Yesterday, ASIC released Report 513 ASIC enforcement outcomes: July to December 2016, detailing the corporate watchdog’s activities and enforcements from 1 July 2016 to 31 December 2016.
During the period, 98 investigations commenced and 102 investigations were completed.
Of all enforcements that were made, 32 were in the corporate governance space.
Breaking that down even further, of the 32 corporate governance enforcements, eight were made against liquidators (25 per cent), and two were made against auditors (6 per cent).
ASIC also revealed the key areas for misconduct it will be focusing its enforcement activity on over six months, from 1 January to 30 June 2017.
In the corporate governance space the report said, “We will continue to ensure that gatekeepers – company directors and officers, auditors, insolvency practitioners and business advisers
– adhere to the high standards required by law.”
“Where necessary, we will take action against those who fail to meet these standards.”
ASIC will focus on serious breaches that indicate poor corporate culture, poor governance or management systems, poor listing standards, misuse of cross-border services and transactions, and failure by corporations to respond appropriately to the threat of malicious cyber activity.
They will also be targeting misalignment between company disclosures, product design, and investor understanding and expectations, as well as rogue insolvency practitioners and others who facilitate serious illegal ‘phoenix’ behaviour and improper transactions in the face of insolvency.