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Political parties must make manifesto commitments on corporate governance

by Mark Fitt Political Journalist
19th Nov 19 10:34 am

The leaders of the main UK political parties have been urged to make manifesto commitments on corporate governance and audit reform by the chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors, Dr Ian Peters MBE.

In a letter to political party leaders, Ian Peters calls on them to, “make a crystal-clear commitment in your election manifesto, to deliver as swiftly as possible, the corporate governance and audit reforms the country so urgently needs.”

Following the collapse of Thomas Cook, the Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors urged the government to, “get a move on with reforming the audit market and establishing the new Audit, Reporting and Governance Authority (ARGA) as swiftly as possible.”

A change in the law is required to give ARGA the powers and authority to do its job properly after it takes over from the FRC. On 7 October 2019 the Business Secretary said, “where legislation is required, as with reform to the audit market, the Government remains committed to legislating as soon as parliamentary time allows”. But the Queen’s Speech on 14 October 2019 did not contain any audit reform legislation.

Dr Ian Peters MBE, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors said, “Following the high-profile corporate collapses of Thomas Cook and Carillion, we believe corporate governance and audit reform should be a key priority for the next UK Government.

“The stakes couldn’t be higher. Over 150,000 holidaymakers stranded and taxpayers forced to pay over £100m costs following the Thomas Cook collapse in September. And the Carillion collapse in 2018 led to thousands of job losses, delays to school and hospital building projects and over £140m costs for tax-payers.

“Corporate governance and audit reform is vitally important for jobs, growth and the future of our economy. That’s why we have urged the leaders of the main UK political parties to make crystal-clear manifesto commitments on delivering the corporate governance and audit reforms the country so urgently needs.”

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