PSMA Shareholders' Statement of Expectations

In May 2018 PSMA Australia made a series of changes to its Constitution as part of a shareholder-initiated governance reform and modernisation initiative. As part of those changes the Shareholders now have the right to issue the Company with a Statement of Expectations which the Board will take into account when preparing the Annual Program each year. The Company received its first Statement of Expectations on 11 May 2018.  

PSMA Australia Limited
Statement of Expectations 

4 December 2017

PSMA Australia Limited (‘PSMA’ or ‘the company’) is an unlisted public company limited by shares, incorporated in the Australian Capital Territory and bound by the Corporations Act 2001, which operates at arm’s length from its Shareholders.

PSMA was created as a commercially operating, for-profit company jointly owned by the nine governments of Australia to develop and facilitate the broadest possible access to authoritative national spatial datasets in order to deliver benefits for all Australians.

This Statement of Expectations (‘this statement’) provides guidance to the company on Shareholders’ objectives for the delivery of national spatial capabilities.

This statement provides PSMA with flexibility and discretion in decisions on operations, technology, accessing capital and the development of products and services, within the constraints of the PSMA Constitution.

PSMA is ultimately accountable to its Shareholders. Shareholders have regard to whether PSMA is achieving the Shareholders’ spatial data policy objectives and whether the company is acting in a transparent and accountable manner.

Mechanisms for oversight the performance of the company include the PSMA Constitution and the PSMA Board which is elected by Shareholders. The Board monitors PSMA’s performance and operations through approval of PSMA’s Annual Program, which includes details of the company’s strategy and implementation agenda.

Spatial data policy objectives

Spatial information is fundamental to Australia’s economy as digital infrastructure to enable new technologies, industries and services. Access to high-quality national foundational spatial information is essential to the success of a modern digital economy and Shareholders expect PSMA to:

  • deliver spatial data capabilities, including authoritative and integrated products and services, at the national level to enable economic, social and environmental outcomes across the economy;
  • operate as a commercial entity in a market environment and compete and innovate like other companies in this environment;
  • where financially sustainable or where financially supported by one or more Shareholders deliver spatial data products and services as a public good that PSMA is to, at least in part, offset through commercial activities;
  • support the sharing of government products and services within and across governments and with the broader economy;
  • implement the PSMA Annual Program objectives cost-effectively; and
  • where appropriate, provide input to the development of spatial information policies to enable outcomes for the nation.


Shareholders recognise that PSMA is a commercial entity operating in a market environment and must be able to compete and innovate like other companies in this environment. As an unlisted public company limited by shares, Shareholders’ financial liabilities are limited. Shareholders expect the company to adopt a cautious approach to acquiring debt at all times.

Shareholders are willing to consider business cases for reinvestment of returns received, or additional equity contributions into projects to improve the quality of PSMA products and services, contribute to the advancement of foundational spatial data, and deliver public and economic value.

Transparency, accountability and planning

In operating its business, PSMA should be mindful of the following principles:

  • Transparency: Shareholders require a high degree of transparency from PSMA in the communication of its strategic objectives. Whilst PSMA’s Annual Program is approved by the Board, it is desirable that the company engage Shareholders in the development of its Annual Program and Strategic Plan.
  • Communicating and managing risks: Shareholders expect that PSMA will actively manage risk and communicate plans for risk mitigation with Shareholders.
  • Business planning: PSMA is expected to undertake a rigorous corporate planning process which aligns with the Shareholders’ expectations and the importance of PSMA’s national role. While PSMA is a commercial company, it is desirable that its corporate planning processes recognise that its Shareholders are all government agencies, and Shareholders expect PSMA to consider applicable regulatory obligations, and the objectives, directions and guidance given to PSMA by Shareholders. Shareholders expect to be informed of any significant developments such as those affecting financial viability, significant government policy objectives or that may affect National Security.
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