Discussion 7AOOE

  • Auditing of Organizational Ethics and Compliance Programs”  Please respond to the following:
    • Examine the significant values of conducting an ethics audit in an organization. Select five (5) areas that you would focus on if you have to conduct an ethics audit, and provide a rationale for your selections.
    • Read the article titled, “10 Steps to Good Governance,” located here. Next, develop a checklist for an ethics audit that incorporates the ten (10) steps identified in the article. Provide a rationale for your response.
    • W10 hat does a golfer, tennis player or

      cricketer (or any other professional

      sportsperson) focus on to achieve

      high performance? They nearly

      always give the same answer: “Repeat my

      process (that is the process they have practised

      a million times) – replicate it under real

      pressure and trust in my ability”

      That’s why Matthew Lloyd throws the grass

      up under the roof at Etihad Stadium. It is

      why Ricky Ponting taps the bat, looks down,

      looks up and mouths “watch the ball”. It’s

      unnecessary for Matthew Lloyd to toss the

      grass. There’s no wind under the roof – it’s

      simply a routine that enables him to replicate

      his process under pressure.

      Ricky Pointing knows you have to watch the

      ball. Ponting wants the auto pilot light in his

      brain to fl ick on as he mutters “watch the ball”.

      High performance in sport is achieved through focusing on your

      processes, not the scores.

      It is absolutely no different in local government. Our business

      is governance and we need to be focusing very hard on our

      governance processes. We need to learn these processes, modify

      them when necessary, understand them deeply, repeat them

      under pressure and trust in our capabilities to deliver. If we do

      that, the scores will look after themselves.

      I want to share with you my ten most important elements in

      the governance process. Let me fi rst say that good governance is

      the set of processes, protocols, rules, relationships and behaviours

      which lead to consistently good decisions. In the end good

      governance is good decisions. You could make lots of good

      decisions without good governance. But you will eventually

      run out of luck – eventually, bad governance process will lead

      to bad decisions. Consistently good decisions come from good

      governance processes and practices.

      Good governance is not only a prerequisite for consistently

      good decisions, it is almost the sole determinant of your

      reputation. The way you govern, the ‘vibe’ in the community

      and in the local paper about the way you govern is almost the

      sole determinant of your reputation. Believe me, if reputation

      matters to you, then drive improvements through good

      governance.

      So here are the ten core elements:

      1. THE COUNCIL PLAN

      An articulate council plan is a fundamental fi rst step to achieving

      your goals. It is your set of promises to your community for a

      four-year term.

      Unfortunately, there are too many wrong plans:

      • Claytons Plans – say too little and are too bland. Delete the

      name of the council from these plans and you can’t tell whose

      it is! There’s no ‘vibe’ at all.

      • Agreeable Plans – where everyone gets their bit in the plan.

      There’s no sense of priorities, everyone agrees with everything

      in the plan and we save all the real fi ghts and confl icts to be

      fought out one by one over the four-year term.

      • Opposition-creating Plans – we don’t do this so often but we

      sometimes ‘use the numbers’ to enable the dominant group of

      councillors to achieve their goals and fail to accommodate the

      non-dominant group’s agenda at all. Accordingly, we create

      an opposition and assign these councillors to the opposition

      benches for the council term.

      An articulate council plan is the least you owe your citizens.

      2. POLICY DEVELOPMENT

      As a sector we undertake too little policy development which

      supports the achievement of our strategic goals. Yet goals or

      objectives are what we want to achieve. For example, economic

      prosperity, environmental sustainability, community safety and

      cohesion are all goals.

      Strategies are simply ideas on how to achieve goals. For example,

      if economic prosperity is our goal then attracting new investment

      is one of the ‘get there’ strategies.

      Policies are council ‘rules’ or ‘boundaries’ that establish a specifi c

      treatment of a general circumstance. For example, if our goal is

      economic prosperity and our strategy is investment attraction

      then our policy might be “no rates for fi ve years for new businesses

      employing more than 50 people”.

      There is much too little policy development in the pursuit of

      council goals.

      3. COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

      We all make mistakes in this area, but here are my fi ve top tips:

      (a) It works best when underpinned by a previously articulated

      and understood strategic vision –

      • People need understand where we are headed before they are

      comfortable discussing how we get there.

      • The strategic vision, the big picture, creates legitimacy for the

      many decisions, some controversial, along the journey.

      (b) There is no place for spin. This is all about transparency – it’s

      not so much what we decided at last week’s council meeting

      but why we reached that decision. There are four reasons to

      engage –

      • Are we keeping promises (accountability)?

      • Are we grasping new opportunities (leadership)?

      18 | GN | FEBRUARY/MARCH 2010

      STEPS

      TO GOOD

      You know that good

      governance is

      important, but how

      does your council

      get there?

