On 1 October the Australian Government released draft legislation dealing with the introduction of a Director Identification Number (DIN) for all company directors. The introduction of DINs is intended to provide greater transparency and accountability by allowing the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) to better track relationships between directors and companies in an effort to target illegal phoenix activities – estimated to cost the Australian economy $3 billion annually. Directors’ details would be published on a public register. Directors would only be able to have their residential address suppressed by application to ASIC and the Australian Electoral Office on the basis of personal safety concerns.
Under the draft legislation:
- Australian directors will be obliged to verify their identity with ASIC;
- upon verification, directors will be issued a DIN that travels with them between companies and directorships; and
- a director’s name, date and place of birth, and residential address will be displayed in the public register (unless suppressed for personal safety reasons).
Although the introduction of DINs is intended to help provide greater regulatory oversight of directors, concerns have been raised about issues of privacy and safety. The availability of extensive personal information on a public register could result in identity theft or create security issues for directors.
The Australian Government is currently consulting with key stakeholders on the introduction of this new registry system and the requirements for a DIN. Submissions can be made until 26 October 2018. If you would like to have your say on this, GRT can make a submission on your behalf or incorporate your views into a general submission. You can also provide your own submissions to Regmod@treasury.gov.au. Please contact us at (07) 3309 7000 to discuss.