PracticeAuditIASB faces more funding controversy

IASB faces more funding controversy

Attempts to clarify the funding of the International Accounting Standards Board could fail tomorrow after news emerged that it might publish an incomplete list of its financial donors.

Trustees overseeing the work of the IASB decided to publish a list of backers following allegations in the US that Enron may have tried to influence the accounting body with an offer to donate funds.

At a public meeting tomorrow in London, the trustees will vote on whether to publish a list of donors that contributed to its $18m budget in 2001.

Sources close to the body told Accountancy Age that four large corporate donors do not want their names made public. The revelation will deal a fresh blow to Paul Volcker, chairman of the trustees, who appeared before a US senate committee to answer questions about international accounting standards and Enron.

Volcker has denied the IASB ever received funds from Enron.

Sydney Lipworth, a British trustee, told Accountancy Age: ‘We would wish to publish as complete a list as we can. The broad intention is to publish a full list.’

Although he refused to comment, Lipworth said: ‘Four would be a small percentage’.

‘There are no secrets. We will confront it as we come to it,’ he added.

Sir David Tweedie, head of the IASB, said that Paul Volcker is feeling ‘bruised’ after US senators’ levelled allegations of secrecy at the organisation. Sir David also voiced his fears that this could lead to Volcker ‘walking away from the IASB’ if the furore continued.

David Cairns, a former head of the International Accounting Standards Committee, the body in charge of the IASB, revealed trustees stopped publishing a list of donors in the mid to late 1990s.

He said: ‘I cannot for the life of me see why the Trustees did not carry on with the old (correct) policy.’

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