OFR challenge set for court

Environmental pressure group Friends of the Earth is likely to launch a court
case next week in an attempt to stop the scrapping of the operating and
financial review, after the Treasury failed to convince it the move was lawful.

As Accountancy Age went to press, the group was still pouring over
the government’s ‘fairly substantial response’ to concerns raised over the
sudden scrapping of the OFR.

‘Our initial view is that the response doesn’t alter our position,’ said Phil
Michaels, Friends of the Earth’s legal adviser. ‘In summary, it says there was
no need to consult, while we say there is.’

Michaels added that, unless FoE found something in the response that fully
addressed the issues it had raised, the group would apply for a judicial review
next week.

‘The new regulations come in next Thursday, and this imposes a time limit on
us,’ said Michaels.

Friends of the Earth hopes court action will force the government to open a
consultation over its decision to remove the mandatory OFR, and that the weight
of opinion from such a consultation would change the government’s mind.

The OFR has been replaced with a stripped-down business review that covers
the minimum requirements from the EU Accounts Modernisation Directive, but
significantly reduces the environmental and social reporting details that a
business needs to provide in its annual statements.

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