CANBERRA, AAP – Australia’s corporate regulator is pleased to be back in the chair but has remained mum on who might replace him.
Australian Securities and Investments Commission chairman James Shipton was in January cleared of misconduct after an expenses investigation, but will still resign.
An investigation made no adverse findings against him over $118,557 paid by ASIC for tax advice, which he repaid.
Mr Shipton stood aside from his role in October before returning last month.
“I’m very pleased to be back at work,” he told a parliamentary committee on Friday.
The ASIC chair discussed his return to the job with Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.
Mr Shipton engaged the help of four lawyers in both discussions relating to this return and the investigation in general.
He would not comment on the hunt for a new ASIC chair, nor how long he expected to remain in the job.
“I can’t comment on that, except to say I do know that the treasurer and government is working as swiftly as it can to find my replacement.”
ASIC’s deputy chair Karen Chester has thrown her hat in the ring.
Mr Shipton and ASIC have been the subject of intense and targeted newspaper adverts from mining magnate Clive Palmer, who is challenging multiple legal actions the corporate regulator has against him.
“Our communications team are not actively monitoring the advertisements from Mr Palmer,” Mr Shipton said.
“They are aware of it but there isn’t a monitoring program.”
ASIC has multiple legal proceedings that involve Mr Palmer, so officials were tight-lipped in their responses relating to the billionaire.
Mr Palmer’s is believed to have spent about $1 million on the adverts, which feature Mr Shipton’s photo and call for a royal commission in the regulator.