The Federal Government will deliver an $8.6 million funding boost to Australia’s financial intelligence agency AUSTRAC over the next three years to modernise Australia’s anti-money laundering and counterterrorism (AML/CTF) financing regime and help meet key Financial Action Task Force (FATF) standards.
Announced this evening as part of the Government’s 2023-24 Budget, a total of $14.3 million will be allocated over the next four years to help “support policy and legislative reforms to harden Australia against illicit financing and evaluation of Australia’s AML framework”. Alongside the $8.6 million pledged to AUSTRAC, the Attorney-General’s Department will receive $5.6 million over four years to provide additional departmental resourcing for financial crimes monitoring.
The cost of this measure will be met from the Confiscated Assets Account under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
AUSTRAC will use the money to continue its development and consultation of stakeholders on legislative reforms to Australia’s AML/CTF regime.
The Attorney-General’s Department is currently undertaking a public consultation on a proposal to simplify and extend Australia’s AML/CTF rules.
As part of a 2015 review of Australia’s AML/CTF regime, the FATF found the country either non-compliant or only partially compliant with 16 out of its 40 Recommendations (which promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for AML/CTF).
The global financial crimes watchdog flagged concerns over Australia’s inadequate customer due diligence processes, as well as insufficient rules for monitoring correspondent banking services, wire transfer services, third parties, and non-financial institutions, such as casinos.