Auditors ‘still doing too much non-audit work’

Publishing the ninth edition of PIRC’s shareholder voting guidelines, the organisation said other key goals for 2005 include pushing for the separation of the chairman and chief executive’s roles, increasing the presence of independent directors and improving company disclosures.

Alan MacDougall, PIRC managing director, said: ‘The emphasis today is now firmly on substance and understanding of governance arrangements in practice. This will require transparency and mature dialogue.’

He added: ‘They [voting guidelines] provide consistency and fairness for our analysis of companies and transparency for clients as to the basis of our voting recommendations. Our goal is to raise standards across the whole market.’

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