6 Good Governance

Relevant council information

Because council members are generally distanced from the TEI’s day-to-day activities, they rely on the information provided to them to build their knowledge and understanding of the TEI, its issues and its performance. Interpreting and monitoring that information is at the heart of good governance.

Good quality, well-presented information also allows council members to focus their energies on constructive and substantive discussion; while poor quality information or sub-standard presentation can divert attention from core governance responsibilities as members work to clarify content and the meaning of the information they have been given.

Council members have a responsibility to ensure that the information they receive is clear and comprehensive, of sufficient quality and in a format that meets their needs. They also have an obligation to keep asking questions until they can properly understand and evaluate the answers they receive.

A good-practice information package

A good-practice information package presented for the council typically contains information that answers the question: What information do we need at council meetings to effectively carry out our governance role?

The content, format and timing of the information package must be customised for the TEI, but should be agreed in a planning session involving the council and senior management, followed by periodic structured reviews of the information package.

In planning the information package, council members and management need to agree on:

Reviewing the information the council needs for carrying out its roles and responsibilities should result in:

Components of the information package

A quality information package helps council members to fulfil their governance role in three important areas of performance:

The list below illustrates the typical main components of an information package for council meetings:

Assessing the information package

Ways in which council members can assess the robustness and appropriateness of information is by asking: