Risk and responsibility
An address by Professor Berna Collier, Commissioner, ASIC to the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia CA Conference, Surfers Paradise, 27 April 2002.
Thank you for inviting me to join you today.
The theme of this morning's panel session is 'Risk and Responsibility.' Rather than cut too much into discussion time, I will speak only for a few minutes on issues which are of particular relevance to this theme from ASIC's perspective, and then hand you over to my fellow speakers before we commence our panel discussion.
First, let me say that in reflecting on this topic, I thought it would be more appropriate from the regulator's perspective to concentrate on the responsibility aspect, as it is the assumption of responsibility by corporate officers and advisers where appropriate that particularly concerns ASIC in this context. As the regulator primarily responsible for monitoring the financial system and protecting consumers in the financial services context, ASIC takes a keen interest in maintaining compliance with the law by corporations and corporate officers, and ensuring that investment can take place in an informed market. To that extent, it is important that corporations comply with the spirit as well as the letter of the law – avoidance of corporate responsibility in circumstances where clearly responsibility should be assumed, is itself a practice to be avoided.