The Role of the Company Secretary
Even in my short board career, I have recognised that having a competent and efficient company secretary makes the life of all of the directors on the board a whole lot easier and much more reassuring. On one of my boards, our Company Secretary also operates as our board assistant. If possible, it makes sense to have these two roles tied together.
In general, the Company Secretary is responsible for many of the compliance and governance-related administrative tasks of the board and organisation. The burden placed on the Company Secretary depends on the size and type of the organisation – some types of businesses have numerous reporting requirements across multiple agencies, whereas smaller, less complex companies have fewer reporting and compliance requirements.
There are a number of tasks that the Company Secretary is responsible for, which are mandated within the Corporations Act. These mainly apply to notifying ASIC (the Australian Securities and Investments Commission) of particular changes to the organisation and its directors.
Further to this, Company Secretaries are usually charged with responsibilities relating to preparing and circulating meeting agendas and board packs, taking and disseminating board meeting minutes, and ensuring all statutory requirements are met.
To further your understanding of what the Company Secretary’s role, responsibilities, and expectations are, below is a position description for the Company Secretary that was recently prepared for one of my boards.
For more information about the role of Company Secretary see: ASIC Your Company and the Law Information Sheet.