Merry Christmas to Peter Wilson. When it was suggested that Peter Wilson should be independent of the old board so that we can have a fresh start Peter responded with "That's your issue". Summary of the meeting here: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=594
A good summary of where we are up to by Joe Aston of the AFR, linked to from here: viewtopic.php?f=5&p=4137#p4137
If you are new to this website read the story so far: viewtopic.php?t=321#p1793
Check out some of the AFR articles, too many to list and check out some of the ABC reports: ... 215-h055ej ... 211-h02x1d ... s,/8626662
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Senate Inquiry to Add Emails to Member Register

Discussions about the constitution and how CPA Australia is run
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Brett Stevenson
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Senate Inquiry to Add Emails to Member Register

Post by Brett Stevenson » Thu Jul 27, 2017 10:22 am

I have attached my submission to the Senate Inquiry into the amendment to the Corporations Act to include email addresses in the Members Register which Nick Xenophon has introduced.
The official title is the Corporations Amendment (Modernisation of Members Registration) Bill 2017.
You can read about it here ... rationBill

I'd encourage members to have a read of Nick Xenophons Second Reading Speech - it provided a good summary of the why.

I'd also encourage members to write to Nick Xenophon and thank him for taking the interest and moving ahead with this.
He has also been giving ASIC (Greg Medcraft and Jonathan Price) a good grilling in Senate Hearings on their inactivity (or perhaps just trying to find out what they are doing) on this matter.
Submission Brett.pdf
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2nd Reading Speech.pdf
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Brett Stevenson
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Re: Senate Inquiry to Add Emails to Member Register

Post by Brett Stevenson » Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:09 am

I have written a part B to my submission, which is attached. My be too late for publication on the Senate website but if it is, I can distribute in hard copy to the senators on the day.
Given that of the submissions made, 8 of them are opposed, it means need to put a good case forward.
To be honest I am amazed at the likes of those who have opposed this amendment (AICD, ASA, CPA, CAANZ, Freehills, AMP, Computershare) in their submissions.
I feel I am living in a parallel universe.
CPA's submission is no surprise (and you will see that is why I have put in Submission Part B to provide some counter to their 'hide as thick as a rhinoceros' submission), and clearly they spent big bucks getting legal advice to have it written. Makes me wonder why we spend such big bucks employing a General Counsel at CPA. Clearly money is no barrier at CPA.
Let me highlight the words of even Greg Medcraft at the Senate Hearings on 16th June where he acknowledged that this change was required.
CHAIR: I reopen this hearing of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services. Senator Xenophon has just joined us. I will hand over straight to Senator Xenophon.
Friday, 16 June 2017 JOINT Page 41
Senator XENOPHON: Mr Medcraft, section 168 of the Corporations Act sets out the requirement for a company to set up and maintain a register of members. Section 169, subsection 1, sets out the general requirement of the register. As it is currently drafted, the register must contain the member's name and address and the date on which the entry of the member's name into the register is made. It does not include a requirement for that address to include an email address, even though the organisation itself may have an email.
Yesterday, as a result of representations made to me by disgruntled CPA Australia members, I introduced legislation to amend that to provide for the email address to be allowed so that you do not need to find $100,000 to $150,000 to communicate with members for the purpose of having a special general meeting being called. What view does ASIC have on modernising members registration to include email addresses, provided there are the safeguards that that information must be used for a proper purpose?
Mr Medcraft: I can tell you it would be a great move equally on the company register and on the business name register in terms of being able to communicate and even for us to communicate with people. Sending out notices by snail mail is a big problem today.
Senator O'NEILL: With the price that is involved?
Mr Medcraft: Yes, we have provided Australia Post with a lot of money. Personally, I think it is a great idea. We are talking about the digital age, right?
Senator XENOPHON: This is particularly where there is a large public company with hundreds of thousands of shareholders—
Mr Medcraft: Let's face it, that is where we are these days: basically everything is going digital. It frankly makes a lot of sense.
Senator XENOPHON: I look forward to your submission when it is considered.
Mr Medcraft: Again, that is a matter for government, as always.
Senator XENOPHON: ASIC's opinion would carry a lot of weight.
Mr Medcraft: We are big supporters of digitisation, as we talked about at the start of today, so it is consistent with that. Also, it allows more timely communication. I think it is a good thing. Certainly, it would good to think about it not just here but in the register: there are several million entries. We think having email would be great to be able to even just send out bills.
Senator XENOPHON: Thank you
Lets see what ASIC have to say about this amendment in their submission on Wednesday.
Submission Brett Part B.pdf
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Re: Senate Inquiry to Add Emails to Member Register

Post by fidgetspinner » Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:01 pm

Good point about drilling Medcraft. Why didn't ASIC want to do this proactively? It can hardly be the 1st time it has come up in the digital age.

