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  • Administrative arrangements

    Charter

    This charter will be updated as needed to reflect changes to the ATO’s operating context, new circumstances and the Commissioner’s changing needs. The charter will be reviewed regularly to align with current risks, challenges and opportunities.

    Annual program of work

    The committee will prepare a work plan that outlines activities to be undertaken to achieve the committee’s functions as outlined in this charter. The committee schedule will be included in the ATO Corporate Calendar.

    Meetings

    The committee and sub-committee will each meet at least four times per year. Additional arrangements include:

    • additional special meetings may be held to review the ATO’s annual financial statements and performance statements or to meet other specific responsibilities of the committee as required
    • the Chair is required to call a meeting if asked to do so by the Commissioner, and decide if a meeting is required if requested by another member, advisor or the ANAO
    • closed meetings will be arranged with internal advisers and ANAO once a year or as deemed appropriate by the chair
    • the secretariat will provide minutes and a one-page summary which have been approved by the Chair following each Committee meeting to the members and advisors
    • the committee may, at any time, report to the Commissioner any other matter it deems of sufficient importance, and an individual committee member may request a meeting with the Commissioner at any time
    • items may be considered out-of-session by exception at the Chair’s discretion.

    A quorum will consist of at least three committee members. One of whom must be the Chair or the member acting as Chair for that meeting. The quorum must be in place at all times during the meeting.

    Access to and use of information

    The Commissioner authorises the committee, to:

    • obtain any information it requires from any official or external party (subject to any legal obligation to protect information)
    • discuss any matters with the ANAO, or other external parties (subject to confidentiality considerations)
    • request the attendance of any official, including the Commissioner, at committee meetings
    • obtain legal or other professional advice, as considered necessary to fulfil its role, at the ATO’s expense, subject to approval by the Commissioner or delegate
    • committee members must not use or disclose information obtained by the committee except in meeting the committee’s responsibilities, or unless expressly agreed by the Commissioner
    • outside meetings committee members wishing to engage with ATO management staff and advisors will do so through the secretariat who will record and share information with other members as appropriate.

    Secretariat

    The committee is supported by the secretariat that facilitates meetings and provides support to the committee and sub-committee. The secretariat will:

    • develop agendas for each meeting and ensure they are approved by the Chair
    • circulate agenda and meeting papers at least five working days before a meeting
    • ensure the minutes of the meetings are prepared, reviewed, circulated and maintained
    • coordinate and maintain the forward work program
    • facilitate planning and reporting
    • support succession planning
    • perform contract management duties as required.

    Reporting to the Commissioner

    The committee will, as often as necessary, and at least once a year:

    • report to the Commissioner on its operation and activities during the year
    • confirm to the Commissioner that all functions outlined in this charter have been satisfactorily addressed.

    The committee will provide a one-page summary of key meeting points to the Commissioner following each meeting.

    The committee may, at any time, report to the Commissioner any other matter it deems of sufficient importance. In addition, at any time an individual committee member may request a meeting with the Commissioner.

    Annual reporting requirement

    From 1 July 2019, sections 17AG (2A) and 17BE (taa) of the PGPA Rule require that the annual report of a Commonwealth entity include:

    • a direct electronic address (hyperlink) of the charter determining the functions of the audit committee for the entity
    • the name of each member of the audit committee during the period
    • the qualifications, knowledge, skills or experience of those members
    • information about each of those members’ attendance at meetings of the audit committee during the period
    • the remuneration of each of those members.

    Reviewing and assessing committee performance

    The Chair of the committee will initiate a review of the performance of the committee every two years. The review will be conducted on a self-assessment basis (unless otherwise determined by the Commissioner) with appropriate input from:

    • the Commissioner
    • internal auditors
    • ANAO
    • regular advisers
    • management
    • any other relevant stakeholders, as determined by the Chair.

    The review of the committee will also encompass a review of this charter and will assure its compliance with all relevant corporate policies and guidelines. Any significant changes to the charter will be recommended by the committee and formally approved by the Commissioner.

    Last modified: 23 Nov 2021QC 63737