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ASIC secures reinforcements

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The Rudd Government has signed off on two new ASIC commissioners as part of its plans to boost the performance of the regulator.
In a bid to improve ASIC's regulatory performance, the Federal Government has signed off on two extra commissioners.

"By approving two additional commissioners we're recognising that the nature and complexity of the issues ASIC deals with requires added executive level involvement and input, as well as greater geographical reach into growth centres like Perth and Brisbane," Minister for Superannuation and Corporate Law Senator Nick Sherry said.

The decision to increase ASIC's commissioners from three to five follows a request from the regulator based on issues identified following its recent strategic review.

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The extra hires will be made in accordance with the Government's new selection process for agency heads and other statutory officeholders. It has been 17 years since the number of ASIC commissioners has been altered.

News of the extra commissioners comes just days after the Federal Court of Australia found ASIC does not have power to take over existing proceedings brought against the directors by the liquidators of Westpoint companies.

The court however did not rule out ASIC beginning new proceedings against Westpoint companies.

In response to the ruling, ASIC Chairman Tony D'Aloisio has vowed ASIC will commence new proceedings.

"Today's decision clarifies a point of law and we will immediately institute fresh proceedings," he said. 

"Let me reassure Westpoint investors that the decision does not affect the substance of the cases which we are pursuing in which we are seeking compensation for them."

ASIC intends to bring new proceedings on behalf of Ann Street Mezzanine and York Street Mezzanine and is in the process of commencing proceedings to be filed by 15 July 2008 in relation to a number of other mezzanine companies within the Westpoint group.

ASIC has already brought proceedings against a number of dealer groups.

 

ASIC secures reinforcements
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