Peter Costello

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HIH Royal Commission - ASIC Taskforce

NO.039

HIH ROYAL COMMISSION - ASIC TASKFORCE

Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has been provided additional funding of $17.5 million in 2003-04 and $10.7 million in 2004-05 to undertake investigations and prepare briefs for civil prosecutions following the findings of the HIH Royal Commissioner's report on "The failure of HIH Insurance".

The Commissioner identified 56 possible breaches of the Corporations Law and the Crimes Act (NSW) and recommended that they be referred to ASIC for further investigation and possible prosecution. The Government on releasing the Royal Commissioner's Report immediately referred all the possible breaches to the relevant authorities.

To ensure that the investigations are carried out expeditiously a specialised taskforce has been established within ASIC to undertake the investigations and civil prosecutions. The Government is considering whether a Special Prosecutor will be appointed to prosecute criminal charges and has provided funds in the contingency reserve for criminal prosecutions.

Funding for investigations and prosecutions will be reviewed before the end of 2003 to take account of the method adopted for pursuing prosecutions.

Contact: David Alexander
Office of the Treasurer
(02) 6277 7340

13 May 2003

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