1.1 The Australian Securities Commission Act 1989 (the Act) forms part
of the national framework for the regulation of companies and securities
markets in Australia.
1.2 Among the administrative bodies established under the Act are the
Australian Securities Commission (the ASC), the Companies and Securities
Advisory Committee (CASAC), the Corporations and Securities Panel (the
Panel), the Companies Auditors and Liquidators Disciplinary Board (the
Disciplinary Board) and the Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB).
 The Act requires annual reports from
the ASC, CASAC, the Panel, the Disciplinary Board and the AASB to be tabled
in both houses of the Federal Parliament. 
1.3 The Act also establishes the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations
and Securities (the Committee). In overseeing the operation of the national
scheme, the Committee is responsible for examining the annual reports
of the bodies established under the Act. Section 243(b) of the Act states
that the Committee's duties in this regard are:
to examine each annual report that is prepared by a body established
by this Act and of which a copy has been laid before a House, and to
report to both Houses on matters that appear in, or arise out of, that
annual report and to which, in the Parliamentary Committee's opinion,
the Parliament's attention should be directed ...
1.4 The Committee has examined the annual reports for the year 1994-95
of each of the bodies listed above. The Committee also held public hearings
with the ASC on 6 February and 29 March 1995, and with CASAC on 30 March
1995. These hearings focussed on the regulation of derivatives markets
following the much publicised collapse of Barings plc in February 1995.
The effects of the Barings collapse are also analysed in the annual reports
of the ASC and CASAC. In November 1995 this Committee tabled a separate
Report on Derivatives, and it does not propose to cover this
issue again in this Report.
1.5 The Committee has decided to report to the Parliament on its
examination of the annual reports and on other issues raised during its
 Australian Securities Commission Act
1989, sections 7, 145, 171, 202 and 224 respectively.
 See Australian Securities Commission
Act 1989, ss 138, 164, 183, 214 and 234.
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