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Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Bill 2006

Part 7-8 Books

Division 373 Introduction

373-1   What this Part is about

If an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation is required by this Act to keep books, the books must be kept at certain places and made available for inspection by the public (see section 376-1).

Books, and copies of them, have a certain evidentiary value (see section 376-30).



 

Division 376 When and where may books be inspected?

376-1   Inspection of books

             (1)  This section applies if:

                     (a)  this Act requires that a book of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation is to be available for inspection generally; or

                     (b)  a person has a right under this Act to inspect a book of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation.

             (2)  If the book is required to be kept at the corporation’s registered office, the corporation must make the book available for inspection at the registered office each business day from at least 10 am to 12 noon and from at least 2 pm to 4 pm.

Penalty:  5 penalty units.

             (3)  If the book is required to be kept at the corporation’s document access address, the corporation must make the book available for inspection at the document access address within 7 days after the person seeking to inspect the book asks the corporation in writing to inspect the book.

Penalty:  10 penalty units.

             (4)  An offence against subsection (2) or (3) is an offence of strict liability.

Note:          For strict liability , see section 6.1 of the Criminal Code .

             (5)  A person permitted by this Act to inspect a book may make copies of, or take extracts from, the book and any person who refuses or fails to allow a person so permitted to make a copy of, or take an extract from, the book commits an offence.

Penalty:  5 penalty units.

             (6)  An offence against subsection (5) is an offence of strict liability.

Note:          For strict liability , see section 6.1 of the Criminal Code .

376-5   Translations of instruments and books

             (1)  If:

                     (a)  this Act requires a person to lodge an instrument (including any certificate, contract or other document) or a certified copy of such an instrument; and

                     (b)  the instrument is not written in English;

the person must lodge at the same time a certified translation of the instrument into English.

Penalty:  5 penalty units.

             (2)  If under this Act:

                     (a)  an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation is required to make an instrument (including any certificate, contract or other document) available for inspection; and

                     (b)  the instrument is not written in English;

the corporation must keep a certified translation of the instrument into English at:

                     (c)  its registered office if it is registered as a large corporation; or

                     (d)  its document access address if it is registered as a small or medium corporation.

Penalty:  5 penalty units.

             (3)  If:

                     (a)  a person has a right to inspect a book of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation; and

                     (b)  the book, or a part of the book, is not in English; and

                     (c)  the person asks the corporation to give the person an English translation of the book or that part of the book;

the corporation must give the person (free of charge) an English translation of the book, or that part of the book, within a reasonable time after the person asks for it.

Penalty:  5 penalty units.

             (4)  To avoid doubt, subsection (3) applies even if the book concerned includes minutes that are kept by means of an audio, or audio-visual, recording.

             (5)  An offence against subsection (3) is an offence of strict liability.

Note:          For strict liability , see section 6.1 of the Criminal Code .

376-10   Court may compel compliance

             (1)  If any person in contravention of this Act refuses to permit the inspection of any book or to supply a copy of any book, the Court may by order compel an immediate inspection of the book or order the copy to be supplied.

             (2)  The reference in subsection (1) to a copy of a book includes a reference to an English translation of a book or a part of a book.

376-15   Admissibility of books in evidence

             (1)  A book kept by an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation under a requirement of this Act is:

                     (a)  admissible in evidence in any proceeding; and

                     (b)  prima facie evidence of any matter stated or recorded in the book.

             (2)  A document purporting to be a book kept by an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation is, unless the contrary is proved, taken to be a book kept as mentioned in subsection (1).

376-20   Form of books

             (1)  A book that is required by this Act to be kept or prepared may be kept or prepared:

                     (a)  by making entries in a bound or loose-leaf book; or

                     (b)  by recording or storing the matters concerned by means of a mechanical, electronic or other device; or

                     (c)  in any other manner approved by the Registrar.

             (2)  Subsection (1) does not authorise a book to be kept or prepared by a mechanical, electronic or other device unless:

                     (a)  the matters recorded or stored will be capable, at any time, of being reproduced in a written form; or

                     (b)  a reproduction of those matters is kept in a written form approved by the Registrar.

376-25   Protection of books

             (1)  An Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation must take all reasonable precautions for guarding against damage to, destruction of or falsification of or in, and for discovery of falsification of or in, any book or part of a book required by this Act to be kept or prepared by the corporation.

             (2)  The regulations may prescribe further precautions that an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation must take for the purposes of subsection (1).

             (3)  If an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation records or stores any matters by means of a mechanical, electronic or other device, any duty imposed by this Act:

                     (a)  to make a book containing those matters available for inspection; or

                     (b)  to provide copies of the whole or a part of a book containing those matters;

is to be construed as a duty:

                     (c)  to make the matters available for inspection in written form; or

                     (d)  to provide a document containing a clear reproduction in writing of the whole or part of them.

             (4)  The regulations may provide for how up to date the information contained in an instrument prepared for the purposes of subsection (3) must be.

376-30   Evidentiary value

             (1)  If:

                     (a)  because of this Act, a book that this Act requires to be kept or prepared is prima facie evidence of a matter; and

                     (b)  the book, or a part of the book, is kept or prepared by recording or storing matters (including that matter) by means of a mechanical, electronic or other device;

a written reproduction of that matter as so recorded or stored is prima facie evidence of that matter.

             (2)  A writing that purports to reproduce a matter recorded or stored by means of a mechanical, electronic or other device is, unless the contrary is established, taken to be a reproduction of that matter.

376-35   Falsification of books

             (1)  A person commits an offence if the person:

                     (a)  is an officer, former officer, employee, former employee, member or former member of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation; and

                     (b)  engages in conduct that results in the concealment, destruction, mutilation or falsification of any books of or belonging to the corporation.

Penalty:  100 penalty units or imprisonment for 2 years, or both.

             (2)  If matter that is used or intended to be used in connection with the affairs of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation is recorded or stored in an illegible form by means of a mechanical device, an electronic device or any other device, a person who:

                     (a)  records or stores by means of that device matter that the person knows to be false or misleading in a material particular; or

                     (b)  engages in conduct that results in the destruction, removal or falsification of matter that is recorded or stored by means of that device, or has been prepared for the purpose of being recorded or stored, or for use in compiling or recovering other matter to be recorded or stored by means of that device; or

                     (c)  having a duty to record or store matter by means of that device, fails to record or store the matter by means of that device:

                              (i)  with intent to falsify any entry made or intended to be compiled, wholly or in part, from matter so recorded or stored; or

                             (ii)  knowing that the failure so to record or store the matter will render false or misleading in a material particular other matter so recorded or stored;

contravenes this subsection.

Penalty:  100 penalty units or imprisonment for 2 years, or both.

             (3)  It is a defence to a charge arising under subsection (1) or (2) if the defendant proves that the defendant acted honestly and that in all the circumstances the act or omission constituting the offence should be excused.

Note:          A defendant bears a legal burden in relation to the matter mentioned in subsection (3) (see section 13.4 of the Criminal Code ).