Global standard setter, the International Accounting Standards Board, claims its decision not to release the names of its corporate backers is not an attempt to be secretive.
Demands for details of funding of the IASB, which will set accounting rules for European listed companies by 2005, follows fears that the body might be vulnerable to ‘influence-buying by big business’.
This fear was heightened after US senator Carl Levin claimed to have received an email, suggesting collapsed energy company Enron, wanted to donate money to the board to influence its policies the FT reported today.
But the organisation has been quick to deny any such vulnerability and said it wanted to disclose the names and would address the issue at its next trustees meeting in March.
Sir Sydney Lipworth, a member of the executive committee of the board’s trustees, told the paper: ‘I not sure we have yet discussed with our donors the extent to which they are prepared to be named’ and added that the issue of publicity had not been raised when approaching companies for money.
Corporate donors provided nearly two thirds of $18m used to fund the IASB in 2001.
The board says its independence is not under threat as its standard-setters are seperate from the trustees who raise funding.