Annual Report 2013–14—Appendix A Advisory Board and Audit Committee

APVMA Advisory Board

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the APVMA is supported by an Advisory Board.

The Advisory Board does not have decision-making power. It advises the CEO and provides an expert consultative mechanism, either on its own initiative or at the request of the CEO, by providing advice and recommendations on issues relevant to the execution of the functions of the APVMA.

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 comprises up to nine part-time members appointed by the Minister for Agriculture for their experience in areas associated with the APVMA's stakeholder community. The individual members are appointed on the basis of their abilities to contribute at the highest level to the national regulation of chemicals in Australia. The experience of members represents, as far as possible, each key stakeholder sector. These are the regulation of chemical products at state and territory level, the agricultural chemical and veterinary medicine industries, primary production, environmental toxicology, protection of consumer interests, public health, and work health and safety. In addition, the minister also has the discretion to appoint a member who has experience in a field relevant to the APVMA's functions.

The Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, 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 Advisory Board comprises the following members, who were appointed for a 
three-year term commencing on 13 November 2012:

Lyn Fragar AO is a public health physician and an adjunct associate professor with the Australian Centre for Agricultural Health and Safety, University of Sydney. She currently chairs the Hunter New England Local Health District Board. Dr Fragar has been appointed as an Advisory Board member for her expertise in public health, and work health and safety. She has also been appointed to the position of Chair of the Advisory Board.

Sandra Baxendell PSM is the Director of Goat Veterinary Consultancies. She has been a senior lecturer specialising in animal production at Curtin University, and has also worked in agricultural production and industry management roles. Dr Baxendell has extensive Queensland Government experience in a variety of roles, including Regional Director, General Manager (Chemical Use and Food Safety), Director Product Integrity, and Acting General Manager Plant Biosecurity and Product Integrity. Dr Baxendell has been appointed as an Advisory Board member for her experience in the regulation of chemical products under state or territory law.

Bronwyn Capanna is the Executive Director of Accord Australasia, the industry association representing the hygiene, cosmetics and specialty products industry. She has more than 20 years' experience in industry association management, and has held senior positions as a regulatory and technical executive in the not-for-profit and private sectors in Australia and the United Kingdom. She continues to be highly engaged in regulatory reform at a national and international level. Ms Capanna has been appointed as an Advisory Board member for her experience in a field relevant to the APVMA's functions under the optional provisions in the legislation.

John Hassell operates his own farming business, together with off-farm contracting in baling, spraying and clover harvesting. He is also a director of Co-operative Bulk Handling Ltd, Grain Pool Pty Ltd, Bulk West Engineering Pty Ltd and other subsidiaries. Mr Hassell has previously worked as a farm and laboratory assistant with a range of companies. He is an ongoing member of the Western Australian Farmers Federation and is also a member of the Pingelly Land Conservation District Committee. Mr Hassell has been appointed as an Advisory Board member for his experience in primary production.

David Lawson is a financial counsellor, and runs his own consultancy and general counselling business. Mr Lawson was previously a sugarcane farmer, and ran a contracting and farm machinery hire business. He has held a number of senior representative roles in the sugar industry, and has experience representing consumer interests in the areas of financial counselling, telecommunications, energy and banking at a state and national level, including as a representative of the Consumers' Federation of Australia and as a member of the APVMA's Community Consultative Committee. He chairs the management committee of a school for youth who are disengaged from the state school system. Mr Lawson has been appointed as an Advisory Board member for his experience in protecting consumer interests.

Gordon Reidy is the Regional Manager (Asia Pacific Regulatory Development and Toxicology) for the Sumitomo Chemical Company. Dr Reidy has held a range of toxicology-related roles in WorkSafe Australia, AGC Woodward–Clyde Pty Ltd, 3M Asia Pacific and Reckitt Benckiser. He served on the Drugs and Poisons Scheduling Committee and the Basel Hazardous Waste Technical Committee. He has also been a board member of the Australian Consumer Products Industry Association. Dr Reidy has been appointed as an Advisory Board member for his experience in environmental toxicology, including knowledge of the effects of chemicals in ecosystems.

Selwyn Snell is the managing director of Barawyn Pty Ltd. He has extensive experience in agribusiness, including a number of senior roles spanning corporate management, financial and strategic planning, farming research and development. He is the current Chairman of Horticulture Australia Ltd. Mr Snell has been appointed as an Advisory Board member for his experience in the agricultural chemical industry.

