The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has advised the disqualification of Melbourne auditor Mr Neil Curwood from being an approved auditor of superannuation entities regulated under the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (SIS Act).
The order to disqualify Mr Curwood was made under subsection 131(1) of the Act on 24 September 2002. Pursuant to the SIS Act, Mr Curwood requested an internal review by APRA of its decision to disqualify him as an approved auditor for the purposes of the SIS Act. The decision to disqualify him was confirmed by APRA on review on 31 January 2003. The provisions of the relevant legislation permit Mr. Curwood to seek external review of this decision by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).
Mr Curwood was disqualified on the grounds that he had failed to carry out or perform adequately and properly the duties of an auditor under the SIS Act or the Superannuation (Industry) Supervision Regulations 1994 and that he is not a fit and proper person to be an approved auditor for the purposes of the SIS Act.
Dr Darryl Roberts, APRA’s Head of Enforcement, said the disqualification should remind auditors that the proper auditing of superannuation funds regulated under the SIS Act is a critical control measure designed to safeguard the interests of fund members.
“The power to disqualify an auditor is not one that is used lightly. However, APRA will disqualify any approved auditor who clearly is not suitable for the task or has failed to properly fulfil the duties of the role”.
APRA is the prudential regulator of the financial services industry including banks, credit unions, building societies, general insurance and reinsurance companies, life insurance, friendly societies, and most members of the superannuation industry. It currently regulates $1.5 trillion in assets for 20 million Australians.