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ASIC officials resign amid investigation

  • October 26 2020
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ASIC officials resign amid investigation

Two officials of the corporate watchdog have announced their resignation, following concerns spiked by the Australian National Audit Office.

ASIC officials resign amid investigation

ASIC officials resign amid investigation

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  • October 26 2020
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Two officials of the corporate watchdog have announced their resignation, following concerns spiked by the Australian National Audit Office.

ASIC officials resign amid investigation

Appearing before a parliamentary committee on Friday, 23 October, ASIC chair James Shipton revealed that the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) had expressed concerns over $118,557 in taxation-related expenses paid to him to relocate from the United States.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg was informed of the concerns by the Auditor-General on Thursday, 22 October.

“Specifically, the Auditor-General has indicated that during the 2019-20 financial statements audit of ASIC, the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) identified payments made on behalf of the ASIC chair, Mr James Shipton, relating to taxation advice and deputy chair, Mr Dan Crennan QC, relating to housing expenses that he considered may exceed the limits set in the Remuneration Determination made by the Remuneration Tribunal and that there were also identified instances where the Commonwealth Procurement Rules were not followed,” Mr Frydenberg said.

An independent Treasury-led review will now be undertaken, with a report due at the end of the year.

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In the interim, Mr Shipton told the House of Representatives standing committee on economics that he would step aside immediately.

“While I believe that I have acted properly and appropriately in this matter, I hold myself to the highest possible standard,” Mr Shipton said.

“What matters is that I act with integrity and honour. That means I need to act in the best interests of ASIC and its vital purpose to build a fair, honest and efficient financial system for all Australians.

“I only took this position to serve the Australian community and to work to improve the corporate and financial system that should also serve it.

“If I in any way impede that purpose, the right thing for me to do is to step aside until such time that I can.”

On Monday, 26 October, ASIC’s top lawyer Daniel Crennan QC has also resigned following reports the regulator incorrectly paid $70,000 worth of rental costs.

While Mr Crennan offered and agreed to repay the rental allowance ASIC had paid to him, he has now resigned following the launch of an independent review into his and chairman James Shipton’s relocation costs. 

“I had been intending to retire from my position in July 2021,” Mr Crennan said. 

“However, in the current circumstances, I have decided that it is in the best interests of ASIC for me to resign now. I have therefore tendered my resignation to the Treasurer with immediate effect.”

Mr Crennan will remain available to facilitate the “orderly transfer” of work to his successor. Mr Shipton has also stepped aside pending the results of the investigation. 

The financial services regulator has acknowledged the “totally unacceptable” delay it took in remedying breaches of remuneration limit which led to the resignation of both men.

ASIC officials resign amid investigation
ASIC officials resign amid investigation
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About the author

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Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

About the author

Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

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