In principle, the AICD supports the Exposure Draft, in particular the reduction (and in the case of journalists, the elimination) of search fees from 1 July 2019. This proposal will enable information on the Australian Companies Register to be more readily accessible, thereby enhancing public transparency.
However, at the same time, we also note that the current Australian Companies Register currently contains sensitive personal information of directors and officers (such as date of birth, place of birth and residential address). The public availability of such personal information has raised serious concerns of members with respect to privacy, cyber-security and personal safety. An unintended consequence of the changes to search fees is that the risk of harm to directors will increase given this personal information will be more easily accessed by members of the public.
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