The AICD supports the Government taking a principles approach to the review of the registry fees under the Modernising Business Registers Program.
As a general principle, we support the removal of search fees for digital interactions. In the case of company, director and officer information, we consider that transparency is important and will help stimulate business activity and develop knowledge that can benefit all Australians. Data being made openly available to the public is consistent with the Government’s recently implemented Open Data Policy and consistent with some other registers, such as that for charities through the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission.
However, the AICD considers it critical that the removal of search fees for digital interactions must be accompanied by the removal of certain personal information from the Australian Companies Register due to concerns related to issues of privacy cyber-security and personal safety. While we understand that the proposed legislation intends to remove such personal information, it is important that the disclosure and data standards that are developed by the Registrar over the coming year do not propose to make sensitive personal information of directors and officers available to the public.
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