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Thursday 19 October 2017

17-351MR ASIC accepts voluntary undertakings from three liquidators

ASIC has announced the latest enforcement outcomes from its Published Notices Website and Lodgement project, an industry-wide project to improve publicly available information about failed companies through testing all registered liquidators’ compliance with the requirement to lodge forms with ASIC and publish notices on our published notices website.

In each of the below cases, the liquidator had not complied with their statutory lodgement and publication obligations and took steps to rectify outstanding lodgements and publication of notices.

ASIC accepts voluntary undertaking from Darwin-based liquidator

Mr Trevor Angus, principal of accounting firm, Angus Accountants, entered into a voluntary undertaking requiring him to:

  • provide ASIC with a completed form requesting ASIC to cancel his registration as a liquidator.  ASIC will hold the form in escrow and cancel his registration upon the earlier of the finalisation of Mr Angus’ last external administration or 31 January 2018;
  • take reasonable and necessary steps to finalise all current external administrations; and
  • not accept any new appointments, as an external administrator, other than as a liquidator of members’ voluntary liquidations.

ASIC accepts voluntary undertaking from North-Queensland-based liquidator

Mr Dennis Offermans, of the insolvency firm, Offermans Partners, entered into a voluntary undertaking requiring him to:

  • engage an independent expert to train him and his firm’s professional staff, with an emphasis on promoting an improved compliance culture; and
  • engage a suitably qualified independent quality reviewer to undertake a review of four external administrations. The reviewer must assess compliance with the duties and obligations imposed upon registered liquidators and report their findings to ASIC and Mr Offermans.

WA Liquidator successfully completes independent peer review following acceptance of voluntary undertaking

An independent peer review addressed concerns raised about the compliance culture and practices of WA registered liquidator, Mr Giovanni Carrello, of BRI Ferrier WA.

The undertaking with Mr Carrello took effect on 20 June 2017. It involved an independent review and report on three external administrations to:

  • assess his compliance with his duties and obligations as a registered liquidator; and
  • provide recommendations aimed at improving the firm's compliance culture.

Background

On 29 November 2013, ASIC advised all registered liquidators of its project testing compliance with lodgement and publishing requirements.

The project's key objective is to build further trust and confidence in the insolvency market and our regulation of it through a measurable increase in compliance.

ASIC has reviewed all registered liquidators. ASIC intends finalising the project this calendar year and reporting findings and key areas for improvement identified under the project.

The Insolvency Law Reform Act 2016 now empowers ASIC to direct a registered liquidator to lodge documents.  If a practitioner fails to comply with ASIC's direction, ASIC can write to the practitioner directing them not to accept any further new appointments as an external administrator.

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Last updated: 01/11/2017 09:44