Conflicts of interest
Under Section 22 of the Australian Energy Market Commission Establishment Act 2004 (SA), AEMC Commissioners must disclose any direct or indirect conflicts of interest in any matter the AEMC is considering. These disclosures are formally minuted and are also published on the AEMC website.
A robust and transparent approach to disclosure of interests and managing potential conflicts is essential to preserve the integrity of the AEMC’s decision-making and to ensure that people with relevant experience and knowledge are available to serve the Commission.
AEMC and the Commissioners are required:
- to identify interests that may fall within a ‘direct or indirect’ interest that could conflict with the proper performance of the Commissioner’s functions
- to manage conflicts of interest if they arise in relation to matters being considered at a meeting of the Commission
- to disclose any interest of a Commissioner at a meeting of the Commission
- to record any disclosure of a conflict of interest by a Commissioner in the minutes of the Commission meeting
- to make a decision about the appropriate action to be taken to manage the potential conflict (if any)
- to record any decision about the appropriate action to be taken (if any) in the minutes of the meeting of the Commission
- to provide a summary of these matters and decisions in the AEMC's annual report.
The AEMC has established processes to put into effect these requirements (including cases where it is possible that a perception of a conflict of interest might arise).
Any third parties with concerns about possible conflicts of interest are invited to raise them with the AEMC’s Chief Executive.
The AEMC has a policy of open disclosure regarding arrangements by each of the Commissioners for the ongoing management of conflicts of interest.
Ms Anna Collyer was appointed as the full time Chairperson of the AEMC by the Governor of South Australia with effect from 1 February 2021. Ms Collyer is appointed for a period of 5 years and her term expires on 31 January 2026.
Ms Collyer is entitled to post retirement income from Allens following her retirement from the partnership, which is determined by a set formula. To manage any actual or perceived conflict, Ms Collyer has waived her entitlement to this income for the duration of her term as Chairperson.
Ms Collyer does not consider that she has any other commitments that give rise to conflicts that require management.
Mr Charles Popple was appointed as a part time Commissioner by the Governor of South Australia with effect from 17 February 2018. Mr Popple's term expires on 10 June 2024.
In April 2019, Mr Popple was appointed as Chair of the Reliability Panel, a position which he still holds.
The AEMC commenced the Amendment of the Market Price Cap, Cumulative Price Threshold and Administered Price Cap rule change (ERC0353) (the MPC Rule Change) on 11 May 2023. The Reliability Panel is the proponent of the MPC Rule Change and Mr Popple was Chair of the Reliability Panel when the panel approved submitting the request to the AEMC.
The AEMC also commenced the Extension of the application of the IRM to the RRO rule change (ERC0366) (the IRM Rule Change) on 13 July 2023. The IRM Rule Change will consider, among other things, whether the Interim Reliability Measure should be extended to 30 June 2028.
To manage any actual or perceived conflict, Mr Popple:
- has, and will for the duration of the MPC Rule Change and IRM Rule Change, absent himself from the AEMC's decision-making (including not attending any agenda items at Commission meetings) for the two rule changes; and
- will not have access to Commission meeting papers related to the rule changes prior to the relevant Commission meetings being held and the relevant statutory decisions being made.
Mr Popple does not consider that he has any other commitments that give rise to conflicts that require management.
Mr Tim Jordan was appointed as a part-time Commissioner of the AEMC by the Governor of South Australia with effect from 10 October 2022. Mr Jordan is appointed for a period of 5 years and his term expires on 9 October 2027.
Mr Jordan does not consider that he has any commitments that give rise to conflicts that require management.
Ms Sally McMahon was appointed as a part-time Commissioner of the AEMC by the Governor of South Australia with effect from 10 October 2022. Ms McMahon is appointed for a period of 5 years and her term expires on 9 October 2027.
Ms McMahon is the Independent Chair of the Market Advisory Committee (MAC), Pilbara Advisory Committee (PAC) and Gas Advisory Committee (GAB) in relation to the Wholesale Energy Market Rules, Pilbara Network Rules and Gas Service Information Rules, respectively, in Western Australia.
The Independent Chair’s role is to manage the activities of the MAC, GAB and PAC and to facilitate the delivery of their work. Under the Rules that govern the MAC, PAC and GAB, the Independent Chair must, in the opinion of the responsible Minister, be free from any business or other relationship that could materially interfere with the independent exercise of the judgement of the Chair. In addition all minutes of meeting, meeting papers and advices of the MAC, PAC and GAB are accessible to the public here: MAC, PAC and GAB.
To manage any actual or perceived conflicts, Ms McMahon will:
- When chairing the MAC, PAC and GAB and when facilitating the provision of advice from those bodies to any third party, ensure that any written statements or records of meetings make clear that the Chair is an independent Chair and that the advice represents the views of the MAC, PAC or GAB (as applicable) and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Chair.
- Monitor and inform the Commission of any matter that could give rise to a potential conflict in relation to her role as Chair or the work of the MAC, PAC and GAB to ensure it is considered and, if necessary, an appropriate management plan is implemented. If a conflict may arise, Commissioner McMahon will absent herself from the relevant decision-making of the MAC, PAC or GAB or the decision-making on the relevant matter of the AEMC, as appropriate.
- Ms McMahon is a managing director of Sally McMahon and Associates. To manage any actual or perceived conflict, she will not engage in advisory work related to Australian energy markets by way of Sally McMahon and Associates for her term as Commissioner.
Ms McMahon does not consider that she has any other commitments that give rise to conflicts that require management.