right way’ to use them. 

The seven principles are:

  1. Roles and responsibilities are clear and understood
  2. The board structure and composition ensures relevant expertise and diversity
  3. The board has a strategic focus
  4. Relevant risks are identified and managed
  5. Control systems have integrity and support accountability
  6. A culture of responsible and ethical decision making is promoted
  7. The board operates effectively

This guide should be used in conjunction with the Board essentials publication, which identifies and summarises the structures of boards, key stakeholders, and the legislative and policy frameworks that may be relevant to board members

Apply​ing the principles

To ensure their relevance to public sector boards, the principles are:

  • applied on an ‘if not, why not’ basis
  • structured to be flexible, so they can be applied across the range of public sector boards in a way that suits the individual circumstances and role of each board
  • structured to enable boards to consider their operations at any point of time and apply good practice in a manner applicable to their particular circumstances at that time
  • applied with a full understanding of the outcomes the board is seeking to achieve.

Page last updated 23 May 2017