News in Brief – 20 May

NHS finance director faces CIPFA bar

An NHS finance director is under investigation by CIPFA after being accused of stealing money from a medical school where he was formerly employed. Andrew Morton was accused of taking £50,000 while FD at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals’ medical school in London. A statement from the school said: ‘After Mr Morton left, a financial loss of around £50,000 was discovered. This matter has been reported to the appropriate authorities. The loss itself has been and is being actively pursued.’

PwC bids for electricity role PricewaterhouseCoopers is leading a consortium which is bidding for the management of the UK’s wholesale electricity market. Called the Libra consortium, it will include London’s International Petroleum Exchange, Energy Settlement and Information Services and ABB Energy Information Systems.

Safferys in global link Top 20 firm Saffery Champness is merging its international network with S&W International, from which the UK wing of Smith & Williamson withdrew earlier this year. The alliance will create a network of 110 independent firms in 50 countries with a fee income close to £200m. Chaired by Safferys partner Michael Dawson, the association will be known as SC International.

FEE calls for green standards International Accounting Standards do not provide adequate guidance on environmental issues, according to the environmental working party of the European accountants federation, FEE. The group called for environmental costs and liabilities – where they are material to the enterprise – to be separately disclosed under IAS 1 ‘Presentation of Financial Statements’.

Eaves under investigation City of London Police is to investigate chartered accountant and former investment house finance director Hugh Eaves, after allegations that he lost £20m of colleagues’ retirement funds on the stock market. The losses occurred in the mid-1980s when Eaves was FD of Phillips & Drew.

Blame culture hurts business Fear of being blamed for mistakes is curbing the ability of senior managers to improve their businesses, according to an English ICA study. Introduction of better and more efficient management methods is being undermined because top executives fear being held accountable for wrongdoing, the report concludes.

Dartford PFI project praised The first private finance initiative hospital contract played a key role in developing primary legislation and helped to shape subsequent projects, the National Audit Office said this week. Reporting to parliament, NAO head Sir John Bourn said the contract signed by Pentland to build the £177m Dartford & Gravesham NHS Trust hospital was likely to deliver the trust’s objectives.

Fast-track tax credit People who become sick or disabled while at work will benefit from a fast-track entry into the disabled person’s tax credit announced this week. This means long-term sick or disabled will be able to remain in work and claim the credit instead of dropping out of work and claiming benefits.

McCabe leads Scots review Former Scots ICA president Primrose McCabe has been appointed to lead the institute’s new activities review. The senior partner of the Edinburgh-based McCabe Partnership will join the Scots ICA’s full-time staff on 1 September.

LLP tax setback PricewaterhouseCoopers and Ernst & Young have failed to get the tax status of Jersey-based limited liability partnerships clarified by the Inland Revenue. The firms sought High Court declarations on the matter when the Revenue refused to confirm whether it would recognise LLPs.

Related reading