CCAA proceedings now at your fingertips
Trustees, creditors, academics, policy makers and government officials have a new source of insolvency information available to them thanks to recent changes to the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA). One result of the changes, which came into effect September 18, 2009, is that the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy (OSB) became responsible for maintaining both a Registry of Public Records and a Repository of CCAA Files.
Registry of Public Records
Once a court grants protection to a debtor company under the CCAA, the monitor (trustee) must send basic information to the OSB within one business day. This information includes the court’s file number and coordinates—including the website address of both the debtor and the monitor. That information is then posted on the OSB website (www.osb.ic.gc.ca) and becomes part of the CCAA records, a list of companies currently undergoing CCAA proceeding. This list is searchable both alphabetically and chronologically.
Eventually, this information will be integrated with the bankruptcy and insolvency records also currently accessible on the OSB website.
As for bankruptcies and other insolvency records, a search of the CCAA Registry can also be completed by calling the OSB at 1-866-941-2863.
To stay abreast of new information such as the addition of new records, interested parties can subscribe to the OSB’s RSS feed. (Using an RSS feed allows you to automatically bring updated information from a website directly to your desktop. Instructions on how to set up and use RSS feeds can be found on the OSB website.)
Repository of CCAA Files
The changes to the CCAA also require that once a file has been closed, certain key documents are to be sent to the OSB and kept for a 10-year period in the new Repository of CCAA Files.
These files, which can be compiled by agreement, typically include documents such as court orders, monitors’ reports, lists of creditors, general notices and communications, plans of compromise or arrangement, applications and motion materials.
In the past, gathering this information was difficult. In a report funded by the OSB that was presented in March 2006, Development of a model to track filings and collect data for proceedings under the CCAA, author Dr. Janis Sarra showed just how labour-intensive gathering this data could be. For the study, she had to collect data manually from CCAA cases, court records, electronic case-citing databases, SEDAR (System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval) filings and from the websites of monitors and debtor corporations. (Dr. Sarra’s report can be found on the OSB website under Resources for Academics.)
With the new Repository of CCAA Files, it will be much easier to not only determine the exact number of annual CCAA filings, but also to analyze data and identify trends.
It will also assist creditors and interested members of the public in understanding the events in specific files.
This demand for information is evident by the fact that although there were only 37 CCAA proceedings in the first seven months, website visits to the records of the proceedings totaled more than 54,000.
The OSB is also publishing quarterly reports on CCAA statistics. In addition to the information available in the Registry of Public Records, these reports contain statistical information on public versus private companies, cross-border proceedings, liabilities and assets, and filings by province as well as those under the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Again, readers can subscribe to the RSS feed for updates.
CCAA changes effect OSB duties and functions
Beginning September 18, 2009, the Superintendent of Bankruptcy began carrying out the following duties, functions and powers as the result of changes to the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA):
- A public record of prescribed information relating to CCAA proceedings is being maintained. CCAA Section 26 (1)
- Other appropriate records relating to the administration of CCAA proceedings are kept. Such records include the documents posted on monitors’ websites. CCAA Section 26 (2)
- The Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy receives, records and where appropriate, investigates complaints regarding the conduct of the monitors. CCAA Section 29 (1)