- About COMU
- Board Appointments
- Ownership Framework
Page updated 20 Nov 2010
Although the actual process may vary for specific boards, the following steps detail the general process the Crown Ownership Monitoring Unit (COMU) follows for all appointments.
1. Skills Profiling
In conjunction with Ministers and the chair of each company board where a vacancy arises, COMU will analyse the board’s make-up to determine the general skills and experience required and those that would be ideal in any new appointee. A position specification will be prepared.
2. Candidate Identification
COMU's primary tool for identifying candidates is our appointments database (Board Appointments website). Candidates are able to apply directly for specific positions or register their details on the system in order to be considered for future opportunities. We also search our database for candidates matching the requirements of each board.
In addition, Ministers will generally consult their governmental colleagues for suitable candidates. We will also request nominations from other agencies who run nominations databases, such as:
- Ministry of Women’s Affairs
- Te Puni Kokiri
- Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs
- Office of Ethnic Affairs
- Office of Disability Issues
Ministers consider all applicants for each role and short-list possible preferred candidates that appear to match the skill needs for each board.
4. Due Diligence and Identification of Conflicts of Interest
Short-listed candidates have the opportunity to undertake a due diligence process before final decisions are made. This is a chance for the candidates to assess whether they will accept a role if offered. This process also allows COMU and the board chair to form a view about each short-listed candidate’s suitability.
Due diligence will allow a candidate to determine whether or not he or she can add value to a board, the degree of risk entailed in the appointment, and whether or not there are any known or potential conflicts of interest. The chair will review possible conflicts of interest from the company’s viewpoint.
Conflicts of interest occur when a director, or a prospective director, has personal or business interests in common (or could be perceived to be so) with the operations of the company. The law requires directors not to place themselves in a position of a conflict of interest (other than to the extent allowed under the Companies Act 1993 (Legislation website) and the company’s constitution or the Crown Entities Act 2004 (Legislation website)). Examples of situations that can lead to conflicts of interest include:
- directorship of, employment with, shares in, or ownership of another company that undertakes work for the entity;
- existing personal or professional links with the entity or its management; and/or
- family connections.
Where a conflict is identified, a decision will be made as to whether that conflict renders the appointment unmanageable, or whether the appointment can proceed with appropriate conflict of interest management regimes in place.
The Auditor-General has issued: Managing conflicts of interest: Guidance for public entities (Controller and Auditor General website).
After the preferred candidate has confirmed his or her availability to serve on a board, the Shareholding or Responsible Ministers will advise the Cabinet Appointment and Honours Committee and Cabinet accordingly. Following this, the appointment will be confirmed by a notice of appointment to the successful candidate.
For the majority of appointments, after further consideration by the full Cabinet, the Shareholding or Responsible Minister makes the appointment and the entity and successful candidate are advised accordingly.