Two people recently had to resign from their positions as directors of Indigenous corporations. These resignations were prompted by an investigation by the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations into people who continue to manage Indigenous corporations after they have been disqualified.
‘A person who is disqualified and continues to manage an Indigenous corporation, could be penalised with a fine of up to $5500, imprisoned for 12 months or both’, said Mr Anthony Beven, Registrar of Indigenous Corporations.
The Registrar’s office runs regular programs to verify information about people who may be disqualified and should not be managing corporations.
Recent intervention by the Registrar has prompted two directors that were automatically disqualified from managing corporations to resign from their positions—Mr Thomas McDonald, a director of Biripi Aboriginal Corporation Medical Centre, and Mr Geoff Clark, a director of Kirrae Whurrong Aboriginal Corporation and Maar Land Council Aboriginal Corporation. Both Mr McDonald and Mr Clark are undischarged bankrupts.
‘Disqualification is to protect corporations and the public’, Mr Beven said. ‘I will continue to pursue people that are still holding a position as a director or managing corporations after they’ve been disqualified’.
Under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (CATSI Act) a person is automatically disqualified from managing an Indigenous corporation when they:
- are an undischarged bankrupt
- have signed a personal insolvency agreement under the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (or a similar law) and have not kept to the agreement
- are convicted of certain serious offences under the CATSI Act or other offences involving dishonesty that are punishable by imprisonment for at least three months
- have been disqualified under the Corporations Act 2001 from managing a corporation.
For more information about disqualification see ORIC’s fact sheet—Disqualification from managing corporations under the CATSI Act.
02 6219 7611
14 September 2009