On 19 October, the Treasury released a draft legislation, Corporations Amendment (Virtual Meetings and Electronic Communications) Bill 2020, for consultation. It proposes to make permanent and expand upon the changes to the execution and meeting requirements made by Parliament earlier this year. The draft Bill proposes to allow for:
- electronic execution of company documents and documents relating to meetings,
- meetings to be held as virtual or hybrid meetings,
- notice of meetings and other documents relating to meetings to be communicated to prospective attendees electronically, and
- minutes to be recorded, kept, and stored electronically.
The object of the Bill is to ensure that companies can use the most efficient mix of technologies to deliver on substantive corporate governance outcomes – to aid communications between companies and their shareholders. The impact of the temporary changes introduced due to COVID-19 were primarily positive, with regulatory savings for industry and increased productivity, which is why the government is seeking to make them permanent.