11. Government Owned Corporations
Queensland currently has a number of Government Owned Corporations (GOCs) which conduct activities and provide services in a commercially-oriented manner. Sectors in which GOCs operate include energy, transport, funds management, port operations and water. A GOC is established under the Government Owned Corporations Act 1993 (the GOC Act) and is defined in Section 5 of that Act as a government entity that is established as a body corporate under an Act or the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (the Corporations Act) and declared by regulation to be a GOC.
Corporatisation is defined in Section 13 of the GOC Act as a structural reform process for nominated government entities that:
- changes the conditions and (where required) the structure under which entities operate so that they operate, as far as practicable, on a commercial basis and in a competitive environment
- provides for the continued public ownership of the entities as part of the process
- allows the state, as owner on behalf of the people of Queensland, to provide strategic direction to the entities by setting financial and non-financial performance targets and community service obligations.
The objectives of corporatisation, as set out in Section 14 of the GOC Act, are to improve Queensland's overall economic performance and the ability of the government to achieve social objectives by improving the efficiency and effectiveness of GOCs and improving their accountability.
The GOC Act provides for GOCs to have two shareholding Ministers – the GOC Minister (the Treasurer) and the portfolio Minister (e.g., in the case of transport GOCs, the Minister for Transport). Certain powers to be jointly exercised are conferred on the shareholding Ministers.
The GOC Act and the Corporations Act detail the legal obligations of GOC board members. A brief outline of these provisions follow.