The people who sit on the boards of crown agencies need all the help they can get when it comes to implementing good governance. Crown agencies are expected to be both transparent and efficient – because they deal with public funds, the boards of crown agencies are held to much higher account than those of private corporations. Board portals are well-known software solutions that streamline board book distribution, voting, and assessment, improving communication between directors and staff, and between directors themselves. That means that they can spend less time working out communications issues and more time deliberating key decisions faced by today’s boards.
Executive Pay – One of the decisions a board of directors must make with major consequences and high media visibility is executive pay. Boards of directors must balance responsibility with public funds, something that newspapers aren’t shy to report on, with competitive salaries. As an organization, you can’t bring on talented executives without a salary that’s commensurate with similar positions in both private and public sectors.
Pay Freezes – With management and executive pay being such hot-button issues across Canada, pay freezes can sometimes be politically popular. In Ontario, crown agencies like the LCBO have frozen executive pay, but that can come with a cost, including brain drain and lack of competitiveness when it comes to attracting talented individuals.
Technology Solutions – One of the major decisions crown agencies have to make when they’re looking for a technology solution is whether or not to develop a solution internally with their IT department, purchase a ready-made solution from a vendor, or award a contract to develop the technology. Technology purchases like Metrolinx’s Presto system (Metrolinx is a cross-municipality transit agency in Ontario) have been responsible for major cost overruns and defective technology, and it’s important that technology purchases are in line with the agency’s long-term strategies and responsibilities to the public.
Confidentiality – When crown agencies discuss vision and strategy, they often have to consult data and reports that must be kept confidential. One of the advantages of using a software like Aprio Boardroom is that it offers security appropriate to a crown agency. Email is well-known for its vulnerabilities and the ease with which it can be hacked, and while no institution wants to suffer a data breach, crown agencies like workplace insurance boards or health agencies possess very extremely sensitive data that must be kept confidential.
Because of their public ownership, crown agencies must always keep an eye on the cost of any hire, equipment purchase, or software purchase, and a board portal is no different. One option to consider is Aprio Boardroom, a portal known for its affordable cost, high standards for security, customer support, and ongoing director training. It’s why agencies like the WSIBOntario, eHealth Ontario, Edmonton Economic Development, BC Housing, BC Provincial Health Services Authority and Island Health have adopted the solution. For more information on this particular board portal and its appeal with crown agencies, explore Aprio.net/customers/ and find out who’s using it.
Directors on the boards of crown agencies have a responsibility to bring good governance to their organizations. Better communication tools like board portals help them focus on vision, strategy, compliance, and transparency.