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Recently on at least 3 occasions , Treasury has been formally requested under the Freedom of Information Act to release the Australian Government Solicitor's advice in relation to the banning of commissions provided to Bill Shorten in August 2011 , who was then Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation.
It is understood that every approach to secure this advice provided to Bill Shorten in relation to this matter has been rejected and again subsequently rejected following appeal.
On 29th August, 2011, Bill Shorten stated:
" Following legal advice from the Australian Government Solicitor, the Government has determined that a ban on conflicted remuneration (including the ban on commissions) WILL NOT APPLY TO EXISTING CONTRACTUAL RIGHTS OF AN ADVISER TO RECEIVE ONGOING PRODUCT COMMISSIONS".
THIS MEANS THAT IN RELATION TO TRAIL COMMISSIONS ON INDIVIDUAL PRODUCTS OR ACCOUNTS, ANY EXISTING CONTRACT WHERE THE ADVISER HAS A RIGHT TO RECEIVE A TRAIL COMMISSION WILL CONTINUE AFTER 1 JULY, 2012 OR IN THE CASE OF CERTAIN RISK INSURANCE POLICIES IN SUPERANNUATION, 1 JULY, 2013.
THIS MEANS THAT TRAIL COMMISSIONS WILL CONTINUE TO BE PAID IN THESE CIRCUMSTANCES".
So, exactly what advice did Bill Shorten receive from the Australian Government Solicitor that determined a change in the treatment of existing contractual rights of advisers to continue to receive commission payments would present the Government with a problem ?????
Josh Frydenburg should immediately refer this matter for investigation and have this information made public.
This legal advice was provided to the then Labor Government and was specific to the issue of a blanket ban on existing product commission payments.
In August 2011, Bill Shorten made a very clear decision to accept the legal advice provided and determined it was not appropriate to include the existing commission payments in the banning of future commissions included within FOFA.
This advice must be released under FOI .
If it is again refused to be released then why is it being withheld ??