Modernising Business Registers Business Advisory Group key messages 31 August 2021
Welcome and introductions
Mary Arrowsmith opened the meeting and welcomed guests and members.
No conflicts were declared.
Farewell to Peter Strong who is retiring as the CEO of Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA) after 11 years, and welcome to Alexi Boyd who is the new CEO of COSBOA from September.
Mary announced due to a change in role, this will be her last meeting chairing the forum. Mary welcomed Georgina Wade as the new chair going forward.
Law and policy update
Working with Treasury and Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) on a number of law changes that were announced in the budget that cut across the MBR program including Corporate Collective Investment Vehicles (CCIVs):
- comments on exposure drafts are due 24 September
- understanding the changes in the tax approach from the 2019 exposure draft
- work continues on determining the split between regulatory and registry.
Continuing to work with Treasury and ASIC around legal requirements to support the companies release including law changes, regulations and instruments.
Work continues on a disclosure definition regarding director ID. An update will be shared with members once advice has been finalised.
Preferred channel strategy – Digitising paper forms
Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS) is looking to not design paper forms, in the majority of instances, where a digital version is available.
Digitisation of forms aligns with ATO strategic direction and ATO 2024 channel plan:
- the preferred channel is digital, integrated with the client’s natural systems via third parties
- non-preferred channels are limited or closed if a well-designed, preferred alternative exists
- no new paper-based transactional services are built; existing ones have transitioned.
ABRS would like to understand the impact to Business Advisory Group members if existing ASIC paper forms were only available via digital lodgment, and determine what would be the alternative, non-preferred channels available to businesses. Other alternative channels could include:
- Telephone lodgment
- Paper channel, only available via call centre for example in extreme circumstances
Member feedback includes support of the digital first approach and to promote the use of intermediaries where possible.
ABRS website update
The ABRS website will act as the ‘front door’, providing accurate and up-to-date content on how to access our registry services.
It was noted website content is currently focused on director ID and will progressively encompass further information from ASIC as the MBR program progresses.
A walkthrough of the private beta version of the website was provided. Further updates and content will be added to the site based on feedback prior to the public beta phase.
Private beta update
The private beta version of the director ID application process was demonstrated.
Ninety-five directors have successfully applied for a director ID during the current private beta testing phase. Expected to close in the next one to two weeks.
Feedback received during the current phase is similar to previous feedback received, indicating testing has been robust.
Working to identify foreign directors to participate in applying via non-website channels. BAG members were thanked for their assistance.
A closure report will be shared once finalised.
The latest version of myGovID has been published in app stores (IOS version) which includes the ability to apply for strong ID and use of biometrics, with the android version expected to be available shortly. Once published, this will officially see myGovID moved into the director ID public beta phase. This was noted as a significant achievement.
Feedback will continue to be monitored and addressed.
Providing support to help prepare for the proof of record ownership process.
High level summary of communication activities was shown.
Communications activities are anchored to project milestones, supporting a targeted and tailored approach.
The next milestone of transitional arrangements will move the communication focus toward awareness and preparation.
The go live phase will contain several bursts of activity where audiences will be directed toward the ABRS website.
Encouraging directors to apply before they are appointed and will be supported with communications.
Following further feedback, we will be looking to develop and implement a broad range of communication activities.
BAG members were thanked for their feedback on how best to engage with different director cohorts for director ID onboarding.
Key messages from the July break-out sessions:
- utilise existing relationships through company secretaries, agents, and digital service providers
- provide resources that agents need when engaging with customers to help promote director ID
- use natural channels of communication such as newsletters, direct email, and journals.
Intention to reach out to electronic company registration agents that support new companies with key messaging.
Wrap and close
Mary thanked everyone for their time and ongoing support.
Meeting closed at 11.15am.
Summary of key topics discussed at the Modernising Business Registers Business Advisory Group meeting 31 August 2021.