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ASIC zooms in on obligations as three firms fail

ASIC has ramped up its enforcement on the compliance obligations of registered liquidators, accepting voluntary undertakings from three liquidators, including one within an accounting firm.

ASIC zooms in on obligations as three firms fail
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The latest enforcement outcomes announcement follows ASIC’s Publish Notices Website and Lodgement project, an industry-wide compliance test of registered liquidators on their lodgement and publishing requirements.

The Insolvency Law Reform Act 2016 now empowers ASIC to direct a registered liquidator to lodge documents.

According to ASIC, the three liquidators had not complied with their statutory lodgement and publication obligations and took steps to rectify outstanding lodgements and publication of notices.

Trevor Angus, principal of accounting firm, Angus Accountants in Darwin, entered into a voluntary undertaking requiring him to provide ASIC with a completed form requesting ASIC to cancel his registration as a liquidator. ASIC will hold the form in escrow and cancel his registration upon the earlier of the finalisation of Mr Angus’ last external administration or 31 January 2018.

Mr Angus will be required to take reasonable and necessary steps to finalise all current external administrations; and not accept any new appointments, as an external administrator, other than as a liquidator of members’ voluntary liquidations.

North-Queensland-based liquidator Dennis Offermans of the insolvency firm Offermans Partners, entered into a voluntary undertaking requiring him to engage an independent expert to train him and his firm’s professional staff, with an emphasis on promoting an improved compliance culture.

Mr Offermans will also need to engage a suitably qualified independent quality reviewer to undertake a review of four external administrations.

Western Australia-registered liquidator Giovanni Carrello, of BRI Ferrier WA, accepted a voluntary undertaking on 20 June 2017.

An independent peer review addressed concerns raised about the compliance culture and practices of Mr Carrello, by assessing his compliance with his duties and obligations as a registered liquidator; and providing recommendations aimed at improving the firm's compliance culture.

The corporate regulator aims to finalise the project this calendar year and will report on the findings and key areas for improvement identified by the project.

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