Transparency

Disclosure and transparency


To maintain the trust and confidence our stakeholders place in us, we seek to conduct our business in a transparent manner. Our commitment to transparency is demonstrated by:

  • Accountability: we are part of the Australian Government’s Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio (DFAT) and are accountable to the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment and to the Australian Parliament
  • Transaction reporting: we provide information on our transactions that exceed the reporting obligations of the global standards we apply
  • Annual Report: our annual report is tabled in Parliament and made available on our website to provide information about our operations
  • Complaints mechanism: any person concerned about or affected by our activities (including a project supported by one of our transactions) may submit a complaint through our complaints mechanism
  • Multi-stakeholder forum: we regularly hold a forum to communicate and share information with civil society organisations on issues related to our commitment to upholding best-practice environmental and social standards in the transactions we support
  • Independent Policy/Procedure reviews: the application of our Policy and Procedure on environmental and social review of transactions is independently reviewed every two years. The reports are made available on our website.

Confidentiality

While we aim to be as transparent as possible regarding our operations, we are also legally required to maintain client confidentiality.

The Export Finance and Insurance Corporation Act 1991 (EFIC Act) requires our employees and members of the Export Finance Australia Board to keep client information confidential, subject to certain limited exceptions. A breach of these statutory confidentiality obligations is a criminal offence. To reinforce this duty, we have developed a confidentiality policy that outlines the obligations and responsibilities of staff when handling confidential information.

We operate in commercial markets where it is commonly required to give contractual confidentiality undertakings with respect to transaction information.

Our statutory and contractual confidentiality obligations are critical to our clients who expect and depend on our compliance. Without the assurance that we can keep information confidential, the quality of information provided to us may be prejudiced. In turn, this could impair our ability to make prudent, informed decisions on the risks of the transactions we are considering supporting. It could also produce adverse implications for project outcomes, competitive disadvantage for Australian exporters and financial losses for our organisation.

Freedom of information

We are subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) although we are partially exempt from some of the provisions. Our partial exemption is consistent with the statutory duty of confidentiality under the Export Finance Australia Act and recognises our need to maintain client confidentiality. We are required to comply with the Information Publication Scheme (IPS) requirements of the FOI Act, including publishing an IPS Plan. This Plan describes the information we publish, how it’s published and how we comply with IPS requirements. 

Privacy

Sometimes we collect personal information when conducting our business. Our Privacy Policy sets out how we manage personal information about our clients. The terms of this Policy are reinforced in the confidentiality policy that applies to all Export Finance Australia staff.