Shadow Indigenous Affairs Minister Senator Nigel Scullion has commended the work of the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations (ORIC) for its efforts to improve the performance and business standards of Indigenous Corporations.
“Indigenous Australians are demanding that the organisations that are meant to serve them are well governed and well managed and ORIC plays a crucial role in achieving that end,” Senator Scullion said.
“ORIC operates under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ) Act , a Howard government initiative, aimed at improved standards of governance in Indigenous community organisations .
“ORIC tackles corruption and helps Indigenous organisations with their governance and business practices.
“ORIC has been very active in recent weeks managing to get convictions in two cases against former senior executives of Aboriginal corporations.
“Thanks to the work of ORIC, the former CEO of the Durri Aboriginal Corporation Medical Service at Kempsey, became the first officer to be disqualified from managing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation.
“In the other case, two former directors of the Gudhuga Training and Employment Aboriginal Corporation were convicted for selling vehicles that belonged to Gudhuga for private purposes. Both received jail terms and were ordered to pay compensation.
“As ORIC Registrar Anthony Beven says, ‘officers must always act in the best interests of their corporation and its members.’
“ORIC placed Bawinanga Aboriginal Corporation and Coolgarre Aboriginal Corporation under special administration after being asked for assistance, showing the faith that ORIC is held in for its work in helping Indigenous corporations.
“ORIC does a difficult job and it is good to see it takes it very seriously.
“I want Indigenous communities to get value for money from programs and services that are meant for their benefit from properly run organisations. And I want anyone that rips off Indigenous organisations to get caught and appropriately punished.
“I am sure Aboriginal people appreciate the efforts of ORIC and the value of its work,” Senator Scullion said.
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