IN a move welcomed by AMMA, the Turnbull Government has appointed a former senior member of the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) as the first head of its new Registered Organisations Commission.

Minister for Employment Michaelia Cash yesterday announced that Mark Bielecki would be Registered Organisations Commissioner for a five-year term commencing on 1 May 2017.

Mr Bielecki has more than 10 years’ experience in senior legal roles and was previously the South Australian Regional Commissioner for ASIC.

“The appointment of the Commissioner has been made following a thorough merit based selection process. I congratulate Mr Bielecki on his appointment,” Minister Cash said.

“Mr Bielecki is eminently qualified for this position and I look forward to his contribution in this important role.”

Legislation to establish the new Registered Organisations Commission was passed in late 2016. The body has been setup to ensure officials from registered organisations are subject to similar governance and financial reporting standards as company directors.

AMMA, which had long argued for all registered organisations to be governed by ASIC, welcomed the appointment of a commission from a financial regulation background as the new Registered Organisations Commissioner.

“It is appropriate and effective for the government to appoint a proven financial regulator as the Registered Organisations Commissioner, rather than someone from the ‘industrial relations’ club,” said AMMA director industry services, Tara Diamond.

“AMMA is incorporated as a company and Australia’s Corporations Act and is subject to the same financial reporting and governance standards as all companies. We see no reason why these same standards don’t apply to all registered organisations, trade unions and employer groups alike.

“Thus, rather than create a separate body it would have been more effective to simply expand ASIC’s reach to cover all registered organisations.

“Appointing someone from a financial regulation background and who will approach the work of the Registered Organisations Commission like ASIC approaches its work, is the next best thing.”