Public sector organizations were introduced to <IR> through the Pioneer Network’s first webinars on 24 and 25 March 2015. Organizations were given practical steps to get started on their journey towards <IR>, and discussions began on the elements of the Framework where some guidance and interpretation may be needed to reflect differences between the public and business sectors.
Those with significant experience of implementing <IR> led the webinars with Mikkel Larsen of DBS Bank; Sergey Golovachev of Rosatom; and Dawn Baggaley of New Zealand Post, who all gave great insights into their <IR> journeys and the benefits and opportunities they are experiencing as a result.
The webinars were well attended, with over 50 participants from the public sector and a clear energy to deepen their understanding and take up the challenge of implementing <IR>.
Sergey Golovachev, Rosatom said, “The annual public report is a great tool for communicating with stakeholders whose interests are wide ranging. Disclosing material information in an integrated way makes a substantial contribution to increasing a company’s openness and transparency. I believe there is a demand for Integrated Reporting in the public sector. Public sector companies’ efficiency and their accountability to major stakeholders – the taxpayers – is an important issue which can be explored through the Integrated Reporting approach.”
Mikkel Larsen, DBS Bank, commented, “I believe there are a number of reasons why Public Sector organisations can be pioneers in Integrated Reporting: their mission statements focus on ‘outcomes’ (to society) rather than more narrowly on ‘outputs’; this leads to the possibly better recognition of the need to measure and explain the link between usage of resources and value creation; the increased focus and mandate by G20 for the sector; and the need for more independent research, with Public Sector entities being well placed to undertake parts of it.”
Dawn Baggaley, New Zealand Post, said, “As a 170 year old organization undergoing significant change, <IR> has enabled us to better communicate and manage all the different types of value or capital that we have created over our long history. Viewing our business through the six capitals lens has helped to remove silos and has highlighted the interconnections between the different parts of our business. It has sharpened our focus on the material issues facing the business, strengthening the delivery of our strategy.”
The next steps for participants of the Pioneer Network, which includes the World Bank and United Nations Development Programme, is to focus on areas such as value creation and materiality in the context of the public sector.
Interest in <IR> for the public sector is growing globally. At the 22nd East and South African Accountants General Conference 800 delegates came together to focus on public financial management. Ian Ball, IIRC Board Member, gave a joint presentation with the World Bank on <IR> and how it can help improve governance, accountability and transparency, as well as improve the efficiency and effectiveness of public bodies.
Participants of the Pioneer Network will meet in London on 27 May 2015 for the Network’s first physical meeting.
If you are interested in finding out more about the Network’s activities, please email firstname.lastname@example.org