The Registrar of Indigenous Corporations, Anthony Beven, has today released the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations’ (ORIC) yearbook for 2013–14. It’s the Registrar’s practice each year to publish a yearbook about the work of his office and its achievements.
The 2013–14 yearbook tracks significant progress in improving the effectiveness and accountability of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations registered under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (CATSI Act). For example, it shows reporting compliance again exceeded 95 per cent, with the highest number of corporations in 36 years (2,227) lodging their annual reports.
‘This is the fourth consecutive year in which compliance rates have been above 95 per cent,’ said Mr Beven. ‘The data also shows that more corporations reported earlier and chose to do so online.’
Over the year the Registrar conducted 46 formal examinations and completed 10 special administrations. Bawinanga Aboriginal Corporation was by far the biggest and most challenging special administration.
In the litigation area it was an exceptional year with the Registrar pursuing several important criminal and civil matters.
In February 2014 the Federal Court handed down a landmark decision against the former CEO of Katungul Aboriginal Corporation Community and Medical Services, Mr Damien Matcham. Mr Matcham was ordered to pay over $1.2 million in fines and compensation and was banned from being a director of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation for 15 years. The Matcham case received widespread media attention and sent a clear message: ‘If you do the wrong thing it’s likely you’ll face legal action’.
Over the course of the year, four other corporation directors and staff were prosecuted for acting dishonestly and committing serious breaches of the CATSI Act, while 32 corporations were prosecuted for failing to lodge their annual reports.
The Registrar’s office also continued to broaden its presence in regional areas. By 30 June 2014 three further offices had been established outside the national capital, making a total of six permanent regional offices altogether. ‘I want to make access to ORIC’s services as easy as possible and give Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations the opportunity to talk to ORIC officers face to face,’ said Mr Beven.
ORIC’s vision is to build strong corporations, strong people, strong communities. Over 50 per cent of ORIC’s resources are dedicated to providing support services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations.
The yearbook provides information about ORIC’s support services as well as highlighting how they help to strengthen the governance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations. For example, in 2013–14 ORIC delivered corporate governance training to more people and more corporations than in any other year since the first Registrar was appointed back in 1978.
The 2013–14 yearbook and earlier ORIC yearbooks can be viewed at:
(02) 6146 4743
28 November 2014