CIMA seeks Mitchell’s views on regulation

CIMA has again signalled its ambivalence about the profession’s plans for a new regulatory watchdog, by writing to Austin Mitchell MP asking for more details of his proposals to do away with self-regulation for accountants.

CIMA, along with the UK’s five other leading accountancy bodies, has signed up to the new regime, which will allow the profession to regulate itself through a semi-independent review board recommended by the Swinson committee.

But Accountancy Age has seen a copy of a letter sent by John Chester, CIMA’s secretary, to Mitchell, a long-time public critic of the review board, asking for his alternative proposals.

The move comes only five months after CIMA’s council dramatically decided by one vote to end months of public opposition to the review board and to join the scheme.

However, privately CIMA has been deeply split over its position. The letter says: ‘CIMA…has been involved in discussions with the companies division at the DTI on the future regulation of the profession. We have recently been told that you have proposed to ministers a very different model from that which has resulted from the Swinson working party.

‘CIMA has adopted a rather different position than other (accountancy) bodies, as I am sure you will be aware. We would therefore be very interested to see a copy of your proposals if you were willing to share your views with us.’

CIMA said the letter was only an attempt to seek a clarification from Mitchell.

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