Letters – 30 July

Bunch of big girls’ blouses

Re: ‘Management consultants not afraid of getting their hands dirty’: in both pictures accompanying the articles (‘Taking Stock’, 9 & 16 July), all personnel are wearing gloves. The words blouses and big girls spring instantly to mind.

I can only speculate what farmers or their ilk would have to say on the subject.

Ian RM Pratt, By email

Getting your criticism right Presumably your anonymous correspondent who attacked my parliamentary record (‘Letters’, 16 July) didn’t have the guts to sign his audit because it was neither true nor fair.

It is wrong about: the source – the Sunday Telegraph, not the BBC; the facts – my voting record is good, it’s whether I vote enough for the government that’s at issue; and the conclusion – there is no threat of deselection.

Apart from that, the letter was okay because it allowed me to point out that I ask more questions, inaugurate more debates and speak more often than most MPs.

So next time Anon courageously puts his poison pen to paper, he should attack me as a total bore, though that might endear me to the accountancy profession.

Austin Mitchell, MP, House of Commons

Close ranks and unite In the annual Denning lecture on 18 June, Lord Woolf, Master of the Rolls, expressed strong reservations about the way disciplinary committees of professional bodies conduct their proceedings. He was of the opinion that professional disciplinary issues must be conducted by those who are outside the professional bodies so that justice is not only done but is seen to have been done.

The criticism of some of the high-profile disciplinary cases carried out by the disciplinary committee of the English ICA could have been avoided if the process were carried out by an independent outside body.

Under the dynamic new leadership of Chris Swinson and Dame Sheila Masters, perhaps reconstruction of the disciplinary committee will attract their and Mr Michael Beloff QC’s attention.

The profession is facing dynamic challenges brought about by forces outside the control of the institute. The new leadership will no doubt match these challenges and carry out the responsibilities of fast-changing business environment and society which are forcing these challenges on the profession.

The profession must close its ranks and divisions in order to face the future united – all members, whether as sole practitioners, medium and international firms, in business or in commerce.

In his June inaugural speech as president, Chris Swinson said: ‘The world does not owe accountants, or more particularly our members, a living. Nor do our members owe this this council or indeed its officeholders a living. We must all earn and repeatedly justify our positions.’ This sets the tone for the future new direction of the institute.

Surinder Kaul, FCA, London NW9

Outsourcing does deliver I refer to your comments on Sears and its subsidiaries (‘IT File’, 2 July). As the new supplier of outsourced HR services to Sears, I would like to point out that we delivered, in only six weeks from start to finish, a payroll service for the 600 transferees from Sears’ previous outsourcing supplier. We are now working on the rest of the payrolls.

If outsourcing doesn’t deliver, why did Sears go straight into another agreement with Rebus? And have we delivered to date? I leave the reader to judge.

Mark G Wibberley, marketing manager, Rebus Human Resource Services

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