News in Brief – 6 May

Diageo FD moves on

Diageo finance director Phil Yea is to leave the drinks-to-Burger King giant at the end of June after six years with the company. Diageo also announced that chief executive John McGrath and chairman Tony Greener will both retire in June 2000. Yea denied his move was due to his not succeeding McGrath. He will be replaced by Nick Rose, FD of Diageo’s largest division UDV.

English ICA weighs up open hearing The English ICA was yesterday due to decide whether to open up its disciplinary proceedings to the public, as recommended by a review of its rules by barrister Michael Beloff QC. The decision was due to be taken at a behind-closed-doors session of the institute’s council yesterday.

ACCA makes integrity move ACCA is to ban its council members from sitting on disciplinary committees to avoid conflicts of interest which might fall foul of new European human rights legislation. President Michael Foulds said the move would ensure ‘independence, integrity and openness.’

Fifth exposure draft unveiled The tax law re-write steering committee, chaired by ex-chancellor Lord Howe, published its fifth exposure draft last week, the second dealing with the law covering capital allowances. The re-write project is due to produce its first re-written Bill next year.

Rockall and Jones merger Northampton-based Towers Rockall has merged with Chapman Jones of Rugby to create a six-partner firm with four offices and 41 staff. The merged firm will have offices in Northampton, Rugby, Higham Ferrers and Stony Stratford.

SNP slams government The Scottish National Party has slammed the government for suppressing crucial reports on the private finance initiative until after today’s elections for the Edinburgh parliament. SNP health spokesman Kay Ulrich accused Treasury chief secretary Alan Milburn of sitting on Sir Malcolm Bates’ PFI report and new accounting guidelines for the scheme.

Charities up in 1999 Almost 2,000 charities have been added to the register during the first quarter of 1999, the Charity Commission has reported. During the quarter, the commission also provided 9,611 instances of help and advice to existing charities and protected £8.7m of charitable funds from misuse.

APB issues exposure draft The Auditing Practices Board has responded to the modernisation of companies’ annual reports by issuing an exposure draft of a revision to SAS160 which covers other information containing audited financial statements. APB chairman Ian Plaistowe said that the inclusion of chairmen’s and directors’ reports and audited figures to predict future profitability had blurred the rules. The new draft restates the requirement for auditors to review all information in the report and accounts.

Company car green regime The Inland Revenue has set out how it plans to switch company car benefit taxation to a green regime. From 2002, it is proposing a sliding scale of benefits charges geared to CO2 emissions. Company car drivers of greener cars will have a minimum benefits charge of 15% of the list price of their car, rising to 35% for dirtier engines.

Remuneration survey results The typical FTSE-100 company non-executive chairman is likely to devote twice as much time to his company as the chairman of a company with a turnover of £100m, according to a survey by remuneration adviser Monks Partnership. The report indicates that the typical FTSE-100 company chairman will receive a fee of around £160,000, compared with £50,000 for a £100m turnover company chairman.

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