DIRT probe cleans out Irish institute

ICAI chief executive Brian Walsh said the body’s reserves were at ‘an unacceptably low level’. At the end of 2000, the ICAI had reserves of about Irish Punts 1m (Pounds 800,000), according to the Irish Times.

The institute’s funds have been run down by, among other things, its inquiries into members involved in deposit interest retention tax or DIRT avoidance.

Widespread DIRT dodging was uncovered by an Irish parliamentary committee following a series of successful look-back audits of financial institutions. The findings prompted a review group to examine the role of auditors in Ireland and investigations by the ICAI.

Walsh said the DIRT inquiry has arisen directly from the inquiries conducted by the government and, together with other so-called public concern cases, had cost Irish Punt 2m (Pounds 1.6m).

A new supervisory regime, the Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority, is likely to cost more than Irish Punt 200,000 (Pounds 160,000) per annum, he added.

The institute is now faced with two options – recovering some of the money its has spent on inquiries or raising subscription fees. The latter option would have to put to the 12,000 ICAI members.

Walsh also blamed the rising costs of regulating its members and of running a professional body the for the cash problems.


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