House of Representatives

Corporations Amendment (No. 1) Bill 2010

Explanatory Memorandum

Circulated by the authority of the Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, the Hon David Bradbury MP

General outline and financial impact


This Bill amends various acts to change the way people access information kept on company registers. The measures relating to access to registers will:

Require persons seeking a copy of a register of members to apply to the company, stating the purpose for which they will use the register.
Provide that where a register is maintained on a computer that it should be able to be inspected on a computer.
Provide for the regulations to prescribe the formats in which a copy of the register can be provided.

The Bill also amends the Corporations Act 2001 (Corporations Act) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001 (ASIC Act) and Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979 in relation to market offences and the Australian Securities and Investment Commission's (ASIC) powers to investigate offences. These measures:

Increase the magnitude of criminal penalties that can be imposed for breaches of the insider trading and the market manipulation provisions in Part 7.10 of the Corporations Act.
Enable an interception agency, such as the Australian Federal Police (AFP) to apply for telecommunications interception warrants in the course of a joint investigation into these offences.
Enhance ASIC's search warrant power, to enable ASIC to apply for a search warrant under the ASIC Act without first having to issue a notice to produce the material.

The Bill will also clarify the criminal liability under section 1041B of the Corporations Act in accordance with the requirements of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Criminal Code).

Date of effect: On proclamation.

Proposal announced: The measures were announced in the Minister for Financial Services, Superannuation and Corporate Law's Press Releases No. 8 of 28 January 2010 and No. 9 of 3 February 2010.

Financial impact: Nil

Compliance cost impact: The compliance cost will be low for the access to registers measures and nil for the market offences and ASIC powers measures.

Summary of regulation impact statement

Regulation impact on business

Impact: The impact on business will be minimal for the access to registers measures and nil for the market offences and ASIC powers measures.

Main points:

The proper purpose test will provide clear guidance and limitations on when a copy of a register may be provided.
Specifying the format in which a copy must be supplied will have a neutral effect on business.
Ensuring that a register may be accessed on a computer where it is maintained will reduce the regulatory impact on business.

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