Mayflower tribunal: first test for AIDB

Mayflower tribunal: first test for AIDB

Public hearing in September will put new discipline board in spotlight

September will see the first test of the Accountancy Investigation and
Discipline Board’s pedigree, as the inaugural disciplinary tribunal of the board
kicks off.

Four weeks have been set aside for the public hearing over collapsed bus
manufacturer Mayflower, although it is suspected that proceedings may not last
that long.

Big Four firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, along with former FD David Donnelly
initially had complaints laid against them in September last year, while Ian
Shelton, the former financial controller of subsidiary Transbus was added to
that list in December.

The investigation initially kicked off in July 2004 after accounting
irregularities were discovered in the accounts of Transbus during March of that
year.

Following over a year’s investigation, AIDB executive council Cameron Scoot
laid complaints against both PwC and Donnelly over the affair.

The complaints against PwC relate to the audit of the 2002 Transbus accounts,
particularly amounts held on behalf of a bank under an invoice discounting
facility, and the audit of the Mayflower accounts the same year involving
disclosures relating to the company’s ability to continue as a going concern
beyond 2003.

Donnelly also faces complaints on the going concern issue as well as the
refinancing of the group’s banking facilities at the end of 2003 and the failure
to disclose the discovery of accounting irregularities.

The complaint against Shelton, which took longer to surface, involves
irregularities in the operation of an invoice discounting facility at TransBus.

The hearing will be the first since the AIDB took over investigations of
public interest cases from the Joint Disciplinary Scheme, although the board is
also investigation Deloitte in relation to the audit of former car maker MG
Rover.

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