BusinessCompany NewsGovernment and FSA commit to OFR

Government and FSA commit to OFR

In a speech delivered to the Institute of Company Secretaries and Administrators today, Jacqui Smith, minister at the DTI, is expected to confirm the government's commitment to the operating and financial review.

Link: City watchdog proposes OFR compliance

Her speech comes on the back of Financial Services Authority proposals from last week that said the OFR should become a stock exchange standard.

The market watchdog made the recommendation as part of its consultation paper released last week, aimed at modernising and simplifying UK listing rules.

The FSA said it would push for a ‘more flexible approach to the presentation of financial information that would allow companies to include both audited and non-audited figures’, provided they disclose the source of information, as required in the OFR. Rosemary Radcliffe, chairman of the DTI’s OFR working group, welcomed the announcement, and told Accountancy Age there was ‘great merit in companies producing an OFR and highly desirable that they do so’.

‘The FSA’s plans to force all listed companies to complete an OFR, would see more companies complying than suggested in the government’s white paper.’

The DTI’s Smith is expected to say in today’s speech that ‘the time is right to make the (OFR) a statutory requirement for large companies. It will provide better information for assessing the performance of companies.

‘By making directors assess and report on their companies’ prospects thoroughly and openly, the OFR will improve governance and contribute to restoring confidence in companies.’ She will go on to say that the DTI plans to consult on ‘draft regulations to implement the OFR as soon as we can’.

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