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AFSA receives Merit Award

AFSA recently received a Merit Award from the International Association of Commercial Administrators (IACA) for our PPSR data integrity and tailored communication strategy.

Data integrity is critical to ensure information held on the PPSR can be relied on by users to inform financial decisions, and also for AFSA as the source of published statistics on the PPSR. This is critical given the size of the PPSR and its importance to the Australian economy.

Our starting point was to consider the potential risks to PPSR data, including cyber-attacks that could corrupt data, misuse of the register, incorrect or misleading information entered onto or retained on the register and registrations not being kept up to date.

Our strategy is a balance of proactive and reactive elements. We meet Australian Government standards in relation to information security but we also work closely with industry bodies to ensure that we keep abreast of emerging threats and refine our strategy as needed.

We focus on using technology to engineer out issues that impact on data quality and we’ve invested in building cross verification tools that enable users to self-identify data entry issues.

We’ve strengthened our governance and built in multi-disciplinary expertise to inform and implement our approach.

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We have an amendment demand process to respond to concerns about registrations that are misleading or incorrect—and as a last resort, we use enforcement powers under the PPS Act and the Criminal Code to deter intentional misuse of the PPSR that results in registrations that are false or misleading.

Having an effective data integrity strategy and embedding this early on helps preserve confidence in the register over the longer term.

Our communication strategy had a particular focus on raising awareness and use of the PPSR amongst the SME sector. Our objective was—and remains—to provide the right people with the right information at the right time.


We took a multi-pronged approach and worked to raise awareness of the PPSR among those who advise SMEs, to exponentially increase the reach of our communication—or help to ‘spread the word’.

We strengthened our engagement with accountants, lawyers, industry groups, business advisory networks and other government channels that are already in existence and known to SMEs.

We targeted industry education and outreach to develop information distribution networks and gather feedback; we developed SME-focused and sector specific publications, such as the PPSR brochures for SMEs and for business advisers and the PPSR business guide.

We developed a series of short 60-second videos to help explain basic PPSR terms and concepts, included information in targeted publications (such as accountancy magazines) and used Google analytics and Google Adwords activities to assist in ensuring the effectiveness of communication activities.

It is great recognition to have our work acknowledged at the international level.

The IACA is a professional association for government administrators of business organisation and secured transaction record systems. IACA holds an annual conference and Merit Awards programme.

AFSA’s Chief Finance Officer, Rob Hanlon spoke at IACA’s 2016 conference, held in Columbus, Ohio, about Australia’s personal property securities system and our cost recovery framework—and accepted our award.

The conference was attended by representatives of 18 nations, including the United States of America, Canada, China, Germany, Kenya, Serbia and Sweden.

Rob also took the opportunity to meet up with World Bank representatives in Washington to share information on Australia’s personal insolvency and personal property securities systems and to discuss a number of issues with other jurisdictions.

IACA award

Rob Hanlon, Chief Finance Officer, receiving the IACA Merit Award from Allison DeSantis, President, IACA (Photo by Joe Ross - Flickr)

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