I made clear on the 22nd of OctoberI received detailed correspondence from the Auditor-General of Australia regarding payments made on behalf ASIC Chair, Mr James Shipton,and Deputy Chair, Mr Dan Crennan QC.
This letter followed an email received from the Australian National Audit Office on 15 September, saying, “The Auditor-General will be writing to you…
“Will be writing to you under section 26 of the Auditor-General Act regarding payments.”
he ANAO is working on key personnel can disclosures to be included in the annual report, and we will write to you once this has concluded.
As Treasury confirmed to Senate Estimates this morning, their advice has been consistent throughout that I should await the letter from the Auditor-General, after which they would provide advice. I accepted that advice.
Following receipt of the letter from the Auditor-General on the 22nd of October, I received advice from Treasury later that day recommending that I direct the Secretary of the Treasury to appoint an independent reviewer to undertake an independent review into the findings of the ANAO financial statements audit. The independent review will be undertaken by Dr Vivian Thom, the former Director-General of intelligence and security, and is expected to be completed before the end of the year.
Following the review, Treasury will advise me on its findings and any further course of action that may be appropriate.
The email of the 15th of September from the ANAO, the letter from the Auditor-General of the 22nd of October, two letters from the ASIC Chair to me – both dated the 16th of October – relating to the concerns raised by the ANAO, as well as my three letters to the Chair and the Deputy Chair of ASIC, and the Auditor-General, have all been tabled at my request this morning at Estimates.
The chairman of ASIC, Mr James Shipton, notified me last week that he was standing down. Today, Dan Crennan provided me written resignation effective immediately. ASIC provides a vital role as Australia’s corporate financial services and market regulator. The Auditor-General has raised important matters which the government is acting on.