Between January and June 2017, ASIC commenced 57 investigations and completed 80; saw 399 criminal charges laid in summary prosecutions for strict liability offences; and saw 203 persons charged in summary prosecutions for strict liability offences.
Corporate governance was again marked as one of ASIC’s key focus areas. Action against auditors accounted for 10 per cent of that in the first half of the year, and action against liquidators accounted for 30 per cent of it.
This represents a proportionate increase when compared to the 6 per cent and 25 per cent respectively for the June to December 2016 period.
Interestingly, ASIC said in terms of its corporate governance enforcement activity, it will be focusing on “undisclosed associations” as well as substantial holdings in shares in public companies and poor financial reporting.
Associations did not get a mention in the previous version of this Enforcement Report.
ASIC will continue its focus on companies with poor corporate governance, auditing standards and audits of public companies and insolvency practitioners who facilitate “serious illegal phoenix behaviour and improper transactions in the face of insolvency.”