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  • Inter-Agency Phoenix Forum minutes - 6 May 2015

    Meeting details


    52 Goulburn Street




    6 May 2015








    Bruce Collins



    Contact and Secretariat:

    Kay Johnston

    Contact phone:

    (02) 4923 1751


    Australian Taxation Office (ATO)

    • Bruce Collins, PGH, Assistant Deputy Commissioner
    • Michael Seddon, PGH Phoenix, Director
    • Kay Johnston, PGH, Phoenix Risk & Intelligence (Secretariat)

    Australian Business Register (ABR)

    • John Madelly, ABR, Senior Director

    Australian Crime Commission (ACC)

    • David Ross, ACC, Head of Determination, Targeting Criminal Wealth

    Australian Federal Police (AFP)

    • Nicholas McTaggart, AFP, Detective Superintendent, Criminal Assets Confiscation Taskforce, Serious & Organised Crime

    Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC)

    • Brett Bassett, ASIC, Regional Commissioner QLD, Senior Executive Leader, Small Business Compliance & Deterrence
    • Joe Zubcic, ASIC, Senior Manager, Small Business Compliance & Deterrence

    Clean Energy Regulator (CER)

    • Dean Smeulders, CER, manager, Regulatory Strategy Intelligence Branch

    Department of Employment

    • Justin Bell, Director, Quality Assurance

    Department of Human Services (DHS)

    • Brenton Halliday, Acting National Manager, Child Support Specialised Assessments & Medicare Public, Child Support Smart Centres

    Department of the Environment

    • Matthew Dutkiewicz, Assistant Secretary, Environment Standards Branch

    Fair Work Building & Construction

    • Peter Darlaston, State Director Field Operations (NSW & ACT)

    Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO)

    • Anthony Fogarty, Director, Government & Parliamentary Policy
    • Aaron Rilstone, Assistant Director, Policy, Media & Communications

    Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA)

    • Dora Chin-Tan,

    State Revenue Office VIC (SRO VIC)

    • Christian Birke, Team Leader, Investigations Branch

    Office of State Revenue NSW (OSR NSW)

    • Jim Ormiston, Assistant Director, Operations


    Australian Taxation Office

    • Nathan Pain, PGH, Technical Excellence Services
    • Michelle McQuay, PGH, Marketing & Communications
    • Robert Dinola, PGH Phoenix Active Compliance Director
    • Graeme Mayne, ITX Disengaged Property Developers
    • Sally Bektas, PGH Communications
    • Kerry Brien, PGH, Phoenix

    Australian Business Register

    • Steven Shepherd

    Australian Federal Police

    • Erica Merran, AFP, Detective Acting Superintendent, Coordinator Fraud & Anti-Corruption Centre, Crime Operations

    Office of State Revenue NSW

    • Jane Dudley, OSR NSW


    Australian Taxation Office

    • Michael Cranston, PGH, Deputy Commissioner
    • Cameron Sorensen, Assistant Commissioner, Service Delivery (Debt)
    • Debbie Rawlings, ITX Disengaged Property Developers
    • Les Dewind, ITX Disengaged Property Developers
    • Aris Zafiriou, Service Delivery (Debt)

    Australian Business Register

    • John McAlister, ABR, Assistant Registrar

    Australian Crime Commission

    • Richard Grant, ACC, National Manager, Target Development

    Australian Federal Police

    • Linda Champion, AFP, Manager, Fraud & Anti-Corruption
    • Brett James, AFP

    Department of Employment

    • Sue Saunders, Branch Manager, Employee Entitlements Branch

    Department of the Environment

    • Matthew Dadswell, ENV, Assistant Secretary, Environment Standards Branch

    Agenda items

    Key messages

    Members agreed to focus information sharing and communications strategies in relation the phoenix risk across agencies.

    1. Introduction and welcome

    Bruce Collins (ATO - Chair) welcomed all attendees to the meeting.

    Acceptance of previous minutes and action items to be discussed following external presentations.

    2. Feedback on Taskforce documentation

    Documentation was distributed.

    The Information Disclosures Team in PGH will manage this process for the ATO.

    For a copy of the documentation, contact the Secretariat.

    3. Operation Enola update

    Focus is on Facilitators and Promoters who are facilitating the misconduct.

    Identified unduly close relationships between liquidators and referrers which is disadvantageous to creditors (mainly ATO).

    Significant activity will take place within a month.

    4. Quantifying the size of the Phoenix risk

    PwC & Melbourne University are both conducting work in the space.

    PwC – proposal – FWO/ASIC & ATO – discussions around scope have commenced.

    Melbourne University are building on their previous work – looking at opportunities and threats – commenting on regulatory framework and how well it is working.

    5. Top 50 Strategy discussion (Michael Seddon)

    • Will form part of the ATO Major Case Strategy.
    • Each agency shares their worst offenders (from their perspective).
    • ATO collates the data.
    • IAPF discusses the most appropriate way forward/most appropriate lead agency for each offender.
    • What does phoenix look like in your agency?
    • Possibly utilise ACC Data Fusion Centre.

    Action item




    1. What does phoenix look like in your agency? Send dot points to Michael Seddon (ATO)
    2. Provide a list of your worst offenders to Michael Seddon (ATO) in Excel format with basic identifiers (surname, first name, date of birth, address etc)

    All Taskforce members

    6. Taskforce Communications (Sally Bektas)

    Panel video with Michael Cranston, Brett Bassett, Tom O’Shea, Helen Anderson discussing the cost to the economy and identifying illegal phoenix.

    Social media campaign successful following announcement of Taskforce.

    For a copy of the Phoenix infographic contact the Secretariat.

    7. Round Table discussion

    Discussed Four Corners program (meat processing with FWO focus).

    ASIC focus for 2015/16 is around facilitators in the unregulated space and they will be working with ATO .

    ATO recently presented the phoenix risk to the Audit & Risk Sub Committee – they made the following statements – compelling case regarding strategy and they thought that the infographic was impactful – all feedback on the strategy was positive.

    8. For information only

    Senate Inquiry into Insolvency in the Building & Construction Industry.

    Submission to Senate Economics References CommitteeExternal Link

    9. Wrap up and close

    The details of the next meeting are tabled below.


    Wednesday 5 August 2015


    10.00am - 01.00pm


    100 Market Street

      Last modified: 03 Sep 2015QC 46856