Saturday, October 13, 2007

Company reports online by default

A little noticed legal change took place in 2007: companies can publish their annual reports online as the default option. The companies have to tell the shareholders they are doing this and give them the option of requesting a paper copy. But the default has changed from opting-out (say if you don't want a printed copy), to opt-in (say if you do want one). This should reduce paper consumption and transport costs.
... (1AB) For the purposes of paragraph (1AA)(a), a company, registered scheme or disclosing entity must, on at least one occasion, directly notify in writing each member that:

(a) the member may elect to receive, free of charge, a copy of the reports for each financial year, or a copy of the concise report for each financial year; and

(b) if the member does not so elect--the member may access the reports, or the concise report, on a specified web site; and

(c) if the member does so elect and the company, scheme or entity offers to send the report either as a hard copy or an electronic copy--the member may elect to receive the copy as either a hard copy or an electronic copy.

From: Corporations Legislation Amendment (Simpler Regulatory System) Bill 2007, 004-2005-2006-2007, The Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia,

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