On 6 March 2019 the AICD provided a submission to the Senate Economics Legislation Committee on the Inquiry into Commonwealth Registers Bill 2019 and 4 related bills (including the introduction of the Directors Identification Number).
The AICD expressed support for the introduction of legislation to develop a new flexible and technology-neutral modern business registry regime and the introduction of legislation to introduce Director Identification Numbers (DINs) as part of this process and support the government’s aim to deter illegal phoenix activity.
However, we raised a number of aspects of the Bills that warrant further consideration, including:
- The implications of having the requirements for the collection and disclosure of director information shift from the Corporations Act 2001 to be dealt with later by the Registrar through disallowable instruments;
- The proposal for defendants to carry the evidentiary burden for proving defences to offences for breaches of the requirement to apply for a DIN prior to appointment and the obligation not to apply for additional DINs, in view of the substantial civil and criminal penalties that may apply;
- The proposal for a DIN to be applied for prior to appointment; and
- The proposed automatic cancellation of a prospective director’s DIN after a 12-month period of not being appointed as a director.
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