Forest & Wood Products Australia: Independent Performance Review 2020

About the review

Forest and Wood Products Australia Limited (FWPA) is one of the 15 Rural Research and Development Corporations (RDCs) and is the industry-owned services body recognised under the Commonwealth’s Forestry Marketing and Research and Development Services Act 2007. FWPA’s formation, activities, reporting and operational protocols are governed by the Corporations Act 2001, the FWPA Constitution and its Statutory Funding Agreement (SFA) with the Commonwealth Government.

Under its 2017-2021 SFA, FWPA must commission an independent organisation to conduct a performance review of company’s activities as a pre-condition for the renewal of the agreement (Clause 18). The performance review must be conducted in accordance with terms of reference agreed with the Commonwealth. A copy of the Statutory Funding Agreement is published on FWPA’s website (here).

A team led by Forest Hill Consulting has been appointed to undertake the current performance review for FWPA. Brief biographies of the team can be found here. The terms of reference of the review are to:

1. Assess the FWPA performance in delivering research and development, and marketing (promotion) services for the Australian forest and wood industry. This will include assessment of FWPA’s:

  • performance in meeting its roles and obligations under the Agreement 2017-2021 with the Commonwealth and under the Forestry Marketing and Research and Development Services Act 2007.
  • implementation of its rolling 5-year Strategic Plan and Annual Operating Plans and of FWPA’s effectiveness in meeting the priorities, targets and budgets set out in these plans.
  • performance in developing, implementing and maintaining a framework of best practice corporate practices, including in the areas of risk management, fraud control and intellectual property management.
  • performance in ensuring structures and operations of the company and the Board are efficient, effective, appropriate and ethical.
  • effectiveness with which the Company carried out those plans, including, but not limited to, consideration of the following:
    • FWPA structure and processes
    • Liaison with stakeholders (including levy-payers, members, representative bodies, state and Commonwealth governments)
    • Corporate governance
    • Alignment with and delivery against industry priorities, and the opportunities for and ability of levy-payers and other contributors to influence the investment of levies
    • FWPA’s collaboration with other rural research and development corporations, and other research providers in Australia and internationally.

2. Assess the delivery of benefits to members, Levy Payers, the Australian forest and wood industry and the broader community, and meeting the needs of members Levy Payers and the industry, including the achieved value for money and return on investment to levy-payers, the industry and the Australian community, and the contribution to increasing market share of wood and improving productivity of the value chain. This will include, but not limited to, an assessment of FWPA’s:

  • Investments at a portfolio level in research and development, and marketing
  • Extension and communication of research findings
  • Management of intellectual property.

3. Assess FWPA’s effectiveness in addressing and implementing the recommendations from the 2017 performance review.

4. Make findings, conclusions, and recommendations to improve FWPA’s performance in delivering research and development, and marketing (promotion) services.

The review will be completed by the 18th of February 2021.

How to participate

A key part of the project will be to consult with FWPA's stakeholders. The project team will be making specific contact with the key industry organisations and individuals to obtain input into the review. The team also invites any interested party to make a submission by sending an email to submissions@fwpareview.org.

Alternatively, please consider completing the dedicated review survey.

Submissions and the survey close on the 13th of December 2020.