The Board of Directors of Odyssey Energy Limited is responsible for its corporate governance, that is, the system by which the Company is managed.
1. Board of Directors
1.1 Role of the Board and Management
The Board represents shareholders’ interests in continuing a successful business, which seeks to optimise medium to long-term financial gains for shareholders. By not focusing on short-term gains for shareholders, the Board believes that this will ultimately result in the interests of all stakeholders being appropriately addressed when making business decisions.
The Board is responsible for ensuring that the Group is managed in such a way to best achieve this desired result. Given the current size and operations of the business, the Board currently undertakes an active, not passive role.
The Board is responsible for evaluating and setting the strategic directions for the Group, establishing goals for management and monitoring the achievement of these goals. The Managing Director is responsible to the Board for the day-to-day management of the Group.
The Board has sole responsibility for the following:
- Appointing and removing the Managing Director and any other executives and approving their remuneration;
- Appointing and removing the Company Secretary / Chief Financial Officer and approving their remuneration;
- Determining the strategic direction of the Group and measuring performance of management against approved strategies;
- Review of the adequacy of resources for management to properly carry out approved strategies and business plans;
- Adopting operating and capital expenditure budgets at the commencement of each financial year and monitoring the progress by both financial and non-financial key performance indicators;
- Monitoring the Group’s medium term capital and cash flow requirements;
- Approving and monitoring financial and other reporting to regulatory bodies, shareholders and other organisations;
- Determining that satisfactory arrangements are in place for auditing the Group’s financial affairs;
- Review and ratify systems of risk management and internal compliance and control, codes of conduct and compliance with legislative requirements; and
- Ensuring that policies and compliance systems consistent with the Group’s objectives and best practice are in place and that the Company and its officers act legally, ethically and responsibly on all matters.
The Board’s role and the Group’s corporate governance practices are being continually reviewed and improved as required.
1.2 Composition of the Board and New Appointments
The Company currently has the following Board members:
Mr Ian Middlemas - Non-Executive Chairman
Mr Mark Pearce - Non-Executive Director
Mr David Cruse - Non-Executive Director
The Company’s Constitution provides that the number of directors shall not be less than three and not more than ten. There is no requirement for any share holding qualification.
The Board considers that the Company is not currently of a size, nor are its affairs of such complexity to justify the appointment and further expense of additional independent Non-Executive Directors. The Board believes that the individuals on the Board can make, and do make, quality and independent judgments in the best interests of the Company on all relevant issues.
If the Company’s activities increase in size, nature and scope, the size of the Board will be reviewed periodically to determine the optimum number of directors required for the Board to properly perform its responsibilities and functions.
The membership of the Board, its activities and composition is subject to periodic review. The criteria for determining the identification and appointment of a suitable candidate for the Board shall include quality of the individual, background of experience and achievement, compatibility with other Board members, credibility within the Company’s scope of activities, intellectual ability to contribute to the Board duties and physical ability to undertake the Board duties and responsibilities.
Directors are initially appointed by the full Board subject to election by shareholders at the next annual general meeting. Under the Company’s Constitution the tenure of directors (other than managing director, and only one managing director where the position is jointly held) is subject to reappointment by shareholders not later than the third anniversary following his last appointment. Subject to the requirements of the Corporations Act 2001, the Board does not subscribe to the principle of retirement age and there is no maximum period of service as a director. A managing director may be appointed for any period and on any terms the directors think fit and, subject to the terms of any agreement entered into, the Board may revoke any appointment.
Committees of the Board
The Board considers that the Company is not currently of a size, nor are its affairs of such complexity to justify the formation of separate or special committees at this time. The Board as a whole is able to address the governance aspects of the full scope of the Company’s activities and to ensure that it adheres to appropriate ethical standards.
The Board has also established a framework for the management of the Group including a system of internal controls, a business risk management process and the establishment of appropriate ethical standards.
The full Board currently holds meetings at such times as may be necessary to address any general or specific matters as required.
If the Group’s activities increase in size, scope and nature, the appointment of separate or special committees will be reviewed by the Board and implemented if appropriate.
1.4 Conflicts of Interest
In accordance with the Corporations Act 2001 and the Company’s Constitution, Directors must keep the Board advised, on an ongoing basis, of any interest that could potentially conflict with those of the Company. Where the Board believes that a significant conflict exists the Director concerned does not receive the relevant board papers and is not present at the meeting whilst the item is considered.
