The Governance Institute of Australia has backed the Productivity Commission's proposed director identification number (DIN) as a means to reduce identify thefts and assaults on company directors and officeholders.
The Productivity Commission floated the idea of a DIN in its May 2015 draft report Business Set-up, Transfer and Closure as a method to prevent 'phoenix' activity by company directors.
In a submission to the Productivity Commission, the Governance Institute said it "strongly supports" the commission’s recommendation of assigning directors unique DINs.
The DIN would replace any delicate information – including date of birth, place of birth, and residential addresses – that is currently required and publicly disclosed by ASIC, according to Governance Institute.
Governance Institute director of policy Judith Fox said while there’s nothing wrong with ASIC requesting such details, having those readily available online serves "no real purpose".
“It is entirely appropriate for ASIC to request and retain the personal details of all officeholders, so that the regulator can take action if they have breached their duties. But making public, birthdates and place of birth details, serves no useful purpose other than those for persons with criminal intent.
"As interest in the environmental and social impacts of companies escalates, it is likely that disgruntled individuals will increasingly source the information they need to confront directors at their home. In fact, last year trade union members sourced the residential address of the chair of Ausizon Ltd from the ASIC public register and picketed on his front lawn," Ms Fox said.
According to the submission, Governance Institute recommends the only details available on the ASIC registry should be the officeholder name, DIN and service address.
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