FRRP’s MG Rover probe inconclusive

An investigation into the accounts of MG Rover by the Financial Reporting Review Panel does not clear the crumbling car manufacturer of wrongdoing, the Sunday Telegraph has reported.

An initial review carried out by the FRRP over a number of weeks, will be passed to the Alan Johnson’s Department of Trade and Industry this week, the newspaper claimed.

Speculation is mounting that a DTI investigation into the Phoenix Four, will be instigated imminently, because the FRRP was unable to clear the company of accounting wrongdoing.

‘I don’t think anyone at this stage could say that there is an absolutely clear-cut case,’ the newspaper quoted an official close to the FRRP as saying. ‘I thin it is that grey area that needs further investigation.’

A DTI spokeswoman said: ‘We have not yet received the FRRP report, and while we hope to be as open and as transparent as possible, a final decision will depend on the findings of the FRRP.’

The Accountancy Investigation and Discipline Board may also be bracing itself to become involved in the saga, after Sir Bryan Nicholson, chairman of the FRC, admitted that some of the issues would be outside the FRRP’s direct remit.

‘When we deliver our report to the Secretary of State it will also deal with any issues that we have found during the course of these inquiries,’ Sir Bryan told the Independent.

‘Mr Johnson will have to choose between starting a preliminary investigation and launching a full-scale inquiry, chaired by an outside expert such as a QC, which could last weeks and cost millions of pounds.’

Last month Cameron Scott, executive counsel of the AIDB, told Accountancy Age that he was monitoring the situation at MG Rover ‘with interest’ and that he could become involved depending on the outcome of the FRRP’s initial probe.

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