The recently released Interim Report on the statutory review of the Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Cth) (PPSA) makes a number of observations about the PPSA.  Key observations include that the PPSA is too complex and that more could be done to help small businesses who do not typically have the resources to obtain appropriate advice and on which non-compliance can have a disproportionate effect by virtue of their size.  The proposed next step is a public consultation process on the PPSA to identify and discuss potential areas for reform and suggest other opportunities to simplify or clarify its operation.

The Attorney-General and Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minster have released the Interim Report of the statutory review of the Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Cth) (PPSA) (Report) The Report was prepared by Mr Bruce Whittaker who was appointed to address the impact of the PPSA, in particular on how its introduction has impacted small business.

The Report indicates that submissions largely supported the framework of the PPSA, however a number of submissions raised high-level policy questions and technical issues about its operation.  The main issues raised were that:

  • the PPSA and the Personal Property Securities Register (Register) are too complex; and
  • many businesses are still unaware of the PPSA, or do not appreciate the extent to which it can impact on their activities despite the Government’s efforts to raise awareness of both the PPSA and its implications.

These concerns particularly impact small businesses because:

  • small businesses typically do not have the resources to obtain proper advice on how to manage the complexities of the PPSA and the Register; and
  • failure to satisfy the requirements or follow the provisions of the PPSA can have a disproportionate effect on small businesses by virtue of their size.

The Report does not recommend any specific amendments to the PPSA.  It proposes that the next step of the review should be a public consultation process on the PPSA to identify and discuss potential areas for reform and suggest other opportunities to simplify or clarify the operation of the PPSA.

A final report will be delivered to the Government on 30 January 2015 in which it is expected that Mr Whittaker will make recommendations on how to improve the PPSA, including simplification where appropriate.

See the media release dated 15 August 2014.