Australia is attending and presenting at the annual insolvency regulators’ conference, along with regulators from the UK, the US, New Zealand, Singapore and others.
The International Association of Insolvency Regulators (IAIR) is having its annual conference from 16-19 September 2019 in Belfast, Ireland.
IAIR is an international body that says it “brings together the collective experiences and expertise of government insolvency regulators from jurisdictions around the world”. The theme of its conference is “Protecting the Public – Information, Oversight & Enforcement”.
Australia is giving three presentations:
- dealing with regulatory risks/harm – discussing trends and sharing information,
- an update on Australian research into gender balance in the insolvency profession, and
- the digitalisation of insolvency service and regulation – modelling of forecasting of insolvencies.
Other presentations come from the UK and the US, Chile, Ireland, New Zealand and Singapore.
IAIR says it “aims to promote liaison and co-operation and provides a forum for discussion amongst insolvency regulators. The Association thereby contributes to a wider understanding of insolvency issues, procedures and practices and the development of approaches that reflect the different legal, socio-economic, historical, cultural and institutional frameworks of the countries from which members come”.
IAIR’s membership is open to representatives from government departments, ministries, agencies and public authorities which have responsibility in their country for one or more of the following functions: insolvency policy and legislation; insolvency practice and administration; insolvency regulation. AFSA and ASIC are members.
AFSA reports that it
“actively engages with IAIR and, as appropriate, other international groups, to facilitate appropriate benchmarking against developments and advances in insolvency regimes in comparable jurisdictions”.
ASIC makes a similar general statement. Members and observers have to respect any confidentiality attached to information provided by IAIR and other members. Hence, little if anything is reported by AFSA or ASIC on the outcomes.
But with more cross-border insolvency matters across jurisdictions, and with Australia’s 2017 regulatory reforms being extended to its practitioners outside Australia, it is assumed that the need for cross-regulator communication and cooperation through AIAR is seen as increasingly important.
That would be assisted by the significant outcome from last year’s conference in Mauritius, being the publication of the IAIR Principles – Regulatory Regime(s) for Insolvency Practitioners, These offer guidance on various elements of the regulatory regime for insolvency practitioners including training, qualifications, licensing, professional ethics, remuneration, supervision, and accountability. The Principles record survey information from a large number of jurisdictions, including Australia, about their insolvency regulatory regimes.
Approaches taken by Australian regulators might usefully be measured against these principles.