New watchdog finally barks

Lord Gordon Borrie, chairman of the Accountancy Foundation, today unveiled the make-up of its new independent regulatory system. The announcement came 18 months after the original target date for the new watchdog to be up and running.

All three new boards – the Auditing Practices Board, the Ethics Standards Board and the Investigation and Discipline Board – are made up of 40% accountants and 60% lay persons, bringing to an end decades of self-regulation.

The IDB replaces the Joint Disciplinary Scheme and retains only one current member of its executive committee, Sir James McKinnon, chairman of Trafficmaster and Discovery Trust.

And in an ironic twist, one of its new members, Chris Laine, is a former senior partner of Coopers & Lybrand, which has been a major focus of the JDS’s work because of the firm’s involvement in scandals such as Maxwell, Barings and Resort Hotels.

Ian Plaistowe, partner at Andersen, will retain his position as chairman of the new APB. Auditing members include Big Five partners such as John Kellas of KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers’s Graham Ward.

Martin Evans, director of audit policy at the Audit Commission and Stuart Turley, professor of accounting at the University of Manchester are two of nine lay members.

A new Ethics Standards Board has also been established ‘to set the agenda, to specify what standards are needed’.

The boards will be answerable to the Review Board headed by former NHS finance chief Colin Reeves. All accountancy bodies in Britain and Ireland will be responsible to the Foundation.

For another story on the Foundation see

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