Audit reform dropped from King’s Speech – ICAS comments

07/11/2023
Bruce Cartwright CA, CEO at ICAS

AS predicted, the audit and corporate governance reform was scrapped from the King’s Speech, causing a huge blow to the interests of UK businesses and the public.

Responding to the omission of the Audit and Corporate Governance Reform Bill from the King’s Speech today, ICAS warns of a detrimental impact and calls for the government to rethink its position. ICAS strongly advocates that the reforms that were intended to be included in the Audit and Corporate Governance Reform Bill are reinstated. ICAS said that legislation should be included in the next legislative programme, announced today, to provide the foundation for the audit and corporate governance reforms needed to make the UK’s corporate regulatory framework fit for purpose in the 21st century.

Bruce Cartwright CA, CEO of ICAS, said: 

“This feels like ground-hog day. Again, we see lack of action by a government apparently committed to reform but again back tracking on those commitments. The result is to potentially undermine public trust in that as a business community, we demonstrate transparency in business and do the right thing.   

Dropping audit and corporate governance reform from the King’s Speech is a huge blow to the interests of UK businesses and the public. And it comes hot on the heels of the government’s last-minute decision in October to pull its draft regulations to enhance the UK’s corporate reporting framework. There is consensus among all the key players that these reforms are long overdue. UK businesses need a solid, regulatory environment to ensure good governance and to maintain the public’s trust.  

Once again, we urge the UK government to reconsider this decision. Audit and corporate governance reform can’t wait until after the next general election.”

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