The Technology Supporting Better Crown Agency Boards
by Arina Smith Small Business 09 January 2018
Crown agencies have a responsibility to succeed. Entrusted with public money and a task to deliver a service to the public, a crown agency seems to run best when few people notice it. As soon as it starts making headlines, there’s a problem that should have been avoided, to begin with. Their boards of directors are key to their success and in order to unlock a board’s full potential, an organization needs to invest in a board portal.
Board portals are secure, improve engagement, and speed up board meeting management. They help boards at crown agencies achieve their goals of good governance and follow the guidelines for Crown Corporations developed by the Treasury Board Secretariat for running an effective and accountable Crown corporation. Keeping up with news about governance best practices is only the start; implementing new strategies is a challenge on its own.
Board Portal Security
Security should be one of the biggest concerns of any Crown agency. Cybercrime is on the rise and government agencies across the globe are being targeted, from airports to health services. Boards that discuss confidential information belonging to taxpayers or businesses have a responsibility to keep that information secure, but often board communication is a weak link in an organization’s security measures. They can be targeted by a variety of attacks, including phishing attacks or Man-in-the-Middle attacks that make email vulnerable, or ransomware programs that can exploit weaknesses in email attachments or Google Docs.
Extensive security is required by Crown agencies and board portal companies like Aprio are making it available at an affordable price. The costs of extensive security have gone down in recent years, but not all board portals reflect that in their pricing.
Board portals should be the tool of choice for any organization seeking to improve director engagement. They allow directors to communicate with each other and prepare for meetings without having to be in the meeting. Using a board portal, directors can electronically sign documents like meeting minutes and collaborate on documents with other directors. When one director has a follow-up question on a particular document, admin or the executive can provide the answer to everyone, cutting down on time needed in the meeting to ask these background questions. It’s a time-saving measure that can significantly improve the efficiency of Crown agency board meetings.
Board Meeting Management Software
Administrative tasks such as scheduling meetings, inviting the right people, and distributing board books are faster with a board portal. In one case study from Aprio, the software provider’s client said that putting together their board book had gone from a 6 to 8 hour process with 6 people to 1 to 2 hours. That’s time they can spend elsewhere.
A board has a lot of responsibilities when it comes to guiding the Crown agency, including ensuring it complies with legal requirements and providing leadership. They need to carefully consider its own composition and how to take steps to diversify recruitment and hold itself accountable to taxpayers and stakeholders. If they’re bogged down in day-to-day tasks, they’re not focused on strategic leadership.