According to CIMA, ‘high ethical and professional standards must always be put before commercial advantage’.
The comments come in the wake of the Department of Trade and Industy’s report into the business dealings of the late Robert Maxwell. Among the recommendations in the report was a call for an evaluation of the auditor independence issue, the compulsory rotation of auditors or audit firms and explanations from companies that combine the posts of chairman and chief executive.
According to CIMA, auditor independence issues raised by the report are ‘fundamental to public trust and confidence’.
The insitute said it had already recommended there be a clear divide between the roles of chief executive and chairman in its Corporate Governance: history, practice and future.
The CIMA document states that if the posts are to be combined, it should be justified publicly and the person in question is responsible for ensuring ‘adequate control systems are in place,’ and that there be information and communication processes to guarantee this.
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