Roger Toffolon is the Director of Biosecurity Strategy, Legislation and Performance in the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries. Mr Toffolon has worked as an entomology researcher and has held a number of senior roles in the New South Wales Government as Registrar and Program Leader for Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals, and Manager of Biological and Chemical Risk Management. He has been appointed as an Advisory Board member for his experience in the regulation of chemical products under state or territory law.

Lisa Wade is Director of Bellmount Consulting Pty Ltd, which provides consulting services to the agricultural and veterinary industries. Dr Wade was previously a veterinarian working in mixed practice both in Australia and the United Kingdom. She has experience in the research and development of a wide range of veterinary therapeutics, and experience with Australian and international regulatory systems. She has been a member of the Animal Health Alliance Issues Management Group and chaired the group's Antimicrobial Resistance Task Force. Dr Wade has been appointed as an Advisory Board member for her experience in the veterinary chemical industry.

Meetings and attendance

Advisory Board meetings were held in July, September and December 2013, and February and April 2014. All meetings were held in Canberra, except the September 2013 meeting, which was held in Sydney. Summaries of the key outcomes of meetings are published on the APVMA website.

Attendance at Advisory Board meetings is shown in Table A1.

Table A1 Attendance at Advisory Board meetings, 2013–14
Members Meetings eligible to attend Meetings attended
Lyn Fragar 5 5
Sandra Baxendell 5 4
John Hassell 5 5
David Lawson 5 5
Bronwyn Capanna 5 5
Gordon Reidy 5 5
Selwyn Snell 5 4
Roger Toffolon 5 4
Lisa Wade 5 5
Department of Agriculture representation 5 5

Issues considered

In 2013–14, the Advisory Board advised the CEO in relation to a range of strategic matters, including implementation of the legislative reforms, development of regulatory guidelines to support applicants, effective external consultation, business re-engineering, and aligning regulatory burden with regulatory risk in assessment of applications and compliance.

Presentations

In 2013–14, the Advisory Board received one external presentation from the Australian Government Department of Agriculture on the development of a national antimicrobial resistance framework.

Declarations of interest

Members of the Advisory Board are required under the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Administration) Act 1992 to disclose as soon as practicable any direct or indirect financial interests that could conflict with the proper performance of the Advisory Board's function. Any decision made in relation to a disclosure about a matter that is being considered, or about to be considered, at a meeting must be recorded in the minutes of the meeting.

Records of disclosures by Advisory Board members are kept by the APVMA. No conflicts of interest that would conflict with the proper performance of the Advisory Board's functions were declared at any meeting in 2013–14.

APVMA Audit Committee

The APVMA Audit Committee is part of the APVMA governance and risk framework. Its terms of reference are to provide independent assurance and advice to the CEO in relation to the risk control and compliance framework, the APVMA's financial and management responsibilities, and its external accountability responsibilities.

The committee members include an independent chair, a representative from an external organisation, and APVMA executive and non-executive staff members. Committee observers can include representatives from the Australian National Audit Office, an internal auditor and the APVMA Finance Manager.

Meetings and attendance

The committee met four times in 2013–14: in August and November 2013, and February and May 2014. Attendance at Audit Committee meetings is shown in Table A2.

Table A2 Attendance at Audit Committee meetings, 2013–14
Representative Member organisation Meetings eligible to attend Meetings attended
Peter Hoefer External independent Chair 4 4
Allen Bryce APVMA Executive Director, Veterinary Medicines 4 4
Tony de la Fosse

Dan Webba
APVMA Executive Director, Corporate Services 4 3
1
Claude Gauchat External organisation representative 4 3
Jan Klaver APVMA non-executive 4 4

a Dan Webb, APVMA Finance Manager, attended the fourth meeting as Mr de la Fosse's proxy.

Issues considered

In 2013–14, the Audit Committee:

  • reviewed the previous year's annual financial statements and Certificate of Compliance
  • monitored the schedule for the preparation of annual financial statements for 2013–14
  • monitored the financial performance of the APVMA
  • monitored and advised on the implementation of the legislative reforms and associated business reforms
  • monitored APVMA progress in implementing the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013
  • reviewed the Risk Management Plan and Risk register
  • monitored key performance indicators of the committee
  • monitored APVMA progress in implementing the Protective Security Policy Framework
  • monitored the internal audit program, including audits of the good manufacturing practice licensing scheme, the Adverse Experience Reporting Program, payroll processing, quality of science, and IT security penetration testing.

Presentations

In 2013–14, the Audit Committee received external presentations from Sapere Research Group Ltd on the business process review and reform preparedness.

Declarations of interest

No conflicts of interest that would conflict with the proper performance of the Audit Committee's functions were declared at any meeting in 2013–14.

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