Coopers faces Transtec scrutiny.

Former finance chiefs of the company also face more grilling over what the DTI’s report describes as ‘aggressive’ accounting policies at the engineering company, which collapsed amid rumours of undisclosed liabilities of £12m to Ford.

The inspectors say they will look closely at the role of the auditors and directors when they issue their full report later this year. In the interim report, the inspectors, accountant Hugh Aldous and Roger Kaye QC, complained of delays obtaining vital documents and said: ‘Many questions still remain apparently unanswered. Not least among these is the role of the auditors and directors.’

Among those under examination are three former Coopers & Lybrand accountants who were employed as finance chiefs at Transtec, which was founded by former paymaster general Geoffrey Robinson.

Neil Logue, former accountant at Coopers, joined the restructured Transtec in May 1991 and became its finance director. William Jeffrey, also a former accountant with Coopers joined the group in June 1992 and became FD on Logue’s departure.

Richard Carr, who took over from Robinson as chief executive in 1994, and FD Jeffrey are described as ‘dominant figures’ in the inspectors’ report.

Richard Parkin, a former audit manager with Coopers and Lybrand, succeeded Jeffery as FD a few months before the group went into administrative receivership in December 1999.

A spokesman for PwC, which Coopers & Lybrand is now merged into, said: ‘Given the investigation is incomplete we consider it would be inappropriate to comment beyond confirming we are co-operating fully with inspectors’ inquiries.’

Key interim findings stated Robinson and non-executive directors were unaware of the reported Ford claim, as were auditors and advisers.

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