Consumer representatives on the Australian Securities and Investment Commission’s Consumer Advisory Panel (CAP) are paid $395 per meeting inclusive of GST with the chair receiving $1,800.
Amid controversy over the role played by the CAP in consultations around the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) code of conduct, ASIC has revealed to a Parliamentary Committee precisely what members of the panel are paid.
What is more, ASIC has confirmed that while it does not have a dedicated budget, it will from time to time support a funding allocation of between $10,000 and $15,000 for the preparation of consumer submissions to an existing policy consultation process.
“This will generally be in response to CAP’s identified priorities (e.g. based on legislative/reform issues impacting consumers) though whether to fund a submission is at ASIC’s discretion. This typically occurs where there is a need for a consumer voice in a consultation process and where:
- Consumer groups may lack capacity themselves to prepare their own submission, given the volume and competing demands for submissions;
- There is a clear benefit in a joint consumer submission (that provides for broader consultation with other consumer groups or organisations) to assist policy makers; and/or
- Specific legal or operational expertise is necessary to make a considered contribution to the debate.
ASIC said that, ultimately, it made assessment as to whether the potential benefit of a submission to the legislative/reform process to which it would contribute “justifies the provision of funding”.
“ASIC does the procurement, is the contracting party and manages the contract to ensue delivery and value for money consistent with our general approach to procurements. Nevertheless, ASIC does not approve, veto or give instructions about the content or focus of these consumer submissions,” it said.
“As with the other costs of CAP, the cost of such submissions is met through the strategy team’s core budget. That core budget forms part of ASIC’s overall budget which is recovered through the industry funding model.”
“ASIC considers that CAP funded submissions have played an important role in ensuring the consumer voice is heard in consultation processes on issues that materially affect the lives of Australian consumers,” the ASIC answer said.