Plan for new watchdog is ditched.

A radical proposal for a new regulatory regime for accountants, which could have rendered the new system based on the Accountancy Foundation obsolete before it had even got off the ground, has been rejected.

The company law review steering committee considered the option of a new statutory system in a consultation paper released shortly before Christmas.

Under the proposal a new body would have been set up to assume the roles of both the Department of Trade & Industry and the recognised supervisory bodies in relation to auditors. The new body might also have played a wider role in relation to accountants.

The new option, which featured in the Modern company law: completing the structure paper, would have replaced the new framework of accountancy regulation now being set up, despite the fact it has to be fully established.

But this situation was averted after the proposal was scrapped in favour of its recommendation that ‘a power to provide for the possibility of statutory backing for the Accountancy Foundation (headed by Lord Gordon Borrie QC) to carry out functions in relation to the regulation of auditors’.

The revelation came as Foundation officials met this week to discuss appointments of subsidiary boards, such as the new Auditing Practices Board.

The paper is the second consultation document issued by the steering group of the company law review – an independent body tasked by the DTI.

This forms part of the DTI’s review of company law that was launched in 1998 to develop a simple framework for business activity in the UK.

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Full details of the company law review are at

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