      Philip Shanahan has

      some simple solutions.

      [Vision 2010.]1ST0EPS

      GOVERNANCE

      FEBRUARY/MARCH 2010 | GN | 19

      • Can people infl uence decisions (participation)?

      • Can people access services and opportunities (access and

      inclusion)?

      (c) Repetition and simplicity – we compete for people’s attention

      in this marketplace. When you are sick of telling them, they’ve

      just started listening.

      (d) Be clear about the engagement you seek. Use an accredited

      model like the International Association for Public

      Participation’s system to match the kind of community input

      you are really seeking with the engagement strategy you are

      employing.

      (e) Be multi faceted. All the tools at our disposal are appropriate

      in different situations. Try using Twitter, blogging or just

      delivering an A4-sheet to every home in a street about to

      be reconstructed to tell them how much it costs, who is the

      contractor, why the street needs a total makeover and who to

      ring with problems.

      4. CEO MANAGEMENT

      Some still don’t understand the fundamental importance of

      properly managing the CEO. There is absolutely no place for

      ‘folksy’ arrangements. And those who treat CEO performance

      management light-heartedly or without rigour don’t understand

      the power of the process to achieve real results.

      5. COUNCIL MEETINGS

      The single most important governance activity which forges a

      governance reputation is the council meetings.

      They create the governance vibe in your municipality.

      Some tips:

      (a) Fill each agenda with strategic, broad issues straight from the

      council plan. If people aren’t talking about the issues in the

      pub, why are these issues on your agenda? I get annoyed when

      people congratulate themselves on a quick council meeting

      – aren’t there any problems in those municipalities? Quality

      agendas need quality planning and preparation.

      (b) Every council meeting should demonstrate who is in charge

      – by the way, councillors are – so:

      • Staff don’t talk much.

      • No ‘received’ or ‘to be noted’ recommendations – every

      report must invite councillor intervention.

      • Interventions from councillors need to be organised – who is

      the council ‘whip’?

      • Every report includes sound expert advice, information and

      evidence.

      • Always be briefed, agree on no surprises or ambushes.

      6. REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNANCE

      Most thinking about governance is about corporate governance

      – councillors acting as a council. However, the electoral system

      seems to mimic state and federal governments – councillors feel

      like a representative. Citizens treat councillors as a representative.

      They reckon they are a constituent. Local governments must

      develop sophisticated systems and protocols that enable

      councillors to handle constituent representations. However, those

      systems and protocols need to protect and enhance corporate

      governance – not undermine it.

      7. STEWARDSHIP AND BUSINESS MANAGEMENT

      Councillors have an obligation to act in the long-term best

      interests of the municipality. That’s stewardship. So:

      • Monitor progress

      • Manage assets

      • Leave the municipality in better state than you found it

      • Understand the long term implications of decisions

      • Manage risks

      • Strive to improve service effectiveness and effi ciency.

      8. RELATIONSHIPS

      Relationships are usually affected by behaviours. Where behaviour

      causes collateral damage to relationships we often get people in

      the decision making process ‘playing the man not the ball’. That

      is, being in confl ict with a person instead of their opinion.

      Poor relationships, regrettably, usually result in lousy decisions.

      Councillors and their colleagues are all on the government

      benches – relationships usually matter.

      9. ADVOCACY

      It’s very important to your community. We already know that

      a signifi cant improvement in your community’s rating of your

      advocacy effort will almost always be accompanied by improved

      ratings for all of your services and your overall performance.

      Advocacy works best when it comes from previous articulated

      strategic positions. In other words, if something is really

      important to your community, it ought to be in your council

      plan. ‘Left fi eld’ advocacy is seldom appreciated and sometimes a

      downright failure.

      10. ETHICS

      This is obvious. If they think you are dodgy, your good governance

      reputation is in tatters. If in some circumstance you feel confl icted,

      remember two things. Firstly, how would you feel if the whole story

      was on the front page of the local paper – except your side of the

      story. Secondly, use your instincts and intuition to help you decide

      what is best. Then check the rules very

      carefully. If you only look at the rules, you’re

      bound to get confused and miss the point.

      So those are my ten key concepts. Good

      governance isn’t so hard – it just deserves

      our careful attention.

      WE NEED TO LEARN THESE PROCESSES,

      MODIFY THEM WHEN NECESSARY,

      UNDERSTAND THEM DEEPLY, REPEAT

      THEM UNDER PRESSURE AND TRUST IN

      OUR CAPABILITIES TO DELIVER.

      PHILIP SHANAHAN

      IS A FORMER CEO OF

      DAREBIN CITY COUNCIL.

      HE HAS WORKED IN

      LOCAL AND STATE

      GOVERNMENT FOR

      30

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