Wednesday, 9 June 2010
Department of Enterprise, Trade and Innovation
Question 7: To ask the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation the reason his Department deleted paragraphs 3, 4 and 5 of Schedule 2 of Statutory Instrument No. 220 of 2010, the European Communities (Statutory Audits) (Directive 2006/43/EC) Regulations 2010, that were contained in earlier drafts; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that one of the recognised accountancy bodies has made representations on this matter seeking discussions on the decision to delete these paragraphs to which they did not receive any reply from his Department in advance of the signing of the regulation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24086/10]
Directive 2006/43/EC was transposed by means of S.I. No. 220 of 2010 on 20th May, 2010. No amendments have been made to the Regulations since and no paragraphs have been deleted from Schedule 2 of S.I. No. 220 of 2010.
In June 2007, the Department established a group consisting of the six Recognised Accountancy Bodies (RABs) and the Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority (IAASA) to assist with the transposition of the Directive. The group met at regular intervals and considered each of the Articles of the Directive in detail. The Department undertook a formal written consultation in July 2008 in relation to Articles 9, 11 and 12 concerning optional derogations from standards of knowledge, education, competence and training for auditors.
The majority of the recognised accountancy bodies were strongly of the view that to avail of the derogations provided in these Articles could seriously diminish the quality and status of the professional qualification. In addition, the Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority (IAASA), which has responsibility for promoting adherence to high professional standards in the auditing and accountancy profession, were concerned about any dilution in educational standards relating to qualification. In its view this could seriously compromise the integrity of the system of auditor qualification in Ireland. In the light of these views, it was decided not to avail of these derogations and this was communicated to the group in advance of making the Regulations.
I am aware that representations have been made by one of the recognised accountancy bodies and a reply will issue to this body on the issues raised as soon as possible.