Market Entity Compliance System (MECS)
Published by the Stockbrockers Association of Australia in the Stockbrokers Monthly, December 2014.
ASIC's Flexible Advanced Surveillance Technologies (FAST) project is continuing to transform the way we supervise Australian financial markets by improving our ability to monitor, analyse and investigate breaches of the Corporations Act and ASIC market integrity rules (MIRs).
The FAST project is a multi-year program of work involving several key deliverables. The first of these, the Market Analysis and Intelligence (MAI) surveillance system, has now been fully implemented. Additional information about MAI functionality is available on the ASIC website: www.asic.gov.au/supervision.
The next component of the FAST project to be delivered is the Market Entity Compliance System (MECS). MECS is intended to enhance the way in which market participants and market operators interact with ASIC.
The current system for submitting MIR compliance material (such as applications and notifications) involves multiple formats and communication channels. It can be difficult to manage if multiple people within an organisation are responsible for preparing and submitting information. MECS will provide a repository for participants and operators to manage their interactions with ASIC regarding obligations under the MIRs, greatly simplifying existing document management and record keeping processes.
Specific features of MECS will include:
- a calendar of regulations obligations and implementation dates
- reminders about upcoming or overdue submissions
- on-line forms (pre-populated where possible) with the facility to save drafts and retrieve them at a later stage
- a built in work flow tool (allowing multiple people within an organisation to contribute material)
- a record of interactions with ASIC
- the ability to submit and track enquiries, and
- links to announcements and updates from ASIC, including links to the MIRs and guidance.
MECS will make regulatory compliance easier by enabling notifications and applications to be easily submitted and their status monitored, with outcomes recorded for future reference. An automatic reminder service will alert participants and operators to upcoming compliance deadlines. These features will support participants and operators to fulfil their regulatory obligations and enhance their communication with ASIC, delivering benefits to industry.
The design of MECS is based on web portal technologies and will be interactive. For example, participants and operators will be able to access and manage their own organisational information (i.e. contact information and website details) and people (i.e. organisational roles and MECS users) within MECS. For the first time, participants and operators will be able to view lists of regulatory roles for their organisation, such as Accredited Derivatives Advisers and Responsible Executives. This will enhance communication between ASIC and participants and operators.
MECS will be rolled out to participants and operators in mid-2015. ASIC will provide regular updates on the status of MECS in the months leading up to its implementation. In the meantime, ASIC is hosting MECS information sessions for all market participants and market operators in December 2014.