The view from ASIC: A perspective on current activities and enforcement powers
An address by Prof Berna Collier, Commissioner, ASIC to the Practical Insolvency and Practice Management Conference 2004, 15 March 2004.
I am delighted to have again been invited to speak at this conference. It is hard to believe that it was only this time last year I spoke about the recent formation of ASIC's National Insolvency Coordination Unit (NICU). So much has happened in relation to insolvency at ASIC since then.
NICU was established to help coordinate ASIC related insolvency activity. Over the past year it has expanded from 2 to 12 permanent specialist insolvency staff, as well as 6 senior secondments from the insolvency profession. Many of them are here today.
Last year the Federal Government recognised the importance of ASIC's insolvency activities by providing additional funding of $12.3 million over four years for this work. We believe that this is money well spent, as evidenced by the results we have been getting. I will be discussing some of these results during the course of this presentation.
One thing we have been very keen on has been a deliberate strategy of communicating with the insolvency profession. We have held regular regional liaison meetings with senior insolvency practitioners and lawyers which have been valuable to ASIC by allowing us to keep in close touch with current issues in the profession and gauge industry views about the areas that are most in need of policy guidance.
Our attendance at this conference, both by presentations such as this and by our people coming along to join you, are part of our endeavour to stay in touch with you.
We welcome the opportunity to do so here, and look forward to our conversations with you over the next two days.
The key focus of my presentation today is our current insolvency activities and enforcement powers. In this paper I propose to:
- Discuss ASIC's national insolvent trading program and some of its results
- Update you on the work of our Complaints Compliance Action program in providing assistance to liquidators
- Make some observations on insolvency practitioners' reporting obligations and ASIC's electronic lodgement project EXAD
- Talk about ASIC's role as regulator of the insolvency profession, including our Insolvency Practitioner Regulation Project and Policy Statement 33 Compliance Project
- Note ASIC's other current insolvency activities
- Discuss some practical issues of relevance to liquidators when ASIC commences a formal investigation over companies to which they are appointed.