News in brief.
The National Audit Office has received a boost from the Institute of Public Policy Research which has backed demands to give Sir John Bourn’s office wider powers. The backing came in the IPPR’s report on public private partnerships, which said the NAO should have statutory powers to access information on private providers relating to public contracts above a certain size. The report also said private and voluntary providers should accept higher standards of disclosure and transparency when working in the public service sector. Go to www.accountancyage.com/News/1122485 for the full story
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has put off publishing a ‘blacklist’ of tax havens while sensitive talks continue with the US. The list, which will reveal which tax havens have decided to co-operate with OECD requirements on what it calls ‘harmful tax regimes’, was due on 31 July but appears to have been postponed for at least four months. OECD moves on offshore tax regimes appear blocked after the US Treasury expressed doubts about its validity. Go to www.accountancyage.com/News/1122440 for more details
CIMA has appointed chartered accountant Charles Tilley, a former KPMG partner and ICAEW member, as its new chief executive. Tilley has worked at Granville Baird, and Hambros, where he was group finance director. CIMA had been looking for a chief executive since the beginning of the year, when John Chester, who had been in the post for six years, took early retirement. A longer version of this story can be found at www.accountancyage.com/News/1122498
Seven out of ten major companies in the UK say they have been subject to economic crime in the previous two years, according to a study of European fraud by PricewaterhouseCoopers. The report found nine out of ten frauds in the UK were committed by employees, reflected in the higher incidence of crimes such as embezzlement and breach of trust. The report also found over half of UK organisations believed that they are at risk from cybercrime. For the full version of this story, see www.accountancyage.com/News/1122497
Jobtel, the consolidator, confirmed this week it is planning a flotation sometime before the end of the year. Brokers have been engaged and the organisation is working towards the move which it hopes will raise investment capital. As yet there is no firm date and no clear indication of how much cash will be raised, but Jobtel expects the figure to be much less than the #50m raised by Tenon. Go to www.accountancyage.com/Practice/1122166 for more Jobtel news The Financial Action Task Force, part of the OECD, has removed the Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Liechtenstein and Panama from its annual money laundering ‘blacklist’. But the remaining 12 names on the list along with Egypt, Guatemala, Hungary, Indonesia, Myanmar and Nigeria, which were added to the 2001 list, face the possibility of economic sanctions as the FATF is not satisfied the countries have put in place sufficient anti-money-laundering systems. More on this story can be found at www.accountancyage.com/Tax/1122418
Stress-related illness causes the loss of 6.5 million working days each year at a cost to society of as much as #3.75bn, according to the Health and Safety Executive. The HSE estimates 500,000 people in the UK are suffering from work-related stress, anxiety or depression. Details of the report can be found at www.hse.gov.uk
The Metropolitan Police is denying reports it overspent its budget by more than #70m, saying the out-turn for 2000/2001 was under #8m, the majority of which had been spent on overtime. It also said it was looking for an extra 21 finance staff and in the short-term would be helped by its previous external auditor, KPMG. Last year KPMG produced a highly critical report on the Met’s internal controls. More at www.accountancyage.com/Public+Services/1120623
Two-thirds of finance directors support the proposals in the Myners’ review of institutional investment for fund managers to intervene more often when companies under-perform, according to a poll by Barclays Global Investors. The poll also reveals that 70% of FDs say fund managers should intervene in companies where they may have had reservations about the potential causes of under-performance. Read the full story at www.accountancyage.com/News/1122495.