The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
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Chris Pearce

Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer

26 October 2004 - 3 December 2007

Media Release of 11/07/2007

NO. 030

Pearce Welcomes ASICs Arrangement With USAs Regulatory Body

Chris Pearce, Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, today consented to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) entering into a cooperative audit oversight arrangement with the US Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB).

“Closer international cooperation by ASIC with overseas regulators is in Australia’s national interest because of the globalisation of capital markets,” Mr Pearce said.

The Government facilitated the proposed arrangement between ASIC and the PCAOB with the enactment earlier this year of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Amendment (Audit Inspection) Act 2007.  This Act provides a legislative framework to empower ASIC, with the consent of the Minister, to enter into cooperative audit oversight arrangements with foreign regulators.

“The proposed joint audit inspection process between ASIC and the PCAOB will reduce red tape here in Australia and provide significant cost savings for Australian audit firms registered with the PCAOB.  The safeguards built into the legislation and the cooperative arrangement will ensure we get the right balance between ASIC’s statutory responsibilities, and protecting the interests of clients and their audit firms,” said Mr Pearce.

In line with the Government’s response to the Rethinking Regulation Taskforce Report, the Government proposes to review the operation of the arrangement between ASIC and the PCAOB after the first round of triennial joint inspections have been completed in 2009.  The purpose of the review will be to assess whether the joint inspection process has met expectations.

The first joint inspections by ASIC and the PCAOB are expected to begin later this year.

11 July 2007
Contact: Conor O’Brien - (03) 9887 3890 or 0402 970 515