Audit – pressure group hits out

A statement of the groups aims for 2005 says: ‘Auditors are still doing too much other work, in our view, and audit committee reports will need to address the issue of auditor independence. Re-invigorating the audit for the benefit of shareholders is a key policy goal.’

Alan MacDougall, PIRC’s managing director said: ‘The new Combined Code sets a significantly higher benchmark than its predecessor. But it must not be seen as the end of the story. Our guidelines stand as a contribution to the ongoing debate.’

Jeremy Hicks, chief financial officer at Aegis, has been appointed chairman of the audit committee at First Choice Holidays. Sir Michael Hodgkinson, chairman of First Choice said: ‘His wealth of experience both in the world of corporate finance and international plcs will prove extremely valuable.’ Hicks has been with Aegis for five years and works closely with the chief executive, leading the management of an international business, that is growing organically and through acquisitions.

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