Liberal Senator labels ASIC chair’s non-appearance ‘bizarre’
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has been criticised by the deputy chair of a key Parliamentary committee because its chair, Joe Longo will not be attending Senate Estimates hearings today.
The deputy chair of the Senate Economics Legislation Committee, NSW Liberal Senator, Andrew Bragg expressed exasperation at the fact that Longo would not be appearing.
Taking to social media, Bragg said: “On the eve of ASIC’s appearance at Senate Estimates, I have been informed the ASIC Chair will not attend”.
“This is bizarre and emblematic of ASIC’s attitude towards Parliamentary oversight. The bottom line is the scrutiny will not stop until ASIC gets better at law enforcement.”
Contacted by Financial Newswire, Senator Bragg’s office said that he had been unaware of Longo’s non-attendance until informed by the committee chair, Labor Senator, Jess Walsh.
ASIC will be represented at Senate Estimates by deputy chair, Sarah Court.
Senator Bragg, as chair of the Senate Economic References Committee, has been overseeing an Inquiry into ASIC Investigation and Enforcement, which as at times been highly critical of the regulator.
In September he took issue with ASIC having fallen short in complying with a Senate order to produce documents.
In a report to the Senate, Senator Bragg said:
“As Chair of the Economics References Committee (committee), I report to the Senate regarding the Senate’s order (OPD 298) of 5 September 2023 that the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) produce an unredacted copy of the final report of the Treasury assurance review into the conduct of the Chair of ASIC, Mr Joseph Longo.
The Senate ordered that ASIC provide the unredacted final report of the Treasury assurance review to the committee by no later than midday, 7 September 2023.
On 7 September 2023, ASIC wrote the committee indicating that it considers it is unable to respond to this order for the production of documents because the Assistant Treasurer, on behalf of the Government, has made a Public Interest Immunity Claim on an earlier order for the production of documents for the same document (OPD 268).
The committee notes that ASIC has not provided an unredacted version of the final report of the Treasury assurance review.
The committee confirms that ASIC has not complied with the Senate’s order.”