The Government has released exposure draft legislation to modernise business communications by improving the technology neutrality of Treasury portfolio laws.
Building on the proposed reforms in the Corporations Amendment (Meetings and Documents) Bill 2021 (the Corporations Amendment Bill) introduced into Parliament in October, the Treasury Laws Amendment (Modernising Business Communications) Bill will provide greater flexibility for businesses, individuals and regulators when communicating with each other.
The exposure draft comprises proposed amendments that:
- expands the scope of the global regimes that allow documents to be signed and sent electronically in the Corporations Amendment Bill.
- legislates relief for companies, registered schemes and disclosing entities sending documents to ‘lost members’ under the Corporations Act 2001.
- allows notices published in newspapers to be published in any accessible and reasonably prominent manner across Treasury portfolio laws.
- updates payment provisions in Treasury legislation to ensure electronic payments can be made.
- updates the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 and associated legislation to give consumers and their credit providers greater flexibility when updating their details and when sending documents.
In the next phase of this project, the Government will consider further reforms to improve technology neutrality including:
- communicating with regulators
- exemptions to the Electronic Transactions Act 1999
- product disclosure and recordkeeping requirements