Newsflash – DTI plan keeps lay majority

The Department of Trade and Industry published its framework of independent regulation for the accountancy profession today, 28 April. Work will begin immediately to set up a new CCAB-funded Foundation that will control the activities of the profession from 1 January 2000.

The Foundation will oversee a reformed Auditing Practices Board, along with two new bodies: an Ethics Standards Board and an Investigation and Discipline Board. An independent Review Board will act as a watchdog, with powers to scrutinise the work of the Foundation-controlled boards and the monitoring, disciplinary and training activities retained by the professional institutions.

Except for the lay majority among the board members, the regulatory framework closely follows the template designed by the committee chaired by English ICA president Chris Swinson. The eight members of the Foundation board will be nominated by leading financial and consumer institutions.

The final plan was agreed at a formal meeting between the presidents of the English, Scots and Irish ICAs, ACCA, CIPFA and CIMA. Behind the scenes, sources suggest the minister had to hold firm on the composition of the new boards to appease parliamentary critics of the profession such as Austin Mitchell.

?There?s still a big worry that it may not be easy to get people to serve on the boards,? said one senior official.

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