Independent Performance Review 2020

Sugar Research Australia Limited (SRA) is an industry-owned company that was established in 2013 by Australia’s sugarcane growers and millers to deliver research, development and extension services that drive productivity, profitability and sustainability for the Australian sugarcane industry.

All Research & Development Corporations like SRA are required, under their funding agreements with the Commonwealth Government, to commission regular independent corporate performance reviews. SRA’s first such review was completed in 2016.

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

1.  Assess the performance of SRA in meeting its obligations under the Sugar Research and Development Services Act 2013 (Cth) and the Statutory Funding Contract 2017-2021 with the Commonwealth, including:

a. development and implementation of Strategic and Annual Operational Plans and the efficiency and effectiveness in meeting the planned outcomes, targets and budgets set out in those plans and any sub-plans;

b. assessment of SRA’s approach to ensuring a balanced portfolio of investment appropriate to the sugarcane industry;

c. implementation of corporate governance arrangements and practices for ensuring transparent and proper use and management of funds;

d. engagement with levy payers, their representative bodies and other stakeholders to provide opportunities for stakeholders to contribute to priority setting and to assist in the uptake of research outcomes; and

e. participation in strategic and sustained collaboration across the agricultural innovation system, including collaboration with other Research and Development Corporations (RDCs).

2.  Assess the efficiency and effectiveness of SRA’s investments in research, development and adoption (RD&A) in terms of:

a. delivery of benefits to Members, levy payers, industry and the broader community as foreshadowed by SRA’s Strategic and Annual Operational Plans; and

b. the degree to which SRA investments have met the needs of Members, levy payers and the industry.

The Performance Review will focus on the timeframe of 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2020.

A key part of the project will be to consult with industry. The project team will be making specific contact with the key industry organisations to obtain input into the review. The team also invites any industry stakeholder (growers, millers, research providers, consultants or any other interested party) to make a submission by sending an email to Alternatively, please contact Scott Williams on 0413 059 190.

Submissions close on the 5th of July. The project will be completed by September 2020.