Our role in dealing with ASIC regulatory decisions

A person can complain to ASIC that a company or person has breached the laws ASIC administers (ASIC calls these complaints ‘reports of misconduct’). For example, some people complain about the actions of company directors or the actions of liquidators.

If a person disagrees with ASIC’s response to a complaint, they should contact ASIC first to discuss the decision. If they remain dissatisfied, they can then complain to the Commonwealth Ombudsman.

Our role is to form a view about whether ASIC’s decision was open to it to make under the laws it administers, including the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001 and the Corporations Act 2001. We also consider whether, in handling the report of misconduct, ASIC treated the complainant fairly.

Our Office policy

ASIC’s website contains information about how it deals with reports of misconduct: http://asic.gov.au/about-asic/contact-us/how-to-complain/how-asic-deals-with-reports-of-misconduct/

We acknowledge that ASIC is not obliged to investigate every report it receives. The law permits ASIC to be selective about the matters it decides to take action into.

Therefore, when we receive a complaint about an ASIC decision not to take action, the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s Office generally declines to investigate the complaint.

We will, however, carefully consider each complaint we receive to decide if it warrants investigation. For example, we may investigate if there is some indication of maladministration or unreasonableness in ASIC’s decision making process.

Factsheet- Dealing with ASIC's regulatory decisions (PDF)