Tories demand Mayflower judgment

Baroness Noakes, the Tory shadow Treasury minister, has launched a withering
attack on the Accountancy Investigation and Discipline Board over its failure to
release a tribunal judgment on collapsed bus company Mayflower.

Noakes, a former KPMG partner, told Accountancy Age this week that
she found it ‘inexplicable’ that the judgment had not yet been released.

Complaints against various parties over the Mayflower collapse were dropped
last week, but the AIDB’s website has not carried any mention of the move.
Lawyers for David Donnelly, one of the defendants, said they expected it to be
published, but the delay has caused bafflement.

The AIDB, part of the FRC, confirmed this week that the 240 page judgment may
not be released, giving rise to the bizarre situation that no explanation has
been given as to why various parties, accused of professional misconduct, have
been cleared.

The Mayflower tribunal last week cleared PwC and Donnelly, former finance
director of Mayflower subsidiary Transbus.

The judgment is understood to be highly critical of the way the case was
prosecuted. The body had launched complaints against the auditors and FD over
the collapse of the bus company.

Board secretary Anna Colban, while saying the board was ‘mindful of the need
to publish the report as soon as is practicable,’ added that it needed to
consider whether publication is ‘against the public interest.’

Noakes said: ‘The FRC should be committed to openness and transparency. If
they had any reservations about publishing any part of the judgment, they should
have been dealt with before making judgement.

‘I, as an ordinary member of the public, can’t tell whether a decision has
been made, as it is not even on their website. They seem to have forgotten that
they’re discharging a public function,’ said Noakes.

Industry figures backed Noakes this week, one saying that it was
‘extraordinary’ that the judgment remained unpublished.

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