Functions of Board and Commissioner committees
The Board and Commissioner operate several committees under the Legal Profession Uniform Law Application Act 2014. Each of the committees has a Board member appointed as Chair. The committee functions are listed below.
While the committee functions remain the same year to year, the membership of those committees does occasionally change. External experts are co-opted to committees as necessary. The details of members of these committees for any given year are listed in the annual report for that year, which are available from the Annual Reports page.
Board and Commissioner Audit Committees
The Board and Commissioner each operate an Audit Committee, however these committees meet together for operational reasons. Their duties are identical. The duties of the Audit Committee include:
- Reviewing the maintenance of the accounting system and ensuring there are effective internal controls;
- Reviewing and approving the Board’s accounting policies and application of relevant accounting standards and requirements of Government Departments including those set out in the Financial Management Compliance Framework;
- Reviewing the findings of the Auditors (Internal and External) and ensuring that management’s actions to redress control weaknesses are appropriate;
- Reviewing the annual financial statements with the Chief Executive Officer and External Auditors and recommend approval by the Board;
- Reviewing major changes in accounting policies and determining the impact of those changes on the presentation of the Board’s results;
- Reviewing the performance of the internal and external auditors;
- Recommend to the Board the appointment and remuneration of the auditors (internal and external);
- Preparing a report to the Board on the Audit Committee performance that summarises the activities of the Committee to fully discharge its duties during the year;
- Monitoring IT strategy, systems implementation and the IT control environment of the Board;
- Monitoring the actuarial reviews of the Legal Practitioners Fidelity Fund;
- Reviewing and monitoring the risk management practices of the Board on a quarterly basis; and
- Reviewing processes for monitoring compliance with law and regulations, the organisation’s code of conduct and the financial code of practice.
Finance and Investment Committee
The functions of the Finance and Investment Committee are:
- Review yearly budgets for the Board;
- Review yearly funding for the Commissioner;
- Review yearly funding applications from the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, the Victorian Legal Admissions Board, the professional associations, the Victoria Law Foundation, the Victorian Law Reform Commission and Victoria Legal Aid;
- Review annual reporting requirements of the Victorian Government;
- Monitor performance against budget and funding allocations; and
- Review amount to be transferred to the Distribution Account at financial year end;
- Review investment objectives annually and recommend acceptance to the Board;
- Recommend the appointment of investment managers in line with the investment objectives approved by the Board;
- Review investment managers performance at least bi-monthly;
- Monitor returns on investment at least bi-monthly;
- Review investment administration processes and authorities;
- Meet with investment managers as required;
- Liaise with investment advisers twice yearly or as required;
- Review updates of the Investment Manual; and
- Review the banking arrangements in relation to authorised deposit-taking institutions for trust accounts made by the Board.
The functions of the Grants Committee are to:
- Review guidelines and application forms and policies for funding;
- Review funding applications using established criteria;
- Oversee Grants staff review of grant applications for duplication;
- Review funding program and provide strategic advice on development of specific areas of focus.
- Monitor the effect of funding recommendations on the Distribution Account and amounts available in future years to finance core operations and delegated functions;
- Determine clear outcomes for each successful applicant; and
- Prepare a report to the Board outlining the Committee’s grant recommendations.
Fidelity Fund Claims Advisory Committee
The functions of the Fidelity Fund Claims Advisory Committee are to:
- Consideration of reports from the investigators;
- Consideration of the legal advice provided by the Legal Services Board Claims Investigator;
- Recommending to the Board whether claims on the Legal Practitioners’ Fidelity Fund should be allowed, disallowed or settled;
- Requesting that a claim be further investigated or that further legal advice be obtained on a claim; and
- Directing the Claim Investigator regarding the parameters of reports of claims.