News in brief – 15 October

Thorne picked for Post Office

Rosemary Thorne, group finance director at J Sainsbury, has been appointed as a non-executive director of the Post Office Board. CIMA-qualified Thorne, with Sainsbury since 1992, previously worked as group financial controller for Grand Metropolitan.

Connolly gets Deloittes job Deloitte & Touche partners will choose their next UK managing partner from a shortlist of one. Following an informal consultation process among UK partners, the Deloittes board voted to recommend managing partner (practice offices) John Connolly as its preferred candidate to replace John Rocques as UK senior partner and chief executive. A formal decision is expected on Monday.

Pilot scheme scrapped A #3m government pilot scheme designed to tackle organised benefit fraud has been axed, after a second report within eight weeks dubbed it a failure. The 20-man London Organised Fraud Investigation Team was heavily criticised for its results by the Audit Commission earlier this year (20 August, page 4). The team only achieved three convictions during 20 months of operations.

New FD for millennium The New Millennium Experience Company has appointed a new finance director as a part of a restructuring of its finance and corporate services functions. Neil Spence, former joint chief executive and director of finance and administration at the London Docklands Development Corporation, has been chosen to take over from Steve Brown the existing finance and corporate services director.

New rules on party accounts Tough rules governing the production of annual accounts for political parties and a tax relief scheme for small donors were proposed this week by the Neill committee on standards in public life.

It said annual accounts of income and expenditure, including all major gifts, would have to be delivered to a new Election Commission within three months of the year-end. The accounts will have to carry an auditor’s certificate and be made publicly available. Companies will require shareholder approval to make gifts, while individuals will be allowed basic-rate tax relief at source on donations of up to #500 a year.

Disability benefit: no tax Senior government sources have made clear there is little chance of taxing disability living allowance, although child benefit remains a target.

The Tories claimed last week at their Bournemouth conference that DLA was at risk of taxation, after social security secretary Alistair Darling told a meeting at Labour’s Blackpool gathering the previous week that both it and child benefit might be taxed.

Merger sets up business Leonard Curtis & Co has merged with the insolvency division of HW Fisher to create a new eight-partner practice, Fisher Curtis, which specialises in business reconstruction, recovery and insolvency matters. Two of its partners were last week appointed as official receivers to the Worth Group, the international perfume and cosmestics distributor.

Haines Watts joins BKR Haines Watts has joined BKR International, a worldwide association of independent accounting firms.

The firm, which has more than 30 UK offices, has now relaunched itself as BKR Haines Watts, with a new corporate identity and logo.

PAYE to go on the Internet Employers will be able to deliver PAYE information to the Inland Revenue electronically under new regulations laid before the House of Lords last week. The Revenue plans to introduce national facilities for the electronic exchange of information with employers next year.

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