Senate Committee inquiry - IPA's second submission available

The Senate inquiry hearing was held in Canberra on Wednesday 23 June. Mark Robinson, President of the IPA and Denise North CEO, spoke on behalf of the IPA. Representatives of ASIC, and insolvency academibs Drs Anderson and Morrison, also addressed the Committee. The transcript is on the Senate website

We enclose IPA's second submission.

We will keep members advised.

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In Adelaide on Friday 9 April, useful evidence was given by academics and the APESB - the transcript of the Adelaide hearings is now on the Senate inquiry website.

In Sydney on 13 April, the witnesses included the CALDB and Mr V Gould, barristers Mr S Epstein SC and Mr G McDonald, ITSA and Mr G Slater.  

Further evidence again was given on 14 April in Newcastle. Witnesses included Adamstown Rosebud Sport and Recreation Club Co-op, Carlovers Carwash and Berjaya Corporation, Armidale Dumaresq Council and others.

Transcript of all the hearings are on the Senate webpage:

http://www.aph.gov.au/Senate/committee/economics_ctte/liquidators_09/hearings/index.htm

The IPA is continuing to monitor this inquiry. We will keep members informed.

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The President and the CEO of the IPA appeared before the Senate inquiry on Friday 12 March. Other bodies also gave evidence - ASIC, Treasury, and ICA.

A transcript is available at http://www.aph.gov.au/Senate/committee/economics_ctte/liquidators_09/hearings/index.htm

The IPA will advise further once we are informed of the progress of the inquiry.

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The IPA lodged it submission to the Senate References Committee on 12 February 2010.  A copy of the submission, and the covering letter from the IPA is enclosed.

Executive summary

The IPA submission has an executive summary which sets out the structure of the IPA’s comments on what are broad terms of reference of the inquiry. If the Inquiry raises other issues, the IPA will seek to make a further submission.

The IPA submission has these messages:

·        Australia has a sound and balanced insolvency regime that is well regarded internationally and contributes positively to the legal and social well-being of the community.

·        Insolvency practitioners play a key role in the orderly wind up, trade or sale of insolvent businesses.

·        It is fundamentally important that the community has confidence in the regime and in the integrity of its practitioners.

·        ASIC has prime responsibility for the registration, monitoring and discipline of liquidators and administrators.

·        Practitioner remuneration is closely regulated.

Matters for consideration

Throughout the submission we take the opportunity to raise ‘matters for consideration’, that is, ideas that we think could usefully be explored with a view to improvements being made to the insolvency regime.  The IPA does not endorse all of them but thinks that they bear serious consideration. 

These ‘matters for consideration’ concern:

·      improved information for creditors and other stakeholders;

·      improved insolvency statistics;

·      the concept of an industry ombudsman and whether such a role would be useful;

·      changes to the registration, monitoring and disciplining of registered liquidators.  We draw some thoughts from the parallel processes in bankruptcy.

·      resourcing ASIC appropriately, including in relation to changes in regulatory approaches that we have suggested

·      speedier and more cost-effective processes for review of liquidators’ fees;

·      changes to the supervision of unincorporated associations in insolvency.  The IPA is making a submission on this issue to NSW Fair Trading on a proposed Cooperatives National Law which will address this issue.

The submission has a number of attachments covering the state of the industry, information about the IPA, recent discipline issues and comparisons in fees.

Thanks to members

The IPA obtained extensive member feedback for the purposes of this inquiry, through IPA member surveys and direct contact with the IPA.  We thank our members very much for their input which has allowed us to explain to the Committee the many important issues we have addressed in the submission.

IPA www.ipaa.com.au