BANKRUPTCY ACT 1966

PART II - ADMINISTRATION  

Division 1 - General  

SECTION 12   FUNCTIONS OF INSPECTOR-GENERAL  

12(1)  
The Inspector-General:


(a) shall make such inquiries and investigations as the Minister directs; and


(b) may make such inquiries and investigations as the Inspector-General thinks fit with respect to the administration of, or the conduct of a trustee (including a controlling trustee) in relation to:


(i) a bankruptcy; or

(ii) a composition or scheme of arrangement under Division 6 of Part IV ; or

(iii) a personal insolvency agreement; or

(iv) an administration under Part XI ; or

(v) property in relation to which a direction has been given under subsection 50(1) ; or

(vi) property in relation to which the trustee is the controlling trustee under an authority given under section 188 ; and


(ba) may make such inquiries and investigations as the Inspector-General thinks fit with respect to so much of the conduct and examinable affairs of:


(i) a bankrupt; or

(ii) a bankrupt or debtor under a composition or scheme of arrangement under Division 6 of Part IV ; or

(iia) a debtor under a debt agreement proposal or debt agreement under Part IX ; or

(iib) a debtor whose property is subject to control under Division 2 of Part X ; or

(iii) a debtor under a personal insolvency agreement;
as is relevant to the bankruptcy, composition, scheme or agreement, as the case may be; and


(bb) may make such inquiries and investigations as the Inspector-General thinks fit with respect to any conduct of an administrator that relates to a debt agreement; and


(bc) may make such inquiries and investigations as the Inspector-General thinks fit with respect to whether a person has committed an offence against this Act; and


(bd) may make such inquiries and investigations as the Inspector-General thinks fit with respect to any conduct of a registered debt agreement administrator (including conduct engaged in before a debt agreement proposal, specifying the administrator under paragraph 185C(2)(c) , is given to the Official Receiver), except conduct covered by paragraph (bb) or (bc); and


(c) shall from time to time obtain from Official Receivers and other officers and from registered trustees reports as to the operation of this Act; and


(d) must give the Minister, after the end of each financial year, a report on the operation of this Act during that financial year for presentation by the Minister to the Parliament.

12(1A)  


Where the Inspector-General requests a registered trustee or the administrator of a debt agreement, for the purposes of subsection (1), to provide a report as to the operation of this Act, the registered trustee or administrator, as the case may be, shall forthwith provide the report requested.

12(1BA)  


The Inspector-General may make an inquiry or investigation under paragraph (1)(b), (ba), (bb) or (bc) at any time, whether before or after the end of the bankruptcy, composition, scheme or agreement or administration concerned.

12(1B)  


Where the Inspector-General makes an inquiry or investigation referred to in paragraph (1)(b), (ba), (bb) or (bc), the Inspector-General may give a copy of the report of the results of the inquiry or investigation to any person the Inspector-General thinks fit.

12(1C)  
Without limiting the generality of paragraphs (1)(a) and (b), the Inspector-General may make inquiries and investigations under those paragraphs at the request of:


(a) if the Inspector-General is satisfied that the request relates to an application, or proposed application, for a confiscation order - the Commonwealth proceeds of crime authority that is the responsible authority, or that is proposed to be the responsible authority, for the application or proposed application under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 ; or


(b) if the Inspector-General is satisfied that the request relates to an application, or proposed application, for an interstate confiscation order - a person who is entitled, under a corresponding law, to apply for an order of that kind.

12(1D)  


For the purposes of paragraph (1)(bb), any conduct engaged in by the administrator of a debt agreement:


(a) in fulfilment, or purported fulfilment, of a duty of the administrator under this Act; or


(b) in breach of a duty of the administrator under this Act;

is taken to be conduct of the administrator that relates to a debt agreement, even if the conduct does not relate to a particular debt agreement.

12(1E)  


For the purposes of paragraph (1)(bb), if a person signs a certificate under subsection 185C(2D) in relation to a debt agreement proposal, the person ' s conduct in relation to the certificate is taken to be conduct of an administrator that relates to a debt agreement.

12(1F)  


For the purposes of paragraph (1)(bb), if a person:


(a) gives a notification in compliance, or purported compliance with subsection 185N(5) ; or


(b) breaches subsection 185N(5) ;

the giving of the notification, or the breach, as the case may be, is taken to be the conduct of an administrator that relates to a debt agreement.

12(2)  
For the purposes of discharging his or her functions under this Act, the Inspector-General may:


(a) require the production of any books kept by an Official Receiver or by a trustee; and


(b) require a trustee to answer an inquiry made to him or her in relation to any of the following matters in which the trustee is, or has been, engaged:


(i) a bankruptcy;

(ii) the control of property under an authority given under section 188 ;

(iii) an administration under Part XI ;

(iv) a personal insolvency agreement, scheme of arrangement or composition; and


(c) at any time investigate the books of a trustee; and


(d) require the production of any books kept by the administrator, or former administrator, of a debt agreement; and


(e) require the administrator, or former administrator, of a debt agreement to answer an inquiry made of the administrator or former administrator, as the case may be, in relation to the administration of the debt agreement; and


(f) at any time investigate the books of the administrator, or former administrator, of a debt agreement.

12(2A)  


If the Inspector-General believes on reasonable grounds that a person has information that is relevant to an inquiry or investigation under paragraph (1)(bc), the Inspector-General may, by written notice given to the person, require the person to give to the Inspector-General, within the period and in the manner specified in the notice, any such information.

12(2B)  


The period specified in a notice given under subsection (2A) must be at least 14 days after the notice is given.

12(2C)  


A person commits an offence if:


(a) the person has been given a notice under subsection (2A); and


(b) the person fails to comply with the notice.

Penalty: Imprisonment for 12 months.

12(2D)  


A notice under subsection (2A) must set out the effect of the following provisions:


(a) subsection (2C);


(b) section 137.1 of the Criminal Code (about giving false or misleading information).

12(2E)  


Subsection (2A) does not limit the application of subsection (2) in relation to an inquiry or investigation under paragraph (1)(bc).

12(3)  
(Omitted by No 44 of 1996, Sch 1, Pt 1(55).)

12(4)  


The Inspector-General may disclose information obtained by the Inspector-General in the course of exercising powers or performing functions under this Act to any of the following bodies, if the Inspector-General is satisfied that the information will enable or assist the body to exercise any of its powers or perform any of its functions:


(a) a Commonwealth entity (within the meaning of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 );


(b) a prescribed professional disciplinary body.




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