End of road for self-regulation

The first meeting of an independent watchdog set up to oversee the profession’s new regulatory regime is expected to take place in the next week.

Christened ‘The Foundation’, the new body consists entirely of non-practising accountants and will end decades of self-regulation by accountants.

Members, appointed by a range of institutions and bodies, include recently-retired Halifax company secretary David Gilchrist and David Chynoweth, former CIPFA president and chief executive of Universities Superannuation Scheme. Dr Liam O’Reilly, assistant director general of the Central Bank of Ireland, also joins the team which will consist of up to eight people.

The Stock Exchange said its deputy chairman Sir John Kemp-Welch was involved, while National Audit Office head Sir John Bourn has been tipped as chairman.

Those involved in the regime, designed to increase transparency, were tight-lipped about other members.

Insiders insist the 1 January 2000 target for setting up the regime will be met. But new Foundation members have their work cut out. They still have to recruit members of four new boards to regulate different aspects of the profession.

Based on a DTI framework published last November, the body has until the end of October to find staff and premises.

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