If Medcraft really wants to get digital he may care to explain why government fees to register a company in Australia or do company searches are so expensive.

Check out how you can do free company searches in the UK on the government website getting company and officer details you have to pay for here.

Government fees to register a company in the UK is 12 pounds (<AUD$20) compared to $400 here

If you want to pay a private company to do the setup for you costs are still less than half the cost of a discount service provider in Australia.

IF ASIC was a reliable regulator you could think the higher fees are money well spent but we all know what the reality is.

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Re: Senate Inquiry to Add Emails to Member Register

Post by Red_Ferrari » Wed Aug 02, 2017 6:01 pm

From the Senate hearing: here's the latest edition of the unadulterated rubbish that spews forth from the CPA Board & Management. They're all in this together ... protecting themselves and leaving members out of the loop. The Senate had a gutfull of it earlier today, and have called the entire board (being the remnants thereof) to appear before the Committee.
Remaining CPA board to appear before Senate committee
Aug 2 2017 by Edmund Tadros

An angry Senate committee has resolved to call the remaining board members of CPA Australia to appear before them and explain their actions during the accounting body's descent into a governance quagmire. The decision was made after CPA representatives were unable to explain during a hearing the thinking behind the CPA board's decision to not send out an email calling for a spill of the current board on behalf of 16 past state and national leaders and to hold their annual general meeting in Singapore. If the board members appear, it would be the first time they have been asked to publicly explain their behaviour during the past three months, when seven of their number have resigned and CEO Alex Malley was fired with a $4.9 million payment.

The public hearing, in Sydney on Wednesday morning, was part of the committee's examination of potential updates to the Corporations Act to compel companies to store and then provide the email addresses of their membership base to members who ask for it. The amendment, if passed, would become the biggest legal change to come out of the CPA saga and represents a major update in the type of information that firms are legally compelled to keep about their shareholders or members. Submission show general support for the concept but many groups have expressed concerns about protecting the privacy of an individual's email address and the difficulty in obtaining this information in the first place.

The potential amendment, sponsored by Senator Nick Xenophon, was inspired by rebel CPA member Brett Stevenson's battle with the accounting body to get a list of member contacts to share his concerns about the way the CPA is run. CPA, which communicates regularly with its members via email, supplied mailing addresses but omitted email addresses in their response to to Mr Stevenson's request, which was made under the Corporations Act. This meant it would have cost Mr Stevenson at least $150,000 to do a mail-out to the 155,000-strong membership.

At the hearing, CPA representatives were asked why the body had sent out an email expressing regret over having to produce the register and warning members they may receive unsolicited email after complying with Mr Stevenson's request for the register. CPA general manager of policy and spokesman Stuart Dignam said "the board felt we had a duty of care to our global membership to advise them of this circumstance."

Mr Xenophon shot back: "Mr Dignam, you're going to give us a lecture on duty of care when you paid out Mr Malley $4.9 million?" Mr Dignam replied: "Mr Malley's termination was made in accordance with our obligations. The full amount was disclosed, I'm not at liberty to discuss that any further."

The committee then asked about why it wouldn't send out an email on the past leaders' behalf, calling for a full board spill, to deal with privacy concerns over releasing the list of member emails. The request was made in June but wasn't acted upon by the board or management of the CPA. Mr Dignam said: "I'm aware of the correspondences to which you refer Senator, the board and the management of CPA Australia don't believe that an entire spill is in the best interest of the organisation."

Mr Xenophon then accused the CPA of censorship, saying: "Isn't that up to members to decide that? They just wanted you to circulate that [message]. "

Chair Liberal Senator Jane Hume ending the CPA appearence by expressed the bewilderment of the committee about the actions of the CPA board, including the decision to hold the AGM in Singapore in April. "My greatest that the reason why we are needing to have this discussion is the extraordinary behaviour of your organisation," she said. "[The] opacity and obfuscation is just mind-blowing. There are plenty of global organisation listed on the ASX and none of them have their AGM overseas. I cannot understand why on earth you would deny your members a say at the very forum that is created for that purpose." ... z4oaAMf2Zg

The entire board should hang their heads in shame and resign forthwith ... but convene an EGM before they do it.

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