The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has been removed from the strictures of the Australian Public Service Act and will be able to employ people on competitive market salaries.
The Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg confirmed that the Parliament had passed the Treasury Laws Amendment (Enhancing ASIC’s Capabilities) Bill 2018 effectively removing the obligation for ASIC to engage staff under the Public Service Act 1999.
He said this meant ASIC would be able to compete more effectively for suitable staff and would also allow the regulator to tailor management and staffing arrangements to suit its needs, ensuring it was fit for purpose to deliver effectively on its mandate.
The Treasurer’s confirmation of passage of the legislation came shortly after he had declared that the regulator had a case to answer for its handling of key issues which had been raised during the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking Superannuation and Financial Services Industry, including financial adviser fee for no service.
It also came just ahead of the announcement that ASIC deputy chairman, Peter Kell, would be leaving the organisation.
Frydenberg said the legislative amendment brought ASIC into line with the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) and the Reserve Bank of Australia, giving ASIC the ability to attract and retain the most appropriate people, to achieve its short and long-term priorities.
He said the legislation also ensured that ASIC consider the effects that the performance of its functions and the exercise of its powers would have on competition in the financial system.