1.5 Independent Professional Advice
The Board has determined that individual Directors have the right in connection with their duties and responsibilities as Directors, to seek independent professional advice at the Company’s expense. The engagement of an outside adviser is subject to prior approval of the Chairman and this will not be withheld unreasonably. If appropriate, any advice so received will be made available to all Board members.
2. Ethical Standards
The Board acknowledges the need for continued maintenance of the highest standard of corporate governance practice and ethical conduct by all Directors and employees of the Group.
2.1 Code of Conduct for Directors
The Board has adopted a Code of Conduct for Directors to promote ethical and responsible decision-making by the Directors. The code is based on a code of conduct for Directors prepared by the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
The principles of the code are:
- A director must act honestly, in good faith and in the best interests of the Company as a whole.
- A director has a duty to use due care and diligence in fulfilling the functions of office and exercising the powers attached to that office.
- A director must use the powers of office for a proper purpose, in the best interests of the Company as a whole.
- A director must recognise that the primary responsibility is to the Company’s shareholders as a whole but should, where appropriate, have regard for the interest of all stakeholders of the Company.
- A director must not make improper use of information acquired as a director.
- A director must not take improper advantage of the position of director.
- A director must not allow personal interests, or the interests of any associated person, to conflict with the interests of the Company.
- A director has an obligation to be independent in judgment and actions and to take all reasonable steps to be satisfied as to the soundness of all decisions taken as a Board.
- Confidential information received by a director in the course of the exercise of directorial duties remains the property of the Company and it is improper to disclose it, or allow it to be disclosed, unless that disclosure has been authorised by the Company, or the person from whom the information is provided, or is required by law.
- A director should not engage in conduct likely to bring discredit upon the Company.
- A director has an obligation at all times, to comply with the spirit, as well as the letter of the law and with the principles of the Code.
The principles are supported by guidelines as set out by the Australian Institute of Company Directors for their interpretation. Directors are also obliged to comply with the Company’s Code of Ethics and Conduct, as outlined below.
2.2 Code of Ethics and Conduct
The Company has implemented a Code of Ethics and Conduct, which provides guidelines aimed at maintaining high ethical standards, corporate behaviour and accountability within the Company.
All employees and directors are expected to:
- respect the law and act in accordance with it;
- respect confidentiality and not misuse Company information, assets or facilities;
- value and maintain professionalism;
- avoid real or perceived conflicts of interest;
- act in the best interests of shareholders;
- by their actions contribute to the Company’s reputation as a good corporate citizen which seeks the respect of the community and environment in which it operates;
- perform their duties in ways that minimise environmental impacts and maximise workplace safety;
- exercise fairness, courtesy, respect, consideration and sensitivity in all dealings within their workplace and with customers, suppliers and the public generally; and
- act with honesty, integrity, decency and responsibility at all times.
An employee that breaches the Code of Ethics and Conduct may face disciplinary action. If an employee suspects that a breach of the Code of Ethics and Conduct has occurred or will occur, he or she must report that breach to management. No employee will be disadvantaged or prejudiced if he or she reports in good faith a suspected breach. All reports will be acted upon and kept confidential.
2.3 Dealings in Company Securities
The Company’s share trading policy imposes basic trading restrictions on all employees of the Company with ‘inside information’, and additional trading restrictions on the directors of the Company.
‘Inside information’ is information that:
- is not generally available; and
- if it were generally available, it would, or would be likely to influence investors in deciding whether to buy or sell the Company’s securities.
If an employee possesses inside information, the person must not:
- trade in the Company’s securities;
- advise others or procure others to trade in the Company’s securities; or
- pass on the inside information to others – including colleagues, family or friends – knowing (or where the employee or Director should have reasonably known) that the other persons will use that information to trade in, or procure someone else to trade in, the Company’s securities.
This prohibition applies regardless of how the employee or Director learns the information (e.g. even if the employee or Director overhears it or is told in a social setting).
In addition to the above, Directors must notify the Company Secretary as soon as practicable, but not later than 5 business days, after they have bought or sold the Company’s securities or exercised options. In accordance with the provisions of the Corporations Act 2001 and the Listing Rules of the ASX, the Company on behalf of the Directors must advise the ASX of any transactions conducted by them in the securities of the Company.
Breaches of this policy will be subject to disciplinary action, which may include termination of employment.
2.4 Interests of Other Stakeholders
The Company’s objective is to leverage into resource projects to provide a solid base in the future from which the Company can build its resource business and create wealth for shareholders. The Company’s operations are subject to various environmental laws and regulations under the relevant government’s legislation. Full compliance with these laws and regulations is regarded as a minimum standard for the Company to achieve.
