The new get-tough policy is part of a vigorous compliance campaign that has seen more than 100,000 companies struck off in the last five years.
For decades, bosses ignored many company law requirements but CRO Registrar Paul Farrell said delays and non-observance would “no longer be tolerated.”
Under a variation of the three-strikes policy, directors of companies with three offences in the past will face charges.
“From next year we are going to put in place a process whereby the actions taken against companies will reflect their previous history,” Farrell said. “You don’t go to the High Court lightly, but we think it would be appropriate where a company has been seriously out of date three years in a row.”
About 130,000 companies are obliged to file a return every year and from Jan. 1 new CRO computer software will provide an update of a company’s history.
The CRO issued strike-off notices to 4,048 companies in May and about 4,000 more will be listed to bite the dust in the next strike offs coming next month.
The CRO crackdown is producing results. The number of companies filing on time increased to over 70 percent last year, up from only 13 percent in 1997.
“The rate of change in recent years has been very dramatic,” Farrell said, “The filing situation has been transformed.”
He expects optimum compliance should be achieved in about another two years. By then it will also be clearer which companies are simply disorganized and which have “rogue” bosses.
The CRO is also examining whether the fees and penalties it charges are adequate and a decision will be taken about whether to increase them by the end of the year.
The current maximum penalty is