Corporations Point-in-Time Service Updates

Tuesday 2 April 2019 @ 11.05 a.m.

The Corporations Point-in-Time Service has been updated to include the Treasury Laws Amendment (Enhancing Whistleblower Protections) Act 2019 (Cth) (Act 10 of 2019) and the Treasury Laws Amendment (Strengthening Corporate and Financial Sector Penalties) Act 2019 (Cth) (Act 17 of 2019).

Act 10 of 2019

This Act creates a consolidated whistleblower protection regime for the corporate and financial sectors, and introduces new protections for tax whistleblowers not available under the existing laws.
This Act:

  • amends the Corporations Act to strengthen and consolidate whistleblower protections for the corporate and financial sector; and
  • amends the TAA 1953 to create a whistleblower protection regime for disclosures of information by individuals regarding breaches of the tax laws or misconduct in relation to an entity’s tax affairs;
  • repeals the financial sector whistleblower regimes and clarifies transitional arrangements.

Act 17 of 2019

An Act to amend the Corporations Act, ASIC Act, Credit Act and Insurance Contracts Act to introduce a stronger penalty framework in response to a number of recommendations from the ASIC Enforcement Review Taskforce report.
The Taskforce was established following a recommendation from the Financial System Inquiry. The Taskforce recommended strengthening penalties for corporate and financial sector misconduct, and simplifying the access to, and the operation of, a number of civil penalty and criminal offence provisions.
The amendments made by this Act aim to deter misconduct and improve community confidence in the corporate and financial sector. The amendments made by the Act:

  • update the penalties for certain criminal offences in ASIC administered legislation, including increasing the maximum imprisonment penalties for certain criminal offences; introducing a formula to calculate financial penalties for criminal offences; and removing imprisonment as a penalty and increasing the financial penalties for all strict and absolute liability offences;
  • introduce ordinary criminal offences that sit alongside strict and absolute liability offences;
  • modernise and expand the civil penalty regime by increasing financial penalties for contraventions and making a wider range of offences subject to civil penalties;
  • harmonise and expand the infringement notice regime;
  • introduce a new test that applies to all dishonesty offences under the Corporations Act;
  • introduce relinquishment as a remedy available in civil penalty proceedings;
  • clarify that the courts are to give priority to compensating victims over ordering the payment of financial penalties; and
  • clarify that contraventions of section 184 of the Corporations Act can occur even when the relevant corporation gains an advantage from the contravention.

The amendments made by these Acts have been updated in the Point-in-Time Corporations Service current to 24 March 2019. (NB: subscription required).

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