News in Brief – 13 August

Accountant wins tribunal

A former accountant employed by the London borough of Hammersmith and Fulham has won an industrial tribunal action after the council refused to pay his pension entitlement when his job was deleted in a restructuring exercise in 1996. Olatunde Ladejobi, a Nigerian, was asked to produce documents to verify his date of birth as the council doubted his claims that he was 50, which would have entitled him to early redundancy payments. The tribunal held that three Hammersmith staff – including managing director Neil Newton who, as vice-chair of a London-wide body dealing with fraud, had investigated a network of Nigerians claiming benefits fraudulently – had discriminated on the grounds of nationality. The council is to seek leave to appeal in November as it missed last week’s deadline.

DoT needed clawback The former Department of Transport has been criticised by parliament’s chief financial watchdog for failing to put a clawback provision into the privatisation of the rolling-stock leasing companies. After the sale of the firms between February 1996 and March 1997, the original purchasers of the three companies sold them for #27bn after paying just #1.8bn. The Public Accounts Committee said it resulted in a loss of proceeds to the taxpayer and enabled a small number of British Rail managers to become millionaires, with windfall gains ranging from #15m to #33m.

Regulation guidance Government officials have been issued with fresh regulation guidance by Cabinet office minister Lord Falconer to ensure better regulation by determining if regulations are necessary and effective, and that their costs are justified. The ‘Better Regulation Guide’ combines existing guidance on deregulation, compliance-cost assessment and risk assessment into one document.

Highest paid FTSE-100 FD GEC FD John Mayo, who joined the company last October, is set to join the #1m club by the end of the year. Mayo will overtake Ian Duncan of Tomkins as the highest paid FD in the FTSE-100 after he received #501,000 in salary, benefits and bonus in his first six months at GEC. The former Zeneca FD also received a #184,000 pension payment.

City police jobs to go The City of London Police will have to shed 73 officers and 40 civilian support staff over the next two years in an attempt to accommodate its reduced budget. The force believes its budgetary cut of 10%, a loss of #4.6m, will not affect the work of its fraud squad.

E&Y seeks global brand Ernst & Young has appointed an advertising agency in a $100m attempt to create a global brand for itself. Advertising firm D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles has been appointed to undertake the task and aims to target a campaign at international business executives this autumn.

Memo on shares The English ICA has said it has no objections in principle to allowing companies to resell previously purchased own shares. In a memo to the DTI, the institute states the practice is permitted in the US and suggests that shares purchased and held by a firm for resale should be limited to 10% of its issued share capital.

Andersen Consulting revenues Andersen Consulting has said its UK revenues for 1997 were #444.7m, not #164.5m as reported on 30 July. The figure quoted by Accountancy Age, based on a survey by our sister magazine Management Consultancy, was an estimate of the firm’s core consulting revenues, which did not include outsourcing or systems integration revenue.

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