The temporary COVID-19 exemptions regarding virtual AGMs and signing and sending electronic documents has been extended until 15 September 2021, Federal Treasurer the Hon Josh Frydenberg MP has announced.
Importantly, the announcement also foreshadowed that some of the temporary changes might be made permanent. In particular, the Government proposes to:
- conduct a 12-month opt-in pilot for companies to hold hybrid annual general meetings to enable a proper assessment of the shareholder benefits of virtual meetings.
- finalise permanent changes to allow electronically signing and sending documents prior to the expiry of the temporary arrangements on 15 September.
Every cloud has a silver lining and it looks like the Government is finally willing to move forward to more fully embrace electronically signing and sending documents for corporates, similar to the changes introduced in relation to financial services some years ago.