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Appendix D - Register of Indigenous Corporations Annual Report 2021-22

The Registrar of Indigenous Corporations is an independent statutory office holder that regulates and supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (CATSI Act). The Registrar is supported to do this work by the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations (ORIC).

As at 30 June 2022, the Registrar’s functions were delivered by 34.5 full-time equivalent staff. Of those, 54.3 per cent identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Australians.

Table 6.6: Funding and expenditure figures for ORIC, 2021–22

Type of funding

Total 2021-22 budget ($'000)

Total 2021-22 expenditure ($'000)

2021-22 variance surplus/(deficit) ($'000)










At 30 June 2022, there were 3,521 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations registered under the CATSI Act, including 243 registered native title bodies corporate.

During the year, ORIC registered 189 new corporations, including 3 transfers of incorporation from other legislation. ORIC finalised 26 deregistrations.

ORIC finalised processing of 6,455 lodgements from corporations — information, forms and reports — that need to be added to or amended information on the public Register of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporations.

These lodgements included but were not limited to: 264 changes to corporation contact details; 1,088 changes to directors, contact persons and secretaries; 926 updated member lists; and 257 changes to rule books.

There were 139,745 website sessions in which individuals made searches of the public register for information about individual corporations.

ORIC received 692 requests for exemption from corporations. Requests included 446 extensions of time for holding an annual general meeting and 185 exemptions in relation to record keeping and reporting requirements. ORIC granted 571 requests and rejected 121.

ORIC hosted 41 corporate governance training activities involving 773 participants from more than 136 corporations. There were 16 in-person workshops, 11 online workshops, 10 corporation-specific workshops, a governance day forum, and 3 regional forums.

There were 13,739 calls in total to ORIC’s call centre. There were 5,860 inquiries finalised (4,006 received by phone, 1,838 in writing, 16 in person).

As at 30 June 2022, 62.49 per cent of corporations were compliant with their 2020–21 reporting obligations under the CATSI Act.

During the year, ORIC received 348 new complaints involving corporations and finalised 351, including some from the previous year. ORIC received requests to help resolve 5 disputes and finalised all 5.

In the period there were 2 Registrar-initiated meetings called — a general meeting and a meeting of interested parties.

In 2021–22, ORIC assessed 3 new referrals about potential breaches of the CATSI Act. ORIC has 8 investigations in progress, none of which concluded during the financial year. ORIC finalised one criminal prosecution matter (Registrar v Evans); there are no other criminal prosecutions in progress. There were no civil action matters in court or in progress.

ORIC started the financial year with 10 examinations in progress; another 30 examinations were started during 2021–22. As at 30 June 2022, 19 examinations had been finalised, leaving 21 on hand. Of those finalised:

  4 corporations were operating well and issued a management letter

  6 were required to improve standards outlined in a compliance notice

  9 had serious issues — 5 were asked to show cause why a special administrator should not be appointed and 4 determined other courses of action after discussions with ORIC and/or corporation stakeholders.

Special administration is a unique form of regulatory assistance under the CATSI Act. It aims to support corporations with serious governance or financial problems. Four special administrations were in progress at the outset of the year, and 3 were started during 2021–22. Four were completed, all of which were handed back to members’ control. The average duration of special administrations this year was 9 months.