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Board Charter

The Purpose of the Board
NTLAC is an independent statutory body constituted under the Legal Aid Act (NT) 1990 (The Act). The Northern Territory Legal Aid Board (the Board) is the Commission’s governing body and is responsible to the Attorney-General as the relevant Minister.

The Role of the Board

The role of the Board is to provide overall strategic guidance for the Commission and effective oversight of management in order to:

  • Ensure the Commission operates ethically, effectively, and efficiently;
  • Strengthen stakeholder confidence in the Commission;
  • Enable the Commission to respond strategically to changing demands; and
  • Optimise public value through its services while ensuring that the Commission’s obligations under the Legal Aid Act and overall activities are appropriately managed.

The Director’s responsibilities to the Board include:

  •  Implement Board approved strategies and decisions;
  • Set operational plans within a comprehensive risk management framework;
  • Provide the Board with relevant, succinct, accurate, and high quality information and reports to assist the Board discharge its duties.
  • Provide timely advice on high impact issues.

The Responsibilities of the Board

The Board’s responsibilities include:

Strategy

  • Determine the strategic intent and direction of the Commission.
  • Approve, monitor, and review, strategic plans and performance objectives of the Commission consistent with the strategic intent.

Performance and Ethics

  • Promote ethical and responsible decision-making.
  • Monitor and review corporate governance and social responsibility.
  • Monitor and review Board performance, composition, and processes.
  • Monitor and influence the Commission’s culture and reputation
  • Monitor and review executive succession planning and diversity.
  • Monitor and review the performance of the Director.

Financial Management

  • Approve and review annual budget allocation and financial reports.
  • Monitor financial results on an ongoing basis.
  • Approve, monitor, and review, the progress of capital expenditure and asset management.

Risk Management and Compliance

  • Monitor and review the Commission’s risk profile and risk management processes.
  • Monitor the processes for compliance with agreements, governance, standards, and regulatory requirements.

Role and Responsibilities of Chairperson and Director

The Chairperson

The Chairperson of the Commission’s responsibilities include:

  • Leading the Board and ensure that it is ethically fulfilling its roles and responsibilities.
  • The effective conduct of meetings including setting the Board agenda.
  • Representing the views of the Board as primary spokesperson with the Minister, Government, community, and key stakeholders.
  • Provide objective counsel and feedback to the Director.

The Director
The Board has delegated authority and responsibility for day-to-day management of the Commission to the Director.

Membership of the Board

Composition of the Board

The Board has seven Commissioners:

  • The Chairman appointed by the Minister.
  • A Commissioner appointed by the Minister as their representative.
  • A Commissioner appointed by the Treasurer as their representative.
  • A Commissioner appointed by the Minister to represent community interests.
  • A Commissioner appointed by the Minister on the nomination of the Law Society.
  • A Commissioner appointed by the Minister, elected by the staff of the Commission.
  • The Director, ex officio, is appointed as a Commissioner by the Minister.

Appointment and Election of Commissioners
Each Commissioner is appointed for a term of up to three years. Commissioners are eligible for reappointment at the end of each term.

Conduct of Commissioners
Commissioners must at all times act ethically and in accordance with legal and statutory requirements, and discharge their duties in good faith and in the best interests of the Commission.
Commissioners are expected to declare and manage any action, position or interest that conflicts or appears to conflict with the interest of the Commission.

Board Process

Board Meetings
Commissioners are expected to prepare adequately for and bring independent views and informed judgment to Board deliberations. The Board will meet at least six times a year, with two additional meetings dedicated to the strategic responsibilities of the Board. Commissioner’s must not be absent for three consecutive meetings without the approval of the Chairperson.
Minutes are distributed within five working days of a Board meeting. Board discussions and resolutions are confidential, except where they are required to be disclosed.

Induction and Continuing Education
An orientation program for new Commissioners will include discussions with the Chairperson, the Director and the Chief Financial Officer

Performance of the Board and Commissioners
The Board will conduct an annual self assessment of its performance and effectiveness.

Review of the Charter
The Charter is to be reviewed by the Board as required and at least annually.

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