In recent days the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption (TURC) has been in the media spotlight. This spotlight, as members will be well aware, has also fallen on the HSU.

The current leadership of the VHPA has raised a number of issues with the Commission and the media that we believe point to poor governance on the part of our predecessors. We remain hopeful that these questions will be properly addressed during the course of the Royal Commission.

Governance is of course of critical importance to our Union. As such we are working on a Report that will provide members a ‘good sense’ mechanism by which to think through governance and thus be better able to evaluate the management of the Branch.

Notwithstanding, members should know that their representatives on the current Branch Committee of Management (BCOM) are well apprised of the financial activities and broader management of the Branch and take their roles extremely seriously.

The Governance and Finance Committee (GFC) meets once a month to examine all manner of financial documentation. A designated representative (not the Secretary) reports back to BCOM, at the next meeting of that body, with details and minutes from these meetings.

Those documents examined include ‘incomes and expenditures against budget’, ‘actual/projected income and expenses per month’ and ‘expenses by category’. In addition, the GFC examines staffing costs, all credit card expenditure and all individual expenditures of $1000 or more.

Further, it is standard practice for the GFC to check on all leave applications and to monitor bank balances. No member of BCOM receives a sitting fee or an honorarium. The Branch does not make cash withdrawals nor does it hold any ‘off-line’ accounts. We are politically independent, committed to the membership and hardworking.

We will no doubt see a great deal more media coverage regarding TURC over the rest of 2014. However the VHPA will not be distracted from its core tasks—representing members, ensuring employees are treated fairly and advancing the industrial interests of all Health Professionals.

We have great hopes for the VHPA and are thrilled to see it continue on its upward trajectory.