At its recent state conference in Perth, ARITA chief John Winter told members that neither the corporate regulator or Treasury had responded to multiple requests for detail about the proposed liquidators levy and that as a consequence he was considering lodging a freedom of information request (FOI).
The comment prompted one SiN reader to make the observation that such a threat might not enhance the relationship between ASIC and ARITA at a time when it needs improving, particularly given officers from ASIC were, according to SiN’s source, present when Winter spoke.
ARITA has been concerned to identify how the $9 million levy proposed in Treasury’s August 2015 funding model for ASIC consultation paper was arrived at. Despite repeated requests for detail, ARITA’s been rebuffed. The proposed levy purports to recover the costs ASIC spends regulating the profession but the information to help understand those costs has so far been elusive.
As it turns out however, an FOI may no longer by necessary. Winter is scheduled to meet ASIC commissioner John Price to discuss the issue tomorrow. When contacted, he told SiN that while the levy proposal consultation paper had emanated from Treasury, the numbers it used had come from ASIC.
“Treasury were provided with costs by ASIC for the basis of this discussion paper so somebody calculated this amount so how it was arrived at should be available for industry review,” Winter said.
“We are delighted that we now have a meeting. we’re not looking to pick a fight. We’re hopeful of getting something that we can then take to the profession for comment and review.”
The profession he said is particularly concerned about whether ASIC had included in the pricing information it passed to Treasury the costs it incurs when assessing allegations of director misconduct reported to it by registered liquidators.
“The default fee for an insolvency is $5000. ASIC is saying its oversight of practitioners costs nearly 20 per cent per administration. Either it is grossly inefficient or there are other costs in there,” he said.