Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates from the Australian Government

Terms of reference

The Government is considering the recommendation of the Financial System Inquiry (Murray Inquiry) for ASIC's regulatory activities to be funded by industry. To support these considerations, the Government is commissioning a review of ASIC's capabilities. The review will consider how ASIC uses its current resources and powers to deliver its statutory objectives and assess ASIC's ability to perform as a capable and transparent regulator.

ASIC is a statutory Commonwealth agency, established by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001. ASIC's responsibilities have increased over time to now include regulatory supervision and enforcement of company and financial services laws to protect Australian consumers, investors and creditors. ASIC also has responsibility for the operation of related public information registers.

The Murray Inquiry recommended that regulators undertake periodic capability reviews. Capability reviews provide the opportunity to assess a body's ability to meet future objectives and challenges and support efficient and effective policy development and service delivery through more productive use of resources.

The capability review will be led by three experts with extensive public and private sector experience, and supported by a secretariat.

The capability review may examine, and make recommendations on how efficiently and effectively ASIC operates to achieve its strategic objectives, including:

  • identification and analysis of immediate and forward-looking priorities or risks;
  • resource prioritisation and responsiveness to emerging issues, including:
    • how ASIC allocates its current resources among its regulatory tools, such as supervision, surveillance, education, policy, enforcement and litigation; and
    • how ASIC allocates its current resources across its regulated population;
  • the skills, capabilities and culture of the Commission and its staff, including in respect of internal review and improvement mechanisms; and
  • organisational governance and accountability arrangements.

The capability review should have regard to how comparable international regulators operate and relevant legislation, including the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013.

In assessing ASIC's approach to its statutory objectives, the review may provide observations, but not make recommendations on ASIC's regulatory framework or powers.

The review is to be completed by the end of 2015.

Consultation

The capability review should be informed by a review of ASIC’s current processes, consultation with the senior leadership of ASIC and the views of its staff and other public sector agencies who interact with ASIC. The review is also expected to consult extensively with private sector businesses regulated by ASIC and peak bodies, as well as regional and consumer representatives.