As the responsibilities of the board have increased, the volume of work and necessary skills to support the board have enhanced the role of the company secretary. The company secretary is now often considered to be the chief governance specialist within an organisation, increasingly relied upon to provide advice and implement good governance practices. It is a more proactive role than in previous times.

Company secretaries have legal responsibilities in addition to their work in support of the board, which will vary according to the specific needs of the organisation.

The value of company secretaries is recognised in the ASX Corporate Governance Council’s Corporate Governance Principles and Recommendations which state in the commentary to Recommendation 2.5:

The company secretary plays an important role in supporting the effectiveness of the board by monitoring that board policy and procedures are followed, and coordinating the timely completion and despatch of board agenda and briefing material. It is important that all directors have access to the company secretary. The appointment and removal of the company secretary should be a matter for decision by the board as a whole. The company secretary should be accountable to the board, through the chair, on all governance matters.’