The Senate Economics Committee has supported a federal government bill to abolish the Corporations and Markets Advisory Committee (CAMAC).
The committee released its report on 16 March, supporting the Corporations and Markets Advisory Committee Abolition Bill 2014 proposal that CAMAC and its legal committee be consolidated into the Treasury, and that its roles be assumed by the treasury department and ASIC.
“The consolidation of the functions of CAMAC into the Department of the Treasury is expected to improve coordination and accountability and reduce the costs associated with separate governance arrangements,” the report stated.
“In addition, ASIC may on its own initiative, or when requested by the minister, advise or make recommendations to the minister about matters concerned with corporations legislation, the financial services industry and financial markets.
“It is also anticipated that this move will increase efficiency in how public funds are used to deliver services to the community.”
The report noted that the abolition of CAMAC will generate savings as stated in the 2014 federal Budget.
However, abolishing CAMAC – which was set up in 1989 – is strongly opposed by Governance Institute of Australia, a professional association focusing on the practice of business governance.
“The vast majority of the business and legal community is committed to saving CAMAC and to restoring all its functions,” said Governance Institute of Australia national director Judith Fox.
Ms Fox claimed that 90 per cent of submissions to the inquiry supported CAMAC’s retention.
“Without a body like CAMAC, Australia runs the risk of becoming hobbled by haphazard, politically motivated and poorly designed corporate law reforms which could impede our financial markets, at great cost to our economy,” Ms Fox argued.
“The fact that the business community came out so strongly in favour of the body speaks for itself.
“Getting rid of CAMAC will deliver a cost saving of barely $1 million but a far greater price to our financial markets,” she said.
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