Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) Registry – FAQs

Status of the ASIC Registry Competitive Tender Process

What is the status of the ASIC Registry competitive tender process?

The Government has completed the market testing for private sector interest to upgrade, operate and add value to the ASIC Registry.

What was the outcome of the evaluation of final bids received by the Commonwealth?

The Government has decided not to engage a private operator for the ASIC registry taking into account the overall financial benefits as well as the costs to Government.

How will the government use the outcomes of the tender process?

The competitive tender process highlighted the need to consider registry modernising functions more broadly across government. The outcome of the tender process is a valuable resource for government in considering future registry modernisation options.

Will the Government consider further options for the ASIC Registry?

The Registry's existing technology has limitations including the nature and quality of inputs, systems capability, as well as significant restrictions on the ability to provide useful outputs to users.

The tender process found that there are proven technology platforms operating successfully in other jurisdictions and demonstrated that the private sector can play a role in the development of future options for Commonwealth registry functions.

The Government will consider future options for the registry functions and will make any further announcements in due course.

What does this decision mean for ASIC Registry operations?

There will be no immediate change to ASIC operations arising from the competitive tender process. ASIC's current operations will continue as usual following the completion of the ASIC Registry competitive tender process.

What does this decision mean for ASIC Registry employees?

There will be no impact on employees arising directly from the ASIC Registry competitive tender process.

What were the reasons the Government decided not to engage a private operator for the ASIC registry?

While the competitive tender process identified that there are credible private operators who could upgrade and operate the ASIC Registry, the Government has decided not to engage a private operator for the ASIC registry because final bids received did not deliver a net financial benefit for the Commonwealth.

Background

Competitive Tender Process

Why did the Government conduct the Tender Process?

The Government announced in the 2014–15 Budget that it would commission a scoping study into future ownership options for the operation and ownership of the registry functions of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) Registry.

What was the outcome of the scoping study?

Following careful consideration of the scoping study, the Government announced in the 2015–16 Budget that it will undertake a competitive tender process to market test the capacity of a private sector operator to upgrade and operate the ASIC Registry and to develop value added products.

Who conducted the competitive tender process?

The Department of Finance in consultation with The Treasury, conducted the competitive tender process to market test interest, capacity and opportunity to:

  • operate the ASIC Registry;
  • upgrade existing IT systems to advanced IT platform and technology;
  • maintain and continually improve the enhanced IT platform; and
  • develop value added products.

What were the tender process objectives?

The tender process was conducted having regard to the following tender process objectives:

  • to enhance the services, integrity, access to and collection of the Registry Data for all users;
  • to ensure that the private sector operator has the operational and financial capabilities to invest in the development and maintenance of modern IT systems to operate the Registry;
  • to provide a regulatory and contractual framework that ensures appropriate governance, protections and access to registry data;
  • to ensure the fair and equitable treatment of the Registry employees, including through the preservation of accrued entitlements;
  • to minimise execution risks and any post process residual risks and liabilities to the Commonwealth; and
  • having regard to the above objectives, to optimise the net financial benefit from the tender process to the Commonwealth.

Will the information disclosed by parties in their responses remain confidential?

Commonwealth policy is that responses are treated as confidential for the duration of the competitive tender process and kept confidential after the award of the contract, except as required by law.

Accordingly, the Commonwealth does not intend to publish the information obtained in responses as part of the competitive tender process. However, the Commonwealth needed to disclose responses to its advisers for the purposes of evaluation. Advisers are subject to confidentiality requirements.

The Commonwealth may need to disclose information contained in responses to comply with government, parliamentary and/or audit reporting requirements including requests for information by relevant Ministers, Parliament or Parliamentary committees.

However, if Parliament or a Parliamentary committee requests information that is commercial in confidence there is scope for:

  • the Minister to claim that the information should not be provided on the basis that its disclosure would be detrimental to a party's commercial interests; and/or
  • the information to be disclosed in a closed session of a Parliamentary Committee 
  • (in-camera) and subject to a prohibition on public disclosures.

Contact for information on this page: ASICRegistryTaskforce@finance.gov.au

Last updated: 19 December 2016