The relief relates to certain financial reporting and annual general meeting (AGM) obligations which continue to apply when a company is in external administration.
Specifically, it provides conditional relief to companies in external administration by:
• Extending the time by which a company is required to prepare and lodge financial reports for a minimum period of six months and a maximum period of up to 24 months (deferral relief).
• Extending the time by which a public company is required to hold an AGM until two months after the deferral relief ends.
“Our new legislative relief will provide companies in financial distress more time to comply with financial reporting and AGM obligations while ensuring members are able to continue to access information about the externally administered company,” ASIC commissioner Sean Hughes said.
The deferral relief commences when a voluntary administrator or provisional liquidator, or a managing controller over substantially the whole of the property of the company, is appointed. The relief will cease after a minimum period of six months and up to a maximum period of 24 months, or when the external administration ends.
If a voluntary administration is followed by a deed of company arrangement, the relief will continue up to 24 months after the voluntary administration commenced, so long as the deed administrator exercises all or most of the management functions and powers of the company.
The relief is effected by ASIC Corporations (Amendment) Instrument 2021/506, which amends ASIC Corporations (Externally-Administered Bodies) Instrument 2015/251.