May 22, 2014

Privatising ASIC register would be a blow to transparency — and victims

Charging fees to search the ASIC register is outrageous enough. Privatising the register, which would lead to higher costs, would be worse still.

Paddy Manning

Crikey business editor

As any business journalist knows, the ASIC search is the lifeblood of transparency and accountability in corporate Australia.


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4 thoughts on “Privatising ASIC register would be a blow to transparency — and victims

  1. SusieQ

    So true, so true.

  2. 64magpies

    Good article.

  3. Bob's Uncle

    As a regular purchaser of searches, this just sounds like short-term stupidity.

    Many searches are already carried out through external providers (SAI Glabal as an example) who charge additional costs for additional services. To my mind, this is the ideal place for private companies to get involved. They can innovate and compete based on service and price, while leaving the no-frills “raw feed” of information to come from ASIC.

    Privatising a monopoly is always risky, but privatising a monopoly information source which is vital to check and discover any meaningful information on companies and their directors/shareholders risks eroding transparency and therefore confidence in commercial dealings.

    What is next for the auction block? The AEC perhaps?

  4. douglasennis

    Bobs Uncle suggested the AEC as a possible privatization target, but I think we would get a better price for the police force. I can think of a number of organizations and businesses that would think that a good buy at almost any price!
    The selling of ASIC and putting regulatory and public record functions into private hands is almost as bad.

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