Brown scraps OFR in bid to cut red tape

Gordon Brown is to scrap the operating and financial review (OFR) in a bid to
cut down on red tape.

The chancellor is set to tell the CBI conference today that the government is
to abandon the document in a surprise move. The OFR, although opposed by the
Conservatives during the election campaign, had been thought likely to shine a
light onto aspects of companies hitherto undisclosed, including fuller
explanations of oil reserves, for example.

Nigel Sleigh-Johnson, head of financial reporting at the ICAEW, said: ‘I
hadn’t detected a huge amount of opposition from business.’

Critics had suggested that the OFR would have added nothing to outline
descriptions of busineses that already appear in results presentations and
annual reports.

Sir Digby Jones, CBI director-general, welcomed the move: ‘I’ve been crying
out for the government to stop telling us about plans to cut red tape and to get
on with it.’

Brown is also set to announce changes to the way in which companies report to
Companies House and the Revenue, unifying the process.

Many companies will also be exempted from completing Form 42, which relates
to equity remuneration of employees, he is set to reveal. 

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