Regulation – Bourn to be accountancy watchdog

National Audit Office head Sir John Bourn is set to become chairman of the watchdog which will oversee the profession’s new regulatory regime, senior sources have revealed.

Speculation is mounting that Sir John will soon retire from the NAO.

Recruitment agencies are understood to have started hunting for a successor.

The new role is due to begin from 1 January 2000 under trade and industry minister Ian McCartney’s framework of independent regulation for the accountancy profession.

A ‘Foundation’ will have control with the Review Board acting as independent watchdog.

‘They (the DTI and CCAB) have been looking for a great and good person to chair the Review Board and he has emerged as favourite among DTI insiders,’ one source said.

Sir John would be a popular choice after 11 years as comptroller and auditor general. He recently turned 65 and was forced to relinquish his CIPFA council role. Another source said: ‘To put in a former grand civil servant may not please some of the chaps in the accountancy profession. But it could give the new body some credence within the government.’

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