The deputy chair of Australia’s corporate regulator has quit after it was revealed he mistakenly claimed nearly $70,000 from taxpayers to cover rent.
Daniel Crennan resigned from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) on Oct. 26.
“I had been intending to retire from my position in July 2021,” Crennan said in a statement.
“However, in the current circumstances, I have decided that it is in the best interests of ASIC for me to resign now. I have therefore tendered my resignation to the treasurer with immediate effect,” he continued.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has accepted his resignation, which comes after the expense revelations came to light on Oct. 23.
“The government has received and accepted the resignation of Mr Daniel Crennan QC as the deputy chair of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission,” Frydenberg told AAP.
“The government thanks Mr Crennan for his service and the important work he has undertaken during his time as deputy chair,” he continued.
Crennan was asked to move from Melbourne to Sydney in October 2018. ASIC agreed to pay his relocation costs which included a rental allowance.
Crennan said he was told the payments were consistent with ASIC policy but later learned about concerns raised by the auditor general.
“I requested that ASIC cease paying me the rental allowance. I also offered and agreed to repay the rental allowance ASIC had paid to me,” Crennan said.
The auditor-general has recommended an independent review be conducted into issues raised regarding relocation payments, including those given to Crennan.
“That review will take some time,” he said. “In order to ensure that ASIC’s important work is not disrupted, I will remain available to facilitate the orderly transfer of work to my successor.”
ASIC Chairman James Shipton has also stepped aside after it was revealed the organisation paid more than $118,000 for him to receive personal tax advice.
Shipton agreed to repay the money, which he received after relocating to Australia from the United States to run ASIC in 2018. The independent review will also examine these costs.
Dr. Rob Nicholls, associate professor at the University of New South Wales, expected the federal treasurer to review how ASIC commissioners are remunerated, and also that Shipton was unlikely to return to his role as chair.
“The other Deputy Chair is Karen Chester, who has all of the relevant credentials to replace Shipton and a long history of effective and controversy-free public service,” he told The Epoch Times on Oct. 26.
“It’s likely that she will be called upon to manage a transition of ASIC to being a body that is more effective in its role,” he added.
“In particular, she will be tasked with ensuring that ASIC, as the body responsible for enforcing good corporate governance, is a model of good governance,” he said.