Guidance notes

An overview – board committees (major agencies)

Easy-to-read overview of the board’s obligations and good practice.

Board committees – an overview - all major (PDF, 139.1 KB)
Board committees – an overview - all major (DOCX, 106.2 KB)

'Other' members of CMA committees (CMAs)

This supplementary guidance note only applies to catchment management authorities.

Board committees – 'other' members - CMAs (PDF, 193.9 KB)
Board committees – 'other' members - CMAs (DOCX, 119.6 KB)

Governance links

Related support modules

On Board has related support modules for boards of DELWP agencies, including:

Meetings and decisions

Victorian Public Sector Commission (VPSC)

As part of its role in promoting good governance in the public sector, the VPSC provides information on Committees and delegations.

Watchdog agencies

As part of their watchdog role, the Victorian Ombudsman, the Victorian Auditor-General’s Office (VAGO), and the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC) also promote a high standard of public sector governance. For further information see the Integrity complaints  support module.

Background information

The board can establish committees to assist it. These can be standing (ongoing) or formed for a limited term (e.g. whilst a project is undertaken). Usually, they can include non-board members.

A board committee is sometimes referred to as a subcommittee, although strictly speaking this term applies to a subcommittee of a committee.  In both cases, the information below applies.

When establishing a committee, it is basic good governance practice for the board to develop written Terms of Reference for the committee. As a general rule, the board should require its committees to follow the same policies and procedures as the board itself.

Overall, the policies and procedures that apply to a committee:

  • must be consistent with the principles of good public sector governance practice in the Public Administration Act 2004
  • must be consistent with the agency's establishing Act and other binding obligations
  • should be consistent with DELWP's model policies.

The board cannot delegate any of its decision-making to a committee, or members thereof, unless specifically authorised to do so by law, such as by the agency's establishing Act (or terms of reference) or, if applicable, section 83 of the Public Administration Act 2004 or the Financial Management Act 1994 and related Standing Directions.

Governance obligations in relation to board committees that may apply to your agency include:

  • any specific requirements in your agency's establishing Act (or terms of reference) in relation to board committees
  • section 83 of the Public Administration Act 2004
  • the Financial Management Act 1994 and related Standing Directions.