Charities attack standards body over ‘failure to consult’

The IASB has been accused of failing to meet its duty to consult after
ignoring demands from charities to increase corporate transparency in the
developing world.

The body faced the accusations this week ahead of a meeting on Monday to
discuss the plans for ‘segmental’ reporting.

It had been urged by charities, including Save The Children and Cafod,
operating under the Publish What You Pay coalition, to adopt a
country-by-country approach to financial reporting. Instead, it has outlined a
‘management approach’ to the numbers. The coalition fears such an approach
impedes attempts by stakeholders to understand what companies were doing in
developing and resource-rich countries.

PWYP co-ordinator Henry Parham wrote to IASB chairman Sir David Tweedie
informing him of the coalition’s fury over the lack of consultation.

Parham said that PWYP had attempted to follow the due process of the IASB,
even offering to meet with project managers to explain and discuss their
concerns prior to the board’s consideration. ‘These have been declined despite
the IASB’s handbook stating that it undertakes “consultations with a wide range
of interested parties”.

‘We also offered to facilitate the “public hearings and field visits”
outlined in the handbook,’ he added. ‘It appears the IASB is not acting in
accordance with due process, and the “accountability” ostensibly sought by the
board is being undermined.’

Richard Murphy, the accountant responsible for authorising the group’s
submission, said PWYP had called for meetings and discussions on the issue to no

‘After making the decision, they said they would discuss our submissions at
their next meeting, but they still won’t meet with us,’ Murphy said.

‘This was the biggest ever submission made to IASB and they’ve ignored it.
What does it say about their accountability?’ he asked.

The IASB refused to comment on the issue when approached.

But following Accountancy Age’s enquiry, Sir David wrote to PWYP to assure it
that the board ‘will be giving full and proper consideration to your proposals
for country-by country disclosure of certain items’.

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