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ICA calls for scrutiny on ASIC consultations

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The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has proposed an annual performance review of Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) consultations.

“ASIC could consider an annual exercise to map the number of policy and process changes against the number of formal and informal consultations conducted,” CEO Rob Whelan said.

“This may give a more holistic picture of the comprehensiveness of consultation on changes that affect regulated entities.”

ICA says consultation on minor policy changes has been tardy, often resulting in higher running costs for insurers.

It cites recent changes to the authorised representatives register as an example.

“Although ASIC publishes consultation papers for major policy changes, this is not necessarily the case for minor policy changes,” Mr Whelan said.

“Feedback from our members is that some minor administrative and process changes can add substantially to compliance costs.”

Mr Whelan makes the suggestion in a submission on ASIC’s proposed evidence metrics, in response to the Government’s Regulator Performance Framework.

The framework aims to cut red tape without compromising the effectiveness of the various industry watchdogs.

ICA says ASIC should also be more specific with its information requests, thereby reducing labour-intensive efforts to produce data that may never be used.

The regulator may consider appointing an independent third party to review its communication process against a benchmark.

“We are very supportive of ASIC’s efforts to develop metrics in an attempt to quantify its performance,” Mr Whelan said.

“We acknowledge that the development of quantifiable and objective performance metrics for regulatory activities is a difficult exercise, because many performance indicators are not easily measured.

“However, we consider that there is a great deal of value in thoroughly measuring regulator performance to help reduce the compliance burden on industry.”