Next week the review team is trying something different. They’ve added a ‘general session’ which is an open session for participants to lead. Register now, as sessions are filling up.
If you want to contribute through other ways—taking a survey or writing a submission—remember that consultations on proposed amendments to the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (CATSI Act) close on 21 September 2020.
The review team has shared some more of your feedback:
- There is general support for changing the name special administration but some concern that doing so won’t fix the issue that people mistake it for a negative process, also that it might confuse people who already understand what it means.
- When it comes to directors asking for a special administrator to be appointed, people are agreeable to removing the ‘show cause’ process but there isn’t a clear preference for whether the request needs to be made by all or a majority of the directors on the board.
- People agreed that the law should prevent contracts, including funding agreements, with a corporation from being stopped just because they’ve gone into special administration
- There was mixed feedback on removing the requirement for the Registrar to get permission from the court to wind up a corporation that’s insolvent where nothing is being done to improve it. Some participants pointed out that this change would cause a divergence from the Corporations Act 2001 which they didn’t necessarily see value in. On the other hand, they noted making it easier for members to voluntarily deregister would be a positive divergence from the Corporations Act 2001.
Next week’s consultation sessions
General—Participants lead the discussion!
- Monday, 31 August, 1:00pm-2:30pm AEST (1.5 hours)
Powers of the Registrar
Despite having similar responsibilities, the Registrar does not have all the regulatory powers of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). For example, ASIC can take action against a current or former employee or officer of the corporation, as well as the corporation itself. In comparison, the Registrar can only take action against a corporation. Should this be amended? Instead of taking action in court, should the Registrar be able to accept enforceable undertakings (a legally enforceable agreement by a person or corporation to take action or fix problems)? Does the Registrar need a wider range of powers that are less severe in scope or consequence to the current powers, allowing responses that are more proportionate to the issue? The Registrar can give general advice, a formal advisory opinion and facilitate conferencing between disputing parties. ORIC staff can attend corporation meetings as observers and present information or provide advice. Is this enough?
- Monday, 31 August, 10:30am-11:30am AEST (1 hour)
- Tuesday, 1 September, 1:00pm-2:30pm AEST (1.5 hours)
Objects of the Act
The CATSI Act was designed as a special measure under the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can form and run corporations that meet their needs. Some of the things that sets the CATSI Act apart from theCorporations Act 2001 are:
- special incorporation provisions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations
- greater protection for members
- support for corporations
- capacity building.
Is the CATSI Act serving its purpose as a special measure? Does it need changing?
Read the objects of the CATSI Act fact sheet
- Thursday, 3 September, 9:30am-10:30am AEST (1 hour)
- Thursday, 3 September, 2:00pm-3:30pm AEST (1.5 hours)
Should members’ addresses be visible on the corporation’s register? Are the processes for deciding membership applications and cancelling memberships appropriate? What types of corporate structures do you need to pursue economic growth or fulfill your purpose? Do corporation size classifications need changing? Should small corporations be allowed to meet with members less frequently? Should corporations present their reports to members at their AGM? Are rule books comprehensive and working effectively?
Read the governance fact sheet
- Friday, 4 September, 2:00pm- 3:30pm AEST (1.5 hours)
Overview of the draft report
A run through of the draft report which covers work already done in previous reviews and consultations, and the lapsed Bill from 2018. It also incorporates suggestions and ideas identified in phase one of consultation.
- Wednesday, 2 September, 11:00am-1:00pm AEST (2 hours)
- Friday, 4 September, 10:30am-12:30pm AEST (2 hours)
Participate in other ways:
o complete the online surveys for each chapter of the report
o write a submission and either upload it to the NIAA webpage or email it to CATSIActReview@niaa.gov.au
o provide general feedback on the NIAA webpage
o ask the review team for an individual discussion
If you’ve got questions about the review please email the CATSIActReview@niaa.gov.au.
Registrar of Indigenous Corporations