The Takeovers Panel today released two Policy documents for public comment in relation to:
- the Panel's review of decisions by ASIC or its own decisions that are appealed; and
- the Panel's policy and processes in making rules.
Review of Decisions - Policy 2
Under section 656A of the Corporations Law (Law), the Panel may review ASIC decisions to modify the takeovers provisions, or exempt persons from them. The Administrative Appeals Tribunal was the review body for these decisions until 13 March 2000, and still is for decisions on compulsory acquisition and substantial shareholding provisions outside a takeover bid period.
These reviews are de novo reviews, and the Panel must start again to consider the merits of the application for the decision. The Panel said that it will follow ASIC's published policy wherever it applies, unless there are very cogent reasons for departing from it. The Panel said that it wishes to reduce uncertainty and delay in its review process and has set a goal of completing such reviews within two business days after it has received a complete application and supporting documents. The Panel has so far reviewed, and affirmed, one ASIC decision. It met its time goal in that case.
Panel decisions themselves (except those under section 656A) may be appealed to a fresh Review Panel under section 657EA of the Law. It is also a de novo process, and the Review Panel may set aside or vary the original decision or make its own fresh decision. The Panel has reviewed one of its decisions. The Panel said that it was concerned to ensure that the review process was carried out as expeditiously as possible and should not be seen as a tactical delay procedure. The Panel's Procedural Rules also set out procedures and documents required for a review application.
The Panel may make rules, under section 658C of the Law, to clarify or supplement the operation of Chapter 6 of the Law, and under or section 195 of the ASC Law to set out the procedures for applications to the Panel. The draft Policy sets out the Panel's aims and consultation processes in developing rules under those provisions. The Panel has published draft Procedural Rules.
The Policy documents are published on the Panel's website at http://www.takeovers.gov.au. Comments are due by 18 August 2000 and may be sent to:
Director, Corporations and Securities Panel
Level 47 Nauru House 80 Collins Street (03) 9655 3501