Liberal Senator and Chair of the Coalition Economics Committee, David Bushby, today again called into question ASIC's approach to prudence in spending taxpayers' funds when prosecuting alleged breaches of the laws it polices.
It is concerning that Fortescue Metals and its Chief Executive, Andrew Forrest will be pursued yet again by ASIC after the dismissal of the previous action against Fortescue and Mr Forrest.
When the original case was dismissed by Judge John Gilmore, he said "there was no such basis for the case". "At the time it was the third humiliating defeat for ASIC in just a few months, following the AWB and One.Tel cases," Senator Bushby said.
In recent years, ASIC has instituted a series of failed prosecutions, the net effect of which provides little in the way of general deterrent to rogue corporate players, yet comes at great cost to the taxpayers of Australia. ASIC's recent track record includes many notable examples, samples of which are attached. 1
"Tens of millions of taxpayer dollars have been squandered in the recent failed proceedings and now we are going to see the taxpayer again put to expense through this appeal. What guarantee will the Government and ASIC provide that the appeal being launched by ASIC will be anymore successful," Senator Bushby asked?
Senator Bushby intends to pursue this matter further at Senate Estimates next week.
"ASIC and the Government will need to review its lack of success in these cases and come back with a plan to gain more efficient and effective outcomes - both in terms of expenditure of taxpayer funds and justice under the Corporations Law."