Statement of Expectations: Australian Securities and Investments Commission - August 2021
This Statement of Expectations outlines the Australian Government's expectations of how the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) will achieve its objectives, carry out its functions and exercise its powers. It is to be read alongside the laws that apply to ASIC and the laws that ASIC administers.
The Government expects ASIC to identify and pursue opportunities to contribute to the Government's economic goals, including supporting Australia's economic recovery from the COVID pandemic. In doing this, the Government expects ASIC to:
2.1. promote the sound functioning of capital markets and the corporate sector for the benefit of businesses and households;
2.2. minimise the costs and burdens of regulatory requirements for regulated entities and consumers; and
2.3. administer the law in a way that promotes competition and innovation in the interests of all consumers, including through promoting a digital economy.
In achieving its objectives, carrying out its functions, and exercising its powers, the Government also expects ASIC to:
3.1. ensure that its actions are not inconsistent with the policies of the Government, in accordance with section 21 of the Public Governance, Performance, and Accountability Act 2013;
3.2. work closely with the Government and Treasury, including through the provision of information to Ministers in accordance with section 11(3) of the Australian Securities and Investment Commission Act 2001;
3.3. consult with the Government and Treasury in exercising its policy-related functions, such as the use of its exemption and modification powers, other rule-making powers, and guidance;
3.4. provide appropriate guidance when needed so that regulated entities have clarity and certainty about how ASIC will exercise its powers;
3.5. ensure that guidance is not unduly prescriptive, and does not limit businesses' discretion and flexibility to operate in the manner they see fit while still complying with the law;
3.6. ensure that guidance or other communications do not have the effect of setting standards beyond what the law requires;
3.7. make decisions informed by open and transparent engagement with regulated entities, consumers, and investors, as well as data;
3.8. identify and reduce misconduct risk through well-targeted and proportionate supervision, surveillance and enforcement activities; and
3.9. coordinate regulatory activities with other regulatory agencies to avoid duplication, including through sharing information where possible.
The Government also expects ASIC to act independently in its regulatory functions, including enforcement actions, supervisory activities and licensing decisions.
With regard to organisational matters, the Government expects:
5.1. the Chair to have sole responsibility for the executive management of ASIC, consistent with their role as Accountable Authority for ASIC;
5.2. the Chair to delegate executive management functions to ASIC staff wherever the Chair considers that this would benefit the executive management of ASIC;
5.3. the Commission of ASIC to act as a non-executive body under the leadership of the Chair; and
5.4. ASIC to clearly articulate their Statement of Intent within their Corporate Plan including how it will strive to adopt the principles of best practice for Commonwealth regulators, demonstrating delivery against this intent and performance expectations in its Annual Report.