find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Come work for a firm ranked in Lawyers Weekly Top 25 Attraction Firms
View details
Associate - Workplace Relations & Safety
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Employer of choice · Strong team culture
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Government locks out compliance advocacy

Government locks out compliance advocacy

WHILE THE Federal Government has been keen to talk up its agenda to reduce red tape and lower compliance costs, it has locked out the nation’s peak body for compliance professionals from key…

WHILE THE Federal Government has been keen to talk up its agenda to reduce red tape and lower compliance costs, it has locked out the nation’s peak body for compliance professionals from key talks on corporate regulation.

After launching a review of corporate and financial services regulation in November last year, Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury Chris Pearce said the proposals contained in it would reduce the compliance burden.

“The release of this proposal’s paper is an exciting step forward to achieving a simpler regulatory system”, Pearce said.

However, some five months later, the Australasian Compliance Institute (ACI), which represents more than 1,700 compliance professionals, has found itself locked out of working groups looking at the proposed reforms.

“Since making our submission to Treasury we have become aware that the Treasury has planned to conduct a small group workshop on the proposed reforms and ACI has been excluded from this process,” said Martin Tolar, CEO at the ACI.

“We have made numerous representations to Treasury to be included in these discussions but on each occasion our request has fallen on deaf ears.”

Treasury’s refusal to include compliance professionals in the reform process will render the reforms impotent, Tolar added. “We have explained to Treasury that there is no point in including compliance professions in these discussions after the key policy decisions have been made,” he said.

“ACI should be at the centre of this debate as it is our members who will be responsible for implementing the reforms and ensuring their respective firms comply with the new regulations once they have been determined.”

He added that the Treasury is clearly not concerned with the opinions of the compliance community and that it risks having to retrofit its reforms to meet compliance requirements by leaving ACI out of the initial discussions.

“ACI is extremely disappointed with the approach taken by Treasury as they are not giving proper consideration to how these reforms will be implemented. Our membership operates at the coalface of the legislative process and it’s clear to us that Treasury does not value their view of the world.”

High-profile figures have previously criticised the Government on its attitude towards meaningful engagement with the business community on regulation.

Professor Bob Baxt AO, former chair of the Trade Practices Commission, recently urged directors and other professionals to protest the Government’s stance on regulation.

Professor Baxt, who is now a partner at law firm Freehills, told an audience of governance professionals late last year that recent regulatory moves showed the business community must lobby federal and state governments to avoid being burdened with inappropriate regulation.

He cited the Private Health Insurance Bill as an example of the Government ignoring the advice of its own advisers — in this case, the Corporations and Markets Committee (CAMAC), an influential group comprising senior lawyers, regulators, governance experts and company directors.

“The very government that set up CAMAC is ignoring it,” Professor Baxt said. “This is happening regularly, and across the board the same unacceptable approach is being adopted.”

He urged governance professionals and others to protest now and in the future adding that “this must not be allowed to happen”.

He added that directors are under greater scrutiny than ever before. “With more and more regulation, directors find it difficult to escape liability,” he said. “The days of the sleeping director are over.”

Stuart Fagg is the Editor of Risk Management magazine, Lawyers Weeklys sister publication.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Government locks out compliance advocacy
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Scales of Justice, ALA, right-to-die law
Oct 24 2017
‘Right-to-die’ laws would be a relief for terminally ill: ALA
The passage of an assisted dying bill through the lower house of Victorian Parliament has been haile...
Oct 24 2017
Diversity top of agenda for future WA Law Society president
The advancement of diversity in the Western Australian legal profession will be one of the key items...
Oct 23 2017
How to fail well
The legal profession is due for an attitude adjustment when it comes to perceived failures, accordin...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...