Shadow Treasury Minister Lord Saatchi signalled their clearintention to push for the responsibility for auditing the FSA tobe given to Comptroller and Auditor General Sir John Bourn.
His declaration of official Conservative support ratchets upthe argument – which the Treasury are determined to resist -that his scope must be widened to ensure full accountability toParliament of all quangos and government-owned companies.
The scene for a serious clash over the FSA was set during theopening debates on the FSA Bill in the Lords when Lord McIntoshof Haringey, the Government Chief Whip, insisted: ‘The chargeof lack of accountability does not stick.’
Since the removal of all but 90 elected hereditary aristocratslast year the upper chamber has been flexing its new-foundlegitimacy and is quite capable of making this a major point ofprinciple.
The other key issue exercising peers is the extent to which theFSA Bill is ‘European Court of Human Rights-proof’ over thepower of the FSA, and where the line is being drawn between thecivil offence of ‘market abuse’ and a crime – because of theprotections the convention accords the accused in criminal orquasi criminal proceedings.
Lord McIntosh made it clear that on accountability ministers’have no intention to add further to the mechanisms set out inthe Bill’ including the Treasury power to order a review , afinancial services and markets tribunal, an ombudsman andscrutiny by Parliamentary committees.
FSA Executive Chairman Howard Davies and officials are beingcalled as witnesses before the Commons Treasury on Tuesday 14March.
But Saatchi, who made it clear the legislation has overall support, questioned whether it was appropriate that reviewsshould be left to the Treasury and insisted Parliament mustsecure the accountability of the FSA.
He said: ‘To argue, as the government does, that because it is aprivate company that does not receive public funds it should notbe examined by the NAO or C&AG is bizarre.’
He was backed by Liberal Democrat Lord Taverne, who insisted theFSA ‘needs more effective monitoring, overall direction andmanagement.’
If businesses do not take cyber security seriously in their business planning regulators may do it for them, the ICAEW has warned
The Financial Reporting Council has issued guidance regarding the annual reporting of 1,200 large and smaller listed companies. The letter highlighted the key issues and improvements that can be made in the 2016 reporting season
Deloitte's north-west Europe foray; BDO, Smith & Williamson investment paths; Shelley Stock Hutter; and Wilkins Kennedy discussed by editor Kevin Reed on our Friday Afternoon Live broadcast
Company bosses are considering relocating operations or headquarters away from the UK following the country's decision to leave the European Union