The Chartered Secretaries Southern Africa and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange
recently hosted their annual Integrated Reporting Awards.
Awards were conferred in the categories Top 40, Mid Cap, Small Cap, State-
owned Companies, Fledgling/Alt-X, Non-listed, NGO/NPO and Public Sector. Fasset
(Finance and Accounting Services Sector Education and Training Authority (Seta))
was declared the winner in the public sector category.
"Fasset is very proud to be the recipient of such a prestigious award. The award
confirms that Fasset is succeeding in its quest to communicate to a broad range of
stakeholders, in a very transparent way, about how the Seta is adding value,' says
Fasset CEO, Cheryl James.
The Seta embarked upon its integrated reporting journey three years ago.
"Fasset has always sought out and embraced opportunities for best practice.
Integrated reporting enables Fasset to account to both its levy-payers and society
at large about how the Seta allocates funds, how it exercises stewardship over
funds and how it adds value to various stakeholder groupings. As custodians of
public funds, we are very cognisant of the need for total transparency and for
accountability,' she explains.
James says integrated reporting adds tremendous value to an organisation.
"Integrated reporting is a rigorous process. It requires organisations to interrogate
and constantly review how the organisation adds value to the widest range of
stakeholders. This honest and transparent review on a continuous basis ensures that
an organisation is performance-driven. It also ensures that challenges or issues are
never swept under the carpet,' she observes.
To her mind one of the key strengths of integrated reporting lies in the fact that
organisations are compelled to report "warts and all.' "Transparency in reporting is
non-negotiable. It is only by fully disclosing information pertaining to an
organisations business model, organisational risks, performance, outputs and impact
on the society and the environment and the challenges that an organisation faces,
that a true picture of organisational performance emerges. Stakeholders are not
interested in viewing an organisations performance through rose tinted sunglasses.
They want to know what the challenges and issues are and how these are being
addressed,' she contends.
Fasset is a pioneer in the field of integrated reporting in the public sector:
"Fasset is one of the first entities in the public sector in South Africa to embrace
integrated reporting. It is also, the only Seta to do so. "We continue to learn and we
continue to benchmark ourselves against local and global leaders in integrated
reporting. This is only the start of our integrated reporting journey. We will continue
to strive to raise the bar year-on-year,' she informs.
James would like to see all public sector entities, including all Setas embrace
integrated reporting. "Since embarking on its integrated reporting journey, Fasset is
definitely a stronger, more accountable organisation. I challenge all public sector
organisations to embrace integrated reporting. By constantly engaging in a
meaningful way with a wide range of stakeholders, we can build a robust,
performance-driven public sector, which inspires confidence, "James concludes.