Corporate Governance

The National Library Board (NLB) is established under the National Library Board Act (Chapter 197) and is governed by the statutory functions and constitution set out in the NLB Act. A Board comprising the Chairman and 15 non-executive members from sectors such as academia, the finance and social sectors, and public institutions guides NLB in the performance of its functions to the public. With their diverse backgrounds and experience, members of the Board are well placed to provide NLB with strategic leadership as well as to put in place effective controls to meet the highest standards of governance. There is also one observer from the Ministry of Communications and Information.

The Board reviews and oversees NLB’s plans, performance and policies; ensures accountability in its operations; and develops mechanisms for gathering and responding to stakeholders’ feedback. Board members helm six committees. These are: the Establishment Committee, the Finance Committee, the National Library Advisory Committee, the Public Library Advisory Committee, the Innovation & Technology Advisory Committee and the National Archives Advisory Committee.

An Internal Audit Unit further strengthens NLB’s corporate governance. Reporting directly to the Chairman of the Finance Committee and administratively to the Chief Executive Officer, the Internal Audit Unit determines that NLB’s risk management, control and governance processes are adequate and effective. This includes evaluating policies, procedures and systems to ensure the integrity of financial and operating information, compliance with laws and regulations, and economical and efficient use of resources.

All NLB staff also uphold public trust by complying with a Code of Ethics and Conduct. NLB staff are empowered to report potential ethical breaches confidentially through an Ethics hotline. The Board’s Establishment Committee investigates every report.

As a charity, NLB adheres to the recommended guidelines set out in the Code of Governance for Charities and Institutions of Public Character proposed by the Charity Council (the Code). NLB openly discloses its corporate governance practices covering board governance, conflict of interest policy and other relevant governance practices and controls on an annual basis. Any deviations from the Code are also explained as part of this annual submission. NLB continually seeks to improve governance to maintain the trust and confidence of our stakeholders.

Allowance for Board Members Salary

The members of the Board are paid allowances based on a tiered structure, which takes into consideration the different workload and responsibilities held by the various members.

Annual Allowance Board Members
$10,000 - $25,000 10
$5,000 - $10,000 6

Salary Bands for Top Executives

The following table shows the annual remuneration* banding of our three highest paid executives for the year

Annual Remuneration Executives
$300K - $400K 3

* Annual remuneration includes salary, bonus, benefits and employers’ CPF

RESERVE POLICY

NLB proactively manages its capital structure to achieve efficiency in its cost of capital. Our reserves level was maintained at no more than 1 year to take into account working capital needs and long-term commitments for pension payments, development projects and capital replacements.

As at 31 Mar 2013, NLB’s reserves for unrestricted funds stood at about 7 months, same as the previous year. The following table shows the breakdown of the reserves.

  Current Year ($’m) Previous Year ($’m) Increase/
(Decrease) %
Unrestricted Fund (Reserves) [A] $144m $137m 5%
Restricted Fund [B]      
i) Heritage reserves $8m $7m 11%
ii) Restricted Fund $27m $26m 4%
iii) Endowment Fund $39m $38m 5%
       
Total Funds [C = A+ B] $218m $208m 5%
Ratio of Reserves [A] to Annual Operating
Expenditure (no of months)
7 months 7 months  

Our Board regularly reviews our financial results and position via quarterly management reports. The quantum of reserves is reviewed and approved annually by the Finance Committee of the Board.

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