Audit Reform Bill Alongside Governance Measures in UK Government Agenda

A draft Audit Reform Bill was included in today’s Queen’s Speech, which lays out the UK government’s legislative priorities for the next parliament, after weeks of speculation that no room would be found for the long-expected measure. The bill will establish a new statutory regulator, the Audit, Reporting and Governance Authority, replacing the Financial Reporting Council, in order to “rebuild trust”. The new body’s powers include enforcing directors’ financial reporting duties, supervising corporate reporting, and regulating the accountancy and actuarial professions. Dr Roger Barker, Director of Policy at the Institute of Directors, said the business lobby group was “relieved” at the inclusion of the draft bill.A year on from the Government’s white paper, these widely supported and uncontroversial changes are now long overdue and we would urge Government to ensure that the proposals are implemented in a timely fashion,” he added. Tax Research’s Richard Murphy described the proposed measures as “very weak”. Other governance-related measures include a Data Reform Bill, an Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill, and new measures to strengthen requirements for firms to precent modern slavery in their operations and supply chains.

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