ASIC has broad and compulsory powers to gather documents and information for use in its work – legislated through the ASIC Act.
These powers are detailed and explained in ASIC Information Sheet 145: ASIC’s Compulsory Information-gathering Powers which covers how and why ASIC gathersinformation, and how it uses the information it gathers.
As ASIC explains, compulsory information-gathering powers are an important and necessary part of the work it does. The powers:
- enable ASIC to obtain relevant information they need to make regulatory and enforcement decisions;
- ensure that people providing assistance to ASIC are protected (a person will not be subject to a liability merely because they complied with a notice to provide information or documents issued by ASIC);
- clearly set out the terms upon which people provide documents and information to ASIC; and
- enable ASIC to obtain evidence in a form that can be used in court proceedings.
Parliament has given ASIC a range of compulsory information-gathering powers to enable them to require a person or company to:
- provide ASIC with documents and information; and
- attend an examination to answer questions and/or provide reasonable assistance.
INFO 145 covers ASIC’s compulsory information-gathering powers, including:
- an explanation of why they need information-gathering powers;
- an explanation of how they use information-gathering powers;
- an overview of their most commonly used information-gathering powers;
- a description of ASIC’s approach to using these powers;
- information about what it means for people or companies when they receive a notice to produce documents or provide information; and
- frequently asked questions.
*Originally written by Company Secretary, an Australian virtual company secretary service.