PracticeAuditGovernment drops ‘due and careful enquiry’ from OFR

Government drops 'due and careful enquiry' from OFR

Trade and industry secretary Patricia Hewitt has confirmed the government is dropping the words 'due and careful enquiry' from auditor requirements in the operating and financial review.

Link: OFR delay confirmed

Responding to worries that the introduction of these new words would create new legal problems for auditors, Hewitt stated that this requirement had been removed.

‘I have decided to drop the requirement that auditors give an opinion on whether the directors have used “due and careful enquiry” in preparing the OFR,’ said Hewitt. ‘This should address concerns that we might be requiring a different legal standard for this type of corporate report.’

She added that she was retaining the requirement that ‘auditors should consider whether the OFR is consistent with the company’s accounts, and whether it contains any inconsistencies based on any matters that have come to their attention while conducting the company audit’.

Hewitt also confirmed that the legal requirements of the OFR would now not kick in until 1 April 2005, after many expressed concerns over the difficulty of introducing it any sooner.

ASB chairman Ian Mackintosh has already said that getting an OFR standard ready for the end of March would be difficult, but that the end of the year would be impossible.

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