Current corporate governance issues: An ASIC perspective
A speech by ASIC Commissioner, Prof Berna Collier, to the Northern Territory Chapter of the Business & Professional Women's Association, 19 September 2003.
As time goes by it becomes clearer to me that 'networking' is a much underrated tool, and indeed, skill. I have come to very much appreciate its value — as a way of learning, of sharing ideas, and indeed making one's working environment more meaningful and potentially supportive. In ASIC, we have established an ASIC Women's Network to both foster internal networking and to promote networking opportunities for women outside the agency. And so I congratulate the organisers for their initiative in not only networking within their own workplaces, but by seeking to extend their network by inviting you all along here today.
I have been asked to speak to you on a topic which is very important to the Australian Securities and Inve stments Commission — namely our perspective of a number of current corporate governance issues. This is something close to our hearts, but also of considerable complexity considering the multitude of developments in the community related to corporate governance. Indeed it is difficult to know where to start.
Perhaps one place to begin is to comment that as the corporate regulator, ASIC has been at the forefront of enforcing legal standards of corporate governance in this country. Our 2001-2002 Annual Report was themed 'Tackling ethics and governance', and I think that ASIC has certainly delivered very positive results in that area. (Incidentally, that Annual Report won a gold award for the third time — I can strongly recommend it as a good read). Our tackling of these issues has been particularly the case over the past two years in the light of the almost simultaneous large corporate collapses which occurred in this country and I am talking in particular of cases like Harris Scarfe, One.Tel and HIH.