White Paper outlines new audit rules

Company directors and employees could face up to two years in jail and
unlimited fines for giving misleading information to auditors, under a
government review of company law.

The proposal, part of a Government White Paper published last week by
competition minister Melanie Johnson, would give auditors a statutory right to
request company information from employees and certain contractors and would
force directors to volunteer information to auditors.

"The White Paper is a blueprint for a new era in British corporate
history," said Johnson. "These proposals will help make Britain the
best place in the world to start and grow a business and create an environment
that promotes confidence, opportunity and prosperity for all."

The White Paper sets out to increase confidence in business, improve
governance to encourage and support responsible business and to simplify the
law and reduce burdens on small firms.

It also includes plans to set out directors’ duties clearly in statute for
the first time, with clear guidance for all directors on their obligations
under the law.


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