To assist in meeting its objective, the Company conducts its business within the Code of Ethics and Conduct, as outlined in 2.2 above.
3. Disclosure of Information
3.1 Continuous Disclosure to ASX
The continuous disclosure policy requires all executives and Directors to inform the Managing Director or in their absence the Company Secretary of any potentially material information as soon as practicable after they become aware of that information.
Information is material if it is likely that the information would influence investors who commonly acquire securities on ASX in deciding whether to buy, sell or hold the Company’s securities.
Information need not be disclosed if:
- It is not material and a reasonable person would not expect the information to be disclosed, or it is material but due to a specific valid commercial reason is not to be disclosed; and
- The information is confidential; or
- One of the following applies:
- It would breach a law or regulation to disclose the information;
- The information concerns an incomplete proposal or negotiation;
- The information comprises matters of supposition or is insufficiently definite to warrant disclosure;
- The information is generated for internal management purposes;
- The information is a trade secret;
- It would breach a material term of an agreement, to which the Company is a party, to disclose the information;
- The information is scientific data that release of which may benefit the Company’s potential competitors.
The Managing Director is responsible for interpreting and monitoring the Company’s disclosure policy and where necessary informing the Board. The Company Secretary is responsible for all communications with ASX.
3.2 Communication with Shareholders
The Company places considerable importance on effective communications with shareholders.
The Group’s communication strategy requires communication with shareholders and other stakeholders in an open, regular and timely manner so that the market has sufficient information to make informed investment decisions on the operations and results of the Group. The strategy provides for the use of systems that ensure a regular and timely release of information about the Group is provided to shareholders. Mechanisms employed include:
- Announcements lodged with ASX;
- ASX Quarterly Cash Flow Reports;
- Half Yearly Report;
- Presentations at the Annual General Meeting/General Meetings; and
- Annual Report.
The Board encourages full participation of shareholders at the Annual General Meeting to ensure a high level of accountability and understanding of the Group’s strategy and goals.
The Company also posts all reports, ASX and media releases and copies of significant business presentations on the Company’s website.
4. Risk Management
4.1 Identification of Risk
The Board is responsible for the oversight of the Group’s risk management and control framework. Responsibility for control and risk management is delegated to the appropriate level of management within the Group with the Managing Director and Company Secretary having ultimate responsibility to the Board for the risk management and control framework.
Areas of significant business risk to the Group are highlighted in the Business Plan presented to the Board by the Managing Director each year.
Arrangements put in place by the Board to monitor risk management include monthly reporting to the Board in respect of operations and the financial position of the Group.
4.2 Integrity of Financial Reporting
From 1 July 2004, the Company’s Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer (or equivalent) report in writing to the Board that:
- the consolidated financial statements of the Company and its controlled entities for each half and full year present a true and fair view, in all material aspects, of the Company’s financial condition and operational results and are in accordance with accounting standards;
- the above statement is founded on a sound system of risk management and internal compliance and control which implements the policies adopted by the Board; and
- the Company’s risk management and internal compliance and control framework is operating efficiently and effectively in all material respects.
4.3 Role of Auditor
The Company’s practice is to invite the auditor to attend the annual general meeting and be available to answer shareholder questions about the conduct of the audit and the preparation and content of the auditor’s report.
5. Performance Review
The Board has adopted a self-evaluation process to measure its own performance and the performance of its committees during each financial year. Also, an annual review is undertaken in relation to the composition and skills mix of the directors of the Company.
Arrangements put in place by the Board to monitor the performance of the Group’s executives include:
- a review by the Board of the Group’s financial performance; and
- annual performance appraisal meetings incorporating analysis of key performance indicators with each individual to ensure that the level of reward is aligned with respective responsibilities and individual contributions made to the success of the Company.
6. Remuneration Arrangements
The broad remuneration policy is to ensure that remuneration properly reflects the relevant persons duties and responsibilities, and that the remuneration is competitive in attracting, retaining and motivating people of the highest quality. The Board believes that the best way to achieve this objective is to provide Executive Directors and executives with a remuneration package consisting of fixed components that reflect the person’s responsibilities, duties and personal performance.
In addition to the above, the Company has developed a limited equity-based remuneration arrangement for key executives and consultants.
The remuneration of Non-Executive Directors is determined by the Board as a whole having regard to the level of fees paid to non-executive directors by other companies of similar size in the industry.
The aggregate amount payable to the Company’s Non-Executive Directors must not exceed the maximum annual amount approved by the Company’s shareholders.