An independent review has found LiveCorp is valued and appreciated by its members, and its performance over the past four years is commendable, especially given the number of inquiries, reports and reviews it has needed to respond to.
As a rural research and development corporation (RDC), the review is a condition of the Funding Agreement which allows LiveCorp to receive levies from the livestock export industry.
The LiveCorp Performance Review 2016-2020, released today, shows the company is managed effectively, provides value for money, consults widely with its members, and has complied with all its obligations.
LiveCorp Chair Troy Setter says the Board has accepted the four recommendations made, and an implementation plan is being drafted in response.
“The company has been proactive in the period covered by the report, recognising areas where members have concerns and initiating internal reviews,” he said.
“This includes Board operations and the research program.
“Implementing those recommendations has helped to ensure our systems are working, and has contributed to the positive outcome of the current review.”
“Over the same period, we’ve delivered against all 20 of the objectives outlined in LiveCorp’s Strategic Plan 2016-2020.
“This is despite the significant time spent responding to a multitude of government and industry reviews and supporting the industry as regulations changed, and is a testament to the efforts of the Board, management team and staff over recent years.
“We recognise that there is always more to be done, however, and our Strategic Plan 2025 sets out some ambitious targets to continue progressing key issues for LiveCorp and the industry.
“The Board and LiveCorp management remain focused on the careful investment of levies, to continue making improvements to animal welfare outcomes as well as providing the best possible return for exporters.
“It’s pleasing to have the consultant recognise that LiveCorp has already provided leadership and demonstrated sound environmental awareness in driving real change, especially in the area of animal welfare.”
The performance review notes the complexity of the environment in which LiveCorp operates, its relatively limited resources as the smallest RDC, and its partnership with Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA), which manages the jointly funded Livestock Export Program (LEP) research and in-market activities.
Mr Setter says the LEP provides an important benefit for LiveCorp’s members, by leveraging investment of producer levies and matching Commonwealth funds for relevant RD&E.
“We will continue to invest and partner with MLA in projects that provide value for money and effective services for our members, while continuing to identify other opportunities to leverage knowledge and funding more broadly.
“The LEP has attracted some criticism from exporters in the past, and this has been reflected through consultation feeding into the performance review. However, the consultant also recognises that LiveCorp has invested time and resources in recent years to address those concerns.
“Work is well underway in implementing recommendations of the LEP RD&E Program review, including the release of the RD&E Blueprint to guide investment, and the appointment of an independent chair for the Livestock Export Research and Development Advisory Committee (LERDAC) and the Management Committee.
“As a relatively new Board member, I’ve been struck by the thoroughness, detail and compliance that are part of LiveCorp’s culture and values. The findings of the independent consultant conducting the review therefore come as no surprise to me. I encourage all our members and stakeholders to read the report and form their own opinion.”
LiveCorp has produced a summary of the performance review, which is available on its website along with the full report (livecorp.com.au).
Recommendations by SED Advisory in the LiveCorp Performance Review 2016-2020:
- Address the completion of recommendations relating to board terms and stakeholder mapping as identified in the Board performance review
- Consider ensuring for the purposes of consistency and review, that all relevant documents, including, but not limited to, the Funding Agreement, submissions, reports, reviews etc are dated; whether it be the date of execution, agreement, creation, received, or, when it was published.
- Build a more defined connection between the strategic development process and Board risk appetite using an industry risk hierarchy model.
- In light of the demonstrated disparity of funding, the fact LiveCorp does not have to account for Commonwealth RD&E funds and the red meat industry arrangements as recognised in the Funding Agreement; consideration be given to proportionate compliance according to the prescribed relationship with MLA on R&D and the level of respective autonomy, management and control, to leverage existing oversight on the use of funds, governance and compliance e.g. external annual audit.
The full report can be viewed on LiveCorp’s website here