Draft IPRs released as ILRA delayed

Delayed introduction of new insolvency laws gives profession the parachute it was seeking.
ARITA chief John Winter is keeping mum on the prgress of the all-important IPRs

ARITA chief John Winter is keeping mum on the progress of the all-important IPRs

None of the likely recipients are confirming but SiN understands that the urgently anticipated draft Insolvency Practice Rules (IPRs) have been released by government for review by insolvency and reconstruction industry stakeholders.

The word is that the first incarnation of the IPRs is already being discussed and SiN’s reading of the insolvency sediments yesterday did reveal that John Winter from the Australian Reconstruction Insolvency and Turnaround Association (ARITA) was locked away meeting with Treasury yesterday until illness forced him to his sick bed.

Coincidence? Perhaps. Winter’s verbosity on the topic is inconveniently clam-like. Seems the sensitivities around the guidelines that practitioners will use to give the new legislation effect are such that nobody is prepared to discuss their progress.

Senator Kelly O’Dwyer, who as Minister for Revenue and Financial Services is responsible for implementation of the Insolvency Law Reform Act 2016 (ILRA 2016), evaded the specific question when asked.

“The Insolvency Practice Rules are being drafted and public consultation on the text is expected to occur before the end of the year,” Senator O’Dwyer said in a one line statement.

Public consultation? SiN’s sources insist professional consultation on the IPRs began last week. But attention is being focussed on the Senator’s announcement that parts of the ILRA will be introduced later than planned.

“Given the scale of these reforms industry is being given time to upskill and to update their software systems and business processes before commencement,” Senator O’Dwyer said yesterday.

“The reforms to insolvency administration processes, to enhance efficiency, improve communication and increase competition, are now scheduled to commence on 1 September 2017.”

This will be music to Winter’s ears and there was no doubting the approving tone of the missive ARITA released late yesterday.

“In a major win by ARITA, the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services has agreed to delay the commencement of a portion of the Insolvency Law Reform Act (ILRA),” Winter trumpeted modestly.

“This decision will avoid the situation where the profession simply would not have enough time to become compliant with the Act by the scheduled commencement date of 1 March 2017,” he said.

“These issues were first flagged with Government, agencies and regulators by ARITA prior to the election, and have been the subject of sustained action on our part to drive for a more acceptable commencement timeframe.”

About the Author

Peter Gosnell
Sydney Insolvency News illuminates the practice of insolvency in Australia's largest city, highlighting the triumphs and failures of Sydney's registered practitioners and the accounting and legal professionals who work with them. SiN is produced by Peter Gosnell, former business editor and senior business reporter at The Daily Telegraph newspaper. During a decade-long career, your correspondent reported on such notable corporate collapses as HIH, One.Tel, Westpoint and Fincorp as well as some of the nation's highest profile bankruptcies and the investigations and prosecutions arising from Australia's most notorious instances of white collar crime.

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