On 12 March 2021, the Treasury released key documents as part of a consultation process on the new data standard and disclosure framework which support the commencement of the new Director ID regime. These consultation documents include a:
- Draft Data Standard
- Draft Data Standard Explanatory Statement
- Draft Disclosure Framework, and
- Draft Disclosure Framework Explanatory Statement.
As part of the 2020 Budget Digital Business Plan, the Morrison Government announced the full implementation of the Modernising Business Registers (MBR) Program. The Treasury Laws Amendment (Registries Modernisation and Other Measures) Act 2020, which enables the MBR Program, received Royal assent on 22 June 2020
The MBR Program is designed to unify the Australian Business Register (ABR) and 31 business registers, administered by ASIC, onto a single platform. This platform will be administered by the Commonwealth Registrar (the Registrar) under legislation, and as a separate statutory function of the ATO.
Director identification numbers
The MBR Program will include the introduction of a director identification number (director ID). This is a unique identifier which a director will keep for the duration of their time as a director. Because a director ID remains with a director forever, it is designed to prevent the appointment of fictious directors and facilitate traceability of their profile and their relationships with companies over time.
The Corporations Act 2001 (Corporations Act) will be amended by the Treasury Laws Amendment (Registries Modernisation and Other Measures) Act 2020 for the MBR Program to provide that the Registrar may make data standards on matters relating to the performance of the Registrar’s functions and the exercise of the Registrar’s powers.
The Draft Data Standard determines the information required to apply for a director ID under the Corporations Act, including how a director’s data is provided, used and stored.
The Treasury Laws Amendment (Registries Modernisation and Other Measures) Act 2020 also authorises the disclosure of protected information (such as director ID information) to government entities. Some public governance, performance and accountability bodies, as well as courts and tribunals, are part of the workings of government, but do not fall within the definition of “government entity”. The Draft Disclosure Framework sets out the circumstances in which the Registrar may disclose director ID information to these bodies, in the same way as government entities.
You can read more about director identification numbers here.
This consultation process is open until 1 April 2021.
In the coming weeks, the Treasury also intends to consult on draft legislative instruments relating to transitional application periods for directors to apply for a director ID. These draft legislative instruments will provide new and existing directors with an extended timeframe in which to apply for a director ID during the early stages of the regime. This will enable the MBR Program to test the director ID system in a “live environment” without disadvantaging those directors who are not involved in the testing phase.
Sources: Modernising Business Registers (MBR) Program Consultation, 12 March 2021, accessed 16 March 2021.
Draft Data Standard, 12 March 2021, accessed 16 March 2021.
Draft Data Standard Explanatory Statement, 12 March 2021, accessed 16 March 2021.
Draft Disclosure Framework, 12 March 2021, accessed 16 March 2021.
Draft Disclosure Framework Explanatory Statement, 12 March 2021, accessed 16 March 2021.
Treasury Laws Amendment (Registries Modernisation and Other Measures) Act 2020, 22 June 2020, accessed 16 March 2021.
Director Identification Numbers are finally here, 22 June 2020, accessed 16 March 2021.