Welcome to the Finance Issues Steering Committee (FISC)
Our objective is to represent all sectors of the water industry and serve as a steering committee on all finance related issues, including (but not limited to) influencing government on the development and implementation of finance-related policy, providing advice to industry on current practices or proposed policies, and coordinating comments from the industry.
Finance Issues Steering Committee (FISC) Terms of Reference
The FISC and its associated actions will align with the VicWater’s Business Plan, the industry’s Strategic Vision and the overall improvement of the Victorian water industry. Where appropriate the FISC should focus its work around policy development with recommendations or position papers presented to the VicWater Board for approval.
To serve as a steering committee on finance related issues, including (but not limited to) influencing government on the development and implementation of finance related policy, providing advice to industry on current practices or proposed policies, and coordinating comments from the industry.
- Monitor emerging finance related issues and provide advice accordingly.
- To progress matters of particular significance establish Industry working groups and continue to monitor the outcomes and performance of the group until they sunset.
- Make recommendations on policy matters or present policy position papers on pertinent financial issues to the VicWater Board, as deemed appropriate by the VicWater CEO
- Engage government on finance related matters which impact on the industry.
- Establish and maintain links with the Institute of Water Administration Finance Special Interest Group.
5.1. This is an ongoing group.
5.2. The FISC Chairperson, in conjunction Committee members, to determine the frequency, location, duration and format of meetings held by the FISC during the year.
6.1. A group of up to ten finance related officers/managers are to be selected to represent all sectors of the industry. This number can be exceeded when the complexity of the issues being considered requires increased representation. Increases must be approved by the VicWater CEO and recorded in the FISC minutes.
6.2. The members shall be appointed with a view of achieving a diverse and inclusive membership considering gender, ethnic background, age, geographic location and level and experience. The members should have:
a) No personal financial interests in the FISC decisions;
b) A working knowledge of the issues that directly relate to the operational, commercial, environmental and social impacts of the water industry and water businesses; and
c) A broad understanding of the policy direction and objectives of government in relation to water.
6.3. Members appointed to the FISC are required to maintain links with relevant agencies and/or groups (eg. Department of Sustainability and Environment, Department of Treasury and Finance, Auditor-General's Office and the Essential Services Commission) and to ensure that they are aware of future developments that may impact on the objectives of the FISC.
6.4. In addition to the appointed membership, the FISC is empowered to invite various other people or groups of people from relevant government, industry, environmental or community organisation’s to provide assistance as appropriate. Those additional people providing assistance are not members of the FISC.
7.1. A member of the FISC may resign by giving notice in writing to the FISC Chairperson of his/her intention to resign and the date on which the resignation will take effect.
7.2. Methods of recruiting FISC members:
a) An employee of a water business can approach the VicWater representative or any FISC member to indicate interest in FISC membership; or
b) An individual can be approached by a representative of the FISC to gauge their level of interest in becoming a FISC member; or
c) A call for nominations for FISC membership.
7.3. In all of the above, the individual interested in FISC membership must obtain their Managing Director’s endorsement, or General Manager’s endorsement with the Managing Director’s support, to be a part of the FISC.
7.4. The final decision for acceptance of an individual as a member of the FISC is made by the VicWater CEO, in conjunction with the FISC Chairperson.
7.5. Once accepted as a member of the FISC, the individual will be provided with a copy of the Terms of Reference
7.6. Members are appointed on the FISC for a period of three (3) years. Members who wish to continue at the end of their term may re-nominate for positions on the FISC.
7.7. Where the number of nominations for membership exceeds the available places, the VicWater CEO, in conjunction with the FISC Chairperson, shall consider the nominations and select the successful members.
7.8. Casual vacancies can be filled as they arise.
8.1. A member of the FISC may cease to be a member of the FISC if they:
a) Fail to attend three consecutive meetings without providing apologies; or
b) Breach confidentiality conditions as set out in the Terms of Reference.
8.2. The final decision on membership expulsion will be made by both the FISC Chairperson and the CEO of VicWater.
9.1. Any scheduled FISC meeting must have a quorum for it to be a confirmed meeting.
9.2. The quorum will be represented by, at minimum, four of the total number of FISC members.
9.3. A FISC member is able to send a proxy or representative in their place and this person will count towards the quorum.
10.1. It is expected that the majority of decisions by the FISC will be done by consensus. However, if that cannot be achieved the following will be followed:
a) Questions or calls for a decision shall be made by the members present.
b) All members present will make one vote, with the majority ruling.
c) In the case of an equal result, the FISC Chairperson will exercise a second or casting vote.
11.1. To assist in coordination of the FISC, it is appropriate that the VicWater Board appoint a FISC Chairperson with consideration to any recommendation made by the VicWater CEO.
11.2. The FISC Chairperson will preside as Chairperson at each meeting of the FISC.
11.3. If the Chairperson is absent from a meeting, the members present will elect one of their number to preside as Chairperson for that meeting.
12.1. When the FISC requires a new Chairperson to be appointed, all water business Managing Director’s will be notified of the vacancy and asked to nominate a suitable applicant.
12.2. The VicWater Board will then make the final decision on who will be appointed to the position, with consideration to any recommendations made by the VicWater CEO.
12.3. The FISC Chairperson is appointed for a period of three (3) years. At the end of their three year term, a review will be done by the VicWater CEO.
13.1. The responsibility for recording, preparing and disseminating agenda, minutes and all other communications arising from the FISC and their meetings will be completed by the VicWater representative.
13.2. The minutes will be sent to the FISC Chairperson prior to being sent to the wider FISC group to ensure that they are a correct and accurate record of the meeting.
13.3. All FISC materials (agendas, minutes and other communications) will be kept centrally by the VicWater representative.
13.4. VicWater coordinates and services meetings with other administrative support provided as needed.
13.5. The VicWater representative will not be considered as one of the 10 members presiding in the FISC.
14.1. The VicWater CEO provides an interface between the operations of the FISC and the VicWater Board.
14.2. The FISC is to provide a written report annually to the VicWater Board; the timing of this report will align with the VicWater Annual Report and will record the actions and achievements for the year.
14.3. The role and structure of the FISC will be reviewed annually by the VicWater CEO to ensure that the group continues to be of relevance to VicWater’s priorities and objectives.
14.4. Where the CEO considers that a task group is no longer of relevance to VicWater’s priorities and objectives, the CEO will advise the VicWater Board and the final decision to conclude a Task Group will be made by the VicWater Board.
14.5. The FISC will report to the VicWater Board and VicWater Council on activities considered and undertaken as appropriate.
15.1. Where appropriate information will be included in VicWater publications and will be shared with other relevant groups identified by the FISC.
16.1. Members of the FISC must understand the importance of privacy and confidentiality.
16.2. Confidential information requires special treatment and protection and it must not be used to advantage any FISC member or business or disadvantage the Victorian Government.
16.3. Members of the FISC with access to confidential information must ensure it remains confidential, and at all times act in accordance with legislation and policies relating to dealing with private information.
17.1. These Terms of Reference will be reviewed at least every 3 years by the FISC in conjunction with the VicWater CEO to ensure that the document is kept relevant and/or to ensure that the group continues to deliver the prescribed outcomes. Any amendments to the Terms of Reference must be endorsed by the VicWater CEO and then approved by the VicWater Board.