Presidential hopefuls face stricter vetting

With the ICAEW council conference beginning today, Accountancy Age
understands that plans will be proposed to make the nominating committee, which
looks at the background of potential presidents, hold a wider remit and look
into potential conflicts of interest.

Its powers are set to be ‘beefed up’, insiders said, including a potential
increase in the size of the committee. There are currently five people on the
committee, comprising the current, future and past presidents.

The plans are part of the fallout from the fiasco surrounding Graham Durgan,
who stepped down over the award of preferred supplier status to a training
company in which he holds a majority stake.

Although council members were provided details of the potential changes to
procedure, a review into the circumstances leading up to Durgan stepping down
had not been supplied to council as Accountancy Age went to press. But
it is still expected that ICAEW president Ian Morris will provide the review
during the two-day conference.

‘We’re still expecting the Durgan report; the best way to learn is to
understand what happened in the past,’ said one council member.

Questions remain over why the risk of involving Durgan’s company Emile Woolf
International was not flagged up earlier and the timing of the announcement of a
potential controversy two weeks before Durgan was due to take office. An ICAEW
spokesman said it was a ‘private matter for council’.

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