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Company Auditors

Volume 406: debated on Monday 9 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many auditors have been presented by her Department as a result of criticisms by her Department's inspectors in the last 10 years. [114909]

In relation to criticisms in reports of investigations by inspectors under sections 431, 432 and 442 of the Companies Act 1985 published since 1993, there have been six cases where auditors were specifically criticised by the inspectors:

Publication date
Astra Holding plc17 June 1993
The Bestwood plc/Atlanta Fund Managers Ltd.20 January 1994
Atlantic Computers plc/Atlantic Computer Systems plc21 July 1997
James Ferguson Holdings plc/Barlow Clowes Gilt

Managers Ltd.
6 July 1995
Chancery plc17 December 1998
Mirror Group Newspapers plc30 March 2001
None of the auditors concerned were prosecuted by the Department but there have been a number of disciplinary actions by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales ("ICAEW") and the Accounts' Joint Disciplinary Scheme ("JDS") as regards auditors and accountant directors.