Hume and remaining ASIC commissioners were in the dark on Shipton

Four members of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) executive board were left unaware of the issues which led to the standing aside of their chairman, James Shipton, until little more than a month before it occurred.

What is more, the Assistant Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and Financial Technology, Senator Jane Hume, has confirmed that she was unaware of the issue until hours before Shipton and his deputy chair, Daniel Crennan, declared they would be standing aside on Friday, last week.

The manner in which the matters surrounding the payment of a $118,000 tax advice fee for Shipton were kept from the knowledge of other members of the ASIC board were laid bare during Senate Estimates late yesterday, as those Commissioner, led by deputy chair, Karen Chester, sought to maintain a business as usual approach within the regulator.

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What also became clear is that there is a bipartisan view that, notwithstanding an independent inquiry commissioned by the Treasury, Shipton’s position may not be survival.

Both the Liberal acting chairman of the Senate Economics Committee, Senator James Shipton and Federal Opposition frontbencher, Katy Gallagher, expressed strong views about the ASIC chairman’s future position.

Gallagher described ASIC having “a bigger problem than an expenses scandal”.

“How realistic is it that the corporate cop survives?” she asked.

Earlier, the acting chairman of the Senate Economics Legislation Committee, Senator James Patterson said that it was clear to him that ASIC’s leadership structure was “a total mess that did not have its own house in order”.

Asked when she became aware of the issues within the ASIC leaders, Hume said that it was the previous Friday, the day of the announcement, when she had received a call from the Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg.

Pressed by Gallagher, she said that she did not think it was a problem “that I was not brought into the loop on this”.

ASIC’s Chester confirmed for Gallagher that while Shipton had stood aside he was on paid leave and would remain so until the Treasury’s independent review had been completed.

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Surprise, surprise, "do nothing Jane" wasn't aware of any problem.

Let this be a lesson to you Jane. If you ignore the obvious problems under your nose and fail to take any action to fix them, they will come back to bite you. Fix FASEA now!!

Can we stop referring to it as a $120k tax advice bill? They also had to pay about another $80k or so in FBT.
Total cost of the indiscretion was $200k+.
Not small change.

Does Jane Hume really understand the enormity and seriousness of what is going on here ?
She tends to have a history of playing important issues down rather than responding in the appropriate way expected of a senior politician.

There is no way on this earth that Shipton can be allowed to continue.
If he is, then we all know there is an organisation prepared to look past their own failings and a Govt that doesn't have the courage or conviction to address them.
There has long been held a view that ASIC were in control of the Govt relationship and if Shipton stays, it will prove this has been correct all along.
This is a "line in the sand" moment and ASIC's and the Govt's own ethics are going to be rigorously tested.
You simply cannot have an organisation that has been given the authority to oversee the appropriateness of advice continue to justify they retain the mandate following what has occurred.

All true. But Medcraft was worse. ASIC's culture of bias and double standards was well and truly established by Medcraft. Getting rid of Shipton & Crennan won't solve the problems, as poor culture is firmly entrenched across the organisation. ASIC needs to be stripped of many of its powers and significantly reduced in size. As a starting point, financial advice regulation should all be transferred to the new Single Disciplinary Body.

Paying it back just doesn't cut it!
If this was a FP. accountant or tax payer, ASIC, The TPB, ATO or any other regulator would use them as an example regardless of the intention of reimbursement. What an absolute joke!!!

I have just read an article that states Scott Morrison has refused to declare confidence in the corporate watchdog as the investigation is in play. He also is distancing himself from Shipton's appointment when he was Treasurer, saying other cabinet ministers were also involved. ( "It wasn't just me Miss, it was my mates as well ").
Then ASIC's Karen Chester told a Senate estimates hearing the review would look at whether processes, governance or "something else " were to blame.!!!!!
I wonder what the " something else " could possible be if it wasn't processes or governance ??
It is difficult to believe that the Chair of ASIC has utilised taxpayer money to fund the expense of a personal expense item. I really don't know what else has to be investigated here.
Either he did use taxpayer's monies to fund a personal expense or he didn't...which one is it ?
It now needs an investigation by Vivienne Thom over a period of at least 2 months or more to solve the question of whether he did or did not use the monies for his own purposes.
At what expense does the taxpayer now have to incur for Vivienne Thom's expenses for the investigation.?
Scott Morrison is holding out and extending the process.
Shadow Assistant Treasurer Stephen Jones has stated that ASIC are "actually at the bottom of the ladder".
So, here we have ASIC in a significant governance and ethical matter, being tasked with overseeing the forthcoming Review Of Life Insurance when it was clear they deliberately manipulated the original Report 413 to suit their own agenda.
This organisation has lost all respect and now needs to be restructured and re-cultured to gain any form of trust in their processes whatsoever.
Scott Morrison needs to demonstrate the courage and ethical standing to make a difference.
Interestingly, when Christine Holgate of Australia Post was found to have handed out the luxury watches to the value of $20,000 , Scott Morrison made his opinion perfectly clear it was not acceptable.
However, now we have a $118,000 personal tax advice bill paid by the taxpayer and Scott Morrison is playing ducks and drakes.
Something stinks here and it's not at all pleasant.

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