ASIC chair James Shipton didn’t tell senior colleagues about the remuneration issues that could topple him – and a number of political figures are calling for heads to roll.
Appearing before Senate estimates, ASIC deputy chair Karen Chester revealed that she and a number of other commissioners were not informed of the remuneration issues for more than a year months after the ANAO raised them directly with Mr Shipton, with Ms Chester saying that she and other commissioners “did not have a full information set”.
“The evidence we’ve heard is that commissioners did not have full visibility of a significant problem in the governance of ASIC,” said Labor MP Katy Gallagher.
“Mr Shipton’s senior colleague didn’t know until about a month ago what was going on and that it had remained unresolved for a period of 12 months or more. It seems to me what we’re picking up from Ms Chester’s evidence was not only was it unresolved, but it was kind of kept away from others. How realistic is it that the corporate cop survives this?”
Ms Chester also said that she did not believe that the expenses should have been paid with taxpayer dollars and that she was only made aware of the breaches on 18 September.
“..it is clear ASIC’s internal processes completely failed the corporate regulator. ASIC’s remuneration control wasn'’ enforced, was breached and it appears the Commission sat on the evidence. An incalculable failure,” said Liberal MP Andrew Bragg.
Assistant minister Jane Hume also revealed that Treasury had not made her aware of the scandal prior to the announcement of its investigation, but said that it “wasn’t a problem” and that the Treasurer “had acted appropriately” despite the fact that ASIC fell under her portfolio responsibilities.
The remuneration scandal has so far seen Daniel Crennan QC resign from ASIC, while Mr Shipton has stood aside pending the results of an investigation that could well remove him from the regulator.